Turkey Day, Elections, and #MoneyStories

Monday is Thanksgiving here in Canada, and many of us will be visiting family and giving thanks for all of the wonderful things in our lives. Turkeys will not be so thankful as this begins the most lethal quarter for our avian friends culminating with the great Christmas Turkey Massacre. Please keep our plump, juicy and tasty friends in mind this holiday season.

Swedish Chef and Turkey

Gobble, Gooble Turkey

Speaking of fat and juicy the election campaign continues to be neither of those words. Mr. Harper is keeping all of his candidates under strict lock and key so there is no danger of them “confusing the message” or worse still voicing their own opinions. I have noticed that all of the television advertising that I have seen for the election is about the Party Leaders, and I am fairly confident I would not know my local candidates unless they ran me over in the parking lot (pretty sure that would make Mr. Harper upset too). Have you decided which candidate in your local riding you will be voting for? Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? This is your one chance to have a say in the running of your country, and my opinion is that if you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain.

It is interesting that as a Civil Servant my union has barraged my home phone with more messages about who I should be voting for and such, and it is an odd situation if I think about it. Obviously the PSAC folks seem to have quite the “hate on” for Mr. Harper, but the sense I get is that they think the Liberals would be better for the Civil Service. I guess folks don’t remember Paul Martin and Jean Chretien’s great massacres of the Civil Service in the 90’s? As for the NDP, Mr. Mulcair sounds as conservative as Mr. Harper sometimes, all very confusing, to a simple soul such as myself. Sounds like we might even have a 3 way tie? Guess we might be voting again soon?

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My Writings for Week Ending October 9th

As Thanksgiving approaches I continue to be lazy and not put out a very regular schedule of posts, and my apologies to my regular readers, but sometimes life does interfere with my writing.

  • As usual the week started with my regular best of twitter statement with Greed and Tweets for the Week, this time I tried to follow a thematic premise in the tweets, not sure I succeeded.
  • The one new post of the week was me finishing one of the 200 stories in my “not quite finished bin” My Biggest Purchase Was Not A House, again, a bit of luck and I think I made the right decision there.
  • On my twitter feed I tried to stick with the pension as a thematic premise so I did include an old chestnut, Advice to the Love Lorn (Pension Potential), is your date pension worthy?
  • I never really got too many answers on this oldie, Is Debt a Moral Issue ? Have a read and chime in if you think I am full of hot lead (a variant on hot air, but since I am publishing, lead for typesetting, yes, quips you have to explain really aren’t that clever are they?).
  • Are you interested in Security and Technology, check out my tech site’s article Security and Other Technology Twitters for the Week

Facebook Fun of the Week

The last few elections have shown that polling sometimes can be completely out of whack, but this poll seems to suggest, you should make sure you vote this election (you see what I did there? I turned it around):

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An Older Canada, Farewell Max, and #MoneyStories

For those who didn’t see the info from Stats Canada in their daily report: Canada’s population estimates: Age and sex, July 1, 2015, there are now officially more Seniors in Canada than Children. To quote the report directly:

For the first time, the number of persons aged 65 years and older exceeded the number of children aged 0 to 14 years.

Will the world start pandering more to Seniors now? That is where the money is, see the interesting graphic below from the report, and there are going to be a lot more of us soon too!

For those not in the Ottawa area, Ottawa lost an adopted son with the passing of Max Keeping yesterday. I am an adopted son of Ottawa now too (having lived here longer than I have anywhere else), and Max Keeping was the voice of News for a very long time, so I am sad to see him passing, but he had been having a touch fight with cancer. Did I agree with all of his opinions? No, but I respected the way he portrayed the news. Rest in Peace Max.

Population by Age in Canada

Population aged 0 to 14 years and 65 years and older, as of July 1, 1995 to 2035, Canada

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My Writings for Week Ending October 2nd

A busy life week for me, so only two posts, but an oldie but goodie seems to be gaining some attention

Facebook Fun of the Week

Of course you can trust me:

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The Pope, Autumn, Elections, Volkswagen and #MoneyStories

I have never been a big fan of the Catholic Church and specifically the power of the Pope, but I must admit that this new Pope is making me rethink my low view of the Papacy. The riches at the center of Vatican City has always been a stumbling block for me, but when I read the Pope’s statement about migrants and Churches that refuse to help refugees, I was pleasantly surprised, Pope tells religious orders they should lose their tax breaks if they refuse to take in migrants and are more interested in making money than helping the needy , wow. I keep wondering just how long this Pope will last if he keeps making more sense than the Republican Party candidates in the U.S. ? Pope Francis is even talking about Global Warming too. He truly seems to be a Pope for the 21st Century, and I hope he keeps going.


Autumn Leaves and a Haiku for you

The Autumnal equinox has come and gone and Autumn is here, for those that didn’t notice (or Spring is here if you are in the Southern Hemisphere). Autumn is nice, but the biggest problem I have with it, is that it is just before Winter.

The Election this week highlighted the need to have a basic knowledge test for all candidates, and possibly a background check. One NDP Candidate made a very bad Auschwitz reference, and then claimed to have never heard of Auschwitz ? Was she out of the classroom when that topic was brought up, or is it not part of the new curriculum in Ontario? A PC Candidate had an old YouTube video bite him on the tuchus when he made a statement about abortions and 9/11 , you can find the quote but it is just “too beaucoup” for me. I weep for this generation of candidates, the only things sadder are the folks that will vote for them.

Volkswagen is in the news for finding a way to pass every diesel emission test with flying colors, by having their on-board computer figure out that it is being tested, and do what is needed to pass the test? Some might say that this was just good planning on their part, but I would never say that. People drive diesel cars was the more astounding part of this story (for me).

Glad to see the Rugby World Cup has some drama, when Japan defeated South Africa, and the South African Springboks had to apologize to the entire nation for the loss.

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My Writings for Week Ending September 25th

Now that Autumn is here, we can enjoy those long nights by catching up on my writings?

Tweet of the week

I don’t think I share Ms. Kerry’s esprit de Noel

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The week started with the Government announcing a surplus in terms of the 2014/15 budget year, of almost $1.9 Billion, and it kicked off a bit of a reaction from many sides. A surplus is a good thing, how the surplus was created is questionable, but it did happen (unless the Government hired all of the old Nortel Accountants). Stories have been brought forward about forced spending cuts in key ministries and the infamous huge savings from Mr. Clement’s Sick Leave changes, however, it is a surplus, that cannot be argued (if you view the term surplus as a specific accounting term). Just an observation, but when did the NDP become more “centrist” than the Liberals?

Crisis? What Crisis?

Crisis? What Crisis? by Supertramp (at Amazon)

Glad to see some money sense, with the story of a Brooklyn Nets rookie (who makes $1.3M a year) who has roommates, because rent is whacked in Brooklyn! It’s easy when you get money fast to give into the “Live Now, Pay Later” mentality that our society pushes, but glad to see one young person who realizes that all wealth can be fleeting.

The one interesting thing from the Annual Financial Report of the Government of Canada Fiscal Year 2014–2015 is the statement of the National Debt. Remember the National Debt is how much money Canada owes to Creditors (many of whom are CSB owners and such, see Page 24 for the exact details of the debt). If I am reading the report correctly, Canada’s Net National Debt is $612.3B (if that is what is on Page 26 of the report). To quote the report exactly:

With total liabilities of $1.0 trillion, financial assets of $336.7 billion and non-financial assets of $74.6 billion, the federal debt (accumulated deficit) stood at $612.3 billion at March 31, 2015, up $0.4 billion from March 31, 2014

So we really owe $1Trillion, but thanks to accounting fun, we say our debt-load is $612B ? I’ll have to remember that the next time I go talk to the bank. Financial Crisis? What Financial Crisis?

Luckily the US Federal Reserve kept their rate near zero. No sudden stock market crashes just yet.

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My Writings for Week Ending September 18th

The days are getting shorter as Autumn is coming (in the Northern Hemisphere). :

Tweet of the week

The Government just told us about how they spent our tax money, why aren’t you reading this?

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That Day, I Miss Jack, Easy Money and #MoneyStories

It is now 14 years since that day, where the world changed in 2001. Is the world a worse place because of the events of that day? It’s a different place, is all I can say with a certainty, history will tell us the rest.

Have One For Me too Jack

Jack we miss you on the Campaign Trail, this is a boring election without you.

The election continues to show that the Tories are lagging, the Liberals are not wowing and the NDP seems to be turtling their way into a small lead, but none of the party leaders are running away with the race. It would have been very interesting to see this election, if Jack Layton had beaten cancer, but we will never know, won’t we?

Apple introduced some “new” technology, including the iPhone Maxi (6S Plus) and their reintroduction of Apple TV. I get the feeling that the media world (specifically video streaming) is about to change, but I also suspect it may not be Apple that wins the fight.

Our friends at the Bank of Canada continued their rates on Wednesday, with the following statement about the economy (hopefully one day it will come with a helpful decoder ring to explain all the jargon as well):

Increasing uncertainty about growth prospects for China and other emerging-market economies, in contrast, is raising questions about the pace of the global recovery. This has contributed to heightened financial market volatility and lower commodity prices. Movements in the Canadian dollar are helping to absorb some of the impact of lower commodity prices and are facilitating the adjustments taking place in Canada’s economy. While the overall export picture is still uncertain, the latest data confirm that exchange rate-sensitive exports are regaining momentum.

Meanwhile, risks to financial stability are evolving as expected. Taking all of these developments into consideration, the Bank judges that the risks to the outlook for inflation remain within the zone for which the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate. Therefore, the target for the overnight rate remains at 1/2 per cent.

A simple translation? “risks to financial stability are evolving as expected” the known unknowns are known? The unknown knowns are better understood?

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My Writings for Week Ending September 11th

With Labour Day being so late this year we are already well into September, however, it is still hotter than most of the summer, 2015 an odd year for weather :

Tweet of the week

I found this one in my twitter feed and was horrified when I read the story

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