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:
“Saskboy:
Ombudsman tweeted me that Lang is off the CORE event.
18/4/13 11:46 am ”

http://www.ombudsman.cbc.radio-canada.ca/en/complaint-reviews/2011/conflict-of-interest/

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:
17ypGH6vUrowdyvUthgQ87wzdq9d8egQta

Bitcoins – Where to Start?

Someone recently asked me (okay, multiple people did) where to start to learn about getting Bitcoins?
You can start here at my blog, now. A better place to look will be at one of the links below in my 15 minute introduction. Don’t put off learning, it’s the Napster of the financial world, it will change how we do banking, like Napster changed how we get and share music.

You could download the bitcoin.org client first. It’s an easy install, it’s where I began, but stalled out… 2 years ago. What’s easier I think is getting a wallet at blockchain.info instead. Make a secure password 6 words long with punctuation. Write it down, and put the password in a safe place like cash! Maybe with your insurance papers, your will, or your passport. If you croak, your family will need this password to get access to your bitcoins.

Once you have a wallet (your Bitcoin address), share it with someone who has bitcoin so they can send you some in exchange for something.

To learn how to mine bitcoins, start out trying to mine litecoins first, they are basically the same technology, so learn once, and the skill works both they basically use the same programs. minerd, cgminer, cudaminer are example program names you may use. minerd is obsolete, used for CPU mining. CUDAminer is for computers with NVidia graphics processing units (GPUs), and cgminer is specialized for ATI Radeon GPUs. You can start each of them with a .bat (batch) file with the website address of a group or “pool” of other miners like you.

It’s hard to explain any more by typing a short guide, but that should keep you busy for 15 minutes, and give you a starting point.

Also follow @jkozan and @jeffcliff1 for local & Canadian crypto-currency updates on Twitter.


If you liked this beginners guide, Bitcoin tips would be appreciated at this wallet address:
17ypGH6vUrowdyvUthgQ87wzdq9d8egQta

TD;CSR. OMG No Way!

2012 was a strong year for TD, despite ongoing economic challenges and market volatility. Our total adjusted earnings were more than $7 billion dollars — up more than $600 million, or about 10 per cent, from 2011.

-Colleen Johnston, Group Head and Chief Financial Officer, TD Bank Group

Through a generous contribution of $350,000, TD Bank Group is helping Aboriginal students at the University of Regina realize their educational potential.

$350,000 / $7,000,000,000 = 0.005%

Thank-you to TD Bank, generously sharing the wealth of their outstanding profits from oil and gas.
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Butt Activated Maple Money?

“I do think heat has something to do with activating the smell. … Scratching will create some heat friction but my friend’s warm butt is likely the activator.”

I enjoyed this story about supposedly scented C-notes. It doesn’t surprise me that warm polymer would have a sugary scent. The added imagery on the bills, and the psychological effect is strong enough to fool people.

The Audit With a Twist #cdnpoli

$3.1 Billion is missing according to a damning audit of the Harper Government. Let’s see what political pundits recently have said about audit failure:

Federal government audit ‘severely critical’

The Star headline

“The independent audit […] speaks for itself, and we accept its conclusions and recommendations,” said Jan O’Driscoll, spokesperson for the Minister.
[The auditor] called the lack of records “inappropriate for any recipient of public funds.”

The Star

“I cannot in my lifetime recall such a devastating audit. […] A stunning indictment.”

Ian Lee of the Sprott School of Business

“It just seems to be difficult to do the basics, and then that raises red flags […] for the government,”

Chuck Strahl

John Ibbitson said that the audit will be a smoking gun for people who those who criticize the [government] system.
Rob Silver said that even if the audit was leaked to discredit [a politician] doesn’t mean that it’s not important, and that it reads like any other audit of a government bureaucracy gone wrong.

Embattled Senator Brazman has an opinion:

“Just because [an audit is published], it does not mean money is well spent,” said Sen. Patrick Brazeau, a controversial and outspoken critic […]. “Where does the money go? Is it being properly spent . . . and more importantly, is it going to [where there are] needs?” “Accountability is a two-way street.”

The perpetually petulant Levant even gets in on the audit pile-on action: “Audit nightmare: The RCMP, […] should be meeting with [those involved]”

“If the people involved had Italian names and were from the Montreal construction industry, or French-Canadian names from Montreal ad agencies, […] there would be resignations and criminal charges flying.”

Wait a moment, there’s a twist. The above quotes are all real, but they seem so unlikely, don’t they? Well, that’s because they are not talking about the Conservatives’ most recent audit failure, they are talking about another recent audit of which they were more critical, over much less unaccounted-for public money. They said these things about much less than 3% of the unaccounted-for $3,100,000,000 Harper has frittered away without proper documentation.

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