Friday, February 27, 2009

Not One Dime

Barack Obama's stimulus budget may or may not be the answers to the world's ills.

Who, beside the Republicans, are smart enough to say?

But his speech to Congress the other night was once again magnificent and inspiring. It was so refreshing to see a North American leader encourage citizens to do well and to be well and to aspire to something useful. Some serious and welcome change from the previous eight years.

Now, some of you may be right. Obama may turn out in the long run to be merely a great speaker. We shall see.

But Bobby Jindal as the Republican's best hope for the Presidency?

You must be joking.

It is a sign of how lost and foresaken the party is that it would take seriously Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal.


The CBC is crying the blues again.

Now, in the face of low cash reserves (What world did it think it was living in?) it threatens to buy and show even more American programming.


The CBC has long been a corrupt and rudderless organization.

When I worked in the building on West Georgia in the late '70s, the place was hopping.

Music, variety, comedy, drama and news were employing thousands of people and every part of the building was busy. Even so, management was a dick less disaster.

Now, the building is empty. What used to be a vibrant cafeteria had many times over been remade into a news room even though there are enormous now empty studio spaces underground that were perfectly good news rooms for decades.

The CBC should NOT be disbanded, but it should be fiscally responsible (It is NOT.) and it should cut at least half its administrative staff and it should be exclusively in the business of Canadian programming.

CBC Newsworld is very often excellent, first-rate. Give us more of that and no Jeopardy and Wheel.


The current vogue in campuses across Canada is pro-Palestinian rallies.

Signs proclaiming the "Israeli Apartheid" are as commonplace as bank machines and Tim Hortons. The virus of anti-Israel sentiment is very much alive and well in our halls.

Of course, I hate these signs and I cry for the sheer blind stupidity of decent young people who want to show their concern for the world by hitching their outrage to a wildly mistaken and misinformed ideal.


Until they yell at me something hateful - and they haven't yet, even though I have argued with them at the college where I work - I support, through gritteed teeth, their right to free expression.

How to get it done

On the other hand...

If you want to read a really positive story about reducing crime, read Jeffrey Simpson in today's Globe about the Winnipeg community of Point Douglas.

Here's a community that turned itself around from drug dealers and crack houses and street violence by the courage of first one man, then others, and a zero tolerance for bad behaviour.

Imagine such a thing in the DTES.

No News at all

Many years ago, I worked for CBC-TV News.

One morning, I was assigned to go to the Hotel Vancouver to cover some announcement by the Minister of Cups & Saucers, or was it the Minister of Bacon 'n Eggs?

I refused. My boss was aghast.

"That isn't news. It's a ritual, and our job isn't to be an arm of the government."

Of course, they put up with me for the rest of the year and mysteriously didn't renew my contract.

I haven't changed.

Nor have governments.

The press is all abuzz with Harper's public declarations of getting tough on crime.

Wake me when it's over.

And careful stepping over the bodies.

Heavier sentences for various ugly crimes may or may not stop bad guys in their tracks (NOT), but that's the least of our concerns.

Until police and prosecutors have real teeth in their powers to investigate and make airtight cases that will stand-up in court, and until judges are prepared to put the bad guys away without thousands of silly concessions for "time spent" and auto-parole and the like, business will continue as usual.

These photo ops are a big yawn. Too little, too late and without serious backup.

Tell me. Does one of you now feel safer?

Y & B - Good Combo