Archive for October, 2009

Some Coincidence

October 20th, 2009

Gary Lunn, the minister of state for sport, said any resemblance was purely coincidental.


“I can assure you that no one in the Government of Canada was involved in any way, shape or form in the design of any of the Olympic clothing. In fact the first time I saw it was (Wednesday),” Lunn said in the House of Commons. “The clothing was designed by the Hudson’s Bay Company in consultations with the Canadian Olympic Committee and with an athletes’ panel

But I’m the naive one.


Branding the Government

October 19th, 2009

On July 1st, 2008, just over a year ago, Muhtar Kent became the 13th Chairman of the board and CEO of Coca Cola corporation, taking the reigns from E. Neville Isdel after a four year term. Did you notice? Did you see press releases for “Cokes new corporation” whenever Coke corp. made an announcement?

When Stephen Harper became Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister in 2006 the phrase “Canada’s New Government” was bandied about like bikinis in a beer commercial. It was untrue, Canada had the same Parliamentary Democracy/Constitutional Monarchy it has always had, what was new was the people running the show. Much like CEO Kent, the Prime Minister is responsible to continue the tradition of the Canadian Government, not remake it in it’s own image.

Since scary Stephen Harper became Prime Minister Harper in those heady days in 2006, Harper has sought to brand himself and his party as Canada’s government. Understandable considering their main opposition is known as “Canada’s natural governing party,” and have branded themselves so well that Canada’s flag is Liberal red.  However, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are not Canada’s government, they are currently in charge of Canada’s government.

The Conservatives branding initiative has recently increased, causing comment from some of Canada’s top political minds. While the replacing the Maple Leaf with the Conservatives stylized ‘C’ on some economic porn cheques appears to be the work of some rogue MPs, it is an understandable mistake. After all, the Conservative Party just put much the same logo on the Olympic clothing to be worn by our athletes this year

To be sure, as the partisans excuse, they all do it: If you live in Ontario your health card, designed during the Bob Rae NDP era is NDP green. It replaced the Liberal red and white design of the David Peterson era . Your drivers license is Tory blue, designed at some point during the 42 year reign of the Ontario Tories from George Drew in 1943 through to Frank Miller in 1985.

If your surprised by logo-gate you haven’t been paying attention. The present Conservative government in Ottawa promised better it is true. But they never were better. Stephen Harper took the reigns of government and immediately declared not that they were the latest guardians of Canadian democracy, not honoured to be placed in the highest position of responsibility in the Canadian government, but that they were The Government: “Canada’s new Government.”

Like The Coca-Cola Company, which has been in existence almost as long as there has been a Canada, what makes Canadian’s governance so succesful is the transition of power, the seamless change from one CEO to the next. Stephen Harper never saw it that way, and the direct result is big cheques with the stylized blue C of your new government on them.


When will the Leafs win?

October 18th, 2009

When I got an iPhone a few months ago one of the first things I downloaded was the Leafs app. Instant updates, standings, scoring leaders, all right on my phone. Of course, hockey season hadn’t started yet and last years scores, standings &tc. where still showing. sr-leafs-091017-06.JPGOnce pre-season started, the app remained the same. Two, three games into the pre-season, I’m still seeing last years scores and schedules. Surely though, it would be updated for the regular season.

The day before the first game the following message appeared on the app:


We are gearing up for the release of a new version shortly. Unfortunately scoring and stats updates will not function until we get you the new version.

Clearly an organization not prepared to begin the season. It’s as if, on Sept 30th somebody in the offices said, “holy shit, season starts tomorrow.” The sad reality is, the team on the ice has played like a team that doesn’t quite realize the season has started. As of the next game, 10% of the season is gone, and the 0-7 Leafs still have not updated their app.

A prediction then: the Toronto Maple Leafs will win their first  game once their iPhone app has been updated for the 2009-2010 season. Stay tuned Leaf fans, I’ll let you know when the update is done, and we’ll test my theory.

Hockey , , ,

ShutterBugging Picture of the Day: Bull Moose

October 13th, 2009
Comments Off on ShutterBugging Picture of the Day: Bull Moose

ShutterBugging Picture of the Day: Hummingbird

October 9th, 2009

Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

October 9th, 2009

Running an operating deficit of $500M, with a $460M sick day liability to employees after a strike to solve that one problem, the City of Toronto has found $30,000 for a poet laureate.

I won’t go into detail all that’s wrong with this picture, Marni Soupcoff has done the job of deconstructing this lunacy. Instead, let me offer a conversational bon mot from Dionne Brand, Toronto’s new poet laureate:

Toronto… “in its multiplicity … is constantly rich and surprising. I’ve written this about it in thirsty — that wild waiting at traffic lights off the end of the world, where nothing is simple, nothing, in the city there is no simple love or simple fidelity, the heart is slippery.”

Why do I get the feeling I haven’t written the last of Ms. Brand?

Toronto: Not in a Death Spiral , , ,

Ignatieff’s Liberals…

October 8th, 2009

closer to the NDP than the Conservatives.

w-ekos-vote-cbc-091007How can this be true? you might ask. This is how…

To quote one of the top five political minds in the country: stick a fork in him.

for whom the poll tolls , , ,

Ban School Boards Who Would Ban To Kill A Mockingbird

October 6th, 2009

Back when Dinosaurs roamed the earth, and Led Zeppelin was a going entity, a young fellow went off to school to learn the three R’s. By the time he got to high school, he was bored and disliked much of school. Reading, he thought, was uncool.

Is That Gun Licensed?

Is That Gun Licensed?

Years later, a full fledged reader, he went back to the high school curriculum, and re-read the books he could remember disliking.  A more awful list of books it would be hard to find. Lord of the Fly’s, An Edible Woman, the truly, utterly God awful Catcher in the Rye. There was one saving grace in that high school curriculum I was forced to read through: To Kill a Mockingbird.

Harper Lee’s only book about a Depression era family in Alabama, Mockingbird tackles such difficult issues as racism, rape, poverty, alcoholism. It is a novel of great depth, subtle humour and charm. It is possible to suggest that few better books have ever been written. So naturally, it ought to be banned.

Anyone who suggests this book ought to be banned because of it’s liberal use of a racial epithet that is not spoken in even impolite company these days, displays an ignorance that’s hard to fathom in the modern world. Key to the many themes throughout To Kill A Mockingbird is the accurate use of language from the Southern US in the thirties. The level of ignorance required to demand Mockingbird be banned based on a single word is hard to fathom. That some parent somewhere in Toronto displays that ignorance is not surprising, that The Toronto District School Board entertains such complaints goes a long way in explaining what is going wrong with our education system.

Memo to the TDSB: it’s a sin to kill To Kill a Mockingbird.

Jacobian Piece of Impertinence, pimply minions of bureaucracy , , ,

ShutterBugging Picture of the Day – Red DragonFly

October 5th, 2009
Comments Off on ShutterBugging Picture of the Day – Red DragonFly

How Do They Ticket Those Cyclists Without Licenses?

October 4th, 2009

Just over two weeks ago I wrote a couple of posts suggesting that the move afoot to license cyclists had more to do with restricting peoples freedom than than any benefit that may incur. Oh no, I heard, and heard… How can you give tickets to people that don’t have licenses?

How indeed?

overkill-bicycle-chopperOf that 184 tickets police issued to cyclists, 49 went to bikers whose bikes didn’t have a working bell. Forty of the tickets were issued because the cyclist didn’t have proper working lights, and 38 were issued to cyclists who were riding on the sidewalk. Other citations were given to cyclists who didn’t stop at red lights or who made improper lane changes.

Handing out tickets has never been the issue, police have been doing so to cyclists for years, just as they do to pedestrians. And therefore, it is not what the licensing issue is about.
And note to all the people who claim this is about lousy bicycle drivers  being unsafe on the road, the most tickets handed out where for… not having a bell.

freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy, pimply minions of bureaucracy ,

Stephen Harper: Getting High With A Little Help From His Friends

October 4th, 2009
Comments Off on Stephen Harper: Getting High With A Little Help From His Friends

I particularly like Yo-Yo Ma boogying on the cello.

Update: Thanks to Sandy at Crux of the Matter I now have the full version of the song.

Stephen Harper ,

Jack Layton: Running for Stéphane Dion’s Job

October 2nd, 2009

I remember it like it was just last year, Jack Layton was telling every microphone within’ diaphram-shot that he wasn’t running to finish third place; he wasn’t even running for leader of the opposition. No in the 208 general election, Jack Layton was running for Stephen Harper’s job. He had the stuff, he was The Man: Prime Minister material.

But Prime Minister’s lead, Prime Minister’s make a decision and stand on that decision. Voting present, as Rudolph Guiliani put it, is not an option. That’s what Stéphane Dion’s Liberals did, and Jack derided him.

Yesterday, “the prime minister in waiting,” Jack Layton, and his caucus sat while Parliament’s confidence in the current government was being decided. For all his big talk the past number of years, when the decision was a tough one Layton’s NDP abstained: they voted present.

Jack Layton: Stéphane Dion in waiting.

Jack Layton , , , , , , ,

Never Mind the Nanny State, Now we Have the Granny State.

October 1st, 2009

When John Newton co-purchased a  single family home with his son Ian twelve years ago, he thought he was helping secure his future. In the intervening years, Ian married and had children. John and his wife Loretta moved into a converted garage, which was built, with all applicable permits in place in 2000.  Already having city inspector approved electrical, plumbing, heating &tc., in 2002 they added kitchen cupboard and a stove and moved themselves in, leaving Ian and his growing family the house.

Aging parents living with their children in a granny flat. A perfect arrangement.

But when the city of Cambridge discovered the arrangement, they had a different take on matters. In my hometown of Cambridge, Ontario your parents cannot move in with you unless you seek permission of the city. For a non-refundable fee of $3,000, you can ask the pimply minions of bureaucracy if it’s alright to move your parents in. If they decline your request, you are out $3,000. Furthermore, if they allow your request, your home tax bill will increase permanently, even after your parents no longer live under your roof.

Newton received an eviction notice from the city, an order to leave a residence he owns half of, because he didn’t ask permission of the city to live in his own house.

In much of the world, a man’s home is his castle. Here in Cambridge Ontario, a man’s home is mayor Doug Craig’s castle who, upon Newton’s persistent complaining sent him an e-mail stating:

Mr. Newton: I do not wish to hear any more nonsense from you.
(Signed) Mayor Craig.

Doug Craig can be e-mailed at

It is a vile, Jacobian, jumped up Jack-in-Office piece of impertinence… by the pimply minions of bureaucracy

Indeed it is.

More here, here and oh yea, here.

Cross Posted to Libertas Post

pimply minions of bureaucracy , ,

Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

October 1st, 2009
Comments Off on Toronto the Not in a Death Spiral

And good luck to you John, because your a three time loser

torontoSandra from Toronto ended her call on CFRB radio last Friday afternoon with those rather mean spirited words for show co-host John Tory.

“Do you work for the city (of Toronto)” Tory’s co-host Tarek Fatah asked Sandra three times during the call.

“I don’t work for the city,” Toronto councilor and council speaker Sandra Bussin told Fatah.

Bussin denied, for five days, that the caller was her then yesterday, when the jig was  clearly up, called CFRB again and admitted that yes she was Sandra from Toronto. She did not lie, however (other than denying it was she who called from Friday until Wednesday), she does not work for the city, she works for her constituents. That is what she told host Bill Carroll yesterday. “I don’t work for the city. I work for my constituents.”

With any luck at all, she won’t be working for anybody come Nov. 2010, and then she won’t have to split hairs when she’s ambushing someone.

Toronto: Not in a Death Spiral , , ,