Archive

Archive for July, 2009

Killer

July 28th, 2009
Melissa Todorovic

Melissa Todorovic

Melissa Todorovic (above) was fifteen when she “engaged in an unrelenting campaign over many months to cause the death of a 14-year-old girl [Stefanie Rengel, below] that she had never met,” on New Year’s Day 2008 according to Justice Ian Nordheimer.

Stefanie Rengel

Stefanie Rengel

Today, Justice Nordheimer sentenced Todorovic to life with no chance of parole for seven years (my emphasis). Killer Todorovic will likely be released before her 25th birthday in 2016. Stefanie Rengel will, for the record, continue to be dead and gone in 2016.

crime and justice , ,

Happy Birthday…

July 28th, 2009
Comments Off on Happy Birthday…

Lori Loughlin is no thespian of great note. Her one claim to fame,lori-loughlin000x0432x649 John Stamos wife Rebecca on Full House, places her as a pretty face on the diabetics nightmare of 1980’s television. But Lori Loughlin is not just a pretty face, she may be the prettiest face to emanate from the strange glowing box in my living room.

Here at At Home in Hespeler, I celebrate the beauty of the female, and Lori Loughlin is at the apex of that list.

Happy 45th birthday Lori Loughlin; still gorgeous after all these years.

Birthday Wishes, Celebrities , , , ,

Getting the Anthem Wrong

July 27th, 2009

I’m trying to imagine the hue and/or cry that would ensue if a Canadian won oworldseries92ne of the sporting worlds most prestigious events and the organizers played the wrong national anthem: sheer hysterics if the person behind the error was an American, I’d guess.

Maybe their going equally ape today in Spain.

Spaniard Alberto Contador seems to take the playing of the Danish national anthem in stride during the podium ceremony of his Tour de France victory yesterday in Paris.

It’s truthfully more unforgivable than these types of errors usually are, as Contador held a decent lead for the last five days or so of the tournament, and was all but assured victory going into the last day of riding. Surely the better part of a week is enough time to get the right national anthem.

Sports , , , , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: David Arquette goes Boxing; Kim Cattrall and Jessica Simpson Ready for the Singles Bars; Michael Jackson Video; Russel Peters in Forbes

July 18th, 2009
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter: David Arquette goes Boxing; Kim Cattrall and Jessica Simpson Ready for the Singles Bars; Michael Jackson Video; Russel Peters in Forbes

Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

fluffincolorDavid Arquette, has chosen to live in a box. Obscurity being beyond his capability to accept, Arquette is somehow going to feed the homeless by living in a box on top of  Madison Square Garden in New York (on top, presumably, as to avoid any pesky commoners), pinkfluffwhich he did a few days this past week. Lest you feel Arquette is sacrificing too much, it should be noted, he is living there on a 9 – 5 basis, hardly roughing it by any measure outside of Hollywood.

fluffincolorReview in Brief – Easy Virtue: Charming and amusing – one of the best movies the geniuses who run Hollywood never thought to tell you about. Great quote of 2009: “I shall enjoy passing on the news, sir.”

fluffincolorSex and the City siren Kim Cattrall is newly single after splitting with her longtime boyfriend, chef Alan Wyse. Wyse is twenty years Cattrall’s junior. The couple had been together approximately five years, before their split, “a while ago.”

fluffincolor

The real relationship news though, guys, is that 29 year old Jessica Simpson and Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo have called it quits. Romo split with Simpson the day before her 29th birthday Thursday last. She was scheduled to have a Ken and Barbie birthday party, but instead called it off and went on Twitter to announce it.

Call me conventional, but if your having a Ken and Barbie 29th birthday party, don’t be surprised when the mature person in the relationships decides he’s had enough.

fluffincolorWhile us guys can celebrate the whole Jessica Simpson is single fiasco and hope she’s looking to a slum it in a smallish Southern Ontario town with a largish Southern Ontario man, you women have lost one this week: Robert Redford married abstract artist Sibylle Szaggars this week in Hamburg. Sorry ladies.

fluffincolorUs Weekly has a stunning video of Michael Jackson’s much reported accident during the film of a Pepsi commercial in 1984. During the sixth take the pyrotechnics goes off early, lighting his hair. The flame burns for a good five or so seconds.

fluffincolorLocal boy made good, Brampton comedian Russell Peters, was listed this week of the Forbes top 10 earning comedians with an estimated worth of $10M. For the record, I’m pretty sure I was nice to Russell once, way back when: very , very nice.

fluffincolorA stage being erected for a Madonna concert this Sunday in Marseille, France collapsed this week, killing 2 and injuring 8 others. She has since offered the following comments:

“We’re here to give life and to inspire life. I feel so, so devastated to be in any way associated with anyone’s suffering. Let’s all just take a moment to appreciate life in general…We are all so blessed and so lucky to be alive.”

The concert has been canceled.

Fluffernutter , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Happy 60th Birthday…

July 17th, 2009

Geezer Butler

I am not now, nor have I ever been a Black Sabbath fan. Normally I would follow that with a but…, but his work on Neon Knights, Fairies Wear Boots, War Pigs,geezer_butler Iron Man or any of many, many well known and loved songs of my generation. I might mention his innovative use of the wah-wah pedal in N.I.B., perhaps a first for bass guitarists. Or that he’s the guy who wrote much of the lyrics for Black Sabbath, the man who put the words in Ozzy Osbourne’s mouth. All true, all worthy of note, all mean nothing to me.

But, when a guy named Geezer turns 60, something must be said.

So Happy Birthday Geezer Butler, not for all the joy you’ve brought to my life, but for all the joy you’ve brought others, and because you have one of the coolest names in rock and roll

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' , , , , , , , ,

Picture of the Day: Cute Red Head

July 16th, 2009

When the Government Owns the Car Company…

July 16th, 2009

Guess which car you’ll be forced to buy?

Now that Dalton McGuinty and Stephen Harper have bought us in to GM, it appears the government will spend our money giving us a rebate on a McCar. Want a car? How about this, buy a car that’s not even available yet, and we’ll throw in $10,000. The problem, besides the fact it’s not really Dalton’s money but mine and yours, is that GM is the only company close to having a viable electric car in the near future.

Those of you in favour of stimulus style spending, need to learn this lesson. Government spends the money, buys an asset, then encourages, pushes, legislates that we peons must buy that product. It is the nature of government. In this case, now that they have a stake in GM, they want you to buy GM. The words, in the public good will appear before long, and then any trampling of your freedom to choose will be fair game.

And if you build cars in Ontario, and didn’t need Dalton McHelp?

Toyota Motor Corp. is raising concerns over the Ontario government’s plan to offer rebates of up to $10,000 to people who buy plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, saying the move looks like a deliberate ploy to help General Motors Co…

“We can’t set up a situation where the future of the industry depends on constant subsidies…. This suggests that [the government] is prepared to be interventionist beyond their aim to help the industry recover.”

and

“We don’t want government deciding winners and losers,” Jerry Chenkin, executive vice-president of Honda Canada Inc…

“This announcement of a $10,000 rebate is creating winners and losers on products that aren’t available yet and [on which] nobody knows the real time line,” Mr. Chenkin said.

That’s the way it works, first they buy into the company with your money, then they give people your money to buy cars they wouldn’t otherwise buy. And if the car doesn’t exist yet, and if and when it does exist will ultimately need plugging into a coal fired plant to run? No problem, you have lots of money.

h/t Blue Like You

Dalton Dalton Dalton, spend dalton spend , , , , , , ,

Has the Liberal Party Been Reduced to Charity Case?

July 16th, 2009
Comments Off on Has the Liberal Party Been Reduced to Charity Case?

You see it every summer, some person undergoing  a physical trial to raise money for a favourite charity. Terry Fox and Rick Hansen come to mind, Fox raising funds for cancer research, Hansen for Spinal Cord injury.  But beyond the celebrated cases, many ordinary engage in trial to raise funds for a good cause. Whether it’s baking cookies to send a deceased bakery employee’s brother to college, a motorcycle ride for big brothers and big sisters or a bike ride, sans motor, to raise money for African wells. In my own sphere of friends and family I know of somebody who did the ride to conquer cancer and another who did the relay for life.

When I read that Liberal Party executive director Rocco Rossi is kayaking the Rideau from Kingston to Ottawa to raise funds, my immediate reaction was good for him. So, who’s Rossi raising money for? Perhaps Breast Cancer (he could use a pink canoe)? Alzheimer’s research (a cause near and dear to my heart)? child amputees? No, no and no. Liberal Party executive director Rocco Rossi is Kayaking the Rideau canal from Kingston to Ottawa to raise money for… The Liberal Party.

Not Rocco Rossi

Not Rocco Rossi

Starting July 23rd, follow me as I paddle from Kingston to Ottawa, raising funds to help make Michael Ignatieff Canada’s 23rd prime minister. If you can’t meet me along the way, you can still support the adventure by donating $23, multiples of $23, or asking 23 friends to donate, join the Party, or volunteer between now and the next election. Use your imagination, the sky is the limit! —Rocco

Pity Rocco couldn’t use his position to raise money for a real cause. Pity he doesn’t see that he’s officially competing for  funds with various charities around the Province. But we all know he believes electing his friend to a position of absolute power will cure cancer, and the rest of the worlds ills. All, and everybody, will be well, just so long as a Liberal is in charge.

Personally, I respect the physical act he’s performing, and think it’s worth something. Rocco Rossi wants $23 for his efforts, I am going to send $23 to the Alzheimers Society of Cambridge as soon as Rocco completes his journey.

Silly Liberals , , , , , ,

Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week

July 15th, 2009
Comments Off on Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week

The Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week for the week of July 12th, 2009 is:

Currents by Jonathon Narvey

Current affairs, politics, social media, technology, sustainability and life of a writer in Vancouver, Canada

Blogging Tories Site of the Week, Uncategorized

The Freedom of Music: fourty-five 45s at 45

July 12th, 2009
Comments Off on The Freedom of Music: fourty-five 45s at 45

freedom-of-music-headerOne likes to believe in the freedom of music.

Rush – Spirit of Radio.

It’s not my 45th birthday, in fact I’m a mere two weeks away from leaving 45 in my rear view mirror, closer now to 50 than 40, worse yet closer to 60 than 30. But I am, as of this writing, 45 years old. And fairly well reputed for procrastination. So lets pretend I’m playing this game on my 45th birthday, but I procrastinated just a touch.

Credit to this post must be given to Rick Mcginnis who listed his top 45 45’s on his fourty-fifth birthday (Rick credits Dave Macintosh, former Nerve Magazine editor, who forwarded his list to former writers of the magazine last year).

And without further ado, my fourty-five favourite 45 RPM records, from the vantage point of being 45.

*********************

45. The Unicorn (Irish Rovers) – The first 45 I ever remember. It seemed to be always around the house, and when my own kids were young it was their introduction to the rotary music maker i.e. the record player.

44. Layla (The Acoustic Version) (Eric Clapton) – Probably the last 45 I bought as new. A timeless song re-done for a new era. The best Clapton had been for fifteen years, and the best he’s been since.

43. Burning Down One Side (Robert Plant) – Robert Plant’s first solo release I probably bought this because it was released before the album (a common practice back then). I can’t remember if it disappointed, but it shouldn’t have: great song.

42. Understanding (Bob Seger) – Some Bob Seger songs you just can’t get on a album, this is one of them. From the movie “Teacher,” one of those middle of the road piano based songs that Seger excelled at.

41. Classical Gas (Mason Williams) – The genius of this song is that it does fit on a 45. Many classical pieces would be too long for the 45, thus too long for radio play and too long to buy without forking over the extra money you need to buy an album.

40. Rasputin (Boney M.) – Singles – 45’s – are what you took to parties, what DJ’s lugged to weddings. Rasputin is one of those great dance songs that work so well at parties/ weddings &tc., thus is a great 45. I probably would never listen to the whole album, but I’d listen to this song more than once in a row.

39. Beat It! (Michael Jackson) – Obligatory Michael Jackson content, I include this one because it has the name “Jaimie” written on the label, which was the stage name of a stripper my buddy went out with. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a strip club, but I’m betting the girls don’t bring their own records anymore.

38. The Night the Lights Went Out in  Georgia (Vicky Lawrence) – Yes, the same Vicky Lawrence that was on the Carrol Burnett Show. One of those addictive songs that I had to pull out of the closet recently when the wife a) wanted to know if I could get the song for her and b) didn’t believe I had it.

37. Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot) – It’s expected if your Canadian that you will love Gordon Lightfoot. I don’t, but I don’t hate him either. This is by far his best song, and a great song with an amazing groove it is.

36. Sugar, Sugar (The Archies) – The only 45 I own that is performed by cartoon characters. Even if it wasn’t, it would probably be the catchiest.

35. Last Song (Edward Bear) – A very popular early 70’s Canadian Band, they will always be remembered for this, the schmaltziest song they did. I’ve always liked this song mostly because it was an important part of life when I was just the right age.

34 Help! (The Beatles) – Doesn’t everybody have some Beatles in their collection? I have half-a-dozen maybe, some even better songs. But was any Beatles song better suited to the 45RPM format? Two-and-a-half minutes of up tempo pop, perfect for the old portable record player.

33. I’m Into Something Good (Herman’s Hermits) – Like Help! a perfect single for the format, like  Rasputin, an addictive little ditty. Granted it’s no Henry the Eight or Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter, but it’s the one I’ve got.

32. Free Ride (Edgar Winter Group) – One of the great rock ‘n’ roll hooks of all time. Turn it up.

31. I Was Only Joking (Rod Stewart) – I was going to put You’re In My Heart in this slot, mostly for the b/side, a relatively unknown and truly cruel little song, You Got a Nerve.  But in the end, I Was Only Joking is one of Rod the Bod’s best songs and far more deserving of this minor honour.

30. Sometimes When We Touch (Dan Hill) – I know, ack, gag, ptuii. Make all the choking, gagging, nausea noises you want, this is a lovely song and if you didn’t use it to rub up against a cute girl at the dance it’s only because your not the right age. I am, and this song stays on the list.

29. Fly at Night (Chilliwack) – Notice all the Canadian talent? The 70’s and 80’s really were the best of times for Canadian music. Chilliwack really was a great band, and this is a memorable piece.

28. Who Are You (The Who) – They cut the album version to make it fit on a single, then they cut it again to make it fit on a TV show. This is far better than the 30 second CSI version, not as good as the longer album version.

27. High on Emotion (Chris DeBurgh) – I have an affinity for up-tempo pop songs that serious music fans are not supposed to have, and this is a good one.

26. Takin’ Care of Business (Bachman Turner Overdrive) – The first song that was important to me, and the first 45 I bought that I just had to have.  The one I own is scratched irreparably from unsuccessfully trying to learn how to play it on the guitar.

25. Blinded By The Light (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band) – Another song that was shrunk to fit, and thus became a radio song. It’s easy to say they bastardized the song by shrinking it, but if they hadn’t Manfred Mann would still be remembered as the guy who did Do Wah Da Ditty. If you know and like this song, this single is why, even if that’s not the version you hear anymore.

24. My Ding-a-ling (Chuck Berry) – So much important music, yet Chuck Berry is immortalized here for a novelty song. None the less I was in grade four when this song was being played on the radio and we got the joke. It may not be Berry’s best, but it introduced Chuck Berry to a whole new generation of fans, me included.

23. The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk) – This song rightfully belongs on everyones list. The only argument is which version – this is my favourite version.

22. Season’s in the Sun (Terry Jacks) – Well, somebody has to remember Terry Jacks.

21. King of the Road (Roger Miller) – The original of a song that has been covered by countless artists (Wikipedia lists 19). A fun song, somedays that’s all you want.

20. Indian Reservation (The Raiders) – I wonder if Brenda Miller wakes up some days and wonders what ever happened to that record?  The copy I own has my old babysitters name all over it, and I remember her playing it to death when she came to babysit us.

19. Heatwave (Linda Ronstadt) – Not the Martha and the Vandelles version but a young, very cute Linda Ronstadt’s. One of those songs with a great hook to it, when you hear it you can’t get it out of your head. If you don’t believe me search YouTube for Joan Osbourne doing this song from the Shadow of Mowtown DVD.

18. Closer to the Heart (Rush) – How many Rush songs are 45 friendly? Closer to the Heart really isn’t, but Rush was so big by the time it was released the radio stations had to have something.

17. Thinking of You (Harlequin) – Who knows who Harlequin even is anymore. Yet between this and Innocence you have two of the best Canadian songs.

16. Only Women (Alice Cooper) – They not only shortened the song to 3:29, they cut the title from the presumably controversial Only Women Bleed.

15. Patience (Guns and Roses) – You didn’t expect welcome to the Jungle, did you? G’n’R rocked as hard as anybody, but they also mastered the rock ballad and this is proof positive of that.

14. Benny and the Jets/Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Elton John) – My brother was away for the weekend, and I, who always competed with him for who had the best music (being three years younger I always lost) had bought both of these singles while he was away. When he came home I very deliberately put on Benny and the Jets, but was reading the picture sleeve of Lucy in the Sky, so when he walked in my room he would know immediately what I had bought. It was dumb, but it was the only time one of these little schemes actually worked, so I remember it fondly.

13. Shaddap You Face (Joe Dolce) – I love the novelty song, and I still laugh when I hear this one. My mom wasn’t even Italian, but she would say this to us. That may be the magic of Shaddap You Face. Mom’s don’t talk to their kids like that anymore, so today’s kids may not relate so well, but I bet they laugh anyway (I know mine do).

12. Mickey (Toni Basil) – Cheesy, yet a wonderful piece of pop music. A true one hit wonder, a former dancer there’s something infectious about this song. I don’t listen to it often, but I smile every time.

11. New York, New York (Frank Sinatra) – For years this was an end of the party song, and being the guy usually looked upon to provide the music, it made it’s way into my collection. I still feel like doing a rockette kick when I hear it.

10. Heavy Music (Bob Seger) – I spent some time a number of years ago collecting Bob Seger. Unlike most artists, there is a number of Bob Seger 45’s that aren’t otherwise available. Most people probably know Heavy Music from Live Bullet, but when it gets seperated from the pack the way a 45 seperates a song, you realize how good a song it is. Bob Seger at his best, before he know that this was what he does best.

9. Sweet City Woman (Stampeders) – The top Canadian act on the list, Sweet City Woman is the first 45 I remember being around the house. It was my brothers, but somehow I managed to end up with it (probably because it has a chip out of the edge).  Not even my favourite Stampeders song, but how can you not love the rock ‘n’ roll banjo?

8. Bop (Dan Seals) – Classic pop with a tinge of country. This probably wound up higher on the list because a) Seals passed recently, therefore I listened to this recently b) my wife is quite fond of it.

7. The Night Chicago Died (Paper Lace) – This gets treated as a bad piece of trite, obvious trash, as if it’s Billy Don’t Be  A Hero. It’s not. It’s a decent piece of rock ‘n’ roll that’s worth listening to just to remind yourself of a time when the throwaway trash was better than the best of the best today.

6.Ballroom Blitz (Sweet) – Will the music at grade six dances ever be this good again? I swore for years this would be the first dance at my wedding, and if I wasn’t so darn uncomfortable dancing in front of people, I might have insisted on it. Great song for all the right reasons.

5. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce) – I have been a Jim Croce fan as long as I can remember. this isn’t his best song, but it’s my introduction to him, and I still have the original 45. Longevity counts in this list, so it breaks the top 5.

4. Come On Eileen (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) – Probably the only song on the list I like more now than then.  Through the years I have heard more and more Dexy’s Midnight Runners, and I am always impressed by their musicianship, and the fact they come as close as you can in the pop world to doing something truly original.  They really do rock the banjo, along with a couple of fiddles, creating a danceable pop tune that’s neither understandable or forgettable. It’s one thing to have the words to a song stuck in your head, it’s another thing entirely when you have no clue what those words really are. That takes true genius, and Come on Eileen is an almost peerfect piece of pop music.

3. I Don’t Like Monday’s (Boomtown Rats) – If you bought 45’s in Britain, you didn’t need the little plastic piece to keep it centered on the turntable, they came with the center piece built in. My copy of I Don’t Like Monday’s was bought in Irelend in the summer of 1979, when I Don’t Like Mondays was Top of the Pops. It wouldn’t find a voice in North America until deep into the next winter, by which time I was telling people it was an old song and I was already tired of it. I wasn’t really, and still aren’t.

2. Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen) – For all the talk about Springsteen being deep, meaningful, political, &tc. Springsteen is a truly brilliant writer of pure pop songs. Dancing in the Dark is the best example of that, as well as the song that turned Springsteen into a superstar. 

1. Immigrant Song/Hey Hey What Can I Do (Led Zeppelin) – The first record I went in search of. Led Zeppelin didn’t like singles, but the record company got Immigrant Song onto a 45, and released it with Hey, Hey What Can I do on the b/side. Hey Hey… was never released on an album, so when radio stations started playing it in the early 80’s, the Immigrant Song single became a must have. I searched to no avail, and then sometime around 1982, it got quietly re-released. I still have never seen an original, but still like to throw this 45 on from time to time.

The Freedom of Music, This Week on my I-Pod

Happy 50th Birthday…

July 11th, 2009
Comments Off on Happy 50th Birthday…

Richie Sambora.

heather-locklearIt’s tempting to offer happy birthday to Bon Jovi guitarist  Richie “no ‘t'” Sambora simply because he was formerly married to Heather Locklear, one of the most gorgeous women ever. However, that would be doing a disservice.

Love them or hate them, when Bon Jovi broke out in the 80’s, Sambora avoided doing a bad Van Halen imitation as every other guitarist was doing. Sambora put some classic oomph back into rock guitar, and listening now his playing is often fresh and interesting sounding.

But ultimately, happy 50th birthday to Richie Sambora for the talk box lick on Living On A Prayer, a classic bit of rock and roll on a classic rock and roll effect.

Birthday Wishes, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' , , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter:Robert Plant CBE; Katie Holmes does Judy Garland; Paris Goes to Court

July 11th, 2009
Comments Off on Saturday Fluffernutter:Robert Plant CBE; Katie Holmes does Judy Garland; Paris Goes to Court

Saturday Fluffernutter – all the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities.

fluffincolorThe Return of the “Led Zeppelin rumour of the week, courtesy of Ramble On:”

Is Led Zeppelin going to help fill the39010007_lg hole in the 02 arena’s schedule left by Michael Jackson’s death? Reports are that the Zeppeliners has been offered some or all of his 50 date slot. No word from Camp Zeppelin as of yet, but with a start date of next week, you have to think this is improbable to say the least.

fluffincolor

In other Zeppelin news, singer Robert Plant received the Commander of the British Empire this week from Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Plant’s honour means he now outranks Led Zeppelin founder and guitarist Jimmy Page, who has an Order of the British Empire. 

 

fluffincolorMrs. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes will be appearing in an upcoming episode of “So You Think You Can Dance.” She will be paying homage to Judy Garland by singing and dancing “Get Happy,” from the 1950 musical Summer Stock.

Here’s the Garland original:

 

fluffincolorSocialite, and professional BFF Paris Hilton will take the stand this week in a lawsuit by investors for the movie Pledge This.  Producers of the movie claim Hilton reneged on a contract to promote the film when she refused interviews and “other promotional opportunities.”

Fluffernutter , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Come in Tokyo… Come in Tokyo

July 10th, 2009
Comments Off on Come in Tokyo… Come in Tokyo

A picture is worth a thousand words:

harper_g8_italy_112981gm-e

Doesn’t the President look like he’s telling the Prime MInister a dirty-ish joke here?

And in case you think I’m being partisan and unfair, Prime Minister Harper looks like he doesn’t get the joke.

fun , , , , ,

Insanity

July 9th, 2009

Incredulous. That’s the  only word I can come up with. When I say all these Michael Jackson fans are out of their skulls stupid, people accuse me of being nasty. Sorry, but this is out of her skull stupid:

Ashley: “I have a theory about Sarah Palin… I think maybe she did something to Michael Jackson, maybe there’s a scandal there. She’s stepping down because somethings about to come out.”
Al Sharpton: “Alright, then thank-you for your call. Ashley, that’s interesting… we’ll see.”

No, these people are all sane and normal. Lord love a duck.

h/t Small Dead Animals

Celebrities , , ,

Let Them Strike

July 9th, 2009

I was in Toronto last week for one of my very seldom visits. While I have read a story or two of the stench of rotting garbage on the streets, the disgusting mess of litter on the sidewalks, I found that not to be true.  jun2409-garbageWas there a slight odour of garbage, left out on a summer day? Certainly, but that’s as expected in a dense metropolis. Garbage will accumulate, and it will offer a distinctive scent if left on the sidewalk for a summer afternoon waiting collection. So no, Toronto wasn’t disgusting just because the public union said it should be so.

Yet I’ve started to hear the old legislate them back to work canard. One hubby and the Mrs. radio show in particular yesterday was pushing for the province to legislate CUPE back to work. Other op-eds are starting to mention, casually, the possibility.

The instinct to force the union back to work usually comes from my side of the political aisle. Conservatives, who tend to dislike the unions anyway, are often quick to say, legislate them back to work. The pressure will come from Conservatives, the NDP will oppose any such motion.

The Toronto inside workers strike is now over two weeks old. In 2002 the provincial government of Ernie Eves legislated Toronto’s striking workers back to work by this time.  Permier Dalton McGuinty, who was then leader of the opposition, led the fight to have them legislated back. In arbitration, the union won a ruling on job security, the main issue in the strike. This time, McGuinty appears to be leaving the strikers alone: in Windsor a similar strike has been ongoing for almost three months.

The Premier is right: let the workers strike. Toronto is not falling apart, in fact they seem to be managing quite well. It is likely the workers were happy to go on strike, fully assuming they would be legislated back after a few weeks, and would then win in arbitration. That’s been the modus operandi for as long as their has been garbage strikes, and it has failed the public good. Let the workers strike, let them learn what we private sector union workers know: once you walk off that job, there’s no guarantee you go back. It is the one reign on unions behaviour and demands. Let the unions action have real consequences, and next time they’ll think twice; next time they’ll consider how many years of sick days they’ll need to bank to make up for the days lost to being on strike.

And here’s some good news for beleaguered Torontonians: as of today it’s that number is one… and counting.

unions , , , , , , , , , , ,