Saturday, October 31, 2009
Let me say from the outset and in all fairness that no one was spared. From the mayor, cao, council, management, and on down, fault was found.
It is not my intent in this post to get into the particulars of where we have failed as a community in the administration of our municipality. However, with this in mind, one thing is glaringly obvious from this report and that is that over the years of this mayor's reign we have been poorly managed, have an economic disaster on our hands as a result, are in a fiscal mess (... the Municipality is facing significant fiscal challenges over the next few years... consistent erosion of Municipal equity, including reserves), and have a municipal workforce and community that is demoralized, while at the same time, we have been suffering from a lack of fundamentals in the areas of strategic planning, vision and policy development.
The aforementioned is just a sampling from the report of the serious problems and down-ward slope that we have been on for some time now. There is still lots more... I leave it to you my readers to read the report for yourselves and then ask yourself, how could we as a community have allowed things to get this bad? Were we blind, stupid, or was it just plain apathy combined with the big local 'conservative' political machine?
And before some of you who have not read the report start blaming this council (who are for the most part serving their first term) solely for all our community's ills, please remember the many problems and issues pointed out in the report are long in the making, having a common denominator, whose presence and micro-managing (... the mayor exercises more control... than is healthy or normal to other municipalities), has resulted in this second corporate review in as many years of his recent rule. Never mind the revolving door of CAO's, CFO's, Community Services Directors and Public Works Superintendents that have come and gone during this period. (With even more on the way, me thinks??)
His unwillingness to change or adjust to new circumstances and a new age has resulted in council(s) and a community at loggerheads, having no particular course of action planned to move forward.
This report and the one before are clear indictments that his leadership is anything but, and it is time for this community to finally wake up to that fact.
What was leadership, after all, but the blind choice of one route over another and the confident pretence that the decision was based on reason?
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
H1N1 vaccine clinics
According to the Lethbridge Herald story above this will be the one and only clinic for the Pass. Future clinics will be held in Pincher Creek next week from Tuesday through Saturday.
One has to wonder how a community with less than half our population gets precedence over our community, on the one hand, and on the other, that with over a year of lead-time this is the best our local health care professionals could come up with in providing what could be life threatening treatment for almost 6,000 people.
Forcing people to travel for a vaccination shot, considering we have been dealing with winter conditions since the beginning of this month (with more winter to come), while knowing that half our population are seniors (55+ and over), is scandalous to say the least.
More incompetence on top of incompetence seems to be the steady diet we the people have been getting from those in charge of our well being. Makes me sick!
UPDATE: Just came across the following which might explain why there are so few flu clinics in the Pass. Hate to think GREED is being put ahead of peoples health by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), but it sure looks that way and wouldn't surpise me one bit, as sadly, for far too many of these people in this profession it's all about the money... isn't everything these days. Posted by John Prince at 7:02 PM
Alberta doctors could make $500/hour for H1N1 work
On a lighter note: What is the difference between Bird Flu and Swine Flu? For bird flu you need tweetment and for swine flu you need oinkment.
I have received permission to publish on this blog the contents of an email I received from Bartels Advocaten, the law office in the Netherlands, with respect to their request for assistance in pursuing a class action lawsuit against Bridgecreek.
Bridgecreek's River Run project
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Protesters disrupt question period
With these latest ones, it seems 'civil-disobedience' in all its many forms is happening on a regular basis these days. Not surprising, considering our social structure is being stretched to the limits in more ways than we can count.
Now, the conservatives in their infinite wisdom want to build 'super prisons' so they can store more prisoners (US style) from their 'war on crime' (except their friends doing the white-collar kind, of course) while at the same time releasing mental patients back into society (this last one will in all likelihood result in more homelessness and a waiting bed in one of these super prisons, where they can walk around 'freely' among the general population. Talk about creating a Kafkaesque nightmare, while in denial of historical experience and Foucaultian wisdom, due to a misguided believe in a failed and discredited ideology.)
Alberta mental patients to be moved out
We complacent spectators to the world's happenings will soon be 'unwilling' participants, as evidenced by the craziness happening everywhere we turn these days. From governments with their 'retrograde policies' to parents killing themselves and their children due to financial troubles (or in one case, having been released from a 'mental institution' due to governmental cutbacks and incompetence), to massive unemployment - no jobs, no plan and no hope.
This seemingly indifference or ineptitude by governments too busy 'politicking', as Rome burns, to deal seriously, effectively and in a timely manner with our many problems, along with Corporations and our professional upper classes 'GREED' and smug indifference to the suffering and pain people are being forced to deal with these days, are the 'catalysts' of the storm to come.
Add to this "... the Spin doctors, lobbyists, flaks, MSM, political blogging sites like Liblogs, Bloggingtories and Progressive Bloggers—they are the sultans of spin and in today’s media-driven age they exert enormous power, and have become important (if often reviled) players in the shaping of public opinion (in other words, media shape and control the kinds of opinions that appear, the kinds of information that comes through, and the sources through which they go) and as such, do their corporate (political) masters bidding, by way of inducing 'Thought control' in our democratic society that marginalizes and controls the way we think." (For more on this go to my earlier post on MEDIA)
With the above in mind, the end result of people lashing out is not surprising. What surprises me is that there is not more of it... but I believe its coming, as evidenced by the increase in violence, protests and demonstrations we see occurring on a regular basis, despite the heavy censorship and biases being perpetrated by those mentioned above, including mainstream media and the political blogging circles I highlighted.
As people start striking out in the form of Class Warfare at their safety and security (the politicians, corporations and professionals) as 'state sponsored violence' has struck at working families across this nation, then you can be sure you will get their attention. This is what people want ATTENTION. They are tired of being ignored and they are not going to take it anymore. The people who shut down the House of Commons yesterday sent a clear message to all their fellow countrymen. They do not think it is doing its job, so therefore... Shut it down! It ain't worth a damn!!
No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Written by Sherri Gallant - Lethbridge Herald
Friday, 23 October 2009
The driver of a sanding truck working in the Crowsnest Pass on a recent icy morning couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the tiny figure at the side of the road, waving her arms to flag him down.
Little Mary Butler, five years old, had just hiked some 45 metres up a steep ravine after the truck her mother, Nikki, was driving slid off the road on black ice and rolled. The pickup crossed over into the wrong lane before it struck the guard rail, which scooped it up and flipped it, making it roll over and over until it landed on its wheels at the bottom of the incline.
Mary was relatively unhurt, but her mother was bleeding and unconscious. The child unbuckled her own seatbelt, climbed out the rear window and made her way up the embankment to find help.
“The truck driver called 911, and everybody showed up,” said Nikki, now recovering from her injuries.
Crowsnest Pass RCMP Sgt. Scott Howard said Mary likely saved her mother’s life by flagging down help. He said the wreckage probably wouldn’t have been visible from the highway and it might have been a long time before they’d have been discovered.
“It was certainly a good response on her part,” Howard said. “If she’d been stuck inside the vehicle or injured or knocked out, it could have had a very different outcome. It sped up the response.
”It turns out Nikki’s boyfriend James Grayden, a tow-truck driver, was winching out another vehicle from the ditch, not 500 metres from where the wreck had just happened.
“One of the fire-and-rescue workers knows Mary really well from here in Lundbreck, and she said ‘my Dad works for Devlin’s Towing.
’”The dispatcher from the towing company alerted Grayden and he raced to the scene. Knowing it would take some time for rescue workers to cut Nikki out of the truck, he opted to go to hospital with Mary so she could be checked over. Her only marks were bruises left on each hip by her seat belt.
“She was fine and he waited there with her until they brought me in,” Nikki said. “She had told the truck driver and the ambulance workers ‘my mom’s dead, she’s not answering me.’ After I got home from the hospital, I asked her why she had climbed out of the truck and she said, ‘because I love my mom and I needed to save my mom.’”
Nikki has no memory of anything after hitting the black ice until she woke up three days later in a Calgary hospital. She’d had surgery to repair a badly-broken arm with steel plates. Her nose had to be rebuilt and one cheekbone was smashed, vertebrae in her neck are fractured and it took 200 sutures to close a gash that runs from ear to ear across her forehead.
“I always called Mary my angel, and now she’s proven it to me,” she said. “I owe my life to her and she’s a hero. My sister nominated her for a medal of bravery, and I really hope she gets it.
“I’ve told everybody that somebody was definitely looking after us — or at least looking after my daughter, and then she looked after me.”
This week, a day after Nikki returned home from hospital, she drove to the accident scene.
“I can’t believe she walked up that hill,” she said. “It’s really steep and I don’t know how she did it.
”Mary, the youngest of three children in the family, is back at kindergarten and showing no signs of trauma. She told her mom that when the truck left the road she closed her eyes tight and didn’t open them until it stopped moving.
note: Little Mary 'definately' has my vote!
Friday, October 23, 2009
... the index places Canada at No. 19, a drop of six spots from 2008.
... The United States had the most notable rise in the ranking this year to No. 20 from No. 40 in 2008.
Canada ranked 19th in freedom of press
note: So under Harper and the conservatives we are on a continual downslide with respect to our freedoms, while on the other hand under Obama and the Democrats (Liberals) it is an upward swing. Interesting???... but not surprising.
His case is that a small number of conglomerate companies own all of the news media, and can therefore manipulate what we see and hear for the benefit of powered interests in the same way that mass marketers create a desired response through controlled advertising. Right-wingers claim a liberal conspiracy and Left-wingers cry conservative conspiracy, but Chomsky says that there is no conspiracy per se, simply a system owned by a power elite that serves the purposes of its owners.
Cease Trade Order - Bridgegate Mortgage Corporation
Appears Bridgegate has been issued a Cease Trade Order by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC). Nothing yet, that I know of, with respect to the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) issuing one of their own.
My anonymous (as per request) contributor to this blog went on to say... All I can tell you (for your blog) is that the Bridgegate Investors are organized, have legal counsel and will shortly decide course of action.
So there you have it, looks like the shit is finally hitting the fan for the gang infamously known as BridgeCROOKS.
If the consequences of greed are harm and pain, it is immoral. If greed is flaunted, when the pain is known, it is also sociopathic.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Having had my own minor but 'negative' experience with WCB some years back, I can relate to peoples frustration and anger, as reported on in the interviewing of 'victims' of this board. Details of this board's pro business stance is typical of the right wing philosophy perpetrated by conservatives, in their push to victimize ordinary working people at the bequest of their business and corporate friends. Conservatives are nothing more than goons for the corporate elite and the WCB's are their Nazi Headquarters, it would seem.
Also in the news last night, pension security in the case of bankruptcy (Nortel) is a federal responsibility, and it, along with real laws (not the ones being proposed i.e. slap on the wrist penalties) to fight and counter white collar crime, aid and abet corporations while screwing the little guy, are two more examples of conservatives dragging their feet when it comes to dealing with injustices and getting tough on (crime) their friends.
When are 'working people' going to wake up to the fact conservatives are 'not' your friends. Every other party is... but not the conservatives.
In a civilized society, there is a basic duty to protect the vulnerable. Exploitation is violating this duty.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
'With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with trembling hands and read the letter.
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you.
I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is so nice.
But I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it' s not only the passion... Dad she's pregnant.
Stacy said that we will be very happy.
She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children.
Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.
In the meantime we will pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Stacy can get better. She deserves it.
Don't worry Dad. I'm 15 and I know how to take care of myself.
Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren.
Love, Your Son John
PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house.
I Just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a Report card That's in my center desk drawer.
I love you.
Call me when it's safe to come home.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Meant for those who appreciate the finer things in life, such as art and talent... with a twist. :-)
LOVE the soundtrack.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
It seems we hear everyday that someone has ripped off hundreds (thousands) of investors for $100's of millions. Over the last year especially, taxpayers and investors have been getting screwed daily while the people in power 'drag' their feet with respect to doing anything about it. There appears to be no responsibility or accountability. And definitely no signs one can see with respect to fixing the machine so that it doesn't constantly break down leaving people poorer every time.
As a result, people are paying the price and will continue to pay that price far into the future, while the debt clocks keep ticking away...
Canada's debt clock
U.S. debt clock
Corruption is merely a nasty word for the autumn of a people.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Re: Tory blasts senators for `gutting' crime
The Harper government's proposed crime legislation, including mandatory sentences for some drug offences, is ideologically and politically driven, not evidenced-based, and smacks of everything that is wrong with our criminal justice system. A classic case of crime as politics. This legislation, if it ever sees the light of day, will prey on the socially, culturally and economically disadvantaged, especially aboriginals and the mentally ill.
For the record, excluding the provincial system, there are approximately 13,000 federal offenders in custody and about 8,000 in the community on some form of conditional release.
Correctional Services of Canada manages more than 50 facilities, employs more than 16,000 people, and has an annual budget exceeding $2 billion. And this government wants to blindly and wilfully add to this disinvestment in society and to these dismal statistics.
Tougher sentences, however defined, and more and bigger jails simply do not prevent crime. A case in point: California's prisons are so overcrowded that it has had to turn thousands of criminals loose. It now spends about 2 1/2 times as much per prison inmate as it does per student in its renowned University of California system. Do we want to emulate this in Canada?
Emile Therien, Volunteer, John Howard Society, Ottawa
note-1: The Harper Conservatives, being the retrogrades that they are, once again haven't a clue on this issue. Willing to throw vast amounts of money towards 'making criminals' rather than putting that same money to real use in addressing our nation's growing deficit in societal needs, that cause much of the criminality in the first place.
Not surprising (coming from the conservatives) that there is nothing here addressing white-collar crime. Once again, we see that the Big crooks hang the little crooks but don't hang each other, do they?
note-2: For a very good provincial synopsis of our two-tiered justice system, check out Darryl Raymaker's recent post:
"The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."
Monday, October 12, 2009
note: Too often we find lots to complain about but little to be grateful for. Holidays like this give us all the opportunity to reflect with sadness and despair for those left behind, while at the same time being conscious of living for the moment with joy and happiness, and sharing these feelings with those we love. I guess, this is the Yin and Yang of Thanksgiving?
My wife Diane and I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage.
One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise.
She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. Then the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast... because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
'He will cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you will find refuge.'
Saturday, October 10, 2009
"The committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons," the statement said.
"Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts."
The committee added, "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future."
Obama's win unique among presidents
note: Real interesting (but not surprising) how mainstream media jumped all over this story in a 'negative' fashion. It is in some peoples perceived best interest not to have peace, but war instead. These are the warmongers, whose savage tribalism and unquenchable thirst for blood, throughout recorded history, has destroyed empires and civilizations. These are the people who because of their past and present actions and policies condemn half the world's population to live in abject poverty and misery, who continue to be a scourge to mankind, and who now present a very real and imminent threat to human civilizations continued existence.
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God."
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
REAL FRIENDS: Are the reason you have no food.
FAKE FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr / Mrs
REAL FRIENDS: Call your parents DAD/MOM
FAKE FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry
REAL FRIENDS: Cry with you
FAKE FRIENDS: Borrow your stuff for a few days then give it back
REAL FRIENDS: Keep your stuff so long they forget it's yours
FAKE FRIENDS: Know a few things about you
REAL FRIENDS: Could write a book about you with direct quotes from you
FAKE FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that is what the crowd is doing
REAL FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds butt that left you
FAKE FRIENDS: Would knock on your front door
REAL FRIENDS: Walk right in and say 'I'M HOME!'
FAKE FRIENDS: Are for awhile
REAL FRIENDS: Are for life
FAKE FRIENDS: Will talk bad about you with the person who talks bad about you.
REAL FRIENDS : Will knock the person out that talked bad about you
With the above in mind, I can't help think about my morning coffee buddies, and my fellow bloggers. How many of them are FAKE FRIENDS vs REAL FRIENDS? Then I remembered a quote from King Herod of Judea to Claudius, Emperor of the Roman Empire...
Herod: Listen Claudius, let me give you a piece of advice.
Claudius: Oh, I thought you'd finished giving advice.
Herod: Well, just one more piece, then I'm done. Trust no one, my friend, no one. Not your most grateful freedman. Not your most intimate friend. Not your dearest child. Not the wife of your bosom. Trust no one.
Claudius: No one? Not even you?
"In a friend one should have one’s best enemy."
Saturday, October 3, 2009
... I first went to China in 1975 during the madness of the Cultural revolution. Over the ensuing three decades, I saw China transformed from a giant, dimly-lit prison camp into today's booming nation, which just surpassed Japan to become the world's second largest economy.
... His sweeping economic reforms revitalized China, unleashing its latent economic power...
If anyone knows the history of China, they know of the great suffering this nation endured under western imperialism and brutal civil wars, and the tens of millions who died as a result.
The real reason for my post, is today over breakfast with my wife, I was telling her about Margolis' article and in doing so I briefly re caped China's long history, and more importantly, China's recent history. During our conversation, it occurred to me what a remarkable economic feat China has accomplished in such a short span of time, of only thirty years. I wondered to myself, "how was this possible?".
The more I thought about it, it suddenly occurred to me... was it because China did away with the old economic/political system that benefited the few, at the expense of the many (much like how Canada operates)? After all, if you cut through the bullshit, we here in Canada are all 'wage slaves' to the multi-national corporations who run things for their benefit, not ours. As a result, we here in this community, this province, this country, having so much seem to accomplish so little, while helping so few.
Under RAPACIOUS CAPITALISM, we in Canada are pretty much what China was before Mao. Our resources are exploited and our country is continuously being raped, as was China. Until that is, it said enough is enough, and put its foot down by having a revolution that sweep away the exploiters of its people... and the system that perpetrated that exploitation.
Will we have a revolution here? I doubt it, as we have for all intents and purposes sold our soul to the company store, so to speak (think NAFTA). In fact, the new US Ambassador is in Ottawa as we speak, with his first course of business being to visit every province in our country to, in part, ease trading relationships, under the guise of helping Canada with the recent “Buy American” provisions that have shut Canadian firms out of lucrative contracts at the U.S. state and city levels. I read this, however, as the preamble to 'Freer Trade' between provinces and various border states, at the expense and detriment of inter-provincial trade between our provinces and what holds us together as a country. The traitors we have in Ottawa and their various provincial government counterparts will be selling us out again, and removing one more impediment to the total assimilation of Canada's economy into the U.S., followed by Canada's total assimilation into the United States period.
Canada as an independent country is a joke! When you don't have control of your own economy and your military has been reduced to a skeleton, while your navy that use to number as the second largest in the world has been reduced to three battleships (one each for each ocean :-() you have become a laughing stock to the world, with respect to being an 'independent' country. In fact, we haven't even really broken away from England, as the Queen is still our sovereign.
Harper's recent kowtowing to the Zionists on Iran at the UN, and basically having the U.S. dictate our Climate Change policy there as well on our behalf, attests to this even more.
In my opinion, if there is any country that is asleep at the wheel today that desperately needs to have a Revolution (overthrow of a political system by the governed), it is Canada.
Achilles heel of these massive companies is in their articles of incorporation. Under the law, a company's articles can be revoked and it has to cease doing business. Should 'three strikes' be applied to corporations as well? Some corporations do damage. Some are persistent violators of the public trust. Perhaps three convictions (or three public interest law suits lost) should be the limit, and their corporate articles revoked.
Some corporations have now grown gigantic, actually becoming global forces with more power and resources than some countries... they float above the world's constraints... They are alien to the notion of democratic responsiveness, internal or external. In the universe of corporations everything focuses on the acquisition of resources, labour, and markets. These are the sources of power. Inside corporations Equality hides her face... In democratic America (Canada) most corporations are iridescent examples of autocracy, thriving on soil where the Constitution guarantees everybody's freedom and equality... First, we are all educated to look elsewhere, for instance to unchecked government, as the primary threat to freedom. Second corporations make and sell our creature comforts, so we can't tamper with them without threatening our prosperity. Third, we feel powerless. The concentration of corporate power is inverse to people's feelings of personal power. Fourth, we see no alternative.
Friday, October 2, 2009
What's this? This is a test site as part of a hobby research project about mind patterns, interests and human motivations...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The doors were welded shut, but an angle grinder took care of that.
Fiat Cabriolet (1200 or 1500), Ford Cortina MKII, Mercedes Benz 180/190.
Opel GT, Lotus Elan FHC, Lotus Super Seven Series IV, Lotus Elan DHC.
Porsche 356, Austin Healey Sprite MkII, Volvo PV 544, Ford Y?
Giulietta Sprint, Giulia Sprint Speciale (SS), Nash Metropolitan.
Lancia Flaminia Coupé.
American (inspired) design.
Interior of Alfa Romeo.
Lancia Flaminia Coupé, Peugeot 504 cabriolet & 404 cabriolet.
Mini, Alfa 1900 Super Sprint, Balilla.
Fiat Topolino II, Triumph TR4, Peugeot 202.
BMW V8, Formula racers, Chryslers, Mercedes, Austin A30.
• VALUED AT $35 MILLION DOLLARS.
• THIS IS A TRUE STORY THE MAN AND HIS WIFE HAD FULL CLAIM TO THE LOT
• THEY HAD A GREAT RETIREMENT