I'm not sure who to be more fed-up with - the Chicken Littles, the exaggerators and the demonizers, or the wafflers, ditherers and politically constipated.
In community life, we have the anti-Ajaxers and the jobs-at-any-costers, in animal welfare it's the free-Clover hardliners against those who think wild animals are better off in cages. Meanwhile, environmentalists and Big Oil trade tales of doom over pipelines and super tankers.
Disaster, it seems, is at every turn. If you're a Liberal, the socialists and conservatives would lead us to ruin. If you're a New Democrat or a B.C. Conservative, it's the other guys. The slightest mention of Ajax spurs another round of handwringing. If the mine is approved, or if it isn't, Kamloops is finished.
All the doctors will leave town if it goes ahead, all our jobless young people will leave town if it doesn't. We must have those jobs. Not just any jobs, those specific 350 (or is it 500-plus) jobs, and if we don't have them, well, it's the end of days. As Richard Boyce of the Steelworkers phrased it, Kamloops will become a "have-not" city.
Lifeforce, whose philosophical position on the kermode bear I actually support, is guilty of the lowest form of argument - emotion rather than science, insult rather than reason. According to this group, those who oppose its views are "pro-zoo crazies," the B.C. Wildlife Park is a "horrible" place, and Environment Minister Terry Lake should exclude himself from the issue because - get this - he may once have provided veterinary care at the zoo. "Conflict of interest?" asks Lifeforce. Really? Don't check facts, don't put it in context, don't explain it. Just put a question mark after it.
Among those petitioning to free the bear is Ruth Madsen, who gave a clinic in fear-mongering a couple of years ago with her attack on a proposed gasifier project that, she said, would "pollute our children and many generations to come and destroy our wonderful city."
Indeed. Pollute our children, destroy our city.
I am reminded of the infamous Democrat-sponsored TV commercial showing a child playing among flowers, and a nuclear blast going off in the background. The message: Republican candidate Barry Goldwater would surely push the U.S. into a nuclear holocaust.
We need not recount the litany of Kevin Krueger's gems, largely uttered in response to anyone who has looked, smelled like or might have had coffee with a New Democrat. Nor is he unique among Liberals. When the NDP's Jagrup Brar noted that Cuba has made much progress under Castro, Bill Bennett concluded the NDP wants to turn B.C. into a totalitarian state.
Then we have the status quo people, those inert individuals who dare not take a stand because they're always waiting for the next report, or who insist it's somebody else's decision. Truth be told, I prefer the ant to the grasshopper, for at least he's engaged. The Kruegers, Harpers and Romneys may be mockers and inquisitors, but the Milobars, Dixes and Cumminses are so busy threading the needle they can't spare a moment to stand and be counted on politically unsafe issues.
As for the rest of us, our path blocked by a swamp of rhetoric and paralysis, we struggle in vain for the facts. Those facts are in there somewhere - they're just hard to see for all the BS.
© Kamloops Daily News