It's been longer than usual between postings but life has been crazily busy - with trips to Vancouver, Philadelphia, Niagara-on-the-Lake, seminars and yes...a few rounds of glorious golf thrown!!! Queen Elizabeth has just completed her tour of Canada and we had an opportunity to see her up close at the unveiling of a fantastic statue of Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. You know, she's a pretty amazing lady - along with Prince Philip. Hard to believe that they have spent 60 years doing what they do, and make it look like they haven't done it all a million times before. Now that's an accomplishment!
Much has been happening in the world, with communications mishaps heading the list.
BP Gets its Act Together....Finally
After 85 days and 184 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf, along with 572 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline oiled, BP has finally capped the well. It is a temporary fix, but it's sure a relief while they await the final drilling of the relief wells. They finally have a credible spokesperson - the COO of BP, Doug Suttles, who has successfully stepped in for Tony Hayward, the CEO - the man with a knack for stepping in every cow pie in the meadow. Suttles managed expectations on the announcement very well by cautioning that it's "a great sight, but not a cause for celebration." At least he didn't add, "I just want my life back"!
BP COO manages expectations
G20 Riots and the Police
Now that the smoke has cleared and the accusations of police brutality (combined with allegations of police under-reaction on the first day and over-reaction on the second), a certain perspective is required.
The police seemed to be unaware of the anarchist tactics known as 'Black Bloc' which has been a key part of the destruction at the Seattle WTO meeting in 1999, Vancouver Olympics.
Black Bloc Tactics at the G20
The Black Bloc were all masked and dressed in black - after which they shed and melt into the crowds of legitimate protestors - are bent on real destruction, yet the police stood by and let them do their rampaging, burning police cars and smashing store windows. Why? From what I've seen, that is the police modus operandi. They adopted that tactic back in 2006 when President Bush visited Ottawa. Does it work? Uh, no actually! Clearly the Toronto cops realized it and responded to the huge public outcry on Saturday by rounding up law-abiding protestors and journalists on Sunday. I realize those were tough tactics but considering what had occurred on Saturday, it was somewhat understandable.
Then a few days later we discovered that Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario government had secretly introduced Regulation 223 that enabled the police to confront citizens near the security perimeter. It turns out that Chief Bill Blair and his force were confused about the specific meaning of the obscurely written regulation! What is one to think? You've got to hand it to the Chief, though, he admitted it in a straight-forward way and let the chips fall where they may. It was awkward to admit but it was the right thing to do.
The final capper on the whole G20 is the comment from Dalton McGuinty that he doesn't want any more G20 leaders meeting in Toronto due to the 'psychological scarring' of the populace:
Dalton McGuinty waves the white flag
If I were one of those Black Bloc anarchists, I would be be cheering wildly in victory!
Barack Obama and Wall Street
After massive public anger over Washington's bail out of financial institutions in 2008, President Obama has tried to position himself and his Administration as part of the solution and not part of the problem the passage yesterday of the Financial Reform Bill by the Senate (with only three Republican votes - including Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts) giving the President an opportunity to turn the corner on public anger. The still-to-be written regulations will ultimately determine if the cure is worse than the disease. The betting has to be that the public will get behind more regulations as a solution. In the meantime, how he communicates the vision and benefits of that legislation will be critical to his Administration's recovery in public opinion in the months leading up to the mid-term elections.
Looking forward to playing a round this afternoon, then watching the British Open 'on the telly' this weekend - while visiting beautiful P.E.I. Almost heaven? You betcha!