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April, 2011:

It’s time to change the government when…

My Dad can be a comedic old crank sometimes. In an old crank kinda way. He’s always been like that… smiles, jokes, laughs and wise-ass remarks!

Many of my memories growing up are of my Dad doing or saying something which, at the time, seemed to be completely un-cool or just plain drove me crazy.

Example – he used to wake my brother and I up in the morning by whistling that tone that sailors use when on deck.. you know the one… it starts low and then hits a shrieking pitch before falling low again. I think they used it on Star Trek too.

Anyways, it drove me freakin’ CRAZY!

So I was on the phone with my Mom last weekend and we were talking (as we always do) about the weather, which was really sucky that day in Ottawa. Dad was in the background – and I said to my Mom: “Remind the old man what he used to say when the weather was uncooperative, he would say that “it was time to change the government.”

My Mom passed it on to my Dad and he had a good laugh.

So what’s the point of this?

Well, I’ve come up with a non-exhaustive list of “when to change the government”… feel free to add more if you’re so inclined.

  • When it snows in April, it’s time to change the government.
  • When the Habs look like they might make another deep playoff run, it’s time to change the government.
  • When gas hits $1.28 / litre, it’s time to change the government.
  • When candidates running for the ruling party can’t be bothered to go to all-candidate meetings, it’s time to change the government.
  • When I nick my head while shaving it, it’s time to change the government.
  • When the street sweeper wakes me up at 2 am, it’s time to change the government.
  • When my ulcer gives me a harder time than usual, it’s time to change the government.
  • When newly purchased BBQs come with assembly instructions that would be incomprehensible to a mechanical engineer, it’s time to change the government.
  • When I step into some dog poop that some moron didn’t bother to scoop, it’s time to change the government.
  • When I bash my knee on the dashboard when getting into my new car, it’s time to change the government.
  • When my son bewilderingly has a hissy fit on the way to daycare because he wants the old minivan back, it’s time to change the government.
  • Finally, when the governing party turns to jingoistic, American-style appeals to patriotism in a last-ditch effort to appeal to voters, it’s time to change the government.

Any others?


Just a “minute” there, Ottawa City Hall!

Seriously, the Council voted for cutting out the minutes?


Why? To save a few bucks?

Instead, they will replace the text with an (unsearchable) audio system:

Adding the new audio records will cost the city about $17,000 a year, a sum one would have thought could be sucked up somewhere in its $2.3 billion operating budget. Instead, councillors decided to invoke the generally-wise principle of not adding a new cost without cutting something to pay for it. As it turns out, they can cut the proper records of public meetings and come out $25,000 ahead. Another good day’s work.

Democracy costs something and information is the lifeblood of democracy. This is not something you sacrifice to save a few dollars.

That is ridiculous!

Detailed minutes are a clear and transparent account of Council’s proceedings, who spoke for what, who spoke against it, etc. This is standard practice elsewhere.  It is important.

I also notice in Denley’s column that Council is reviewing the role of its volunteer advisory committees.

Maybe that is why I haven’t heard back about my applications…



Not telling you who TO vote for…

Great vid on why you should vote for anyone but Harper.

Watch this and think… think really hard if you are thinking of marking a “X” beside the Harper Party candidate in your riding.


Kinsella is correct – Harper’s agenda is not hidden

In summary:

That is what 4 years of a Harper majority will bring us. We are already pariahs on the world stage. he will make us a laughingstock.

If you want this, then go ahead, vote Harper.

If you don’t vote for someone else.

Don’t tell me that this is poppycock and all I am doing is scaremongering. Harper has made his views very clear on these issues over the years. And his evangelical Christian backers want some payback for their loyalty.


Harper – and his long nose – inspires FEAR!

I love how Gable made Stevo’s nose extra long…



…is what I call these words:

Conservatives are reacting with fury to a Liberal attack ad that accuses them of harbouring a secret agenda to cut health care funding if they obtain a majority government.

“The Liberal ad uses some of the dirtiest tricks in the book — including twisting words out of context and deliberately altering dates to make old words appear recent,” Tory campaign manager Jenni Byrne wrote to party supporters in reaction to the new attack ad.

I hate attack ads no matter who the source and who the target, but I had a bit of a belly laugh when I read the bolded text above. The Cons perfected the art. And isn’t imitation the highest form of flattery?

Remember this ad that was pulled from the Con website after they were spanked by everyone for so blatantly taking words out of context?

Cons – if you’re gonna give crap like that, ya gotta be prepared to take it too.


Friday miscellany: Fake Debates, The Jungle Book, lingerie football, and maggots. Yes, maggots…

Oh man, what a week…where to begin?? Let’s see…

The debates et les debats pretty much a downer for all, eh? I mean, they weren’t really debates but scripted stump speeches designed to get a few sound and vid bites into the news cycle, right?

Not like these (fictional) Presidential candidates squaring off against one another! This was a true (yet, fake) debate!

The irony of this milestone moment in TV history is that Alan Alda is a staunch liberal playing a conservative and Matt Santos is a staunch conservative playing a liberal. Brilliant. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I miss that show.


Saw an awesome show last night at Pleasant Park P.S.! The grade 6 class put on a production of The Jungle Book and it excelled in every way! The acting, the costumes, the makeup… I had to keep reminding myself that these were mostly 11 yr olds. What talent! And considering that this is a feeder school for Canterbury H.S. – one of Canada’s best arts high schools – this was only the beginning for many of these kids.

A big thanks to all of the staff and parent volunteers who made this possible. What committment!

Didn’t see our Trustee there, though.


I have already said my piece on bi-weekly garbage pick up. It really shouldn’t be that difficult for most Ottawans to make the transition, but a comment made by Councillor Diane Holmes this week made me shake my head.

During the debate before the final Council vote she said something like “just leave the green bin lids open and let the birds eat the maggots and get their protein“…


Someone should have briefed the good councillor on a couple of things… like the mess that birds would make if left to tear into your organic waste… and like there is a reason why the bins have lids in the first place…


Speaking of waste management, I ask the following: the next time that recycling collection contracts are let by the City, could a clause be inserted into the contracts that says something like:

“Collection staff will do their utmost to not leave a trail of paper, plastics and metal recyclable materials in their wakes as they proceed on their collection routes.”

I mean, I know you’re in a hurry. But gee… do you always have to leave such a mess?


Lingerie football. Who knew?


And back to politics for a moment… what really went on at my old alma mater this week? Did a Con staffer REALLY try to take away a ballot box? I need to see more details about this to come to a full assessment, but on the surface it appears a though this was a legitimate polling station and that the CPC had no right demanding that the ballots be turned over.

But the Cons must think they have some kind of case as they have asked Elections Canada to nullify all of the ballots cast that day… stay tuned.

GUELPH  No votes cast Wednesday in a special ballot at the University of Guelph should stand, according to the Conservative Party of Canada.

The party wrote Elections Canada on Thursday to request that none of the votes collected during the U of G session be included in the final tally of votes in the Guelph riding. The letter was sent by lawyer Arthur Hamilton, of Toronto-based law firm, Cassels Brock.

The move has generated considerable controversy at the university, home of the first youth “vote mob” encouraging students to vote.

In his letter, Hamilton alleges the polling station was illegal and also that partisan election material was present at it, which is a violation of the Canada Elections Act.

The polling station in question was located on the main floor of University Centre, where approximately 700 students cast sealed ballots.

Elections Canada media advisor James Hale said this was the third election during which the University of Guelph held a special ballot on campus. And this is the first time it’s ever been challenged, Hale said.


Finally – check this out as an example of über political correctness... hell… I’m an atheist but don’t have a problem calling these things what they are any more than I have with the word “Christmas”. It may not be something that I attach any importance to, but others do… geez-Louise…


Even my friends on the right will agree with me on this…

Just like during the last election, PSAC is urging its members to support a separatist.

And just like last time, I say to you now that the union will not again have my cooperation the next time it sets up one of its “information” pickets. Never.


OK, so THAT is over with…

Sadly, the debates are over… so who do you think outperformed the others in the French debate last night?

If you don’t understand French, which leader had the coolest tie?

Why were all of the questions posed by those “random” folks asked only by older white peeps? Where were the young ‘uns? Non-whites?

What was the point of the “Americanisation” question?

Layton’s French was pretty damned good, eh?

En français, un robot est encore un robot…

Meanwhile, keeping with the approach that “any press is good press”, there seems to be a new controversy building in the CPC ranks – this time in Vaughan, Ontario, where Julian Fantino is running for re-election.

Two members of the Conservative Vaughan Riding Association, north of Toronto, have resigned, one after accusing candidate Julian Fantino of “patronage.”

Richard Lorello resigned from the riding association on April 4, over a $10-million grant to the Vaughan Health Campus of Care.

“I didn’t think it was appropriate because the people who head up (the VHCC) were heavily involved in Mr. Fantino’s campaign,” Lorello said, in reference to the November 2010 byelection held in Vaughan.

The VHCC is a private, not-for-profit organization attempting to bring a new hospital to the Vaughan region.

At this rate, the Grits really don’t have to do too much… just sit back and watch the ReformCons implode!

Finally, for your  Thursday viewing pleasure:


Ford axes citizen advisory committees

Is this surprising?

The advice of citizens… who needs it! Committees? Bah!

Thanks Rob Ford!

Sorry, Toronto. You are experiencing our “O’Brien” years…

Soooo…. no… not surprising.