The Dutch Have Reduced Prison Populations 50% AND Crime 39% in a Decade

In the last decade the Dutch have reduced prison inmate populations by 50% and those sentences average to about 90 days in jail.  Many people expected this drastic reduction of inmates to lead to a notable increase in crime because: Dangerous, proven criminals are being quickly released back onto the street There is virtually no deterrent effect to being jailed in the Netherlands Contrary to this expectation the fact is that Dutch system has also reduced crime by nearly 40%.…

How Killing The Canadian Oil Industry Is a Formula For Environmental Disaster

Today Bloomberg’s Michael Bellusci wrote an article explaining that Canadian oil and gas companies are in deep trouble.  Here is an excerpt: Canada’s Energy Industry Faces ‘Extinction’ Without M&A, BMO Says Investors have bailed on the Canadian energy sector, although mergers & acquisitions north of the border could provide a much needed catalyst, barring pipeline and political developments… Source: bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-05/forget-permian-canada-s-energy-needs-m-a-to-avoid-extinction On the same day, Global News reported: Feds to spend $280k to study why Canada’s oil and gas sector is falling behind The federal…

Should You Have The Right To Know You Are Talking To An AI Bot?

The US congress now has an Artificial Intelligence “Caucus” considering regulating how Artificial Intelligence (AI).  One the items they are looking into is figuring out if citizens should have a right to know that they are talking / chatting with an Artificially Intelligent piece of software or a human. Many people feel tricked when they find out that they have been talking or chatting with an AI when the default assumption has been that people are talking or chatting with…

Bankruptcy of Gun Maker Remington Signifies Nothing For the Anti-Gun Lobby

Today the United States oldest gun maker Remington Outdoor Company Inc, which owns Remington Arms, filed for Bankruptcy protection.  The anti-gun lobby has taken this as a sign that the guns and gun companies are finally starting to decline.  Unfortunately, Remington’s collapse is only a sign of bad management and will do nothing to stem the tide of easy to find, cheap guns. Remington expanded production several in the Obama era, especially after Sandy Hook, as Americans feared their misunderstood…

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Sends Donald Trump a Cryptic Message

After numerous rounds of, “We don’t know if Kim Jong Un is still alive,” Kim Jong Un himself decided to send Donald Trump a letter in his own handwriting to let him know he was still in the game. The Donald opened the letter which appeared to contain a single line of coded message, 370HSSV-0773H. The Donald was baffled, so he e-mailed it to the Secretary of State and his aides who had no clue either, (so that’s why Rex…

Anatomy of a Modern Data Breach: The Facebook – Cambridge Analytica Scandal

Now that much of the dust has settled on Cambridge Analytica‘s misuse of Facebook users data the sad story can now be told. It is critical to note upfront that Facebook was not hacked and that the information that was misused was provided voluntarily by Facebook Users.  The only breach was a breach of misplaced trust. Timeline of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica Scandal: January 2015:  Cambridge University’s Professor Alexander Krogan created ‘ThisIsYourDigitalLife’ personality survey app on Facebook, under his company…

US Government Again Reduces Bank Oversight, 10 Years After The 2008 Global Financial Collapse

After limited debate the US Senate overwhelmingly approved a further reduction in “Dodd-Frank” banking regulations introduced in 2010 to avoid another 2008 style bank generated economic collapse. Dodd-Frank‘s primary mechanism for doing this was to require financial institutions that were “too big to fail” to withstand stress tests.  The idea being that if your bank was going to need a government bail out in the event of failure, effectively making you and me the banks insurance company, that such banks…

Should Disposable Single Use Plastic Bags Be Banned?

There has been much talk in the recent decade about banning disposable plastic bags.  The basic argument is that consumer grade disposable single use plastic bags are the root cause widespread environmental damage but have ready alternatives, so why are will still using them? As is often the case with political issues, there is no simple answer to the question “Should single use plastic bags be banned?”.  Below are some of the facts and you can decide for yourself if…

How We Know The Trump Campaign Did Not Criminally Collude With the Russian Government

Let me start with the obligatory, I do not particularly like Donald Trump, believe much of what he says or think his campaign was shinny clean.  That being said I do like to listen to both facts and common sense, so let’s go: How We Know Trump’s Campaign Did Not Collude With the Russian Government: There are a few key points to consider when thinking about the claims that the Trump Campaign for President of the United States in 2016…

Oil & Gas: Why ‘Keep It In The Ground’ Is A Formula For Environmental Disaster

The environmental lobby has mislead many well intentioned companies and intelligent individuals with the “keep it in the ground movement”.   That logic only applies to “western societies” and has sadly resulted in serious efforts to block even the cleanest Oil & Gas projects for the last decade.  The most recent tactic is to block the infrastructure required to make Oil & Gas functional; in particular pipelines are being opposed at every turn. These next two points should clearly demonstrate…

Are Pipelines Really The Safest Way To Transport Oil & Gas?

Having worked at a few pipeline companies, I know they take safety and spills very seriously but we see pipeline bursts and their resulting spills with frequency in the news so the question lingers: Are pipelines safe? Let’s start by stating an obvious fact that no-one WANTS a pipeline or any other serious infrastructure (power lines, rail lines, highways…) in their back yard but without such infrastructure our modern world would grind to a halt.  If we can agree on…

VIDEO: Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney Tells US Senate To ‘Thanks It’s Lucky Stars For Canada’ and NAFTA

While testifying on NAFTA in front of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Canadian Prime Minister told them: “Canada is privileged to have the United States as a neighbor and friend.  And the United States should thank its lucky stars, everyday, that they have Canada on their northern boarder. This is is the most successful and peaceful bilateral agreement in world history” “Canada is privileged to have the United States as a neighbor and friend.  And the United States should…

Why Canada Does Not Need a Dispute Mechanism in NAFTA

One of the most contentious issues between Canada and the United States on North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is chapters 11, 19 and 20 the dispute mechanisms.  Chapter 19 is the one most are fired up about: …binational panel of five arbiters, agreed upon by both parties, who will determine whether or not the duties have merit based on U.S. domestic laws. Source: macleans.ca/opinion/why-naftas-chapter-19-is-worth-fighting-for/  CANADIAN ARGUMENT FOR THE NAFTA DISPUTE MECHANISM: Canada has politely stated that the United States is…

Trump Brings in 30% Tariff on Solar Panels, Temporarily Killing .25M US Jobs

On Monday January 22, 2018, the Trump administration brought in a 30% tax on imported solar panels.   This new solar tax will last four years and decrease over time to 15% in its last year. “Over the last 5 years, nearly 30 American solar manufacturers collapsed; today the President is sending a message that American innovation and manufacturing will not be bullied out of existence without a fight… This is a step forward for this high-tech solar manufacturing industry we…

VIDEO: Short Summary of What is Happening With Net Neutrality in the US?

First world governments around the world, including Canada  have come down on the side of Net Neutrality (the idea that internet providers can not advance or block one website or stream).  The notable exception to this is the United States under President Trump’s appointed FCC leader (and former Verizon executive) Ajit Pai, which has eliminated the Obama era rules protecting an open internet in December 2017. The Republican / Ajit Pai / Trump argument is that the infrastructure is owned by…