Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stephen Harper's ecology; Stephen Harper's prison housing

Well, once again I managed to miss Blog Action Day, this time about climate change. I forgive myself by saying that it's one of this blog's ongoing concerns. It's like Christmas and Easter being every day of the year, rather than December 25th and whenever the calendar dictates. What I did do on that day was try to figure out MY carbon footprint, which anyone can go to Zerofootprint (link provided on this blog) and do. Some things that I/we are already doing (medium size car – looking for smaller, no air conditioning, drive or train rather than fly) come up looking good, but we still have a far way to go. The Danes and the British are good at this. Canada, I'm ashamed to say, can only be described as disgraceful, the government for its total lack of perspicacity on this matter, and us Canadians for being wanton consumers of energy.

But of course, without leaders who can 'vision' for them, the people perish. We can take that quite literally in the case of climate change. I always feel pretty bad about the climate change thing, because I'm not looking at living another 50 years. In other words, I don't think it's climate change that's going to kill me. Stephen Harper's children have many, many years before them, which is why I cannot understand the dimwitted-ness of the man on this particular matter. Surely he should wish to act out of enlightened self-interest?

But some people refuse to learn and Mr Harper is dedicated to not learning on other matters as well. One of these 'other matters' is affordable housing. It appears, as some wag in the Globe and Mail's letter-writing column has pointed out, that his notion of providing affordable housing is building prisons, for which purpose his government has just voted millions of dollars, in anticipation of an increase in the prison population as a result of "new, tough laws". For crying out loud! Doesn't he know that homelessness is a direct and indirect cause of crime? It seems to me that even a nitwit would understand that it's smarter and wiser to spend $200,000 on building one unit of housing for a family of 4, 5 or 6 (he'll only have to do it once) than to spend it to house 10 prisoners for ONE year? (A rough estimate of the cost of keeping an inmate in jail for a year is $20,000.00.) Is that so hard to grasp?

But then being 'tough on crime' plays so well to the voting fans, doesn't it? Just like banging out a Beatles song with Yo-Yo Ma! I couldn't believe that Harper's ratings climbed in the next couple days after that (SARCASM HERE, IN CASE IT'S MISSED) signal event. Have we turned into a nation of blockheads? We don't need prisons, Mr Harper. We need housing, clean water, an improved social safety net, improved health care, child care, decent schools. When we don't have these things, crime ensues. As a good fundamentalist, you know that God isn't sitting up there, making criminals and sending them down to be born. He makes babies; we turn them into criminals.

3 comments:

FSJL said...

Conservative oliticians have a habit of looking for easy answers. As J.S. Mill sagely observed "stupid people are generally Conservative." They can generally be relied on to vote for the person who comes up with the answer that's simple, obvious, and wrong. Which is why in California one man ended up with a 25-year sentence for stealing a slice of pizza (it was his third offence).

FSJL said...

That's "politicians" not "oliticians." Oops.

lacyjpyburn said...

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