Craig’s Commentary Volume 1 Number 56


Wish To Silence Citizens Gets TSBP Councillor Into Hall of Shame

 

Editor, Wiarton Echo:

 

TSBP Councillor Jim Turner would like to issue a gag order prohibiting the people of TSBP from criticizing the mayor, or a councillor, or staff (November 29 Wiarton Echo column “On the Other Hand”).

 

The councillor attempts to justify the proposed restriction on freedom of speech with false allegations leveled at someone the councillor refers to as “the Denialist”.  I am not named in the column, but it is nevertheless absolutely clear that I am the “Denialist”.

 

The councillor has publicly made serious false allegations about me.  I have little choice but to provide a public rebuttal.

 

Here are the councillor’s mistruths:

 

Mistruth # 1

 

The councillor says: “This Denialist uses e-mail, letters, the internet and confrontation to promote his views.  This has resulted in confrontations of town staff on the streets of our town.”

 

The “confrontation” part is an outright lie.  I have had only one conversation with “staff on the streets of our town”.  The conversation was about a private matter, not a TSBP matter, and was amicable, not confrontational. Councillor Turner was not present.  I see the councillor’s claim as malicious, false, and libelous.

 

Mistruth # 2

 

The councillor says: “ [Use of] e-mail, letters, the internet and confrontation to promote his views …has resulted in confrontations of town staff  …in  town hall.”    

 

Here too, the “confrontations” part is a lie.  There have been conversations.  And there has been debate.  But to suggest that there were “confrontations” is to suggest that there was impropriety.  The Councillor did not and cannot back up his claim.

 

Mistruth # 3

 

The councillor says; “there have been documented complaints.“

 

I know of none, but it’s possible that there has been documentation.  But the fact of complaints does not accord those complaints merit. So until the complaints are properly filed and evaluated before a competent unbiased tribunal, and found to have merit, the councillor’s claim is nothing but malicious gossip.

 

Mistruth # 4

 

The councillor says:                                                                                                                                                     “Our treasurer has been called a liar

 

Not true.  I demonstrated that the treasurer got some numbers wrong, and I stand by my comments.  I also provided, and fully supported, corrected numbers.  There is nothing wrong with that.  The councillor’s claim is false.

 

Mistruth # 5                                                                                                                                

 

The councillor says I called “other staff members incompetent”.  

 

The councillor seems to be saying, without a hint of support, that I lied.  I have, in fact suggested that some staff members have done things inappropriately, and that some have made errors.  I stand by my comments.  The councillor’s implied allegation is false and malicious.

 

Mistruth # 6

 

The councillor says that I was wrong when I indicated that staff altered the record in order to promote an agenda.  The Councillor also indicates that he can prove I was wrong. 

 

I take that to mean that the councillor is saying I lied.  I did not.  I did say staff altered the record and I backed that up thoroughly with analysis and a  strong case.  I stand by my analysis and my comments.  The councillor, on the other hand, claimed he could prove I was wrong but offered no proof, and I submit cannot prove that I was wrong.  No argument, no excerpts from minutes, no transcripts of the audio record, no proof.  I see the councillor’s claim as another malicious falsehood.

 

 

Mistruth # 7 

 

The councillor claims “this Denialist and a few cohorts have cost the people of this town, by some accounts, over a million dollars in delays on one or two projects alone

 

In my view this is the most outrageous of all of the councillor’s false accusations.  And just like the councillor’s other lies, it is unsupportable and unsupported.

 

This same false allegation has been made by former councillor Mark Wunderlich on at least two occasions, including at both 2010 Sauble sewer public meetings, by former Mayor Carl Noble on several occasions including several 2006 letters to the Wiarton Echo, by CAO Rhonda Cook in a report to council, and by 2010 ward three candidate Jessica Huzak at the Sauble all-candidates meeting in 2010.  Ms. Huzak’s comment is on a public audio record.  Carl Noble’s letters are in the records of the Wiarton Echo.  Rhonda Cook’s comments are in the Committee of the Whole agenda package of August 16, 2011.

 

Regardless of how many people repeated the lie, it’s still a lie.   And it’s harmful.  .

 

One of the projects I and my “cohorts” are accused of delaying and adding hundreds of thousands of dollars of costs to is the Sauble area small water systems upgrades project.  The false allegation is exposed and rebutted in my draft report on the project. The report is not finished, but I put it on my website in draft form to counter the false allegations.

 

The councillor’s insertion of “by some accounts” does not make his claim any less of a falsehood.  In my view it is clear that the councillor himself is claiming that part II order requesters have cost the people over a million dollars by delaying projects.

 

Mistruth # 8

 

The councillor claims that “on a continuing basis [the Denialist] causes valuable staff time amounting to thousands of dollars to be spent on their actions rather than on the needs of all the taxpayers.”

 

Once again, the councillor is making an unsupported and unsupportable false claim.  The councillor has not shown and cannot show that I inappropriately used staff time.  And there is no explanation by the councillor of how I got staff to take action to the detriment of the inhabitants of TSBP.  Am I accused of coercion?  Blackmail?  Bribery?  The councillor’s accusations will not stand up to scrutiny and he knows it.   The accusation that I cost taxpayers money is absurd, false, and defamatory.

 

Mistruth # 9

 

The councillor claims that “This person attends council and committee meetings, often to voice opinion as facts“.

 

I don’t know what the councillor’s point is in saying that I “voice opinion as facts”.  But given the context f the rest of his column, he seems to be suggesting dishonesty on my part. 

 

The implication of dishonesty is absurd, and would be absurd no matter who it was directed at.  Like others, I voice opinions on occasion.  But mostly I write argumentative essays.  When I present facts I am not expressing opinion.  I have never said or implied that my opinion is fact.   

 

Mistruth # 10                                                                                                                              

 

The councillor says that in meetings I claim to be an expert.  

 

Again in the context of the other allegations, it appears that the councillor is saying I misrepresent my qualifications.   This implied claim is false, unsupported, and outrageous.   I have not misrepresented my “expertise”.  Furthermore, the councillor is in no position to understand, comment on, or judge my “expertise”, or my qualifications.    

 

Mistruth # 11 

 

The councillor says “and the staff now has to check the corridors and benches in town hall to see if anyone’s there listening, possibly recording conversations, before discussing private issues with citizens.”

 

It appears that here the councillor is accusing me of some kind of illegal eavesdropping. This, in my view, is groundless, baseless, libelous defamation.

 

 

In saying “I can’t identify this person here because if I name them the editor will have to delete the name to avoid possible legal repercussions” the Councillor suggests that he believes that you can defame anyone with impunity as long as you don’t name the person.  That’s incorrect. Toronto lawyer Randy A. Pepper writes:

“In order to succeed in a defamation action, a plaintiff must show that the words are published about the plaintiff and that they actually defame the plaintiff. The test in every case is whether the words would be understood by reasonable people to refer to the plaintiff. If reasonable people would recognize the plaintiff, it does not matter that he or she is referred to by initials or asterisks, by a fictitious name, or by some physical peculiarity or the like. Indeed, the plaintiff need not be named at all. Nor is it necessary that everyone who reads the words recognize the plaintiff. The plaintiff need only show that the defamatory words were published to at least some ordinary, sensible readers whose knowledge of special facts would reasonably lead them to believe that the words were about the plaintiff.”  (bold added)  http://www.pepperlegal.com/defamation.htm

 

Having been truthful is a sufficient defense against a libelous defamation action.  So if the councillor’s claims were true, and thus not defamatory, he could name me as the “Denialist” without any fear of legal repercussions.  In saying “I can’t identify this person here because if I name them the editor will have to delete the name to avoid possible legal repercussions”, the councillor is implicitly admitting that his claims are untrue and that his column is defamatory.

 

The inhabitants of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula have the Charter-ingrained right to participate in policy making, to express their views, to comment on the actions of staff and elected officials, and even to criticize.

 

In saying “There is no price you can put on freedom of speech but on the other hand this behavior makes me want to do something I hate doing – pass a law!”, the councillor is making it clear that any citizen who dares to comment on the council and staff shenanigans that some council members are trying to pass off as governance will face serious consequences.

 

The councillor’s “chill tactic” won’t work.

 

But the bullying nature of his column did get Mr. Turner formally inducted into the TSBP “hall of shame”, joining John Close (see my commentary number 16 on craiggammie.com), CAO Rhonda Cook (see commentary 32 ), and several members of the Economic Development Committee (see commentary 47). 

 

 

Craig Gammie

SaubleBeach

Where do I sign???


Hmmmm!

A fire fighter in Owen Sound makes 100 grand a year with benefits!

The average wage in Owen Sound is 50 grand!

Now a firefighter goes to work on a 12 hour shift. Sleeps and eats at the fire hall!

So what are the Facts????

In 2010 Owen Sound Fire Department spent 715 Hours fighting fires in total which resulted in $1.1 Million dollars in losses at 37 fires. Average cost in losses to fire per hour   $1,500.00.  The total budget being 3.7 million dollars for the year.

So to deal with 715 hours of work we spent 3.7 million dollars or $5,174.85 per hour spent on calls on 44 incidents.

There were 203 false alarms and 1,036 Medical Calls. The grand total is 1,600 calls answered total average cost per call   $2,315.50 per call.

The average firefighter 1st Class earns approximately 100,000.00 per year with benefits in Owen Sound.

In Ontario in 2006 the Toronto equivalent is $70,000.

In Alberta in 2006 the average is $68,000.

In BC $68,000

Manitoba $60,000

Quebec  $58,000.

Nova Scotia $56,000

Total weekly man hours in Owen Sound 1600 weekly or 83,200 man hours per year or about $45.00 per man hours paid.

That translates into $5,175.00 per hour cost for time spent at real fires. I have not delved into capital costs or depreciation or replacement of equipment amongst other things.

Seems to me it is cheaper to let things burn!

The Fire Department did do 2,700 presentations and 1,200 inspections, I don’t want to do the math on those costs cause it appears they spent more time talking about thing than they spent putting out fires.

Your Tax dollars at work!!!!

http://fire.owensound.ca/firehall/2010_Annual_Rpt.pdf

http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3405219

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

Skate Board Park? Now that is Priceless!!!


City plans to put $100,000 into skateboard park

 Wow and they managed to hold things at a 4.3% increase! Amazing!!!!

Give your head a shake!

Downtown is dead, the liquor store moving out, the roads are a mess, the debt load eats 9% of revenue and you are spending 100 grand on a place for the kids to smoke dope! Brilliant!

I am sure all the dealers in town appreciate your efforts.

So now we are assured the Meth Clinic will have a new supply of clients in the years to come. The Soup kitchen will prosper knowing that tomorrow is planned.

I guess if the 100 grand could not even cover the interest on the 70 or so million they are spending on the new Arena.

How about we kill the Parking authority and save 500,000 there, nuke the DIA and save 250 there, oh here is something novel kill development charges and spend the money you save on services the taxes are supposed to pay for in the first place.
Get ride of the Park behind Scotia Bank and make parking spots saving 350 thousand and speaking of pissing it away 450 grand for Victoria Park.

Why not spend the money on doing something like attracting new business to town??

Here is an idea reduce taxes by cutting the spending altogether. 

NOTE 56% OF THE TOTAL BUDGET GOING TO PAY WAGES AND BENEFITS???????? The mean average for small business is 20% of revenue for labour.

When are they going to learn that the pit is not bottomless. People are not working! We are reliant on pensioners to support our economy and they are on fixed income!

 On the other hand if we let things alone they will get the message when the cheques start to bounce!

 

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

 

It is Better to Receive than to Give!?


I am getting weary of the whole guilt trip being laid on us by the media and the government!

Christmas is the over the top point of guilt. We are programmed every year to feel guilt if we do not give to every charity on the face of the earth.

I did in the past get suckered by a Charity and did donate my time and energy as well as my money to provide a Christmas dinner to the under privileged. I woke up two years ago when while serving Christmas dinner with food and gifts and labour provided by myself my friends, business associates and anyone I could guilt into contributing.

While serving the meal to some 200 underprivileged people I noted they all had Smokes, Cups of Tim Horton Coffee and Cell phones. But they were there getting free food and gifts provided. In talking to some I discovered that these poor people were going the next day to another dinner provided by another charity and one the day after that.

A week later I saw some of the poor under privileged pawning their gifts down town Owen Sound. Isn’t that special!!!

To quote John Galt:

“And then there’s your ‘brother-love’ morality. Why is it morale to serve others, but not yourself? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but not by you? Why is it immoral to produce something of value and keep it for yourself, when it is moral for others who haven’t earned it to accept it? If it’s virtuous to give, isn’t it then selfish to take?

Your acceptance of the code of selflessness has made you fear the man who has a dollar less than you because it makes you feel that dollar is rightfully his. You hate the man with a dollar more than you because the dollar he’s keeping is rightfully yours. Your code has made it impossible to know when to give and when to grab.

You know that you can’t give away everything and starve yourself. You’ve forced yourselves to live with undeserved, irrational guilt. Is it ever proper to help another man? No, if he demands it as his right or as a duty that you owe him. Yes, if it’s your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn’t built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth.”

“The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath:
I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man,
nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.”

It is one thing to give to the deserving if you so choose it is quite another to be manipulated into giving to those that are taking without regard for those being generous.”

The police set up food and gift drives, intimidating all to donate the fire department does the same. Not to mention Sally Ann, the food banks, the churches and the government.

Let’s all hide behind a Fat Bearded guy dressed in red and demand or a child in a manger sleeping in a barn and force guilt trips on those that have! If you don’t give you are a Scrooge or just plain greedy. How dare you not share !

Enough now! Wake up!

Merry Christmas!!!

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

Big Banks Make Big Bucks


Why is it that Canadian Banks are booming yet their stock prices are falling?

Why is it that the Canadian Banks are investing heavily in the US and Canadian Business can’t get financing?

In this area we watch our taxes rise, our manufacturing sector disappear and our city and town cores disintegrate. Government spending increasing, municipal budgets growing and less and less people working.

In Grey and Bruce there are an estimated 40,000 civil servants employed.  It is interesting to note that the Health Unit closed in Walkerton and in Southampton is this a sign of things to come?

Driving through our area I see closed stores and factories every where I go from Durham to Owen Sound to Dundalk.

The Banks are cutting services and increasing service charges to double and triple what they were five years ago.

The only real construction in this area has been government in the last four years.

The restaurrants are empty,  the streets are bare. But take comfort in knowing that our Banking sector is healthy.

Because of the change in 2009 of the bankruptcy rules bankruptcies are down but consumer proposals are up. Where is it going to end.

I suggest that our population is going to shrink, up here meaning less money for the service sector and government.

Small business is what built this country and it is disappearing.

Banks don’t like lending to small business to begin with!

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

Is this what is happening to us?

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

Things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMM!

Free is too expensive,  a lesson we as Canadians must learn! If the Government provides it, it is not free! We pay for it! When the majority of people in this country survive on Government Restructuring plans and subsidised housing and civil servant incomes to make an economy, we are in trouble!  Guess What!

Canada Pension Plan is just welfare in another form. When government writes a cheque we pay it. They have nothing if we have nothing. The Banks are taking profits while we do without! What wrong with this picture??

Yes I know I am rambling  but godda do something while I wait for the beaver to dump in my mail box!

 BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Bruce

 

 

 

Thomas Jefferson


Thomas Jefferson was a very remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped.

At 5, began studying under his cousin’s tutor.

At 9, studied Latin, Greek and French.

At 14, studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, entered the College of William and Mary.

At 19, studied Law for 5 years starting under George Wythe.

At 23, started his own law practice.

At 25, was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses.

At 31, wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, was a Delegate to the Second Continental Congress.

At 33, wrote the Declaration of Independence.

At 33, took three years to revise Virginias legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for Religious Freedom.

At 36, was elected the second Governor of Virginia succeeding Patrick Henry..

At 40, served in Congress for two years.

At 41, was the American minister to France and negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington.

At 53, served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.

At 57, was elected the third president of the United States .

At 60, obtained the Louisiana Purchase doubling the nation’s size.

At 61, was elected to a second term as President.

At 65, retired to Monticello .

At 80, helped President Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine.

At 81, almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president.

At 83, died on the 50th anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence along with John Adams

Thomas Jefferson knew because he himself studied the previous failed attempts at government. He understood actual history, the nature of God, his laws and the nature of man. That happens to be way more than what most understand today. Jefferson really knew his stuff. A voice from the past to lead us in the future:

John F. Kennedy held a dinner in the white House for a group of the brightest minds in the nation at that time. He made this statement: “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .” — Thomas Jefferson

“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.” — Thomas Jefferson

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

— Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Things that make you go         HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Bruce