Placards for Pols

* My other incineration-related posts are found here under a new heading.

So, I attended a Durham Regional Council Health & Social Services & Works committee meeting recently. We have a “burning” issue in Durham Region [east of Toronto, Ontario, Canada] – our politicians have in their infinite wisdom (???) decided to sink close to $300 million dollars into a municipal solid waste incinerator. Oh…politicians. They always like the BIG projects, don’t they?? Big (dumb) projects always seem “sexier” than many small (smart) ones. It makes me so tired.

But I don’t really want to do a lecture on the un-wisdom of politicians – just want to float an idea for some easily portable, inflatable placards to have handy any time one is at a meeting like the one I was at on November 10th & saw Durham’s Regional Council doing their little stupid dance.

Of course I’ve written about the need for placards before – earlier this year, while attending the hearings on the proposal to spend billions of dollars on new reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station.

There are some definite similarities I’m noticing.

The politicians always act like they’re so smart & really know what they’re talking about, but really they rely totally on their hired guns, the consultants, with their fancy suits & their slick powerpoint presentations, & any citizen with a small amount of understanding of the issue at hand & a slightly discerning ear begins to be able to sniff out the political/industry-inspired bullshit almost before it’s spoken aloud.

Ah. Nuclear plants. Garbage incinerators. Both so very, very yesterday, hmmmm?

Well. I don’t have much time & I gotta get this done, so here goes with my suggestions for phrases to use on placards. Really hope someone comes up with some cleverly engineered portable, inflatable ones. I’m heading to another meeting tomorrow, & I just know the placard sayings I’m going to suggest will be eminently reusable/recyclable then & on many other occasions:

  • Arrogance alert!
  • Back to Math class, please!!
  • Bafflegab!
  • Bozo alert!!
  • Bullshit!
  • Corruption: can you smell it too?
  • Get Durham Region out of my mouth, thanks!(1)
  • Have you forgotten who hired/elected you to DO THIS JOB?????
  • How’s about a little humility?
  • I don’t want to be in your little club thanks but could I please just have a cup of coffee?? (um, since my/our tax dollars are paying for your coffee...)
  • Is there any good old-fashioned integrity in the room???
  • JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION, please! (& spare us the bafflegab/bullshit routine)
  • ‘Not statistically significant’ is a bullshit phrase
  • Please stop treating the public like a bunch of morons
  • Pssst – I think I hear the sound of the gravy train!
  • Rogues!
  • Spare us the fancy language, willya? (or simply, Obfuscation/Fancy Language Alert!!)
  • YOU, Sir (or Madam) really don’t know sh-t from shinola
  • You talk really-really-really fast but it’s all just BULLSHIT!
  • Your so-called science sure isn’t very scientific!
  • We’re paying your salaries…I guess you forgot??
  • Where’s the transparency???

A few more random observations:

  • Civil servants often seem to forget the civil part – as well, of course, as forgetting whom they are hired to serve & who pays their salaries. Ditto for politicians, of course. Not to mention all those corporate pillagers.
  • I am fatally tired of people in fancy suits who think they're so damn superior to the people – the citizens – the taxpayers – who pay for their fancy suits, & their junkets, & their…well, I could go on, hmmm?
  • We pay their salaries. They get coffee & sandwiches at these awful meetings; we get treated like a mob of unruly peasants; not even a cup of coffee. It’s appalling! (& the public, the so-called “average citizens,” stay away in droves. Death to apathy!!)
  • We get 10 minutes to say our piece to these people we have hired &/or for whom we voted (or didn’t vote) & whose salaries we are paying. They get to act like kings & queens…on our dime. & you thought feudalism was dead???

Finally, a suggestion for the future of politics (& everything else):

  • No more fancy meeting rooms
  • No more fancy suits
  • No more fancy powerpoint presentations that tell everything but the TRUTH

From here on in?

  • Everyone wears jeans & a T-shirt.
  • We all sit in a circle.
  • We all remind ourselves over & over again that we’re all in this mess together. The only way back out of it is also together. (Our politicians & the bureaucrats? They need our intelligence. They just don’t get that yet.)


P.S. I’ve said this before, in a recent post about a nuclear waste conference I attended. It doesn’t really make me feel good to be sarcastic, sardonic, rude. I know down to my bones we all had a hand in making these messes together, & clearly, the only way out of them is also together. Could we please get at it??

P.P.S. In other posts elsewhere I’ve listed some other placards (or bumper sticker wording) I really like, e.g. the ones I’ve seen down at Occupy Toronto (here & here). Also at a Grassy Narrows event I attended in 2010. And, at nuclear-related hearings, here, here & here

P.P.P.S. A person has got to have a little fun, you know?? I guess that’s why I always come up with these crazy placard ideas (or the awards I am always handing out to the nuclear industry). It’s enough to make a person crazy or despairing (or both). Fun is fun, & as they say in the ‘Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dreamsymposium, it’s important in the midst of all these very serious messes that we seek out “urgent joy.” Don’t you just love that advice??

Quote of the day: “One of the things I argue in my book [A Journey Through Economic Time] is the extent to which people go to avoid rational decisions – the very large role of mental deficiency in economic history. Generally, people have been very resistant to attributing a causal role in history to stupidity.” ~ John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist

(1) This in reference to the fluoridation issue, which was also under discussion at the November 10th committee meeting. & don’t get me started on our so-called health units, which like military groups everywhere seem to actually believe it really makes sense to destroy something in order to save it. OMG. The stupidity that takes place routinely in bureaucracies is enough to make a person weep. Of course there are good people at work doing good things in these broken organizations…of course, of course, of course. But the systems they work for are broken; you hear what I’m saying??