Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Warren Kinsella a closet conservative

It's true!

How else do you explain that the study he writes about that determined that whiny, insecure, narrow-minded, thin-skinned little kids grow up to be whiny, insecure, narrow-minded, thin-skinned, politically conservative adults. Kinsella MUST be a conservative -- he fits that description to a 'T'.

Warren manages to act all smug and self-righteous just like a true liberal . . . he even gets all giggly and tingly when he thinks he's done a *gotcha* just like liberals do. He's all bitter about his team's losses, picking at the scabs, looking for blame all over the place and all negative about any idea that doesn't emanate from his side in a way that would make any liberal proud. He mocks and ridicules those who are not in line with his world view, like any card carrying Liberal would.

Nope. It appears that study he cites must be skewed. Warren Kinsella is a liberal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Get 'em while they're young

When did kids stop being kids, and become nothing but future workers?

A new study says all children should be *entitled to early education from the age of two.*

Entitled -- all children ARE entitled to early education from the age of two. All parents are ALLOWED to place their children in Montessori nursery schools, daycares that provide more than just diaper changes and snacks . . . the choice exists already . . . so, what then, is the study suggesting?

The study says that children would benefit because their graduation levels, future earnings and health would be better. And lucky mothers would be able to enter the workforce faster, which would benefit the economy. From the Canadian Press article (title link):
The study said more children are involved in early education than ever before.

However, it noted the split between oversight and delivery still requires too many parents to piece together arrangements to cover their work schedules.

"The results are stressful for children and parents alike, but also negate the wonderful payback that comes from delivering early education in a way that simultaneously supports children's learning and their parents' work," it said.

*Simultaneously supports children's learning and their parents' work.*

What about bonding? What about family life? What about just being a kid?

This study is worrying because it's just sinister enough to spark all the enlightened lefties out there who already think the state is a better parent than parents.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

If they can't get it one way . .

The City of Toronto will get it another.

Has anyone else had this happen?

A relative received a NOTICE OF VIOLATION from the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards based on the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 548, Littering & Dumping of refuse.

Here is the response from my relative:

On April 18, 2011 we received a notice from the city saying that *the owner of land failed to clean and clear refuse that has been thrown, placed, dumped or deposited, including, but not limited to; All household waste, trash brush, boxes, furniture and any other item or thing that appears to have been discarded or abandoned.*

The letter said that if we did not comply, we would be charged $94 dollars per hour for the removal of the *waste* ... which, although we have no way of knowing for sure because of the non-specific nature of the letter, all we could assume it meant the tree limbs in our back yard which had been cut down in the fall, but which, because of the weather, had not been cut into smaller segments and taken to the curb. There was also an old freezer in our side yard. On the date of the letter it had been there just over a week and we were simply waiting for garbage day to put it out.

It took my daughter and son-in law about an hour to cut and bundle the branches and take them to the curb. The freezer went to the curb on our regular garbage day. This was all completed within the allotted time-frame of six days.

Then in June, inspector ___________ came to the door. She seemed to have no issues with the state of our home. She left without giving us notice of a fine or fee of any sort.

Now, here it is November, and on the 3rd we received an Inspection Fee Invoice of ...get this ... $94 + HST for a total of $106.22 for an inspection of our property by the city on June 6th.

I am a pensioner who asked a family member to help to rectify a situation that was going to cost me $94 if was not cleared up . . . and now you're charging me $94 + tax for a young woman in shorts and flip-flops to come to my door and have a five minute look around and find nothing wrong because I complied with the city's order.

Frankly, we don't even know for sure that anyone from the city came around in April to see the offending trees limbs in the first place. We believe our backyard neighbours, who put their house on the market in May, called the city to complain in order to ensure the view from their yard would be favourable for a sale --- You are not charging us for having inspected in April and no one from the city came to the door in April, and the *waste* in question was in a high wooden fenced yard behind the house. Because of this, we believe that that the city took the complaint at face value without an inspection. That would mean that if the complaint was an illegitimate nuisance complaint by a spiteful neighbour, we would have been charged for the June 6th compliance inspection anyway.

Either way, being charged in inspection fee in the exact same amount as the city would have charged to clear up the limbs and move the freezer, is excessive, unfair and absurd.

My son in-law telephoned your office on November 6, the day we received this notice. We were told that someone from the city would call us back about this matter the following day. To date, we have not received a call.

I am angry, frustrated and do not believe that this fee is justifiable, especially considering the so-called *inspection* took less time than it's taken to type this email and the inspector found that if there had been an issue, it was resolved. The city was unable to collect a fine, so now they are imposing a fee. This is wrong. How many people have you done this to? How many people have felt compelled to pay the inspection fee without question its validity?

I would appreciate an immediate response as I have waited in vain for two weeks for a reply to my son in-law's call. Your invoice indicates that if I fail to pay this in full by December 2, I will be charged 1.25 percent interest each thirty days and after 90 days, the amount will be transferred to my property tax bill and a further $50 will be added to the bill.

Does this practise by the city seem fair and reasonable? Just wondering.


Negative 3rd party ads didn't buy an election

In today's Toronto Sun, John Snobelen writes:
But the Working Families ads go beyond the normal limits. The nasty (why are teacher unions, of all people, always so nasty?) ads we all endured during this election were not intended to make a point or raise a policy. They were designed to kneecap Hudak. The unions did the heavy lifting for the Liberals during the campaign.
I'll say it one more time. Hudak's campaign managers *kneecapped* Hudak.

Blame unions, 3rd party spending, blame all you want. Hudak deserved to lose that election because he never said what he would do differently or how he would do it. If people are going to vote for *change* they want to see plans, not platitudes. We didn't get that. We got vitriolic ads from the PC campaign, we got promises to keep some of the most contentious, expensive, stupid Liberal programs (all day kindergarten) and not much else.

I'd love to say the union ads pushed Hudak over the edge because I think their form of propoganda is wrong . . . but Hudak crashed and burned all on his own. If the ads had been effective at all, I think we'd have seen a Liberal majority.

So long as conservatives look outside their ranks for people and things to blame for this major disappointment, they will never find a positive way to move forward . . . the best defence is not always a good offence . . . sometimes, it's just having a plan and executing it. The PC Party had a plan, or so they said. They failed to execute. Their fault. Now . . . pick up what's left and move on.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sanity prevails

When the verdict came down, I couldn't believe it--- Melissa Lewis carried a knife in her purse as she rode in the back seat of the car her victim was driving --- and she stabbed him to death.

The woman brought a knife in her purse. Who carries a knife in their purse? And who, while sitting in the back seat of a car, feels so threatened by the person driving, that they reach into their purse, grab the knife they just happened to bring along, and thrust the knife into the driver's neck?

How on earth could she have believed she was in imminent danger, even if her victim, the driver of the car, WAS reaching for a gun? How does a jury acquit that person of murder and say that the killing was *justifiable*.

If you feel that threatened by a person, maybe your shouldn't be in a car with them ... instead Melissa Lewis figured she'd just bring along a knife and get rid of the threat forever. If she'd been a man, I don't think she'd have been acquitted no matter HOW threatening the victim might have been in the past or seemed at the time.

Justice should be the same regardless of gender. Thankfully, the Crown is appealing.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Gospel According to Warren

Warren Kinsella is now channelling Jesus. Funny, that.

Kinsella says :
But the Occupiers are the first truly populist, progressive movement to seize peoples’ imaginations in a long, long time. In this way — and I know this will anger some conservatives, but too bad — the Occupiers are a bit Christ-like.

*Christ-like*? Huh?

What is it? The ignorance? The arrogance? The haughty demeanour? The self-righteousness? The lack of direction and purpose? What is it exactly that Warren sees as *Christ-like*? Warren explains:

As noted most memorably in Matthew 25:31, when Judgment Day arrives, the ones who will be admitted into the Kingdom are the ones who have done the most for “the least” among us — the hungry, the sick, the poor.

They also serve, who only stand and chant? I don't buy it. What exactly have the occupiers done for the *least* among us? How are they serving their fellow man? By trying to affect change? What change? We live in Canada. Poverty, Toronto-style is not what you'd find in the 3rd world or in biblical times. The occupiers have no raison d'ĂȘtre . . . they are not trying to help others . . . they are not trying to shine a light on the plight of the underclasses . . . they are standing chanting for themselves, each saying *poor, pitiful me*.

Christ-like, my ass.

Warren goes on to say:

If you strive to know Him, like some of us do, there can’t be much doubt that the rabbi named Jesus Christ was no capitalist. Nor is there any mystery WWJD with the Occupiers, this past weekend.

He’d be right down there with them, chanting against the bankers and the politicians who do the bankers’ bidding.

I don't believe Jesus would stand with the bankers, but neither do I think he'd be standing along side the occupiers. You see, the bankers and the occupiers are the same kind people, one set rich, the other not so much - but both are selfish. Neither bankers nor occupiers see anyone but themselves as deserving. Both bankers and occupiers believe the world owes them a living and that the work of others should enrich their lives. They see each other as parasites and while both are right on that score, the poor parasites aren't somehow *better people* simply because they aren't wealthy.

Kinsella says:
God, said Christ, chooses the poor because they are “rich in faith.” They are the ones who deserve support.
Despite what the bible says, the poor are not *rich in faith* by default, neither are they good or deserving just because they are poor. Poverty, financial poverty is an earthly state. It doesn't elevate your soul, it doesn't make you saintly. The poor are in need of support by virtue of their circumstances. They are deserving of pity or charity because they are human . . . but this inane belief that all poor people are good and rich people are evil is silliness.

And to suggest that the occupiers hold some sort of high ground because they are *poor* is completely without merit. They are well-fed, unsheltered by choice, and fully clothed. Many of them are well educated in a system heavily subsidized by taxpayers, including those dreadful corporations.
If they were out there saying *I'll work . . . find me a job* maybe I could respect their cause . . . Instead, I see people saying *they're rich and I'm not . . . it isn't fair* which is not a cause -- it's a tantrum.

Ephesians 4:28 says:
Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labour, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.
Read *steal* as *take* in that verse.

Maybe the occupiers should be looking for better ways to serve the poor. The rich will find their own rewards in heaven . . . Instead of shouting *look how bad I have it* -- maybe the occupiers could look outside themselves and find a way to produce and share and serve. I think that's what Jesus would do.


Sunday, October 02, 2011


Four days to the vote, and I remain undecided . . . not about which party to vote for, but rather, whether to vote at all.

The PC Party of Ontario had an opportunity here to live up to their *Changebook* and blow the stale and bloated Liberal government out of the water. Instead, I haven't even heard the word *Changebook* since maybe May or June? You pick up a few bits and pieces in the news over the weeks, like the fact that the PCs are prepared to maintain the status quo on many of the Liberal promises and screw ups. I'd have loved to hear something of the change that book might have planned . . . but I'm busy . . . I'm not interested in having to search out their agenda . . . this is election time . . . they should have told me. They haven't.

The Howarth ads are positive and engaging . . . appealing even to those of us have no inclination to vote for the NDP. There still hasn't been one positive, affirming PC ad. They're sticking with the anti-McGuinty ads . . . which are so off-putting that the Liberals don't seem to be bothering with ads at all anymore. Just watch the PC Party do the nasty, and the Liberals can sit back and know that the PC party operatives have failed in every possible way. They might have convinced many voters not to vote for Dalton, but they've done absolutely nothing to convince us to vote for them.

There are a number of things that might have lured me to the voting booth . . . cancelling all-day kindergarten, or if that's too radical, repealing the Health Care Premium. They could've told us their plan for newcomers to Ontario, rather than screaming about the ill-conceived Liberal one. What are their plans for post-secondary students? How do they intend to create jobs? What will they do about the Samsung deal?

The PC Party is hoping that we'd hate Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals enough to vote for them by default. That isn't the way it works. People might not like the status quo, but many are content to accept the devil they know . . . and those who'd rather vote for change will look for it somewhere positive, especially in these low economic times.

I see a pretty big increase for the NDP this Thursday. If voters are going to choose change because they hate the party in power, many might see Horwath as the only option available in the absence of anything positive from Hudak.

Sad really. This was his to win.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ooohhhh . . . now I get it

See the new PC ad? Finally . . . NOW I get it . . .
"Dalton McGuinty, higher taxes . . . lost jobs
Tim Hudak, lower taxes . . . new jobs"
Wow! What an informative ad. So inspiring. So unique. So convincing. Finally, the PC war room is getting the point across . . .
Dalton bad.

Tim good.
Now we know. Now I feel like an informed citizen.

Thank you PC Party, for giving me a solid reason to vote.

(Btw, do you think maybe you could give me an ad where you DON'T mention Dalton McGuinty? Just one? And maybe you could actually say HOW you'd lower taxes and HOW you'd create jobs ... too much to ask? If it is, then maybe the trek to the voting booth is just a bit too much to ask of me, if this is all you have to offer).

Also, *sneaky eco-tax* was more fun than *under-handed eco-tax* so the one cool thing you had in your ads, you dropped. What are you thinking??


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Ontario PC's failure

Truth is, the Ontario PC Party failed me out of the gate when they said they'd continue to implement the universal daycare plan disguised as *all day kindergarten* -- and pay teacher's wages for the daycare worker's job.

That said, I was still hoping to be persuaded to vote in the upcoming election. I won't be voting Liberal, but unless I find a reason to wander over to the polls on October 6, I won't be voting. And yes, I will still have the right to complain. I'm a citizen who finds the sitting government contemptible, but who is being offered no viable and reasonable alternative.

Just saw the taxman ad again. It was funny the first time --- *sneaky eco-tax* and all that . . . but seriously . . . does Tim Hudak know there's an election going on?

The PCs are still invisible.

Even when I'm looking, all I'm finding is them ragging about Dalton the taxman -- much as I hate what Dalton McGuinty has done -- people still elected him a second time after he'd done most of what he's done wrong. Obviously Ontarians don't mind being taxed. Move on. Tell me what you'd do different . . . what you'd do better . . . for goodness sake! Tell me anything about yourselves.

Why vote PC? I'm still asking... so are a lot people (who haven't fallen asleep with the tedium of this campaign). Those who don't find an answer will likely just stay home. If Dalton wins again, it won't be our fault . . . it will be the fault of the geniuses in the PC Party who've failed to even try to engage us.

I'm asking . . . I want a reason to vote for you, Tim . . . not a reason to vote AGAINST Dalton.

Come on Hudak war room -- you still have time.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

I tried, but I can't help it . . .

Everyone says to ignore Warren Kinsella, but it's like trying to ignore a mosquito. I both appreciate and despise THE SUN for giving him a voice.

Doesn't Kinsella know that there's a difference between a newspaper owner issuing a vendetta against a sitting PM and promising to destroy him electorally, and columnists in a newspaper expressing opinion on the poor governance of the sitting premier?

Who knows what made people keep voting for Chretien ... maybe it was The Star which still seemed vaguely relevant back then, when they kept insisting there was no alternative to the Liberals and that the Liberals had a natural right to govern. Hmmm . . . The Star endorsed the Liberals, they won. They endorsed the NDP and look what happened. ... just kidding.
Anyway, get weirdly gleeful all you want that some smart person says editorials don't matter, but one has to hope that in the end, the huge tax burden being faced by voters thanks to Dalton McGuinty-- will matter -- even to those who don't bother reading newspapers.

I think it's probable that while Conrad Black's anger at Chretien's pettiness didn't translate into election defeat, it's hardly because of voter backlash against the National Post . . .instead it likely had more to do with the mocking of the fundamentalist Christian leader of the Canadian Alliance by a cynical spin doctor. The ridicule created a sense that the leader of this new and unproven party might be stupid. Truth never mattered. It was all about spin and the clever way those spin masters demean their targets. Funny how Warren is forgetting his role in the Alliance defeat now that it's inconvenient to his column thesis.

Anyway, I really wrote this piece to say: The idea of Warren Kinsella getting all *tingly* over anything -- is really creepy and made me cringe.

Yuck Warren. Just yuck.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where is the Ontario P. C. Party?

Why vote P.C. ?

Seriously? Does anyone know?

On Thursday, Christina Blizzard said exactly what I've been thinking. How exactly do Tim Hudak and the rest of the invisible Progressive Conservatives, differ from the status quo? Besides standing right along side Dalton, where does the P.C. Party stand?

If I want all-day kindergarten, I just won't bother to vote . . . why would I? I'm not voting NDP, that's just a given. And I won't be voting Liberal given that they never promised all-day kindergarten, a health premium, the HST, the eco-tax and yet now we have them -- costing us billions. But why do the P.C.s deserve my vote if they're keeping almost all of the stupid that Dalton decided was good for us?

Fact is, despite not being brave enough to ditch much of the garbage the Liberals have dumped on Ontario, the P.C.s have some okay ideas. For example The Home Energy section of the P.C. website was really informative --- I didn't know the debt being paid by the Debt Retirement Charge on your hydro bill had been paid off, but that the Liberals extended the fee for another 8 years anyway -- and because I didn't know that, I didn't know that the P.C.s would be removing that from our hydro bills ---- but I shouldn't have to go the website to find it out.

Message to Tim Hudak and . . . whoever else might be out there for the Conservatives: If you want my vote, work for it! Show me what you've got and don't make me me seek out the good things you plan to do. Most of the time I'm just too lazy -- and this is coming from someone who is actually interested in politics. The average voter hasn't heard a thing you have to say . . . that is, if you've said anything at all --- because besides yapping something about *foreign workers* I don't recall hearing you.

Oh, and if you wanted me to vote for you because the Liberals are promising something stupid ($10k for hiring immigrants) then instead of saying how asinine *they* are, I'd have rather heard your plan. Instead, I just heard *gotcha!* and tuned you out. Whoever has been doing your spinning, has just been spinning their wheels.

Sorry to be so negative, but hey . . . if you want positive reviews, do something to earn them.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do these three pictures have in common?

Three election ads ... three different MPPs ... not one mention of their party. If you didn't already know, you might not know these MPPs are Liberals (okay, the red is a clue, but I've never seen election advertising without a party logo etc.)

Hmmm . . . scared of their own brand maybe? If the provincial Liberals were at all certain of their own record, the national party's crash in May wouldn't affect their advertising (that is if the national disaster is their reasoning for the conspicuous absence of the Liberal name and logo).

Also of note, all of the supporting data for the *good news* they're touting, is from the Ministries involved in providing those services. No independent sources available?

Not to mention Andy's mom is selling him short --- if he's only one in a million to her, there's gotta be 11 just like him in Ontario alone.
Just sayin'.

The ads are kinda cute, kinda clever, but absent the party name, they're telling us more than what they intended.


btw --
Sorry for the poor quality of the first photo -- my passenger took it with my cell phone. I haven't the name of that MP, it isn't clear enough and I can't be bothered looking it up, but it was taken at McCowan and Sandhurst Circle in Scarborough.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Margaret Atwood Community Library

Or how about *The Warren Kinsella Library* ?

Now, there's an idea . . . the buildings are built already, the computers in place, they're fully staffed . . . our existing libraries simply need concerned citizens of considerable means to stump up and help with the operating costs.

latest column in the SUN about populism got me thinking. He's quick to point out how many concerned community members who voiced their opposition to library closures at City Hall last week. Funnily enough, I heard what libraries meant to them, their families, their communities -- yet I heard no ideas on how to keep them viable while costs go up for everything from hydro for the computers and air conditioning, to the gas that transports the books from Scarborough to Etobicoke, North York to East York or Downtown . . . not to mention the cost of city paid union library workers in an economy where everyone is having to pinch pennies. The mean-spirited, but populist Mayor was interested enough in regular folk's input to hold the meeting and listen (did David Miller ever do that?) but if he can't find a way to fulfill the hopes of these community members he will be vilified as dismissive of the concerns of regular people (what a poor excuse for a populist).

No one says that we don't need libraries, but books are fast becoming redundant and libraries are actually filling the dual role of Internet cafe and community centre -- both of which are necessary and laudable in a city with the diverse population of Toronto. People need a safe place to congregate where they can learn, read, converse etc. They need a place where they can access the larger world online if they haven't a computer or Internet at home. I don't think even the Fords are denying this . . . but when libraries have become more than just a book-lender and when there are more buildings and more union scale, publicly paid employees than are reasonable during times of austerity --- doesn't it make sense that the community at large begin to think of new ways to provide the same services?

Donations to support your local library, spearheaded and maybe started-off by some altruistic, activist, local celebrities who have a keen interest in books might be an idea.

Atwood is worried almost as worried about privatization of the library system as she is about closures. I guess it's too easy to whine rather than be part of the solution.

You don't have to be elected to make a positive difference in the community. Margaret? Warren? Any better ideas?


Anyone out there over 40 and unemployed?

Last week my husband and I watched The Company Men. Good movie, except for the ending. Throughout, GK (my guy) and I would turn to each other and shake our heads. It was like watching his life played out on screen . . . well, except for the Porsche and the mansion. GK had a good career, not great, and we have a simple life, not grand --- but beyond those small differences in status, the experience of the job-hunting character of Ben Affleck was so sadly similar to GK's that we suddenly realized how very universal this situation is today.

GK was laid off in 2009 when his division was moved to Quebec and the jobs went with it. Since then he's had dozens of interviews. He obtained occasional work through temp agencies taking jobs way below his capabilities and pay scale, just to be *contributing to the household*. Over that period, he's exhausted our pool of friends and neighbours for whom he can paint, do landscaping or other handiwork. Then, for eight months he worked a minimum wage job where he, along with the other workers, was yelled at, mocked, and put in dangerous situations without protection. When he finally pointed out safety violations within the company, he was fired. He couldn't file a wrongful dismissal claim because he'd been there under a year but he challenged his dismissal to EI and because they found in his favour, he's now receiving benefits. That was February.

I can't tell you how many jobs he's applied for since then. Five interviews. Two seemed promising. At one, the Director showed him around the place, where he'd be working, introduced him to some people . . . told him they'd call him early the next week. When GK called them at the end of the following week, he was told that the Director was busy, and oh yeah, the position was filled. This wasn't the first time he'd faced that kind of treatment by a potential employer -- enthusiasm and then silence -- that first year, 2009 when he was first laid off . . . interview after interview went that way. You almost wonder is HR people are trained to let everyone think they've got the job so that no one will leave the place ready to explode, but it's a really, really deceptive and cruel tactic. Having asked around, I've started to realize it's pretty typical.

Some people have suggested it's time he change tactics. He's revamped his resume, stuck in all the right keywords, but there's been no magic and still no job so he even thought about switching careers -- they advertise it still -- retraining through EI if you can get it . . . or if you can get your head around it is one of those *looks good on paper* sort of options.

As I watch GK deal with the emotional rollercoaster that comes with losing your life's work in a heartbeat, I know that for the 28 years he worked in his former industry (albeit for several different companies) he came to identify with the job. . . and now . . . he just doesn't know.
Retraining sounds good . . . is good . . . for some people. It's great that there are those avenues available, often with financial support of government, but there are many people out there who don't have whatever it is that allows some people to reinvent themselves in later life. In our day, you could leave high school and work yourself into a career. They trained you and you got first hand learning on the job, not in the classroom. GK is creative, energetic, innovative, smart, but school was never his thing.The rules have changed, but for GK and many of our generation, the idea of going back to school now is simply one more pressure that he isn't prepared for and even if he could reconcile himself to it, he would retrain ... as what? A chef? A photographer? A mechanic? GK worked at learning his position for nearly three decades. His real-life experience is invaluable because of the complexity of the role . . . and yet despite his credentials and his willingness to take lesser pay than his position would normally garner, he can't find a job in his field . . . why would some other industry hire this 48 year old, grey haired, white male when there are fresh, young kids coming out of the same training centres who would be just as capable?

GK doesn't say so, but lately, I see that he's wondering if he'll ever get another job. If there's anyone out there facing the same sort of frustration, I'd like to hear from you. Tell me your story.

canadianna (write to me at canadianna@live.ca)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Does Warren Kinsella even read what he's written?

In Sunday's column, he writes about the *Not a Leader* ad about Dion that played during the Superbowl. He says:
Nowhere in the ad does Harper’s campaign team declare they were hoping to persuade one million Liberal voters to stay home. But that in fact was their objective and they achieved it.

Extensive focus group and polling research had told the Tories that while many Grits despised Harper, they also had serious misgivings about Dion’s “image” as a leader and his ability to communicate.

If they couldn’t persuade those million Liberal voters to come over to the blue team, the Conservatives concluded, they would persuade them to stay home on election day.

Note that he says *Liberal voters*were the target of the ads, and they were the people swayed by those ads. He continues in the same column, with his focus on Liberal/Liberal-leaning voters:
Their research had shown many card-carrying Liberals, or Liberal-leaning voters, had serious misgivings about the fact Michael Ignatieff had spent almost 30 years of his life abroad.
That was Sunday. In his follow-up column, he gives a brief re-cap of what he'd said:
In that column, I suggested some of those left and centre-left Canadians who stayed at home had been "vote suppressed."
So now, it wasn't Liberal voters being suppressed, instead it was all lefties.

Then, on his website, a commenter posted a question about the legitimacy of attack ads. Here is the exchange:
south america says: July 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm
I’m a little confused. Are you saying the criticisms directed at Dion (“not a leader”) and Ignatieff (“left Canada for 30 years and only returned to try and be PM”) are illegitimate?

Warren says:
Nope. I’m saying they were aimed at motivating non-Libs to stay home – not motivating Cons to vote Con.
My point is that no political party should be doing anything to discourage participation in democracy, in an era when fewer folks are voting.
So on Sunday he was concerned because the Conservatives thwarted democracy by targeting Liberal voters and getting them to stay home. Then on Tuesday he was defending his concern because Conservatives targeted left-leaning voters and manipulated them into staying home. But now, on his website, he's worried that the Conservatives managed to target non-Liberals, who were also apparently not Conservatives --- and persude them to stay home.

In 2006, Dion managed to turn off his own people. Even Warren says it. The fact that even Liberals couldn't bring themselves to vote for him is hardly due to nefarious Conservative tactics. And in 2011,
rather than persuading Liberals, left-leaners or anyone else to stay home, SOMEONE managed to persuade a whole bunch of left and centre-left people to vote NDP. Jack Layton performed well. His rise along with Ignatieff's epic failure, created the perfect storm for an NDP surge. Much as Conservatives might like to take credit for the crumbling Liberal fortunes, I'm afraid this one is on the Liberals themselves.

Don't worry Warren, no one who wanted to vote Liberal attained their apathy by virtue of Conservative ads or disappearing polling stations --- their attitude came directly from source.

And yeah, I know y'all say don't indulge Warren, but he's like a mosquito in the dark that keeps buzzing and I'm restless until I swat it. Besides, it's hard to let such falseness and contradiction stand without comment.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kinsella: Liberal voters even stupider than you thought

Imagine a million Liberal voters standing out in this heat, waiting to vote. Poor guys. Turns out it wasn't the Conservative ads that made them stay home from the polls--- Kinsella fired off another column -- it was nasty conservative tricksters placing late-night harassing phone calls from across the border to tell those Liberal voters that their polling stations had changed. I'm guessing they must still be standing at those wrong polling stations if those phone calls affected their ability to cast their ballot.

Warren, your first column suggested you lost because of nasty ads. Now you're saying you lost because of widespread, Conservative sanctioned, criminal activity. Pick one. Stick with it. Or --- face facts: Anyone who didn't bother going to the polls, didn't feel that passionate about ANY party.

I'm not saying voter suppression doesn't happen, but voter apathy is more prevalent and I'm guessing it's pretty prevalent amongst former Liberals who watched dozens of Chretien scandals, a lot of internal party bickering, endured Martin's ensuing scandals and then shook their heads at Dion's utter ineptitude but finally faced with Ignatieff pushing himself into the leadership role, they bailed.

You lost them by the numbers, election after election. Who to blame? Well, maybe the out of touch Liberal strategists. Warren?

You lost. Get over it. Move on.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Liberal voters too stupid to think: Warren Kinsella

Kinsella is picking scabs again and we've been warned: when the Liberals lose again in 2015 -- don't blame them -- it'll be the fault of the anti-democratic, mind controlling, subliminal suggesting of Stephen Harper and his pesky Conservative ad campaign. Trust Warren. He knows. He remembers.

Back in 2006, when Conservative ads confirmed what Canadians already knew, that Stephane Dion was NOT a leader --- did you know those Conservative ads suppressed the compelling urge of almost a million Liberal voters to go to the polls? Damn those Conservatives. How dare they point out the obvious and use it as part of their advertising message?

The Liberals of course would never stoop to the level of negative ads. But then again, maybe they didn't have to. Everyone knew that Stephen Harper had a secret agenda, and that a fundamental Christian leader like Stockwell Day must be an idiot, but not because of any ad campaign. While the Conservatives paid real money to put across their ideas to the voters, the Liberals had the media. Kinsella was being interviewed on CTV's morning show when he famously said:
'Mr. Day has said . . . that dinosaurs walked the Earth with humans.' As he produced a Barney the dinosaur plush toy, Kinsella went on . . . 'I just want to say to Mr. Day that the Flintstones were not a documentary -- and the only dinosaur that walked with human beings recently was this one.'
And in 2005 when prominent Liberals were still scrambling to keep Paul Martin on top of the Liberal heap, they started the *Stephen Harper secret agenda* game. All they had to do was say those words and the media (which Kinsella has recently suggested is heavily conservative) picked up the Liberal accusations and sneers and ran with them.

Yes Warren, those two clever strategies should have you in the Spinner's Hall of Fame, but you know what? You can't live on past glory. Well, maybe YOU can because the SUN keeps giving you a voice, but face facts
Warren, if the Liberals lose again in 2015, it'll be because people like you have nothing fresh to talk about. Where's your vision? Where are your ideas? So long as your mind is preoccupied, blaming everyone else for your own miserable failures, you'll never be able to kick off the dust and move on.

If Liberal voters choose not to come to the polls, it isn't because the Conservatives have suppressed their voting urge, it's because you Liberals have failed to motivate them.


Sunday, June 05, 2011

The page affair

Yes, the girl was wrong to do what she did. It was disrespectful, immature and just plain stupid. I said as much in a comment I made over at BC Blue.

My comment was less about her actions, than Dean's belief that she should never have been hired in the first place because of her *obvious biases*. Our exchange in the comment section is as follows:
canadianna Says:

Her ideas and her biases are no reason to have kept her from working as a page. It isn’t bizarre to assume that adults can have strong opinions and not act on them in such an embarrassing way. The failure is not with the hiring process, but with a woman who has no sense of duty and responsibility upon having been hired. In my reading of her history, her writing, performances and opinions might have been a little out there, but her prior actions gave no indication that she would be unable to fulfill the oath she swore.

  • BC Blue Says:

    That’s why resumes and background checks are kinda important dontcha think? Were either of these done and if they were, you’re saying that with her obvious biases, which should have made her automatically unsuitable for a non-partisan position, are acceptable to you? Please tell me you don’t do any hiring in real life.

    • canadianna Says:

      Automatically unsuitable? Are you telling me that people with biases should never be given a non-partisan job? That’s pretty narrow. People always have biases, and should behave themselves. Being passionate about her politics should not have prevented her from being a page. She should have *behaved* differently, not *thought* differently. There is nothing in her past behaviour that could have predicted that she would be so disrespectful of the position she took. And yes, I have hired people — some of whom disagreed with me. Life is full of divergent opinions but we have to judge people on their actions, not their biases.

      • BC Blue Says:

        That’s right, if the person who hired her had done their job, she would have never been hired based on her activism and bias.

Are we really in a place that we should be vetting people, not based on their credentials and their qualifications, but rather, on their beliefs and value systems? Sure, the job she held is non-partisan, but most people working even on the periphery of the political realm, do so because there is a level of interest. That this girl's interest (bias) would translate into misbehaviour and the disrespect of the institution where she held her position was absolutely unpredictable. I am unabashedly biased in favour of conservatism but if I took a job where I was meant to remain non-partisan while in uniform, I would do so . . . despite the fact that I blog and am politically active in other ways.

Adults can separate their job from their politics when need be. This person has displayed great immaturity, but that immaturity was in no way predictable by her *biases*. There must be many others of her generation, working as pages, who believe heavily in socialism or other non-Conservative ideals who did not pull similar stunts. Should they be removed from their jobs based on their politics because their disagreement with the current government could potentially assert itself in the same stupid manner as this girl?

This girl knows it's a celebrity driven culture. She has a name now and likely, a new job very soon. This was not about politics, but about selfishness --- and there are many, many people with similarly strong opinions who would not put their own notoriety above their self-respect and the respect for the institutions they serve. That doesn't always show up on a resume or in the university papers one writes.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Get to work, jackass

Toronto city councillor, John Filion, has quit the committee he was appointed to back in December -- having never attended one of its meetings.

Let me remind you Mr. Filion --- you have a JOB as a city councillor. With all jobs, there are obligations to the employer. You do have an employer. US. You serve us by sitting on whichever committee you're assigned to because if you don't --- you aren't EARNING the paycheque you're getting - FROM US. You do your job and THEN you get paid. That's called working for a living.

Unlike many of us, John, you have a healthy salary, plenty of perqs and a sizeable pension to look forward to, so . . . if you don't get to pick and choose which group you get to belong to, SUCKS FOR YOU -- but remember who you work for.

If I don't show up to work, I don't get paid. If I *quit* a portion of my job, my boss would make sure I wasn't allowed to do any of the rest of it . . . because I'd be fired.

You'd think politicians would pay more attention to current events and realize that although it's a couple of years away, we can always find someone just as annoying as you to fill your role on council (which is apparently to NOT sit on a committee because you're a suck). You are expendable Mr. Filion, just ask any Liberal.

Funny you say:
“I’ve never been too good at being a sheep.”
You obviously don't mind being a jackass.


Like something out of Mean Girls

... only a pair of Vice Principals are pulling the dirty trick.

*** Again, this is personal, not political*** This is an update for anyone who read about my daughter not being allowed to go to her class's prom.

Mia is normally complacent. She doesn't like confrontation and after my conversation with the female vice-principal, I thought she was ready to take *no* for an answer. Then she came to me on Tuesday night and said she was thinking about going to the school in the morning to talk with the VP who was in charge of the prom, the man who'd originally said no. She'd never actually had a conversation with him, she had been told by a secretary that he had said no. I thought it would be a good idea for her to have the conversation with the man in charge. So, yesterday she went.

Late in the day she called me at work, quietly excited. She told me, it wasn't for sure, but Mr. L had listened to everything she had to say and seemed to understand. He told her that because he didn't know her very well, he'd rather people who knew her better make the decision. He asked who her guidance councillor was and which VP she'd been assigned to. He told her to talk with them tomorrow (today) and if they said she could go, he would allow it.

Last night she was cautiously optimistic. We already knew that her guidance counsellor, Miss B. was okay with her going to prom, and her VP Ms D. had told me on the phone that her *no* was based on Mr. L's opinion. Given that Mr. L. seemed to have relented, it seemed fairly sure that Ms D. would have a similar change of heart.

Today Mia went to the school and waited in the guidance office for Miss B. who told her that Mr. L. wanted to see her. Miss B. told Mia she believed the answer must be yes.

Nope. Mr. L. had made an about face. His reason . . .
prom is a celebration for the graduating class. You aren't graduating. It's an excuse. Anyone who knows anyone in high school over the past few years, knows that there are dozens of kids who take a fifth year and won't graduate with their year. They still go to prom.

You might say she shouldn't have bothered or that she's no worse off that she was Tuesday night when she was already *not allowed*. But it's worse now. Yesterday Mr. L. could have said: look, we've given you the reasons, no. Instead, he gave her hope and then pulled out the rug . . . that's cruel. That's what you might expect from immature people . . . like teenagers . . . not two, educated people who are supposed to understand how to deal effectively with teenagers and to help them to learn and grow into better people. Epic failure. Fortunately, my daughter is emotionally stable despite the depression she's been dealing with . . . they mightn't be so lucky the next time they pull a stunt like this on an emotionally fragile teen.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ugly TO

If you're in Toronto, or the GTA, where abouts?

Are you finding what I find, that the weeds everywhere are just obnoxiously horrible?

I know, I know . . . the environment. While I'm all for not killing ourselves with chemicals, I wonder if there isn't some way to rid ourselves of the weeds for both aesthetics and for the health benefits of those of us who suffer from allergies.

Seasonal allergies are always going to be a part of life, but since the ban on chemical controls, those of us who suffer, suffer much more. Imagine having a perpetual cold/flu. Dripping nose, itchy eyes, sore throat . . . and it just never goes away. Sure, you can take allergy medication --- EVERY DAY. More expensive than gas and the non-drowsy never works as well and if you take the other stuff, might just as well stay in bed. The whole point of letting the weeds run amok is to avoid putting chemicals into our bodies, I guess it's just some of us can't avoid it if we can afford it.

It's funny, fields of dandelions are lovely, but boulevards and lawns, cemeteries and plaza grass patches, highway dividers and seams of land that are vacant . . . they just look scruffy.

No, I'm not advocating a full-scale return to chemical weed elimination . . . but, hey, is your part of TO looking really shabby too?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Can anyone tell me . . .

. . . did any of Justin Bieber, Jim Carrey, Anne Murray, Shania Twain, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Michael J. Fox, Robert Bateman, Paul Brandt, Sarah Chalke, Emily Carr, Lorne Michaels, Norman Jewison, Chantal Kreviazuk or Stompin' Tom Connors . . . receive any arts funding? Just wondering.

I believe that it's a good idea to encourage new artists, but hey . . . let's face it . . . Canada is a small market. No matter how good, how popular, how talented any artist is, the money is south of the border and only a few will stay ... and not because they aren't receiving financial support from the government.

And truly, no government gives grants to just anyone ... you have to be published, have credits, credentials. It isn't enough to make pretty pictures, you have to prove that you have a market . . . that someone has actually bought into your talent. Emerging artists should be encouraged, but realistically, there is no credible or fair way for the government to dole out money just because someone perceives themselves to be an artist . . . so it doesn't.

If talent is our #1 export as Charlie Angus says, it isn't because Justin Bieber didn't get an arts grant. Nothing the government can do is going to stop our best and brightest artists from seeking fame and fortune across the border or around the globe when that's where the real money is.

From the above link:
Short on specific numbers, the four MPs talked instead about the need for income averaging to help starving artists, whose average income is $13,000 a year – well below the poverty line.
Income averaging? I support my family by working a crappy job, for a crappy wage, but still pay my share of taxes . . . and the NDP thinks some of my tax dollars should go to *top up* the income of someone who fancies themselves an artist? Thanks NDP. I suppose a case can be made for a government bureaucrat to hand you cash to support you as you struggle with your craft, but realistically, the market decides if it will support you while you create. It's a drag, but if you can't draw the crowds, the fans, the readers, the buyers, then maybe you should get a day job.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Teaching moments

*** This is not a political post. It's about a personal matter. Just so you know. **

Personal responsibility is an important issue to me. Cause and effect ... everything you do has consequences.

My 17 year old daughter won't be going to her prom in two weeks. It's a decision made by her school administration this week. They say that she is the author of her own misfortune and that she has to pay for the errors of her ways. I say she is a kid, learning her way in this world and their withholding this privilege is more about control than correction. I believe there was a teaching moment available, but that maybe, if they cared to think about it, the administration should be taking a lesson from my daughter, rather than the other way around.

You be the judge:

During grades 9 & 10 Mia (not her real name) was a typical highschooler. She was average B+ student, had a lot of friends, did her homework regularly, went to class regularly and generally, had a positive attitude.

Things started to change near the end of Grade 10. She had an uncharacteristic clash with a teacher. She ended up not turning in a key assignment, and despite having had 80s in that course in the first two terms, she failed the class by a couple of marks. I had some health issues and was unable to advocate for her. She was devastated. Other circumstances exacerbated things. My health got worse for a nearly a year before it got better and money became tight because I had to be off work. It caused stress for all of my kids.

At the beginning of Grade 11, Mia wanted to change schools because things didn't feel right. She wasn't happy, but she didn't know why. She didn't see it, but I knew the signs. Depression. She had started to withdraw from her friends, deactivating Facebook, appearing offline on MSN to all but a few people. We talked about it, but although she was sad, she didn't see it as a big deal. She started skipping school, not individual classes, but missing whole days just staying at home.

Over the next few months, my dad, who lived with us throughout her whole lifetime, died. He had been like a father to her. Shortly after, Mia left school altogether and tried one of those alternative schools so she wouldn't be losing credits. The kids were all *troubled*. Drugs, alcohol, etc. She didn't fit in that kind of environment but she managed to get a credit there and then moved to a semester school out of the area. She couldn't get out of bed in the morning. She tried for a little while, and got good grades on the assignments she did, but she missed a lot. When it became apparent that she wouldn't get the credits, she stopped going altogether.

She spent the summer mostly alone or with my other kids and my mother. I'd gone back to work, but I knew she spent most of her days in bed. She refused to go to a doctor or admit that there was anything wrong. She just thought she was down because she'd messed up her previous school year. She tried focusing on getting into another school, but because of her Grade 11 year, no other school would take her.

Last September, on the second day of school, she called her old high school and spoke with a Vice Principal who told her that she could go back, and to call Guidance the next day to make an appointment. When she called the next day, the Guidance secretary told her that no, she could NOT come back, that she had officially changed high schools the previous year and that this was no longer her home school.

Mia was devastated and she held onto that conversation for a few days before she told me. In the meantime, she missed the first week and a half of school. When things were finally straightened out and it was determined she COULD go back, it took well over a week to work out a schedule, and then, the administration refused to allow her to take Grade 12 courses, even when no Grade 11 prerequisite was required. I called. I went in. I tried to explain how emotionally fragile she was without Oprahfying things. Mia hates drawing attention to herself and she only shares her feelings with a select few.

They made a couple of accommodations, but very late. She'd already missed several classes because of their delays in changing her schedule. She still had trouble getting out of bed. She had trouble catching up on the work she'd missed those first few weeks and some of the teachers were downright snarky and would embarrass her in class. She started missing again, sleeping all day. She scarcely talked with anyone outside the house. The school knows this. By December, she'd pretty much determined she'd blown the year again. She knew she should care but she felt hopeless.

In February, something changed. She started smiling again. It was such a change, that you couldn't help but notice. I'd almost forgotten that smile. She bought a ticket for her school's semi-formal, and actually went. She started talking to more people and she started showing up at school -- not to go to class --that was futile, but during lunch or spares she'd see kids she'd kept in touch with while she'd been at home, and when no one had free time, she'd just go to the library and read. It got her out of the house. Sometimes the adult hall monitors would send her home, but she was still registered at the school, so she wasn't trespassing. Sometimes, they'd tell her to go to class, but she knew that would just frustrate teachers who knew she wasn't actually there for their class. Every once in a while the school would send home attendance reports, but we'd talked and they knew her situation.

In April, she reactivated Facebook. Many of the kids in her grade didn't even realize that she wasn't actually attending class, they just thought they didn't have any in common. The adult hall monitors began harassing her every time she went to the school, despite the fact that none of her friends ever skipped class to be with her and she never went anywhere besides the library, the cafeteria or the guidance office. She continued to go, but less often and when she saw them, she'd just leave before they could tell her to.

Prom tickets went on sale in early May. She bought her ticket and then came home and asked what I thought about her inviting her friend Emily as her guest. Emily used to go to the high school too, but she got pregnant and had a baby in January. Mia knew what it felt like to be on the outside and she wanted to give Emily the same brief night of normal that she was going to have. I thought it was a great idea. Ironically, her desire to give someone else a prom is what led to Mia being denied the privilege.

Turns out, guests have to be approved. Mia had her ticket, but she had to fill out a form for the administration to check out non-students before they were allowed to buy a ticket. It was really just a formality. Mia handed in the form and was told she could pick it up and buy the extra ticket in a couple of days, but when she went back to get it, a school secretary told her that she couldn't have a guest because she couldn't go to prom. Mia explained that she'd already bought her own ticket. The secretary said that since Mia didn't go to class, she couldn't go to prom. This conversation happened in front of a crowded office. Mia left the office, uncertain as to whether the woman was correct but angry that her personal circumstances were being voiced loudly in public. Anyway, turns out, the secretary was right. By asking a guest, Mia had drawn attention to herself and the VP in charge of the prom decided to disallow her participation because of her absences.

I called the school, left a message for the VP, but he never called me back. I was advised to try a different VP, which I was loath to do because I didn't want to seem sneaky like I was trying to skip him and get Mia in without him noticing. Finally, I gave up and tried the other VP. At the beginning of the school year when scheduling was the issue, she had helped. Not this time. She blasted me. Her attitude was hard and cold. She resented that I asked that she have compassion for a girl who was painfully aware of the difficult path she had ahead of her. She said she'd exhausted her compassion and that she'd been more than accomodating.

This is prom, not a trip to the museum. There won't be another one. Once it's over, that's it. The VP suggested that this would *teach her a lesson*. I asked, what lesson exactly, given that the girl wasn't truant, but depressed . . . apparently, without a doctor's note, that's impossible. Mia will learn that there are consequences.

Hmmm . . . she's 17 with a grade 10 education. She's no dummy. I think she knows. There will be many years of facing consequences. All Mia was asking for is one night of normal.

Anyway, when I got home from work and shared my conversation with her, Mia shrugged and thanked me for trying. Later, I was still stewing about it and I messaged her on MSN. I asked her if she thought she had learned anything.

She said:
"Jokes on me. They can’t teach me that there are consequences for my actions if i already knew that. Instead they’ve taught me that i'm still a kid. i was naive enough to believe that people do things for reasons other than to help themselves. i really thought someone would help, for the simple reason they are able to."
I asked her if she was okay, and she said:
"i talked to Cate and asked if she would make emily HER guest. She did, so at least emily still gets to go. i was so worried she wouldn't get to. lol."
I asked her if it bothered her. Her answer taught me something:
no it's okay. i don't really mind.
Whenever bad things like this happen to me. I figure that at least it happened to me, because I know I can deal with these sorts of things. Other people might not be able to.
i'm at least happy emily gets to go.
she needed it more.
i'd do it the same way again.
Compassion. Empathy. Sharing. Altruism. Friendship. Selflessness. She didn't learn those things at school.


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Give the girl a break

Ruth Ellen Brosseau admits she put her name forward so the NDP could field a candidate in a riding where they hadn't one. While I believe the NDP should be taken to task for allowing someone to *fill a slot* as it were, Brosseau herself should be cut some slack.

Voters don't always look at the literature. We don't read the pamphlets that are dropped in our mailboxes. We don't open our doors to people with clipboards. We don't bother to investigate our local candidate on the Internet. We trust the party has vetted people . . . gone through a nomination process and that a local riding association has nominated and/or voted for this person to fill the spot on the ballot -- obviously that was not the case here -- and apparently a lot of ridings in Quebec. But that's on the party. The candidates, even Brosseau, did what they thought was the right thing.

There's enough pressure on the new MPs without this kind of media scrutiny. I know it's slow news on the Hill, but the media is focusing on the wrong story -- not where was she, but why? Quebec voters trusted the NDP to field qualified, dedicated candidates and Brosseau may well prove to be both of those things --- but the NDP didn't know that either way. They just needed a name to fill the spot on the ballot. That's the news. Start questioning the process that allows someone to put their name forward because they aren't expected to win and no one else can be bothered.

The new MPs from all parties have a lot to digest. Putting so much heat on this one seems a tad unfair. Yes, I can read and I know her circumstances -- not much French, never been in the riding, away during the election. None of that means as much to me as will she do her job diligently and take it seriously -- and I don't plan on basing that opinion on how she handled an election in which she obviously didn't take her chances of winning seriously.

Press Jack for answers about all of his novice MPs, but leave Brosseau to adjust to her new life. Seriously.


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The most interesting thing to come out of this election?

You no longer need Quebec for a majority.

Makes you wonder, now that Quebec has chosen the federalist, socialist option, instead of the separatist one, do the rest of us still wag?

Don't get me wrong. I believe Quebec is a distinct society -- that's one of those truths that is self-evident. Its present colour compared to the rest of the nation is enough to prove its more European flavour. That said, I don't believe its language laws should be extended federally -- nor do I believe its distinct language should be imposed on people who chose a life in public service. I believe that's what interpreters are for.

Anyway . . . my point started out being . . . hey, you don't need Quebec to achieve a majority anymore. Cool.