A Letter for Alberta

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cybrwurm
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A Letter for Alberta

Post by cybrwurm » 11-23-2011 03:49 PM

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/ Topic > A Letter for Alberta / 23 November 2011 / E-mail > ted.morton@assembly.ab.ca /
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A LETTER FOR ALBERTA
[being An Open Letter to All Albertans (and Canadians) Concerning the State of the Nation]
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Yeah yeah, I know that technically Alberta is merely a province, and not really a nation. But it is enough of a nation to determine its own destiny, to set its own course toward the future, and follow it there. So the big question is: Where is our current road taking us? ... As I was saying, Alberta is kind of like a nation (which is to say, an almost sovereign-state). It's a near-nation, with other near-nations around it, and a big-fat monster-nation to the south. And what kind of nation is Alberta? It is a hybrid nation, half democratic and half plutonomic; which just means that the fat-cats and plutocrats (and their political minions) are calling the shots (ie. at least as far as important economic policy goes).
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Clearly, how Albertans look at our pseudo-nation is just as important as how we look at (and treat) the other national-neighbors around us. By the way, did you know that Saskatchewan has part of the oil-sands in its territory? That country seems in no great hurry to rush forward and develop develop develop. What do they know that Albertans don't? Something? Nothing? It's odd, because ever since Premier Klein, the Alberta government can't seem to sell-out to big-oil fast enough. 'Faster, faster, faster' is the only thing that really matters to our provincial politicians. Perhaps it's time we all take a moment, and look at the down side of this frenzied selling-off of our (limited and precious) natural resources.
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One down side is that while there is a lot of activity in the oil-sands, none of it is generating any royalties to speak of. Everyone knows that the royalty-rates on Alberta-oil is a joke. It's a dirty-joke, one that the whole world is laughing at; only our politicians (who are totally deaf, apparently) can't hear it. Hell, we're practically giving it all away for free! And it's not just free-oil that's heading south, there's also plenty of free fresh-water heading in the same direction. They're thirsty for Alberta's liquid resources, folks, and the politicians are falling all over themselves to turn the taps to maximum flow. And where's the "economic" sense in that? We get what in return? A few thousand jobs? An economic boom-town? Happy landlords and CEO's? Is handing over Albertans future well-being and current freedoms so cheaply bought?
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And after the Americans have taken away the last drop of fresh water, and the last barrel of black-gold, then Alberta will be left holding an empty bag. Empty of all save a ruined ecology, and even emptier promises of support: eg. 'America will protect Alberta from any hostile military invasion, but we certainly can't provide you with the fresh water and oil you so desperately need." So while Alberta is more loyal to the good ole U.S. of A than it is to the citizens of Alberta, and more loyal to America than to Canada, and more loyal to big-oil corporations than to the future ecological well-being of the land within its borders, it is obvious that America's loyalty to the Unofficial-State of Alberta is based mostly on dust and ashes.
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Now you may well wonder how this disaster came about. It certainly did not happen overnight. I think the madness first began shortly after the wise leadership of Premier Lougheed came to an end. That was the beginning of the long lunatic reign of King Klein; and after him all the new premiers have followed eagerly in his mad footsteps; and it continues to this very day. Meanwhile, the cities and citizens of Alberta are facing deficits, and struggling valiantly to keep their budgets balanced. And like mindless little puppets the people of Alberta just keep re-electing the same pro-1% political-leaders in the vain hope that maybe one of them will demonstrate some small fraction of the economic-wisdom that we once had under former-premier Lougheed. But, alas, this hope has come at a great and frightful cost. Alberta has betrayed Canada by selling-out to American big-oil. Instead of building pipelines to the west AND east coast so as to better serve the future and present needs of the greater-nation and the globe, Alberta foolishly proceeds to build pipelines to the south; for south is where the big-hunger is, south is where the big-money lives, south is where they're very thirsty for our liquids.
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Not too long ago the federal Liberals, in an act of colossal short-sightedness, sold off the bulk of Canada's gold reserve. Now some people still think that Canada is not on the gold-standard anymore, but the truth is that the world is never "off" the gold-standard. Those who think otherwise are in for a very rude awakening; but by the time the feds realize their mistake, it will be far too late to fix it. And in the years ahead, when the "currency wars" are heating up, it would be nice to have a safety-cushion to fall back on when our dollar takes a beating, but it won't be there because the federal government gave it away. Thank you, Liberals! And here in Alberta we're doing the same thing with our oil and water, giving it all away under some foggy notion that we won't need oil and water in the future. 'Long term pain for short term gain'; that's the unspoken motto of Canada's political-economists.
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And back here in Alberta, big-business and their political minions now wish to build a pipe-line to Texas (the Keystone XL; what's XL mean? eXtra-Long? or eXtra Loopy?) so that more and more toxic black-gold can be moved faster and faster. Talk about 'stop the madness'; the good people of Nebraska had sense enough to be concerned, for the extra-long pipeline's path goes right across a major source of freshwater. Well, they stopped that; but they also approved the detour, so that the XL can now be even longer, even more expensive, and even more dangerous. I guess good-sense only goes so far in Nebraska. Doesn't it occur to anyone on the pro-pipeline team that any such project (moving billions of barrels of a flammable, toxic, and highly volatile substance under high pressure in a flimsy, leaky tube from one end of the continent to the other) is inherently foolish and dangerous? Instead of doing all that, wouldn't it make more sense to move the refineries to where the oil is? Couldn't you create your jobs and wealth that way? What? It can't be done, you say? ... Really?
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And now there's even talk that Alberta should build a pipeline through the mountains to the west coast, and thus ship the oil over the great-waters to China. So yes, let's by all means sell it to another country that is even MORE reckless and irresponsible than the USA! Brilliant idea there, Kevin. We should by every means encourage the most criminal-nation on the planet to be even more reckless and irresponsible than it already is. But instead of doing all that, why don't we build the pipeline to the east, so that the rest of Canada can find some benefit from the oil-sands too? ... Alas, the mismanagement of the entire oil industry has become a very messy business indeed; even (as Mr Lougheed himself has observed) "a nightmare". Selling to the americans is not a bad policy, in theory; but the problem is that the politicians are selling it far too cheap, far too quickly, and worse still, selling all of it too cheap and too fast.
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So obviously I'm not opposed to selling our black-gold to China. On the contrary, I think that it's a damn-fine idea; so long as all the outgoing barrels go (and arrive) with many strings attached. One such string ought to be that China must demonstrate that it's working hard to curb greenhouse gas-emissions. Moreover, we should indeed rent a small patch of the oil-sands to China, provided that they can harvest the black-gold more effectively and efficiently and responsibly, with the least amount of ecological damage, than all the other companies that are doing likewise. Moreover, we should offer the american-companies the exact same deal, and if this is not acceptable to China and/or America, then we can invite Norway in to manage the entire oils-sands with extreme caution and restraint, because, hey, most of the current crop of political leaders in Alberta seem to have developed a huge blind-spot running right through the middle of their all-american minds.
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In Italy and Greece they are biting the bullet by throwing out their corrupt politicians and bringing in competent technocrats in the form of professional economists, accountants, and bankers determined to get national debt and finances under control. Here in Alberta we need the same level of competence from our politicians to manage our non-renewable liquid resources. Failure to do so will enrich no one except the politicians and their 1%-masters. Fellow albertans, we're begging you to stop looking at your wallets and purses for a moment, and instead look forward to the dismal future that your votes (and your shortage of votes) are causing to happen. If democracy is already completely dead in Alberta, then your votes won't save the future of our province from the repercussions; such as the unfortunate 'death of a thousand cuts'. But if some shred of democracy still lives amid this land of apathy and greed, then your votes can still turn away the oncoming tide, and perhaps even leave a livable world behind. What kind of Alberta do you want to leave to your grand-children? A waterless and oil-less wasteland that is the inevitable result of thoughtless plutonomic management? Or something else? Shall we forge a path that will be the envy of every civilized nation? Or shall we be remembered as the almost great nation of Alberta?
-- a concerned albertan - cybrwurm ;>
x
"Anyone who thinks that the truth is simple has got another think comming!" -- Grandpa Walton

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Post by voguy » 11-23-2011 09:39 PM

Interesting to see Alberta has similar problems to Michigan and Ohio when it comes to is destiny.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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Post by Fan » 11-24-2011 12:25 PM

I totally agree cyberwurm, did not know you were an albertan... What an astoundingly beautiful place, with so many natural resources, being pissed away for fast profits.

If you haven't seen http://www.petropolis-film.com it is quite... sad.

cybrwurm
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Post by cybrwurm » 11-24-2011 03:58 PM

] voguy say: Interesting to see Alberta has similar problems to
] Michigan and Ohio when it comes to its destiny.
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I didn't know that, v. Are Michigan and Ohio fairly close to the Alberta section of the border? If they're both within easy driving distance it might be a good idea for these three "provinces" to start talking to each other, instead of just ignoring our common problems, eh?
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] Fan say: I totally agree cybrwurm, did not know you were an albertan...
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Oh yeah, I was born here. In fact, I've only been out-of-province once, many years ago, when I was just a kid.
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] F: What an astoundingly beautiful place,
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Oh, fer sure. But I don't get to see much of it, as I'm always stuck in this always-growing city (the so-called capital of the province).
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] F: with so many natural resources, being pissed away for fast profits.
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Yeah; those who see only money as the be-all and end-all of life can't see things like beauty and the consequences of their own greed-inspired actions. Or if they do see, then they justify their actions by saying something like: 'Well, if I don't invest in China, someone else will, and the results will be the same in either case, so I'd rather get rich from it than get nothing.' How do you argue with logic like that?
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] F: If you haven't seen http://www.petropolis-film.com it is quite... sad.
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Alas, I can't watch internet-video. You see, my rig is totally low-tech; my operating system is windows98!
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Retro-2-da-max! :D
"Anyone who thinks that the truth is simple has got another think comming!" -- Grandpa Walton

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Post by Fan » 11-24-2011 04:20 PM

Originally posted by cybrwurm
Alas, I can't watch internet-video. You see, my rig is totally low-tech; my operating system is windows98!
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Retro-2-da-max! :D


https://catalogue.calgarypubliclibrary. ... 86380107/9

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Post by voguy » 11-24-2011 05:18 PM

cybrwurm wrote: ] voguy say: Interesting to see Alberta has similar problems to
] Michigan and Ohio when it comes to its destiny.
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I didn't know that, v. Are Michigan and Ohio fairly close to the Alberta section of the border? If they're both within easy driving distance it might be a good idea for these three "provinces" to start talking to each other, instead of just ignoring our common problems, eh?


I'm at a loss to remember the gentleman who proposed it, or his site, but he hypothesized the break up of the United States into smaller regional nations. Sort of like what happened to Russia when all the areas they absorbed suddenly became their own unique countries.

But included in this was the thought that North Dakota might be included into Manitoba, and Michigan would become an area of Ontario.

The only down side I would see with that theory is the fact that Ontario would not want to assume Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Monroe counties .... that is, unless they make the area a large penal colony. ;)

But speaking personally, I think more people from the U.P. of Michigan feel comfortable with Ontario than their neighbors down state.
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." - Thomas Jefferson

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