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Elizabeth May: Just Another Self-Serving Politician

August 23rd, 2016 · 7 Comments

Elizabeth May is now just another example of why so many voters don’t respect politicians, don’t believe them, don’t think they have very high principles … and don’t vote.

May has announced … despite the Green Party’s lurch to the extreme far left and it’s deliberate new policy singling out of the only democracy in the Middle East … Israel … for a hateful discriminatory total boycott of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE  emanating from that nation … that she will stay on as Leader.

Let’s be very clear.

That resolution was not just a protest or condemnation of a specific Israeli policy, but a call for a TOTAL boycott of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to do with the country. That would ban ALL Israeli officials, Israeli businesses, Israeli products,  Israeli cultural groups, Israeli environmentalists, Israeli agricultural experts, Israeli scientists and Israeli educators from any official activities or access to Canadian stores, meetings, conferences, conventions, campuses, or  any other gathering, where the Greens had a say.

(But don’t expect any Greens to be tossing out their cell-phones and of their other high-tech electronics made with technology developed in Israel.)

How ironic that as all this has been unfolding, Amnesty International reported that MORE THAN 17,000 people have been killed ..many of them tortured …in Syrian jails since 2011.  Read about it:  https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/08/harrowing-accounts-of-torture-inhuman-conditions-and-mass-deaths-in-syrias-prisons/

That of course, is on top of the 500,000 Syrian people who have been bombed and gassed and artilleried and just plain shot to death  during the same period …or the FOUR MILLION Syrians who have fled their country to save their lives.

But NO RESOLUTIONS from the Greens calling for a boycott  of Syria or Syrians!

Greens policy still WELCOMES to Canada Syrian officials, Syrian businesses, Syrian products, Syrian cultural groups and Syrian educators to meetings, conferences, conventions, campuses, or  any other gathering. … no problem!

And let’s also not forget the HORRIBLE RECORDS of Russia and China of not only forcefully  occupying other lands (Ossetia, Georgia; Crimea; Moldova; Tibet; Mongolia … but then deliberately obliterating the local culture and anyone who dares to object.

But NO GREEN resolution boycotting RUSSIA or CHINA!

Just boycott the Jewish state.

DISGRACEFUL!   DISCRIMINATORY!  HATEFUL!

The move so perturbed Elizabeth May she said she was considering resigning as Green party leader.

That would have been the principled, honourable thing to do.

But in the end, May decided to keep her job.

In all my 38 years covering politics at every level in Canada, I always particularly admired Council members, MLAs, MPs … even Cabinet Ministers enjoying the perk s and privileges and pay of higher office … who stepped away over PRINCIPLES.

Blair Lekstrom, Paul Hellyer, Michael Chong, Suzanne Blais-Grenier, Brent Rathgeber and Joseph Comuzzi are just a few who come to mind. I certainly did not agree with all of their opinions/stances … but I believe our democracy is BEST served by elected officials who STAND BY their principles and their constituents’ interests  and are willing to pay the price …  literally … for doing so.

Too many politicians these days promise to do that before they get elected … but soon after become little more than party and/or government puppets …. more interested in ADVANCING and PRESERVING  their own status, positions, pay and pensions ….  than the views or interests of their constituents …. their principles be damned!

Elizabeth May, in my view, has now shown she’s just another one of those.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alert of any new topics on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam, no fees … just keeping it real on BC, Canadian and World politics/issues!)

→ 7 CommentsTags: British Columbia · National

Rio Olympics $12 BILLION (U.S.) Obscenity

August 21st, 2016 · 19 Comments

Marie Antoinette would have really enjoyed the Rio Olympic Games … lots of jousting, battles of the best, daily proclaiming of new champions … all amidst a flurry of feasting and festival celebrations … in well-protected forts, of course, surrounded by thousands of soldiers, well away from the ugliness that is REAL life of the peasants outside.

In fact, I think I may have spotted Marie, seated with her husband Louis XVI in the VIP Box, right next to Pat Hickey, head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) as well as the European Olympic body, and also sat on the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) …you know, the guy arrested over alleged illegal sales of millions of dollars worth of tickets for the Games.

Think I’m being facetious?  No … just accurate.  Read this tale from the Winnipeg Free Press of  yet another disgraceful excess at the Rio Games: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/sports/olympics/as-rio-relies-on-free-labour-ioc-execs-get-900-per-diems-389925001.html

Amazing! IOC officials getting $900 a day per diem … ON TOP of their no-doubt luxury accommodation, chauffeur driven cars  etc. … a veritable let-them-eat-cake existence in the midst of a very needy society.

The saddest truth … VERY LITTLE of the billions taken in by the IOC go to the athletes!

Read what The Washington Post found: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/olympic-executives-cash-in-on-a-movement-that-keeps-athletes-poor/2016/07/30/ed18c206-5346-11e6-88eb-7dda4e2f2aec_story.html.

Truth is the Olympics have NOT changed much from the downhill slide it began 20 years ago … and are still a disgrace of excess, corruption, and  are more about MONEY, TV RIGHTS, MARKETING AND EVEN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS …  than about the purity of Sport and fair competition.

Athletes with a proven record of drug use were allowed to compete; a country with a proven record of organized encouragement of drug-using by its athletes and even secretly changing test results at a previous Games through a hole built into the test-results lab, being allowed to take part; cheating and/or incompetent judges, who stunk up the place more than any competing athletes; and …worst of all … a HORRIBLE, EMBARRASSING EXCESS OF EXPENDITURES in and by a country that can’t even afford to adequately treat the stinking sewage that flows into its creeks, rivers and ocean.

The official figures claim the Brazil Olympics cost $4.6 Billion U.S. for sports-related facilities (current estimates are that final figures will run as much as 50% higher!); plus another $7.4 Billion U.S. for other Games-related projects … $12 Billion U.S. …. for a two-week extravaganza in one of the poorest nations of South America.

Security costs for the 85,000 security officials, police and army brought out to protect Marie, Louis and others rich enough (or lucky enough to have some government or agency pay for them) to attend the Brazil Games will add another $200 Million U.S.

This in and by a country so poor and in the depths of such a depressing recession over the past five years that: millions of Brazilians have lost their jobs; government services have been slashed; education and healthcare spending had been cut; environmental and pollution levels  were allowed to deteriorate so badly, that not even a rush to flush as the Games approached could do much to dent the ugly truth; and, hundreds of poor were evicted … some by force … from their favela homes close to Olympic venues.

And not even the most optimistic Games boosters have tried to argue that the poor …or even Brazil’s working class …will benefit much from the Olympic housing or other outlandishly oversized projects built just for the Olympics.

And adding insult to injury, despite (once again) all the empty seats we all saw so regularly at Olympic events, working class and poor Brazilians were priced or kept largely out of the picture …even for the preliminary rounds or less desired events. In 2014, the mayor of Rio promised 1.2 million tickets would be handed out to the poor: last figure I saw only 47,000 had been distributed … 4% of the number promised.

The Brazilian Olympics really were a terrible obscenity of excess and unwarranted, unaffordable waste of spending.

NONE of this, however, is to take away from the athletes themselves.

I have nothing but the GREATEST ADMIRATION and even AWE for EVERY  athlete … and not just those who make it to the podium … but ALL the athletes who make it to any Games!

But every single one of them could, and most have competed in world championships using existing facilities already available in hundreds of countries on every continent … without requiring the massive outlay of public funds on the excessively wasteful and corrupt Games that the Olympics have become.

The Olympics are a sad remnant of what the modern Games …. post World War II … were originally supposed to be.

Time to get rid of them … and get sports competition back to where it belongs … among REAL people in REAL venues in cities that can afford to have them, without trampling or ripping off their own people who are forced to pay for it all.

Harv Oberfeld

→ 19 CommentsTags: International · National