Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Goodbye yellow brick road. Hello Mordor.

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Very soon, a racist, classless and misogynist piece of trash moves into to the White House.

Be above this swamp rat, American friends. You are better than him and his sputtering jackals. Most of you are fine people.

Fight and obstruct everything he and the GOP for the full four years, just like the GOP and their gun-totin’ cohorts did to the policies of a fine and honourable President for 8 years. Liberals must not allow the destruction and division of America.

I wish you all bonne chance for the next four years. You are going to need it.

 

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Show up. Dive in. Persevere.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Last night, President Obama eloquently expressed one of the wonderful things about being in a democracy (or at least as close to a democracy as we will achieve).

We are free to engage.

We are free to participate.

Yes, by all means, if something rankles you or angers you, or you think that you can do better – do something about it! Engage!

Volunteer!!!!!

I whistle that tune to anyone who will listen to me. Ask my kids.

So of all of the words that the President said last night, these words about civic engagement and the responsibilities of citizenship – well they rang the clearest for me. Thank-you, Mr. President.

It falls to each of us to be those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we’ve been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we all share the same proud title: Citizen.

Ultimately, that’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. If something needs fixing, lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere. Sometimes you’ll win. Sometimes you’ll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in others can be a risk, and there will be times when the process disappoints you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire.

President Barack Obama, Chicago, January 10, 2016

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For those Canadians who think that the election of Trump is of no matter to us…

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

… wake up. I have literally no patience for those people anymore. Zero.

He has emboldened racists everywhere. Even in my own backyard.

A Synagogue not far from where I live and even closer to my kid’s school was defiled with anti-Jewish and racist slop the other night. This Synagogue is a special place for many people who I know and call friends or colleagues.

I have set up tables for school events alongside these people, served with them on Parent Council. I respect them and they are part of my community.

And their children are my children’s’ friends. They play sports together… go to each others’ birthday parties.

I am angry. Really, really pissed off. And I am more determined than ever to do whatever I can to stop the spread of this filth perpetrated by beings that are lower than pond scum. It is the least I can do for my friends, colleagues and their families.

And if you care at all about our inclusive, tolerant and open communities, you too will speak out against this.

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Let’s call this a Thursday rant…

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

(… well, technically I am writing this on Wednesday night but it won’t pop up till tomorrow..)

Rant # 1 – People on social media who make a fulltime job of bitching and complaining about everything.

Like, EVERYTHING!

A sampling from a scan of my City of Ottawa feeds this evening:

  • There aren’t enough bike lanes. Vehicles block bike lanes. Bike lanes aren`t maintained well enough. Cars don`t respect cyclists. (Ottawa cyclists are REALLY good at complaining)
  • Taxes/user fees are too high and I refuse to pay that extra $25 on my annual tax bill (prolly said by folks with 500K + incomes and who live in 4000 square foot mansions).
  • Building a (fill in the blank) is a waste of tax dollars. I would prefer that you waste those tax dollars on something that I want! Like more bike lanes!
  • There hasn`t been enough public consultation on (fill in the blank) and someone is trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
  • The process is too slow (because of public consultation).
  • Politicians are all in developers` pockets. Every last one of them, dammit.

And most of these “experts on everything” hide behind fake user names (at least on Twitter) so have a lot of courage when at a keyboard.

I am not saying that peeps shouldn`t be critical and maybe their aren’t enough bike lanes, etc., but when it is all that you write about, then I have to question their general level of happiness with life for these negative natties. I guess I should pity them.

And yes, I see the irony in posting a note complaining about people who complain. Carry on.

Rant # 2 – OC Transpo buses that cut in front of you.

Yeah, yeah, I know they have a right-of-way, but they really need to train the drivers better to use a signal IN ADVANCE of cutting into traffic and not just cut into it forcing folks to slam on their brakes, like I had to do this morning.

Rant #3 – People who don`t have their money or card at the ready to complete a transaction at the cash.

Seriously? You didn’t think you`d have to pay this time? You stood in line for 5 minutes and you couldn`t find the time to reach into your purse or pocket to get ready to pay??? Instead you dig into your purse or pocket and rummage around before finally finding your card or cash?

Sheesh.

Rant #4 – Sinkholes.

Oh, wait. I actually kind of like them. Good conversation starters. Never mind.

Rant # 5 – The High Squirrel or Sparrow or whatever he is called on Game of Thrones

His feet. They are gross. Will someone please kill this guy off? Please?

 

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Much ado about almost nothing…

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

So here I am sitting wide-awake at 2 am because I couldn`t sleep last night, woke up with a blinding headache and spent most of the daylight hours slumbering away…

In an attempt to find the peace that is sleepy-land, I thought I`d throw some words down about the latest local (non)-issue of the day; namely, the construction of a new playground at Mooney`s Bay here in O Town.

The local burghers have their knickers in quite a twist over a proposal (more of a done deal, actually) to construct a one acre children

The upshot is that a private film production company from Toronto (all things from The Big Smoke are evil in Ottawa unless otherwise designated, ya know) wants to build this facility and kick in $1 million to make it happen. The City (who leases the land from the NCC) would kick in a million (without going to Council – staff decision) and the thing would get done, and the company would film it as part of a series on TVO.  The knicker-twisting part is that the whole process has happened behind closed doors at the request of the private company and not even the local Councillor, Riley Brockington, has been able to say a peep about this as per instructions from the City parks and Rec. senior staff.

Of course, the local NIMBY apparatchiks scream foul because the usual public consultations sort of didn`t happen. Trees were being cut down, the traffic would be horrendous, what about the water quality… etc. What about the Hope Volleyball Tournament? What about the boaters? What about the ducks?

And I get that. Wherever possible with any large scale plan that may impact a community, there should be extensive public consultations as soon as possible and the advice from the community should be taken into account in the final design plans.

Now, bowing to local pressure the Councillor did propose a walk-on motion to Council yesterday asking that the project be delayed until the anti-tree-killers and water quality worriers could have their say. This motion was defeated and the project will go ahead.

Out of this, I do wonder about the staff having the authority to spend $1 million without Council approval and maybe this should be re-visited. However, I really don`t see the issue with the lack of advance public consultations in this instance. This was a situation where the City was being offered a $1 million in times of budget shortfalls. It looked to be a solid, viable and valuable project for the community with little negative impact. After all, it is just a playground, not a PCB incinerator!!! The public will be consulted, I imagine, as the project proceeds and this should suffice.

Should it have come to Council? Maybe. But all City and NCC requirements going forward will have to be met about traffic, environmental protection and the lot, so it isn`t as though the film company can go off willy-nilly and do what they want.

Should the lure of private dollars allow for the bypassing of agreed-upon public processes? Not usually, but there are sometimes exceptions. And this is one of them.

I look forward to seeing the new park!

 

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The anti Uber argument…

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

… reminds me of the old story of the electric light and the candlestick makers…

NO! The candlestick makers said. We invested. We thought our industry would last forever! The electric light makers don’t have to go by the same rules!

IT ISN’T FAIR!!!

It is sad and unfortunate that the candlestick makers are going to have to change their business models and that some will suffer.

It truly is.

But the world has changed. Consumers want light at the flick of a switch and for-hire rides when they want one and on their terms.

Should the free for all that Uber has enjoyed so far carry on?

Nope.

Should cities like Ottawa find a way to accept times have changed and consumers demand a level of service above what the taxi industry has been offering?

Absolutely.

Ottawa City Council must accept reality and create the environment where Uber can compete with the taxis. And if the taxis don’t like it, they should find something else to do aside from the candlestick business.

 

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Here there be dragons…

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

… are words that you can find on old sailor navigation maps that are meant to say: “Hey fools! Stay away from here! Like, don’t even THINK about it!”.

The American people would serve themselves well to heed these warnings. Rachel Maddow of MSNBC outlines a solid case that the escalating violence around the Trump supporters has been deliberate and planned. If true, our southern neighbours are headed full-steam toward those dragons… and they may not find it that easy to escape them.

Those are pretty dangerous beasts, those dragons. They have a nasty bite.

Be careful, my American friends…

Dragon

 

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That point when you know that something has gone too far…

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

You know, extreme fashion like bell bottoms and clothes made from meat, a practical joke that pushed the limits of good taste, Boy George…

That kind of too far.

Sooooo, America?

You have now and officially gone too far.

Stop the stupidity.

Now, please.

trump

 

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Quote of the week…

Friday, February 19th, 2016

… from the Guardian:

Stephen Harper, Canada’s former prime minister, was a vacuous, anodyne nothing, as magnetic on the public stage as the podium he spoke from. His occasional efforts to ingratiate himself to younger voters – or rather the efforts of his staff to make their boss seem plausibly nonrobotic – ranged from dismal to pathetic, such as a kitty-petting photoshoot so unconvincing that you fear for the safety of the cat.

Brilliant.

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This week’s CPC attack ads – EXCLUSIVE!!!

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

With the polls saying that the Harperites are in real trouble in many previously “safe” ridings, Canadians can expect to see and hear a whole new suite of anti-Trudeau ads over the final days of this looooooonnnnggggg campaign.

My operative – let’s call him or her “The CPC War Room’s pizza delivery guy’s barber’s aunt” snuck these tidbits out to me in a used X-large pizza box still smelling of olives and dripping with bacon grease…

  • “Justin Trudeau – as Prime Minister he will cut income-splitting to fund injection sites in brothels”!
  • “Justin Trudeau – he like babies and he likes to eat pizza – he will FORCE FEED YOUR BABIES PIZZA!”
  • “Justin Trudeau – he want to put toll booths on Tim Horton drive-thrus to fund his ‘free-pot-for-schoolkids’ Program!
  • “Justin Trudeau – he will appoint an ISIS terrorist as  the Minister of National Defense!”
  • “Justin Trudeau – he almost drowned once when he was a kid. He was way over his head!”
  • “Justin Trudeau – as a drama teacher, he sold pot to kids on field trips to local brothels while reciting lines from Hamlet!”
  • “Justin Trudeau – his Dad was named Pierre. Which is French for “stone”. Which makes “just not ready” Justine a stoner who wants to inject drugs into your pizzas!

The only question is whether they will run out of days before ad ideas…

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