A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shitty pickings - Shitty service

Another flawed tenet of right wing ideology is going to be tried yet again by the mindless Harper Conservatives. Here is the plan ... give Billions of borrowed dollars to the largest corporations (banks, car manufacturers, etc.) and these dollars will be invested in the economy by the big capitalists creating jobs and prosperity. Problem is that this ideology has failed time after time after time. Essentially, the concept is that if you give a bushel of oats to a big old horse, the oats will work their way out of the arse end of the horse and the little sparrows can pick through the crap and find some of the oats to eat. Trickle Down Economics is a pillar of the Right's failed ideology. It basically feeds the corporate sector with borrowed money that the taxpayers have to repay. It works VERY well for the Corporate sector. It doesn't work that well for the little sparrows .. I mean working taxpayers.

Cheap, cheap ....this tastes like shit......

Belgium's much-reviled phone company Mobistar was elaborately pranked by a program on VRT Belgium; the pranksters hid themselves in a steel container, which they had dropped directly in front of the gates of a large Mobistar office at 5AM. The container had a prominent customer service number printed on the side of it -- a number which rang the pranksters inside the container -- that was promptly called by a series of Mobistar employees who wanted to get the container moved off before 2,000 Mobistar employees reported for work and found the parking lot blocked off.The pranksters proceed to put the Mobistar employees through a high-art comedic phone hell, disconnecting them, subjecting them to terrible hold music (performed live from within the container on a little synthesizer), gradually ratcheting the misery up in a Dante-worthy re-enactment of every terrible, awful mobile phone company experience. The program was a huge hit in Belgium

Now where did you say Bell corporate offices are?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Medical Officer of Health Outraged !

Dr. Hazel Lynn, chief medical officer of health in Huron and Bruce counties, was outraged when the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment sent out a media release that suggested she had disavowed the link.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Lynn, who estimates between 10% and 15% of people living near turbines in her area say their health has been affected.
It’s not clear if turbines cause physical harm or stress that brings on poor health, but concerns are real and need to be examined, she said.
“Many people, in many different parts of Grey Bruce and Southwestern Ontario have been dramatically impacted by the noise and proximity of wind farms. To dismiss all these people as eccentric, unusual, or as hyper-sensitive social outliers does a disservice to constructive public discourse and short-circuits our opportunities to learn and benefit from their experiences as we continue to develop new wind farms,” she wrote in a report to her health board.
“It is apparent that a minority of those people living or situated near Industrial Wind Turbines may experience dramatic, negative impacts. We cannot pretend this affected minority doesn’t exist. A determination has to be made as to what level or extent of negative impacts is tolerable.”
Those findings weren’t mentioned by the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment when it issued a release that highlighted two lines from Lynn’s seven-page report — that most people don’t complain of ill effects from wind turbines. (Which is akin to saying that most people don't complain about the affects of lung cancer or poor air quality)
“Forty years of science suggests wind turbines do not harm human health,” wrote Gideon Foreman, the group’s executive director. He linked Lynn’s report to a review done last year by Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, a review Lynn publicly objected to because it excluded a section on community harm.
“The study found the scientific literature ‘does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health’ effects,’ ” Foreman wrote.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.

    After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop.

    When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

    Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop.

    The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

    Then a Member of Parliament came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I can not accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The MP was very happy and left the shop.

    The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen MPs lined up waiting for a free haircut.

    That, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

Sorry,  could not resist sharing this one!

Monday, January 3, 2011

On the soapbox again!

Its been a while since I dragged out my rural soapbox but the following article struck a chord with me. I was particularly struck by the reference to the difficulties that less affluent rural residents face regarding transportation to larger centers where we are directed for various services. This was highlighted when watching the local news on new years day and hearing the father of the New Years Baby in London, Ont say that they had driven from Goderich. Whilst there may have been a pressing reason for them not getting delivered in their own community I doubt it, there is an ever increasing centralization of services of all sorts and I am aware of a number of mothers being told to drive to London or Kitchener because there “are no obstetricians” at the local hospital wherever that may be. Childbirth should be the most basic of services in most cases and families should not have to drive to a hospital one to two hours away with birth imminent, this is but one example of how rural residents are increasingly becoming second class citizens. The squeaky wheel get the grease and there is a lot more noise coming from the more populated areas!

Read on for another perspective......

Imagine a community with no soup kitchens, no Out of the Cold programs and no homeless shelters. No support groups, community counseling, legal aid clinics or social assistance satellites.
Only a food bank and the Ontario Provincial Police.
Welcome to Wasaga Beach. Home to the world's longest freshwater beach with 14 kilometres of white sand beach. Located on Southern Georgian Bay, it's one of Ontario's favourite four season tourist and vacation destinations.
"Our quality of life and our safe and friendly community has attracted a steady stream of new residents and season dwellers to our town over the years," said Cal Patterson, Mayor of Wasaga Beach, in the 2010 Wasaga Beach Visitor's Guide.
Like other small communities across Ontario, Wasaga Beach also has its share of homeless and poor people trying to survive without the resources that are available in large urban centres.
"In a rural community, fighting poverty is so much harder because it thrives in silence and lacks the resources necessary to get people back on their feet," said Amy MacPherson, founder and executive director of Wasaga Cares, a recent not-for-profit startup trying to help people living in poverty gain access to a broad range of social services. MacPherson said the Salvation Army will provide shelter in a motel room for up to three days "but even that is in a remote location with no transportation and you'd have to find your way to Barrie, ON (50 minute drive) for emergency accommodations after that."
For a family, the nearest shelter is located in Newmarket which is 1.5 hours' drive away.  "So if you have no vehicle you can either hitch a ride along the 400 Hwy with the kids underarm... or... beg I suppose," she said.................
Read more of this article at http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/johnbon/2011/01/fighting-rural-poverty-poses-unique-challenges