Ten Thousand Dead - not
Art Paul’s letter (Ten Thousand Dead) in
the last Columbia Journal was certainly moving, but also off base.
Those Iraqi civilians did not die for
nothing. The fact is Iraq was governed by a bloody
tyrant who invaded other countries. He had to be removed.
Yes, I too am very concerned that some of
the most ruthless dictators today, including Saddam, have been
supported and aided by the US government, and big American
companies are benefiting from this.
I’m also worried that lucrative contracts
for Iraqi oil and other businesses are being awarded to US firms with
insider ties to the Bush Administration and the Republican Party,
especially since they insisted this war wasn’t about oil. And I also
fret the new Iraqi government may turn out as bad as Saddam.
But these are reasons for changing US foreign policy, not reasons
against removing Saddam by force, regardless that the US supported him previously.
Saddam crossed the line. He used chemical
weapons against his own people in violation of UN treaties. He attacked
surrounding countries—first Iran, then Kuwait—and threatened others, like Syria and Saudi Arabia.
He was clearly the greater evil and
something had to be done. The US invasion of Iraq was neither heroic nor
glorious. It was simply necessary.
Tell It Like It Is
I really liked your
editorial on fighting terrorism by getting to the source. Finally!
Finally, somebody tells it like it is.
It always amazes me how the US government goes out and finds these
crazy freaks, teaches them how to be even worse, arms them, puts them
in power, gives them deals with the biggest corporations in the world
and then wonders why they can't control them.
Glad to see someone’s making
some sense in the media today.
Split Vote Could Keep Liberals In Power
noticed in your print issue an ad regarding the next provincial
election as being "Payback Time" for the BC Liberals. I am afraid
that this is overly optimistic what with the left/green opposition
nearly certainly splitting the vote between them and having the
Liberals win up the middle. The NDP and the Greens must come to
an agreement about how they can jointly field candidates or else it
will be another disastrous Liberal term in office.
Letter of Shame
My laconic ex-European
neighbor, Sam, stopped by my fence on his morning walk yesterday. In
the midst of our usual "avoiding politics" chat he came out with this
" I will carry to the grave my shame that I voted for this government."
Black Creek BC
Light Rail Answer to RAV Debacle
The problem with the RAV
project, as well as the Expo and Millennium Rapid Transit Lines is
transit has proven not to attract much new
projects, the great Philosopher's Stone from the 1960's and 70's, were
built on the premise that speed alone will attract ridership. The
faster and more expensive the R/T system the better it will be.
SkyTrain was born out of this philosophy.
Yet speed alone has
proven not to attract much new ridership! Embarrassingly, subways and
elevated R/T systems also have faired very poorly against at-grade LRT,
in attracting new customers! Why then continue R/T planning in Vancouver?
have shown transit planners that to attract ridership, rapid transit
must serve both where the customer lives and where he wants to go,
comfortably, in an ambient and seamless (no-transfer) journey.
As R/T is too expensive to build to the suburbs, as well servicing
major destinations, it fails. SkyTrain's Expo Line is
a perfect example: it's only carrying one third of its predicted peak
hour ridership and embarrassingly, ridership on SkyTrain in falling!
Hence the renaissance of
modern light rail transit. Being much cheaper to build than rapid transit, LRT can be economically
built, servicing the suburbs, where customers live, and the many
destinations where customers want to go, providing the network for the
all important seamless journey!
The real question of RAV
has been ignored, both by naive politicians and devious bureaucrats
alike: building with LRT from Vancouver to Steveston, via the
Arbutus Corridor, for about $20 million/km. or a SkyTrain R/T subway at about $150
With little public
debate, the taxpayer is forced, yet again, to ante up for a hugely
expensive dated R/T line, built mainly for political prestige!
Let’s Help BC For a Change
Minister Rick Thorpe asked how to raise revenues without debt and
without leasing, closing down or selling off public assets like the
Coquihalla or BC Hydro, etc. In reality, sufficient revenue exists,
however it’s surrendered to “Yankee traders” by our unpatriotic
Currently, our greatest
revenue producer, the BC forest industry is being systematically
weakened, drained and destroyed by the US lumber bullies’ efforts to
grab and control our vital timber resources.
The BC Government
vehemently opposes subsidization. Yet it hypocritically allows our
superior BC forest industry to pay the lumber tariffs. However, this is
tantamount to subsidization, because under the USA’s unjust Byrd Amendment,
tariff monies can go directly to help individual inefficient USA lumber companies compete,
rather than to the US treasury.
To counter and offset
lost lumber revenues, why hasn’t the BC Government done its public duty
and given the US lumber bullies’
ultimatums to stop tariff extortion or face the following:
- Immediate tariffs on all
raw logs exported to USA up to three times the USA lumber tariffs.
- Threats of banning all
raw logs to USA.
- No further payments of
lumber tariffs and full reimbursement of all tariffs collected.
- Increased export prices
on our oil, gas, electricity etc to cover lumber tariff costs.
- A BC Government initiated
worldwide boycott of USA wood products.
There’s no revenue
problem, and it’s detrimental to privatize the public’s assets.
Privatization is a neo-conservative ideological scam, where governments
undemocratically help a few to get rich from the wealth created by the
To maximize revenues, the
BC Government must cease helping Corporate America’s pastime of
More on Liberal Fiscal Fallacies
Okay, now for the facts.
The Liberals gave away over a billion dollars to the rich. That
giveaway will cost the province about $3 Billion to recover back into
Everyone agrees that health care needs restructuring. Every province is
actively pursuing this.
When the NDP left office there was over $1 Billion in surplus revenue.
Employment was up, unemployment was down and we ranked third in economic
performance among the provinces. After giving away the Billion, we are
dead last in economic performance, unemployment is up, new job creation
is down and for the first time in the provinces history we are classed
as a "have not province." Newfoundland is doing
better than us.
Put it all together and the picture is quite dismal. If the forestry
sector doesn't turn around we will be in for a rough ride in 2004/2005.
The Liberals can't be blamed for the global economic slump, but giving
away the Billion sure didn't help.