Thursday, 28 April 2016

Fear the Pendulum

Barfy slogans and pithy platitudes bombarded Manitobans without pause or purpose this last month.

Good Jobs, Steady Growth (downwards?)

Imagine Better.

For a Better Manitoba.

<insert Gag Tag>

10 times the spoiled ballot count was the response... oh, and a Manitoba Party that, despite the shambles, damned near hit the Green party numbers in ridings they ran candidates in.

Seems like, in Manitoba's provincial elections, we are promised the change we already know. Let that logic sink in a bit.

One leader ran (beautifully) on 'hey, if you don't like him, vote for me!' Another tried 'if you don't like anyone, vote for me, ('cause I am unlike anyone else you have ever seen...)'

So, despite the biggest say nothing (intelligible) electoral platforms in recent Manitoba election history, we got the pendulum swing results this Hegelian keystone meat grinder reliably spits out. Hard left, hard right, hard left... and back to hard right.

The middle, normally the turf cut of the Liberals, got lost in the absolute gong show that was the Bokhari and friends campaign. Despite fielding an impressive line-up of candidates (for the most part), and despite attracting some truly nifty new volunteers, nothing and no-one could overcome Rana's... being Rana.

Not even the energy inspired by Justin could mask the bizarre sideshow that Rana put on for us. The Liberal leader displayed the qualities that caused a great whack of her party to run for the hills after less than three months of her leadership. Liberal support in Fort Rouge followed soon after.

Now Manitobans face another 4 years of pendulum politics which, if left unchecked, allows corruption, waste, lack of vision, incompetence, and the absence of public service to thrive (albeit with new bestest friends benefitting.) Instead of putting Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition in power, we put the folks who had nothing better to do than wait it out.

We have a party that lies without conscience leading the opposition now. We have a Liberal leader who cannot understand her own policies, let alone the sitting governments. These are the voices the Province must rely on to keep the mega-PC government in check.

Bloody wonderful.

Sadly, despite having some gifted, intelligent media persons in our midst, the biggest headlines were not about the failures of the parties to enunciate the end of pendulum politics through better governance frameworks. Oh no. The headlines were predominantly inspired by twitter. And twits who tweeted twoubling untwuths. Straight up Fudd-like.

So while the lowest common denominator shrank to 140 characters, the real stories concerning Manitobans were left off the headlines, and out of print. Nothing left now but to remind editors that tweets are character limited for a reason.

Folks, there is public corruption in our midst. Big corruption. It is rampant, it is fairly obvious, and it is knowable. The stories don't fit on a smartphone screen, perhaps. Yet there was a time that journalists and editors coveted the shaggy-dog, multi-layer stories that made a difference.

There was a time when Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition knew their job, and did it fairly well. Please tell me one scandal the PC's brought into the sunlight during their long tenure as the official opposition. Just one, I challenge you.

Give me one example of the Liberal Leader digging into a story and coming up with a problem, let alone a solution, that didn't get reduced to some stupid agist remark. (What is with the hate-on at the MLP for anyone over 50? Daddy issues much?)

Please, please tell me one story that shows either the PC's or Liberals actually did their jobs in opposition. Show me that they understand the details and issues at the bottom of any scandal or underperforming department whatsoever.

Please show me that they actually deserved to govern, or remain in opposition. So I can sleep at night a wee bit better. Because right now, the Westminster model has been replaced with a vicious, uncaring, ineffective pendulum.

And it is swinging over our heads once again.

Ciao, Bellas.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Frozen MB Students Rank Behind...?

Last year, it was the coldest fricken' winter, like... ever.

Now, when you live in Victoria, or Denver, or even Toronto, the 'worst winter ever' is not such a life-and-death matter.

Welcome to the Winnipeg School Division (WSD), where the coldest winter temperatures ever can maim you, fast, even kill you quicker than any other mid-size city on earth.

One thing Winnipeger's know, our weather is no laughing matter if you don't handle it correctly. And oh boy, did the WSD ever blow it last year, says the latest news.

See, last year, Scrappy Mike Babinsky, the long-time school trustee from WSD, found out that our kids were left on the side of the road in the dead of winter. Stranded, outside, waiting for a school bus that just didn't come. Again, and again, and again...

The worst. winter. ever. with kids allegedly left outside up to 90 minutes, waiting... waiting...* Know how fast skin freezes in that extreme cold? Of course you do, through experience, right? Even the image hurts, badly.

Oh, and these kids are all under 12. Just for colour.

This kind of winter famously maims, and kills, kids who are stranded outside in it. Got that image firmly in your mind? Ok, then let's proceed.

Scrappy Mike the trustee decided to do something about what he had been told. In public, and given that it is a public safety issue, obviously appropriately so.

So Mike went to the public school board meeting, duly filed a written notice of motion to address this matter in the public, and tried to do the right thing. Publicly. Like, with all of us.

Why so publicly, you ask?

Because otherwise, the WSD board's business is conducted 'in camera', aka. outside the reach of the public. Either publicly, or completely private. Like, huge-fine-if-you-ever-disclose-a-word kind of private.

Our kids safety, their suffering, and the failures at the Division leading to their suffering, in Scrappy Mike's world, are public matters. Guess what? In my anonymous little world, same thing.

And in the majority of the (NDP... cough...) WSD trustee's world..?

Apparently, this is a big secret deal to them. So the matter was moved almost entirely to their secret meeting. As much as they could, they threw the matter behind closed doors.

Even Mike's written notice of motion was scrubbed from the public minutes.


The resulting fuss has been all over the news. Marty Gold is tackling it, and even the Free Press's Nick Martin has looked up from his football channels long enough to write a few lines about it. Lots of hullabaloo. Lots of quotes from labour council sponsored trustees. High drama, indeed.



Being swept under the secret rug, then... Mike's motion voted down by the (Labour Council... cough...) trustees in a secret meeting.

Voted down. A motion to make sure our kids don't freeze in the dead of the-worst-winter-ever waiting for buses that seem to never come... voted down.

I couldn't make this up. Too bizarre, right?

So Mike got mad, and took the matter public in a different way. Go figure.

Big-shot lawyer and chair of the WSD board Mark Wasyliw has publicly attacked Scrappy Mike for his actions. Other trustees, same. Very disturbing, ok, but not particularly surprising, sadly.

Voting down a motion to keep kids safe, though? Hiding the matter from the public by removing the motion from the minutes? This is... bloody shocking, right? I mean, am I over-reacting here?

Hey, our kids' safety is not a private affair, WSD school board. Not even close. They are OUR KIDS*. And we are the public, you see?

Marty Gold points out, in his latest podcast (welcome back, Marty-cast!) that board chair Wasyliw may face legal sanctions for altering those public minutes. If summarily convicted, it is possible that he will not remain on the board.

And yet Mike got the public sanction by the Board. Seriously, I cannot make this up.


This attempted cover-up (is that too harsh?) has all been done to, apparently, protect division staff from the implications of publicly addressing the matter. To keep the staff safe.

I kid you not. In WSD, their students rank behind some airy-fairy notion of protecting staff from some theoretical liability under FIPA.

So folks, when you are griping about Manitoba students ranking behind other provinces in test scores... are you surprised? If staff of any enterprise are not held to account for failures, then failure becomes a way of life. Not student failure, but staff, which of course leads to student failure. In all kinds of ways.

Think about this: who are the raison d'ĂȘtre for the schools, anyway? The staff, or the students?

(Answer: I suppose it depends on who runs the board.)

Definitely not a good news story. Except for the Scappy Mike bit.

G-d bless you, Scrappy Mike.

(Dig, Marty. DIG*.)


*Bold stylin' inspired by The Black Rod blog. All rights belong to them.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Union Support in Civic Elections

(Sitting quietly, drumming my fingers, watching for signs that folks 'get' the importance of the Union nod in Winnipeg's Civic politics...)

Hey, hi. Miss me?

So, as usual, the content on this page is my anonymous opinion only.

Here we go...

If you do a bad thing (and get caught...), get yourself a lawyer to represent you. Lawyers' services are for sale, still largely following the guidelines laid down by the Sophists in ancient Greece. You can buy representation, even if your cause is... somewhat dubious. Such is our system, and we have been sticking to it.

An agent who is for, and only for, their 'client' will make a stand in opposition to ideals, 'the good', evidence, or whatever else is flung their client's way. The process of defending the seemingly indefensible requires the criminal defence lawyer to transcend the normal bounds of common decency. They are all-in on the side of their client, and damn the goody-goody torpedoes.

Unions are similar in that way. They serve only those who pay them. Right?

In Winnipeg, the collective political will of the various Unions gets legs through the Labour Council. Also in Winnipeg, some civic candidates get their legs through the Labour Council's 'endorsement'.

Now, listen, I am not going to rant on the Union's right to political action. They have it, they use it, and they break no law or guidelines by their simply exercising this right. Go to town, Union bosses (within the boundaries of the rules, of course.)

I am going to rant a wee bit about what their participation means to civic elections, though.

Let's take a School Board election, say, Winnipeg School Board. Governed by elected Trustees, right? In WSD, there are nine elected Trustees, so five votes gets you a majority. Five votes, should they be stacked and whipped, controls the largest single employer in the Province (pretty sure they are). Five votes drive a $400 million annual budget in the direction they see fit.

Five votes.

... and how many Trustee Candidates are the Union's backing in WSD this fine 2014 civic election?

What, do I need to offer a prize? Of course the answer is five. Go see their page on Facebook. Google Winnipeg Labour Council Facebook, look at their mid-June posting of the officially endorsed candidates.

Lets unpack the implications of a Union controlling a School Board through a 'Union-backed' stacked and whipped Board of School Trustees.

Recall that a Union, like a criminal defence lawyer, has only one client: its own membership. They exist solely to serve their dues-paying members. Who within our schools are members of the Union? Better to ask who isn't, much shorter list...

So, if practically every paid grown-up in the school system is tied to a Union, then... who is supposed to represent the families? Who speaks for the taxpayers? Who fights for the rights of students? Who has the 'trust' of every non-union stakeholder involved and invested in the schools?

The Board of 'Trustees'... obviously.

So now ask yourself, what do Union-backed Trustees need to do in order to earn and keep their Union-backing? Do they... oh, I dunno... need to support the Union in return? Hmmm? What do you think, eh self?

So, about the kerfluffle that Trustee Babinsky raised this week.

Check it out (click me!)

You have to understand the frustration that a real community-representing Trustee endures when faced with a stacked, whipped Board filled with 'Union-endorsed' Trustees. They know the duty of care a Trustee takes on when elected by the families in their Ward. It must be heart-breaking to sit at the Board table and watch such an obvious abdication of the role all around them. They vote against the Union-backed tide again, and again, always with the same sad result.

Their tongues are cut out by a $50,000.00 penalty for breaking the gag order imposed in the secret 'in camera' board meetings. Their hearts are ripped out as vote after voted gets whipped, stacked, and shoved through the secret 'Committee of the Whole.' Their voice is silenced by, it appears, some pretty high-level tampering with the Board minutes (c'mon Minister, investigate it.)

So now you have a slack anonymous blogger unpacking the implications of Union-backed Civic campaigns. I had to comment after Mike went public, because...

The Newspapers aren't. Nary a word on the subject of the whipped voting record so far. Freaky.


The PC party isn't saying anything publicly about this matter. That is just plain weirdo.


What about the MB Liberals?

Don't even ask me that.

Don't     even     ask     me     that.

Wise reader, I know you have many opinions about the Mayoral race. Oh, and you could talk my ear off about the Councillors, I know, I know...

But heck, damn, people, these are our kids. Maybe we need to focus on this issue just a wee bit more. Maybe I need to go through the voting record (what little is recorded...) and show you the pattern... ummm..

I better actually get on that.

(Oh... and just for colour, who is the Chair of the secret Committee of the Whole at WSD...?

Why, Trustee Mark Wasyliw, former NDP Federal Candidate... and big time Criminal Defence lawyer.



Thursday, 30 January 2014

Charles Adler Loves Rana...?


Ok, so maybe the headline looked misleadingly romantic, sorry. But I love the catchy headlines, right?)

Charles Adler, and certain other (cough* Winnipeg Sun staff... cough*) journalists have been lovin' them some Rana lately.

Q: Cute, or creepy?

I mean, sure, Rana is, as Charles points out in yesterday's interview, charming as all get out when you first meet her. She actually bats her eyes, which is a lost art that breathes a little energy into the new political air. Today's Liberals being all about the 'new way' of politics, seems to fit.

But still... does a pair of fluttering lashes or a big hug or enormous smile really get you this kind of positive publicity from the crotchety old right-wing reporters in Peg-city?

I mean, look, Charles is smart. Like, super-smart. Not a word drops from his lips that isn't moulded, shaped, and directed with deadly serious purpose. Guy is Mensa-smart in the mouth. We all know that.


How can Chuck spew the kind of bullshit about the party's 'increase under Rana's leadership' that he did yesterday?

(Answer: guided missile aimed at the NDP wafflers.)

How does he accept the above false premise, then ask if Rana is considering the effect of the 'Liberal surge under Rana'  on the NDP and PC parties?

(Answer: guided missile aimed at wafflers generally, and strategic voters. Smart cluster bomb... oh, Charles!)

Why wouldn't he ask about the increase in Liberal Party support _after_ Rana was elected?

(Answer: shaping the message.)

So, should I go on?

I know some say that any press is good press. Sure, and Charles is a neat guy, so cool, let's chat with him.

But folks, to be so blatantly used in the manner in which the new Liberal Leader has been in these interviews....

I gotta call it. Creepy. Not cute. I have spoken.

So, now, let's please looks at facts. is a national treasure. Go there, check it up.

Once there, you will find a lovely chart which details the Provincial party support of the last few years. Yes, Manitoba is neatly labled and well treated. Science based stuff, distilled down to a grade 2 level graph for us.

Look at the Manitoba picture (its a bloody picture, folks, so kinda hard to misunderstand.) Hint: the Manitoba Liberals are the Red line.

Go ahead, look at it. You will see, in crayon-coloured simple-line-drawing truth, that:

1. The polls show MB Liberal Party support rise right after Justin is elected, and the PST debate got real. Rise starts around April, goes until about Sept.

2. Then it stops rising, and flatlines.

So the increase in support, if it is to be tied to a change in leadership, is clearly tied to Justin's leadership. Like, crayon-clearly, right?

The Liberals 'new political way', with bold ideas and even bolder decisions started in April of 2013 (dude, the Senate turfed from caucus? Masterful. But the new commission for choosing non-partisan Senators...? Thank you.)

Rises, rises... and then... Rana was elected. And then it is as flat as the farm.

It seems everyone has been holding their breath since Rana was elected. +20% have not decided to vote for anyone, yet. This is significant. Flat-line support. Which is fine, Manitoban's are bright. Kind of Missouri-North, show me people.

The by-elections prove what I am saying (and the frickin' crayon-coloured line drawing shows), as they mirror the polls despite the cold weather, gas explosions, and mondo-apthy. Almost bang on the prediction (remember, the Grits poll lower in the country than the city, but had the advantage of some momentum in Arthur-Virden.)

No increase in support since Rana was elected.

Chuck lied.

(Let that sink in.)

Chuck... lied...

Charles Adler does not get this stuff wrong. Too frickin' smart. No, folks, he lied. On purpose, or knowing Chuck, likely on multi-purpose. Mensa-mouth can hit more than one target at a time.

It will be interesting to see what the new MB Liberal Party leadership comes up with, and how folks eventually respond to it. Could be a lots of ink in 2014, and perhaps a lot fewer undecideds.

And lets leave it at that, ok Charles?

(You kooky guy.)


Monday, 2 December 2013

Happy Holidays... Infidel!

You know me.

I am, more than anything else (MB politically,) dedicated to seeing the Kings and Queens of Orange supplanted by another worthy Government-in-waiting. They have wandered into absolute power territory, with the expected results. Has to be stopped, right? For our children's sake, etc. You know.

To that end, I was even willing to gather under a big tent filled with Green, Red, and Blue people. I really was... (at least until we fix the first-past-the-post nightmare. Then have at'er, plurality of parties.)

But... oh bother. Brian, honestly, how could we share a tent after this?

Now, you might be thinking that I'm going to saw on the 'infidel atheist' matter.

I am not. Barely care.

However, if you listen to the video around the 9 to 13 second marks, the fella hoping to be the leader of one of the most multi-cultural environs in the world does not know what 'infidel atheists' celebrate this time of year.


It isn't that he has 'his own' way, which hey, I'm glad for him about.

It is that he says he does not know what a very, very large portion of the population of Manitoba (non-believers-like-his-believers) could possibly be celebrating this time of year.


Oh, bother.

So now we have to consider if Brian is fit for the office he seeks. Is he...

... ready to lead?

(Back at'ya, Pro Cons.)

Yes, he is ready to lead, but not the Province of Manitoba. Not all of us, together. Just... some of us, you know, those whom he understands.


Maybe we should ask Rana if she knows what 'infidel atheists' celebrate this time of year. Just sayin'...

(And hey, Free Press, Brian is not running for the office of Prime Minister.

If you are going to show a pie chart to do with the religious affiliations of the populace he wishes to lead, try Manitoba maybe? Wow.)


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

NDP Supports Preferential Ballot... (for themselves)

Recall the Premier, in the last election, said that the preferential ballot system was too complicated for Manitobans.


Then recall Ms. Mary Agnes Welch, intrepid Freep reporter, writing:

"Better way to vote

THE provincial NDP hopes a better way to vote will avoid the chaos that reigned in the Maples during the 2009 leadership race.
Back then, the Maples was the scene of one of the most controversial and cramped delegate selection meetings. Hundreds of new members, most from the city's growing Indo-Canadian community, jammed into a neighbourhood school to cast their ballots for leadership hopefuls Steve Ashton or Greg Selinger. Some got shut out and the meeting took hours.
At Sunday's nomination vote, the party will test-drive a preferential ballot for the first time. Party members will be able to drop in any time during the day to vote, and ballots will ask members to rank each candidate in order of preference. That avoids what could be a daylong voting process, assuming one of the three candidates doesn't get a majority on the first ballot.
The three candidates for the nomination support the system, saying it's much easier for members..."


Q1: Is it easier for members, or not easier for members?
Q2: Is it only easier if you are an NDP member?
Q3: Is it only easier for nominations?
Q4: WTF?

Mr. Premier, sir, with respect, I have to unpack this a little at your expense.

So hey, does anyone know the coolest power of the preferential ballot? Goes like this:

WE DON'T LIKE YOU (this much)

The real power of the preferential ballot is found in one's ability to say 'stop!' Stop doing that to me / us / them / yourselves. Stop that, rascals, rogues, rapscallions.

See, when you vote in first-past-the-post, you are only allowed to say who you like the best. "X marks my besties, my buddies, my brethren." And hey, that's ok, because we should get to say who we support, and say it clearly.

Some pundits say that the power of the preferential ballot rests 'next in line', or who you support kinda, sorta, I mean if you really pushed me to say.

Hogwash, I say.

Lukewarm is neither hot nor cold. It is tepid, kinda, sorta. It isn't bad, but it isn't best.

Best is saying:

"Ok, look, I get it. You want to promise the moon and stars to your supporters. But to do that, you have to take from me and mine (you win, we lose.)

I am not stupid, and I see what you are doing. I will try to stop you by giving you the worst ranking possible. I am going to try to stop what you are doing, as is my right and my responsibility."

Only... today, despite clearly being your responsibility, it is not your right. You may not punish putrid policy with the lowest possible ranking because the Premier of Manitoba will not let you.

Hmmm... let that sink in. The Premier of Manitoba will not let you. Because, he says, you are not bright enough to figure out a ranking system (poor dear.) Pappa Greg, keeping you safe from the implications of your low IQ. What a pip, eh 'wot?

But that is not true, is it, sir? Mr. Premier, you know that Manitoba has the requisite IQ score to figure out who hurts them, and who doesn't. You know full well the legions of 'have-nots' your regime has screwed, lied to, led on, and leveraged are not suffering intellectually, but rather socio-economically.

In short, sir, I ask you to tell the brave truth: that with Preferential balloting, the NDP strategy goes dark. The polar politics of first-past-the-post puts you in power. A preferential system may (may!) not.

You chose to keep Manitobans gagged so you can stay in power the old fashioned way.

End of story, right, sir?

Ok, fair enough. Thanks for being honest.

The NDP is supportive of better forms of Democracy, but not for non-NDP members.

Because they are too stoo-pid? No, of course not. Just the opposite, right?

Lord above, Manitoba. Stand up for your rights. Insist on preferential balloting.

Stop making a mess for your children to clean up.

My friends, now is the time to turn up the heat on this issue. Do not wait for the election. Pile on the pressure now, so the back-room policy wonks get an early whiff of your incessancy. Bang the drum of decent democracy now, later, and onwards to that better future.

Ok? Seriously, lets go.

(Hey, newly minted leader Manitoba Liberal Rana Bokhari. Good to see you, welcome to the party.

This is kinda important, above.)


Friday, 25 October 2013

Pot Laws: Criminal Training Still Unspoken

So no-one talks about the affects on kids that Harper's current pot regime has. Guess it is up to me to get this conversation-ball a-rolling. No problem, dear Reader.

Scene: Justin blindsided by Brandon Mom concerned her daughter gets pot when legalized.

What Justin said: Essentially 'it will be harder for kids to get when legal' projection argument.

(Maybe it will, maybe it won't, actually.)

What he should have said: "(Read below, oh faithful one.)"

"Dear Pot-Concerned Brandon Mom,

Your daughter, if she buys pot today, gets great school-supported training in criminal behaviour. I'm assuming that is not a good thing for you. If it is a good thing then stop reading. Now.

If you don't want school kids (including yours) trained in criminal behaviour at school, then let's talk about how precious gets her pot today, under the Harper Government (TM).

There is a party Saturday. Little Suzy's friends ask her if she can hook them up with some smokables. "'Natch", Suzy says. "Just give me some money, Honies."

Your daughter then secretly contacts a known criminal, a school mate. She makes inquiries as to the availability, quality, and price of said desired dope. If pleased, she makes a meet and monetarily supports the criminal education of her peer, and also strengthens the tie between organized crime and the school.

If you don't know the above then.... pull your head out of your ass, Mom. Seriously, pull it out.

Done? Ok, now listen closely.

Mom... I have good news, and bad news.

The good news is that your daughter likely gets high grade weed. I'm guessing local herb (go, Manitoba!), price is decent. Doubtful she gets ripped off in an alley by some desperate street kid (after all, her contact is still in school, right?) A pretty safe transaction, by criminal standards.

...and the bad news?

A criminal organization, likely gang controlled, is supplying your daughter and her friends. Don't worry though, right, because they care about your daughter. It's all 'family' and stuff up at the biker club house, you know? They really, really care about Suzy. Not even kidding.

Think of it this way, Mom:

A high-level criminal has a huge flow of pot crop harvested each month. He (or she...) and his buddies love making the Benjamins, and selling plants worth $2000.00 per pound gets dem' lotsa' money. They supply everyone who has da' money. They supply school kids, University students, hippies, oldies, Politicians... everyone. If you have money, you get pot through the system.

Now one day the distribution arm of the criminal organization had a problem: not enough pot due to a crop failure and a major bust. They must choose between supplying the high school, the old folks home, or parliament. Oh, dilemma, who will get the straight trippin' dope, yo'?

Duh. The school. Long-term thinking and addiction go hand in hand, right? These kids are your local biker's precious cargo. Much, much money to be made there.

So, Mom, your sweet young daughter is not just another customer to Billy the Biker. She is his Gold client, his bread and butter forever, his top priority. Isn't that grand?


Your sweet Suzy and her friend (the Grade 10 pot dealer) represent a new army of law-breakin', money making peons who can (and likely will) fatten the criminal coffers for years to come. Mr. Grade 10 soon becomes a man with ambitions, and men with ambitions in organized crime follow a fairly reliable path.

He might take the place of 'school liaison' when he graduates, supplying the next generation. He might rise higher, supplying all school liaisons in a region, or a School Division, or a city... (you know its a business, right, Mom? I mean, with franchises, territories, and all that jazz. Right?)

And Mr. Grade 10 is Suzy's friend... well, business associate, really. Either way, they are tight. Nice, huh?


Sweet Suzy, ever the lovin' friend, hooks up her peeps and they share the cost of the bag full'o dope, right? She gets them all involved. But she will almost certainly introduce her bestest friend to Mr. Grade 10 ('cause she is straight chillin' dog. You can totally trust her, we're besties...)


Your sweet Suzy has received a couple years of in-school training in the general dynamic for benefiting from and enabling organized criminal behaviour. Don't be a rat, don't be a square, never narc, never tell your parents, don't pay PST, yadda yadda.

These messages are drilled into Suzy's little head again and again. Her secret friends need Suzy to follow a script, stay with the program, keep coming with the money. After all, without Suzy and her peeps, there is no market. No market, no money, no more organized crime.

Really, no more organized crime (well, this little slice, anyhow.) These guys are not religiously driven, ok? They make money, they work. No money, no work.

So, yeah, about that little slice.

$Billions. That at least you know, right Mom?

Maybe you even have friends who make big, big money 'cause pot be illegal, Mom?"


Well, maybe she does, maybe she doesn't. I really don't know for sure. But, man, that interview sure waked like a duck trying to keep the pond water fresh. You know?

The regular press focuses in on how funny it is that famous people smoke pot. And that's cool, I guess, it is kinda funny. Sadly, what the regular press seems to have forgotten about Pot is that in all such matters, follow the money.


Regular press, when did you lose your nerve on Pot and stop following the money? Oh... right... biker gangs and politically connected persons and... ah, ok. You are afraid, 'natch. Cool.

Now, to be fair (and real) not all the current pot supply can be traced back to gangs. Some folks are gentle-person farmers growing their Ganga in peaceful pursuits. They don't pay taxes, though... which is not really fair. That aside, they are nice people with good lives and connections in churches, community groups, non-profits, government.....

Government. The folks who build the Marxian sub-structure upon which the pot black market dynamic rests.

Are there connections between pot growers and government? Um, yes, it is necessarily the case. If you don't know this, then again I have to ask if there is a slight feeling of over-fullness and discomfort in the back of your pants... and if it is dark and quiet in your world...

Prohibition is driven by money, plain and simple. Was that way with liquor in the States, is that way with Pot in Canada. Money, money, money, money, and money. Tax money, hidden money, tomorrow's money, bribe money, hush money, extortion for money, love of money. This is a business, and this business is all about money.

Prohibitionists used the services of a recently successful suffragette movement to ban alcohol under the 'we care' banner. It worked. Worked with pot, too (same thing, different nice ladies, people like certain Mom's from Brandon... right Mom?)

Underneath these banners is MONEY. Every time, all the time.

Well, money and power. Sure, power too.

(Hmmm... who has power over the market for Pot in Canada... hmmm...)

That's the kind of thing I wish Justin had said.

Recently an NDP blogger and I chatted, and he said he was not a direct stakeholder in this whole affair. (Meaning, he didn't smoke pot.)

If he thinks the above does not form a direct link to his life and the lives of those he loves, then I wonder...