Archive for June, 2010

Comment for today.

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

If Billy Blair lied to us about the law, and people were misled,

The Premier has responsibility to give the populous his head.

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#54 – Fomenting hatred for political advantage.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Every once in a while Babel’s Member of Parliament finds some new way to really disgust the more decent among us. His latest foray into the slime is an attempt to crudely incite hatred against newcomers to Canada. He sees this as a political advantage in that he hopes the bigoted, the ignorant and the unthinking in our electoral district can align with him and vote for him.

It was one of those cheap grey sheets that are stuffed in the mailbox far too frequently by Canada Post on behalf of the Conservative Party. They are paid for with our money and parliamentarians call them ‘ten percenters.’ This latest one is directed against two Liberal Members of Parliament who are trying to solve a problem in Ottawa. That is something Babel’s Member of Parliament could never do. In Ottawa, he is a problem. He contributes nothing in parliament, in caucus or committees but another mindless vote for the Harper Conservatives.

It seems Ruby Dhalla MP and Bob Rae MP jointly presented a private members’ Bill in parliament that would reduce the current ten-year residency requirement to qualify for Old Age Security. One would not suppose that the objective is to pay a generous sum of about $13 per month to people at 65 and older who came to Canada at 62-years of age. The payments are obviously to bring attention to the concern for seniors who are brought to Canada by members of their family and might, by misadventure, be left in a penniless state through no fault of their own. It happens occasionally.

Well, Mr. Brown is incensed at the very idea of giving them any money. These indigents, he claims, will also be able to draw from the Guaranteed Income Supplement that he believes should only be given to people who have lived in Canada their entire life. He is outraged that these newcomers could possibly access some of this money to bring them up to the government determined poverty line. (That is not above poverty line, it is just up to it.)

And where Mr. Brown finds his `most experts` who say this could cost `the Canadian taxpayer` (sic) $700 million a year, is most curious. It would be interesting if he could produce one such expert–other than from The Fraser Institute that regularly pays academics to support its right-wing positions.

It is not clear to the reader of this garbage whether Mr. Brown wants these newcomers to be left to starve on the streets of our cities or if he wants to ship them back to the countries from whence they came. Obviously he does not want them looked after through our welfare systems that can cost four to five times as much to administer.

All Mr. Brown is, it appears, is against something humane. He should be aware that older people do not easily get accepted as immigrants to this country unless they are coming to be reunited with family. The bringing of families together is one of the finer aspects of Canada’s immigration policy. If he is against that, he should say so. In that way, voters in Babel would all know just how mean-spirited he is.

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

Comment for….

Monday, June 28th, 2010

a summer weekend in Toronto

A few anarchists and hooligans: 1

A force of 15,000 police officers: 0

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Comment for today.

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

You hardly get much for a billion these days. The vaunted Toronto police, with help from other forces across Canada proved themselves inadequate. Their bully boy tactics were no match for a small flying wing of anarchists and hooligans. It was a disgrace for Toronto and for Canada. Bill Blair should resign. Mr. Harper, in all his vanity, should be out of office in disgrace for allowing our money to be wasted so uselessly.  The G8-G20 was an embarrassing waste of time, money and resources.

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Comment for today.

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

To welcome G20 heads, Billy Blair built a fence,

Keeping them in like that makes so little sense,

Cuz a secret law keeps us far from Billy’s fence.

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Comment for today.

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Lord Conrad of the Black and Crossharbour clan,

Has been found not guilty of that mail fraud plan,

Please keep his lordship in jail as long as you can.

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#53 – Etiquette in a world of instant communications.

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

All ye who enter here, there are no cell phones allowed, give your thumbs a rest from texting, hold the jokes, sayings and inspirational messages for another time. We are going to talk about some simple ideas that have been forgotten in this age of instant communications: courtesy, consideration, cooperation and conscience.

First, we must never forget courtesy. It comes from the golden rule: do onto others as you would have them do onto you. If you insist in shouting over your cell phone to be heard over the din of the crowd at the ballpark, you might get punched out by the irritated gentleman sitting in front of you. That can be one of the harsher lessons in communications etiquette.

Nobody is going to think you are politely praying because you keep your eyes downcast, looking at your crotch during a meeting. They know you are busy texting and ignoring the needs of others. To excuse yourself to take a call or return a text is bad manners, no matter how urgent it might seem at the time.

Nobody is that good at multi-tasking. Whether you are in a meeting or enjoying a dinner with friends, turn the communications off. It can wait.

And that is what we mean by consideration. Is any caller or texter more important than the person or people you are with? Get your priorities right. Be interested enough to pay attention to others. Hermits can be self important. For them, nobody else matters.

But that would leave you with nobody to send to or receive communications from. For that, you need cooperation. The weather report can only hold your attention for so long.

Cooperation also includes the sending of stupid jokes, funny pictures, chain letters, spam warnings that are spam, devotional diatribes and the tons of other crap that clutter up in-boxes the world over. If someone fails to return to you such stuff, you should eventually get the idea that the person is not interested in it. They might just happen to like you and would not want to hurt your feelings by asking if you could not find something more productive to do with your time.

It is a feeble effort at communications to resend junk to people. It takes thought and caring to send people something of interest to them. It is far too easy to send something of interest to you. There is a secret to good communications that has existed from long before computers and cell phones and texting were invented: know your audience. Any really good communicator has probably studied Shakespeare’s version of Marc Anthony’s funeral oration for Julius Caesar. It was only because Anthony knew his audience so well that he convinced them to turn against those who murdered Caesar.

And that brings us to conscience. It is all of the above and more. It is abstaining from smiley faces and abbreviations for words. It is using proper language and civility without vulgarities and rudeness. It is avoiding the carelessness of replying to all when you need to reply only to the sender, it is taking the trouble to start a new e-mail when you send a longer reply, it is in not insisting on the last word to send unnecessary communications.

Just think, if this idea catches on, we will have easily doubled the world wide web’s capacity for e-mails.

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

Comment for today.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Hwy 400 is a high speed route to T.O.

During the G8-20, it’s smart not to go.

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Comment for today.

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

A man stands tall when he says:  This I believe.

Face, name he does not hide nor try to deceive,

This a person to whom we listen, if not believe.

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#52 – “The centre cannot hold.”

Monday, June 21st, 2010

The Center Cannot Hold is an alternative history by American author Harry Turtledove in his American Empire series. In this version of American history, Turtledove supposes what would happen if the South won the American Civil War and the North allies itself with Germany against the Southerners and England.  In addition, the North allies itself with an independent Quebec and wages a long war of attrition with the rest of Canada. Dr. Turtledove’s view of Canada is neither overly accurate nor flattering but then he is an academic from far away California.

This is by way of saying that academics can be somewhat brutal in their suppositions, posits and dissertations. One can only wonder if that is the space from which academic and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff got his thinking on Liberal-NDP relationships. Just to review, he said “What (the Liberal Party) will not do under my leadership is merge with anybody.” Despite the fact that is not his decision to make, most people in the room were very pleased that he had shown some spunk as leader.

Some listeners might have said—to themselves, of course—That is too bad Michael, you will be missed.

But that is not the point. The point is and the reality is that the Liberal Party can no longer find this rampant middle ground that it always brags about. And if it could find the middle ground, the Conservative zealots would probably steal it from them.

The Liberal Party has not trod on any middle ground since 1984. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau stepped down and took the middle ground back to Montreal with him. If he was falling down drunk and the middle ground came up to hit him in the face, Mr. Trudeau’s successor, John Turner, would never recognize any middle ground.

Jean Chrétien, in turn, Turner’s successor might have accidently found some middle ground but not as long as Hon. Mitchell Sharp was around to tell him what to do. He actually did pay Sharp a dollar a year for his advice and the few left wing liberals left at the time felt that was about what his advice was worth. While Chrétien never seemed to like Paul Martin, Sharp would have seen the younger Martin as the perfect scapegoat for the draconian cuts in social programs and transfer payments to the provinces during Chrétien’s tenure.

Paul Martin, as Chrétien’s inept successor, would have had to resurrect his father from the grave in Windsor to find him some middle ground. While Martin’s successor Stéphane Dion was supposed to be the middle ground between Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, the convention that chose him forgot to see if he had any credentials as a politician. He had none: end of that opportunity.

The fact that Bob Rae once led Ontario’s New Democratic Party as leader and then Premier of Ontario scared many members of the Liberal Party from him. Despite the strong support to make him leader of the federal liberals, he would need a long series of injections of political smarts to make him a good choice.

Surprise, the Liberal Party ended up with Michael Ignatieff leading the party in 2009.

But the Liberal Party he leads has a broken wing, the left one. And until that wing heals, the centre cannot hold.

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