Friday, December 19, 2008

Rewarding Blind Failure

In the light of the plans of the governments governments of two major countries to sepnd billions of dollars to rescue auto makers, it is instructive to study the full page ads GM has been running in papers the last few days.

I was standing in a downtown office yesterday morning engaged in a conversation with three other people.

We were all looking at this ad, which shows and extols the virtues of various GM products.

One of the four of us actually drives a Cadillac.

But aside from him, none us even know anyone who owns a GM product. Haven't for 20 or 30 years.

One of us asked if we've ever rented a GM product.

Yes, we all agreed, we're often given GM products when we rent.

Yes, we all agreed, theses vehicles are uncofortable as hell and almost undriveable. Handles fall off. You need two keys - one for the doors and ignition and one for the trunk.

Apparently, there has never in recent years been a CEO at GM who could hollar down the line,


Maybe this bail out program should be called "Saving the Stupid," or "Incompetents, Dont Fear; Help is Near."

The Rights of Drunk Drivers

The province has decided to do one small good thing.

We are going to get tougher with drunk drivers.

Various offences will now result in your having a pricey ignition control installed in your car. The thing just won't start until you pass a breath test.

So far so good.

Cut down the carnage, right?


Not so fast says the BC Civil Liberties Association.

You might have these restrictions placed on you without ever having appeared in court.


So all problems have to be solved in court?

Rob Holmes is the BC Civil Liberties president.

Here's his solution, and he emphasizes that it is simple:

"Let's hope nobody gets drunk and gets behind the wheel."

In case you thought you misread that, let's say it again.

Here is the simple solution to the problem according to the president of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

"Let's hope nobody gets drunk and gets behind the wheel."


When people get these kinds of jobs - presidents of significant agencies in the community - do they have to pass any test to see if they are in touch with reality or suffering from some dissociative mental state?

Maybe this would be a plan.

Death by Decree

She managed to kill only three people and injure only 14 others.

Her reward?

A $2,000 fine and one year driving suspension.

That is the lady who drove the grossly and criminally (or maybe not) overloaded van filled with farm workers sitting on boxes and without seat belts that crashed in March 2007.

A day or two later, Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour, watched the same criminally irresponsible (or maybe not) employers yelling at more workers to get into yet another ill-equipped van at six in the morning.

To date, there has been no investigation of these criminal (or not) practices that only kill people.

This happened and continues to happen why?

Because in its dedication to saving taxpayers' money, the provincial government has cut down on inspectors who might check on these hideous violations that only kill people.


But the Monumental Premier has lots and lots of money for the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the Games, the Convention Centre and, of course, more SNC-Lavelin Bombardier gifts known as SkyTrain.

Of course, sometimes they kill people too, but 14 people in a van you could do something about if you wanted to pay inspectors to do their civic duty.

Discovery Update from Susan

Here we are - nearly four years after hearing the shocking news that the
RAV/Canada Line transit project to be built down Cambie Street would in
fact, NOT be a bored tunnel, and would be constructed by ripping open Cambie
from 62nd Ave. to False Creek in a 50 foot deep canyon for years.

How did this happen? Who authorized it?

We intend to find out when we ask Jane Bird, the CEO of RAVCo/Canada Line,
in her Examination for Discovery tomorrow - friday Dec 19.

Nothing about the process involved in bringing this project forward has been
open or transparent. Or democratic. There was no meaningful consultation on
the ACTUAL project that was rubber stamped to proceed.
The full Contract and Concession Agreement have been withheld.
The project is a Billion dollars over the projected budget.
Hundreds of small businesses have been treated with contempt, and many have
needlessly lost their life's work. Our whole city has endured three years of
traffic gridlock.

Those of us who have somehow survived this expropriation of our livelihoods,
are doing so with absolutely no financial help from all the government and
corporate partners who are profiting from this development deal - even
though the mantra from the project was that they would "mitigate the
impacts", and that the construction disruption would be " 2-3 months in
front of any given business". In fact it has been 2-3 YEARS of steady loss.

Compensation is factored into every project of this kind, even in the third
world - but not this one. It is outrageous, negligent and shameful.

This devastation had an Olympic schedule to meet, regardless of the
Welcome to Vancouver, 2010 Media.
Come and see how a wealthy democracy treats their citizens who provide
billions in tax revenue - the independant small business.
The picture the foreign press gets will depend on our government's next
Do we proceed with this David and Goliath battle in court next March?
Or will our government do the right thing, and provide the immediate
financial relief that we deserve?

We seek - justice - fairness - and full compensation for this obvious and
unprecedented wrong.


Robert Playing in the Snow


Shlomo, Rudolph's first cousin his mother's side.

Wonderful Song Sung Around the World