Plain Rhetoric

By: Bill McQuarrie

Do people care that the government is gouging them?

January 17, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: January 20, 2017 - 12:28pm

KAMLOOPS — In a recent column on the provincial government’s not so transparent tax system, there was a comment from a reader that drew my attention. He asked, “Who is listening? Do people really care?”

In general, I believe governments have operated on the principle that voters pretty much don’t listen, don’t remember and don’t care. What other explanation can be given for government’s blatant disregard of their taxpayers' interests while happily taking care of their own self-interests?

Trump way off base on United Nations

January 3, 2017 - 10:30am

KAMLOOPS — Donald Trump, in his usual self-obsessed and vulgar way, decided to trash the UN in one of his Boxing Day tweets.  

Likely responding to the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334 concerning Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, the petulant man-child and future President of the United States tweeted. “...The United Nations is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.”

Fearless political predictions for 2017 and beyond

December 27, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Like the Great Carnac of Johnny Carson’s era, it’s that time of year again.  Time to pull out the crystal ball, the Ouija board, some old tealeaves, a copy of the National Enquirer and figure out what 2017 will look like.

Some would suggest - and I will neither confirm nor deny - that a wee dram of Irish whiskey is involved in this prognostication process.  Instead, I prefer the rumour that suggests it is based purely on science.  

Sacrificing much for the national interest

December 20, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Like you, I’ve heard most of the Trans Mountain pipeline arguments from both sides. I’ve watched and listen to the pre-sanitized sound bites from the politicians as well as corporate and environmental special interest groups. And I’ve paid attention to the investment numbers, the job stats, the fossil fuel addiction numbers and the climate change forecasts.

RIH parking change a backwards step

December 14, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — As I entered the hospital parking lot I was reminded of Richard Dawkins’ quote that went something like, “Don’t ask God to cure cancer and world poverty.  He’s too busy finding you a parking space.”

This day being Monday, Dec. 12 was also the first day the hospital parking system returned to the old practice of gouging patients and visitors alike.  Today was a freebee, IHA’s way of gently welcoming you back to those days of yesteryear and estimating and prepaying for the time you would be spending in their care.  

Political transparency would silence media criticism

December 6, 2016 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — There’s an easy way to silence the press.

Almost all politicians will at some point in their career blame the media for the ills that are befalling them. With raised voice and fingers pointing, they cry out about unfair coverage, biased reporting and slanted editorials.  

Those who find criticism difficult, cry foul more often or at least louder than those with thicker skins. They complain aloud about the brazen effrontery of those in the press who challenge or question their actions and judgement.

High-tech, resources, tourism can coexist in a truly diverse local economy

November 29, 2016 - 5:01am

KAMLOOPS — I’m a curious kind of guy and have noticed that whenever we talk about diversifying our local economy, the conversation quickly goes off track as people respond with something along the lines of, “True, but we can’t live on tourism jobs alone.”  

My curiosity makes me wonder why.  Why do we always fall back on that as being the only possible outcome of a diversified economy?