Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, April 18, 2008

More News Commentaries

More and more and more to tell you about.


Wow, the Business Schools are asking tough questions on their business ethics exams these days. Here's one for your consideration:
If an organization of which you are a member was hiring a person for a senior position and you were on the hiring panel, what would you do if your close business associate was one of the short-listed candidates for the job:
  • Resign from the committee
  • Make sure that the interview with your associate is very short since you know everything about him/her anyway and the job is in the bag for him/her
  • Stay on it since no one would know and convince the others to hire your associate
  • Say the panel is a farce since you are the real power in the organization and you want to hire your associate
  • Hire your associate and look shocked if someone says there was a conflict of interest.
Explain your choice!


Thanks to the stalling of our Mayor, the funds for the $1.6B DRIC road may disappear. We may just get the "really cheap" at-grade road after-all!

The money will probably be used up soon by other parts of Canada as Harper's way to get a majority Government. All we will have is $400M from the Feds matched by the Province. And Ontario's Minister of Finance will be relieved since he won't have to spend the money and can blame Eddie!

Every part of Canada can be made part of one of the Gateways and Windsor's allocation is now front and centre. Don't expect much more to come our way in my opinion.

If you think I am kidding, take a look at this news story:
  • "Garnering support by federal bashing

    Politics Experts weigh in on premier's current lack of tactful diplomacy with Ottawa

    Daniel McHardie, Telegraph-Journal, April 14th, 2008

    FREDERICTON - Premier Shawn Graham's unabashed charm offensive with Prime Minister Stephen Harper may be coming to an end as sharper criticism of the federal government is seeping into his rhetoric...

    Still employing carefully measured words, Graham picked the relatively low-profile issue of infrastructure funding to inject some calcium into his intergovernmental relations backbone.

    He didn't call the prime minister names or threaten any lawsuits. Instead he repeatedly challenged the federal government "to accelerate funding for the Atlantic Gateway Initiative."

    But he also capitalized on a well-worn strategy of contrasting the funding windfall flowing to Ontario and western Canada against what was heading eastward.

    Since the creation of the $2.1-billion national fund for gateways and border crossings, Ottawa has siphoned off $400 million for the Windsor-Detroit corridor and $1 billion for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

    Graham's Liberal government is angling for cash to help complete $275 million worth of upgrades to Route 1 en route to the St. Stephen-Calais border crossing. Not only did he demand Ottawa ante up the necessary funds, he urged the entire legislature to call on the federal government to quickly fund the infrastructure project.

    "We are hoping for an equitable funding partnership with the federal government.

    "We are prepared to do our part, we are calling on the federal government to do theirs," Graham told the legislative assembly...

    Tom Bateman, a political scientist at St. Thomas University, said the "tweaking" of tone doesn't suggest a failure in his earlier strategy.

    "This doesn't disturb New Brunswick's approach to intergovernmental relations too much but it may be a symptom of a new kind of scarcity in federal largesse and New Brunswick might be sensing that the feds don't have as much as money as they might have thought for assisting different regions," he said...

    "But because they are inexperienced in bashing the feds, they need to test the waters.

    "They need to see what happens if it is a disaster so they pick a sector that is important enough to garner attention but not so important that if this goes wrong they have damaged relations for years to go."

    Desserud said if the Liberals witness a surge in support provincially, that could be a harbinger for tougher tactics with Ottawa in the future."


I hope they do not do something foolish and decide to appeal the decision to release their contract with the City.

If they do, then one obvious conclusion to draw is that this is such a great deal for them that citizens will be furious! If citizens are mad at them, will they buy tickets for the games next year?

I would love to see the contract terms to see what kind of negotiator the City is. A contract done when Project Ice Track was going to Tecumseh obviously put the pressure on the City to do a deal. The City politically needed a deal and would be bargaining from a position of weakness.

You already know what I think of the City's ability to do a complicated transactions. That's why the thought of the Tunnel deal scares me completely!


Two interesting news stories:
  • Capitol doors to open again as fight rages; Proposals sought for shows

Dave Battagello, Windsor Star 12-21-2007

"But Francis said the theatre has remained closed because it was deemed a fire hazard after inspectors learned sprinklers were not operating during the Les Miserables performances.

"They were told they could not have more shows until the deficiency was corrected," the mayor said.

"That's why there hasn't been any other shows. You can't have shows in a theatre if it's a fire trap.

"(Funtig) is in control of the theatre. He was told once if that was corrected he could have as many shows as he wanted.

"Our position is that it should be open. As long as it complies with fire and safety codes, he has always had the opportunity to open it back up."

  • Curtains go back up at Capitol Theatre

Craig Pearson, April 13, 2008

"Either way, Funtig said the only reason shows haven't run sooner at the Capitol is that the city declined to grant hall licences until a number of "deficiencies" were corrected.

Funtig said the Capitol estate spent almost $20,000 for such things as adding a firewall, moving a sprinkler, and checking alarms and lights."


There already is a website owned by an anonymous party:

That's where I went when I saw the original story about Mapmycity. Instead, one must go to

I wonder if there is a deal respecting use of domain names with the owner of the other site.

I had a problem with the City's website on Sunday morning when all kinds of gibberish appeared on it when I landed there along with my anti-virus system telling me that it was stopping viruses being downloaded on my system. Was there a system problem or was the City website hacked?


From the Free Press:

  • "Council refuses to hear mayor's budget proposal

    The Detroit City Council delivered a stinging rebuke to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and in a stunning development told the mayor it would not accept his budget recommendation today.

    Council President Ken Cockrel Jr. told the mayor the news after he sat down at the council table."

From the Detroit News

  • "Detroit council refuses to hear Kilpatrick's budget
    Christine MacDonald / The Detroit News

    DETROIT -- In a surprising move Monday, Detroit City Council members, with Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sitting before them, figuratively slapped him in the face by refusing to allow him to deliver his 2008-09 budget proposal.

    "It is the feeling of the majority of the council that we will not address your budget at this time," Council President Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., said. He quickly called for a voice vote, and the council refused to listen to the embattled mayor."


I thought you might find these recent quotes fascinating and very appropriate. Hubris as described by former British Foreign Secretary and doctor David Owen

  • "In ancient Greek drama, a hubristic career proceeds something like this: the hero wins glory and acclamation by achieving unwonted success against the odds. The experience then goes to his head: he begins to think himself capable of anything. This leads him into misinterpreting the reality around him and into making mistakes. Eventually he gets his comeup-pance and meets his nemesis, which destroys him."

What really interests politicians as described by Margaret Thatcher's Chief speechwriter, Ferdinand Mount:

  • "At last, my sluggish civilian’s brain began to understand.

    The decisions that really matter to political leaders are those to do with the getting and holding of power. Other decisions may turn out well or ill. They may cost billions of pounds or hundreds of lives, but for enlisted politicians those decisions are secondary. What matters to them is: will I still be here after this? And the spectacle of Mrs Thatcher by the huge Tudor grate at Chequers, exhausted by the day’s work like Cinders after a hard time from the Ugly Sisters, made me realise it."