Monday, 13 August 2012

Bayern defeats Dortmund 2-1 in DFB Supercup

FC Bayern Muenchen finally got over the jinx with BVB Borussia Dortmund breaking a five game losing streak against the Bundesliga and German Federation Cup Champion. In front of 69,000 spectators, in a fast paced game, Germany's record champion defeated Dortmund 2-1.
Last season was one of those season one would like to forget, Bayern ended up second in the Bundesliga, second in the DFB Cup and lost the Champions League to FC Chelsea. Full Story at Allvoices

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Christine Sinclair to Be Canadian Flag Bearer for Closing Ceremonies

Inspire Generations

Christine Sinclair, leader of the Canadian Women's Soccer Team has been selected by the Canadian Olympic Committee to be the flag bearer for the Canadian contingent during the closing ceremonies tonight.  During the announcement, Christine said that she was proud of Canada and that she hoped that the Canadian Olympic team was able to inspire young Canadian and especially young female athletes.

“This is a huge honour and I wish I could have my teammates right here with me,” she said. “We want the next generation of young girls to dream of being in the Olympics and getting a medal around their necks. If we can instil in them just the belief that this can happen, then we have done our jobs.”  Full Story

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Mexico wins Soccer Gold - Defeating Soccer Powerhouse Brazil 2-1

One of the biggest upsets in olympic soccer history, saw Mexico defeat soccer powerhouse Brazil with two goals by Paralta. The Mexicans were the clear underdog prior to the match.
Mexico started the match with a bang. Less than one minute into the game, Parelto received the ball just outside the 16 meter box and his shot buried it in the lower left corner. No chance for a save for Brazilan keeper Gabriel.

As the half went along Brazil had undoubtedly the majority of chances, with over 60 % possession. With 7-4 shots on goal, Mexico remained calm in an attempt to control the midfield. Their efforts paid off. Despite the numerous chances by Brazil, Mexico took the 1-0 lead into half time.  Full Story;postID=8682479058642669617

South Korea Edges out Japan 2-0 to take Bronze Medal in Olympic Soccer

South Korea scored a goal in each half to take the Bronze Medal in the Men's Olympic Soccer Tournament. In a fierce contested match at Cardiff, the Asian contest left Japan empty handed.
With goals by Park Chuyong (Arsenal) in the 38th minute of the first half and one by Koo Jacheol (FC Augsburg) in the 57th minute, the South Korean ensured themselves with a place on the podium.
The win, claims the first Asian medal in the tournament since 1948, when Japan won bronze.
While the first half could have gone either way, the Koreans rescued their one goal lead, after Japan had at least two chances to equalize. South Korean keeper Jung Sungryong managed to deflect an attempt by Keigo Higashi by punching his header over the crossbar.  Full story

DOD: US military casualties in Afghanistan as of Aug. 10th, 2012

While the world is enjoying the Olympics in London and the media is filled with news of all kinds of accomplishments during the London games, it has hardly been noticed that another 8 American service man have been killed and another 74 have been wounded.

Whle shows that actually 12 NATO soldiers have been killed, these are not yet accounted for in the DoD figures.  Three of those are NATO troops, two from the UK. 

Civilian Casualties.  The UN said on Wednesday that civilian casualties had fallen by 15% between January and June, compared to the same period last years.  In numbers this translates to 882 this year compared to 1167 last year.  The figure of injured persons is also mind boggling.  1593 were injured in the first six months this year compared to 1760 last year.   Full Story

Friday, 10 August 2012

Romney to Pick Running Mate in Norfolk Virginia at 9am tomorrow

The Romney campaign announced tonight in a press release that the Republican presidential will announce his Vice Presidential pick tomorrow morning in Norfolk, VA. Romney is expected to make the announcemnt at 9am ET while touring the USS Wisconsin.

There are many names being tossed around, including Marc Rubio and Paul Ryan.

Mitt Romney has previously endorsed the Ryan budget, which would be demonized by Democrats. So there is an inherent risk with chosing Ryan. On the other hand a Ryan pick could mobilize the base. Another plus is that there is good chemistry between the two men. Full Story

Election 2012: Are Polls of any Value?

When you look at polls  that seem to be making pollsters rich, one has to question if there is any significance to them. Polls, of course are a snapshot of the particular people polled at the time and rely heavily on people actually revealing their true feelings. The results boil down to a particular question being asked.
How polls can be deceiving is demonstrated by polls taken during a recent Alberta Provincial election, held on April 23rd.  On Sunday, an up to date national poll was released that saw the governing party losing by a large margin.  Progressive Conservatives had been in power in Alberta for 41years.  The party was challenged by the new Wildrose Party, which had one seat in the legislature prior to the election.
The Sunday poll suggest that the Wildrose Party with 41%  over Alison Redford's Progressive Conservatives with 32%, while the NDP has 13% and the Liberals at 10%.  The NDP and Liberals are strongest in Edmonton, where they are at 23% and 14% respectively.

The Forum Project Inc poll was conducted with a total of 2010 responses gathered Saturday evening by automated phone response.  Full Story

US Retailers Invade Canada: Why?

Big budget U.S. retail chains have big designs on Canada, causing some concern among traditional Canadian retailers.  With slow economic growth south of the border, Canada is an attractive place to set up shop.  With fewer retail outlets to shop and the traditional retailers making money, it makes sense to set up shop in Canada.  Parity with the U.S. dollar provides U.S. retailers a chance to be competitive.

For Canadian consumers this is a win-win situation, but not so much for the manufacturing industry.  Although the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is often shunned by US politicians, there remains very little doubt that it has opened up markets north of the border for US companies.  When the original free trade agreement between Canada and the U.S. was negotiated and eventually ratified by both countries, it became part of an emotional debate in Canada.  Opponents to free trade were fearful that Canada was giving up its sovereign status.  Those in favour of free trade rejected the fears, arguing that it was the only way to move to a healthy market economy.  Full Story

Thursday, 9 August 2012

America's Women win Third Gold Medal in Olympic Soccer

 Carli Lloyd's two goals assure a gold medal for Team USA in Women's Olympic Soccer Tournament

The first half started off with clear chances on both sides, where Morgan lambasted the Japanese goal and forced Fukumoto to pull off a safe.  Kawasumi had an equal opportunity at Solo's goal.  Carli Lloyd opened the scoring for the US side when she put the ball in the net for a 1-0 lead.  Although the US dominated in the early phase of the first half,  the Japanese had more of the possession as the half went along.

The Japanese, a technically strong team, kept pace with the US side, despite the early lead.  In the 17th minute Solo was forced to save a ball, which then hit the crossbar.  A physically fit and strong team, the US exchanged chances with the Japanese side.  Despite strong efforts on both sides, with the US having a slight shots on goal advantage (7-6), the half ended in a 1-0 lead for Team USA.  Full story

Canadian Soccer Women win historic Bronze Medal with Matheson Goal

Canadian Soccer women made history today, when they won a bronze medal by defeating France with a last minute goal.

After an emotional semi-final match agains the US on Monday, there were some questions if the Canadian team would be able to move beyond that game and be a challenger to France. During last year's Worl Cup the French side send Canada packing during the group stage by handing them a 4-0 defeat.

A relatively eventless first half, saw many failed passes and a cautious approach by both teams. The game certainly did not have the atmosphere of the semi-final match against the American neighbour. Neither team had many moves toward the goal and the half ended scoreless. Canada had an excellent chance in the 15th minute on a pass from Rhian Wilkinson to Christine Sinclair, which went over the net.  Full story @allvoices

ObamaCare: An American Nightmare?

 Obama Care, touted by the Administration to provide affordable private health insurance to most Americans, is starting to become a major American nightmare.  A Congressional Budget Office(CBO) report concludes that 30 million non-elderly Americans will remain without health insurance in 2022.

The Affordable Health Act (AHA), also known as Obama Care, was to solve the problem of the uninsured in America.  Despite 1200 pages of the legislation, which most legislators admit they never read, it is riddled with problems and loopholes.  The mandate portion of the act was challenged by 26 states under the commerce clause.  The United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, ruled that the mandate didn't pass the muster under the commerce clause.  Chief Justice John Roberts declared that the fine amounted to a tax that the government had the power to impose, and that the mandate could survive on that basis.  The decision, however, placed a big restriction on a major portion of the law, which gives states flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the financial penalties the law calls for. Full Story

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Epic battle between neighbors after Canada/US Women's soccer semifinals

Many soccer fans saw one of the hardest and best fought battles in women's soccer on Monday. The game, for fans, was full of emotions. Christien Sinclair put Canada in the lead three times, with Rapinoe answering twice and Wambach equalizign the score with a controversial penalty kick ten minutes before the end of the game. The boiling point came when Morgan put the ball into the next in extra time, ensuring a US berth in the final against Japan.

Emotions ran high after the game and the Canadian women told the Norwegian referree, Christiana Pedersen, that she must be wearing a USA uniform, when considering made some of the calls made during the game.

One of the most controversial calls was a time delay call against Canada's keeper, which resulted in a free kick just outside the box. The subsequent Rapinoe free kick resulted in a handball and a penalty kick, which Abby Wambach easily sank in the net. One of the allegations was that one of the US players had counted the seconds out loud, influencing the referee.  Full story

PM Harper: Science, not politics will decide the fate of Northern Gateway Pipeline

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the Northern Gateway pipeline project will be approved on the basis of science, not politics. The Prime Minister has been under pressure by the opposition parties and has been demonized for including changes of environmental laws in his omnibus budget bill. Despite fillibusting the bill was passed by the majority conservative government and the conservative dominated Senate.

One of the keynote changes in the bill is the approval process for environmental assessments. The bill imposes a two year limit on the National Energy Board Review.

The Alberta oil sands are the favourite whipping child of environmentalists. Using outdated data they have demonized Alberta's bituman crude oil and of course aerial photographs taken from carbon spewing helicopters have been used to make their point. This totally disregards the land reclaiming process in place.  Full

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Elizabeth May's National Energy Strategy: Does it Mirror Trudeau's National Energy Program?

While Alberta's Premier is interested in leading a discussion on a National Energy Strategy, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has come forward with her own proposal.  In her essay "National Energy Strategy Possible, Federal Leadership Missing" May advocates energy souvereignity and the scrupulous vetting of state-owned energy corporations (namely China).  Obviously foreign companies originating in the U.S. should also be vetted and their subsidies reduced. 

National Energy Strategy equals National Energy Program (If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and smells like a duck, it's probably a duck).

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau introduced he National Energy Program (NEP) after a deadlock in negotiations with Alberta Premier Lougheed in 1980.  The program was introduced without consulting with the oil industry.  Along with the NEP Trudeau introduced a tax that funded the national petroleum company, Petro Canada, and gave grants to Canadian owned companies to encourage exploration.  Full Story

Peralta, Cortez Secure Olympic Soccer Final Berth for Mexico

Mexico made soccer history at Wembley today.  In a close match, second half goals by Oribe Peralta and Javier Cortez secured a 3-1 win over Japan.

In a fairly evenly balanced first half Otsu put got the go ahead goal for Japan in the 12th minute. Mexico's Fabian got the equalizer in the 31st minute.  The sides went into the dressing room with a 1-1 tie, setting up a nailbiter for the second half. 

After stealing the ball off a Japanese defender, in the 65th minute, Peralta fired the subsequent shot into the  left corner, giving Mexico a 2-1 advantage.  Full Story

Obama Campaign: A Bottomless pit of Morals

Nothing seems to be too low when it comes to discrediting presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.  Over the past few months we have seen reiterations of Romney's time at Bain Capital and the claim that he hasn't paid taxes for ten years.  To add insult to injury, Obama's Super Pac, Priorites USA is now claiming that Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of a woman after Bain Capital closed a factory. 

The Obama campaign seems confident that Florida Senator Marc Rubio will be Romney's choice as Vice President.   The director of Obama for America in Florida, Ashley Walker,  send out an e-mail soliciting dirt on the Senator.

“Share what you think the rest of the country should know about what Rubio’s really done in Florida, the good, bad and ugly.  And why he’d be a disaster as our next vice president,” the e-mail said. Full Story

Monday, 6 August 2012

Olympics: Team USA defeats Canada in a hard fought match in Women Soccer

The first twenty minutes of the match saw the U.S. dominate, although there were very few chances on either side.  The Canadian women didn't do a lot of short passing in the midfield and gave up possession to the U.S. way too often.  A long pass into the box by Tancredi found Christine Sinclair, who made no mistake and sank the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Canada's game plan changed significantly after Sinclair's goal, by controlling the play in the midfield and maintaining possession.  The US women tried their luck with long passes trying to find Morgan, who had a couple of close calls, which were either stopped by Canada's keeper, McLeod or went just wide of the net.  Cheney and Wambach also had several attempts of goal go off target. Canada's efforts paid off and assured that the 1-0 lead was taken into halftime. Full Report at

Friday, 3 August 2012

Alberta's Crony Capitalism on Display

While there are reports of inadequate care for our seniors, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) had to reach an agreement with its CFO to cancel his contact.  Apparently a Freedom of Information query revealed that , Allaudin Merali, who was looking after AHS' finances had some very expensive habits.

Elaborate dinners, wine selection, repairs to his personal vehicle all were authorized expenses to the tune of $350,000 over a three and a half year period.  He was also cited for overspending while working as a consultant for the Ontario government.

All that didn't deter Alberta's Progressive Government to hire him as CFO for the AHS Superboard.  To add insult to injury, the person that approved all these expenses, Sheila Weatherill, former Capital Health head honcho,  also sat on the AHS Superboard until her resignation yesterday.

Weatherhill apparently received $1.5 Million in severance when the Alberta Health Services Superboard was created.  Go figure and then she was rehired to sit on that board.  Does it smell of crony capitalism?  You bet.

The budget passed by the PCs in April is proving to be and "Alice in Wonderland" budget.  It was to generate Billions in surplus in a couple of years, based on bogus projected oil prices at $100 a barrel.  Needless to say the market is not even remotely close to that.  Working with an $800 million deficit, based on those estimates, you can rest assured that it will be much higher and will need revision during the next legislative session.

With both the XL Keystone and Northern Gateway pipelines being questioned, Alberta may end up having to put the breaks on oilsands development.  That in itself will impact on royalties.  So far Alison Redford refuses to discuss the issue with Christie Clark and native groups are bound and determined to stop it.   At some point someone needs to talk.

With the recent spill of an Enbridge pipeline in Wisconsin, the XL Keystone project could be delayed for another year.  Meanwhile the Premier has traveled to London to sell Alberta at a cost of $84,000.  Message to the Premier:  "Brits hate the sealhunt and the oilsands, a few days visit will not change that."  Money well spent?  Not likely.

The question is will the PCs raise taxes or make cuts to current programs?  It will probably be a mixture of the two.  Isn't it strange how the Wildrose Party was demonized during the last days of the election campaign?  Yet much of what was predicted is starting to ring true.

While the scandal of overspending is presently raging in the Alberta Health Services, it calls into question in what other department the PCs have lost control?

While bureaucrats are taking the hit for the out of control spending for expense claims in the AHS, the buck should really stop with the Minister, if not the Premier.   After all, isn't the government accountable to the public?  Let's see how this plays out.  The next legislative session won't be pretty.  For the Tories is is business as usual.  After 41 years in power, there appears to be a culture of entitlement. 

Syria: The Battle for Damascus and Aleppo

The battle in Syria has boiled down to a test of strenght in both Damascus and Aleppo. Aleppo is of strategical importance for the Syrian Free Army (SFA). Control of that city of 3 Million, would give the SFA a foothold, not unlike Benghazi during the Libyan conflict.
The Syrian conflict could be a lengthy affair, which weakens the whole region. Koffi Annan resigned his position yesterday as the Syrian peace envoy.
"It is impossible for me or anyone to compel the Syrian government and also the opposition to take the steps to bring about the political process," said Annan, former UN secretary general.
"You have to understand: As an envoy, I can't want peace more than the protagonists, more than the Security Council or the international community for that matter."  Full Story

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

FC Bayern: Test Game in Kaiserslautern

With just 11 days prior to the biggest pre-Bundesliga tests of all, the DFB Super Cup, Bayern Muenchen had another successful game against relegated club 1.FC Kaiserslautern.
25,000 spectators watched the game in the Betzenberg's "Fritz Walter Stadium". Schweinsteiger, Alaba, Pizarro, Contendo, Rafinha and Ribery were not in the line-up.
Bayern dominated the game, which wasn't much of a surprise. In the 23rd minute Bayern scored the opening goal, when Gomez missed a pass from Robben inside the 16 meter area, Mueller rushed in and put the ball into the net 1-0 Bayern.Full Story

Integrity of Elections in Canada and the United States

The Canadian Situation on Voter Fraud
Election fraud has become a major issue in Canada. There have been allegations of the Conservative government affecting vote results by using robocalls (automated calls) to send voters to a different polling station. The issue is presently under investigation by Elections Canada.
"OTTAWA — The IP address used to send misleading robocalls to Guelph voters on election day was the same address used by a worker from the campaign office of local Conservative candidate Marty Burke, Elections Canada investigators believe.
The Internet Protocol address — like an Internet phone number — was used by campaign worker Andrew Prescott to arrange legitimate calls through RackNine, the Edmonton voice broadcasting firm.  Full