May 14, 2009

Because the Conservatives Have Nothing Better to do During this Recession?

I'm stoked that the federal Conservatives have found both the time and money to spend on attack ads rather than aid our economy or assist those that are losing jobs and so forth. I get that the money spent doesn't come from the government and taxpayers - directly - but it's good to see that the website domain fees are going out of country (Montenegro or US).

I can't imagine that going on the offensive against your opponent, using extremely aged and out-of-context quotes during a time of low public opinion and an ailing economy is going to fix your public image. You know what might help your public image? Doing the job you were mandated to do and accepting the will of the majority (oh, and stopping with the little political gamesmanship crap in the House and with each Bill might help too).

There's a point when you'd think common sense might kick in. You're losing public support by being inactive, conniving, overly partisan and ideological and so forth. The obvious answer to correcting this problem isn't to do more of it, it is likely to do less and to act like a government that actually cares and is just as concerned as the average Joe or Joanne.

But then again common sense seems to be out of reach for the Conservatives. Hell, a contingent of them are leftovers from the Harris Common Sense Revolution days. A program that had very little to do with common sense and more to do with reason and ideology, which are often signs of a specific agenda rather than something generally useful or concerning for the public at large.

Do I think the attack ads will work? Not really. Like Kinsella has pointed out there is an entire army of Canadians who have made their careers outside of their country. Canadians generally show respect and admiration for them.

Furthermore, the whole 'Ignatieff arrogance' angle has already played out. It made its appearance during his return home phase, his running for a seat, his running for Liberal leader part 1, his running for Liberal leader part 2 and so on. The time to push that would have been a couple years ago, not now. Ignatieff is now too established in the conscience of Canadians as something else - a viable alternative to Harper.

And isn't there a hint of some type of reverse arrogance or elitism in chiding Ignatieff for working overseas? Just because you didn't get a worldly education, or international experience, or decided to live under a rock your entire life doesn't make you more Canadian or better fit for public office.

This whole episode is just a follow up attempt to the Dion breakdown. And as such you're facing an opponent that has likely learned from the past and a public that won't buy the same crap twice. Skepticism towards the ads will be higher and Ignatieff won't likely make the same missteps as Dion. Therefore, what Canadians will likely remember in the end, is that while the Conservatives put out inane attack ads, the economy burned.

Holy Hyberbole, Batman!

Is it just me or is the testimony from both sides of Nannygate just way over the top. I'm making no judgments here as to who is telling the truth. I am judging the actual statements. If either side is being honest than either Dhalla is a reincarnation of a 18th century southern plantation owner or I'm quitting my career and taking a job as caretaker at Dhalla's family home.

Seriously, the testimony in this case is just over the top. These nannies have essentially placed Dhalla at the centre of every decision and order. Miss Ruby made them shine shoes, hand over passports, made them pick spinach out of her teeth, deprived them of sleep and made them sleep on rocks when they were finally finished with their 10000 brush strokes through Ruby's mom's hair and plucking of her nose hair and removing corns with their teeth.

Then there's Ruby's claims of providing a millionaire's life inside the Dhalla house. This apparently included big screen televisions, champagne bubble baths, free run of the private family jet, massages from Ruby herself and having the Dhallas as their personal assistants.

Hyperbole, anyone? Both sides have put effort in painting the best or worst scenario possible and the truth is somewhere buried deep in the middle. And I do mean deep because both sides are so far out in their claims the middle is far, far away. But like I said, if either side is telling the truth then we either have someone getting slapped with some sort of anti-slavery charge or these nannies need to get their heads checked for leaving that type of luxury.

Beyond the testimony there does seem to be some funny things at play. The timing of these complaints coincides with what was expected to be the worst of the Mulroney investigation and growing awareness on the Conservatives' recession inaction. Couple these with the loose ties between the complainants and Kenney's acquaintances, something does seem quite odd here. I'm not trying to imply the claims are false but rather the timing seems a little 'funny'.

This case has all the makings of a made-for-tv movie. Something that would satisfy the soap opera crowd with its wild accusations and hints of bigger yet shady undertones. My gut feeling is that this whole 'show' shouldn't be getting played out in the format it is or in these particular arenas. At this rate, reputations and lives are going to be affected, no matter the outcome.

May 13, 2009

Random Noise Presents: Random Noise (GO Train Edition)


Not sure how else to explain how I feel sitting here on the GO Train, going home, after having to deal with my second delayed GO Train trip back to Oshawa. Last night I took the 23:13 train (that's 11:13pm for you lame people) and it was delayed about 20 minutes after there was a door problem around Guildwood and then a switch issue shortly after.

Tonight it was late arriving to Union from Exhibition by about 25 minutes. My guess it had something to do with the Toronto FC fans. They're everywhere in the train. Damn soccer hooligans!

I hear about GO Train delays all the time but have rarely experienced them. It's not for a lack of trying. I commuted on the GO for almost a year while I attended teachers college. I can only recall two delays in that entire period. But here I am, two nights in a row experiencing delays both nights. How's that for luck?

I wonder if any of these TFC or Blue Jay fans will run to their car when they depart. I still find the after-work sprinters humourous. I found them funny in Mississauga and I find them funny in Oshawa. They depart from the train and bolt for their cars. Because life is so hectic that waiting an extra 10 minutes is going to kill them.

Even funnier is that you just know that for some of those people, that's the most exercise they get in a day. The only reason they own running shoes is to make the 150 metre sprint to their car from the train. Few things are funnier than someone in an expensive suit or fancy dress, sprinting for their car, in their hardly-worn-but-several-years-old-running-shoes.

I didn't ever sprint from the train when I used to do the daily trip. Screw that! After a long day of school and/or work and the commute while squashed between hundreds of people the last thing I want to do is to be sprinting and scrambling in the parking lot.

I was all about taking my time, slowing myself down and relaxing before I got home. I'm sure there were other things to be concerned with when I got there so why rush?

Besides, it's not as though I didn't do a daily sprint. Mine just usually came in the morning to catch the train...

Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)