Of Walkerton and Lac-Mégantic

Lac-Mégantic is Harper’s Walkerton. The horror of the tragedy in that small town is beyond description. I remember the similar anger and helplessness felt 13 years ago as people were dying in Walkerton Ontario. The parallels are staggering. Same collection of bullies in power. Same “deregulatory common sense foo foo.” Same fluff about how humans somehow run a private company better than humans run a government organization.

Eventually these lies catch up with them. The spin of their media trolls at CFRB, CHML, and SUN could not hide the deaths in Walkerton. Nor can they hide the deaths in Lac-Mégantic. Mr. Harper referred to the devastation as “unbelievable.” It is not unbelievable. It is predictable when no one is watching the decay of the tracks. It is predictable when leaving one man to watch an 50 car train has become common sense. It is predictable when dinosaur owners like Edward Burkhardt are considered captains of industry. Regardless of all the approaching committees, punditry, blamestorming, and crocodile tears Canadians will remember Lac-Mégantic like Ontarians remember Walkerton.

There are no proper words of consolation for people that have lost a dozen loved ones at the same time. But there is action. The burning train sits firmly at the feet of Mr. Harper and the choices that put safety in the caboose behind profit. Shame.

Walkerton http://tinyw.in/Q5uT
State of Railway http://tinyw.in/Jpu1
Burkhardt http://tinyw.in/TiDS

Those Darn Terrorists

When I was training in Vancouver one of my teachers was shot and wounded by a sniper that hid in the bushes near his home. When I was training in Hamilton another one of my teachers was shot and wounded by a sniper.

Yesterday a young, moderate, democratic congresswoman from Arizona had a bullet shot through her head by a clearly despondent and widely read young man that lives in her home state. Congresswoman Giffords was literally  targeted by Sarah Palin and the Teabagging party  because the congresswoman supported health care reform. Take a look at the image below. Congresswoman Giffords’ riding (district #8) was targeted with the site of a gun in the picture below.

Many people considered the choice of a rifle scope cross hair to identify politicians those who are supportive of health care reform  a bad choice that could lead to violence.  Since the shooting of congresswoman Giffords the Palin site has taken the advertisement down.

A common definition of terrorism is :

“the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature.”

Since Ms. Palin’s office was publicly and officially advised of how dangerous the advertisement could be (even by Ms. Giffords herself) is there not a component of culpability in this terrorist act?