Archive for February, 2010

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

If I write about sports or entertainment, my readership’d grow by four score,

Though they’re subjects, of which I know zip, that’s never stopped me before.

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#10-10 – Dauntless Dalton comes to Babel.

Friday, February 5th, 2010

The excitement in Babel is palpable. The Lord High Poobah of Ontari-ario—otherwise known as Dauntless Dalton—is coming to Babel to meet with the wise men of Babel. He has heard that they are sage and sagacious and he has asked if he can bring his problems to them. What problems, they wondered would confound a Lord High Poobah? Being wise, they chose to set a test for Dauntless Dalton to see if his problems were really worthy of their attention.

So it came to pass when the Lord High Poobah came to Babel, he was instructed at the edge of town that he must leave his retinue of lackeys and yes-men and O.P. Police stalwarts who would throw down their life for him(?) at the edge of town. He was then allowed to come as a single supplicant to hear the wisdom of the wise men of Babel.

And that is why when the Lord High Poobah arrived at Babel’s impressive City Hall that he was alone, driving a Toyota (built in Ontari-ario) with a faulty accelerator pedal. Luckily, the Dauntless Dalton knew how stop a Toyota, by simply turning off the ignition, and he then left his Ontari-ario-built Toyota sitting askew across the road.

When Dauntless Dalton arrived on the sidewalk in front of Babel city hall, he saw the wise men of Babel around the skating rink and went over to join them. They were doing something strange. One was holding a garden hose and spraying up in the air over the middle of the rink. “What are you doing?” Dauntless Dalton asked of a wise man who was watching the water spray high in the air.

“We are making an ice sculpture,” was the ready answer.

Dauntless Dalton might have no chin but as The Lord High Poobah of Ontari-ario, he has to think quickly. They are testing me,’ he reasoned. If I tell them it is six degrees Celsius and cannot freeze into an ice sculpture, they will consider me unimaginative and incapable of fathoming their superior wisdom.’

“I see,” said Dauntless Dalton, “And what will this piece of work represent when it is finished?

“Why this is a copy of a famous work of art that is on display at the Louvre in Paris. It is known as the Nike of Samothrace or, more popularly, ‘Winged Victory’,” the wise man explained. “Do you see the noble arch of each wing as it takes shape, the fine lines of the individual feathers and the way the cloth swaddles the curves of the body?”

Dauntless Dalton always looks puzzled so he hid his surprise quite well. He looked up, being sure to look where others were looking, and yet he saw nothing. He was worried about that. At the same time, he knew that fine arts were not a popular subject in Ontario-ario schools and he decided he could bluff these rubes from Babel. “Well, you have not done the head yet, or I would have recognized the work,” he said.

And that is why the wise men of Babel have no time or sympathy for the problems of the Lord High Poobah of Ontari-ario. Dauntless Dalton was sent packing. Despite the Babel Police trying to impound his Toyota, he was allowed to start it and it raced quickly out of town. The wise men of Babel issued a proclamation to the citizens of Babel that the Province of Ontari-ario has no head and, for that matter, neither does Winged Victory.

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

COMMENT FOR TODAY

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Rocco Rossi entered a marathon to be Toronto mayor,

There’s no doubt it’s something for which he has a flair,

But Tory told him there’s no hope for a right wing there.

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COMMENT FOR TODAY

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Danny Williams for all his millions, bought The Rock, they say,

But if rich, you go south for your health, it’s the American way.

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#09-10 – An American agenda for the Liberal Party conference.

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The American federal government has direct involvement in the health, education and welfare of that country’s citizens. It was in 1979 that the U.S. separated Health, Education and Welfare into Health and Human Services and the new Department of Education. Canada, in the meantime, has continued to relegate these less important needs to the provincial governments. That is too bad because what the upcoming Liberal Party conference really needs to address is the sorry state of the health, education and welfare needs of Canadians.

This is the third in the series of commentaries about the upcoming conference. Each takes on a life of its own but this time we are going to get to what the conference should be about: Canadians. That would be a novel idea. The last time a Canadian politician thought about Canadians was back when Pierre Trudeau tacked a Charter of Rights and Freedoms onto a repatriated constitution. He was under the impression that the populace would rise up in high dudgeon if any politicians used the ‘not withstanding’ clause to get around the Charter but the federal and provincial politicians now use it routinely because Canadians never seem to notice.

It is not my intent to have Michael’s conference waste a great deal of time on health care. There is no question but we have studied health care to its limit and the truth is that everyone is screwing the system. It is a mishmash of mixed private-public health care and it costs too much. The only good news is that it is better than the Americans have and costs less per capita. All the same, it will not hurt to have someone stand up at the conference and scream and yell about the continued destruction of the concept of truly universal healthcare.

Education is a much more serious topic. Michael has actually said he might like this to be a topic and he deserves support for it. The lack of universal access to the education each of us is capable of attaining from kindergarten to a university doctorate is a crime against Canadians. The cost of higher education in Canada is a denial of access and the debt burden on many graduates is beyond reason. To maintain barriers such as those faced by students is a disgrace and fetters capable Canadians to a life of lower earnings and frustration. The federal government has a direct responsibility to Canadians to ensure open access. It should also be noted that the federal government is not hamstrung to any conditions of other than access to all, in Canada’s official languages. Support for religious education never has and never should have been the responsibility of the state.

The next item is the welfare of Canadians. While Michael has grandiosely told the news media that the Liberal Party will finally honour its commitment to a national daycare program, many will watch that with interest, if not with scepticism. Promised too often and forgotten after the election has been the story of too many of the welfare needs of Canadians. It is the promises-not-kept that has destroyed the credibility of all politicians.

All that can be said to the conference is that if a child goes hungry in Canada, if a child is inadequately dressed for our climate, if opportunity is denied, if proper education is not made available, if health care is inadequate, you cannot blame the “others” nor can you blame the cost. If you accept the Queen’s coin to serve in the Parliament of Canada, the blame rests on you.

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

Comment for today

Monday, February 1st, 2010

We miss parliament, that’s no doubt,

We need their fighting to write about.