Saturday, May 10, 2008

Two for The Sun

Daphne Bramham and Miro Cernetig have written excellent pieces in this morning's paper.

Bramham spells out the new and growing tactic amongst the politicos and mandarins of launching expensive lawsuits against their critics.

Nanaimo, Kent, Harrison, and Langford are four of the municipalities mentioned.

In each case, a citizen asks legitimate questions of the powers-that-be. In case, the powers sue.

They are emboldened to do so by a 2004 provincial law that allows for something called a SLAPP - a Strategic Lawsuit against Public Participation.

But wait.

Isn't public participation a virtue in a healthy democracy?

Oh, I forgot, in BC and Canerda, "healthy democracy" is becoming as oxymoronic as Catholic University, happy marriage, military intelligence and liquor control board.

Cernetig rightly points out that the millions of dollars and years of abject failure in the DTES call for a new approach, perhaps one overseer or czar for all things DTES.

Exceellent piece and good idea.

But who?

Michael Clague is mentioned. Bad idea. Clague was the director of the Carnegie Centre for years, which means he made a healthy living in the midst of the madness.

No, we need someone completely outside the sphere.

Michael Geller whom is running for city council would do a great job.

Or someone from another side of the continent, who owes no favours.

Whoever it is, sooner is better than later.

Genius - From another Era

Victor Catches a Whiff of Americana

The CEO of Pepsi is a woman named Indra Nooyi. She was raised in India, has powered Pepsi past Coke in stock markets, is praised and envied by CEOs for her corporate brilliance and touted for a Cabinet seat in Washington. Oh, she's also an active, devoted mother.

I don't know what Mr. Nooyi does but I know this. If he came to Pepsi shareholders meeting and announced that he planned to be Pepsi's next president because he had slept with Mrs. Nooyi, fathered her kids and therefore was qualified to do her job, he'd be laughed out of the room.

Melinda Gates is Bill's wife. They've been married since 1994 and have three kids. Melinda runs the Gates Foundation which is on target to amass $100 billion. It was her idea. But if Microsoft were to announce she was going to be the next CEO because she was married to Bill and they had kids and they talked a lot and you know blah,blah.blah.....Well the stocks would tumble and the business writers would slap their thighs in laughing hysteria.

So why does Hillary have a large following among women? Her only unchallenged credential is being married to Bill. She flunked law school bar tests, never practiced law until her husband gave her a job when he was governor of Arkansas, meddled in health care with disastrous results(not her job) when she was First Lady. Her resume is so thin she has to tell whoppers like being under sniper fire in Bosnia and brokering peace talks in Northern Ireland. She then explains these preposterous lies as "mis-remembering"

So. A liar with memory problems is the best candidate female America can offer? Please.

She should be viewed with hostility by all women who have built their own careers. The message of her candidacy is that if women want to make it, the first step is to marry right. How empowering.

Yet, polls show a huge following among females. I don't get it.

Yes, I understand the sentiment among women that says its a woman's turn to be President. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. I don't think "getting one's turn"is a qualification, other than for children, waiting for a swing in a playground. America has never had an Italian president. Should Italians get a turn. Poles? Amputees?

As for the notion that being married to somebody means you can do their job, the concept is too ludicrous for comment. I've known a number of talented women with great careers. I've had relationships with some of them and we talked about our work. That doesn't mean for a second, that they could do my job. Nor could I have done theirs.

There is some good news in all of this. The black candidate is being castigated for being an elitist. Wow. A black elitist. Finally! I'm old enough to remember that blacks couldn't stay in certain Canadian hotels and now they're elitists.

Thanks for that Hillary.

Good Night and Good Luck

Gas Prices Send Surge of Riders to Mass Transit
Cities with long-established public transit systems and areas with a strong driving culture are both reporting increases in ridership of buses and trains.

So reads a NY Times headline today.

Of course, that couldn't happen in Meekrow Vancouver because we have Transclunk, one of the last efficient systems in the known universe.