Archive for February, 2010

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

It is now easy to see that McGinty’s HST will screw the retiree,

His tax is dishonest and illiberal and ought to make him history.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Friday, February 26th, 2010

“Mr. Harper, Mr. Harper, you are back from Darfur!”

“I am back dear voters to save Canada from danger.”

“Mr. Harper, Mr. Harper, what danger comes at us?”

“I am PM but opponents want to change my status.”

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#16-10 – Snake goes for the glory.

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Snake was lurking at his team’s blue line as the coach had instructed him. The game action was metres ahead, around his team’s goal. He wanted to join the scrum but his instructions were clear: “stay out there at the blue line and be ready to take that puck down the ice for a goal.”

The coach’s reasoning was sound. If any of his players fighting for the puck around their goal could get a chance, they would send the puck down the ice. By having Snake out there, ready to pounce on the puck, there was a good chance for a break away. He was right and soon the puck came wobbling out to the blue line where Snake was waiting.

With his trademark stutter-step-start, Snake was off with the puck. It took some time for a near-by defence man for the other team to realize that Snake was wearing the wrong color sweater and to take off after him. The defence man realized that his coach would be disappointed in him for letting Snake get behind him like that. The coach was going to tell him for the 437th time to pay attention.

By now, Snake had a fair lead. What he lacked in speed, he made up for in determination. He focussed on the goal down at the other end of the ice and he was all alone as he flew over the centre line and then the opponent’s blue line. He had a clear field ahead of him accept for an obviously nervous goalie who was slowly moving forward from the net to cut down Snake’s angle for a shot.

But he could also hear the other players coming behind him. They were close. He heard Jerry, his centre behind him call out and he knew Jerry would catch up and go left. That left Snake to go to the right and have the opportunity to pass or go for the goal. It depended on the goalie.

Snake made his move and he veered right. The goalie stuck with him, backing up now to cut off Snake on the short side of the net. Snake held as long as he could and then passed. The goalie was cutting off his opening too fast. He had to give the glory to Jerry. That, he knew, was the important move. He would settle for the assist.

It was at this point that something or someone hit him in the backs of the legs. Within a fraction of a second he was down and sliding on his back into the boards to the side of the net. He hit with a loud crash but he was too busy checking the referee who had blown the whistle as he hit to worry about any bruising..

Pulling himself together, Snake jumped up and raced over to congratulate Jerry on the goal. To his surprise, Jerry gave him a high five and a “Great Snake!”

“But, you got the goal, didn’t you,” he shouted over the noise of his team mates.

“No,” Jerry responded. “Your pass went off a skate. It deflected your shot into the net. You got the goal, unassisted.”

By giving up his chance for the glory, Snake had won it after all.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

MPP Caplan can stick his oppressive ideas for the TTC in his dimple,

Blaming the unions for its management problems is much too simple.

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#14-10 – Flag and anthem mark Canada’s coming of age.

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The following is an abbreviated version of a presentation prepared for a chapter of Beta Sigma Phi in Barrie, Ontario.

It was 45 years ago that the red maple leaf first flew as Canada’s flag. It was a brisk, cold night in mid February as people gathered informally on Parliament Hill to witness the event. The flag hung limp as it was slowly raised to the top of the Centre Block. The people watching were silent as though collectively willing the new flag to catch the breeze. When the breeze did catch it and the maple leaf and its red borders streamed in the wind, the cheering was loud and excited.

There was not the same excitement for the country’s national anthem that had a gestation of more than 100 years, with many rewrites and modifications. God Save the Queen remained the national anthem of Canada until July 1, 1980. O Canada had been the country’s most popular patriotic song since the early 1900s. This was despite the fact that most of us were confused by the number of times we were required to sing that we would Stand on guard.

Both anthem and flag were introduced on Parliament Hill and while the Canada Day crowd was larger for the introduction of the newly approved national anthem, it did not seem as exciting as that cold winter day when the flag was unfurled.

Discussion of a new flag had started back in 1919. At the time, the Union Jack of Great Britain was the only national flag. As Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King must have reported to his mother in his séances, if you really want to start another donnybrook in parliament, just suggest that they should consider a new flag. As it was, Prime Minister Lester Pearson’s Liberals had to resort to trickery to get the Conservative opponents on the parliamentary committee to agree to the single maple leaf flag. The opponents thought the Liberals wanted to support what was rudely called the ‘Pearson Pennant’—a version with three blue maple leaves. When the Liberals also supported the single red maple leaf flag, the deed was done.

As you can see at the Vancouver Olympics, people from across this country are proud to wrap themselves in the colors and in the actual flag.

But what we saw in the opening of the Olympics was not what was intended for our national anthem. As many performers have found out, to their dismay, putting your individual interpretation on the national anthem is not a crowd pleaser. Giving a jazz interpretation might amuse jazz enthusiasts but can deeply offend people who prefer the more traditional version. After all, the national anthem is a hymn to the country and for someone to change words or change the beat is to mock the song and country.

The one thing Canadians have always agreed upon is the music originally written by Calixa Lavallée in 1880 has become the official music and it is not rap, western, jazz, Dixie. operatic or bluegrass. It is to be played with dignity and not so slow as to become a dirge. The words have had many revisions over the years but are based on the Robert Stanley Weir version that he wrote in Montreal in 1908. In approving the music and words for our national anthem, the only change the parliamentarians made in the English words was to take out some of the Stand on guards. That has left many of us just humming along when we get to that part. Hopefully, children, now in elementary school, will grow up knowing the right words.

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Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to peter@lowry.me

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The hockey game hardly rests on one person solely,

But last night I would have settled for a good goalie.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

We can hardly be disappointed in how Canada’s athletes have done,

It is not in the Olympic spirit to judge them in terms of medals won.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Politicians sell the citizens’ assets, no one’ll notice, they think,

That lasts until the citizens get the bills, then they raise a stink.

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Why do you write in couplets, my man?

The very easy answer is: Because I can.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

When George Brown founded the Globe, many long years ago,

He gave voice to other opinions because of our need to know.

Today, we head in a new direction, a big business seed to sew,

The media now feed pap to the masses, Harper’s horn to blow.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The thrills of the Olympics have hardly been oversold,

Yesterday we saw a dramatic run for snowboard gold.

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