Monday, May 20, 2013

Edmonton Election 2013

I thought I would dedicate my 90,000th tweet to some thoughts on the upcoming civic election. Parts of this come from my own personal observations, parts from discussions with thousands of other people, and some from family members and close friends.

I've also tried to balance some sound logic, combined with wisdom.. and a little bit of help (okay, I lied..a lot of help) from reading a most excellent book by the renowned author John Perkins, entitled "Hoodwinked". Hint.. google or bing "hoodwinked john perkins" and perhaps check out some of the various entries and youtube items.

As I write this post, the only one to step up for the Mayor's position has been Kerry Diotte. I personally like the approach Kerry takes, because he has a desire to listen to anyone. Just because you don't live in his riding doesn't seem to matter. He is one of the few people that wants to stand up for doing things better, rather than just pushing things through. Some heckle him for his supposed "lack of participation" in council, but his *logic* is sound. Yes, he didn't like the arena deal. He's not opposed to an arena, just a deal where taxpayers pay literally everything, and get nothing back. Sure, you could argue "but the city as a whole will" and that is very questionable.. Everywhere this type of project has been done, under the type of terms of this project.. has failed. To think we could be the 'universal exception' is insane. And I've heard he wants to re-think the bike lanes. Putting aside the need or not... the WAY they have been done is stupid. And this again points to just how many STUPID things council, administration, and planners have done. Anyway, as a side note.. there is this "but he doesn't do anything, he sits there and tweets all the time". And much of that comes from his assistant, not from him..

In my humble opinion, someone needs to reign in the insanity of stuff happening, because for sure we can't keep doing stupid things that waste money.

As far as Mayor Mandel goes, I doubt he will run again. Term after term has been full of lies after lies and deception combined with misdirection. A lot of people would like to see him charged criminally.

Next in the list would be Don Iveson. He's said he will not run for council again, but will run for Mayor. Don is the cute guy with the pretty wife, the "picture perfect" scenario that people love to believe in. And many think that the folks that back Mandel will pass their financial support to Don.Well... you will probably find (sadly, not until after the election) that a lot of huge corporate support will be behind anyone that was "pro arena" on council, because those corporations have a vested interest in seeing what THEY want done and for the most part.. that means what is good for them, not for you and me. Many have suggested Don will be a bought and paid for Mayor. That's not what I want. Top that off with his statement about the arena deal (paraphrased by me) suggesting that this deal was the best deal "we" could make. And he is right. It is. Except it's for Katz.. not for the city and certainly not for the taxpayers. But don't take my word for it, ask any valid unbiased economics professional and they will all say the same thing. Taxpayers have been screwed. There is also the issue with the airport. Don tweeted a "booyah" comment (around last summer I think) and I responded to him that he shouldn't be so happy because a baby died (likely) as a direct result of the best runway being closed. He had the nerve to respond by cutting ME down and accusing ME of trying to take advantage of the death. Well Don, facts are facts. Council was made aware of this baby's death and your attempt to me me look like the bad guy in it just smacks of your morals. Typical political pondering with words... insult the people.. to hell with the baby... who cares... *Jerk.

Who else will run, I have no clue on. So the next step would be the council side of things.

For the most part, most of those left on council are nothing more than "yes men" for Mandel. I have refereed to them as being "lap dogs" because they seem to come at the beck and call of the Mayor, and play 'fetch the stick with the message I wrote on it that I want you to say for me'.

Kimmie is a joke. She says she asks the "tough questions", and I guess asking what time dinner is served is pretty hard. (joking).. All you need to to is look at council transcripts and see she has been full of the "nudge nudge wink wink" things involving the CFO and City Manager. (side note.. both need to be fired when a new council comes in.. my opinion of course.)

Loken is another joke.. and another proven liar. Look at his election promises from before (I never really paid attention because he is not 'my' person, but the facts are out there) and from my own personal experience in dealing directly with him, he has lied to me. Again, all of that has been posted before. Not that long back, Loken was pissed at me because I was telling the truth. Not something that I had been screaming at him directly for days and days on end. Just the odd statement here and there. Many are aware of the thread, and he was forced to apologize "generically" but he never did apologize to me. Oh no.. The forever classy Mr. Loken decided that he would abuse his position as a council member and "suggest" to the police that I was a threat. And of course the police called to investigate, and harassed me over this. FOIP records from both EPS and the City show this. The cops for the most part (paraphrased again) knew his complaint was 'brain dead' but I got hassled none the less. Whats the matter Dave? You can't take the truth so you abuse the process to get your digs in? What a failure you are as a council member and as a human being. So petty, so pathetic..

There are a few on council who apparently have been 'bribed'.. (a term told to me by a trusted source within the City) with various things. Its been said that one council member was given the Mayors trip to China, in exchange for his arena vote. Circumstantial evidence would appear to imply that, since this council member came out with a huge "why we should" just before the trip..

I am not that totally aware of the others, but I have had much experience with my own council member, which is Caterina. Tony has got to be one of the biggest jokes I've ever seen.The lip service from him and his office is mind boggling to say the least. I've been after him for YEARS to set up an appointment and sit down with a coffee to discuss issues in my ward. I'm still waiting. .. A few years back, the city just showed up and covered over our concrete sidewalk with asphalt with zero warning. A complete waste of money, and I did complain about it. Someone came out and said "look, this will last for years" and I politely told them they were full of shit (again, paraphrased). Naturally, the next year it has started to fall apart and now its pretty much in a worse state than it was before... Anyway, the taxes for asphalt are less than for concrete.. and I've complained to Tony several times. Nothing has ever been done, and he has never once even returned any of my phone calls. So we keep paying more than what we should. And he clearly could care less. Add that in with his swishy-washy stance on the arena... Bottom line, you know what they say about how useful tits on a board are. Yep, that's my Tony. You are just another one of the many that do not deserve to be in the position you are in. I hope you are looking for another job, my friend..

Again.. please.. if you are going to comment on this, and start giving me crap about how out to lunch I am and that I don't have a clue what's going on.. I remind you, I am not a kid... at 59 years old I have been around the block several times, and I have way more life experience under my belt, in situations and conditions that no normal human being should ever have to live through.And I remind you... until you have read "Hoodwinked"... well.. then you just don't know.

Ignorance is bliss. It's your choice on staying that way, or looking for the real truth. Bottom line is, if you don't vote with wisdom, or you don't vote at all... you are part of the problem, not the solution. I simply ask you to open your eyes, and remove the blinders. I will not be upset if your opinion differs from mine, AFTER you see the real truth. And if you don't get that "New and Improved" really means that we changed the product (now its new) and 'improved' means we have cut down on the quality and/or quantity (we make more profits, hence 'improved') .. then you are guilty of being gullible to marketing.

You are the horse. .. Over there is the water .. I could take you there ... only you can decide if you want to drink.

P.s. - arena - maybe it will generate a lot. It probably won't, but that remains to be seen. What is true, is that Katz has been given a gift that will probably exceed in $600 million in personal profits for his own pocket. And for that, you get to have a nice warm fuzzy feeling. That is.. until the projects prove to be false in 20 years down the road, and you get stuck with a major tax hike to pay the outstanding bill. Kinda like pretty much every other arena deal done in North America has turned out. And don't be swayed by all of the 'announcements' of development which never showed their heads... until AFTER the last council meeting. If these projects really had ANY merit of truth, they would have ALL been brought forward a long time ago in order to show their support. Once again, this is nothing more than a slight of hand, preplanned marketing tactic.

Oh.. wait.. just like every other deal as well.. we are the exception to that.. Right? We must be. Our politicians have promised we will be...

Let's also not forget, the Provincial Government has a huge responsibility here to listen to the people, and to modify the MGA from it's vastly outdated rules... The people need a voice. And they continue to not allow that to happen. I patiently wait for someone to prove me wrong... but I kind of doubt the people will be allowed to speak. I mean after all, we can't let a poor billionaire lose out on 600 million dollars more in profits, can we..

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

So Depressed

Ever had one of those days when the things you really believe in to be good for pretty much all of your life, turn out to be something other than what you expected? Well, today was one of those days for me... not because of the arena, at least... directly.

But because it seems like what you were lead to believe in for integrity and standing up for what would appear to be the right thing all of a sudden has been flushed down the drain.

Tomorrow afternoon (Thursday May 16th), I will be saying an (unpleasant) good bye to something that I grew up with. We were hatched in the same year, that being 1954, and we grew together. I watched you all the time, I appeared with you to celebrate, and I secretly financially supported the good things that I thought you stood for. And maybe you still do those "good things", but I can no longer tolerate the various paths that you use to sustain all of the things you do.

I stood by you, in thick and thin, because you told me over and over how much you cared about the City that I live in, and the people that live there. You said you had the highest of morals and standards. You said you were beholding to no one.

Sadly, I now question what you told me, for over the past year... I've watched you slip into the dark shadows of deceptive story telling. The stories you tell me are now more skewered with a marketing slant, as it appears that your new owners are gently guiding you away from the truth. You seem to prefer to a more slanted truth, instead of the reality that every day people are able to see.

Yesterday you had a golden opportunity, albeit a little time restricted, to bring some truth out but you did not. I had hoped that today, you would have stood up and told the story that the majority of people have been saying for a long time. And you did not. I even went so far as to ask you privately, if you would tell this story but your response back was "we are more concerned about the questions being leading...".

THAT shocked me. Leading? Seriously?? Yet at the same time you have no problems what so ever about telling (and perpetuating) all of the other misleading facts... Something I've also been talking to you privately about because I wanted "us" to endure. I wanted to help you make your world shine.

Today, you let me down. Not only me, but hundreds of thousands of other people as well. You made it clear that your morals and integrity were but mere marketing words. You've showed me that your caring seems to be limited by the corporate world instead of being what I thought you were. Truth tellers.

I now see a biased truth, and I'm sorry... I know in the over all picture of life I am pretty much meaningless to your world. I doubt losing me will affect you at all.

And that is perhaps the saddest of all, because I believed in you. Or rather, I used to.

Tonight was the last night I will watch CTV Edmonton. Not your news, not your shows, not your twitter feeds. Tomorrow after noon I will start the process of unfollowing the people and station that I cared about for 59 years, because I no longer have faith in your expression of being honest.

For what it's worth, the twitter world exploded over the private poll this lady did. And probably the most simplest and unbiased questions I have ever seen. Certainly a lot more honest than anything the City has ever done. You dropped the ball on this one and showed me your true colors.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Private citizen Environics Poll

The following poll pictures have been taken from a poll paid for by a private citizen who seems to be upset over the pillage and plunder by several on City Council. The information presented here came to me originally as an excel spread sheet file, which doesn't fit within the realms of an item that I can embed within this post.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Political Manipulation

For the most part, I would suspect the typical Edmonton and area residents have not paid much attention to the Capital Region Board. According to the Government of Alberta's website, this board was set up to "enable the 25 area municipalities to develop a long range plan to manage growth over the next 50 years", and seems to have been started in the spring of 2008.

This board falls under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Municipal Affairs office, and as stated, "the boards immediate priority is to create a long range plan on regional land use and infrastructure such as roads and transit". .. Whoa! Hey, what a great idea, yes? Sounds to me like a concept where Edmonton's smaller communities can work together with the City, so things like connecting roads or sewer and water facilities and such can be expanded. At least in theory, this would seem like what this board would be all about.

Municipal Affairs falls under the umbrella of Minister Doug Griffiths and the Mandate Letter dated June 4th, 2012 starts off with

Albertans have given this government a clear mandate — change how government works to better reflect their needs and the realities of the province in today's world. Delivering that change will require listening to Albertans, increasing transparency and accountability, and building strong collaborative relationships with all our partners. This letter outlines my expectations of you as Minister (completed in original) and a member of our Cabinet team in serving Albertans so they can reach their full potential.
 and ends with
We can achieve great things for our province if we work together with Albertans, delivery agencies and the private and nonprofit/voluntary sectors. I welcome you to Cabinet and look forward to working together with you to deliver the results that help Alberta and Albertans reach their full potential.
Note the part about "private and nonprofit/voluntary sectors".

So tell me, just how the hell does a downtown arena that is literally 100% taxpayer paid, and every penny of profits of any kind (concerts, games, food, parking, etc) going into the private pockets of a billionaire... qualify? Private for profit corporate welfare...

Every where along this road, the rules of the items setup by this Government to deal with "things" have been twisted and turned away from the original intentions. This CRB clearly seems to be one of them, and the other is the CRL (community revitalization levy). Here in Edmonton we have the Fort Road CRL, a very small area designed to bring people to live within a few feet of the train tracks and LRT station (yea I mean... who would want to live there right?) plus the Quarters CRL (there are a lot of questions on that idea too) and now the downtown arena CRL. The one where the City Administration folks have skewered every possible report to say how much this will bring in, when historically throughout North America, every other report has shown the original reports to be completely wrong. And to boot, the City has already implied it will be using the funds for the arena and not for "everything else" it was supposed to cover.

But hey, we are Edmonton, we can do it when no other place around has been able to achieve. I mean, we must be able to right, because after all our civic politicians and administration have said so! ... *cough*

And now it seems like the rules have been manipulated once again with the CRB,in addition to the CRL, and the Minister just says "it is within the rules". And to that all I can say is the rules are flawed. The entire purpose of both the CRL and the CRB are being manipulated by technicalities and as long as the technicalities are complied with then everything is fine.

Really? Are you kidding me? OH MY GOD!

To the Minister... please... get back with the spirit of the programs. There are things in all of this that CLEARLY violate the spirit of the intentions. I've asked on several occasions for "stuff" to be fixed within the MGA, some really bottom line common sense ideas. If you have not noticed, the social media world is really REALLY mad right now. Ya ya, we have a few people forming a group that has been saying, or perhaps even demanding tax dollars be GIVEN to a billionaire. And of course no one seems to be objecting to the complete conflict of interest with the City Manager being a prime part of this lobby group. The Premier has dictated that the Ministers are supposed to listen to the people, the needs of the people. The every day common people.

Not to the needs of the rich.

So my question is, when will you and your government start to do this?

Taxpayer dollars are for essentials.. Roads, hospitals, education... Not for making the rich richer. You must deny both the CRL (because the application is based on fallacy and wishful thinking instead of truths) and the CRB, because the downtown arena has nothing to do with inter-community roads and utilities needs.

Yes, the rich will complain. But you will end up being the hero for the normal people... And the normal people could use a hero right about now.