Albas hits the nail right on the head
To NDP Premier John Horgan and others fussing over the high cost of gasoline in B.C., I would suggest that you read and heed the excellent analysis “From The Hill” by Dan Albas, published in Wednesday’s Herald. It quantifies the inexorable truth behind the lofty costs to operate a vehicle in beautiful British Columbia. Of course, ICBC also adds to the equation.
The best way to beat an addiction
We humans are addicted to fossil fuels, and this addiction threatens our future. That’s the message of climate science.
As we think about how to respond to the challenge, it is useful to look at similar addiction problems we have faced in the past. Tobacco addiction comes immediately to mind.
While much remains to be done, we have made huge progress in the last 40 years. A number of tools have been used and it is not entirely clear how effective each of them is. However, people who have carefully analyzed the data conclude that one tool has been undeniably effective — tobacco taxes. This makes a lot of sense to economists like me. In a market economy, if you want to get people to smoke less, make smoking more expensive. It probably makes a lot of sense to you, too. There is nothing magical here. This is common sense.
And it’s applicable to our fossil fuel addiction. Collectively, we humans are the source of this problem. If we are to win the war on climate change, we need to reduce our carbon footprints.
One way to tackle this addiction is to make it more expensive for us to consume fossil fuels and goods that are produced using a lot of fossil fuel. A carbon tax does this very nicely. What has worked for our tobacco addiction will work for our fossil fuel addiction.
Andrew Scheer rejects this common sense. In a recent speech he said this: “The carbon tax isn’t simply another Liberal tax grab. It is ... a classic Liberal bait and switch, promising Canadians a plan to lower emissions and protect the environment and instead delivering nothing but a tax to punish tax payers and pad government revenues.”
This is plain, old-fashioned baloney because the lion’s share of revenues generated by the federal carbon tax are returned to the taxpayers in the four affected provinces as a rebate on their tax returns, and the balance is returned to the provinces themselves. And that rebate — whether it’s added to a refund from the Canada Revenue Agency or subtracted from the taxes owed — is money in their pockets. It can be spent on whatever those taxpayers choose to buy.
Mine’s bigger than yours
Two little boys sitting in a bush, one spits at the other, and the other gives him a push.
“Listen little man. I’ll give you a punch if you don’t smarten up and throw all your rocks away,” Donny taunts.
Kimmy throws a few rocks into the street to show intent.
“There, you big bully, I’ve done it. Now, what’re you gonna do for me?”
“We gotta meet again and then I’ll tell you.”
“Na, na, na I’ve got more than you,”
“Oh, yeah well mine’re more powerful than yours.”
“Mine’s bigger than yours.”
“No, it ain’t.”
“I’ll show you; I’ll get mine out and show you.”
“I’ll fire mine at you and you won’t be able to show me, so there.”
Like two little boys, two madmen stand with their fingers on the button of destruction, taunting each other to the brink of obliteration. With the fate of the world in their hands, they play juvenile games of bullying… playing the games hundreds of madmen have played with the fate of humankind over the centuries–the difference? They really do hold the fate of this planet and perhaps, the universe in their pudgy, egotistical, little hands.
With hands shaking, fingers poised over the red button……… “Well, I’ll show you,” they shout in unison.
Romanticism in adolescence
It is as if we have nine lives, yet every one of them is a tragedy. With the future as far away as a distant sunrise — void of warmth — we are stuck in the ellipses of life; cruising; breezing.
Falling in love with delusion and growing up in the blink of an eye, we are the wave before it crashes, the forest fire in humanity’s lungs. Drunk off of moonshine and moonlight, we are long lost but seldom savoured clinging on to expectations and hopes like a life raft down our very own River Styx.
The empty streets and untouched walls of our childhood comfort us like lovers as we yearn for the simplicity of a better time — of the thick hazy morning air, of the whirlwind of smiles. I wonder how long the nostalgic ghosts of the past will haunt us.
Into the deep we go, submerging ourselves in the war within our minds till we are as powerfully fragile as a dew drop — a remnant of years of heartbreak, beauty and humanity. In the caress of freedom and sunshine, a future, bright and brimming with possibilities remains; but it is never more than a mirage — golden, like the sand. A dream rarely experienced, but wildly romanticized.
The melodious howling of the wind during sleepless nights and the eerie tranquility of hazy rain clings to us as we forge our way into the world. We are a poetic semblance of the future; of what is yet to come; of what is unstoppable. We will never be younger than we are today so why do we waste so much time trying to grow up?
Within each of us brews the most powerful revolution imaginable and it is with that artistry that we finally realize the charm that is adolescence. We understand the melody of juvenility, the rhapsody that is innocence. Every corner we turn, we are met with poetry and new beginnings and as adulthood approaches like a violent bolt of lightning interrupting a serene sky, we must never forget that.
Forevermore, the scars of our youth will remain, but even more so will its undeniable beauty, and a mastery of soul. Our demons pursue us in their ghastly glow, but we won’t relent.
As our symphony nears its climax and the melodrama sets in, it becomes clear that we are nothing more than a crescendo of emotions and love, always love.
Clean up your act, needle users!
This is to all the intravenous drug users in Penticton. If you are going to be so uncaring as to throw your filthy needles wherever you bloody well want, please break the points off.
At least then, these innocent people — and especially children — don’t have to worry about being stuck by these dirty needles while playing in the parks or wherever. It seems these dope fiends could care less who they hurt.
Clean yourselves up, but I guess that is too much to ask.
Patriotism versus narcissism
Patriotism versus nationalism versus narcissism.
Welcome to Language Lesson 101.
I am referring to the terms listed above. We all have ideas as to what these terms mean. However, do we really have a true understanding of the terms? To find out, we must look at defining them.
Patriotism is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as: “the love for or the devotion to one’s country.”
Sounds simple enough.
While the words patriotism and nationalism were once considered synonyms, they have taken on different connotations. While both are the feelings of love people feel for their country, the values upon which those feelings are based are very different.
Feelings of patriotism are based on the positive values the country embraces — like freedom, justice, and equality. The patriot believes that both the system of government and the people of their country are inherently good and work together for a better quality of life.
In contrast, feelings of strict nationalism are based on a belief that one’s country is superior to all others. It also carries a connotation of distrust or disapproval of other countries, leading to the assumption that other countries are rivals.
While patriots do not automatically denigrate other countries, nationalists do, sometimes to the point of calling for their country’s global dominance.
Let’s take a look at narcissism. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as: “selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.”
Where is all of this going you might ask? It’s simple. On July 1st, we, in Canada, just celebrated Canada’s 152nd anniversary. There were city, town, and community celebrations. Nothing untoward that would show military strength or individual political performance.
As we all know, our neighbour to the south celebrates America’s anniversary on July 4th. This year brings a whole new dimension to this celebration with the likes of Donald Trump. Nationalism and patriotism appear to have fallen by the wayside only to be replaced by narcissism. It does show selfishness. There is a sense of entitlement. There is a lack of empathy and a need for admiration that rears its ugly head characterizing a personality type.
Patriotism and nationalism show boundaries. Narcissism, a la Trump, does not. How would you feel if this state of affairs plagued our country? Would your patriotic and nationalistic pride be the same?
Think about it.
Prevent crime, not seat-belt checks
Cops stands for constable on patrol, but when was the last time you have seen a police car drive slowly down your alley or drive around in your neighbourhood at night?
The top cop says “vigilante beware.” Pardon me sir, but if your team would actually get off the main streets or highway maybe we wouldn’t have to take matters into our own hands.
If your cars would actually patrol instead of jumping out onto the street to catch distracted drivers or seat belt offenders, you just might catch a bad guy. But, oh wait, tickets make money. Tickets don’t solve crimes or catch bad guys, but they do generate revenue.
I have had four tanks of gas siphoned off and one tank punctured and all the gas they didn’t take ran out in the parking area. This put lives in danger.
Today, we had our mail boxes torn open. One more crime.
I look around me. I work while others ride around on very expensive bikes that cost more than I can afford, yet they don’t work. Gee how can that be?
I have yet to see them stopped and questioned.
I have seen more police cars on the highway than I have on our city streets.
You have many good, brave, hard working men and women on your force, they are there during times of need and emergencies, they are willing to put their lives in danger to protect us. They see and have to endure things that most of us could not handle and we are proud of them.
I just wonder if they are getting the proper direction from their supervisors.
I can’t afford the cost and damage these criminals cause. When they get caught and go to court, I am a firm believer that if you were to swear at a judge you would get a stiffer sentence then you would for a theft.
In conclusion, if I ever catch the person or persons who are stealing from me, they will probably require medical service, probably from tripping and falling in their haste to get away. Not because I would ever dream of causing them harm.
Penticton cyclists lack basic manners
I’m waiting for a bus when a cyclist whizzes by from behind on the sidewalk. I didn’t see or hear him. If I’d shifted position, I’d have been knocked down with broken bones, sprained joints, or — at best — torn skin and bruises.
Why was he on the sidewalk going top speed?
I join the ranks of those voicing the No. 1 concern about life in Penticton: safety. We can’t depend on the police or the three bylaws officers and their supervisor to keep us safe on our sidewalks. Bikes on sidewalks are a regular occurrence.
Each time I’m startled if the bike comes fast from behind. I have the same reaction with disability scooters that make no noise. Riders expect me to maintain my position or stride on the sidewalk.
City council is considering a city-length cycling route that people of all ages, from children to elders, can safely enjoy. But, that doesn’t help today’s problem.
At present, cyclists — me included — can’t use Main Street. We have to make do with routes to the east and west. As I walked home from the downtown event after the bus stop incident, I was confronted with more cyclists bearing down on me.
What am I supposed to do?
Slow-moving, polite cyclists on the sidewalks I tolerate, but what about the stealth speedsters? For now, I’d be grateful if cyclists or people on disability vehicles coming up from behind me just use a bell, travel slowly, and give me verbal note of intention such as “Passing on your left.”
If you have cyclists in your family or friendship circle or in an organization where you do volunteer work, please remind them of their obligation to help keep pedestrians safe. I’m a confirmed cyclist and don’t own a vehicle. I regularly walk and use the city buses. I need your help to keep all pedestrians safe as we walk about our city.
Concerns over cell tower location
It is dismaying that the installation of communications towers is conducted primarily on the premise of avoiding interference between transmitters. This used to be Industry Canada’s federal role before their responsibility instruments were passed on to Health Canada as “Safety
Code 6” almost intact.
Elsewhere, the permission for positioning of transceivers is also taking account of beam-formation through window and door frames, conduction along such fixtures as stud walls, intensification of signals and possible compounding and cumulative effects with other wireless technology fixtures. This is to ensure that no harm is done to the population.
We have at our disposal excellent GPS methodology to ensure that at least bedrooms, and other lived-in areas do not receive deleterious emissions by way of conscientious design and good public policy.
There are many vulnerable populations: elderly, pregnant women, children — about 35% of the population is sensitive to the point that their performance is hurt by these unjustified microwave emissions patterns.
Dr. Andrew Michrowski
The Planetary Association
for Clean Energy, Inc.
Challenges of the electric car
Re: “Electric vehicles impractical,” (Herald letters, July 2).
Although I’ve never (nor likely ever will) own or operate any form of motor vehicle, there are many Green-minded people who rely upon their fossil-fuel powered cars (though likely still efficient) since they haven’t had a monetarily feasible opportunity to acquire an electric vehicle.
Also, I believe it’s no coincidence that as the first thing upon his party’s entry into office (after an election won in part with fossil fuel industry donations), Premier Doug Ford canceled government rebate incentives for electric car buyers in Ontario.
More so, it was claimed by many people (in and outside of Ontario) that governments should not subsidize electric vehicles, all the while profitable oil and LNG companies are heavily subsidized by taxpayers.
Meanwhile, our supposedly environmentally concerned federal government, besides yet again deciding in favour of tripling the dirty-energy diluted bitumen oil flow via Trans Mountain, early this year gave the increasingly outdated fossil fuel sector 12 times as much subsidization as they allocated towards clean renewable energy technology innovations.
Frank Sterle Jr.