Wednesday Night #1562

Written by  //  February 8, 2012  //  Beryl Wajsman, Mark Roper, Wednesday Nights  //  1 Comment

Ron Meisels will introduce his good friend Rick Escher, President & CEO of Recognia a leading global research provider, not just of chart pattern recognition and technical analysis, but also sophisticated analytics involving fundamental and value investing methodologies, Elliott Wave recognition, quantitative analysis and sentiment methodologies. Yes, another Technical analyst, but also one with some unusual background, including a BS and MS in Space Science and Physics from the Florida Institute of Technology and work at Canadian Astronautics where he designed, experimented and tested prototypes for space-based manufacturing. That was before he founded and ran MacSys Inc. a custom software development firm, and later, Pricedex Inc., an enterprise price management software designed to integrate with ERP and catalog publishing systems. No mention of flying, but he is a keen sailor.

We do not know if Rick is a fan of the Super Bowl – we are not. We do not even watch the ads, but are usually entertained by reaction to them in the following days. This year is no exception. No less an eminence than Karl Rove has pronounced himself ‘offended’ by Clint Eastwood’s ad for Chrysler. This would seem to us, at least, a sign of the depths of silliness to which the current GOP race has fallen. There are so many truly offensive statements (and policies) to which one might arguably object, not to mention the Attack Ads.  Meanwhile, if you are looking for a reasonably balanced portrait of Mitt Romney, we would point you to The meaning of Mitt in the current issue of Vanity Fair, although it doesn’t really explain the Romney quote about not being concerned with America’s poor. [As Foreign Policy’s Election 2012 Weekly Report notes sardonically the “highly publicized endorsement from Donald Trump on Thursday may not have been the best way to combat the perception that he’s out of touch with economically struggling Americans.”] A final note on the GOP race, if you are as confused as most by the GOP delegate selection process and numbers, we recommend The Republican delegate race explained – in one chart

And a footnote: a friend wrote to us from Finland on Sunday “52 minutes since ballot boxes [for the presidential election] closed and over 90% of cast votes have now been counted. … The attendance was too low (ca.69%, but partly due to -20 to-40C sub-zero weather with serious problems with snow in most of the country”. We will remember that voter participation in the last federal election was somewhere around 61.4%, with no excuse of weather. As to ballot counting, Finland’s population of 5,259,250 is somewhat smaller than Quebec’s estimated 8,054,545 in July of this year, but we cannot resist the thought that the Finns appear to be a great deal more efficient than we are. We also do not know if their media are allowed to project results on the basis of minimal returns.

While it has been noted by far more experienced commentators that the GOP candidates have largely left foreign policy out of their debates, President Obama is faced with two extremely worrisome situations: Israel/Iran and Syria. The Russian/Chinese veto in the UN on Saturday has quashed most hopes for a peace plan, although Russia seems determined to try to mend some fences. By Wednesday, we will know whether anything has come from the visit to Damascus by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Mikhail Fradkov. At the same time, the LA Times reports that Israel’s intentions toward Iran remain unclear “Analysts differ on whether Israel’s threat of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is a bluff to spur tougher sanctions, or a real warning. Skeptics say that if Israel were actually preparing to launch a military strike against Iran, it would not be talking about the option so openly.” What is clear is that Israel is not coordinating with the U.S. but could drag the West into an armed confrontation with the Iranian authorities, which the western governments have made every attempt to avoid. We are sure that President Obama is greatly comforted by Ron Paul’s statement over the weekend that he “would seek to discourage an attack on Iran by Israel”.

As the Toronto Star notes, Stephen Harper’s trip this week to China comes at a delicate time, competing with the two crises in the Middle East. On the one hand, he desperately wants to improve trade with China and sell them Canadian oil. On the other, his Minister of Foreign Affairs has expressed Canada’s deep disappointment with China’s Saturday veto at the UN.  But Canada, unlike the U.S. and Great Britain has not pulled out its ambassador. And, on the question of oil from the Tar Sands, Mr. Harper is surely aware that despite his government’s attacks on the billionaire eco-terrorists opposing the Northern Gateway, approval (if ever) for the pipeline will be a long, arduous and bitter process. Harper’s oil pitch to China faces big hurdles

[Update: Stephen Harper says 20 years of negotiations on a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement have been successful Read more]

These are only a few of the items that we might propose, and others could be added to the menu as the week progresses. However, in the spirit of trying to identify some positive developments at home, if not abroad, we would call your attention to Monday night’s news that the long-awaited electronic health record database is to be introduced in the Montreal region, beginning March 30. Every Montreal resident registered with Quebec’s health insurance plan will automatically be included in the database, unless an individual opts out by submitting an explicit refusal to participate. Wednesday Night’s OWN Mark Roper welcomed the announcement and even stated that because Quebec has been slow to implement the system, patients and doctors may benefit from a leapfrogging effect. Perhaps our new guest, Rick Escher, may be able to add his expertise to the project?

We recognize that the calendar of events for this Wednesday is very full from Arianna Huffington as CORIM’s luncheon speaker; the event presented by the CIC and MIGS at which Rebecca Hamilton will discuss Mass Mobilization for Human Rights: Getting it Right; The Politics of Climate Change: Climate Technofixes: Rio +20 or Silent Spring -50 with Désirée McGraw and William Marsden; and Stopping Genocide: A panel discussion on mobilizing international intervention in case of mass atrocities, with Kyle Matthews – and those are only the events that Wednesday Nighters are participating in and have told us about.

One Comment on "Wednesday Night #1562"

  1. Beryl Wajsman February 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm · Reply

    Just a note of correction. Whatever Israel decides to do, or when, is unknown. But neither the US nor Israel has decided. But they are coordinating every day. In fact Obama is so pissed with Iran’s refusal to talk that he authorized Panetta’s statement last weekend that Israel had the “capacity” to attack Iran’s nuclear installations. The White House’s input was to assure that Panetta’s statement did NOT include the usual caution about “hoping Israel won’t.” The Oval Office’s back channel co-ordination is being done with Gen. Shaul Mofaz former Israeli Defense Minister, armed forces Chief of Staff and current member of the Israeli Parliament. He is the Chmn. of the Israeli Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Obama is a frustrated as Kennedy was after Vienna. Sadly, most American, and Canadian, Jewish leaders know of this cooperation and they are still not giving Obama any breathing room. In fact it was Mofaz and the Army General Staff who came up with the land swap idea last spring and Mofaz presented at the Oval Office two months before Obama spoke about it. Several interesting facts about Mofaz. He was also Deputy Prime Minister of Israel but left the right wing Likud to join the new centrist party Kadima which he still represents. Also, Mofaz is Iranian. Born in Tehran

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