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September, 2011:

Mr. Trashy Goes to Washington



Friday miscellany: Jets, jets and pot edition

In an earlier postI asked my military and ex-military friends to tell me what they thought of the non-operational use of government and military (guess they’re the same really) aircraft by military officials… Stuff like being flown to Caribbean holiday spots and hockey games, for example. I didn’t get much feedback. But one chap whose opinion I respect (don’t always agree with, but that’s different) opined that its use – within certain parameters – is perfectly appropriate. He defends this saying that senior government and military officials need to be able to respond at all times in all places and that there could be circumstances that call for the immediate return of an official to HQ… in the event of a military or humanitarian crisis, for instance. Now, I can see his argument, but only to a point. If we accept the premise that senior military – or other government officials – need the travel flexibility to be able to get home in a hurry, then does this in effect give blanket approval to use these publicly paid-for jets at their discretion? Show me that there are checks and balances here and I’ll go along. Sure, there are approvals required by those higher up the food chain, but still, isn’t this a bit too much latitude? I think so. Besides, say a General goes to a hockey game on an armed forces night and he needs to get back to Ottawa in a hurry. OK, don’t we have airbases around the country that could scramble a jet pretty quickly in the event of something like this? ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Those other Jets: congrats on your return! I still hate your sweaters, but Winnipegers deserve this and judging by the noise in the arena on opening night (of the exhibition sked), the Jets are gonna have a man-advantage at home this season! ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. My neighbourhood rox, and I like to brag about it! We have an engaged and active Community Association that provides recreation and athletic programs to kids and adults in the Alta Vista area of Ottawa.  And, except for the instructors,  it is run by completely by a volunteer Board (of which I am now proudly a member).  Follow us on Twitter at @ccaaltavista. AND, there is also our equally engaged and active Parent Council at Pleasant Park PS (on which I also now serve).  Our newest project is to raise funds to build a new play area for the junior students and to basically re-vamp the rest of the playground if we have the funding. Yes, I will be hitting readers up for $$$ in the future… just don’t know how yet. Yup. Nothing like an active community. I and my family am lucky. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– New Facebook set-up? Yeah, I don’t like it either. But don’t forget that this is a free service offered by a private company whose motive is ROI. They are not in biz to keep the teenager whine factor to a minimum. ÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇÇ Washington DC: gotta spend a whole week there sometime before I die. Way to much to see in only a day or two. One thing that did stick in my mind about the place was the extreme poverty of the city’s homeless. On the surface, it looked like that city and Ottawa were pretty close in terms of numbers, but those in DC seemed poorer- if that is possible. No shoes or socks, torn clothes… they just seemed much worse off.  Less access to social services, maybe? ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: The Harperite crime bill. I don’t get the need to bundle up all of these crime bills into one big omnibus bill. They have their freakin’ majority, so what’s the point? They can split them up and slice and dice all they want and the bills will still be passed!

The sad thing is that some of the initiatives are actually worthwhile but are being mixed up with some truly boneheaded legislation. For example, why is there a mandatory minimum for the cultivation of a half-dozen pot plants? Seriously, that is NOT a grow-op! If there was a threshold of, oh, say… 20 or 30 then that is clearly not just for personal consumption… but bear in mind that I think it should be legalised anyways… BUT. You can do all sorts of sick porno things with a minor and the punishment is not as severe! To me, it shows that the Cons’ policy directions are shaped more by Old Testament thinking than concerns about public protection.

Producing six to 200 pot plants nets an automatic six-month sentence, with an extra three months if it’s done in a rental or is deemed a public-safety hazard. Growing 201 to 500 plants brings a one-year sentence, or 1½ years if it’s in a rental or poses a safety risk. The omnibus legislation imposes one-year mandatory minimums for sexually assaulting a child, luring a child via the Internet or involving a child in bestiality. All three of these offences carry lighter automatic sentences than those for people running medium-sized grow-ops in rental property or on someone else’s land. A pedophile who gets a child to watch pornography with him, or a pervert exposing himself to kids at a playground, would receive a minimum 90-day sentence, half the term of a man convicted of growing six pot plants in his own home.

Of course, from the CPC’s perspective, this will provide new residents for their new prisons, right? What a crock. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Question for you tekkies out there: can anyone advise me on the do’s and don’ts, lessons learned, reference material, etc. for someone who is setting up an online registration and payment system. The CCA (see above) is looking to go online with registration next year and any advice would be appreciated. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++And how about this little ditty? The Cons have hired Deloitte – at 90K per diem – to come up with some ways to trim that non-existent“fat” from the PS. I can help.And here is my recommendation:

Stop contracting to 90K / diem consultants.

You’re welcome. ==================================================================================== REM: Thank-you, gentlemen. ====================================================================================


I’m in Washington DC…

… and lines from my favourite all time TV show keep coming back to me…

And right now, I hear a helicopter coming in low heading in the direction of the White House…

JOSH: Victory is mine! Victory is mine! Great day in the morning people. Victory is mine!
DONNA: Good morning, Josh.
JOSH: I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.
DONNA: It’s gonna be an unbearable day.

Bartlet: My daughter asked you out?
Charlie: Yes, sir.
Bartlet: I should have locked her in the dungeon.
Charlie: I don’t think you’ve got one sir.
Bartlet: I could have built one.

Sen. Arnold Vinick: [closing remarks at Republican Convention] My commitment to strive to be worthy of the example of the great men who have gone before. Presidents walk in giant footsteps. They have magnificent legacies to uphold. I stand here on this day and put my name forth, as one who aspires to their example, who will daily make that sacrifice, who will honor not just the office, but the people that office serves. *Their* President of these United States of America.

Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlett: I was watching a television program before, with a kind of roving moderator who spoke to a seated panel of young women who were having some sort of problem with their boyfriends — apparently, because the boyfriends had all slept with the girlfriends’ mothers. And they brought the boyfriends out, and they fought, right there on television. Toby, tell me: these people don’t vote, do they?

C.J. (approaches) They sent me two turkeys. The most photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children’s zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.
BARTLET: If the Oscars were like that, I’d watch.

MARGARET: Red meat has been found to cause cancer in white rats. Maraschino cherries have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Cellular phones have been found to cause cancer in white rats. Has anyone examined the possibility that cancer might be hereditary in white rats?

And, the best of the best…yelling at the ceiling in a cathedral:

Bartlet: You’re a son of a bitch, you know that? She bought her first new car and you hit her with a drunk driver, what, was that supposed to be funny? “You can’t conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” says Graham Greene. I don’t know whose ass he was kissing there ’cause I think you’re just vindictive. What was Josh Lyman, a warning shot? That was my son! What did I ever do to yours but praise His glory and praise His name? There’s a tropical storm that’s gaining speed and power. They say we haven’t had a storm this bad since you took out that tender ship of mine in the north Atlantic last year. Sixty-eight crew. You know what a tender ship does? Fixes the other ships. Doesn’t even carry guns. Just goes around fixing other ships and delivers the mail. That’s all it can do. Gratias tibi ago domine. (I give thanks to you, O Lord.) Yes I lied, it was a sin, I’ve committed many sins. Have I displeased you, you feckless thug? 3.8 million jobs, that wasn’t good? Bailed out Mexico, increased foreign trade, thirty million new acres of land for conservation, put Mendoza on the bench, we’re not fighting a war, I’ve raised three children. That’s not enough to get me out of the doghouse? Haec credam a deo pio? A deo iusto, a deo scito? Cruciatus in crucem. Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui. Officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem. Am I really to believe that these are that acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments. I was your servant here on Earth. And I spread your word and I did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you. You get Hoynes.

I’m going to climb the steps of the Congress  building today.


Stupid – it be them…

Oh crap-be-gone… WHY does this keep coming up???????

C’mon – if you’re trying to score political points with your fellow troglodytes, please pick something that won’t hurt kids, OK? Like claiming Obama is a socialist. Or a Canadian. Still stupid, but it won’t hurt anyone.

But noooooooooooooo…. here we go with vaccines…. again….

… it has been deeply disturbing to hear Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaking from the fear-mongers’ playbook. During last week’s debate in Tampa among the Republican presidential hopefuls, Bachmann described the vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in sinister terms, calling it “flat out wrong” to have “innocent little 12-year-old girls be forced to have a government injection.” Making matters worse, Bachmann told TV interviewers after the debate that a mother had come up to her to say her daughter had become mentally retarded after receiving the HPV vaccination.

Presidential candidates get big megaphones and an outsized opportunity to steer the national debate. But there’s an implicit requirement to be careful, and even by the low standards of political speech, Bachmann’s nationally broadcast suggestion that a vaccine can cause mental retardation was appallingly irresponsible.

If Bachmann had bothered to check before repeating the story, she would have found that there has been no link between the HPV vaccine and mental retardation after 35 million doses. Though every vaccine can have side effects, those have to be measured against the greater good. HPV causes almost all of the more than 12,000 cases of cervical cancer that occur every year, killing about 4,200 women, and the best time to administer the vaccine is before girls become sexually active.



A question for my military and ex-military friends…








Do you think that Natynczyk should or shouldn’t fully or partially reimburse the government for using military aircraft for personal purposes?

Some of these flights were to attend armed forces appreciation events, and some were not (like the Caribbean holiday).

CTV has reported that Gen. Natynczyk has spent nearly $1.5-million since 2008 flying on the Challengers to professional hockey and football events celebrating the Forces, to fundraisers for soldiers and to St. Martin for the Caribbean holiday.

For instance, figures released by the Defence Department indicate it cost $23,231.30 to fly the general to Toronto from Ottawa in January, 2009, to attend a Canadian Forces appreciation night at a Maple Leafs game.

I am truly curious to hear your thoughts on this.


Just askin’…

But, is there anyone out there who has flown in the past 50 yrs who does not know how to fasten their seatbelt prior to take off?

AND, is there anyone out there who has flown in the past 20 yrs who needs to be reminded that “for your comfort, this is a non-smoking flight”?

AND, why do airlines give out incredibly salty snacks? KNOWING that salt makes passengers thirsty and KNOWING that the fluids have to come out not long after, THUS creating line ups for the lavatory???

Can someone enlighten me?


I fashionably DISAGREE, SIR!

 I take exception to the claim that ByTown peeps are among the worst-dressed in the world!

An article on MSN Travel’s website said Ottawa’s bureaucratic, political stylings made it “perhaps the least sexiest city in Canada.”

“Men sport the same boring navy suits that hang like shapeless curtains across their shoulders, women choose sensible shoes, sedate colours and are unremarkably respectable, and everyone is just so ‘matchy matchy,'” wrote Vivian Song.

Balderdash! And haberdash, too!

I work with some serious clothes horses… and I proudly count myself – and my Beijing tailored wardrobe – among that group!

True, there are exceptions – and 99% of them work at Environment Canada and NRCan – but for the rest of us, style is key to success! Statisticians are especially attuned to what they wear. How indeed can one’s estimates of variance be taken seriously if one wears an ill-fitting suit?


My theory? Since you asked… and even if you didn’t, this is MY blog and I can pretend like someone is asking a question!

The MSN critics were here during the Con love-in after the election! Those regressives don’t have the faintest idea what fashion IS! Tweed jackets, fer Versace’s sake! Wool ties! Brown shoes with a circa 1985 Miami Vice “suit”.  Really?

I hope the critics come back once we kick out the Cons in a few years… we progressives have a far better fashion sense!

Have a great Friday night!




Trashy – LIVE from Edmonton

… or at least on my way out of Edmonton…

Arrived late the other night for a day full of meetings yesterday… and leaving 36 hours later. I don’t mind these quick biz trips as long as they are worthwhile (i.e., I accomplish what I came to accomplish) and that one accepts the fact that you’re likely gonna be a bit tired on the way home.

On the first count, mission accomplished. And on the second, well, I started writing this in the cab on the way to the airport at 4:28 am and am wrapping it up in the AC lounge… but don’t feel too, too wiped.

One thought about this City before I leave: Jasper Avenue: why?


This is good news…

… for my MPP…

Not so good for Hudak and Hillier and their merry band of tax evaders!

Let’s hope that the momentum carries into next month… and it likely will if the PC’s (minus the “progressive” part) insist on shooting themselves in the foot election after election…


Uh -oh…

…might have to cancel my trip to D.C.

Cuz, after reading this story, I suspect that the Cons on Twitter and elsewhere will be rounding up the names of all of we “lefty kooks” and sending them off to Homeland Security.

After all, being a Progressive in this country is considered by some to be a sign of an unbalanced mental state, right?

I wonder if the Homeland Security detention centers offer free WiFi….