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Friday, April 8, 2011

Bike Town, Twitter, and Confucius - The Common Thread

Sometimes I get a chuckle out of reading the local paper.  Not because it isn't good journalism, it is.  But sometimes I find the editorials to be a bit skewed when the news cycles are somewhat slow.  Before I say anything about the Bike Town comments made today, I feel the need to highlight a few things.

When I was a soldier, I agreed to go anywhere, fight anywhere, and if it wasn't my lucky day, I was prepared to die as a soldier... on any given battlefield in any far flung corner of the globe.  Everybody who puts on the uniform of the Army, or the uniform of any armed service, accepts this as part of their job. 

One of the main reasons I volunteered to do this was to defend the principles of liberty and the ability to enjoy freedom of expression.  Freedom of expression is provided to all Canadians within the body of Canadian constitutional law.  And so I openly and loudly applaud this individual's right to speak freely.  It is, of course, only fair that I am equally entitled to the very same freedom of expression.

I find it ironic that a contemptuous picture has been painted of the present day Council, but I openly state that it is within the rights of any person to do so.  With what seems like copious sarcasm, the writer states that "a councilor" (sic) had to start a Twitter account for the municipality.  I'm fairly confident the reference was made towards myself since it is widely known that I have been a champion of social media in our community since the day I arrived in Devon.

Perhaps I misunderstood the writer, but it seemed like they were insinuating that our municipal staff were unable to accomplish the simple task of starting a Twitter account and that Social Media is, somehow, not a worthwhile tool.  I have no trepidation to report neither of these assumptions would have any basis in reality.  Make no mistake, I have and shall continue to support social media and enhanced web presence for the benefit of our municipality.

A few weeks ago, Twitter celebrated its 5th Birthday.  Since the first tweet on March 21, 2006, Twitter has swelled to over 200 million users.  This number, of course, is in fact erroneous because Twitter adds over 500,000 users every day.  We have not even gotten to our next Council meeting and dozens of people have already signed up to follow @BikeTownAB with demographics that span continents, embrace our region, and provide a mechanism to extend regional, national, and international exposure for Devon... at no charge.
Would it be prudent to drag Devon back into the 20th Century in order to appease the contemptuous feelings of one person?  I should like to hear their prosecution against Twitter made to our own Prime Minister Harper, or perhaps President Obama, or quite frankly, take your pick of any G20 leader.  Could it somehow be possible that World leaders, Fortune 500 corporations, and hundreds of millions of people know something this person doesn't?

To address other bike races that Devon has missed, I believe you'll find the Tour de France is still held in France, that's true.  As for the MS race the author mentions, I must say that I'm quite delighted to know that Canadians who suffer with multiple sclerosis shall benefit from a bike racing community that is dedicated not only to sport, but to service for others.  Quite frankly, this kind of action is a clear demonstration of the qualities I most admire in my fellow Canadians.  As such, I would be remiss if I did not tip my hat to the writer who eloquently, albeit inadvertently, underscores the brilliance of the Bike Town initiative and the high moral character of the fine Canadians who enjoy this great sport! 

The Leduc to Camrose race is scheduled for June 11 & 12 and I encourage everybody who is interested to please do what they can to support the fight for a cure for multiple sclerosis.  If you are interested, you can follow the MS Society of Alberta on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, and they even have a great link to the Liveshare Coolaris 3D wall.  They also have a Facebook page for CCSVI, a disease that has impacted the lives of people right here in Devon.

The author goes on to complain about decisions of previous Council.  Rather than comment on things done before I was elected to Council, I would suggest the words of ancient wisdom could be applied in this case.

"Do not be desirous of having things done quickly. Do not look at small advantages. Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly. Looking at small advantages prevents great affairs from being accomplished"

- Confucius

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