Thursday, October 12, 2006

No debate over the Turner report

So my call to arms regarding the Turner report has created zero discussion. Not because people did not read it, they did, or at least they visited the page. I could be disheartened that new logos and car commercials can cause more Internet natter, but I am not. The nature of this beast called blogging is that it gets hot and heavy when there is something to debate. I think the Zachary Turner report needs no debate. Everyone agrees that it is an aborrhent situation and that the system failed him. No need to debate that issue, no banter necessary. I guess the debatable thing is what should happen because of it. The one lone anonymous commenter to my last post suggested that politicians, the ministers of the relevant departments, should resign. That doesn't seem the right answer to me. I think it is the bureaucrats that should go, the higher ups in the department, those that know what is going on--the deputy ministers, managers and supervisors. No one in the department wants to comment because they cannot comment on specific cases, but surely it is not hard to figure out who was there and who knew what, when. I hope some heads roll soon, and I hope the changes needed in the system happen soon enough to save the kids in the system now from winding up like Zachary Turner.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Protecting the kids

I'm feeling sad for the kids these days. First it was the shootings in the school in Pennsylvania. What could you imagine would be safer than an Amish one-room school house in Pennsylvania? I mean, really? I have been thinking about it a lot. I can't stop, in fact. It keeps me tossing and turning through the night. I just imagine those peaceful people, trying to keep their lives away from the outside world. How can they accept, or anyone accept for that matter, their daughters being lined up in school, handcuffed and executed? I saw a picture of an Amish man looking up at the helicopters that now infiltrated his community, dragged there by grief and unspeakable horror. The look on his face haunts me. This whole thing makes me wonder if we shouldn't all lock our kids away, to somehow try to protect them from what is out there, to hide them from the outside world. Then again, that didn't really work for the Amish, did it? It is an awful, perfect lesson in the fact that we cannot protect them from everything.

Then I read about the report on the death of Zachary Turner. No surprises there, but you can't help but fight back the tears for the little boy who did not have to die and for his grandparents who must be so very frustrated every day at the thought that their son and grandchild are gone and that, at least in the case of young Zachary, it could have, should have, been prevented. There are questions like was it the fault of individuals or the child protection system? Well, yes it was the system. ANyone who knows a social worker who has come out of university in the past few years, knows someone who worked at Child Protection. It is the entry-level, ditch digging job of the social work world. You go there and punch your time until you get enough experience and can move onto something else better. And you complain because the workload is crushing. That is the system: on the job training for social workers overloaded with way too many cases because there are way too few social workers.

Child Advocate Darlene Neville says that, due to fundamental problems in the Child Protection system, there are children under that department's protection that are at risk right now. Well, people, who the hell cares about our new brand for Newfoundland and if it looks like pitcher plants or bakeapples? The blogging community in and from this province has made enough noise to make the news about things like our reaction to MUN's new brand and the Nissan commercial. Well, let's get pissed off and let's get active and do something about this. Let's make some noise. These are our kids and this is beyond ridiculous. I don't have a clue what we can do to change this but let's put our heads together and try.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brand New

Fresh on the heels of Hans Rollman's great column on the new brand of Memorial University of Newfoundland in this past weekend's Telegram (not on their website yet, unfortunately), the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has created our new brand. This represents our province to the world. My first reaction was "Really?. That's it?" Well, it doesn't instill any wonder to me. I like the idea of the pitcher plant (although I think foreigners will wonder why those antennae are sticking out of our logo) and all, but the colours, the fancy font, they are just not doing it for me.

I guess I kind of understand the reason behind it, to have one brand to represent the province. But I can't believe all these people (and I'm sure with all this money) could only come up with this. It's not ugly, just doesn't seem to have any oomph. Obviously, I don't understand all this brand stuff because MUN's seemed incomprehensible to me and now this one seems blah. My big beef with it is that now all the government documents, pamphlets, memo pads, Holiday cards, web sites, etc. now have to be redone and reprinted. How much will that set us back, I wonder?

So now we have a brand and I'm not sure how much a difference it will make, except it will give we bloggers something new to write about.