Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bill Good Bad Debate Moderator

I listened to the BC election leaders debate this morning on CKNW.  I thought all of them, Carole James of the NDP, Gordon Campbell of the Liberals, and Jane Sterk of the Green Party, came across well.

James made one mistake that women leaders sometimes make though.  She occasionally used an 'up-talk' style: when making an assertion, she would end the sentence as though she were asking a question.  This can make a leader come across as less than confident in their own positions.  But James didn't use that style consistently, just occasionally.  Jane Sterk never used that style.  

I thought the CKNW moderator Bill Good revealed bias against Carole James.  It showed up after James stated during the debate that the NDP had decided that during this election campaign, they would be "tough on the issues" but would not resort to "personal attacks".  Bill Good then asked James if she had not been engaging in personal attacks toward Gordon Campbell during this debate.  She responded firmly, "No".  Then Good allowed a long, long, long pause, so long that it made a statement in itself.  Then, in discussions with four voters -- these voters seemed stacked against Carole James -- after the debate, Good stated that he felt James had been resorting to personal attacks against Gordon Campbell throughout the entire debate.

He was wrong.

A personal attack is an ad hominem attack or gratuitious criticism of another politician that has little to do with the issues.  An extreme example would be past federal Conservative Party TV ads criticizing the facial paralysis of Jean Chretien.  During this morning's debate, James was simply being intensely critical of Liberal policies; each time she was asked about an issue, she would criticize the Liberal record on it and use the name "Gordon Campbell" when she did it. For example, when a caller accused James of misleading the public by saying that the Liberals had sold assets such as rivers when in fact they had leased them, James retorted that when "Gordon Campbell" gives a company a 49 year lease on a river or a 99 year lease on BC Rail, the result is esentially a sale.  That response was typical of James' responses throughout the debate.  She was on the attack, but not in a personal way.  

I found it interesting that while James repeatedly emphasized the name "Gordon Campbell" when answering debate questions, Campbell avoided using James' name and consistently referred to her as the "the leader of the opposition." But he called the Green Party leader, "Ms. Sterk". 

I'm not a defender of Carole James or the NDP.  But I think if CKNW is claiming to be hosting a neutral debate and re-cap, they should make every effort to ensure it is neutral.  After the debate, I had little doubt that Good was a Liberal supporter.

Judy Rogers still on City Payroll Despite Record of Fraud at Carnegie

Are you happy?  That's the question on promos in Vancouver stores where Mayor Gregor Robertson's Happy Planet Juice is sold.  

No, Gregor, I'm not happy.  In fact, I'm right pissed off that you still have on the payroll a woman who was in a supervisory role in relation to Carnegie Center fraud, disenfranchisement of voters -- Don't like who got elected to the Board? Bar him from the building -- and chronic civil liberties abuses including the City's own brand of sharia law for women.  

There is evidence at Carnegie that a woman can be barred from City facilities for showing confidence in relation to a man and that, in the Carnegie "court" in which the decision to bar her is made, a male's testimony is considered to carry much more weight than the female's, so much more in fact that it is not necessary to even speak to the female. Classic sharia. Sharia is so entrenched at Carnegie that even a man who has been accused of sexually harassing the female defendant in the past is allowed the privilege of advising Carnegie security on what punishment she should receive.

In one case that lacked witnesses, the claim that "15" anonymous witnesses existed was entered into the "security" report.  In another case, when the CBC asked Carnegie Director Ethel Whitty why an elected official was barred from Carnegie, Whitty concocted a story about him being a WorkSafe risk.  There had been no mention of a WorkSafe risk in the City letter barring him. Judy Rogers knew of these and other examples of fraud at Carnegie.    

But Judy Rogers, who we all thought had been fired, is still on the City payroll.  Judy Rogers is happy.

CKNW has learned the details of Rogers' severance package.  She got $572,000 and she will continue to get a car allowance, health and welfare benefits, and will remain on the City payroll until the end of May, unless she gets another job.

Who would give her another job?  

At least one of the victims' of the City's brand of sharia law practiced under Judy Rogers has now taken her case to the new City manager Penny Bellum. It is going to be interesting to see whether Bellum, a lesbian feminist-type with a boyish hair cut, is going to rubber stamp sharia at Carnegie the way Rogers did.  The impression I get from talking to this victim -- she started calling her treatment "sharia" after learning the term from bloggers -- is that she is going to consider her case outstanding until it is resolved, no matter how long it takes. Rogers may as well put this case on her resume because it's going to follow her around like Carnegie "security" reports follow Downtown Eastsiders.
What is it with the City's reward miles plan for abusers?  City managers or co-ordinators can be caught commiting fraud or grave breaches of public trust -- like Carnegie Security boss Skip Everall caught on tape barring a woman from an entire City building to teach her a lesson for daring to ask him his name so that she could appeal a barring -- and they keep on going and going and going on the City payroll.  They're a variation on Timex watch commericials: they give you a lickin' and they keep on tickin'.   

Bellum has specifically been asked not to renew Ethel Whitty's contract as Carnegie Director.  Once it is clear that you have been supervising fraud -- there is as much evidence against Whitty as there is against Rogers -- your career with the City should be over.  Over.

After covering these cases, I can no longer drink Gregor Robertson's Happy Planet juice.  Just seeing a bottle of it on a store shelf makes me gag.