Ralph Klein has gone and it is time to retire Ralph's World. Thanks to all of you who have supported this venture by contributing material and through your comments. It has been fun.

Should we get another blog underway? Let me know your thoughts by e-mailing me at johnnyslow@gmail.com.

John Slow
January 1, 2007

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Support for CBC - Edmonton Journal MIA 

An estimated crowd of 50,000 people gathered outside the CBC studios in downtown Edmonton yesterday to show support for the locked out CBC workers. OK, so it wasn't 50,000 but it was a few hundred - enough to get some interest from the local media.

I looked in my Edmonton Journal this morning for coverage of this event. It was noticeably absent. Given the pro business/anti-union editorial the Journal published a couple of weeks ago regarding the Telus strike I guess one shouldn't be surprised.

Back in the old days the Journal used to cover news for news sake, even if it didn't support their editorial position. Not any more. What a pity.

A message for Mr. Martin

Fat Franks lends a hand with free grub

Irene makes a point

SALT Team in Action

Union Solidarity

Remember her?

Here comes help from the Feds

Maybe not. Paul looks a little tired.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

How Oil Companies Lie to Consumers 

I was at my local Petro Canada gas station the other day and picked up a brochure that explains how the oil companies are eeking out tiny profits in spite of the outragous cost at the pump. As you can see from the picture on the left, Petro Canada would have us believe that they make a paltry 2% profit. You can read their whole pitch by clicking here. In describing their profits here's how they say it.

"The two per cent profit represents the overall 2004 Petro-Canada marketing and refining profit as expressed in audited financial statements. That’s less than $1 on a 50-litre fill."

Gee. Audited financial statements so they must be right. I wonder who is getting all the money if it's not the good folks at Petro Canada?

As you can see from the healthy rise in Petro Canada Stock, from about $30 a year ago to about $50 today, investors don't seem worried about the measly 2% profit.
They know that Petro Canada has up stream operations (finding and extracting the crude oil) and downstream operations (the marketing and refining part). They also know that the upstream operations are making windfall profits selling the refined gasoline to their downstream operations but that the profits all still belong to Petro Canada.

I'm used to being screwed by oil companies as are all Albertans. It's part of what binds us together. But I wish they would just screw me and quit trying to tell me they're not.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

ASC's New Logo replaces Sex Doll Theme 

At a splashy Photo Op held last Wednesday, Alberta Securities Commission CEO and chairman Bill Rice, former managing partner of the Calgary based Bennett Jones law firm, unveiled a new logo for the beleaguered commission. See related story here.

The cute blue doggy greets you with a friendly "Hi Ya" which is designed to make Alberta Investors feel confident in Alberta investments. This is a marked departure from the ASC’s previous Sex Doll logo (see left) which greeted you with a very friendly “Hi Ya Handsome” and was designed to make Alberta Investors feel decidedly horny.
Click here for sex doll background story.

Rice still refuses to release the two previous investigative reports conducted into the sordid affairs of the ASC stating "There are matters that aren't particularly well suited for public analysis and exposure." Well suited for who Mr. Rice?

Rice also indicated that his biggest desire was to move past the months of negative stories plaguing the commission. "At what point do we get an entitlement to carry on with our responsibilities?" he wondered.

Let me help you with this Bill.

That point starts when you release the two reports that you are keeping from the public.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Klein Sells "Maverick Brand" on E-Bay 

Dateline Calgary - RW Newswire:

Today out-going Alberta Premier Ralph Klein auctioned off his "Maverick Brand" to political hopeful Jim Dinning for an estimated $3.9 million. The transaction took place on E-Bay, the world's largest on-line auction house. Dinning lost no time in having an article placed in the Calgary Herald entitled "Maverick spirit defines Albertans".

When asked what he would do with his windfall, Mr. Klein indicated that it would either be donated to the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, the Friends of Ralph Klein Retirement Fund, or to help top up monthly payments for those Albertans on AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped ). "Let me be clear " the Premier stated. "It will be directed to where it is most deserved.

Mr. Dinning, relaxing here astride what he proudly calls the world's tiniest sofa, and with what appears to be a noose swinging perilously close to his neck, told reporters that acquiring the Maverick Brand was worth every penny.

"Albertans don't have time to follow the issues" he said. "They just want to feel good about themselves. If thinking they're mavericks makes them feel good then I'm here to help them with that thought. All I ask is that they remember who makes them feel good when it comes time for voting."

Several other Tory hopefuls also participated in the bidding for the Maverick Brand. Losing bids were:

Mark Norris - $3.8 million
Dave Hancock - $3.45 million
Lyle Oberg - $11.50

Although Premier Klein has indicated that he will stay on as Premier until 2007, speculation has Klein being offered the job of Press Secretary to US President George Bush, replacing the beleaguered Scott McClellan. The pending visit by US VP Dick Cheney to Calgary on September 9th has lent credence to this speculation.

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