Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Politics is basically a form of sheltered workshop. They set their own hours, duties, schedules and stress levels. Similar to civil servants the longer they are in that environment the more they believe that that is reality and everything else is the anomoly. We all think that teachers get great money, summers off, lomg breaks at Christmas, March break, all statutory holidays and so much more but politicians make them look like pikers.

The worst of it is the mindset. Eventually even politicians who went in thinking about public service lose their way. Yesterday morning I saw it in action. We were discussing the lack of railway transparency through Waterloo Region and longtime Councillor Mark Bauman had all his arguments marshalled. One of the best was well there's a risk everywhere. It's not just in Waterloo residential areas, it's everywhere. I mentioned anhydrous ammonia being lethal and his response was well lots of farmers use it so it's on the roads everyday. My thought would be are they dumb enough to be driving with it through residential areas between one and five am. as the railroads are?

There was a greater clarification given in regards to the diamond shaped placards on the sides of rail cars. Allegedly those placards identify not only classes of toxins but in some cases specific names. We were told by Councillor Bauman that all you have to do is go on line and you can find the codes for the various chemicals. Really? If that's true then clearly the arguments about keeping things a big secret are specious as any so called "terrorists" under the age of fity will have figured that out by now. In other words the bad guys already know. The issue is the families and children living within the vicinity of rail traffic carrying toxic materials.

When the smoke clears, just like everything else it all boils down to money. If the public (ie. unwashed masses) find out the risks that they have been exposed to without their consent; they will demand greater safeguards. Those cost money for the rail companies and they expect protection from their bought and paid for politicians against the legitimate interests of the public. Once more into the breech Mark Bauman as you stand up for the rights of big business and corporations.

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