Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Planned degradation of public education

The first comment here reminded me of an advertising campaign begun more than 40 years ago. It's a life lesson, taught by an auto parts supplier:

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  1. This explains why teachers spend money from their own pockets for classroom supplies.

    Schools in more affluent places rely on fundraising by parents and are able to purchases necessities. Left behind though are the schools in poor areas that are most in need.

    This is shameful in a province where disaffected and troubled youth are so common. If we don't offer decent education, social supports and opportunities to develop personal skills, society will pay a heavy price, eventually.

  2. Create the problem sell the cure .

  3. For the last decade and a half BC has experienced historic growth and prosperity in most of its business sectors, asset classes and in real estate values. If we can't afford to properly fund public schools during boom-times, when will we ever? And if our government is allowed during these times to claim poverty as a (specious) premise to stick to its selective austerity agenda, then they need to be compelled to answer where the money went, and/or why they were incapable of making *all* of the citizens of BC greater beneficiaries of sustained, historic prosperity. I wish there was sincere opposition instead of what we have, because it is their responsibility to elucidate this case. It's time to hold the NDP, however inept, cowardly and rudderless, equally responsible for the unchecked, self-perpetuating recklessness that the liberals ceaselessly create.

    No one is innocent, though. We live in a reality where virtually everyone who has owned a free-standing home east of Main St. for a decade or more has won the equity lottery, and yet the result of all of that new wealth has been more Porsches, more BMW's, more Ferraris, more impoverished ethnic nannies raising BC's kids, more granite countertops, more face-lifts, more Pateks and more foie gras poutine. And sweet eff all for teachers, paramedics, nurses, or any of the other groups who are the foundation of our community. And screw the downtown eastside, too - - - proof positive that Vancouver has a world class dark side to its nature not reflected in those bogus livability rankings. Those homeless losers, and their mentally infirmed compatriots are just getting in the way of the next partially occupied skyrise targeted at foreign ownership anyways!

    The government of the last 13 years has been accused of myriad transgressions, and even some crimes; some of which many of us fear are accurate in light of often meaningful substantiation. What I haven't heard much, though, is the allegation that they are also responsible for an acceleration in the erosion of this city's collective soul - that they have assasinated this city's once amiable character. This is their true legacy, along with their feckless NDP cohorts. These are the ramifications that this style of governance inevitably foments; they're impossible to quantify or even fully catalogue - and yet equally impossible to deny. This city is meaner, more cynical, more self-absorbed, more polarised, more fearful, more arrogant, more unrealistic and greedier than ever. Welcome to Nuevo Gomorra, where everyone is simultaneously guilty and a victim, and what follows should be a mystery to no one.

    1. It is not the NDP that needs to be held to account. It is the media that goes out of their way to exclude opposition messages.

      An example: I'm told that Liberals gave Global TV access to Premier Photo Op for a piece at Mount Polley. The quid pro quo was that Global could not interview any opposition politicians. So, was that coverage fair and balanced? Hardly. That's a somewhat common dirty trick by the Premier's staff.

      LIberals have developed the art of corrupting press gallery members. A number have family members who have been hired without going through the usual civil service procedures. They got jobs without any competition from other candidates and the hiring pumped a lot of money into the family pockets. Additionally, PR people are regularly managing access to government people and information for favoured journalists. For a legislative reporter, access is key and they will do things to get it and to maintain it. They know that if they report certain information that government wants suppressed, they might become unwelcome.

      It's not simply access that affects political coverage. Media owners - like the Shaw family at Global and Corus, the New York hedge funds that control the Sun and Province or David Black and Sam Grippo who control most community papers - are philosophically attuned to maintaining the Liberals in power. When many reporters are being terminated, the ones that stay are the ones who pay attention to what the owners want. Bill Good used to say that no one told him how to do his broadcasting but clearly Bill was a survivor who knew how to please the people that mattered. No one had to tell him what to say.

      Liberals employ, at public expense, hundreds of PR people. Using tax dollars, they fund industry and fake "citizen" groups who reinforce the government points of view. They also employ a cynical army of "digital influencers" who applaud Liberals and trash everyone who's not one.

      This government spends only a tiny amount of time in the Legislature and, even there, they are almost completely unresponsive to questions. Most Liberal MLAs refuse to respond to media questions unless the interrogator is a trusted ally.

      You can call the opposition rudderless but if you read John Horgan's press releases or talk to the man, he has a very rational understanding of the province, its people and issues that matter. Media simply does not want to carry messages that don't fit their agenda.

  4. Your points are well taken and valid, but I remain convinced that the NDP is everything that I said they were in my previous comments. I have spoken with Horgan, et al, and although I believe he is a pleasant fellow, he is obviously out of his league. The opposition he "leads" remains benign. And therefore culpable.

    The realpolitik you touch on is all too real, and it goes far deeper and darker - as you know. But the known dynamics/tactics that you allude to are not invulnerable. They are not checkmate moves. They only appear to be when the opposition has a dearth of creativity and skill, or when they simply won't fight for any number of reasons. It's their job to fight, Norm. If they only would, they would quickly find out that a sleeping army is indeed a profound ally.

    I know the game first hand (finance, politics, media) and all of the influence, control-perpetuating tricks and the power of the purse is formidable when weaponized, but I see more opportunity to counter in this age of democritized, viral info than there was in the past. You, Tsakumis, Mackin, Yuile and Oberfeld (to name a few) are proof of that. Together you have put more pressure on the liberals than the opposition has for the last several years regarding many key issues. The opposition should be seeing your efforts and raising them exponentially - but they don't. *I want to know why*. This form of government is merely a dictatorship without checks and balances. They've captured most of the others. You've implied as much countless times. Have they captured the opposition, too? I am convinced that they have. Paper tigers often talk a great game, but the abdication of their role in our provence is partially why we are in the shape we're in.

    1. But nothing for RCMP TO LOOK INTO.?

      Would donations help your work Norm ( top upper left button)

    2. You make good points and I do agree that social media and alternative media allow new voices to be heard. But, it is a difficult task for individuals to stay informed and continue distributing work in meaningful form. I'm regularly prevented from publishing important material because confirming information is denied or delayed until it is no longer relevant. At last count I had 162 partly written articles, most of which will not be published.

      Even government information that is available is not usually published in easily usable form (spreadsheets for financial information). When BCiMC publishes it's list of $100 billions or so of assets, the information is out of date and devoid of detail. Elections BC, maintains an ineffective search tool on their database and has rules that allow contributions to be reported without identification of individuals involved. I know of one Alberta magnate who's given Liberals large sums through various companies that he influences but it is impossible to determine an accurate total without lengthy investigations and searches of corporate registries. One is left with the impression that they provide the information they do with reluctance, not enthusiasm.

      I disagree that Horgan is out of his league. I've been surprised at the depth of his knowledge related to the fields that interest me most. But, of course, he leads a party that is diverse, with a few remaining ideologues who will be forever most comfortable in opposition. But I like your statement that the sleeping army might be an important ally. The question is what will it take to awaken them. Perhaps it will be the closure of schools

      I thought revelations of the free ride enjoyed by resource companies would gain more traction. But, then I thought the $130 billion increase (to $164 billion) in debt and contractual commitments during Liberal years would be a major issue while the government was projecting a "debt-free BC."

      The fact is the financial interests that control the province are powerful with near unlimited resources. Stewart Muir, spouse of Christy's pal Athana Mentzelopoulos, is part of the pushback by the resource companies. His venture is the Resource Works Society, an organization that aims to tell an industry friendly story opposite to what I've been revealing.

      Muir was the ghost writer behind the riot report allegedly produced by John Furlong and Doug Keefe and he's the boy who was hired at high 6-figures to work for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, a contract made without following the rules that were in place. He's just one of a number of spinmasters employed to shape news stories in ways that matter to business groups in BC. In the old days, media had resources to sort out truth from fiction; now truth is determined by economic convenience.

  5. Good exchange between Norm and Lacho. It goes a long way to show that it is not necessarily a right or a left thing....a lot of posters here are not necessarily strong north, south, left or right....and that there is recognition the opposition is not opposing. Regardless of party affiliation, I do not believe Horgan is out of his league. I have spoken to him a few times as well. I consider myself to be reasonably aware and would have to say Horgan is on his way to creating a whole new league of people we can vote for rather than against...and get more people out to the polls in the process.

    "The opposition should be seeing your efforts and raising them exponentially". Exactly. So should the people who wish to be called credible journalists. Hopefully all who visit here are already doing that with our peers.

    I challenge our local television entertainment shows (that wish to be called "News Hour") have Horgan on every night for a short spot to comment on events they have covered.



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