Monthly Archives: January 2019

Why School Bus Seatbelts Opens a Big Can of Worms

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I love this story on CBC about the federal government opening a task force to investigate seat belts, school bus safety and potential regulations that might follow.

It’s a big, ugly can of worms.

I won’t get distracted by the comments, especially those from Con angry WASP Yellow Jacket types that are upset about the idea of protecting our children.

God forbid, we actually try to do the right thing.

I think what a task force – a good call in my view – will begin to expose is just how badly managed our communities are and how nasty a can of worms the whole problem really is.

Think about is for a second:

  • Most school buses are owned by privately contracted services that have been soaking the public for decades without any kind of analysis of the cost/benefit to society
  •  They’re usually driven by union members, most of whom have organizational heads that refuse to adjust or adapt to potential requests to take measures to keep kids safe. They have come out swinging basically objecting to the idea of change.
  • The buses are massive, they may or may not be at full capacity and frequently add to congestion.
  • Bussing as a concept has only materialized over the last 40 years or so and are primarily a response to sprawl, poor planning for education and lack of commitment to smaller, more nimble schools.
  • New schools placed out the suburbs (clean, up to code) are more popular choices with parents than ‘downtown’ schools that may not be up to date when it comes to even basic maintenance.
  • Developers keep pushing for more post-secondary student housing in core areas, especially with smaller communities, resulting in parents and partners looking to the suburbs for quiet maintained areas to raise their kids.
  • Rural communities tend to rely on bus services more than more densely packed urban groupings of housing.
  • Parents wind up driving kids more often than not (I’m guilty of this!), again contributing to congestion on the roads.

The underlying themes? Special interest groups and sprawl are the biggest contributors to the ‘need’ for additional buses.

With this in mind, it’s important to understand that launching a task force will expose so many of these contradictions when it comes to municipal and urban/rural planning.

The solution is simple: intensify areas, encourage nodes, improve the use of older schools and update them so they are attractive, go to smaller buses and ‘grandfather’ some cases with services so that companies have an opportunity to replace their fleets with more respectable vehicles. Putting an end to multiple boards would also help parents find non-denominational schools closer to their homes.

Oh yeah … and stop listening to special interest groups. Our kids’ safety might get in the way of their profits.

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Humpty Trumpty (The Story of Sir TanTrumpALot)

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(Notes below on the VERY conspiracy about Putin owning Trump …)

Humpty Trumpty wanted a wall
Humpty Trumpty will have a great fall
All of Mueller’s queries assemble the ties
But Trumpty is the best putz that Putin can buy!

 

Donald Trump has pushed nearly one million Americans into a state of flux because he insists on having a wall that any determined person can ignore, be it by digging, jumping, flying, swimming or ignoring it in other ways.

In fact, the US economy and, by reverberance, the entire global economy, may be put on hold until Sir TanTrumpALot is impeached.

All the best anarchy that Putin’s money could buy!! This story goes deep and elicits great concern on just how easy it may have been to install a ‘mole’ as President, starting as early as 1987.

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Time to Launch a BDS Campaign Against Brazil?

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Somehow, the ultra-right-wing Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil got elected as President at the end of 2018 and it’s starting to feel like he and his government don’t mind bringing the planet to its knees.

Within a week of being inaugurated, he instituted legislation that would destroy the rights of Brazil’s indigenous people. This move came immediately after he signed a provisional measure dismantling FUNAI, Brazil’s bureau of indigenous affairs.

They have essentially declared a state of genocide against the first peoples of the Amazon.

And when these people are wiped out, the lungs of the Earth will be leveled too.

Forget the carbon tax.

This is a fight we have to be prepared to support.

The first step would be to try to negotiate or bring this up as a concern with the United Nations, but I’m suspicious that the new Brazilian government would ignore this action.

When/if that happens, we (ie. the rest of the world) must consider implementing a full-blown Boycott, Sanction and Divestment campaign in order to demonstrate to Brazil and Bolsonaro that the Amazon and its peoples are not to be trifled with.

And if we don’t, that’s it for the planet.

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Ford Lies About Gas Prices

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Doug Ford claims that his Conservative government is responsible for the decrease in gas prices.

Gee … didn’t see that coming. NOT.

Thankfully, people are trying to call him out on this complete and utter bullshit.

A provincial government does NOT control international oil prices.

Over the course of 2018 (and before Ford was, tragically, elected as Ontario’s Premier), the price of oil has dropped nearly 50% (high of $75, low of $42).

The fact that gas prices at the pump haven’t dropped more should be under scrutiny, in addition to Ford’s false claim about bringing prices down.

Unfortunately, his supporters and voters really are gullible to believe this erroneous claim.

Is there someone out there that could actually challenge Ford in court for lying so blatantly about this?

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