I am still trying to get a handle on conspiracies. Forget that… I am still trying to get a handle on reality. In the end, theorizing about conspiracies is just that: an attempt to get a handle on reality.
We don’t like uncertainty. It makes us feel comfortable to know that things happen for a reason. Knowing the reason makes it easier to accept even things we do not particularly like.
Some theories are trying to foretell the future, some to explain the past. Sometimes, when the present makes no sense at all, we need to theorize about the intent that brought it to us. Religions are very elaborate conspiracy theories. Continue reading →
My political awakening, meaning the moment I realized what politics in a communist country actually means, happened around the time I was maybe 12-13 years old.
The idea of communism, meaning collective decision making, always had a tendency to degrade into a dysfunctional epistocracy in which the appointed experts were trying to solve problems in the spirit of communism. We had debates about various public concerns. Housing, shortages, prices, absenteeism, you name it. There were television panel discussions and newspaper back-and-forths trying to solve the problems. Continue reading →
I could not decide what would illustrate best what I am trying to say about the most important aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic. The first picture is the infamous Mordecai Richler gazebo on Mont Royal in Montreal. It was a restoration work with a final price tag of $700,000.- Yes, that is seven hundred thousand Canadian dollars for something that you can buy brand new at Home Depot for less than $7,000.- (taxes include). It is a monument to government incompetence, waste and corruption. It is a glaring exposure of the problems that lay behind.
The second picture is about the perverse exposure of our dirty little secrets. We have many, and the pandemic with the whipped-up panic around it exposed them all. The pandemic is real, the response to it is just perverse. The problems it exposes exist on several layers. The politics, its consequences and what it says about us. Continue reading →
(the crisis of democracy #2)
The January 18th 2020 issue of The Economist has a special report on housing. It is troubling in more ways than I can say, but it is also a perfect illustration of some points I was trying to make in my previous post about epistocracy. The Economist prides itself on being a leading publication on economic questions in the English language world. It has a prestigious history, but in the past decade it started to shift dangerously toward the left. Continue reading →
A European news medley
Here are some items from the news last week:
They all represent some sort of challenge to the EU, its powers and the way it operates. Continue reading →
I woke up to the news that our hydro rates are going up. There is nothing new about that. Ontarians already pay the highest rates in North America, but that is no reason why they couldn’t or shouldn’t go even higher. What was news, is the reason behind the rate increase.
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“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice, there is.” (Yogi Berra)
The habitat picture is from this article, it is not “the plan” but a good indication of the attitude. To see how, just read this article, published in the New York Times in 1986 when the government owned project was sold to its tenants. Then check out some listings of units available for sale today. The cheapest listing is half a million dollar. Once you bought it, monthly expenses for the unit are $1,685. The history of Habitat 67 deserves a study on its own mostly to show how and why the failures of government projects are inevitable; but since in politics failure is success, Obama now wants to do something similar on a colossal scale. Continue reading →
I have that warm and fuzzy feeling again. The nanny state is looking out for me. Yet again, I got some extra protection I did not ask for.
I received an e-mail with the following message:
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I woke up to a conversation on CBC about “long term planning”
In light of the ongoing debate over the request of Porter Airlines to expand Billy Bishop Airport, Matt Galloway was quoting Ken Greenberg, an Urban planner with a quite obviously displayed, passionate disdain for anything ‘pfrrrrivate’.
Continue reading →