Monday, April 09, 2007

Can the White House be bought?

Okay where do I start. It's been a week or longer, since I've sat at the keyboard to punch out my latest musings. Well, it's given me a chance to reflect on not just my world , but everybody elses world. Well, the jury is back and the conclusion is we need to really get our act together and soon. The concern I have is the sense of powerlesness people are feeling. I don't know if we have just become immune, shell shocked, bored, apathetic, or just plain comotose. I mean here's some of the stuff that's been in the news lately, and I think it's just passing over everyone like a cumulus nimbus cloud.,

It was announced last week that between all of the candidates running for the office of President a total of $130 million dollars will have been raised for their respective campaigns. With great pride Barak Obama announced that he has raised $25 milllion, which put him into second place behind Hillary at 26 milllion. What's more shocking than that is that some Washington political pundits on CNN said that Obama was now a serious contender. Just because he has almost as much money as Hillary.

This speaks volumes about the continuing American disease of equating money to success and power. It's not enough that the media has saturated the airwaves with shows like; The Great American Dream Vote Off, Deal or no Deal or "Greed or no Greed". Let's see how greedy people are who are not happy with having $10,000 given to them gratis . Instead of taking the money they never had in the first place, they are encouraged to go for a higher amount and risk losing it all depending on the opening of a suitcase.

Televison has become the Great American Escape. The war in Iraq, the threat of a confrontation in Iran, the continuing sruggle in Afganhistan the downturn of the economy, cities like Detroit facing huge layoffs and unemployment, poverty, floods, plagues, locust, global warming, no health care, a $65 billion drug trade, homelessness, and urban violence, oh well there's always American Idol and baseball. Win fame and glory...fulfill the American dream that all things are possible, just don't tell anyone that your chances are about the same as winning the lottery,

Okay that's enough bashing of our neighbours to the south, how about some solutions. By the way, here's a nice one to think about over your double latte, if you live in Canada or in Vancouver for example. NBC is reported to have paid $820 million for the rights to televise the 2010 Winter Games. and CTV/TSN $90 million., now they are expecting 3.8 billion in revenue for that. So where is this money going? Well, just by coincidence, the only people who can afford to advertise on these telecasts are the large mega corps.,

In order to sell the Olympics to tax weary Vancouverites CEO John Furlong of VANOC , told the general public that everyone would benefit including small business..hmmm. can you say; "We gottcha". Pan handling in Vancouver is epidemic, but we are told that we'll have extra police on the streets for two weeks. during the Olympics so we'll look good and so turistas are'nt hassled. We'll hide the problems till after the Olympics, and then let them come back after so they can continue to hassle the local residents.

And so the insanity continues, $17 million dollars for a snow machine at Whistler, just in case it doesn't snow. In what can only be called the most bizarre court cases in BC's history, the organising committee for the 2010 Olympics has taken a Prince George based Eco Toursim company to court over the use of the number "2010".

The Eco Tourism 2010 Society [claimant] and VANOC met in court on January 28 in Prince George to contest the use of the number 2010. The claimant had been unable to register the name of his company with the provincial registrar due an order by VANOC. VANOC had ordered the registrar not to allow any non-profits to register any name that included the number "2010".

A construction boom in western Canada has sharply pushed up the cost of preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, forcing organisers to ask for a 23 per cent increase in financial support from federal and provincial governments.

The organising committee said that it now estimated the construction budget at C$580m ($505m), up from its 2002 estimate of C$470m. Some of the Olympic venues are located in Vancouver and others in the ski resort of Whistler, a two-and-a-half hour drive to the north.

Can the White House be bought- you bet, can the Olympics be sold to the highest bet. I am a huge fan of the Commonwealth Games, because it brings countries together for comaradrie, goodwill and the fun of sport. The Olympics, with all of it's bribes, financial discrepancies, and drugs has become like big business, the NFL or the NBA of amateur sport. The Olympics does nothing to stop wars, prevent famine, erradicate poverty, stop global warming, educate poor people, find homes for orphaned children, provide water anf food for starving nations. Nor does it offer it's profits to the cities or countries that host , as a legacy of goodwill and compassion. The Olympic mandate is not about compassion, nor is it pure of intention, it's about corporate greed, elitism and medals, pure and simple. How many gold, how many silver and how many bronze will your country bring home.

Now it's time to end with a ray of hope, of a billionaires' story of compassion and "pay it forward:. A Japanese real estate mogul inn Hawaii handed over eight of his multi million dollar homes to low-income native Hawaiin families. Now that's compassion!!

Buddha says; A wrong action may not bring it's reaction at once, even as fresh milk turns not sour at once: like a smoldering fire concealed under ashes it consumes the wrong doer, the fool.


secondlook said...

"Buddha says; A wrong action may not bring it's reaction at once, even as fresh milk turns not sour at once: like a smoldering fire concealed under ashes it consumes the wrong doer, the fool."

My Google Alert led me to your Blog perhaps through synchronicity. Good column - By George you 'get it' re: the Olympics & Vanoc.

I was struck by the truth inherent in your Buddha quote. It is so applicable to the 'House of Cards' built by "wrong actions" & hidden agendas re: the Callaghan Valley Nordic Venue & Vanoc.

There has been a cover-up of misconduct & conflict of interest smoldering - ready to consume the "wrong doer - the fool" - beyond what you could every imagine. The truth pursued with persistence fuels the fire, in this case, covered by garbage. The fools will get theirs.

Anonymous said...

Looks like secondlook was right about the breaking scandal re: the Callaghan Valley Nordic Venue & Vanoc!!

Here is some shocking further information re: this scandal I just saw on the inernet!!

Business in Vancouver August 14-20, 2007; Issue 929 ~ Bob Mackin
Powder Mountain ski resort controversy exhumed in lead-up to 2010 Olympics
West Vancouver mother/daughter duo hoping RCMP investigation will get to bottom of Callaghan Valley dispute

2010 Gold Rush
130 weeks until opening of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
An Expo 86-era scandal may live again on the road to 2010.
The RCMP is reviewing new evidence surrounding the aborted Powder Mountain ski resort in the Callaghan Valley near Whistler.
Proponents Nan and Dianne Hartwick, a mother-daughter West Vancouver duo, hope RCMP will investigate how and why the Callaghan is becoming a $120 million, taxpayer-funded Nordic sports venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
RCMP Commercial Crimes Insp. Kevin deBruyckere confirmed that a review is underway to determine whether to launch an investigation.
“We’re going to the wall on this,” said Dianne Hartwick, “because we know that project was stolen from us.”
Hartwick-owned Powder Mountain Resorts won a 1985 public call for proposals and gained approval in principle from government. Forests and Lands Minister Jack Kempf claimed Premier Bill Vander Zalm told him in 1987 to “cease and desist” with the Hartwicks and favour Callaghan Resorts Inc., which was backed by ex-Social Credit attorney general Les Peterson.
The B.C. Court of Appeal refused to overturn the B.C. Supreme Court’s 1999 dismissal of the Hartwicks’ breach of contract and abuse of office lawsuit. A special prosecutor’s criminal investigation was halted in 2003, just three weeks before Vancouver was elected 2010 host at the International Olympic Committee session in Prague. Because of insufficient evidence, no charges were laid.
The Hartwicks had visions of the Callaghan Valley becoming the sequel to Whistler. It’s remained an under-promoted playground for cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. Brad Sills’ Callaghan Country Wilderness Adventures opened a Nordic lodge there in 1998, just in time for the Canadian Olympic Committee’s selection of the Vancouver-Whistler bid over proposals from Calgary and Quebec City. Sills was an early campaigner for Olympic ski jumping, cross-country skiing, biathlon and Nordic combined to be held in the Callaghan.
Critics said West Vancouver’s Cypress Bowl could’ve been 2010’s temporary Nordic site for much less. The Callaghan won’t displace Calgary as the national training centre, but it could someday be what Cypress can’t be: a four-season destination resort with all the amenities enjoyed up the road in Whistler. The Hartwicks haven’t given up their dream. They claim backing from 75 private investors. Former Olympic downhill skier Todd Brooker is their vice-president of resort development.
“We’re not against the Olympics; we’re against what has happened,” Dianne Hartwick said.
Where are they now
Who were the players in the Powder Mountain saga in the 1980s and where are they now?
Nan and Dianne Hartwick: Then: mother and daughter duo active in real estate with Social Credit party connections. Had provincial government approval to turn Powder Mountain in the Callaghan Valley into a ski resort until Premier Bill Vander Zalm intervened on behalf of a former attorney general. Now: still trying.
Bill Vander Zalm: Then: Social Credit B.C. premier from 1986 to 1991. Resigned after Fantasy Gardens conflict of interest affair. Now: retired.
Jack Kempf: Then: maverick Social Credit MLA for Omineca. Appointed lands minister by then-premier Bill Bennett in 1986 and assumed the same role in Vander Zalm’s cabinet until he was fired in 1987 over a travel expenses scandal. Died July 1, 2003.
David Emerson: Then: Vander Zalm’s deputy minister. Now: federal Conservative minister responsible for the 2010 Games.
Colin McIver: Then: attorney general’s ministry lawyer. Now: partner with Fraser Milner Casgrain. Represented VANOC in Callaghan Valley Nordic venue development.
Jack Hall: Then: Burnaby regional land office director. Later became vice-president of development and marketing for Land and Water B.C., the lead agency providing Crown land and water resources to VANOC. Now: director of Property Assessment Appeal Board and Real Estate Foundation of B.C. •
George McKay: Then: was alpine ski development project manager for LWBC predecessor B.C. Assets and Lands Corporation in 1990s. Became director of the Callaghan Valley Master Plan during 2010 bid stage. Now: VANOC's director of environmental approvals. Also listed in B.C. Government Directory as tourism ministry's manager of special projects.

Also, the Whistler Pique:

The stench surrounding Vanoc on this stinks!!