Friday, October 14, 2011


Coming to a city near you, are protestors armed with signs, tents and a litany of complaints they hope someone else will do something about. And they don’t care what it’s going to cost you.

Occupy Wall Street was a grass roots movement spawned from the creative team at Adbusters magazine in Vancouver, BC Canada.

These sharp minds recognized that the American Tea Party was representing the right wing, but no one was representing the left. The revolutions of the Arab Spring seemed sexy and exciting. Everyone loves a David and Goliath story!

Starting with a beautiful photo of a ballerina on a bull and about $100,000 from shadowy benefactors, the creative team designed a poster that screamed for sex, greed and revolution.

Now in it’s fourth week of occupation, the OCW is taking the show on the road.

Occupy will be taking to the streets in Vancouver on Saturday and judging from the past performances of crowds and over/under zealous police, I fear it won’t end well.

I can understand that there is some built up angst among people on the left coast. Lotusland can’t buy a break. Pacific Rim investment has forced real estate prices through the roof. Without four jobs and a 100-year mortgage, no young person could afford a starter home. There are few jobs. Businesses are leaving Vancouver for Calgary on every available stagecoach. Tuition rates are higher than they’ve ever been. Strategic voting turned out to be a disaster.

So here we have a city full of out of work young people, whom can’t afford to go to school, represented by a Prime Minister they didn’t vote for. Of course they want to protest. I get that.

What I don’t get, is what do they hope to accomplish by bringing America’s war to our doorstep? This is not our war. Our banks didn’t fail, in fact, they’ve grown exponentially since the US bailout.

Where was the support for poor, sweet Iceland as they slipped into the economic abyss? What about Greece, Portugal and now the rest of the EU is swirling down the economic toilet, but we’re going to offer the Americans our support? Don’t you know they are the ones who started it all? People get the government they deserve and America got off pretty easy, considering the rest of the world is paying for their idiocy. So far, at least. Eventually chickens come home to roost and once the EU defaults on all that bad paper, Goldman Sachs, Bear Sterns, AIG and the Federal Reserve will be holding the shit end of that stick.

Angst for angst sake

The Vancouver occupiers say they will be protesting a laundry list of things, from oil sands to election reform to personal debt. Again, there is no clear message here, but that’s the way they roll.

What do they hope to accomplish? Well, I didn’t get a clear answer on that. In fact, I didn’t get any answer at all. Just more of the rhetoric about the right to assemble, free speech, civil disobedience, need for a conversation, baggy pants, bongs etc. etc.

Before journalism became the steaming pile of puke it is today, we had two questions we’d ask ourselves before we ran any controversial story. “Whom does it help and whom does it hurt?” “Does this serve the greater good?”

There is a cost attached to policing every protest and municipalities have very tight budgets. When you pay police, transit, sanitation unbudgeted overtime, that money has to come from somewhere.

Certain parts of the budget cannot be reduced. You need money for water, sewer, snow clearing, street sweeping. Essential services like fire, police and ambulance cant be touched. The “discretionary” part of the budget includes things like under-funded soup kitchens, women’s shelters, arts and cultural events. In Vancouver, you can throw in the safe injection site, needle exchange and free crack pipes.

This protest will hurt those who need it most and help no one. You may offer some moral support to the protestors in NYC, but you do so at the expense of your city’s needy.

The City of New York has reached the breaking point now and can no longer afford this occupation.

Queens City Councilman Peter Vallone said the discretionary budget is spent and now fears the closure of essential services.

“We’re going to spend hundreds of thousands, maybe even $1 million on this that we don’t have,” Vallone said. “Because of these protests, we might even wind up shutting down schools and firehouses because this is costing a lot of money.”

Extrapolate those costs across the US and around the world. This is an enormous waste of tax dollars, to say nothing of the wasted human effort.

Taking Occupy on the road will not only diminish Occupy Wall Street, it will diminish every legitimate protest that follows. This is not recreation, people and your angst over the election, the oil sands or the Canucks losing the Stanley Cup do not compare to the Civil Rights Movement, Tiananmen Square or the Arab Spring. I hate to burst your bubble, but if you plan to protest every time you feel disenfranchised, you will lose your audience very quickly. You’re not nearly as compelling as you think you are.

You are the 1%. Although you may feel downtrodden, you are the richest people in the world and you won’t be seeing Occupy Darfur anytime soon.

As they fumble towards sanctimonious self-satisfaction, I’d like to offer the Occupiers some advice:

  1. Proceed with peace in your heart and humility in your soul. You don’t hold any answers to your myriad of questions. You will do best to tread lightly and don’t alienate those who do. You are going to need help.
  2. Give instead of take. Along with your list of demands and manifesto, signatories should offer to repay their host city with volunteer hours equal to the amount of time of occupation. Leave the community better off than it was.

I am part of the 1% of the world’s richest and I apologize in advance to the 99% for the foolish and unnecessary waste you are about to witness in the world.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Mandate For Sleep

Hello dear readers. I’ve been resisting the urge to publish my rage here, but the results of the recent federal election has pushed me back into the blogosphere.

It was heartening to see the Canadian voters came to their senses nationally and voted in a Conservative majority, as did the Yukon and Nunavut, but once again, the protest vote prevailed in the NWT.

Yes, the NWT voters have given drowsy Dennis Bevington and the Narcoleptic Democratic Party another mandate for inaction. The Groucho Marxist can look forward to sucking up another four years of doing absolutely nothing for the people here.

Although the majority of people of the Beaufort Delta voted against Bevington, we still had a large number of protest votes at the polls. Trying to make some sense of this, I looked at the individual polls and found an explanation within the four polls in Inuvik.

Sandy Lee beat Bevington at all polls except for Poll 11. This is the area of town comprised of the town’s most affluent; the unionized government workers, the teachers and other professionals. These are the people who think they can afford to protest.

The sanctimonious and smug, who love to get together over their soy lattes and discuss the evils of the Conservative Party, or, at least, what they read on the Internet, when they were supposed to be working.

These are the politically-mute types who won’t put an orange sign on their house, because they can’t defend their decision, but will vote with a vengeance, so they can whisper their self-righteousness with their comrades during their 90-minute coffee breaks. The double Dippers who will gladly suck up their two government pensions that were only made safe by a fiscally-sound Conservative government. But you won’t hear them admit that.

The leadership of the Beaufort/Delta didn’t have that luxury. We went out in public in visible and vocal support of Sandy Lee and the Conservatives, because it was the right thing to do for our people -- most of the leadership, anyway.

Inuvik Town Councillor Clarence Wood went on the radio the day after the election, to brag about what he does best -- sitting on the fence. He admonished the rest of us for our partisanship with smug satisfaction. Kudos to Clarence, for having the guts to stick up for all the other cowards and fence sitters.

Three of four polls in Inuvik also realized we don’t have the luxury of a protest vote. These are the 100 people Northwind had to lay off last winter, the construction workers who saw only one new housing start in Inuvik last year, the business people who’ve had to board up their windows. These are the downtrodden the sanctimonious left is supposed to be helping.

Layton and Bevington love to campaign to the “working families” of Canada, but it seems the working families who are out of work, apparently don’t count.

The leadership of the Beau/Del will continue to do the work our MP is supposed to do, as we’d hate to awaken the slumbering socialist. With our new paved roads, Arctic Research Centre, new airport design for Tuk, the new community hall and youth centre in Ulukhuktok, and construction beginning this fall on the Tuk-Inuvik highway, and numerous other projects, we clearly have done quite well without Bevington.

While we are still in desperate need of a treatment centre, day care and many other things here, we will have to get in line – right behind 167 other ridings, who had the smarts to do the right thing.

Thanks for nothing, Dennis and the Dippers. You can all go back to sleep now.