Toronto Mayor- Candidates

Preamble

The number one concern in Canadian politics should be for  unsustainable debt levels, especially Ontario–twice California with 1/3 the people/economy.  The number two concern should be the impact of Free (Unfair) Trade on ordinary families, with real deterioration over the past few decades.

Ford nailed one important cause – the public sector gravy train,  the gap created when excessive public sector pay, benefits and pensions increased while many private workers’ comp DECREASED. The new imbalance is unfair and drains money away from programs into the bureaucracy.  Why do people not understand this simple fact? Personnel costs are the #1 budget item for all governments, but somehow city budgets don’t inform (try yourself) and media never reminds.   Gee, I wonder why?  Public wages are at least a third too high, which means that given gold plated benefits, pensions and that important JOB STABILITY, public wages could and should be cut by TWO thirds.  Would civil servants quit in droves?  I don’t think so.  Life is tough on the outside.  Grow a spine folks. Get fair.

Ford, however,  may be unelectable, so I’m going to review other candidates to see if there are any better choices for such as myself who understands the danger of the gravy train problem.   Right away that eliminates the other front runners – Chow, Stinz and Tory, none of whom have any intention of tackling the rapidly growing  sunshine list, let alone the powerful unions.

For those who think that specific problems should define the debate – subways, housing, social programs, infrastructure, etc. – remember that when the #1 expense of Toronto or any govt is personnel costs, the affordability of all programs is directly affected.  Eliminating the public sector gravy train restores balance between tax PAYERS and tax TAKERS and makes everything more affordable.  Rob Ford’s subway would be no less affordable than was the original subway (at least where density is adequate).

Eliminating the private sector gravy train – excessive compensation for the top 1% is a problem the left rightly points to.  This also is caused by globalism and drains Canada’s wealth into foreign tax havens.  This bigger, longer term problem must be addressed but in the meantime, we should not allow the public sector to grow fat by squeezing their neighbours.

City website candidate list.

http://app.toronto.ca/vote/searchCandidateByOfficeType.do?criteria.officeType=1

I’m going to review only those candidates that have a web presence.  In this day and age, there is no excuse for candidates to not have a  web presence and it is the web that can give us freedom from the tyranny of corporate media brainwashing.  Discover your candidates directly.  See what they have to say and decide for yourself.  Ignore MSMedia – their agenda is to ensure their city advertising revenues and corpsy perks are not disturbed.

I gave my first click to ​Michael Nicula, whose website is

http://www.mayor4.to/ How cool is that? Must be some talent here.

His skills jumped nicely off the screeen : Architect, Accountant, MBA.  Appeals to my conservative nature.  Indeed he says

Rob Ford has won the 2010 elections promising to ‘stop the gravy train’ and cut costs. The gravy train is still rolling and the cost cuts he made were indiscriminate, hurting more than helping. I will do better:”

Sounds good but when you look at how he proposes to do better, it reads just like a Tory or Stinz playbook. He says he’s been involved with Federal politics, so obviously his mind has been contaminated by politics as usual.  Sound good, do bafflegab, get to the trough.  In fact, he essentially wants to rearrange the trough by dusting off a popular idea – grab more of the taxes we send to Ottawa and Queens Park via a ‘$2,500’City Income Rebate’.  Well, the struggling taxpayer only has one pocket.  Then the usual bunkum about efficiency, corruption, no tax increase and elimination of the LTT (land transfer tax.)  He claims he will do better than Ford’s  10% across the board cut (‘fourth grader’ he calls it), but the gravy train IS across the board.  Sounds like a weasel in training.  Dismiss.

Then I was astounded to see that our cat, Sketchy, is running for mayor!

http://sketchyformayor.com/

As I hovered, Sketchy clicked the mouse!  … and caught…  A clown!  AKA Dave McKay.  If you’r a political junkie like me, you may have heard that a clown got himself elected to the national Congress in Brazil. His slogan – “Because It Can’t Get Any Worse”!   Several years later, he was voted best congressman.  Humble and unschooled but honest, diligent and aligned with the people.  A fascinating story.  Looking at the page of our Toronto counterpart, well, there’s not much there.  When Ford went into rehab, Dave said:

As a performer I portray a drug and alcohol abusing clown who makes sexually inappropriate comments.  My goal is neither to glorify those attributes nor to make fun of those who are suffering from addiction.  When faced with the reality behind my portrayal I think it is important to address these things properly.

He went on to opine that Ford should quit.  His only other post looked like it was lifted from the Toronto city website, outlining city services, etc. Not much to go on so I’ll take a pass.  Stay tuned though, you never know.

Third runner up on my web name uncontest is Robb Johannes   http://robbnotford.com/

His page at this writing, featured what looked to be an article/review from The Grid about his performance at the Scarborough debates.  Seems to be a socially oriented fellow with experience in prison conflict resolution, drug programs and is interested in discussing ” sex work, homelessness, and underemployment“.  He wants the downtown relief line and for all  “new developments to include between 20 and 25 per cent social housing.” Dog lover, bike supporter.  Olivia Chow wannabe?  No clue about money  (Wynne supporter!) Dismiss.

Also making my catchy url list is http://crackthequo.com/ His name is Matthew Crack.

His page immediately pushed several of my buttons.  Open source democracy, garbage to energy, district heating (Sweedish style), ranked voting.  ​His blurb is worth quoting:
“Introducing stripped down governance for the information age. Our mission is to decentralize the decision making process and foster an online community where Torontonians can affect the change they want to see.
The Crack the Quo Campaign is not pretending to have all the answers, but we know the answers are out there. By engaging a digital participatory democracy, we are allowing all Torontonians to be part-time leaders. “

Should I be tough or easy? Both.  In today’s world, the above quote is silly, even dangerous.  The idea that the general public can or will absorb the mountain of reports our councilor are supposed to absorb before making a decision is unrealistic.  Those interested in an issue will crowd the ballot and vote in their sacred cow anyway.  No reports required.  Not to mention online e-security issues.  I oppose all efforts to digitize our political system, tempting though it is.  Tyranny awaits those foolish enough to try.  In another few decades though, the world may be ready for another Crack at it!

Morgan Baskin  http://www.morganbaskin.ca/splash?splash=1 Morgan has created some buzz by being 18 yrs old.  She hits some buttons

Deferring problems and borrowing money is taking the easy way out; dumping problems on the next generation. Real leaders don’t download problems on to the next generation (or term) they get expert advice, make decisions and move forward.

Toronto has the worst youth unemployment rate of any Ontario region. We have the biggest stake in the outcome of decisions that municipal government makes today and our voices are not being heard.

 Digital, Global and Green are her key planks.  Reads well but not many specifics.

Ok, so she’s a smarty pants high school wiz, why not dismiss? Young mayors have been elected before, with surprisingly good results residing in my dimly lit RAM, so I won’t dismiss this one just yet.  18 is a little young to be marshalling 45 wily old councilors to one’s vision.  We’ll see. A kid and a clown still on the list!

Jeff Billard  http://mayorbillard.com/category/platform/

Bio (from TorStar): “Billard, 40, a policy analyst for the teachers’ pension plan, is making his first run for public office”.  Billard put more thought into his platform, which is a good sign but he pushed my stop button with the following:

  • commitment from independent parties for a plan that maximizes federal and provincial monies to service the most number of Torontonians; and
  • execution of that plan outside of further political pressure.

So like Nicula, he wants a blank cheque.

These people drive me nuts. The taxpayer only has one pocket but every time our money changes hands, a huge portion is skimmed off the top –  expensive bureaucrats justifying their existence.  Accountability is destroyed when taxpayers are suckered into projects just because a transfer paid for it.  The Feds should simply lower their taxes so municipalities can increase theirs.    Would cut down on photo ops and power trips.

Why should some sap in Moosonee, where they barely have sidewalks, pay for a subway in Toronto?  I find this galling.  Shameful. Begging. Let Torontonians build their city and take pride.  Trudeau started all this.

His other ideas aren’t so bad and should be considered, but Jeff as Mayor? No thanks.

Jon Bliguinhttp://jonbliguinmayor2.weebly.com/

Seems to be a religious based candidate with a focus on mental health and environmental issues.  Not a strong contender.

Selina Chan http://www.selinachan.com/

Fresh young designer with a pot-pourri of ideas to make Toronto more interesting and energetic, especially nightlife!  Toll Gardiner, Police shoulder cams, legalize & tax pot and prostitution, street gyms.  Thin platform.

George Dedopoulos  http://geodee.com/

Creative director, blogger. Political newbie as indicated by his first exploration of the concept of left-right.  I discovered he’s done his own review of his competition so I may refer to this as I go along.  I’m sure running for mayor will be good for deepening his civic awareness but I’m not tempted at this point.  Maybe later.

Mike Gallay http://www.mikegallay.ca/

Seems like an arty, bike oriented, creative, tax and spend kind of guy.  Thin platform.   Not my type.

Ari Goldkind  http://ariformayor.com/ @AriGoldkind

Hmm.  Long detailed plan which starts off with tax increases in LTT and special charges, VAT tax, progressive property taxes.  Not a good start, Ari.  But on several issues, he acknowledges some very tough problems, namely police compensation and general staff compensation.  He waffles, saying things like

Reviewing the police and fire budgets to ensure that wage increases and budgets are fair and reasonable when compared with wages in the private sector…

Ensuring that all public sector wages and salaries are reflective of the private sector and realities in our city, yet doing everything possible to ensure that our city and workers are not “Walmartized”.  ” and further on

Well, ya we realize that public sector wages have increased while private sector wages have in many cases, decreased.  It’s called a squeeze, thanks to Free (Unfair) Trade.  So what makes the public sector immune from a squeeze.  PS. Rae days (Wynne Days?) are not a squeeze, just a pretend squeeze.  Lesson: The private sector are tax PAYERS, the public sector are tax TAKERS.  Think about it – no, really, THINK.  From what I’ve heard, you could cut public wages in half and few would actually walk out.  Then there’s the coming pension tsunami.

Ensuring that public sector wages & benefits and plans are not out of line with what the average private sector worker makes, while still maintaining and respecting the value of unions and their place and importance in our society and our economy.

At least this guy is aware there is an elephant in the room and he’s talking very guardedly.  Ford just said cut the gravy.  Simple. A wage differential is exactly what gravy is.

Goldkind may decide to be more definitive but his other plans, such as rejecting subways in favour of LRT are consistent with not doing much to extract savings from the wage disparity.  Pay up for Ari?  Nope.

Charles Huanghttp://www.charlesformayor.com/ A comedic candidate best appreciated by visiting his page.

Klim Khomenko   http://www.klimkhomenko.ca/ Another young candidate promising all the good things.  Motivated by low voter turnout  and a sense of failing democracy.  I agree.  Aggressive green policies with which I don’t agree.  Such people must learn the law of perverse consequences.  Making our present draconian tree bylaw even more draconian will, imo, result in mutiny and the loss of trees. Or green programs that penalize the poor to reward (subsidize)  the rich as explained in previous blog.  Discourage this one.

 Dewitt Lee – link broken

Matt Mernagh   http://mernagh4mayor.ca/

Communicator,  journalist, community organizer, and an advocate (med marijuana). Novel idea: proposes a junk food tax to pay for relief line.  Underground Gardiner (really? Wont it flood?)  Quote

Toronto Police Service have successfully brought crime to its lowest rates, but their budgetary demands are not sustainable.

Whoa.  He doesn’t say what he’s gonna do but Rob Ford just might have serious competition for my vote.  Police salaries are obscene, keeping in mind that cabbies are  TWICE as likely to be killed than coppers.  Ford gave them big raises, which I think exacerbates the problem by convincing cops they are better than the rest of us.

Erwin Sniedzins  http://www.erwinsniedzinsfortorontomayor.ca/

Inventor (accelerated learning systems), manufacturer, etc wants to initiate a $20Bn plan to revitalize Toronto.  It seems this fellow has done a lot, including climbing Mt Everest.   I haven’t got the wherewithal to make sure everything checks out.  He certainly wants to set Toronto on fire with a big money plan that I also have no way of digging into.  Sales tax, lottery, bonds to fund transport. MOOC, internships  for productivity. Casino.

I get the idea that he’s a power of positive thinking kind of guy with good motivational speaking skills.  Could be a breath of fresh air in Council.   Could he herd Toronto’s councilor cats into his vision, big money and all.  If Ontario ever adopts a strong mayor system like Chicago (Daly) or Montreal (Drapeau) then this just might be the right guy.

This one looks like a serious candidate that should be given full public scrutiny, however since he is a convinced spender and does not address the Gravy Train problem, I wont give him the support he probably deserves.

David Soknacki   http://www.soknacki2014.com/ @soknacki2014  http://www.scribd.com/doc/234379425/Soknacki-Transit-Relief-Plan-Part-1-Real-Transit-Immediate-Relief

Anti subway, pro LRT candidate wants to offer an ‘Early Bird’ free TTC pass to reduce congestion.  Also takes aim at excessive secrecy and red tape at city hall.  He calls for a slight LTT reduction, which in my view indicates a careful political rather than populist anti-tax stance.  That he got any attention at all raises the possibility of being a dark horse candidate.   Such support suggests media sees him as a business-as-usual contender and therefore safe.  Not what I’m hoping for but will keep an eye as things unfold.

Tibor Steinberger   http://tiborsteinberger.ca/

A difficult website to figure out but the last (media) tab seems to list some of the things he is concerned about.  One statement caught my eye.

When I am elected Mayor of Toronto I will make all city workers essential service, which eliminates strikes and gives more incentive for all parties to come to a negotiated settlement.

I will also change the pay structure of all city workers to a base salary and incentives as in bonuses for more work performed.”

Not sure about the second point but the first is exactly what the city needs.  Kudos.

Other tidbits: Move Island Airport to Leslie Street Spit. Reopen abandoned ‘interline’ subway system with low level platforms at Bay, St George and Union.  Who knew?   See his writeup under ‘April 11’.

Maybe Tibor will straighten out his website so an old curmudgeon like me can figure it out.

Sarah Thomson  http://www.sarahthomson.ca/platform/   @ThomsonTO

If she hadn’t ridden a white stallion to Fordfest, I would never have noticed her on Twitter.  Profile shows her in nice hug with Justin Trudeau so I guess we know where her politics lie.   Silly Sarah didn’t register her website at city hall!  Your curmudgeon is so diligent, eh!

Her big thing seems to be building every subway ever imagined (or underground LRT), 6 lines, for a mere $25Bn and making the 905 commuters pay for a third at $2.50 per trip, raising $370M/yr.  Ontario to pay the rest – $15Bn.  Gad these pols like to throw our money around.  Nobody stops to wonder if projects ever come in under budget!!!

Other than that she only mentions a bike plan.  OK its a serious $65M plan with bike boxes, bridges, lines and lots of goodies.  She says the money is already allocated.

A possible contender for some but not for me.  No effort to cut the gravy train, without which nothing will really change.

Conclusion

I do think/ hope there are a few dark horses in this race.

  • Dave McKay, clown (IF he can learn from Francisco Everardo Oliveira Silva)
  • Morgan Baskin, student – ya never know
  • Ari Goldkind, Waffler but maybe
  • Matt Mernagh, sees the compensation elephant
  • Erwin Sniedzins , Master Motivator
  • Tibor Steinberger, for ending public union privilege

My review hasn’t caused me to drop Ford but it has made me think that maybe there are other folks that could pick up where Ford left off.  I’d miss my weekly chuckle though! Just remember, Ford haters, there is really no such thing as bad publicity. Only war can shut down a city – but if we don’t do something about unfair public sector compensation …..

This link contains candidate reviews by contender George Dedopoulos.  Interesting commentary though none appealed to me.  The candidates not covered above are:

Don Andrews, Mark Cidade, Ryan Emond, Al Gore, Charles Huang, Diana-De Maxted, Michael Tramov, Richard Underhill.

Stay tuned.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to update this page  as the campaign goes along.  If you are a candidate and feel left out or have updated something, please let me know.

 

Your unelected curmudgeon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Media: Big Candidate Bias

Turnout is at all time lows.  Cynicism at highs.  Decline the vote and none of the above  initiatives increase.

Mark Twain: If you don’t read newspapers, you are uninformed.  If you read newspapers, you are misinformed.  If you ingest TV news or talk radio consider yourself contaminated.

Ok, ok, I know.

Thanks to the internet, we might eventually dispense with the old adage, also from Twain: Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”  I’d like to pick a fight.  I buy ink by the teaspoon.

Big media seared my brain when they played up a photo of PM contender, Robert Stanfield fumbling a football (after many successful catches) as if this was policy!  Trudeau later trounced Stanfield.  I remember a contrite CBC commentator admitting their role decades later.  That’s why Stanfield is now called the best PM that Canada never had. Canadians put up with this? Sheep.

Canada is down to half a dozen corporate entities that own most media outlets so it is easy to blacklist any journo who goes against the grain.  Big change from the old days.

Many writers have expressed disgust and pointed out the consequences more eloquently and academically than I can.

PACT, Party for Accountability, Competency and transparencey) points out that debates exclude a very legit Green Party while a contrary comment asks how could a debate include all 60 plus TO mayoralty candidates.  Compromise?

For now,  I’ll focus on the upcoming municipal elections. Here’s a local example of how big media discourages consideration of lesser known candidates.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/04/29/meet_the_longshots_mayoral_candidate_diana_maxted.html    By: 

Why the discouraging (series) title: Meet the Longshots?  Why not something more neutral like Mayoral Candidate X focuses on Y?

Note the juxtaposition of adjectives:  “Once a week .. we’ll introduce you to an obscure candidate vying to be Toronto’s chief magistrate.”

Ridicule is the first defence of the status quo. Ask yourself why.

Photo chopped off the top of her head? = brainless? Fair?

Interview questions

1 You want to be mayor, not a councillor. What makes you qualified to run Toronto?  Holy moley, a typo in the Star!

2 And how are you going to do that exactly?

These questions sound reasonable, even necessary.  A sneering hack pretending  diligence, toughness.

3 OK, so here’s the big question: You’re up against big names like Rob Ford, John Tory and Olivia Chow. How are you going to get your name out there?

For candidate Jeff Billard | Toronto Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/toronto2014election/2014/04/15/meet_the_longshots_mayoral_candidate_jeff_billard.html   By: 

Somewhat different questions.  BTW, there were other  germane questions about platform which I excluded so as to not try your patience too much. Still here? Thank you!

4 Some politicians start out running for school board or council before vying for mayor. Did you consider that?

5 How do you feel about major debates featuring only the high-profile candidates? 

6 What level of vote support would you consider a success? 

Let’s unpack.  First, the Star pointed out that these questions/answers were excerpted from a full interview.  Meaning these are supposed to be the most cogent information gleaned from candidates.  BS.  You can be sure that candidates got excited about their pet idea, but little of that reached the article.  What did reach us were inadequate answers to impossible questions.  Why impossible?

For Q1 & 2, who do you think runs Toronto?  The mayor? If you think that, especially under Ontario’s weak mayor system, think again.   Reality: full time bureaucrats run the city.  The mayor is only ONE vote –  on a council of 45.  The creation of actionable motions  and related reports falls to said bureaucrats.

Since the mayor can be outvoted so easily, he can only remind councilors that he/she is the only person elected by the WHOLE city.  If the public wants that vision and voted for it, then the mayor has a basis to call for cooperation.  Other than a few perks, THAT’S ALL.

Ergo, manipulative question.

The issue is crucial.  If most candidates want a grey city and one itsy bitsy candidate wants a pink city, then why should the media deflect attention away from pink?  Given exposure, the people might prefer pink over grey.  But we the people can only choose what’s ‘allowed’ by our unelected, unaccountable corporate masters.  No dark horses, no young mayors for them.  Sheep.

Q3 is just meant to belittle a candidate without a webpage.  Necessary?

Q4,  Trick question on running for mayor vs councilor.  Councilors have a 90% incumbency rate for a reason.  Unless they really screw up, their helping of  constituents, name recognition, picnics, occasional meetings are likely to leave a positive impression.  Even if one issue rubs a constituent the wrong way, there is always another more  favourable  issue.

So as Mr Billard pointed out, unless one is a malcontent, going for mayor is the straighforward best strategy.  Plus its much easier to put one’s views forward in the many interviews and debates.

Not to mention the crucial developer-fundraising issue that favours incumbents.  Arrg.

Q5.  Unless Mr Billard harped on it, the exclusion question is just there to introduce negativity and divert attention from the positive elements of his platform.

Q6 just drives home the point this candidate doesn’t stand a chance and would be a wasted vote.  Despite my support for decline, there is no such thing as a wasted vote.

Conclusion.

If you’re a candidate, avoid mainstream media like the plague.

If you’re a voter, avoid mainstream media like the plague!

Don’t worry, the best info is on the net. Even better, phone candidates of interest.

I guess we should be happy the Star didn’t use the perjorative word ‘fringe’.  If  you run across similar examples, please let us know.  What tricks have you noticed? I’ll edit this page accordingly.

Till then, I remain, your unelected curmudgeon! (Not that I didn’t try!)

 

Climate Change – Six Degrees of Denial

On climate, Greens got it easy. They get to tell everybody what to think or do and nobody really questions them except a few they ridicule as ‘deniers’.

Greens say earth is warming, no question, their science ‘is settled‘. Their models are perfect. Warming is anthropogenic – caused by human produced CO2, even though there are other bigger sources of this vital, grass growing gas. We gotta stop making CO2 or we gotta put it somewhere, regardless of cost. They say this WILL work, they do not say this MIGHT work. And they say if we do not, catastrophe WILL result, oceans will rise, New Orleans and Bangladesh will flood, deserts will form, ad nauseum.

But just to make sure, they demand– in the failed Copenhagen treaty– that nations commit to controlling the result, the TEMPERATURE of the earth. Earth – Obey Earthlings, obey Al Gore!

Deniers say Bring it on. Vikings once raised cattle and made wine (or at least beer)  in Greenland. Gotta love beer–and a Viking lassie or two!

Which makes Greenies go nuts. Earnest folk those. For green fireworks, just visit a discussion/ forum debate between greens and deniers. Discussion?

Since greens want to impose costly solutions on the rest of us, the onus, imo, is on greens, not deniers to answer questions.  Deniers just stand in for  failed corporate journalism.

Deniers say different things.

Denier #1 says Humbug, the earth is NOT warming, despite what glaciers are doing, its actually cooling. Edmonton broke records  -47degC. Arctic sea ice may be recovering. He also notes the spin switched from global warming (deniable) to climate change (duh, always changing).

Denier #1A remembers the 70s cooling scare, the Y2K scare , the  swine flu scare, GWB’s special WMD scare and is tired of scare tactics.
Denier #1B is a bit longer winded so I’ll get to the Bs later.

Denier #2 says the earth MAY be warming, but it will not be warming for long. These things go in cycles, driven mostly by the sun. Such warming / cooling cycles have been repeating for centuries since the last ice age. Into this group,  put deniers that say that CO2 makes little or no difference to temperature trends, since it still boils down to the sun, if you’ll pardon a lousy pun. As I said, corn and cows once grew on Greenland.

Denier #3 says, yes, the earth IS warming – and has been since the ice age ended. So what?   Flooded Bangladeshis  should buy homes in Greenland? Consult real estate  speculators not climatologists!

Denier #4 says, yes, the earth is warming but humans are NOT responsible because….
Denier #4A says the amount of CO2 humans produce, even if measured in billions of tonnes, is small compared to what nature produces. These deniers question the whole idea that reducing human CO2, EVEN TO ZERO, would solve the problem. Partly this is because …..

Denier #4C says it is the slightly increasing heat from the sun that drives CO2 out from melting permafrost, warming oceans (like bubbles in a glass of  water) and desertification that is mostly responsible for CO2  increase. This means temperature (heat) increases BEFORE CO2 not the other way around as we are told every day. If that is the case, then trying to lower  CO2 instead of building sea walls is like standing in front of a freight train. When oceans rise, step back.

Denier #5 says that yup the earth is warming and yup, human CO2 is responsible. But why do I have to give up my democratic rights and protections? Huh? What’s that got to do with it?

Well, that’s just the thing. It said so in a leaked draft of the Copenhagen treaty, which zealous greenies never bothered to read (link below), Clause 38. Says a UN body, the COP (Council of Participants), will rule governments (that’s your government) and will levy taxes onto you. That’s taxation without representation. Elected representation. I thought 1776 settled that. So why would they do that? And why do we not hear about this on TV? Ask a denier.

The denier looks further and comes to believe the science has been corrupted per the email fiasco and manipulated by the IPCC, which he says is a political not a scientific body. Can’t scientists speak for themselves?

Then there’s that pesky little funding issue. Greens say deniers are funded by big oil. Funny, I thought it was the other way around – I’ve been funding big oil for years already!  But if the funding argument is good enough for greenies, its good enough for me.  So, deniers say that supposed-to-be-skeptical climate scientists are dependent on funding,  so its kind of squishy if the science were to ever show warming is not anthropogenic. In such a case, the report is simply not published, or, as deniers say, suppressed. If published, the scientist is just relabeled a denier.  End of orthodox career.  Deniers are also  suspicious about the input data, especially temperatures collected in/ around ever larger/warmer cities. Then again, the IPCC mandate is to study climate – on EARTH. What if ice caps are melting ON MARS? What would that tell us? Gosh — ITS THOSE DARN ROVERS!! Seriously, that would kinda do something to the anthropogenic theory, no?

But those treaty words still bother me. Which brings us back to

Denier 1B, 2B, 3b, 4B which I’ll just call
Denier #6. I wanted to get to #6 since the title would sound cool. Cool is a good thing, unless you pay a heating bill.

Denier #6 claims there are people with a globalist mindset who are trying to take over the world. Like Lex Luthor, though I reveal my age!

Drumroll. Denier #6 -the maestro. Are conspiracies real?  This denier stopped believing anything after Bush and his WMDs. I used to socialize with a bunch of communists in my 20s. They showed me commie flyers filled with conspiracy theories. CIA, FBI, M5, whatever. Back then, I had naive faith in investigative journalism and so didn’t believe a word. Imagine my consternation decades later, reading in the prestigious Atlantic Monthly, that thanks to Clinton’s declassification, all those crazy ‘conspiracies’ turned out to be true. But conspiracy is a great word to tar your opponent with, right greenies?

The problem, say #6 deniers, is that the globalist conspiracy is not a conspiracy at all! Conspiracies are supposed to be clandestine, spy vs spy things. Both Bush and Obama have openly emphasized the so called New World Order in their speeches. Is that secret? Is the United Nations clandestine? Globalist thinkers, speakers, negotiators, writers, supporters go to work every day, just like everybody. They work at the UN (home of IPCC), IMF, International Court, World Bank, a host of NGOs, consulting firms and think tanks (remember Trudeau’s Club of Rome?). Are they clandestine? Well, sort of, eh! Like all those trade treaty negotiators.

But the money to run global organizations has to come from somewhere.  Gee, a global carbon tax would do the trick!  Here’s some links pondering this possibility. Call them deniers if you like.

http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/nov_2000/philo1.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xv3OLKsQ83k

http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/government/us_constitution/news.php?q=1335457901

There’s nothing (much) wrong with globalization. We only have one planet.  Human footprints smother it while technology shrinks it.  But we are beginning to see what unchecked global corporations have done to environments, employments and the political process.  Who can blame greens in their earnest desire to fix things (or at least make a good living at it). Its the monopoly aspect that bothers me and should bother you…. the old adage, power corrupts, absolute power …… Does anyone still regard the UN as a paragon of virtue these days? Did you vote for your UN rep? Do Canadians / Americans want to be outvoted by all those failed states? Many would agree on humanitarian grounds, but just wait till they get some real power.

Then there’s denier #7. That would ruin my title so lets not call him denier since he is not denying anything. This is the person who looks at the actual treaty wording as a guide to what greens want. Lets review. The treaty calls for a COP (Council of Participants) to order (rule) your government to levy carbon taxes, raise money to compensate Developing countries, and to cut carbon emissions 40%, eventually by 80%. Eighty (80) Percent. 80%. Oh, you’ll have 40 years to do this so don’t worry. Hmm. On top of that, just in case they need any additional monies, there’s that clause (38) requiring Earth to obey Earthlings, or else.

1. What does 80% reduction of carbon look like? Keep in mind fuel makes/ runs EVERY object, machine, item, even food, around you, for the past few hundred years. So how do you go about getting rid of 80%. Hey, conservation is great, I and the family are pretty good at it, but 80%??!! Yikes.

The recent carbon tax in BC, touted as a success, is stepwise tapping into the easy stuff while wisely avoiding tax grabbing and democracy issues (not a treaty).  While I believe this may run into unintended consequences, as Australia discovered, BC’s gradualist approach makes good sense, as least till limits emerge, economic or social.  I’ll tentatively join with greens in celebrating a modest success while cautioning against the kind of excessive zeal that spawns blogs – & deniers!

2. Alternative energy is great– I make some. Its tough to make it work and pay in a practical/ affordable way, although I did find one solution. You hear about Germany (and all those great jobs). But its all subsidized (boast – except mine) through FITs (feed-in-tariffs), or directly, under a public utility.  Greens counter that lots of stuff is subsidized. Big oil, rural electric, rail, big dams, etc. OK, but – nobody doubted that those technologies worked and were desired by the public. Does the definition of workable include building three systems instead of one? Is it working if Ontario has to dump wind power in the US at a cost? Unintended consequences?

I’m all for subsidizing experiments and new inventions. But this subsidy issue hinges on asking

  • how long it takes for devices to recover construction energy–the energy cost of energy? I understand that is measured in years, even decades, especially those free standing tilting solar units with a huge concrete base. Double if a tornado hits.
  • who pays, especially for FITs.  Essentially poor taxpayers subsidize rich taxtakers who can afford to buy solar panels or windmills. This is the guarantee I am supposed to give up my democracy for? Ouch.

3. Sequester CO2.  Ok, what does that look like? Big Pipe running out of Big Smoke – how far, to where, how big? OK, sometimes its practical.  Imagine however, transporting significant smoke out of NYC. What pipe diameter exactly? Imagine a small town trying to pay for miles of pipe. Boggles the mind. I want to know a whole lot more before any commitment, especially an irrevocable treaty.

You could say 80% is just a pipe dream! Well, not completely. You can be sure, treaty or no,  the people running the show will get all they want. They will still fly to future Copenhagens. Armies will still fuel thirsty weaponry.  Ordinary citizens though could well be driven into penury, serfdom even, though that ancient word sounds silly to modern ears. Give it time.  This is the burden greens ask me to bear, and why I resist.

4. Lost in all this is peak oil, a major source of carbon, perhaps even peak everything.  This makes me even more nervous about the all fired rush to sign treaties NOW, just like the recent spate of Trade Treaties. Seems like the big boys know what is coming and want to slam the door before the opportunity passes. Never waste a good crisis.  In fairness, peak oil does seem stalled for now -by fracking-  but what about fracking worries (earthquakes, leaks, burning taps, etc).  So when peak eventually does arrive and prices jump, will carbon taxes be repealed?  Do pigs fly?

5. What if greens are wrong (about anthropogenicism), the science wrong (about CO2 vs other causes) and oceans rise anyway?  Sun didn’t obey Earthlings! Not enough virgins sacrificed. Got hotter anyway. Economy (& democracy) wrecked.  Having wrecked the economy, the maker of tools, what tool will be used to move whole cities or fix dykes around Holland or, umm, well, forget about New Orleans.  Better discuss it though because it seems far more likely than a practical, democratic or honest  global CO2 treaty.

What if Global Cooooling sets in. If that happens, do you think carbon taxes will be revoked? Income tax was a temporary measure, no?

Did big bad oil companies put these diabolical ideas into my head? Do I have some shares of big oil? Lets assume they did and I do. The questions still seem reasonable so before i make any commitment, especially one that destroys my democratic protections, I want answers, trustworthy answers. The IPCC and their cabal of scientists has lost credibility in my books – no competition, much incentive, general science malaise.  Political correctness means  big oil must hide.  To remove bias, we must develop a good process –  adversarial, scientific?  We should encourage big bad oil to fund  an expedition to Mars to find out if their ice caps really are melting. Organized by the biggest baddest denier. Hey, I want something for all the money I gave them! And put Suzuki on board for good measure. Or deniers on the IPCC.

My purpose is not to persuade you if deniers are right or which denier point is right. That is up to you, which is more responsibility than greens want  to give you, the public. My purpose is to get you thinking without assumptions or bias, and decide what your democratic protections are worth. Take your time, don’t fall for the bum’s rush they’ve been giving us. Make your democracy listen to you. Its your future.

The Real Tragedy:  our manic focus on a GENERAL CO2 solution has distracted us from SPECIFIC (solvable) problems:  overfishing, farm erosion, stressed ecologies, deforestation, desertification, ocean dead zones, garbage gyres, mercury and other poisons, etc., etc.  Don’t forget my Agenda 21 overpopulation thing! Some human activities (suburbs, deforestation) undoubtedly exacerbate global warming, never mind CO2. I certainly encourage  downsizing, smaller footprints and put my money and family toward that end, and would gladly support a DEMOCRATIC energy reduction effort/ tax.  (A pollution (not Carbon) tax is probably the ideal if possible.)  SUVs and suburbs are wasteful on many levels.  But let’s be honest about the realistic (engineering) prospects, process and consequences for all concerned.

Finally,  stop the destruction of my democratic protections.

Main Links

Draft Copenhagen Treaty:

http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/awglca7/eng/inf02.pdf

http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/melting_permafrost.asp

http://sciencenordic.com/vikings-grew-barley-greenland

http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/we-need-a-better-class-of-climate-skeptic/

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/co2-in-ice-cores/

http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

http://www.green-agenda.com/greenland.html

http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming-2/ice-core-graph/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/12/11/case-studies-in-the-failure-of-journalism-iraq-and-climate-change/

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/09/classify-this/306114/

http://objectivescience.net/intergovernmental-panel-on-climate-change-ipcc-is-not-a-scientific-organization-but-a-political-lobbying-group/

http://climatechangereconsidered.org/abouttheipcc/

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=23246

http://www.cato-unbound.org/2013/08/12/patrick-j-michaels/state-funded-science-its-worse-you-think

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1889512,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_of_Rome

http://www.illuminatirex.com/nwo-world-map/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/the-insidious-truth-about-bcs-carbon-tax-it-works/article19512237/

http://www.theneweconomy.com/energy/australia-repeals-carbon-pricing-policy-environmentalists-concerned

http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/24/europes-green-energy-industry-faces-collapse-as-subsidies-are-cut/

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-14/coal-rises-vampire-like-as-german-utilities-seek-survival.html

http://joannenova.com.au/2014/06/big-news-viii-new-solar-model-predicts-imminent-global-cooling/

http://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/01/20/ontario_paid_1_billion_to_dump_excess_electricity_in_2013_ndp.html

http://www.defenddemocracy.org/united-nations-corruption-and-the-need-for-reform/

http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/CCS

http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/news/57335

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140708-decarbonization-pathways-climate-change-report-science/

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/717228-never-let-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste

Afterword.  I almost decided not to put a comment box here after discovering over 500 comments on this blog on a similar topic.  Lefty Greenies are nothing if not dogmatic / prolific on these things.

http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/we-need-a-better-class-of-climate-skeptic/

That blogger says he’s a tenured prof so perhaps you’ll let him bear the cost of adding a few % more comments if you feel inspired by my humble effort.  I had promised to review their comments which hopefully I’ll get round to in due course.   I’ll keep an eye out for anything that references this blog.

Another blog I just noticed on deniers:

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2014/07/all-arguments-against-climate-action-this-one-worst

This one is more humorous but as with many, blogger Boutilier sets up straw men then knocks them down.  Maybe he will discover that deniers come in all shapes and sizes, some more considered than others.    What I need to do is have a better look at our critics to see what they’re really made of.  This one thinks that doing a 5000 mile unicycle trip would persuade people to join his cause.  I would have been more impressed if he tried to build some low carbon device/program that many could use instead of trying to persuade the govt to bludgeon me for taxes or whatever.  At least he used  his (presumably) real name.  Most don’t.

Till then, I remain your curmudgeon in denial.

Poverty: The Solution. Finally!

Poverty should be eradicated. Everyone says so.  I realized however, that  instead of eliminating a condition (poverty),  akin to eliminating words from dictionaries, we should eliminate those that have the condition. Like, we can’t eliminate bad weather, but we should eliminate unfit buildings so the condition called weather has no effect.

This thesis  stands on the shoulders of our forbears —  simply extending Johnathon Swift’s 1729 genius proposal, too modestly called A Modest Proposal .  Intended to solve poverty resulting from the Irish Potato Famine, he advised poor mothers to sell their excess babies for food.  Thus a proper (but unGoogleable) title for this essay would be

A Modest Proposal 2.0

In 1992, Swift’s idea, was resurected and repackaged by none other than the United Nations, whose Agenda 21 aims to reduce human population by 93%.  If properly organized by the masterminds, a 93% reduction should pretty much take care of the poor. No more worries,  late rent, calls from collectors … and lots of empty houses to chose from.

Getting rid of 93% of 7 billion people is no mean feat.  Hitler’s  elimination of just a few millions was terribly botched. Khmer Rouge the Cambodian runner up, was no more successful. Just how does one go about getting rid of so many useless eaters?

Economic theory says that  a successful long-term operation must be self sustaining. Greed is the best motivator and profit the best expression of greed. Therefore, internal profitability is essential to the task, though a few corporate psychopaths would certainly help.

Traditional Solutions

War, once the primary reducer, isn’t so effective these days –you’ll be surprised to learn that  war casualties have been declining for centuries.  As Hitler discovered, getting rid of so many bodies is  cumbersome and unprofitable. Even bullets, cheap as they are, have their own disadvantage since groups like Amnesty International insist on digging up the bodies. How inefficient is that? New promising solutions from Africa, in the form of child soldiers trained to hack their prey to pieces, has been unfortunately been deemed unacceptible. Meddlers!

Margaret Atwood’s super-efficient Soylent Green solution, envisaged in her novel Year of The Flood, suffers from a self defeating logic. In order to eat humans, there must be enough people left to do the eating. The mechanized process she envisioned (vats, grinders, etc.) requires industrial investment, which is normally motivated by growth. But if one consumes one’s supply, the business must  inexorably shrink. A mining model, based on ever diminishing ore, is inapplicable because mining is an ongoing business whereas Agenda 21 is a singular endeavor.

Poisoning is the traditional method of getting rid of people. Arsenic and hemlock were the murderers’ friend in centuries past until forensic meddlers sprang up.  Big Pharma has tried numerous times to find the perfect poison, relabeled to ‘medicine’. Oxycontin and Thalidomide spring to mind, but as the reader will appreciate, only a relative few were persuaded to imbibe these offerings. We must liquidate billions.

Vaccines would have had great potential, but for the ineptness of the  US medical system that pokes needles into kids so often compared to other countries, that the entire regime is called into question. Besides, the side effects (Autism etc.)  generate picayune profits that only distract.  Stay focused.

In all this litany of failure, there is one unsung hero: Fluoridation. Fluoridation is the art of slipping small but persistent quantities of toxic mine waste into municipal tap water, under the guise of protecting kid’s teeth, especially poor kids, the exact focus of our plan. The bluntness of this instrument is more than compensated by the sheer brilliance of its execution. To wit:

  1. Municipalities are persuaded to actually pay for this waste, a neurotoxin no less, adding to the profits of  phosphate fertilizer mining companies.
  2. Dentists increased their profits by treating a consequential condition called fluorosis, which now exceeds profits from the cavity business– which they claim, has declined as a result of fluoridation.  Activists are so silly these days they can’t even get the point across that it was brushing not fluoride that reduced cavities!  Whew.
  3. Government bureaucrats have even found a way to profit, since highly paid experts are required to fend off antifluoridation activists while other colleagues dissemble  truth away from the tiny fraction of poor petitioners whose health is  demonstrably jeopardized, despite the ongoing effort to suppress symptoms, or at least awareness.

The  problem with Fluoridation is that, while it renders populations nicely stupid and brittle as fluoride accumulates respectively in the brain (lower IQ) or bones (osteoporosis), there is no final drop dead date or trigger mechanism and the job simply takes too long.  One could increase fluoride concentrations but unfortunately, developments have forced the opposite, to ensure the toxin stays under the radar, so to speak.

Cosmetics are similar to fluoridation in that women and increasingly men, are persuaded  to smear a generally toxic mixture on their skin, the single largest organ of the body. Profits are stupendous, both up front for sales and downstream for the cancer industry that pretends to fix everyone up again. As with fluoridation though, we just can’t wait.

Novel attempts abound. Nuclear power stations have been located on earthquake prone areas – a Japanes specialty.  Russians prefer to burn their nukes. Oh those Russians. Americans,  imaginative as always, are now fracking under a nuclear waste storage facility. Unlike atomic war, which is rather unpredictable as regards the 1%, the nuclear poison option is clumsy and slow acting. Between Fukushima, and Chernoble, not nearly enough people died for our purposes. Pity.

Obviously, in order for this project to succeed, somethincg radical is required. Ebola? WMD? Bio weaponry? Religious war? Genocide? As we have seen, these suffer similar drawbacks: unpredictablility, unprofitable, meddlers, etc. Sigh.

The Final Solution

Fortunately, several orchestrated phenomenon have emerged that while not necessarily interesting, speedy, profitable or predictable, nonetheless are doing the job.

1. Birth control and abortion– very effective. In Canada alone, approximately 100,000 abortions are performed per year which suggests 4 million souls are missing from the economy.  This makes the emerging pension issue very interesting as boomers wonder who will fund their retirement. Groups such as Rockefeller founded Planned Parenthood are very effective at encouraging the necessary social acceptance of sex without consequences. At least till the Aids virus came along. But at least AIDS works in the right direction – profit and elimination.

Related item: Reduction of public health programs  such as  elimination of prenuptial blood tests that hitherto discouraged the spread of genetic/ blood disorders.  Why eliminate a profit center, right?

2. Gay marriage. There is no better way to reduce population than by segregating the sexes. A few manage to induce pregnancies with a variety of technologies, but by and large, gay marriage delivers. For people who aren’t quite sure if they are gay or not, every inducement is offered including school classes that tout coming out, festive Gay Pride Parades, harsh treatment for critics of this regime in Human Rights Tribunals, plenty of taxpayer funded supports and coverage in CBC, Canada’s national radio, etc. With all the excitement and media attention, not to mention hormonal chemicals in the environment, the portion of gays in the population seems to have grown from just a few % 100 years ago, to 15 to 25% today or multiples of that in prison. Talk about progress!

3. Debauchery. Anything goes these days from public fornication (pride parades, theatres) wardrobe malfunctions, drug injection sites, legalization of pot and prostitution, etc. Whether the falling birthrate is correlation or causation really doesn’t matter, although evidence is coming in that such licentiousness actually increases what must be considered the ultimate form of population reduction- PIED – porn induced erectile dysfunction! If ancient peoples are anything to go by, we should start to see people throwing their expensive and unwanted children off cliffs soon enough. Profits are enormous and governments want their share, so the boom continues despite old biddies wringing their hands in the few churches still occupied.

When immigration is discounted, we see that population reduction is well underway in the Western world. Canadian birthrates are only 1.6 per female, well below the 2.1 required for replacement. True to form, the masterminds behind this stupendous achievemnet, the Rockefellers, Bilderbergers, Rothschilds, etc. take no credit.  In the old days while society obeyed religious norms, it was simply called the Prosperity Effect ie rich people tended to have fewer children. But with modern media and the internet in full gear, catering to every taste, we can see the reality is that the 1% is pushing this way. Profits accrue by way of sales of Viagra, sex tourism, Aids treatments, movies, porn, etc.

Just in case there is any slipup, the 1% have arranged the economy, and rules so as to discourage childbearing. Education is made expensive, competitive and mandatory, while wages are squeezed. Who can afford kids these days, let alone 2.1?

The only remaining fly in the Agenda 21 ointment is the continued growth of populations in India, Africa, the third world in general, and pesky pockets such as Canada’s native people, who still seem to know how to get it on.

Having docilized Western people, even to the point of abject acceptance of city pests (Canada Geese, raccoons, skunks, bears, etc) , it only remains to bring the ROW (Rest of World) into line. Fortunately globalists have arranged to transfer wealth and jobs to ROW so that they too can become domesticated to the new reality, the New World Order as it is sometimes called. Westerners, addicted to bread and circuses  will be contented indefinitely. Do not dusturb.

WW3.   People naturally object to the loss of liberty and jobs so evident in Western countries. In addition, the erosion of financial discipline, moral standards, public virtue, tax leakage, etc. brings instability and cognitive dissonance, the inevitable result of which is war, ultimately global war . But since the struggle of war squeezes out excesses and restores virtue (at least for the winners), completing the mission with  a jolly good war is just the right washout, or denoument of Agenda 21.  Excess population (and poverty) gone, virtue restored. The aftermath of WW2 demonstrated this principle. We seem to be well on the way with tensions fomented,  instability and conflict, both  internal and external, growing around the world.

I can’t wait, and hope the reader will join in a sense of shared purpose, excitement and resolve to move our planet toward the coming  golden age. If you have been persuaded by the logical arguments presented herein, please do all you can to ensure a most prosperous, profitable and possibly tasty future. If we all work together, we can finally solve the dilemma of poverty that has plagued humankind since the dawn of time.

Hopefully and blissfully, I remain, your curmudgeonly satirist.

Fallen Elephants – and Mounties

The elephant was ancient, and wrinkled, and huge, and had looong tusks.  What happened?  Poachers.

Ok, so an old elephant gets killed for ivory to sell to the Chinese. Who cares? She was old anyway. Past breeding, so no impact on dwindling population. Useless eater. And the tusks were HUGE. As you can see from the pic, which is now on my desktop, they reached the ground.

The elephant was wise. She knew her tusks were attracting attention and had taken to hiding in bushes. Or so they said.

The elephant was an icon.  She had a name, Satao, a devoted following and as much protection as could be provided without locking her up in a zoo.

A twitter  search for ‘poachers in Kenya‘  got all the bleeding hearts pouring out their blabber.  Blabber drives me nuts – long on sympathy, short on reality.  Same thing for the hours/days after three Mounties were killed in Moncton.  Knee jerk reactions that obscure truth. Deliberately, to this cynics mind.  Constant repetition of the word  senseless.

Obviously not senseless to everybody. The poachers got happy. The Chinese got ivory. Someone likely got paid off. And the govt, which cried crocodile tears, let it all happen despite warnings.  On purpose? To bring sympathy and maybe some extra conservation $$ to this hardscrabble land?  Sorry if you’re offended, but its my job. As for Satao, hopefully the end came quickly. Would she have preferred a pride of lions eating her?

The solution is so blindingly obvious. My wife. She trims our cat’s claws. She trims our dog’s paws. She trims me.  She’d have the tusks trimmed to a nice short, manageable length in no time, after which poachers, with most ivory gone,  would hopefully find something better to do.

My wife is not unique in the world, and this is such an obvious solution, you’d wonder why nobody thought to do it. Bad idea? Shouldn’t be done? Can’t be done? Ok, how do you trim a wild elephant’s tusks? I don’t know, ask my wife! Maybe it would ruin the parade‘s pecking order. Who knows, but to find the real answer, follow the money.

The tourist money. Aah, they kept this old crone around because her tusks were oh-so-photogenic.  Read: full hotels.  For Satao, it wasn’t the poachers, it was the frequent photographers that really motivated her to hide. Or like some old ladies, maybe she became tired of her endowments. Who knows.

This curmudgeon says: ‘Piss or get off the pot. Trim the tusks or don’t, and accept that elephants don’t live forever and that poachers must eat. Tourists will accept a trim.’

Creative solution – make a deal with poachers. Sell futures on baby tusks and let the poacher worry about keeping ‘his’ elephant safe till they reach an agreed size.  Similar to the CO2 trading scheme. Like lumber, price goes up exponentially with size. Money in the bank as long as the tusks keep growing. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, given the terrain and other dangers, but with a bit of imagination, I’m sure there’s a way to solve this.

So ignore the blubbering and put on yer thinking cap.

When you’re done with the elephants, and got a little practice, switch to the Mountie tragedy, setting aside MSMedia blabbering.  There’s more than one side to that story.  Resentment against cops is all over the internet, day and night.  But, in contrast to  to the Los Vegas cop killing,  where the killers announced their motive, nary a word in Canuk MSMedia, just the usual politically correct answers:  crazies and the cancelled long gun registry. Read: we don’t like armed civilians and we need money for looney bins.   So why would they talk about guns and not about resentment when the killer was so blatant with the lyrics on his website.  Nobody made the connection I thought was obvious.  Only bloggers told me that yet another local cop had been exonerated just two weeks prior, for a killing the previous year.  As for heroics, more taxi drivers get killed than cops.  Parades for cops but not cabbies.  Huffpost did manage to sneak in the bad cop idea but nothing about failed investigations, police unions, outrageous pay and benefits, aggressive attitudes, drones, militarization, closed ranks/ club mentality or any other of the many symptoms of an emerging…. what?  Frank discussion sorely needed.  Hard work, or do we just forget it?  How can anyone not conclude that bigwigs in the media increasingly prefer us not to have our hunting rifles, but keep their protectors sacrosanct.  The real question is:  Why?

Or as Satao would have alarmed, trunk aloft: aaarrUUUUUmpet.

UPDATE Oct 2014: Closely related is the PTSD fiasco, this time triggered by a cop suicide.  I had suspected that PTSD is really a case of cognitive dissonance.  Tonight a CBC interview with Shirley King, psychologist and author, confirmed this when she let slip, inadvertently I’m sure: “Victims often lose faith in the SYSTEM” (emphasis mine).  So my question is – cause or result? I say the former.  How about you?

 

Nose Holding Not Election Solution

 I take strong exception to the premise of an article by Ryan McGreal in Raise the Hammer, especially the statement: ‘Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by FORMALLY DECLINING TO VOTE, the end result is the same.’ [Emphasis added].

While spoiled or blank ballots cannot be attributed to clear motive or sentiment, Election Ontario has confirmed that a declined ballot means essentially ‘none-of-the-above’.  Please visit http://curmudgeonreport.com/2014/05/24/o… and scroll to comments for their wording.

None-of-the-above means either one (passively) doesn’t like any candidate, or more actively, one detests all candidates. It might also mean that even if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote, since no such candidate ever really stands a chance to be elected, let alone be a part of government.

None-of-the-above is also starting (I hope) to be attached to the message that what is really needed is MMP or some form of proportional representation.  A new party capitalizing on the phrase, advocates for direct democracy, whatever that is.

As for the notion of holding one’s nose, what Ryan advocates is strategic voting. The problem is that if one doesn’t vote for what one actually believes in, but pretends to be a supporter of another party, one is actually being dishonest. If voters are dishonest, why should politicians be honest? The classic notion of public virtue seems to be dead these days, for it applies to all, not just politicians.

The other reason to not hold one’s nose is that Ryan advocates voting for ‘the system’.  If you are a winner, carry on, vote for the team that caters to your group. But the people being squeezed by the system should not be fooled into voting against their own interest, even if nobody actually represents their interest. Whether they get squeezed by higher taxes, lower employment, lower wages, higher prices, inflation, instability or a dozen other ills, hardly matters. Lives will get worse if the system, encouraged by all those foolish votes, continues to squeeze.

The SYSTEM comprises big government, big business and big unions, with a party assigned to each. Those outside this system (mom&pop shops, homeless, students, non-unionized workers, independents, farmers, etc.) should beware false promises being made trying to suck us in.  Folks on Welfare  are particularly vulnerable since many think the NDP represents their interest, as opposed to actually being agents who prefer to keep them where they can be served by a union worker (ie, not solving the underlying problem, or at best advocating outright socialism). Each big party will always reward its constituency at the expense of the rest of us. So unless you’re winning, decline your ballot.

As for those who stay home, I’ve become more tolerant to the point of  even encouraging this strategy. One can see the hand wringing going on over low turnout. Sooner or later this will translate to political action before the pretense of legitimacy is completely lost.

Nose holding is not an honourable solution. Don’t do it.

Herding Cats–Small Political Parties

When times get tough, political parties proliferate – 30s Germany had over 50! Everybody had an opinion and nobody could agree – or apparently, compromise. Things haven’t gotten that bad here, yet, but the signs are clear. For the first time in living memory, people are talking about declining their ballot and there is even a party called NOTA, None Of The Above. Given that the big three (or four) show no sign of relaxing their stranglehold on THE SYSTEM, which as I described in previous posts, is, IMO, the real governing party in a one party state. The SYSTEM tries to seduce the rest of us to vote for it in its three guises. Many do so unwittingly. But since the SYSTEM caters to itself instead of the little people, those on the outside feel estranged and start looking for alternatives. Thus we arrive at the cat herders dilemma.

When our cat goes awol, we go to the door, shake a bag of treats and soon the cat appears. This is what the SYSTEM does – promise treats, even if it can’t deliver.

Getting cats into a herd is almost impossible. Can you imagine Libertarians and Communists trying to agree on anything? Or the Christian Heritage Party agreeing with the Marijuana Party? What to do?

Either you have to trick the cats into following a charismatic leader, fight it out like dogs, or you have to come up with a system to share power through negotiations or other means. Hitler chose other means.  Since my kids tell me my charisma value is zero I have to work on the third idea – coming up with a system to share power.

Looking around, one can find coalitions in the parliaments of many countries. Parties form, then coalesce into a larger unit. Many think the Greens and NDP will coalesce. Or the NDP and Liberals.

I would like to propose a system for giving the small groups a better shot at gettincg a seat. We all know the largest party by far in Ontario today, is the party of non-voters. But if they behave like cats, we will never get anywhere. The 2014 election sports about 20 parties. So if the 50% non-voting block splits into that many parties, nobody will be able to unseat THE SYSTEM’s contenders. Do the numbers. Only if folks can hold their nose and vote for a single alternative candidate can we hope for success.

I therefore propose a rutting system, similar to Moose ruts, where males, or in this case, parties jockey for position by means of raising funds or memberships. Whoever raises the most funds/members for a congress, gets to be the candidate in that riding. Same thing in other ridings. Under this system, 100 ridings might be represented by candidates from 3 or 4 parties, who will all run under one banner, lets call it the Smorgasbord Party, SP. So SP might field 100 candidates, split evenly or otherwise amongst Libertarians, Freedom Party, Family Coalition, NOTA and The People’s Party.

What about the platform? People assume this will be the biggest stumbling block, which is what I’m trying to avoid with this proposal. Which I why I gave it the temporary name of Smorgasbord. Initially at least, there would be no requirement for party cohesion. Really there is no need unless one assumes that the Smorgasbord would actually become the governing party–an unlikely outcome I’ll come to later. So the Smorgasbordians go to Queens Park and advocate, each MPP according to his original political affiliation. Smorgasbordians will vote for and against other Smorgasbordians. I see nothing wrong with this. In fact it is healthy and I’d expect Smorgasbordians to potentially hold balance of power in minority governments, giving them great opportunity to bring long suppressed concerns to light.

If you’re thinking this is simply a form of MMP (mixed member proportional) system that was advocated in the 2007 referendum, well, guilty as charged. It was a great shame that this proposal was rammed past the people in haste. On purpose? So THEY can blame the people for their own misfortune?

Cats (Smorgasbordians) should not aspire to run the joint. It should only aspire to hold the government’s feet to the fire with respect to folks who cannot join the SYSTEM. They should aspire simply to stop THE SYSTEM from running roughshod over little people ie. by passing regulations, as they often do, that only members of the SYSTEM can meet. Small town butchers have almost gone extinct in this way since a govt inspector must witness the slaughter of any cow. Thus large packers processing hundreds of cows a day have squeezed out the little guy – again.

The difficulty of course will be to get the cats, the small parties to agree to work within such a system. Another difficulty will be to get the kittens, us voters, to support SP even if one’s local candidate runs counter to one’s political disposition, on the premise that such support will morph to another riding where the platform does represent one’s views. If the cat voter gives up, all is lost, so there is much incentive to make it work.

Yes, no?  Whaddya think?

Yer curmudgeonly scribe.