My relative silence and rewarding incompetence

I have not blogged as much lately.  And I was wondering why…..

I think it is because so much of what is happening in the world right now is difficult to make any sense of.  Of course, with hindsight, we can struggle to understand it but, the truth is, even with the benefit of hindsight most of us still have no clue as to what will happen next.

(Well, I am hoping to get a little welding done…………….)

For instance, Trump firing Comey in an obvious conflict of interest almost seems like normal in the context of Trump’s history of behaviours but Trump’s history of behaviours is one of being totally unpredictable and abnormal. ‘Nuts’ is the new White House ‘normal’. His administration’s incompetence and madness has been augmented only by conflict, confusion and chaos.

Trump makes Murphy irrelevant.

And it is not just Trump.  Maybe someone can explain to me the Liberal Party logic of banning oil tankers on the North Coast of BC not long after killing the source of any such oil supply by terminating the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline?  Isn’t that like shooting an already dead thing?  But, even more ludicrous is that the same Liberal government is still allowing the Kinder Morgan pipeline to fill mega-tankers in much more constrained, sensitive and politically critical Coal Harbour (Vancouver).  Something like 700 oil tankers will annually ply the Gulf of Georgia.   That is environmental risk madness on a much grander scale than Enbridge ever was. How does the government look electors in the eye with that mockery of logic?

And look at the recent BC election.  I had hoped for a Green breakthrough and I am happy for what barely emerged but – damn it – the Greens have only three seats and the bastard Liberals are just one short of forming a government.  If a recount changes just one Liberal result favourably, the Greens are relegated to bystander status once again.  As, of course, are the inept and impotent NDP.   This election is still balanced on a knife edge. Who woulda thunk it?

The North Korea threat – real in so many ways – has gone silent.  How is that possible? How does a looming LARGE WW3 threat slip off the radar?  What?  The topic got boring for our media?  The Pacific Fleet took a break and is on leave in Hawaii?  Kim Jong-Un has learned to shut up? In this sense, crazy shows up in the lack of news.

Ninety nine countries fell victim to ransom-ware, the cyber hacking tool that kidnaps and holds hostage things like hospital records.  Many people in the tech industry saw that one coming for a long time but certainly not any hospital administrator or Health Ministry official.  Seems it got by our intelligence and law enforcement community as well.  We may get self-driving cars and power generating roof tiles but mind-boggling executive incompetence will still rule the day it seems. Maybe we don’t pay those administrators enough?

We gave the 2007/08 financial debacle bankers bonuses, didn’t we?

It seems to me that we have a lot of stupid in charge.  And I suppose that is the one thing we can count on. From the President to the Prime minister, from the media to local government, from banks to law enforcement, if you are looking for consistency, look in the idiot mistakes column.

On a brighter note, and one that puts a nicer spin on our own madness, we have stumbled, fumbled and tripped our way to a functioning greenhouse and an almost complete marine haul-out. And, by employing an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of computers, we have lucked into a second book. Stupid ain’t all bad. Works for us.


18 thoughts on “My relative silence and rewarding incompetence

  1. Well, your blog lethargy might be “voter fatigue”, “Trump fatigue”, ‘current events fatigue”…..or the crappy weather….

    Personally, I blame the crappy weather…… :)-


    • I kinda do, too. May is usually good. But it has not been this year. Not so far. It has only been wet and bleak. Hard to get ‘up’ for anything despite our having soldiered on and actually accomplishing something anyway. We have no real complaints, tho. Just not ‘happy’ in the drizzle and downpour. Maybe I’ll blame Trump for the blahs. Why not?


      • I’ve lived in bc for 36 years.
        I have NEVER seen as much snowfall as we have had this past winter. It snowed from Dec to March on a regular basis.
        And now “Spring” The rain is the worst I can remember and its been unusually cold to boot. Darkest March on Record, and the flooding is everywhere….Kelowna for God’s sake! How much water does it TAKE to get Lake Okanagan ot over flow its banks!!!! A 200 year flood?
        Climate change ….is here….. and its going to be expensive


  2. Futility might be defined as doing, “the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” The federal government is suggesting a ‘public/private infrastructure scheme’ but from the howling one might be think it is a dangerous new idea doomed to failure. For centuries the U.K. had toll roads, bridges and river men to transport one across rivers and lakes, you know free enterprise. Charon ferried the dead across the river Styx to Hades for an obolus or a danake. Even the dead paid their toll. The total brain failure of those critiquing the public/private funding proposal is gob smacking. Why should government(you tax payer) pay the entire amount for high speed rail line when some pension plan is willing to partner up? Those who ride it will buy a ticket and ticket by ticket it will in time be paid for. Like the First Narrows Bridge was a toll bridge. What if it turns out to be a bad investment? The investors take the risk. But a project can not be repossessed.
    Obviously private/public partnerships will cost money but name an infrastructure project that has been built at zero cost.


    • I don’t think anyone disagrees with the concept. It is just the execution. It seems like every 3P project makes some crony-crook rich and yet the public ends up paying more. It seems to work only to guarantee profits for the companies. Would any of those inner-circle boys pony up if it was a free market situation? I doubt it. Who would ‘risk’ building a public amenity unless it was guaranteed to make profit for the private company by the government? And, if that is the case, then the public gets all the downside and the companies get all the up. If there truly is no ‘up’ then the cronies get the profit from the public purse. If there truly is ‘up-side’ but the govt. takes all the risk, why shouldn’t the public get the profit?
      I’d promote P3’s if the private side shouldered some risk. They don’t.


      • Every day I drive a bridge that cost one billion dollars to build. It is a toll bridge and it costs a few bucks a trip and was built as part of a public/private partnership. If someone is making like a bandit it is not evident to me? Pension funds are making these long term investments it can be assumed for reasons of assured returns, over the life of the bridge which probably will be fifty years or more. In the case of the First Narrows the Guinness family charged a toll per car and eventually sold its asset to the province in 1963. The Guinness family was able to sell lots in the British Properties that had access because of the Frist Narrows Bridge. Yes self interest was on display. Yes they made money and yes they assumed the risk. Did they make like bandits? Was this an example of crony capitalism? Was it a benefit to the province? Was it user pay?


        • I don’t think the Lion’s Gate Bridge was crony capitalism…altho it was alive and well back then. As for the toll bridge you drive over…if it is the Port Mann, why was the first one taken down and the really expensive one put up? The reason I heard was, “Well, the homeless made fires in the bridges pilings and made it unsafe.” That’s insane.
          I know that the Olympic Village was a debacle, the Olympics lost money, the new highway 17 was way over budget and so was Sea to Sky. So, I dunno… someone making out like a bandit? I think so. It smells. Why the hell did the roof on BCPlace cost so much? And on and on we go………..NOT TO MENTION THE HUMONGOUS COST OF THE SITE C DAM and the continuing blood sucking of Hydro by the ‘private dams’ on rivers we do NOT need. Sorry…I am NOT a convert. Done honestly, maybe. Maybe definitely. I just haven’t seen much honesty in this government….or any, for that matter.
          Let me put this another way: When I ran a street clinic in skid row in the 70’s, I had 30 staff and a few vehicles and a building to manage. The first year, I estimated the budget at $775,000. We got a grant from the Ministry of Health. At the end of that year, I had spent $768,000. I had $7,000 left over. So, I notified the Ministry and sent a cheque back. They wrote back and told me that they could not cash it. “No one has ever come in under budget before. If they have, they have certainly never sent money back. This is unprecedented. The Ministry has no way to receive money. Keep it.” We kept it and deducted that $7,000 from the next year’s estimates. Think about that – UNPRECEDENTED????. So, with that attitude, what do you think the likelihood is of ANY government project coming in ON budget or under budget? Now add the profit motive. Now add the greed and criminal motive. Now add the crony, greed and profit motive. Waddya think? Really?


          • Not the new Port Mann but the old Port Mann was 50 years old and showing its age. The new bridge is an improvement as long as one can dodge the ice bombs in winter. You are correct that boondoggles abound when public money is being spent. The Montreal Olympics come to mind. The building of the Alaska highway was all on the backs of the USA. The ever evolving estimates for the F35s. The provision of vessels to the Canadian Navy. All these projects provide stimulus to the economy. The estimate is that each dollar spent on infrastructure grows the economy by two dollars. Cost overruns have their benefits too.


          • OK. I suppose. It’s just that I know I could do a better job. The people I like and respect are dead honest and would never cheat the public out of a nickle. Why can’t our politics be the same?


  3. “Why can’t our policies be the same?” They can! But the page needs to turn. It seems that many Canadians are content to be a hinterland with an economy based on resource extraction and tax cuts to business. Tax cuts have been given without further investments into the Canadian economy by business. A low level of corporate tax rate has done little but make make some businesses more profitable. A mine is possibly going to open in north-west BC but only if the province will build a 750 million dollar transmission line and sell the business cut rate power. Many, many Canadians see government activity in the economy as vert, very evil. The reality is that many businesses only are successful because of a private/public partnership. Although many do not see tax breaks, the building of infrastructure, granting access to resources at bargain basement prices, and eliminating red tape are not evidence of corporate/public partnership.


      • Lichtman may be right. He’s a professor after all. Ooooh. But consider this: Trump is still enjoying card-carrying GOP support. And the GOP holds the majority in the house and the senate. Impeachment requires both groups. Howzat gonna happen? Based on the Comey memo? NOT in a million years. Impeachment is at least half politics and likely more. There is no Impeachment Police. NOT even the FBI. They can investigate. Sub-committees can investigate but, in the end, it is a judgment call and it is a judgment call NOT based on the legalities. It is one based on the politics. As Trump put it so nicely, “I could shoot someone and not lose any voters!” He’d lose the Democrats but not the GOP. And they rule Congress – the votes that count for an impeachment.


          • My guess is that the DEMs and swing votes will come out in droves and defeat the GOP soundly. Even if the GOP vote responds in kind, they are not enough to defeat Dems AND swing votes. I see Trump as a disastrous two year power wielder and then ‘neutered’ by a hung Congress. Out in four. One possible alternative outcome is if the USA goes to war. ‘Mericans always support their president when HE goes to war. Trump may ‘battle’ his way into remaining a force. Worse is that they already HAVE their target. North Korea.


        • But it might be based on economics. Huge protests against Trump Care and its proposed restrictions such pre and post natal care. Have we see any coal mines opening. He wants to scrap NAFT but still needs Canada’s oil. Canada is the major trading partner with about 32 American states. Tariffs on Canada’s lumber will raise construction costs in the USA. He will leave his supporters disappointed when lost industries do not return.


          • Trump shouts ‘Make America Great Again’ and says all sorts of lies about ‘helping American business’ and none of it is true. Wall Street went up but that is NOT Main Street. Problem: it SOUNDS good to people who do NOT understand the basics of economics. THOSE people like the sound of the rhetoric and cannot connect the dots on the bottom line. They do not get it. As long as he keeps spouting the rhetoric and lies, the bottom line will continue to be disconnected from him. Plus he always blames others for the bad results, anyway.


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