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Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Look who we’re dealing with in the TPP

So the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal has been initialled. I’m not prepared to discuss the merits of the agreement. But let’s consider the countries that are in it, besides Canada: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan – as well as the US.

Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Japan have . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Look who we’re dealing with in the TPP

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Look who we’re dealing with in the TPP

So the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal has been initialled. I’m not prepared to discuss the merits of the agreement. But let’s consider the countries that are in it, besides Canada: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Per… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Look who we’re dealing with in the TPP

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Can boomerangs swing back out, after coming towards you?

It’s a fair question, because there was another putsch in Australia today. Three years after Kevin Rudd was forced out as Prime Minister by the ruling Labour Party in favour of Julia Gillard, today Gillard herself was shoved aside when it became clear her party has no chance of winning the spring elections in September . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Can boomerangs swing back out, after coming towards you?

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Canada’s F-35 — the $46 billion dollar boondoggle

Later today, the Amsterdam based accounting firm Kynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG ™) will issue a report regarding the proposed procurement of 65 Lockheed-Martin F-35-A Lightning II fighter jets for the Canadian Air Force. If media previews are to be believed, the program will be way higher than the $9 billion originally claimed by PMS . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Canada’s F-35 — the $46 billion dollar boondoggle

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Maybe the United States NEEDS a fiscal cliff

The riots we’ve been seeing across the European Union — not just the 17 countries inside Euroland but also the 10 that are not — are the result of people being fed up with having the cradle to grave welfare state being clawed back or almost eliminated. Here in Canada we haven’t gotten quite there . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Maybe the United States NEEDS a fiscal cliff

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Harper selling out to UK?

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be able to share consular services. Canada and Australia have had such a sharing agreement for over 25 years — Australia handles Canadian interests in parts of Asia-Pacific region and in turn we handle theirs in some countries in Latin America and Africa. Similarly, a citizen of any . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Harper selling out to UK?

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Dead (or dead)

Although pains were taken to hide the identity of the SEAL Team Six officer who took part in last year’s raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, his true name was revealed today. Regardless of the propriety of this or whether he should have written the account at all, the implication he makes — that the . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Dead (or dead)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Iran: Getting away with genocide, thanks to banks (maybe)

If the allegations about the British based bank Standard Chartered Bank PLC are true then a financial institution that has been at the forefront of a “corporate responsibility” campaign is guilty of an instance of money laundering that makes the Bank of Credit and Commerce International look like Romper Room ™. When I first heard . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Iran: Getting away with genocide, thanks to banks (maybe)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Deny, deny, deny — Syria edition (and why sanctions aren’t enough)

This past weekend’s massacre in Houla, Syria was so uncommonly cruel in its scope that even Russia and Mainland China, which have been vetoing several resolutions due to their arms sales to Damascus, finally said enough is enough. At least 108 are dead, and quite a few Western states have suspended ties to the Assad . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Deny, deny, deny — Syria edition (and why sanctions aren’t enough)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Another massacre in Afghanistan

If this is how one “wins the hearts and minds” of a people, this past weekend’s massacre of 16 civilians by a US soldier has only succeeded in creating even more terrorists. There have been suggestions the suspect may have been mentally unstable but in this part of the world there is no such thing . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Another massacre in Afghanistan

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: If you can’t track the guns, you can’t track the criminals

The Brady Law in the States, which is supposed to ensure felons don’t have access to guns (they are supposed to be flagged by a background check), has proven to be a joke, the NYT reports today. In just one state — the State of Washington — nearly 3300 convicts have had their "right to bear arms" that they forfeited, restored. In one case, a man out of jail for just two months shot dead his . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: If you can’t track the guns, you can’t track the criminals

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Latest Fed decision, and de Tocqueville on bombastic simpletons

The US Fed dropped its usual pretentiousness and the technocratic language often used in its statements on interest rate decisions and was remarkably clear in yesterday’s decision, in which it pledged (by a vote of  7 to 3 with two abstentions) to… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Latest Fed decision, and de Tocqueville on bombastic simpletons

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: When "Free Trade" ain’t free

In the absence of any long term prospect for a Free Trade Area of the Americas, Canada has decided to go it alone and try for bilateral agreements.    This started with the Chrétien Liberals but has continued under PMS.To date, we’ve si… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: When "Free Trade" ain’t free

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Canada boycotts arms meeting

I rarely agree with the Harper Government on anything.    But on this one, I do.    We have every right, indeed the duty, to boycott a disarmament conference if the country chairing the meeting is North Korea.   … . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Canada boycotts arms meeting

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Germany says auf weidersehen to nuke plants

Germany’s centre-right coalition announced this morning that it is getting out of the nuclear power business entirely. All seventeen of its plants will be closed by 2022 at the latest. This has been a long held plank of the “Red-Green” alliance … . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Germany says auf weidersehen to nuke plants

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Tenno speaks

It must be getting really bad when Emperor Akihito of Japan goes on TV to address his subjects about the multiple disasters that have hit that country. Let’s just pray that nuclear reactor doesn’t actually become another Chernobyl although it’s get… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Tenno speaks

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Japan tsunami

No politics, entertainment, business or whatever, and for the obvious reasons … Certainly this is a sad day with the news about one of the biggest earthquakes (8.9, off Honshu, although some reports say as much as 9.2) and tsunamis ever recorded ca… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Japan tsunami

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Ireland hits the polls, and the wall

In terms of politics, this is truly an earthquake.True, the top two parties in Ireland are pretty much Tweedledum and Tweedledee (they’re both centre right) but after all the ballots have been counted in Ireland the party that has pretty much dominated… . . . → Read More: Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Ireland hits the polls, and the wall