Excited Delirium

Stories about Excited Delirium, the Shock Economy and a little fiction here and there.

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    Municipal Vote Thoughts: Don’t Promise to Run a City Like a Business!

    A City is NOT a business.


    The people that use the ‘I’ll run it like a business’ mantra have run too many businesses (probably into the ground or not in Canada) to understand and appreciate that not everyone thinks and acts like a ‘businessperson’.

    It’s true.

    There are bureaucrats.  These pockets of people who make our governments work have acquired such a negative tone as a result of decades of right-wing politicians and lobbyists attacking them, but they have an armada of endearing qualities that I actually admire.  They are patient, knowledgeable, usually helpful (especially when you treat them like decent human beings), connected, grounded, responsible and passionate about public services.

    There are social workers.  There are teachers and educators.

    There are employees of the public services, including a diverse range of talents and demands, like police, health unit workers, firemen (and women), garbage collectors (those that haven’t been privatized).

    There are city planners and developers that must account for different situations that a typical ‘business’ environment may not allow.

    In my experience, none or few of these people respond well to the authoritarian and controlling dictates of the business-person mindset.  In fact, they have chosen their vocations specifically because they do NOT want to work for a large corporation.  For those of you who have worked in ‘businesses’ let me remind you that it ain’t pretty at the best of times, so I hope you appreciate what I’m saying.

    Corporations are simply reflections of people, usually very bad people.  As people rise to the top, corporations tend to start to reflect the absolute worst traits that humanity has to offer.  Greed.  Control.  Authority.  Inflexibility.  Manipulation.  Reckless regard for the world around us.  Limited Liability.  Those that engage in charities only do so because they calculate the marketing benefit to it.  If they do otherwise, they’re not a good business.

    With this in mind, why the hell would I ever vote for someone that promises to run a City (or Province or Country) like a business?

    I’ve had enough of this rhetoric and will ask the simple questions:

    • What is your public service experience?
    • What is your public service education or training?
    • Describe the different types of groups that you work with and your thoughts on working with unique groups of people.

    If you don’t have public experience, you really shouldn’t be running for public office.  It’s that simple.

    Canada’s Capital Punishment Foreign Policy

    An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind – Gandhi

    Stephen Harper and his cabal of petty warlords have declared war on the world.

    If you listen to John Baird and his ilk, we must engage in carpet bombing and killing thousands of innocent civilians because Canada now lives by an ‘eye for an eye (and some)’ foreign policy.

    This contradicts our national policy of (a) innocent before proven guilty and (b) imprisonment for crimes committed as opposed to the death penalty.

    There has been no judge, jury or decision from a larger body such as the United Nations, hobbled by its owners into being a useless institution where people bitch and argue.

    And now that Canada has declared war on the world, let’s hope the world doesn’t fight back.

    Stephen Harper’s War For Oil

    Stephen Harper has eased his tone a little, but he is most certainly a Dog of War.  Or should I say, frantic puppy?

    In the run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, he and his fellow Reformer / Nazis were all too quick to label Chretien et al pinkos, commies and traitors for not supporting the US-lead and highly wasteful attack in the Middle East.

    And today, without invitation from the US, Stephen Harper is letting loose his puppies of war and is insisting that we rise up and defeat the Holy Terror of Islam known as ISIS – NEW IMPROVED TERROR from the US for the Middle East (TM).

    And why?  Because it’s the right thing to do?


    Because it provides yet another justification for Dirty Oil from his own backyard of Alberta.

    (Ad pitch from the PMO, with soft, silky tone in voice and blue-sweatered garb to match):  ‘Why buy oil that funds NEW IMPROVED TERROR when you can buy non-violent petroleum from SteveCo?’

    It’s all part of the plan to get what Stephen Harper wants:  a vein for his junk.

    Fed Auditor Fired for Outing Goldman Sachs for Conflicts

    Goldman Sachs has pulled the strings again with the Fed:  an auditor with the Fed (which is not a public body, but is owned by the banks) was fired because she was bold enough to remind her bosses at the Fed that Goldman had engaged in very clear actions of conflict of interest.

    Read more here.


    Sigh … Who are the Extremists?

    David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, has joined a growing league of morons who think any opposition to the military madness against Islam or topics like 9/11 Truth, environmentalism and common sense makes one a ‘terrorist’.

    Sigh … this blatant ‘with us or against us’ stupidity will get us all killed.

    Why do we keep letting this happen?

    How is it that people of supposed credibility can get away with painting so many millions of people with a very broad ‘anti’ brush?

    Judging a (Municipal Candidate’s) Book by Their (Technological) Cover?

    Yes, I am going to judge candidates by what they tell me about their appreciation for technology.  Not by what they say, but by their communications tools.

    I have a very simple litmus test for the candidates that I will choose for the upcoming municipal election:  are they technologically competent, or at least using best practices when it comes to basic (BASIC!) best practices when it comes to their digital presence.

    This litmus test is important to me for the following reasons:

    1. Do they have a basic appreciation of what it means to me that they are technologically competent?
    2. IMHO, any candidate anywhere who fails to comprehend and exhibit basic web and digital best practices are clearly ‘of the past’.  They are dinosaurs that do not comprehend that the future is happening right now.
    3. Not having a web site and various social media pages is a fail.  Period.

    Here are a few lists of candidates in various regions:

    Ottawa:  http://ottawa.ca/en/city-hall/your-city-government/elections/mayor

    London:  http://www.london.ca/city-hall/elections/list-of-candidates/Pages/Mayor.aspx

    Oshawa:  http://www.oshawa.ca/election/2014/candidates-registered.asp

    Toronto:  http://app.toronto.ca/vote/campaign.do

    Windsor:  http://www.citywindsor.ca/cityhall/municipal-election/pages/municipal-election.aspx

    To pass my litmus test, here are my basic requirements of expectations:

    1. A web site that clearly identifies their name
    2. Similar social pages that do the same
    3. A contact email address that is something like ‘info@candidatename.ca’
    4. A toll-free or at least local phone number for the campaign office
    5. Some experimental attributes, such as an app or an open feedback page for voters to register opinion and (gasp!) ideas

    For Ottawa, several candidates had web sites listed, but only two had email addresses that matched my criteria:  Mike Maguire and Jim Watson.

    In the case of London, only one candidate has what I deem to be a functional political email address and web page:  Matt Brown.

    Oshawa:  3 candidates had web sites and 3 used proper emails.

    And Toronto?  Well, first the City has an app.  Cool.  The City also lists all candidates on their web page.  I searched ‘F’ and because neither of the Fords have web sites listed (while more than half seem to have invested prudently in the ‘modern, wacky stuff called the Interweb’), I would not vote for them, using my basic criteria.

    And there you have it folks.  Try this little test with your local candidates.  If they can’t express with their marketing and basic appreciation of technology, I believe that they are unacceptable as a candidate.

    Ageist?  Perhaps my views could be interpreted that way.

    Snobby.  Damn straight.

    But I will NOT vote for someone who’s ‘old school’ and who sees the web and technology as a threat and not an opportunity.

    World War III Started By Lies

    It’s Sunday, it’s a beautiful morning and I have to purge these dirty, ugly about American, Stevie and ISIS so that I can go out and enjoy the rest of my day.

    So, I hate to be a negative nilly, but I’m pretty sure Obama declared WW III this past week at the UN conference and our hapless leader chimed right in, begging to be a part of any fight.

    ISIS – the ubiquitous, unnamed yet named organization that’s the “NEW IMPROVED” terrorism – has become the target of endless bombings, attacks and destruction at the hands of America, guaranteeing an endless war on Islam.

    Stephen Harper was quick to pile on, even to a point where Americans were reminding us that he offered to join the party and wasn’t asked to provide supplies and tools for attacks.

    In this report on Global News, the Americans deny asking Canada for support in any mission related to ISIS, and yet the Harper government has repeatedly lied about this simple fact, claiming that they were asked.

    Why the lies, Steve?  What’s up your sleeve and how are you planning on turning this into a campaign strategy for 2015 because, after all, we know that’s the ONLY thing that matters to you.

    Do you need a war on the NEW & IMPROVED TERROR known as ISIS in order to scare us into thinking ‘you’re the only one who’s able to run the country during a time of instability and frightening villains who are threatening our way of life …’

    Blah blah blah.  Same old rhetoric from your playbook of treating us like idiots?

    What’s truly disturbing about all of this is that World War III has been declared while we all sleep and the targets were manufactured by the Americans in the first place!

    OK folks … go back to sleep.  Keep working in your slave jobs to pay taxes to be funneled into the defense/offense machine that will kill thousands of people in the Middle East.  All in the name of ‘peace’ in the Middle East.

    The CRTC, Netflix and Content

    This article highlights the interrogation and ‘Spanish inquisition’ type tactics of the CRTC when it comes to Netflix trying to represent themselves at hearings concerning content distribution in Canada.

    Here are my thoughts:  CRTC, go f yourself after reading this comment:

    Quote:  “(That’s) a heck of an answer for someone who takes hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Canadian economy.”

    Do we ask the same thing of Costco, WalMart, Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe’s and hundreds of other conglomerates that sponge billions from the Canadian economy?  Do we force them to disclose how many widgets they sell and threaten to tax them out of the country if they sell apples from Chile or garden hoses from China?

    I can’t get over the audacity of the CRTC grilling an innovator like Netflix.  If you don’t know, the CRTC works for Rogers, Bell and other media monopolies in Canada, so it’s easy to understand the reluctance Netflix to reveal any data concerning its business as it will just wind up in the hands of its competitors.

    The CRTC does NOT represent the interests of Canadians simply interested in content at a reasonable price.

    The CRTC has outgrown its usefulness.  Time to shut it down before they bring about another tax, only to hand it over to their friends at Bell and Rogers.

    Meanwhile,  we accept a known Fascist with open arms into the so-called pit of Canadian democracy without asking about the coup that they accomplished in the Ukraine.

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    And the NDP Just Lost the Next Election …

    Promising a $15 per hour minimum wage.

    There are roughly 2 million small businesses – those that are owned by one or two people – operating in Canada.  Given the right environment, they will hire more people, but increasing the minimum wage 50% will force them to re-evaluate their business.

    I hate to play into the hands of Con / Libertarians, but a big hike in minimum wage is a bad idea, especially now as all political parties gear up for a year-long battle to win the hearts and minds of Canadian voters.

    I have some advice for Mulcair:  find ways to support small businesses in Canada.  They’re the next best thing to local that you’ll ever be able to get (not like those international conglomerates that pretend they’re ‘local’).

    Give incentives, expand write-offs, promise to reduce audits and do anything else you can to make it easy for people to start businesses in Canada.  When they’re making money, minimum wages matter for shit.

    Another alternative:  co-ops.

    Co-operatives will continue to draw attention as they provide a real and genuine way for workers to OWN their place of employment instead of depending on it.  There’s a massive difference compared to people being serfs for non-caring and non-thinking corporations.

    What Tom Mulcair and the NDP have to understand is that all of this comes down to a few simple descriptions:

    1. People will never fire themselves.
    2. People need to be making money before they hire anyone else.

    These are simple lessons for the NDP.

    If they don’t pay attention to them before the next election, I’ll have one less choice to make.

    Pick a Ford: Both Are Lemons

    Someone please run with this line so that the public will associate both Rob and Doug Ford with being a lemon for Toronto’s public policy and mayoral race.