A Fine Bigger Than Most Crimes – #PanamaPapers

Canada’s rich and powerful do not fear the media, and they do not have their names in the newspapers (some owned by foreign investment funds) when fined more than a million dollars for a crime much larger than that.

Picture yourself as a criminal. Imagine you’ve robbed a store of over $10,000 in cash during a nighttime heist. You get caught. Does your name appear in the newspaper? The bank’s crime’s fine was 110 times bigger than the imagined theft, yet they have their identity protected. Why?

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Wealthy Implicated in #PanamaPapers will not #FeelTheBern

‪What is #‎PanamaPapers? Over 2TB of leaked bank communications exposing shell companies and tax avoidance and money laundering by HSBC, UBS, and others. CBC and Toronto Star have the names of the Canadians, but will not be releasing them since they’d face libel suits for doing so without other supporting evidence (and probably even then still).

“When asked why Canada doesn’t have the political will to put an end to the abuse of offshore tax havens, Francis replied: “Because the offshore and taxation lobby is the most powerful in this country.””

Iceland’s Prime Minister may fall over involvement with the crooked Panamanian bank.

Shared Knowledge Conference – Regina

These videos are from the second day of the Shared Knowledge Conference at the Core Ritchie Centre, the second weekend of June.

Jim Elliott with many interesting (and terrifying) facts about Regina’s watershed system.

James and Brooke of Sound Solar Systems:

Next, I presented on Bitcoin and alternate currencies being used to build alternate economies apart from the monetary systems provided by governments.

Dan B. of Tradebank Regina

Lindsay H. wraps up with what’s in store for next time.

Premier Wall Takes Potshot at First Nations Leaders’ Pay #skpoli

The Premier said:

“It underscores the need for leadership at the local level, including — and let’s be clear — including on the part of chiefs and council,” he said.

“We also saw a report on the fact that chiefs and council in this province and right across the country get paid, as they should, for their services and some of them get paid a lot. You know, they get paid to make the decisions, to make choices on behalf of their members of their First Nation and protection and safety have to be at the top of the list.”

In response, FSIN Kimberly Jonathan sent out a press release denouncing Wall’s comments, saying they exemplified the “paternalistic approach” First Nations receive at the hands of the federal and provincial governments.

While I’ve criticized MLA pay in the past, it’s widely recognized that MLAs are not a group discriminated against by more powerful people, and are not at all systematically disadvantaged because of their culture and race. There was no need for the Premier to bring up the pay level of political leadership on reserves, because there’s no evidence it contributes to the economic situations in those communities. The Premier took a clear pot-shot at First Nations leadership, instead of extending a sincere offer to help solve the deadly problem of house fires. Clearly his instinct to badmouth First Nations people/leadership is at least as strongly ingrained as my instinct to oppose something the Premier says.

Meanwhile, The Premier gets paid to make the decisions, and protection and safety have to be at the top of his list.

And Now, For the TFSA Switch!

Following up my blog post of 4 years ago about Harper’s tax break for the wealthy are stories on CBC and elsewhere regarding the TFSA folly. The increase benefits only ~39% of Canadians who’ve managed to open such a savings account.

“Harper pledges to double tax-free savings limits – but not till deficit is beat
And you have to give him credit, he’s going to be right. Because he won’t be in office when the deficit is beat, a Conservative government doesn’t know how to go out of deficit (history shows they only go into them).

“TFSA limit could swell to $10,000 when Tories balance budget”
(FP article shows a picture of a piggy bank, which should be a flying pig instead.)

Balance what budget? Harper and Oliver have indefinitely postponed this year’s budget in part because Oliver is incompetent, and also due to oil’s somewhat unexpected drop in value.

Lang Should Be Fired Or Suspended

It’s been brewing for Lang for quite some months now.

What does it say about Lang if her interview style is as friendly to almost everyone as those who pay her for public speaking, and are connected to her romantic relationship?

Almost 2 years ago, blogger Alison at Creekside1 had the scoop on Lang‘s greed and conflict of interest.

Flash back in time a bit:
Ombudsman tweeted me that Lang is off the CORE event.
18/4/13 11:46 am ”


Bitcoins – How to Start Mining

This guide describes an indirect way to mine Bitcoins at home. You’ll need to understand how to edit a batch file and run it in the folder with a program you’ll also download.

It’s become unrealistic to discover Bitcoins before specialized ASIC miners find them, so to get around this problem you can mine Litecoin-derived coins and automatically exchange them for Bitcoins. You’ll need a newish gaming computer in order to use this method. A cheap Walmart laptop will not suffice, nor will a low-end office or home desktop. You’ll need an OpenCL or CUDA capable video card (GPU).

First get a free wallet to store bitcoins. Blockchain.info is a good site I’ve been using for months, and they have an Android app if you want too. It takes about 5 minutes to set one up, and write down the important password that cannot be forgotten or money saved in the wallet will become lost.

Then go to:
http://www.middlecoin.com/ where you will see instructions on how to configure your batch file.

Download cudaminer (works with NVidia video cards) (64 bit version, if your Windows version is 64 bit) and put your wallet’s address (starts with the number 1) where it says in the command line inside a batch file, with a made-up password.
If you have a Radeon ATI/AMD card, use cgminer instead. Note that it’s a different program from cudaminer, so it’s “arguments”, the commands following dashes in the batch file, do not match cudaminer’s arguments.
(Bitcointalk.org is a major website, but appears to be down this afternoon.)

This is an example batch file
to start the cudaminer program. You have to change the mining4all.eu address and port, to the middlecoin address instead.
Please leave questions in the comments section.

I also wrote this other beginner’s guide last week that you might want to check out.

If you liked this beginners guide, Bitcoin tips would be appreciated at this wallet address: