Sunday, August 2, 2009

Two More Laneway Views


It is amusing to hear residents of the west side complain about a city
council being indifferent to neighbourhood concerns. It was the west
side that defeated the opportunity to adopt a ward system. They fell
for Sam Sullivan's idiotic contention that wards would make for more
expensive government. This economic ignorance is particularly galling
when manifested by the upwardly mobile.

If we had councillors elected by neighbourhoods they would be
accountable to neighbourhoods. There are dingbats who say that such
accountability would result in nimby-driven governments. Nimbyism is
a fact of life. We make a reservation at Bishops because we don't want
to sit beside a smelly homeless guy. We ask for upgrades when we fly
to get away from the steerage conditions of economy. We buy in Point
Grey because we wouldn't keep our dog on the east side, let alone live

The greatest failing of the current era is that we have allowed the
nattering class (media) to convince us that preference equals
prejudice. If I deny shelter, employment or due process to somebody
on the basis of race, religion or orientation, that's prejudice and
it's against the law. If I do that, I deserve to be punished.

If I change seats on a bus because I don't like the appearance, garb,
girth or aroma of the person beside me, that's preference. If he/she
suspects my action is based on preference, tough luck.


In all honesty and sheer frustration (at the fact that I know so many of you good people dealing with this and I have simply been unable to find the time myself this year)...

I believe this 'shoving' a by-law, which effectively causes massive restructuring of our total City, with back door / behind the scenes changes that are not made available to the public, under conditions quite contrary to the expectations of why this council was elected:

I think we should bloody well call for an impeachment! Robertson, et al, be damned! ... Is there some way that citizens can bring into question (mid term) the dealings of a council??... This one is acting (in my pea brained mind) almost to the point of illegality!?!

Further to that, calling into question Mr. Gellar's (flagrant or near??) conflict of interest in advising council both before and now after the election, I would like to have some process taken his way.

And finally, I would like someone to suggest that Mr. Brent Toderian get the royal 'boot'... There is no question that he is driving much of this agenda with absolutely no consideration to the citizens of the City. Somebody fire him and tell him to go back to where he came from (Calgary / Ottawa?), and go ahead and ruin that City instead.

Not that I dislike Kitsilano as a community, but having the whole City look like a carbon copy (and then with even more densification potential) of that area is not what this City should look like. The citizens need to be informed on what this is all coming to. The only real 'print' on the subject that has made it to the mainstream media has been Gellar's inputs on how wonderful it would all be (total conflict of interest, and WHY the media doesn't take that into consideration is just gobsmacking???).

Again, I bring up the freeway model of yesteryear. I think a lot of citizens back then initially didn't really give much thought as to whether it was a good idea or not... For the most part, all other Cities were doing it, so why not us? It took some very visionary opposition to raise the alarm. Unfortunately, this one issue came fast and furious; but, I can't understand why this has to be a done deal and never be able to undone.

There, I've vented. Thank you for your time.


"Democracy is not an outgrowth of free markets."

That is an excerpt from the final chapter of a new book called "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle."

The book is written by American war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.

Maybe that first sentence alone should be mailed to the Fraser Institute every morning on the off chance that one day they might get it.

Hedges attacks what he sees as the self-deluding and corrupt character of American society, economics and global influence today.

In the excerpt quoted in yesterday's Globe, he ties his analysis to the recent bailouts of banks and other corporations.

Hedges points out two juicy little tidbits in his way to larger issues:

"If they quit, they quit with a golden parachute. Even [General Motors CEO Rick] Wagoner is taking away $21-million.”


"Look at Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld. Many of his investors lost everything and yet he pocketed $485-million. An economic collapse does not mean only the degradation of trade and commerce, food shortages, bankruptcies, and unemployment."

Finally this,

"The free market and globalization, promised as routes to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as two parts of a con game. But this exposure does not mean our corporate masters will disappear. Totalitarianism, as George Orwell pointed out, is not so much an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia.

“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial,” Orwell wrote. “That is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.”

They have engaged in massive fraud. Force is all they have left.

There are powerful corporate entities, fearful of losing their influence and wealth, arrayed against us. They are waiting for a moment to strike, a national crisis that will allow them, in the name of national security and moral renewal, to take complete control. The tools are in place.

These antidemocratic forces, which will seek to make an alliance with the radical Christian Right and other extremists, will use fear, chaos, the hatred for the ruling elites, and the spectre of left-wing dissent and terrorism to impose draconian controls to extinguish our democracy. And while they do it, they will be waving the American flag, chanting patriotic slogans, promising law and order, and clutching the Christian cross.

By then, exhausted and broken, we may have lost the power to resist."