Tuesday, January 30, 2007


A guest editorial from The Ottawa Citizen reprinted in today's Vancouver Sun is one of the most peculiar in recent memory.

It is essentially a fantasy based on a fallacy.

The headline hollars, "Banks aren't committing highway robbery."

And the author (unrevealed) argues that NDP leader Jack Layton is full of it because he wants the banks to stop charging their $1.50 "convenience fee" every time you withdraw $40 at the ATM. The author (unrevealed) sinks immediately to argumentum ad hominum (calling people names instead of presenting compelling reasoning) and describes Mr. Layton's behaviour as, "playing his customary role as faux populist." The cat is immediately out of the bag. The editorial author (Did I mention that he or she is unrevealed?) clearly has some Jack Problem and he's determined to let us know it.

The argument then is that the banks charge this fee because we want them to charge this fee. This solipsism is axiomatic to the writer (whoever he or she may be) because if we really didn't want to pay this fee we could hide our cash under the mattress. HUH?

Here's a mysterious quote: "Are gas prices fair? They must be, or else people would change their habits so as to not pay them." DOUBLE HUH?

With logic like this, the Titanic, it could be argued, is resting comfortably in the eye of the moon.
The banks, the author states, are convenient targets. We are crying for them already, are we not?
Clearly, in this writer's universe, we all watch the unwatchable drek that passes for entertainment on TV because we adore it, we all listen to the uniformly dull that passes for radio because we can't have enough of it, and we are not searching the internet daily for alternates to the local rag because the rag sates our need for information and debate. Right.
And like you, I am breathless from running to my ATM to happily surrender my $1.50 to the shareholders of MegaImpersonalMarbleFloored Bank because that's absolutely the best use of my resources today. Amen.