Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, February 05, 2010


Was it Milton who said: We also serve who only sit and BLOG!

I really want to be loved. I really try not to go out of my way to make enemies. I do try to be factual when I have to say something, especially if it is negative.

Sure telling someone they are wrong in what they are doing can be hurtful. I know my language is strong but I try to be careful in not crossing the line into unacceptable behaviour.

I did not use the "M" word as an example, a Star reporter in his BLOG did. Is that the new standard?

Who likes to be criticized? Not me.

Why this navel-gazing? I received a note from a reader the other day. I took it very seriously. It was a very critical one about some things that I had written on here recently. The concluding line was quite an interesting one that got me thinking again about my role as a BLOGGER who writes about local politics:
  • “Wow, it must be nice to sit behind a computer and blame others.”

That’s a variation of the line that has been used on me before:

  • “Well if you can do better, then why don’t you run for [pick one of office, Mayor, MP, Councillor, MPP, dog catcher etc]

The underlying assumption is that unless one is out there, then one has no right to criticize or to cast blame even if deserved. That it is enough if one works hard for and is dedicated to the cause, whatever the cause is. That makes it all OK.

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with my reader. I am not a politician or a union leader or a CEO of a business. Nor do I want to be nor do I think I have the skill-set required to be in one of those positions. So does that disqualify me for having a brain and using it?

Do I have to run for office and win to understand that my taxes are too high, that levies are killing me financially, that there is no economic diversification plan in this region and that money is wasted on expensive consultants because my leaders do not have the courage to move forward for fear of failure.

Why do I have to be a CEO to understand that a major business must meet the needs of its customers or go broke or a union leader to appreciate that jobs for my members is my most important task and that I need to do everything possible to save them or at least as many as I can?

I know I am a pretty good strategist and back-room boy. That is my niche. I have been successful in political campaigns and grass-roots causes. I do not crave media attention nor seek it. I am happy to be the behind the scenes person who provides the information for which others can take the credit in the limelight.

I know my strengths and weaknesses and after writing so many BLOGs and having a loyal and growing readership, I hope, I know what my role is.

It would seem that my job as a Blogger, according to my reader, is to praise only and overlook lack of success. It is enough if the person puts in the hours and delivers wonderful speeches or makes exciting multi-media presentations.

Results apparently do not count nor pointing out that fact.

To me, on the other hand, success is what is important not efforts or trying. Especially if one is the leader. If there is no success, it MUST be pointed out and then that leader must be replaced. Ruthless perhaps but necessary.

Has Greenlink been a success supposedly to protect our well-being after spending millions? Hardly. Am I unable to point that out? Not a hope.

Can I criticize waste on the airport, the canal and soon a new City Hall when the Mayor and Councillors cry poverty. You better believe it.

Can I mock trips overseas to cities where airports are closing and worrying more about Monopoly games than our real problems? Of course. Why do I have to run for office to be able to see straight?

But success is relative too. Is saving a bunch of jobs by keeping open 3 or 4 daycares when it was expected to lose them all a success. I think so. Is not using ammunition you have and losing everything a failure that ought to be pointed out? I know so.

I have Blogged on here several times about my so-called ”negativity” and asked what I have to be positive about in this City. I still have the same challenge to be blunt.

Should I be pleased that we are such a great draw for investment because of our huge pool of unemployed, skilled tradespeople? Should I wax eloquent about our low priced homes because of mortgage foreclosures or our high vacancy rates or about prime retail locations because 1 in 4 stores in Windsor are empty? What about all of that empty warehouse space…just perfect for tilting at windmills, errr, wind turbines

Sorry, I am not that good a spinner.

Presumably, to take the recent daycare fiasco at Council, I should congratulate everyone—politicians and union leaders who failed both their citizens and their members--- for their efforts resulting in 100+ CUPE workers who will be displaced, children whose lives will be disrupted and the lack of any consultation so that City taxpayers can save a few bucks on their tax bills, unless of course we hire some new consultant for another mind's eye vision.

It is so easy to praise. You just have to read a Star columnist to know that. It is much harder to blame. That takes real work.

If I was a Star columnist, why people would run to my office so I could bang out a column praising their efforts. Heck I could do a column in a couple of minutes with all of the goodies given to me on a silver platter to distribute to the waiting hordes, breathless to receive the Word:

  • Balanced budget a miracle

    This is an enormous achievement. It took an iron political will on the part of Mayor Eddie Francis, who reminded me Wednesday that he campaigned on freezing tax rates. Kudos to the mayor. Deep bows, even, with "We're-not-worthy!" arm waves.”

Instead, I have to spend hours on research, combing through my archives and online databases, reading media outlets world-wide, making calls, sending emails and so on to get the facts necessary upon which I can draw a conclusion. Then I actually have to write a BLOG, usually much too long I know, setting out the factual background so that people will understand why I am saying what I do, that I am not just making this stuff up.

People read me not because they necessarily accept what I write but because I present an alternative point of view for them to consider. It is amazing the nasty abuse I take on the comments section in some other BLOGs, especially from one person, but not to me directly. I should be honoured that another even set up a "private" BLOG to attack my point of view. (That person still must believe that I cannot access it to learn what is being said since the person must think I do not have the magic key that opens the door of the website). Yet those same abusers have to come here to read what I say. Must be like a smoking addiction.

I provide insider information that they cannot find anywhere else. I can explain what is happening and why from my perspective. There are not too many sources of analysis of politics in Windsor.

Some cynical people have an explanation about why there is this lack too and why everything seems to be so one-sided in our obsequious traditional media. I and my fellow Bloggers try to fill the gap and provide a service to members of the community, very successfully if I many be so bold in saying.

So to my reader, thanks again for making me think about my role and why I am doing this. I like what I do and will continue to do so. I wish I could be positive more often, I really do. Unfortunately it is out of my control, in the hands of our leaders and what THEY do or don’t do. Maybe being positive will come soon with a new Mayor and Council. I sure hope so.

Honestly, I write just for me and what I truly believe and think.…if you happen to come by and read a BLOG or two, that is just the icing on my cake.

Let me remind my reader of a Harry Truman phrase that seems appropriate in the circumstances:

  • “If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”