Just what the hell is going in on High River?

 

brother

As a community there is little doubt that High River has been the hardest hit by the flooding and general disaster. That being said, Canmore, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Calgary have all been hit rather hard as well.

High River of all these communities appears to be getting completely out of control as secretive briefings keep even the local elected representatives in the dark about flood plans and communications to the victims is becoming nothing less than a disaster.

Now residents of High River are being victimized further as it has been revealed that the RCMP has been going through their evacuated homes and stealing people’s firearms.

What country are we living in? What the hell is going on? What else are officers going through in people’s homes as they refuse to allow residents back? How much further will the violation of privacy and property of High River residents go? It will be wonderful as people return to their damaged homes to find that their personal belongings have been rummaged through by the authorities for no good reason.

Police assure people that the property that they seizing after having broken into flood victims homes will be returned with presentation of proof of ownership. If your proof of ownership was lost in the flood though, I guess you are screwed. Having the private property locked in your private home was not proof enough to our local RCMP apparently,

This is truly nuts and there are going to be some very huge questions demanding answers in the meantime.

Usually in a disaster it is displaced residents who lose control for a time. In High River it appears to be the police and local authorities. Absolutely crazy!

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Alison Redford hits tinpot dictator status in her latest petty move.

red

During a crisis elected representatives on all levels take on a new role of leadership in gathering and disseminating critical information to their constituents. A local councillor, MLA or MP is always well in touch with the area and it’s people and is a familiar face for residents to turn to in a disaster.

I think that well over 99% of people would agree that in a crisis of the magnitude facing Southern Alberta in this disaster that partisanship must be set aside so that all representatives may best serve their constituents. This means including ALL local elected officials MUST be kept fully in the informational loop as briefings are held so that communications may be sent to residents.

Leave it to Alison Redford to hit a truly pathetic new low in having Danielle Smith, the MLA for Highwood kept out from government crisis briefings while putting the long gone former Progressive Conservative MLA on the podium to speak to residents of High River.

That is right, Alison Redford would rather have a former and retired MLA speak to residents rather than the one popularly elected to represent Highwood. I could understand if Smith was from outside of the constituency and was trying to ham in on camera time. In this case, Danielle Smith resides right in the heart of the disaster. Would Redford ban Nenshi from Calgary briefings? Of course not.

Redford is actually purposely interfering with the role and job of an MLA during a literal disaster. I would expect this sort of crap in Russia or Iran where democracy is a mere façade.

I am sure Smith and many others are too polite to say it but I will come right out with it. Redford is a sour and miserable person who has trouble endearing herself to anybody at the best of times. The Premier and her sad little band of communication monkeys are hoping to capitalize politically on one of Alberta’s worst disasters of the century. While Danielle Smith is simply trying to do her job, Redford fears the optics of a hardworking and caring MLA further endearing herself to the electorate through doing her job.

This strategy will backfire Redford as you work quickly to enshrine yourself as Alberta’s most pathetic, self-serving Premier in history. 2016 cant come soon enough.

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Shortsighted opposition to new pipelines is damaging our environment

Today while checking on some things in the field on a program in Pennsylvania I came across a stark reminder of the consequences of successful opposition to pretty much all new conventional energy infrastructure in North America. While tracking one large and degrading gas pipeline through the bush, I encountered another pipeline that had failed and was leaking natural gas at a pretty high rate as can be seen and heard in the video I took below.

Pennsylvania’s oil rush began in the 1860s and much of the infrastructure out here is simply ancient. Fracturing technology has brought a new boom to these regions as fields that had been previously considered to be depleted are being brought back to life with new production of both oil and gas in shale formations. Unfortunately, while the existing pipeline infrastructure is old and failing it is damned near impossible to get any large new energy distribution projects approved as myopic and self-serving environmentalists will immediately hinder the process through lobbying and legal challenges. What this foolishness has led to is an increase in environmental damage as well as creating a very dangerous working environment for energy and agricultural workers in areas where pipelines are failing.

It is absolutely undeniable that modern pipelines are far and away the most safe, economical and environmentally friendly way to transport oil and gas. Modern pipeline failures occur on occasion and most often these are due to human error in excavation without proper utility location having been done beforehand. A pipeline can’t be faulted for leaking when a fool hits it with a backhoe shovel. With the literally billions of barrels and cubic feet of energy products being moved all over the world the amount that actually gets lost due to leaks is nearly microscopic in scope and getting smaller all the time as our technology improves.

Demand is not going away for oil and gas any time soon. Environmentalists can harp on all they like about wind, solar and geothermal power but the reality is that these forms of energy are not even remotely close to replacing carbon based energy at this time and we still need to provide oil and gas to people. We are doing this with pipelines and these pipelines are becoming old.

Like it or not, populations are growing and usage of fossil fuels is increasing along with that. Due to myopic opposition, new pipelines are not being built as they should and producers are being forced to either use old pipelines that really should be replaced or are even transporting product through trains and trucks which burn fossil fuels in transporting product and are much more likely to have an accident leading to spills than pipelines will ever be.

If we really care about the environment and about safety we need to expedite new pipeline projects rather than hinder them. We have to be realistic rather than idealistic. New and ever improving pipeline construction and monitoring technology means nothing if we are still forced to use pipelines that are 40, 50 or even 100 years old. Lets build new pipelines so we can shut down these old ones before more product leaks into the environment or people possibly get killed in a large rupture.

Until the flux-capacitor or dilithium crystals leave the world of science fiction and become a reality, we will need fossil fuels in our lives. It’s time to set aside the hysteria spread by multinational corporations such as Greenpeace and take a realistic look at what needs to be done to move oil and gas safely.

Just as we will never see a highway with 0 fatalities we will never be able to move oil and gas with a 100% risk free means. We can come pretty damn close though if we could just put the new pipes in the ground. Until then we unfortunately will only see more spills and accidents.

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Nenshi’s charade of consultation.

 
The Purple Peacock
 

It has been brutal watching Naheed Nenshi and his gang on Calgary’s city council circling like hyenas over the spoils of an unbudgeted $52 million tax increase that they acquired through essentially stealing a tax break given to Calgarians by the government of Alberta. As Calgarians took notice and began to show ire towards this sudden gouge upon their wallets, Nenshi and the rest of council scrambled to cobble together a supposed consultation process on what to do with this money they were absconding with. As it became evident that Calgarians were overwhelmingly choosing to demand that the ill-gained money be returned to them, Nenshi upped the ante and created a literal circus-like atmosphere and held an idiotic public game show where it was discussed how Calgary’s unbudgeted tax hike should be spent.

Despite Nenshi’s dog and pony show, it still was becoming abundantly clear that most Calgarians simply wanted their damned money back. In light of this, Nenshi turned this already foolish “consultation” process into a total joke by making it “qualitative” rather than “quantitative” in nature. What this is essentially saying is that they do not care what the majority of respondents to their little poll chose as those asking for things like a refund of stolen money clearly were giving answers of low quality. It does not matter if 90% of Calgarians wanted their money back in the city poll as those figures are apparently not important. In other words, Nenshi and his cronies can come up with whatever conclusion they like from this circus and claim that it was endorsed by over 10,000 Calgarians.

All of this is not surprising as Nenshi took part in a similar joke of a consultation with Calgarians only a few years ago. This multi-million dollar disaster was coined “ImagineCalgary” and supposedly the product was created through the input of no less than 18,000 Calgarians. Few things can better demonstrate the utter idiocy and waste with these supposedly “qualitative” consultations than the ridiculous ImagineCalgary document itself which can be found in full here.

Below are the five simple questions (familiar number) that were asked for ImagineCalgary.

 What do you value about Calgary?What is it like for you to live here?
What changes would you most like to see?
What are your hopes and dreams for the next 100 years?
How can you help make this happen?

From the above simple and fluffy questions Nenshi and others excreted the 210 page ImagineCalgary document that really is so bad that it can’t even be found in full on the ImagineCalgary website. Even those employed in promoting this mess are ashamed of the product of this exercise. Shouldn’t such brilliance be front and center on their site otherwise? Alas, it is hidden deeply in the bowels of the City of Calgary site. I provide it here too of course.

I don’t think I could possibly drop enough LSD to make sense of the mess created in ImagineCalgary. It truly is a crowning achievement in the concept of baffling with bullshit through only five simple questions. No wonder Nenshi was so eager to try and do it again to mask his sudden $52 million tax hike upon Albertans.

Below is a top 10 list of what came from apparently asking 18,000 Calgarians five simple questions. I am not sure which are worse, the ones that set targets so unrealistically high that they will never be achieved in a million years, the ones that would come with government interference so deep that Stalin would blush, or the ones that simply look like the product of a person who had just ingested a 1/2 pound of pot. I will list a few of each.

By 2016, 90 per cent of Calgarians report that they have opportunities to express their unique gifts and talents

Only three years to go here. Hope those barriers are torn down soon whatever the hell they are.

By 2036, 90 per cent of citizens agree that “Calgary is a city with soul,” which is defined as citizens having meaning and purpose in life and experiencing ongoing feelings of connectedness with some form of human, historic or natural system.

Oh good, we have a realistic timeline here. It will take at least another decade to get even 50% of Calgarians to give a shit if municipalities have souls much less wonder if their own has one.

By 2036, 100 per cent of Calgarians report that they feel respected and supported in their pursuits of meaning, purpose and connectedness, and that they extend respect and support to others who meet this need in ways different from their own.

No less than 100% here. Lofty indeed. I do hope that I can live until 2036 so that I can be the one asshole left in Calgary who did not feel supported in my pursuit of connectedness thus killing their goal. I am just nasty that way.

By 2016, 95 per cent of Calgarians report that they feel safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods and walking alone downtown after dark

This one will be tough as 50% of Calgarians will feel unsafe when approached by strangers after dark asking them if they feel safe. How else will Nenshi know if we have hit the 95% mark? This will be tougher if Pincott’s crusade against light pollution continues too.

By 2036, 95 per cent of children aged two to five years exhibit high levels of emotional well-being and age-appropriate levels of attention span and impulse control, as measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire.

I was thrilled when my two year old kids made a poopy all by themselves in a toilet. Can’t imagine 95% of them taking part in detailed questionnaires but who knows. I bet their answers will make more sense than most of those in this loony ImagineCalgary document.

By 2016, by the age of six years, 95 per cent of Calgary children exhibit school readiness, as reflected by physical well-being and appropriate motor development; emotional health and a positive approach to new experiences; age-appropriate social knowledge and competence; age-appropriate language skills; and age-appropriate general knowledge and cognitive skills.

Come on, how many of the 18,000 put down that mouthful as a priority? One? Two?

By 2036, the consumption of urban- and regionally produced food by Calgarians increases to 30 per cent.

Here come the food tariffs. Say goodbye to those bananas.

By 2016, governance is restructured to allow governments to create or reallocate authority so that effective decisions are made at the geographical scale that matches the processes involved.

Say that ten times quickly. Now drink until it makes sense or you pass out. Whatever comes first.

By 2036, 80 per cent of non-violent criminal offences are handled in the community in which the victim lives.

I guess courthouses for prostitutes, drug dealers and car thieves will be set up in every community. Nenshi had better let the other levels of government know he is bypassing the constitution and having the civic government assume authority of criminal issues. May cause a smidgen of confusion there.

By 2036, 85 per cent of Calgarians, in all age groups, maintain excellent or very good mental health.

All those in poor mental health shall be deported in order to achieve civic goals!

Well folks, there you have it. This is what Nenshi and his compatriots can compile through a qualitative analysis of five simple questions.

Nenshi and company will simply fabricate whatever outcome they like from this latest façade of “consultation”. After creating ImagineCalgary, coming up with ways to blow a $52 million tax hike will be a breeze.

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Intolerable!

 ::August 26 Update::

Mariko Dormer has been charged as the person beating the dogs in the video. Lets hope she gets the jail time possible and that she clearly deserves. It is time to set an example. http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=991412&binId=1.1201914&playlistPageNum=1

Animal abuse is horrific in any circumstances. I am getting more than a little sick and tired of hearing reports of abuse coming from dog grooming and daycare facilities that clearly are not monitoring their staff and operations well enough.

At Chasin Tails an employee beat a boxer puppy until it was vomiting blood. This was caught on video last year. At the same doggie daycare, a dog died shortly after having being picked up a few months ago though to be fair the investigation was not complete at the time of this story.

Today I see a video being released of a groomer at Fur Kids (1009 10 St. SW) Calgary where a groomer is beating dogs with a hairbrush and a vacuum cleaner. In this case it took a distraught employee to secretly videotape the beatings and expose them. How many beatings were happening off camera? Is it really possible that the owners had utterly no clue about this? The responsibility is theirs in any case.

Were it not for video evidence neither of the above stories would have come to light.

We entrust our pets to these establishments. To many of us our pets are family members and abuse of them is not to be tolerated.

Canada needs stronger animal abuse laws without doubt. Aside from the law, we as consumers can help reduce abuse by refusing to patronize these establishments when abuse cases pop up.

I understand that not all employees or owners of these establishments abuse animals. It is the responsibility of people in these establishments to expose and end abuse as soon as it is encountered though. If we as consumers are more inclined to vote with our wallets we can encourage these people to run better facilities.

Shop carefully when choosing a place to entrust your pets people. If the above businesses go broke, perhaps the remaining ones will feel more inspired to ensure that their standards of animal care remain high. We need to shame animal abusers where legislation is failing to stop them.

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