Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Bigger they are, the Harder they Fall

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won out. There have been tyrants and murderers and they always seem invincible but they always fall, always.

- Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Start your Engines Ladies & Gentlemen, Ready, Set, Revolution

Upping the Ante While Rome Burns

Some edited comments from Bill Tieleman's Article:

Outrageous pay raises to senior BC Liberal government bureaucrats redefines Gordon Campbell arrogance
Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column

Tuesday August 12, 2008

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Listen up: I am issuing a personal challenge to all media artists, activists, writers, bloggers and journalists out there to break out and start using their mad skillz, gifts and talents to help expose the mofos to our citizens and help win BC back for all of us. It is OUR province and we want it back. We can do this, it is within our reach and we have the ability to do this together.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Where Were You When Evil Came to BC And What did You Do to Help Stop It?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the BC Liberals latest actions as our government and I’m really at a loss to understand when “our” government became evil. They aren’t just ideologically driven, greedy and corrupt, they have now shown us in so many ways their real face, the mask has shifted and the Evil that is within is showing loud and clear. Like many people I keep thinking, well, they must have sunk us to our nadir, we have no further to go. They can’t possibly become more depraved, more lacking in conscience, or any kind of common sense, or humanity. But then they do and more people hurt and are destroyed by a government that is soulless and truly evil.

So what brought this darkness on? This “negative” vibe? Well, it’s their actions over the last while really. While we’ve all been trying to kick back and relax and enjoy a summer, of a year that is sure to be one of the hardest many of us will know, Gordon Campbell and his henchmen have been scurrying around, figuring out new ways to crush us and take even more money for their insiders and twisted allies.

On July 18th 2008, the BC Liberal government decided to create even more barriers for developmentally disabled adults and their families (if they are fortunate enough to have any family) in receiving support and intervention services from Community Living BC. With a secretive Order in Council the BC government, specifically MLA’s Rich Coleman (MSHD), Tom Christensen (MCFD) and Murray Coell (MAE&LMD) brought in an amendment to the Community Living Authority Act, which says the following:

"For the purposes of the definition of "developmental disability" in section 1 of the Act, intellectual functioning that, when tested according to one or more standardized intelligence tests by a qualifying practitioner, attains a score of 70 or less is a prescribed criterion."

What this does is creates even more doors to those who require these services to survive. These people are real. It’s the young man who “graduates” to adulthood from 20 homes in foster care, no education, abused in every way possible and diagnosed, or undiagnosed fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, PTSD, who scored 72 on his IQ test because he was in a good foster home the night before he took his test. Oh, and he doesn’t know his family and isn’t connected with his Indian band either. Where do you think he ends up? This is the girl who is diagnosed with mild mental retardation. She’s been sexually abused, raped and developed problems with alcohol and crack. She’s got depression, anxiety, had electric shock therapy and doesn’t know how to take care of herself. And she’s on her second child. Her family can’t take any more so she is on her own too.

Make no mistake, our criminal negligence and societal failure toward these individuals is All of our problem. And it should be our concern for these people and for us. But instead of creating more solutions, our “esteemed” leaders have again, very secretively and quietly set out to enrich their handpicked Deputy Ministers, Assistant DM’s and senior bureaucrats again by offering gigantic pay raises like nothing any of us will ever see in our lifetimes.

Obscene is the word being bandied about by other journalists and it really is an apt word if one examines the definition:

1. offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.
2. causing uncontrolled sexual desire.
3. abominable; disgusting; repulsive.

· Offensive to accepted standards of decency or modesty.
· Inciting lustful feelings; lewd.
· Repulsive; disgusting
· So large in amount as to be objectionable or outrageous:

On August 1st 2008, the BC Liberals set out a “Revision to the Public Service Executive Pay Framework” that told the public:

Effective Aug. 1, 2008, the maximum payable salary to deputy ministers increased from $221,760 to $299,215 and from $243,936 to $348,600 for the deputy minister to the Premier. The maximum achievable salary for assistant deputy ministers increased from $160,000 to $195,000. The salary holdback component, which is based on specific performance measures linked to leadership on building the corporate human resources of the Province, will increase from five per cent of salary to 10 per cent of salary for both deputy ministers and assistant deputy ministers.

This little tidbit was released in the usual “dead zone” of late Friday afternoon on August 7th!!! I think the Legislature would have been rockin’ in an entirely different way if taxpayers knew that when BC’s 150th Birthday was being celebrated with such zeal in Victoria on BC Day.

As Sean Holman reminded us, in his story, Meanwhile, down at the Trough, it was only in June 2006 that the BC government reviewed and “increased the maximum payable salary for deputy ministers "from $203,500 to $221,760 and from $223,850 to $243,936 for the deputy minister to the Premier." And they said it would be another four years, what’s the rush now.

As citizens of BC we have a right to know what these folks have done to sing for their supper already, let alone this disgusting act of treason to the rest of the citizens in BC, especially those being failed in the most heinous and negligent way by these same Ministries these folks head. Pick a ministry, or a portfolio, there is a wake of disaster, failure and the pall of death and dying throughout the province, sectors and industries due to the neo-liberal policies of the BC Liberals and I think the public is about done.

And really, if we look at the Executive Compensation by the BC Public Service, especially the Measures, there isn’t a reason in the world for any of these folks to get a dime more out of us. Since there are somewhere between 20- 33 Deputy Ministers, and scads of ADM’s, perhaps as many as 80 (there are variations in numbers of both) scattered throughout our government, why don’t we have full disclosure of their complete compensation packages? The Summary Compensation Table is missing quite a few names there and we deserve to know what they’re making now and what they’ve done to deserve it.

I guess I’ve been trying to figure out my outrage, why the stink of betrayal wafts so deeply from Victoria and my complete and utter contempt for those who suck us all dry. What I’ve come up with is the horror of seeing the dream, hope and fortune of living in BC (and Canada) turning into an epic nightmare. For generations, my family has been born, lived, worked, and contributed to making our province and nation one of the best places on earth. Not in the BS self-serving re-branding that is the Liberals way. In the real way, in the way that we could all be proud to be from and live in BC and share in it’s bounty and move forward into the future together. Now I’m not so na├»ve as to think everyone has always had it good and the BC Liberals started poverty, etc. However, they have sunk to depths I did not know possible for a sitting government. Not dissimilar to the Bush-Cheney American government. I somehow think that is not a coincidence. Geopolitics are at the heart of what’s happening in BC and Canada. But, this BC government elite chooses the ways to rape, pillage and how to divvy up the spoils amongst themselves and I guess they’re going for the gusto to reward their faithful flunkies while they have the chance.

I say since Gordon Campbell will be reviewing Jessica McDonald’s work performance to assign her new wage, which could give her a raise of $100,000. And Ms. McDonald in turn will be reviewing deputy ministers, hordes of ADM’s and others in the provincial government to determine whether they warrant a pay raise of $77,000, we the public should get a chance to weigh in on that. I think we know better than anyone how these “top decision-makers and leaders” have been doing. We can see it on our streets, in our courts, our child protection and community living systems, in the homeless shelters, the mothballed pulp mills, hospitals, facilities, forests and dying towns. Let’s see the proof and work product and we’ll make the decision, deal, or no deal. It’s our money anyways.

While I drift to sleep tonight, I will be praying for all those boys and girls, women and men who are out there, alone and with nothing and no-one to care about them, their safety and wellbeing. I will also reflect on the evil that has caused their pain and marginalization. Because once we have seen evil, stared it in the face and seen it for what it is, there is no going back. The only thing we can do when we’ve met evil is to get rid of it. Nothing else will work. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a province where we lead the country in child poverty for five years in a row, where more and more people become homeless, and our government moves to restrict support to mentally handicapped people, among the many other ways they are failing all of us. I can think of a dozen better ways to spend $4 million of our hard-earned dollars than upping the salaries of folks who have no defined job description, no known work product, no proven results, unless you count all of the ways that the BC Liberal government has made sure our province is no longer a place for anyone but the elite to succeed, or prosper.

The Definition of Evil

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
e·vil Audio Help - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ee-vuh l] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–adjective
1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.
2. harmful; injurious: evil laws.
3. characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.
4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.
5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.
–noun
6. that which is evil; evil quality, intention, or conduct: to choose the lesser of two evils.
7. the force in nature that governs and gives rise to wickedness and sin.
8. the wicked or immoral part of someone or something: The evil in his nature has destroyed the good.
9. harm; mischief; misfortune: to wish one evil.
10. anything causing injury or harm: Tobacco is considered by some to be an evil.
11. a harmful aspect, effect, or consequence: the evils of alcohol.
12. a disease, as king's evil.
–adverb
13. in an evil manner; badly; ill: It went evil with him.
—Idiom
14. the evil one, the devil; Satan.

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Big pay hikes for B.C.'s top bureaucrats Friday, August 08
Lindsay Kines, Victoria Times Colonist. Published: Friday, August 08, 2008.

Leyne column: Plenty of cash for the top bureaucrats
Les Leyne, Victoria Times Colonist. Published: Friday, August 08, 2008

B.C. bureaucrats get huge pay raise

Consequences from Campbell's Obscene Pay Hikes
David Schreck. Strategic Thoughts. August 9, 2008.