Calgary police can’t claim to be surprised this time.

Below is the event information for the “Idle No More” protest planned for Monday January 28.

It does appear that the times have changed and rush hour disruption may be avoided

 

From the South: March northbound on Macleod Trail (meet at Stampede parking lot) 1 pm

From the West: March eastbound on 9 ave (meet at Shaw Millenium park) 1 pm

From the North: March southbound on Centre st. (meet at top of centre st. park hill) 12:30 pm

From the East: March westbound on 9 ave (meet at the Deane House in Inglewood) 1pm

March will be lead by flags from the four directions, with drummers leading the way.

All will converge upon Olympic Plaza for 2pm

Yes, you read that right. Protesters plan to come down streets from all four directions as rush hour begins warming up and converge on Olympic Plaza on a weekday.

The event details can be found here.

Now it is getting clear that the attempted appeasement by Calgary Police on January 16th in allowing protesters to illegally close Calgary’s 14th Street bridge until late into the night was an utter and unsurprising failure. Appeasing lawbreakers simply emboldens them to go farther and now we see how they plan to do it.

 

The two white fellas pictured above during the illegal closure of the bridge were prime characters in last year’s “occupy” fiasco by the way.

 

It will not just be a weekend blocking of a bridge this time. This is a group of people who plan to march from all directions towards the center of our city during a peak period in a working day.

Now I have to ask, do these people have a permit to parade on these routes? If they do, I have some serious questions as to why they would have been issued at such a busy time. If they do not, then I expect that fines and possible arrests should happen almost as soon as traffic is disrupted no?

Maybe these people will be staying on the sidewalks. OK fine. We know though that they will not stick to the sidewalk. Their intent is to harass and annoy working Calgarians. They will not achieve that if they stay on the walks. Will tickets be issued and people moved from the roads should they deviate?

Waiting until these fools go away won’t work. People tried the old canard: “if you ignore them, they will go away” for months as people illegally squatted in Olympic Plaza in Calgary. It was not until an injunction was filed and finally real law enforcement began that Calgary got her park back (damaged to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars).

Make no mistake, the prime movers of this “Idle No More” thing are the same clowns who pulled the “occupy” thing last year. Below is them with a banner they giddily prepared last weekend in preparation for next week’s event.

There is no need to try and hide behind a false Charter right for people to break the law while expressing themselves. We wasted enough court time proving that such a right does not exist with “occupy” and the injunctions served across the country. The provision of the Charter below makes it pretty clear:

1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.

Keeping people from blocking vital infrastructure and trade is a reasonable limit. People may legally demonstrate all they like as long as they do not impede upon others. So far “Idle No More” appears not to be interested in remaining legal and precedence has been set allowing them to break the law already unfortunately.

I very much expect Calgary’s Police Service to ensure that all laws are followed next week.

Otherwise citizens of Calgary may feel compelled to take things in hand ensure our laws are abided by. That would be a shame considering how much we spend on law enforcement.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The squatting in Olympic Plaza has finally ended. Nothing was accomplished.

 With nearly two months of illegal squatting in a downtown Calgary park, the “occupy” Calgary squatters have finally packed up and gone home. No message was ever defined much less conveyed to the public at large. The only accomplishments really have been to have Calgary more clearly define the strength of bylaws should the city choose to enforce them.

 Some squatter supporters have been trying to save face and claiming that the activity spurred discussion. Really? Discussion of what? There was never a solid issue and there has never been real discussion. There have been strange demands made by crazy squatters and vague statements. Nothing specific was ever addressed through this exercise and there certainly was nothing that was settled. Serious discussions of issues existed before the squatting and will continue after the squatting. The squatting never aided in any discussion aside from wondering whether there is a Charter right to squat in city parks at expense to taxpayers (it was clearly determined that no such right exists).

Now I put this out to the squatters who now find themselves with even less to do; do you really want to accomplish anything? Do you want to take a path that really does spur discussion and impact decision making? Are there issues that you really want to see seriously discussed by the public and decision makers?

If the answers to any of the above are yes, then please read on while I explain how people can influence discussion and opinion in electoral politics. It allows me to do one of my favorite activities in that I will be tooting my own horn in providing real examples on how small but determined groups can influence politics on every level.

When I was in my 20s, I found myself frustrated with politics in Alberta. Our Prime Minister of the time (Jean Chretien) had won a strong majority in an electoral campaign that blatantly demonized my province and in which he never once even so much as set foot in Alberta. Chretien openly made statements about how he did not like dealing with Westerners and I felt that attitude had been embraced as Ontario and Quebec had given the Liberals of that time a strong mandate. I looked to the existing political vehicles and did not see any party that I felt was standing up for Western Canadian interests in a strong enough manner. Since no such party existed, I formed my own.

The Alberta Independence Party was a soft nationalist party that existed for less than a year overall. We never even managed to get officially registered as a party and we fell in apart for a number of reasons (not the least of which was my inexperience in leading a party). Despite such a short existence, in it’s time the AIP brought about both national and local discussion regarding Alberta’s role within confederation. Heated debates were had in the House of Commons as multiple MPs and Senator elects attended our founding convention. Suddenly Western alienation was a worthwhile discussion in Ottawa.

Provincially, an election was called within weeks of our founding convention as a party. Despite our lack of registration as a party and only a few more than a dozen declared candidates, the throne speech that was held just before the dissolution of the legislature took multiple shots at our small party and set the tone for the beginning of the election. Candidates across the province were questioned on their stances vs federal incursions on provincial jurisdiction. National and provincial news pundits wrote countless pieces on Western alienation, the causes of it and potential solutions for it and alienation was a top coffee shop discussion around the province.

Despite this attention to the issue, as I said the party did not last long after the provincial election. We had made a mark though and had definitively had an impact on discussion and decision making.

My main point here is that in the partisan world, measurable accomplishments can be attained even without being in an electable position.

Now again to the squatters, one thing you do have is a common social group even if your specific goals are tough to define. You can turn something productive from this last couple months through keeping your group and moving into the realm of electoral politics if you choose to. All of the information required for founding a political party can be found at the Elections Alberta website.  I have always found Elections Alberta to be excellent and very helpful in guiding one through the process.

There are some attitudes and ideas that will need to be shed by you if you are going to go this route however. I will list them below.

Public Opinion Matters!

Had the occupy squatter movement gained even a measurable 15% of strong support within the city of Calgary I assure you guys that your encampment would still actually exist as our elected city officials would not dare alienate a group like that. 15% is well within electoral spoiler numbers and no politician wants to go out of their way to cause a bloc of people like that to take their support elsewhere.

 Along with a degree of support, the direction and momentum of the support is important. The Alberta Independence Party at it’s very best was probably only appealing to perhaps 15% in some selected constituencies. That number grew fast however and had potential to get larger. Any MLA who had won their seat with any less than a 20% lead had to at the very least pay attention to us. The best way to undercut us was to embrace at least some of our sentiment. Again, goals were being accomplished. They wanted to ensure that our numbers stopped growing.

 The “occupy” Calgary group clearly saw public support eroding pretty much essentially since it’s inception. Incident after episode caused people almost daily to turn against the movement even had they been sympathetic before. Instead of being concerned with this drop in public support, what we saw mostly from the group was an attitude of “FU, we don’t care what you think.”. Well you should have cared guys. As it became clear that the support trend was going downward, city officials felt more emboldened in taking action to end your demonstration.

 As I demonstrated, you can come from a small minority position in general support yet still have an impact on policies, discussion and decision makers. You will not be able to do so though until you realize and accept that a degree of dedicated public support is essential to your cause.

Find, define and promote a message!

The shotgun approach to issues was a great part of the occupy undoing. Constantly people pointed out that when one asks 10 “occupiers” what the issue is they get 11 answers. That is laughed off and it is often pointed out in an almost arrogant manner that this consensus model is what it is all about and only fools should be asking for or expecting specifics.

 Well kids, you need to get over that concept. Months have been wasted and still nobody knows what you even stood for. You can’t claim that discussion was inspired when you can’t even define the issue.

 Part of why myself and others have been able to so consistently beat the hell out of you guys in discussion is that you have allowed us to frame the entire debate. When you refuse to define yourselves, rest assured somebody will do it on your behalf and as you know, folks like me were not kind in making our definitions.

 Think of it this way kids. You had been squatting for a couple weeks and nobody could figure out what point you were trying to make. I parked my truck there in counterprotest, made the point that a double standard existed in law enforcement and set the entire discussion of the whole thing for the rest of the movement on being about the “right” to squat in a park illegally. One man did that in one afternoon with a plan and a solid message.

 The Alberta Independence Party had what I still think to be a very good and comprehensive policy book. Despite that, the reality was that at best we were only considered an authority on issues of provincial alienation. We accepted and worked with that. Nobody came to us to hear what we thought of healthcare provision, but we found our way into the discussion when we pointed out the federal shortcomings in funding transfers to healthcare (particularly when compared with federal funding for Quebec). We were single issue in many ways but we found ways to apply our views and make ourselves a group worthy of consideration on more diverse views.

 While literally hundreds of issues exist, voters realistically are only closely watching perhaps a half-dozen issues and they base their electoral decisions on those views. Fight it out guys and find your common ground. Identify five solid issues and stake your ground on them. Become experts on those issues and make yourselves the authority on them. Learn to apply those five issues to broader issues as I did with provincial alienation. Then people will come to you and if you do it right, they will stay with you.

You need the media!

Yes the media is often biased. The media can be fickle and they can be nasty. You don’t need to even like the media but you had better damn well learn that they are essential to you if you want to influence public opinion and decision making whether in electoral politics or in any other form of activism. The majority of people on all ends of the political spectrum get their information from the “corporate media” and they base their views on that information. To shun this is nothing shy of idiocy.

 I saw and documented many forms of idiocy from the “occupy” Calgary crowd. One that definitely made the top 5 though was yesterday’s stupid press conference stunt. To get media together for an event and then walk away refusing to comment was petty, pointless and to be blunt just bloody stupid. You don’t have to pursue the media or kiss their butts, but to go out of your way to piss them off is just dumb. Believe it or not, those reporters do have better things to do. What few may have been even a tiny bit sympathetic to you disappeared yesterday morning after that stunt. When you already know that they can be biased, why purposely turn that bias against yourself?

 I led a soft-nationalist party. I was attacked and abused from editorialists from across the country. I was mocked by some and outright attacked by others. The CBC was particularly skilled in their patronizing and belittling coverage of us. I did not let this stop me from doing interviews. I certainly did not lash back. It was pointless.

 As I said, the CBC was terribly rough on me.  I recall doing a Newsworld interview where the host just pummelled me for the entire thing. I felt out right lashed and exhausted after that loaded interview. After the interview, our phone rang off the hook and memberships poured in. Don’t underestimate the public’s ability of seeing through the bias. The interview got our message out to a whole new group of people and we gained support despite the bias.

I remember one Globe and Mail piece that began with “Cory the Kid and his pipsqueak party held a convention in Red Deer last weekend.” After that opening sentence, the editorial began to get rough and patronizing with me. After our founding convention the Globe dedicated three days of editorials explaining to Canada why our party didn’t matter. We never could have bought such advertising. While rarely was there ever a favorable article about us, the support through contributions, volunteers and memberships continued to grow as people got familiar with us.

 I am not of the view of any press being good press. If they are reporting on something idiotic that has been done by you, then you simply will look more the idiot for the coverage. Bias however is not always all that harmful even if it irritates. As long as you are somewhat solid in your message, you can and will withstand the slant.

 Don’t forget, the media needs you too. Put yourself in the shoes of a reporter. You have a deadline and you need something interesting to write about. You need quotes and interviews to make your piece stand out and be unique in presenting information to people. Rest assured, reporters don’t get far by figuratively beating the piss out of everybody they interview. They will not get further quotes and information from people for long with that approach. Set aside the paranoia and address them guys. You need each other.

Get a leader!

Every movement/party needs a leader/spokesperson. I know the “occupy” thing was supposed to be leaderless. Well it showed. Along with a consistent message, you need a consistent voice/face presenting it or it will be forgotten and lost.

One of the reasons that the Alberta Independence Party took off for the period that it did was because they had a dashing and well spoken young man who people could comfortably approach and get statements from. It was tougher to stereotype us as old white Christian men as people often did with Reform when the leader was a twenty-something, outspoken social liberal and agnostic who was of mixed ancestry. No leaderless group can dodge such pidgeonholing without having a leader to counter it.

 People and press need a consistent face representing the movement as much as they need a consistent message. The leader need not be a dynamo or saint. The leader simply needs to be consistent, know the issues and be at least a bit sane (may be tough for the last part).

 Is the goal change? Do you really want to see serious discussion? Do you want to impact decision making? Again I strongly suggest that you take the tips above to heart. A small group can have a large impact if things are done right.

 Even if your goals are simple selfish bragging rights. Lets look at a comparisons of outcomes.

One day I will be able to tell my grandkids that I formed and led a political party that caused national discussion of Alberta’s role within confederation and set the tone for an entire provincial election.

One day our “occupy” Calgary squatters will be able to tell their grandkids that they alienated the entire city of Calgary and will be forever be remembered for pooping in a park.

 Which outcome do you prefer?

Technorati Tags: , , ,

They will not go willingly.

Now and then I see the odd person commenting or tweeting saying that if we simply ignore the “occupy” Calgary squatters that they would go away. Alas were it only that simple.

For one thing, that would set a terrible precedent. A group of people have purposely broken our laws, damaged our public property, disturbed neighbors and displaced other users from what is supposed to be a public space. Are we to allow this every time that a small collection of people wants to hold a public tantrum without a cause? Rest assured they will.

Nenshi and some others were hoping that cold weather would do the job that City officials lack the courage to do. Sadly, despite temperatures plunging a few weeks ago the squatters still remain. Two were injured when a tent caught fire due to a person trying to warm himself with a candle though. We may see a lawsuit out of that yet as the squatters feel that taxpayers are responsible for that fire. Cold weather will not dislodge the squatters.

Not only are the squatters not leaving, they are actually growing in numbers as squatters that were evicted from other cities are actually converging on Calgary. Yes, being the last major city in Canada (almost in all of North America) lacking the balls to evict their illegal squatters has actually led to our becoming a destination. Layabouts and whining entitled bums are coming to Calgary to suckle on the tax-funded teat that Nenshi has so generously provided.

Rather than kick out our squatters like other wise cities have, Calgary has opted to beg and grovel with ongoing negotiations and offers to the squatters hoping that they give Olympic Plaza back to taxpayers. My better half covered that on her fine blog along with many other nuggets of discussion from the squatters.

Considering that the city’s attorney had her ass handed to her in court by a crazy old man and a volunteer fired and hired again non-lawyer, I guess I can see some of the cities fears here. One of the discussions by the squatters that Jane posted on her blog showed the squatters actually confused and wondering what the bar association was. Despite demonstrating utterly no legal knowledge, this group of clowns managed to own the City of Calgary retained lawyer in last Friday’s hearing as the city vainly (so far) sought an injunction to remove the illegal squatters.

I swear City Hall found Lionel Hutz’s sister. I hope that they are not paying much for this “service” at least though that is a faint hope.

The biggest error being made by people who think that the squatters may simply leave on their own is that people are assuming that these squatters are rational in any way. I guess folks can’t be blamed. Many people have better things to do than go down to meet the squatters in person to realize just how disconnected from reality these guys are.

That is part of why I take and post videos of these nuts. People can see just how crazy our squatters are without subjecting themselves to the verbal abuse (and nasty aromas) that I did.

Below is a video of “occupy” Calgary spokesperson Aaron Doncaster as he tries to tell a passerby that the city was criminally responsible for the tent fire that burned two people. If Doncaster’s loony ramblings don’t manage to convince you of his lunacy, check out the skirt he is wearing. Nobody in their right mind would try to wear that skirt with those boots. They clash and it is a crime against fashion at the very least.

Next up is “occupy” Calgary martyr and hero; Sarah Scout. Scout’s infantile behavior is typical of her as I have had the displeasure of encountering her at the squatter camp on a number of occasions. Her disconnect with reality and gross sense of entitlement and victimhood are nothing less than profound.

Police approached Sarah who became immediately belligerent forcing them to arrest her for criminal obstruction. Apparently she had a past warrant as well.

Watch that video. Note the incredibly terrible acting as Sarah tries to force some sort of incident where she could claim police brutality. Only her awful rendition of the national anthem eclipses those rotten acting skills that convinced only her delusional comrades that she is some sort of victim.

The members of the Calgary Police Service deserve a commendation for their patience and gentle treatment of Scout as she resisted.

Now in watching these videos, do you really think that these are the sort of people who simply will go away if ignored? Any rational protestors left weeks ago. These squatters will not be going anywhere until we actually physically have them removed. To try and wait it out simply won’t work and it really is a cowardly approach in an ordered society.

If the videos are not enough, again I strongly recommend that you visit Jane’s blog to see more of what these people have to say in their own words.

You can’t reason with the irrational.

Lets take back our park!! I do hope that the courts rule soon and we get this long overdue action over with.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SQUAT BE GONE!!

Have you found your park spaces suddenly overrun with squatters?


Can you no longer enjoy lunch in the park without being accosted by hippies, hipsters, bored suburban kids and communists?

Does your dog now hate trips to the park for fear of stepping in the feces left between the tents of un-housebroken squatters?

Are you tired of seeing your very flag disrespected along with public property through vandalism and defacement?

Does your mayor cower in abject terror at the prospect of taking a leadership role and enforcing common city laws?

Well folks, have no fear!!!

SQUAT BE GONE

 IS HERE!!

 

 Fear not weary taxpayer. Just call 1-800-END-POOP to speak with one of our representatives so that we may get to work on ending your infestation as quickly as possible. One of our teams can be at your location within hours and will immediately begin implementing our special patented squatter elimination process.

 We do like to be as humane as possible in our squatter control. We begin using methods of repellant in order to drive away some of the less entrenched squatters.

 Years of careful research have proven that the concept of work in itself can drive many a squatter into the fetal position in terror.

 Carrying signs and application forms, our trained professionals will circle the park repeatedly while trying to engage squatters in impromptu job interviews. This method has been proven to reduce squatters by as much as 25% as many retreat in terror back to their parent’s basements.

At the “occupy” Calgary site, even stubborn squatter James (I don’t work man!) Bullock (in video below) vanished after having been offered a job by Richard Evans as seen on CTV. Jobs horrify squatters every time.

As is evident in any squatter infestation, many squatters decline all forms of personal hygiene thus rendering themselves completely unemployable. This reduces their fear of  gainful employment and makes these ones more difficult to dislodge.

 Thankfully, soap is to squatters as sunlight to vampires. When our cleaning crews arrive, many more squatters will flee. The remainder will smell marginally better at least.

Those squatters who have endured the prior two repelling measures are clearly being driven by strong and misplaced idealism. Gilbert Gottfreid will be brought in to repeatedly recite John Galt’s radio speech from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in those soothing tones that only Gilbert can produce.

 Some squatters will run screaming from the common sense being recited. A few others may find enlightenment and suddenly seek a productive life. Rand is good that way.

 While the above measures are effective in reducing squatter populations, like crab-lice “occupy” squatters tend to cling and make themselves difficult to remove.

 The remaining squatters will be trapped in as humane a manner as possible with targetted trap sites.

 The hipster trap has proven very effective for the suburban kid crowd and the crazy conspiracy spouting college professor crowd. Trap baits can be changed to suit needs with pot, patchouli and granola until all remaining squatters have been live-trapped.

 With another wash and a spay or a neuter our problem squatters are now readly to be loaded on to our first class transport to ship them to their new home.

 Yes, your squatters will be released to roam free in their natural habitat within North Korea!!

 Kim Jong-il will be more than happy to add all these fine healthy suburban kids to his happy family in the worker’s paradise of North Korea.

 The squatters will finally get to experience that wonderful equitable society that they purport to support and you will regain use of your public space.

WIN! WIN!

Be sure to call soon!

 Our 10th lucky caller gets a free park disinfecting!!

You could die of old age waiting for city action or a court ruling so act now!

No actual squatters were harmed in the making of this blog post. (except maybe some feelings)

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

One more down. Now arrest the rest of them will you?

I have to give CPS a giant thumbs up for the professionalism and patience they displayed while arresting this very uncooperative criminal squatter at Olympic Plaza.

We can see what strategy remains to these desperate and dwindling squatters. They have lost all credibility with Calgarians over the last month with their actions from flag defacement to defecation in the park to stealing electricity from Calgarian taxpayers. Now these guys simply hope to get arrested so that they can play victims.

The squatters had better hope that when their much overdue mass-arrest arrives that they are better actors than Ms Scout in the video below as she unconvincingly pretends that she is being harmed while she resists arrest. As is noted in the Herald and seen on the video, the officer could fit a finger within the handcuff and Scout’s claims of bleeding were simply bull.

Kicking, screaming and whining our occupiers shall go. I expect they will be arrested sometime this coming weekend after yet another Canadian judge affirms that there indeed is still no Charter right to squat in a park. They likely will follow Scout’s example through resisting arrest and then falsely claiming brutality. The truth has never really been a goal with the “occupy” Calgary squatters.

Something that really demonstrates the disconnect from reality that the squatters and their few supporters have is the fact that it was squatter supporters who posted this video. They really think this video will earn them sympathy and that it displays police brutality.

Below is a quote from “occupy” Calgary representative Brent Talbot speaking on their facebook group. He implies that Scout was racially profiled and was “brutely” arrested for no reason.

Brent Talbot :
I am calling for a movement of our Occupation to CPS as we just had one of our members racially profiled and brutely removed for sitting quietly and having a conversation. We have had a constant presence of Bylaw and CPS, since we’ve been under media blackout!!

Again total departure from the truth. Sarah Scout had existing warrants for her arrest for some prior offenses. She then gained herself an obstruction charge for refusing to give her name to a peace officer (likely to try and hide from her arrest warrants) and then she topped it off with the charge of resisting arrest which we can see is well justified in the video.

There is no “media blackout” either. There simply has not been much of note to cover aside from there still being squatters polluting and damaging our park. That can only be repeated so many times as we wait for the city to gain the courage to evict them.

It is long overdue that we scrape the remnants of the occupy movement from our park. We can see that these illegal squatters will resist but what other course have they left us all?

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Thieving squatters!!

 

Well the City of Calgary keeps giving them inches and the squatters keep taking miles (as can be expected).

Despite every other major city in Canada having gotten rid of their squatters (with no Charter problems), Calgary officials are still completely terrified to enforce our bylaws.

Well, emboldened by the lawless state that the city has granted them the “occupy” Calgary squatters have now taken to stealing our electricity.

In the discussion from their facebook site below, we can see them happily bragging that they now have hotplates and heat in their little illegal camp in Olympic Plaza.

The squatters destroy the bathroom at Olympic Plaza, the City gives them porta-potties on the taxpayers (though the squatters still poop on the ground).

Now things are getting cool out, so the city is turning a blind eye while the squatters steal electricity from us.

How much was your electric bill last month? Perhaps you should send it to Nenshi and say you are expressing yourself thus are entitled to free power on the taxpayers.

We won’t enforce bylaws. How about criminal laws then? Theft is still a crime is it not?

Just because it is there, it does not mean that one can simply take it. By that logic they can begin to steal and sell park benches and other fixtures simply because they were not fastened down securely enough.

In the discussion below, it can be seen that a couple of them understand that this is wrong. Most appear happy to continue to steal from Calgary taxpayers however and clearly will continue to do so until the law is enforced. That is the nature of their blind entitlement.

It can be seen in this discussion that the squatters had already had one problem when they tried to steal power from Teatro restaurant before.

Is it enough for law enforcement to move in yet Nenshi? Chief Hanson? Do they have to begin stealing from our very houses next?

The transcript below is directly quoted from the Occupy Calgary Facebook organizational site.

Henyk Szydlowski
WE HAVE ELECTRICITY AT THE CAMP!!! HOTPLATES, SPACE HEATERS, (electric)BLANKETS, GLOVES, HOT MEALS ARE STILL BEING ACCEPTED AND APPRECIATED. BRING A PAINTED STONE, FAKE FLOWERS, HOLIDAY LIGHTS, ANYTHING.. LET’S MAKE THE PARK BEAUTIFUL FOR FRIDAY AND SHOW THE PUBLIC WE AREN’T ANIMALS… ? LOVE YOU ALL ?
Top of Form
LikeUnlike · ·Unfollow PostFollow Post · 4 hours ago near Calgary

8 people like this.

Henyk Szydlowski bump
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Rob Green bump?
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Mandi Schrader:
How did you get electricity?
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading…

Mark as Spam
Report as Abuse…

Henyk Szydlowski:
they tuned it on.. for the cristmas lights and decoration.. they are aware that we are using it and haven’t batted an eye lash.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading…

Rob Green what’s bump?
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Mandi Schrader:
Bump means you have no comment but want to push the post higher on the page.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Kym Chi:
Is the christmas tree still there?? Please place notes of wishes and hopes for a better world on it 🙂 ? It will go well with the new christmas theme of the park!
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading…

Christopher Fox McMillan:
In really hope we’re not taking it without paying, cause thats stealing, and one of the things that got us into trouble with Teatro a few weeks back
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 3Loading…

Michael Belanger:
If anyone has talked to any city worker on this and has contact info where we could send funds to….not be stealing….I’m all for pitching in some change 🙂
3 hours ago via mobile · LikeUnlike · 2Loading…

Mandi Schrader:
I thought Teatro agreed to provide power?
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Henyk Szydlowski:
?Christopher Fox McMillan, officers of both cps and bylaw have seen us using it and said nothing of the like. As well, 95% of the city’s electricity comes from wind farming south of the city.. and being that we are taxpaying citizens of said city we are well within our rights to use what’s there.. it would be absolutely stupid not too.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Henyk Szydlowski:
Let not turn this into some silly semantic argument.. we are cold hungry, now we have means to cook and stay warm SAFELY!!
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading…

Henyk Szydlowski:
?+ they can’t file ANY new evidence on damages and costs because the matter is already been filed.. so chances are they will simply just say whatever.. they aren’t bothering us at all anymore because they’re sure we’re out on friday.. enjoy the moment.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 3Loading…

Ben Kendrick:
?90% of calgarys electricity come frim oil and gas not wind. Nice idea though.
3 hours ago via mobile · LikeUnlike

Nicole RunningRabbit:
Exactly, Henyk. to finally have some human rights to running water in the bathrooms during park hours, power for heaters & cooking fresh food & keeping surfaces disinfected w/hot water & bleach is a MIRACLE.

Please don’t rain on our parade today.

People @ camp deserve a break.

i Love You, my dear occu-sisters, occu-brothers, occu-lovers & occu-haters. 😉 sick in bed today & i miss You all very much.
3 hours ago via mobile · LikeUnlike · 2Loading…

Henyk Szydlowski:
Thank you Nicole, get well soon..! ?
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1Loading…

Henyk Szydlowski bump
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Henyk Szydlowski:
Hey John Johnson, quit being a nay-sayer and let us have this one alright…
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

John Johnson:
I nay say nay about this.
3 hours ago via mobile · LikeUnlike · 4Loading…

Ben Kendrick:
Hope you can keep the electricity.
2 hours ago via mobile · LikeUnlike

Christopher Fox McMillan:
I am glad we now have access to electricity thats excellent. but when people looking from the outside see us taking electricity which we aren’t paying for when we have the ability to do gives credence to their calls of get the thieving hippies out. It puts truth to their words that we are costing them money, and it feeds into the negative feedback loop that is our critics. I don’t want to give them any more firepower than they already have

Electricity is not free, it takes things to produce (whether it be windmills or dead dinosaur plants), and those things cost money.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 2Loading…

Mark as Spam
Report as Abuse…

Chris A Hooymans:
Please do not waste power on Christmas lights.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 3Loading…

MissConny Kavela:
GREAT NEWS!! ?
about an hour ago via mobile · LikeUnlike

Jan Bacon:
agreed, the electricity is *not* free, I will not be party to theft, even from the City. So far Occupy has done nothing illegal, just civil disobedience. I think it will just rub salt into open sores. Beautifying can be done with more coloured ice, flowers, sparkly garlands and cards and notes…etc… coming down (hugs)
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike

Ben Kendrick:
They might bring it up in court.
about an hour ago via mobile · LikeUnlike

Chris A Hooymans:
Surreptitious use to charge phones or to boil some tea would be probably be okay, but setting up a Christmas display might be pushing it somewhat.
45 minutes ago · LikeUnlike

Wendy Pergentile:
I suggest not using it unless you have permission from the City. They may need electricity there at this time, however, they may be setting you all up for more trouble.
28 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
Bottom of Form

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

I am an artist! No handouts required thanks.

Thanks to the occupy movement, a common theme in political discussion lately has been entitlement. The complainers squatting in our city park and the keyboard quarterbacks who support and enable the squatters regularly display an astonishing level of entitlement and an almost complete lack of any sense of personal responsibility for anything. Those two traits often go hand in hand of course.

Few can demonstrate a sense of entitlement better than some elements of Canada’s arts community. The lobbying is endless and it is essentially implied that all forms of art will simply wither and die without massive subsidies from taxpayers.

I contend that the over-subsidization of forms of art actually reduces the quality of the art itself. I blogged on this a few years ago and detailed some of the wonderful productions we have seen with tax-funded art.

To go further, I can demonstrate first hand that art can and does exist without a dime of tax funding.

I spent three winters in Canada’s Arctic working on oil and gas exploration programs. I was always impressed by some of the fine carvings produced by the Inuit and Inuvialuit people up there. One season I decided to try my own hand at carving upon returning home. I already had some means for stonework due to having done some fossil restoration work and  gem cutting so aside from some more specialized rasps and some rough material, my investment was little.

With a great deal of dust, countless failed efforts and many pounds of wasted rock I began to produce some reasonably acceptable sculptures. I generally stuck to wildlife and native themes as they were what I was familiar with and they were what were popular sellers at the outlet in Canmore that began to carry my pieces. Sales were sporadic but carvings did sell for a modest price and I was simply happy to see that some people were willing to spend a few bucks to own some work done by a middling artist like myself.

The last few years have not left me much time for carving. I sold all but the carving pictured below so that is all that I can display here.

I decided one weekend to let go with a large piece of stone and to simply see where it took me. I clearly had something on my mind that weekend but I simply could not put my finger on it. Either way, my imagination produced the freeform abstract piece pictured below. I felt that Jane was my inspiration for this one so instead of selling it like all the others I kept it and gave it to Jane.

Jane muttered something about Freud and gave the carving a spot of prominence in her office.

Now as can be seen, I am not going to be a master sculptor. I sold some carvings and made a few bucks and I am happy with that. There is simply a combination of a lack of demand and a lack of skill on my part to make a living through the carving. I can accept that. Sure I would rather spend my days working on my own schedule and carving what I please. That simply isn’t in the cards for me so I make my living in the energy sector while I enjoy myself carving and making a few extra bucks now and then.

I like to think I am no less an artist than any other. I create for my own enjoyment and I hope that some others enjoy what I have created. Is that not what it is all about? Well, this sort of creation is clearly quite possible without government subsidy.

Now for contrast, let me introduce you to a Calgarian artist named Len Cochrane. There are countless artists in Calgary of course. The reason I am singling out Len here is that Len has been a prominent, belligerent and abrasive supporter of the “occupy” Calgary squatters on social media. Len is one of those who attacks all who question the squatters, yet can’t be bothered to put his own butt on the line and camp down there himself as far as I can tell.

Len also displays that great sense of victimhood, entitlement and bitterness that our local squatters and some of the arts community hold in such a clear manner that I could not find a better example to demonstrate just who is demanding tax funding for arts. Below is a snap from Len’s website where in a couple sentences we pretty much see what it is all about.

OK, in the first part of his FAQ Len advises all starting artists to quit while they are ahead and implies that Canada does not support artists. I am not sure how much support it will take for artists to feel supported but clearly it has not been enough for poor Len here.

According to  Stats Canada, governments on all levels spent a cumulative total of almost $10 billion on culture in 2008-2009. It has only gone up since. Culture covers a broad range of things of course. As the site points out, much of it is in parks and broadcasting. Broadcasting has been used a great deal in the promotion and display of our arts of course particularly through our $1.2 billion per year behemoth called the CBC. Museums, galleries and events are all promoted through the culture department. Rest assured, billions are being spent on the arts.

On the private level a similar level is directed at Canadian arts. Many large corporations sponsor countless events and venues. The squatters may note that they are camped next to the Epcor center for performing arts. Large corporations commission and purchase millions in art every year too. Then there are the millions and millions of dollars spent by individual Canadians purchasing everything from $10 handmade keychains to seven figure paintings and everything in between.

So how much would it take before poor Len feels that the arts are supported in Canada? $15 billion? $20 billion?

Is it really a case that the arts are not supported in Canada or is it simply a case that Len’s art has not seen any direct support?

From what can be gathered from the website, it looks like Len has been a victim of the police and health services due to an apparent basement tattoo parlour. Of course Len feels he has done nothing wrong and claims that police and health services corruption are what got him. It was all a conspiracy to shut him down.

There are reasons for health regulations Len. Tattooing involves piercing people’s flesh repeatedly with a needle. If somebody is going to charge for that service, yes I expect a degree of regulation to be involved. Were you claiming the revenues from that operation by the way? One wouldn’t like to think that you were withholding income taxes that should go towards other starving artists.

Every self-styled starving artist has a story to tell and excuses to be made. Art like everything else requires dedication and hard work for success in most cases. That is the true hurdle that holds back many of these entitled artists.

The world does not owe us a living in whatever endeavor that we choose. So you want to make a living painting? Good for you. I hope it all works out. In the meantime instead of whining and blaming the world for your woes how about getting a job and paying your own way until your art blossoms?

I met an unlikely sort of fellow last year who was pumping gas at a Medicine Hat gas station. He was an interesting little fellow and was always practicing on his well-worn violin when cars were not about. He had travelled the year before to Montreal where he met some other kindred souls. They formed a group, all chipped in and had a CD pressed with some of their music. A local artist designed a very funky jacket for it too. He sold me a copy for $15 and then went on to the next gas customer. The music was interesting but not to my taste. All the same, I have no regrets on that small purchase. That fellow was overjoyed with the sale of the CD. I could tell that his joy was not so much for the $15, but simply that somebody would listen to what he and his friends produced.

That man is an artist and I have nothing but respect for him. Instead of sitting, begging and making excuses he went out and had his product produced. He works to pay his bills and works to spread his art at the same time. He is a true artist in every sense.

To the other artists who do nothing but complain and expect success handed to them I say the same thing that I always do when I encounter them: “No thank you. I don’t want fries with that.”

 

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Entitled!

There are so many adjectives that help describe our “occupy” Calgary squatters from bitter to lazy to unwashed. Entitled really does encapsulate their attitude most effectively though (envious is a close second).

What has me going this time is a series of comments that have been submitted by a visitor to my blog over the last week or so. I do indeed moderate the comments on this blog and with good reason. Hardly a day goes by where somebody does not try to place an obscenity laced tirade in the comment section of one of the postings. Other postings can be prone to being libelous and others simply don’t make sense. I have not, do not, and will not allow that crap on my blog.

What is outstanding recently though is that one persistent “occupy” Calgary supporter wrote a very long and detailed piece in my comment section last week. The diatribe had to be at least a couple thousand words and went everywhere from some semi-coherent arguments in favor of the squatters residing in Olympic Plaza to some oddball conspiracy theories about corporations. It was clear though that this person had taken their time to lay out their case to present on my site. Unfortunately this fool prefaced the piece with two paragraphs that were intent on questioning my mental well-being and the size of my genitalia.

To confirm by the way, yes I am a little crazy and I am not exceptionally endowed in the reproductive sense.  These questions were clearly on top of the mind of my commenter.

Either way, I deleted the comment out of hand. I do allow contrary opinion in the comments area but really have little time for the personal insults. Since then though I have had almost daily comments from this person demanding that I post their comment. This person has become increasingly agitated claiming that I have violated their free speech and that I absolutely must post their opinion in my comments. I was told that it is unfair that I only allow my own view and that I should be less biased.

I was content to enjoy the daily ravings while envisioning this squatter supporter sitting in Mom’s basement furiously and indignantly typing as I continued to ignore the daily demands. I swear I could almost hear the tortured keyboard crying for mercy as it was beaten by fat entitled fingers.

The last comment crossed a line however and I have been forced to address the commenter. In the last comment it was mentioned that I and my site have gained a degree of profile from the whole “occupy” thing and I have a “social obligation” to allow counterpoints to my postings on this site.

Well alas, that comment caused me to let out a snorting laugh which in turn led to a mouthful of Balvenie Doublewood evacuating from my nostrils.

Two terrible crimes happened here. One: my poor nostrils were burned terribly. Two: some fine single-malt was outright wasted. Both are unforgivable crimes.

Now lets get some things straight. I owe no “social obligation” to anybody on this site. The only thing I owe on this site are the payments for hosting and domain registration. I own this place lock, stock and barrel and can post (or not post) whatever the hell I want and I will continue to do so.

The squatters and their supporters continually and mistakenly ramble on with their misguided interpretations of our rights. One right the squatters continually overlook is that of private property! Look up on your screen dear squatters and read the domain URL. It is indeed http://www.corymorgan.com The domain is not http://www.FreeForAllOpinions.com or http://www.PointCounterPoint.com It is simply named after myself as this is the sandbox where I have staked my opinionated ground.

I am under no obligation to be unbiased and I am under no obligation to be nice. I don’t recall ever having claimed to be either of those things anyway.

Your speech dear squatter is not being hindered by my refusal to post your comments. You are free to speak and say whatever you like. You just can’t do it here.

Our squatters and their supporters need to quit trying to take our Charter rights as blind absolutes to the point on infringing on the rights and comfort of others. We see that here as my property rights are ignored and we see it in Olympic Plaza as park users are displaced and taxpayers foot the bill for a collection of fools squatting in tents.

If you squatters want a voice here is what  you need to do. Quit sitting and whining in the park. Go out and join the rest of our Liberal Arts graduates in the barista trade. With a few weeks and a few hundred smiley faces drawn in lattes, you should have more than enough money to buy your own domain and write whatever you like upon it. Perhaps http://www.TheWorldOwesMeSomething.com or http://www.DirectFromMomsBasement.com or something of the sort. Rest assured, you will not get an unhindered soapbox at http://www.corymorgan.com

Thousands of people have been coming here and reading my reflections on my visits to the “occupy” Calgary squatter site on numerous occasions. I appreciate and am flattered that so many people find what I write worth reading (even if not all agree with it). Lets be clear though, the readers owe me nothing and I owe them nothing.

The “occupy” crowd still appears to be stumped as to why public support for them has completely evaporated. I think more than a month of hearing “I want” and “I demand” and “you owe me” from a bunch of layabouts has pretty much done it in. Get off your butts and do something guys and perhaps you will earn a grain of that respect that you think you deserve.

Until then I will continue to expose the hypocrisy and idiocy of the “occupy” Calgary movement. I will call it like I see it and I make no apologies.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Budget time!!

Well, lets see. Courts across the country are indeed proving that there is not, never has been and never will be a Charter protected right to squat illegally in a city park under the guise of freedom of expression. Sadly court time had to be wasted in reaffirming this reality as common sense on the part of city officials should have ended all this squatting long ago.

Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton are all moving and will be getting rid of their illegal squatters soon. Regina, Saskatoon, Victoria, London and Halifax have all evicted the squatters from their park.

Despite all this, Nenshi’s Calgary is still intent on negotiating with what can now only be called extortionists. These guys are clearly breaking the law and are demanding that the city provide them with a long list of freebies in order for them to consider ending their illegal squatting.

The city’s last offer (way too generous as it was) was spit upon by the squatters who said they would like to light it on fire. That offer from the city would have provided the extortionists with the means to hold several public forums and to establish what could be a permanent information booth for them near the plaza.

I am sure that many charities and lobby groups would love to have free hosted public forums and free permanent information booths downtown. Alas, legitimate groups have been playing by acceptable rules of society. Clearly the way to get things is to break the law. Nenshi and the rest of the cowardly officials will then heap offers upon your cause in hopes that you consider becoming law-abiding again.

Now the squatters have been emboldened further (who can blame them?) by the craven attempts of capitulation from the city and they are drafting new demands. Since it is budget time, I would like to itemize these demands so that Nenshi can add them to the budget deliberations as he clearly is not afraid of throwing city tax money at our illegal squatters (on top of the estimated $40,000 in damage that the squatters have already done to our park).

From the mouths of squatters themselves:

1) That the city find a place agreeable to OC where we can hold General Assemblies in safety and warmth.

2) That the city will cover rent for said place.

I guess it should go without saying that the squatters expect us to pay for everything but they made sure to make a specific demand for that to be sure.

Now they hold their GAs daily and have been known to hold them twice per day. Turnout is extremely variable but lets be generous and assume that they will need daily space for as many as 60 people. The Epcor center is right next to the squatters so would be an ideal new warm spot for their general assemblies. Lets be kind on the costs though and just assume that they will hold one meeting per day in that room.

Daily meetings for 60 in meeting room next to Olympic Plaza: $277,400
Of course with regular scheduling that could even be knocked down to a cool $250,000

4) That the city pay to hold sixteen GAs as stated above with time/date/location/format of our choosing. (Maybe even twenty to get us through our winter of discontent with weekly GAs).

Again they wanted to ensure that the taxpayers would cover everything. Now when I went down to Olympic Plaza, they advertised a General Assembly every day at 1:00pm and 6:00pm if I recall. Perhaps it has now moved to sporadic or maybe there are different categories. Some are general General Assemblies while others are Uber Big General Assemblies. It really does not need to make sense or have consistency. Nothing else from the squatters has so far.

Due to the above ambiguity, I will raise the Epcor room cost back to the initial estimate that I had reduced for what I thought would be regular scheduling of the room.

5) That the city permit one tent at the plaza, or at a mutually agreed location, as an info booth to disseminate information to the public and to operate during normal park hours.

OK so they want permanent prime space downtown. Well, for a 10×10 vending tent on Steven Avenue it is $520 per month plus GST so that comes to about $6552 per year.

6) That the city provide electricity during normal park hours to ensure adequate lighting in and around the information tent referred to in 5) and provide assistance (CFD, Bylaw) in setting up an adequate and compliant heating system for the information tent referred to in 5). Also, that the city provide security for the information tent during off hours.

Hmm. So they want the tent to remain 24/7, with electric, heat and security. That is essentially a small free-standing business in downtown Calgary. Lets give that a cost of around $200,000 and forgo the earlier vending tent estimate.

7) That the city pay for three evenings rental of the largest rooms at every Community Hall in Calgary for the purpose of holding public forums.

This one is cute. I am afraid that at three days each, they would not be able to get through all of the meetings in one year as there are too many halls in Calgary. Lets just assume one every day all year then. My community hall charges $500 for it’s largest room for a night. It is about an average sized hall. There will be a meeting held at a hall in somewhere in Calgary every day of the year.

Demand for hall rentals: $182,500

8) That the city pay for the rental of all equipment necessary to hold such forums. For example: mic’s, amp’s, speakers, tables, chairs etc. Including internet access for live steaming.

Tables and chairs are usually included with most halls. Sound systems and internet are extra though. Lets just be generous and add $100 per night.

Extras: $36,500

9) That the city pay to advertise all public forums. Including TV, radio, newspapers, community newsletters, etc.

Hmm, I am afraid that gets really pricey. Lets just assume that you get good deals on advertising in all of those mediums for 365 meetings per year with a total being about $2,000 per day.

Advertising on all forms of media: $730,000

10) That the city pay for a CPS presence at each public forum for the duration of the meeting.

Afraid I can’t find a pricing guide for genuine armed police officers. I assure you it will be at least $500 per meeting.

Personal police presence: $182,500

Well at the moment that is all they have come up with so far. Rest assured their greedy little entitled minds will come up with more things that they feel hardworking taxpayers owe them.

Nenshi has made it clear that he is OK with squatters being in our park ad infinitum so this had best be added into Calgary’s city budget.

The cost annually to keep up with he latest extortion demands being made by “occupy” Calgary squatters totals:

$1,608,900!!!

Please include this in the budget deliberations Mayor Nenshi.

Of course you could also grow a set, do your job and kick the damn illegal squatters from our park too.

The above pricing does not account for leap years nor further illegal occupations of parks that will be sure to follow upon capitulation to extortion by the city of Calgary.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

The dangerous remnants of “occupy” Calgary.

I guess it could be arguable as to when “occupy” Calgary lost all credibility. For some such as myself, it was the moment that a legitimate march ended on October 15 and turned into an encampment of squatters in Olympic Plaza and St. Patrick’s Island. For some it was within a few days as it was clear that there really was no distinct goal or message to be had in the squatting and that the time was being wasted.

Clearly a large turning point for even some of the most staunch supporters of “occupy” Calgary was when a group of extremists from the Olympic Plaza squatters actually went out of their way to interfere with a legitimate effort to find long-term housing for the truly and chronically homeless who were encamped at St. Patricks Island.

The incident linked above proved very clearly that the organizers and hardcores in the Calgary “occupy” movement could not care less about the truly disadvantaged. For these people to try to purposely interfere with efforts to aid the homeless so that they could keep some homeless folks in their camp for good optics was nothing less than repugnant. Resolutions soon followed in the Olympic Plaza camp to stop feeding homeless and to stop letting them use their tents. The “occupiers” love using the homeless for talking points and for optics but they really don’t care much for associating with them.

Things continued to degenerate with the Calgary “occupy” movement as more and more incidents drove moderate and rational people away from the squatter encampment. Calgarians were disgusted to find that these people had been defecating in our park and had defaced Canadian flags leading up to Remembrance day.

The dwindling support for and increasing extremes within the movement became very evident a couple weeks ago when a much-touted, union backed rally could not even draw 50 people. Rather than listen to the handful of speakers, many occupiers chose instead to attack a man in a chicken suit who was counterprotesting.

Things continued to heat up as there were less and less occupiers and more and more people confronting the squatters and demanding that they leave our park. Scenes such as the two videos below illustrate the clear frustration on the part of citizens and the incoherent nature of the squatters.

Why is it that the only remaining squatters are increasingly nutty while we still see a fair degree of apparent support on social media?

Well, unfortunately there is a crowd of champagne socialists who while sitting comfortably in suburban homes they are vocally supporting and enabling some disadvantaged and troubled people squatting dangerously in a park. These hypocrites would not dare actually go sleep in a tent themselves. They are much more content drinking fine wine and drawing their battle lines on twitter and in facebook groups. These people will pop downtown now and then with some cookies to perk up their pawns and ensure that they stay on display.

This used to be very evident as we saw the somewhat moderate debating with the extreme on their organizational Facebook page (almost no actual squatters participating in in the facebook group). Slowly but surely the moderate thinkers were pushed away and the once open group has not become closed as these people recognize that their increasingly extreme ideas are costing them a loss in what little remaining public support may be out there.

Unfortunately the remnants of the squatters fall pretty much into two groups now. There are a few chronic, career protesters down there. These are the same kooks we see being teargassed and arrested at pretty much any event where more than a few people can be gathered. While insane and often violent, these people are often fairly bright and can take care of themselves so I am not too worried about them.

The next group are a bunch of predominantly young displaced people. I have met a few of them. They appear to have social and communicative challenges often and are truly not far from real homelessness. Some of these kids have substance abuse problems and others have more subtle but distinct challenges. These kids don’t really look at this as a movement and often can’t enunciate even why they are a part of it. They really don’t understand. These are kids who are displaced and have found what appears to be a welcoming social group. Unfortunately these kids are being terribly used by the remnants of the “occupy” movement.

The problem with the kids listed above is that things are becoming very very dangerous in Olympic Plaza. These young people are not well capable of taking care of themselves and have not been prone to making good long term decisions. That is what does make them ideal for padding the dwindling “occupy” movement but it does not make it ideal for these people to safely function in very adverse weather conditions.

Yesterday I went down to the squatter camp in Olympic Plaza for a visit. There I met one of the victims of a fire that happened a few days ago. He is pictured below.

Those are not typical white gloves this young fellow is wearing. Those are gauze and they are covering the terrible burns on this kid’s hands. His legs are burned as well and the wounds were already seeping through the bandages. The pain must be terrible and I have heard that the person who rescued this guy from the tent was pretty badly burned as well.

I never caught the kid’s name I am afraid. He politely approached me and began to awkwardly explain how he was confident that the candle in his tent had been put out and that he felt that somebody had broken into his tent, lit a second candle that had caused the fire and had left an incriminating lighter behind. I think the kid really believed that was the circumstance.

What was more disturbing than the terrible burns that this young man had gotten was the clear reality that this kid had some serious challenges. What those are I wont begin to guess but I can confidently say this kid needs assistance to get by and that a winter tent camp is a terrible environment for him to be in. Not only did this kid get horribly burned while desperately trying to stay warm on a winter night, he has come back for more. Treating burns is a long, painful and critical process. This kid (I sure wish I had caught his name) is at terrible risk for infection and these wounds may indeed become much worse. The tent camp is littered with garbage and feces and is far from a sterile environment. Environment aside, those bandages will need regular changing and his wounds need treating. I seriously doubt that will happen while squatting.

This all happened before temperatures plunged to the -20 that we have now. What will happen next? Will there be more fires? The tents are closely packed and insulated with cardboard. Tragedy can very easily happen. Are they all warm enough? Digits can very easily be lost to frostbite. Hypothermia leading to death can easily occur should somebody overindulge in a substance. It is not like passing out at home.

Things are only going to get worse down there as a Canadian winter moves in. Mayor Nenshi and other city officials should clear the camp if only for safety purposes. They fear to do anything due to apparent poor optics. Personally I would rather deal with poor optics as a politician than to have to live with a kid being disfigured or even worse due to my inaction.

The coldest of them all out there though are the hypocrites who sit in warm houses and enable this. These people who are using troubled kids as pawns for their undefinable cause. It truly is sick.

Mayor Nenshi, clean the squatters out. There is no message and this whole affair is clearly not harmless.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,