Saturday, November 25, 2017

Eternal Hopelessness

With Titles and Images by Uncle Block.

Prelude

We all know politicians have a fascination and compulsion to have their fingers or hands in the till...sadly the till is tax payers pockets. Don't you find it quirky those bureaucrats always make themselves visible during an election or when they "donate" our money to projects that involves special lobby/interest groups. However when they increase our taxes, specifically property taxes, they become very low keyed...we definitely don't see them out and about shaking hands with constituents and kissing babies.

So, here I go again about the city I live in, Hamilton, Ontario. I read an article in the Mountain News (a community newspaper) titled, "Tax hike of 4.8% possible in 2018." The article also stated a water rate (tax) hike of 4.5% is also possible. Also possible?...that's infallible, a five will get you ten bet...that's what these civic big cheeses do the best...that's they only task they know how to do.

I had to laugh at two of our "beloved councilors" comments after City Council had finalized their 2017 budget. The Hamilton Spectator, April 13/17, quoted Ward 6 Councilman Tom Jackson...here is what he had to say: "the painful and rare decision in February (2017) to get rid of 23 managers and administrative staff as part of budget cuts these peoples' careers and families are on the line."

To lose your job is undoubtedly a traumatic and dreadful incident, especially in this day and age...hopefully those folks have rebounded. In any event, I've always believed the city was too top heavy with management and my question is, why were these individuals hired in the first place? Obviously for the persons who were dismissed they weren't really needed. As far as I know City Council has to approve all new hires, so another question arises, were the Councilors trying to flood their "Ivory Tower" empire with needless and inessential management.

Then we have Ward 3 Councilor Matthew Green who was quoted in the Mountain News, April 13/17 about the budget...he called it an austerity. Are you for real? Why was this budget so strict and frugal? All the budgets should be thrifty and inflexible. These city proprietors always increase our property taxes and user fees so what is so different about this budget compared to others?

In my opinion Green is a perfect example of a poor loser...give me my ball, I'm going home. Proof of this is the dealing my long time good friend and editor Uncle Block had with him. He would send Green e-mails regarding the many city fiascoes and shambles with Uber (unlicensed taxi service). As time went on Green realized he couldn't debate or shall I say hold his own water with Uncle Block so he DEMANDED that Block remove him from his e-mail list. As of today Uncle Block is obstructed from Green's e-mail and his Twitter account.

My editor doesn't use any abusive language or profanity when addressing the mayor or any councilors...he is professional, knowledgeable and cultured on his issues. It's quite simple why Green is acting like a spoiled little brat...he just can't compete against my friend. It's easier for Green to "shut the door" in his face and never hear from him again. Now I ask you, is Green a decent, respectable and accomplished politician? I think not. Oh, by the way, I sent Matthew Green an e-mail back in the second week of September 2017 asking him how he voted on the Uber taxi vote and his reply was...L.O.L. I'm still waiting for his response. Yea, just a "wonderful" and "tremendous" legislator.

Open Government

I also sent an e-mail to Ward 7 Councilor Donna Skelly and asked how can the public find out how each councilor votes on various issues. Her Legislative Assistant replied with the following answer: "if you check the minutes of a meeting (available on line) you'll be able to see if a motion was carried. Individual votes are only recorded in certain circumstances which would be reflected in the minutes."

Editor's Note: As an experienced Internet user, I have spent many hours scouring the City of Hamilton website for information on various matters of interest. For example, I wanted to see how the city council voted on the fraudulent issue of granting unlimited, uber-flexible taxi licenses to the Uber corporation. I wasted a lot of time for nothing. To this day, all I have to go on is the Mayor's fake news tweet where he lies bare-faced about the Uber deal having the backing of the taxi industry. -- U.B.


Very interesting. The way I interpret the preceding statement is, if councilors don't want the public to know how they voted on specific matters, oh well. We vote these bureaucrats into office and pay their salaries...EVERYTHING should be unrestricted...extremely sneaky on their behalf. Very spineless and cowardly if you ask me.

Never-Ending Incompetence

Going back to the Mountain News article April 13/17 it also stated, Hamilton councilors have been approving water rate (tax) increases for at least the last decade in an effort to raise enough funding to pay for expensive water and wastewater capital projects to replace or update aging infrastructure. OK, explain this, why did the following happen.

An article in the Hamilton Spectator, July 21/17, stated during a major rain storm the city's sewage treatment plant on Woodward Ave. had to briefly allow partially treated sewage to flow directly into the Red Hill Creek to avoid widespread sewer backups from all the extra water in the sewer system...again, where is our tax money going? I just wonder how many other times this incident has occurred. Once again our so called leaders ignoring what should be mandatory, oh golly gee, infrastructure enters my mind. Remember the article in the Hamilton Spectator on Sept. 16/14...our irresponsible bureaucrats had no money for potholes.

Monumental Hubris

C.B.C. news reported on May 30/17 our "gifted" city hall fathers and mothers voted themselves to receive $5,000 rings when they either retire or voted out of office. Surprising enough Matthew Green was against the ring issue. So, they're going to receive a $5,000 ring when they officially depart City Hall...FOR WHAT?...the "wonderful", "spectacular" and "bang up" job they have performed? If they honestly think they deserve any reward for their service they are legends in their own minds.

HAMELINton

Do you folks realize Hamilton has a rat problem? Our "beloved" legislators haven't entirely ignored the problem but they certainly haven't taken (in my opinion) a proactive approach. You be the judge with the following headlines.

One favourite cuisine of rats is human feces so that partially treated human waste allowed to flow in to the Red Hill Creek unquestionably gave the rodents a hearty meal. Our leaders do have some sort of rat attack plan but they certainly are procrastinating their assault. I suggest bring in the "Pied Piper"...he terminated the town of Hameln's problem but the "common sense" City Hall crowd would require a study to be performed and insist another study to coincide with the first study.

Crumbling Infrastructure

After reading an article in the Mountain News, Oct. 26/17 titled, "Critical Condition - city facilities need millions of dollars in upgrades" enhances my belief these politicians disregard and defer action to many important and vital matters...maybe they think the problem will fix itself.

According to the article more than 150 city-owned facilities are in poor or critical condition and are in need of repairs or upgrades and within 10 years there will be 260 facilities requiring urgent attention. The city needs $216 million to make repairs to the city's 455 municipal buildings plus another $155 million in renovations needed to make structures conform to the province's accessibility legislation.

The manager of the Strategic Planning Dept. enlightened City Council of the deterioration of the structures...maybe the Dept. should change their name to "slow to reply." These defects didn't happen overnight and why have they left these deficiencies to the last minute? Oh, what a stupid question, we're talking about government. Five will get you ten there are some serious safety concerns related to this issue regarding the public, but we all know City Hall is more hot and horny for bike lanes.

Financial Shenanigans

I also read in the Mountain News, Aug. 17/17, Hamilton City Council members were applauding themselves (do I detect some arrogance and conceit in the air?) after hearing an agency called Standard and Poor raised the city's credit rating to AA with a positive outlook. The city's General Manager of Corporate Finance said Hamilton's financial management is strong and considered the city's debt burden very low...this is where I have to call a time out.

I find this extremely hard to believe...a truly well disguised tall tale. My skepticism stems from an article in the Hamilton Spectator May 21/15 which stated Hamilton's debt will increase to $885 million and $3.3 billion is needed for repairs but our "financial management is strong" and ask myself how can this be? Either way I require my "mild mannered" financial advisor to explain to me how a $885 million debt is very low.

The Anti-Industrial Revolution - Automobile Exclusion Lanes

Before I sign off I have to bitch about the continuing insanity about Hamilton's bike lanes. The latest lunacy was the official opening of (latest annoyance and irritation for vehicle owners)...a stretch of 2.3 Km (1.43 miles) of new bike lanes on Bay Street from Herkimer Avenue to Stuart Street.

Can you believe the city had a brief ceremony and ribbon cutting...it's a fucking bike lane. More waste and misuse of our tax money once again and if you didn't know, Mommy Wynne (our Ontario Premier who loves everyone) "donated" $295,000 towards this rubbish. Hamilton now has 200 Km (124 miles) of bike lanes in the city. This senseless and outrageous thinking will never stop.

I have to share with you an e-mail Uncle Block sent me a day after that "magnificent gala event"...if you don't know he is an owner/operator of a licensed taxi of the City of Hamilton...here it is: "you should have seen the chaos downtown yesterday evening. Main Street from Dundurn Avenue to Wellington Street (2.5 Km of 1.55 miles) was like a clogged fucking toilet. The back-ups on John Street south of Main Street thanks to the two-way often led cars blocking the west bound lanes at Hunter and John Streets because of the assholes that blindly follow the cars in front of them and end up stopped and blocking the middle of the intersection because of all the bus pollution between Hunter and Jackson Streets...more unnecessary idling. And the horn honking is incessant."

I know the driver stress occurs on a continuous basis but the regime that manages this city doesn't care...they don't give a flying fuck. I wonder if they give a dam if when emergency vehicles are responding to urgent, serious and life threatening situations get delayed or hindered in the city's man-made diasters...it probably doesn't even phase them. If you would like to read more about the asinine Bay Street bike lanes check Uncle Block's rant (Oct. 29/17) titled, "Why Did the Chicken Not Cross the Road" on his www.MyAssBook.com.

Free Cattle-Car Transit

I know I was going to sign off but I just had to include this ridiculous and absurd "thinking" of Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla (he's another "pretty boy politician" who has never met a camera he didn't like) as reported in an article by C.B.C. news on Nov. 10/17. He wants to pass a motion to City Council that everyone should ride the bus for free. He wants transit to be funded in the same way roads are...through property taxes. Sam, I think you need your medication adjusted.

Epilogue

The bureaucrats of the once Ambitious City are forceful, determined and motivated in continuing their waste of tax payers hard earned cash and producing more ways to exasperate citizens with their foolish and idiotic ideas, schemes and bizarre rationale. Sometimes I ask myself why do I even vote...the City Hall sideshow and three ring circus will never leave town.

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Peppermint Stick Time"


The Devout Communist




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Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Final Sunset

Prelude

Sgt. O'Neill - "Bob I got a bad feeling on this one all right? I mean I got a bad feeling! I don't think I'm gonna make it out of here! D'ya understand what I'm saying to you?"

Staff Sgt. Barnes - "Everybody gotta die sometime Red." A scene from the 1986 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture Movie "Platoon."

Sadly, Staff Sgt. Barnes' statement "everybody gotta die sometime Red" is ultimately correct and factual, without a doubt, reality. Not being a religious individual (I'm basically an agnostic) I do believe the day each one of us is born we are designated with a number and when our digit is announced, by whoever or whatever, our time has expired. Some people's visits are short while others may be very lengthy in time. Dismally, the 1967 Chambers Brothers song titled "Time Has Come Today" encourages my belief.

Living and dying, or birth and death, is referred to as the circle of life. We can also allude to the term lifecycle as Nathan East's recording in his smooth jazz song, "Lifecycle." The circle of life just doesn't involve humans, but also countless animals and insects...some animals live to be 200 years old.

So what happens when our lives are finally terminated...is there a heaven and hell or are we transported to another universe and still keep our same bodies and personalities or maybe we're reincarnated? Maybe some of us become angels and the evil scumbags are sentenced to a life of pain and misery or maybe we proceed into a deep and heavy sleep, never to wake up again...unfortunately no one has returned from their death trip to enlighten us about their journey.

Regrettably, all of us have undergone the misfortune of knowing someone who passed away. It could've been a loved one, friend, acquaintance or fellow co-worker or maybe all of the above. It has always mystified me why children, teenagers and young adults have their lives cut short and meanwhile a significant amount of rapists, pedophiles, murderers and violent criminals live to have prolonged and sometimes healthy lives...living the term, "the life of Riley"...IT JUST DOESN'Y MAKE SENSE!

Don't get me wrong, it's also very tragic when "older" people encounter their eternal rest, especially our parents. It's heart rendering to watch someone (especially a loved one) lay in a hospital gurney and waste away to skin and bones before they die. Or is it easier the way I found my mother (R.I.P. and God rest your soul) laying on her apartment living room floor with dried purple blood on the side of her mouth...she was dead and the second I saw her I cried like a new born baby. Obviously neither scenario is less heart breaking than the other, both are harrowing experiences and truly emotionally painful.

Which brings me to what inspired me to write this "rant." My 94 year old good friend and neighbour's wife passed away in late March of 2017...she was also 94 years old. She was a lovely lady, joyful, always pleasant, sparkling and happy go lucky. They were married for 68 years. Her death brought tears to my eyes more than once. Some people may say well, she was ninety four and lived a good life. Fair enough, I agree, but it still doesn't justify her death, and her husband has lost his soul mate, and is suffering gut wrenching sadness. The smooth jazz song by Jonathon Fritzen titled "Turn Back Time" is very suitable for him. A few days after her death, I watched my friend walk home after retrieving his mail at the end of the street. He was looking at young children playing...I can only imagine what was going through his mind.

Certain people can perform certain jobs. Not everyone has the capability of becoming a doctor, lawyer or scientist. However most folks make their own decisions on what occupation they plan to pursue. One career I had absolutely no yearning for whatsoever was to work in a funeral home...it's too eerie. Day in and day out employees are surrounded with sadness, sorrow, gloom and worst of all, death. That type of work environment is too depressing for my liking...I just couldn't do it. On the flip side, hats off to the staff who partake in that profession.

As I stated in one of my earlier rants, back in the 1990's I had a job where one of my duties consisted of registering death certificates. Funeral home representatives would give me their official document. It included information such as the deceased's name and age, place and cause of death and coroner's signature. In return I would sign and date a small card and a piece of paper and hand it to the employee...it would verify the death was legally registered. I recorded numerous deaths, young and old and from all walks of life. Putting it mildly...I hated it.

I enjoyed the sitcom M.A.S.H. 1972-1983. I relish the older episodes with "Lt. Colonel Henry Blake" (he was my favourite) far more than the shows after his character departed. However, overall the entire series was entertaining. Individuals cope with death various ways. One M.A.S.H. episode I think is relevant to this "rant" is titled "The Life You Save," Season 9, Episode 20, 1981.

I will paraphrase the synopsis. Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III takes off his hat and notices a sniper's bullet had missed his head by inches. He becomes fascinated, or shall I say obsessed with death as well as a soldier who came back from the dead and drowns him with questions about what it was like to be dead.

Charles then travels to an aid station and sits with a dying soldier constantly asking him what he is thinking and feeling. At that time we find out Charles had a younger brother who died and for a long time afterwards he couldn't walk by the child's room without feeling profound instability...Hollywood fiction yes, but also a true consequence of human emotion in real life.

Epilogue

No one is exempt from demise...even the richest of the rich can't buy everlasting life. Hopefully the smooth jazz song by Earl Klugh titled "I'll See You Again" has some possibility and hope of connecting with a loved one or friend (who has died) in the near future. The expression "nothing is guaranteed in life except death and taxes" is an adulterated and ingenious statement. A lot of taxes are utmost thievery and politicians thrive on the swindle and rip off. There is no cure for the extortion and it will never disappear, or vanish into mid air. As far as death, we're born, we survive and then we take our last breath...dying like taxes is impossible to avoid. The explorers haven't discovered the fountain of youth and no pill or potion has been produced to live for eternity...or has it?

The End

The Harvenut Puritan Project
Puritan will return with "Eternal Hopelessness"




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