Friday, March 20, 2009

Milestone Month

I started this blog three years ago this month and sometime this weekend my 60,000th page hit will load. Over the years I've posted quick little links to articles that interested me, angry rants about policies or people who've annoyed me and long analysis pieces that have perhaps been more useful to me and my own understanding than my readers. After all, the best way to learn something is to try to explain it somebody else.

This blog started, first and foremost as a blog about Canadian health care and the various short-sighted attempts to dismantle it incrementally. More specifically it was about the inaccurate, disingenuous and just plain false arguments being used to justify calls to undermine universality and equity coming from the proponents of de-listing, two-tier healthcare where the rich get to buy their way to the front of the line (Which proponents argue will reduce waiting lists - the exact opposite result from every adoption of two-tier care everywhere in the world) and every other privatization scheme cooked up by the Fraser Institute or owners of private clinic chains.

Those arguing for a more market based health care system make confident pronouncements about wait lists, quality of care, costs and Canadian attitudes about their health system that turn out after even minimal research to be exaggerations ranging to outright lies. Think about why they have to resort to such tactics just to make their arguments.

Over the years I've covered labour issues heavily, drawing on my own experience as a shop steward, elected delegate, organizer and lobbyist. I work in a vastly different environment for an overwhelmingly better employer than I did when I was most active in labour issues, but I'm still proud of the union card in my wallet.

I was trained and educated as a journalist, I've been a reporter, editor and photographer for papers and magazines in Western Canada and sold some articles to American publications like the anti-censorship journal Gauntlet as well as short fiction that has popped up in various places. Not surprisingly this blog has engaged in extensive criticism of the mainstream media. The official journalism gate-keepers have bristled at the criticism and competition from blogs but have always missed the point that the criticism from the blogosphere was about trying to get better journalism.

I'm a political animal, an unapologetic partisan leftist trying hard not to shout 'See, we told you!' as the catastrophic results of the ideas that an utterly unregulated market was the answer to all of our society's needs and cancer style growth was the ideal economic paradigm are now on bald display for all to see. The left, in Canada the NDP specifically, have the models and the policy proposals that best address and engage the world we are living in now. It's no accident as Accidental Deliberations points out, that the two Canadian provinces entering these perilous times in the best shape are being run or were being run until only months ago by the NDP. As this blog has evolved economics has increasingly surged to the fore - but everybody's paying more attention to the Dismal Science lately. It's been deeply satisfying to watch the decline and fall of the Chicago School/Washington consensus on economics and globalization and the return of such thinkers as Keynes to prominence - all just in the last few years.

It's not all sturm and drang, there's been a lot of music, humour and posts about movies and books in between Ranty Jack McHatey muttering about cleansing rains. I've enjoyed this interaction with my readers immensely and plan to continue this blog as long as it's this much fun.

1 comment:

JAWL said...

Congratulations on your third year.

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