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Christmas Cacophony Curtailed!

I know where I’ll be shopping from now on when in need of a pharmacy!

Way to go Shoppers Drug Mart! At least one retail outlet realises that not everyone wants to listen to crappy Xmas music 2 months in advance of the date!


Some Americans…

…just don’t get it.




I don’t really like the term “nanny state”…

… but it is very much appropriate here!

Why is it that whenever there is a hot button issue that seems to fall under the rubric as counter to the  “public good” or “public health”, an immediate response is to “ban” the substance or the activity in question.

Here in Ottawa, smoking has effectively been banned almost everywhere except for your own home. This was the end result of a concerted campaign by Ottawa public health to convince Ottawa Council that smoking – anywhere where non-smokers could be exposed to the evil fumes – should be banned from any place where the City has authority to do so. This in spite of the fact that data show the rate of smoking on the decline and it had been so for several years.

But this wasn’t enough.

I am not a Libertarian but sometimes I can see where they are coming from. Does an otherwise legal activity need to be banned in order to meet some defined goal for the public good? Why not try education programs first? It obviously worked for smoking.  Rates were declining before the ban.

So what’s next? Milkshakes? Chips? Poutine? Popsicles? How about legislating exercise? Make Net-linked pedometers mandatory and fine or deny medical assistance to those who don’t burn a prescribed number of calories per day?

How far is too far?


I agree with articles in the National Fish Wrapper…

… about as much as I agree with the religious views of the Shitizen’s David Warren… but I do have to go along with this article penned by Jesse Kline about some great, new examples of nanny-statism (though I really do dislike this term…  and most of Kline’s articles are the typical far right “black helicopter” type).

Going to the beach is banned in Saskatoon. Street hockey is banned in T.O. and, get this, the ice cream truck bell has been banned by a local government in B.C.

… that is exactly what’s happening in West Kelowna, B.C., which has become the latest municipality in British Columbia to ban the ice cream truck jingle. “When I was a young dad living in Glenrosa, I always hated the sound of an ice cream truck because it meant that [my kids] were chasing me, and then we were all chasing the truck down the street,” Mayor Doug Findlater told the Kelowna Capital News.

Really? That’s way over the top… even for me.



Apple and Chinese factories – does anyone care?

Here is a very interesting article on working conditions inside Chinese factories where Apple products are assembled.

… but I wonder how many people would actually change their purchasing patterns if they knew about this. People are lazy and only concerned about first world issues, aren’t they?

And, hell, not even first world issues, most of the time. The focus for a lot of people is on the trivial, superficial and non-consequential. It’s about movie stars, pro athletes and what so-and-so was wearing at the Oscars. I hate to be cynical (well, no I don’t really), but doesn’t our pathetic voter turnout tell us that not only do people not give a crap about non-first world stuff, they can’t even bother to care about vital issues that are impacting them directly!

And hey, I’m just as guilty as anyone else – sometimes. Yes, I do talk about local, provincial and federal political issues, and education and the environment. But I also devote a considerable number of bytes to Don Cherry, the weather, sports, and other things that really do not impact our lives or those of our families and friends. I can be pretty damned shallow!

This is what someone posted on FB in response to an anti-Harper status (and it wasn’t mine), but I thought it well-put:

I don’t understand why more people aren’t standing up to these bullies??!! It’s undemocratic what’s going on! People should be taking to the streets! I don’t underst… Yay! My PVR recorded The Good Wife last night! Gotta watch it now! Democracy can wait another day.

‘Nuff said.


More leisure time…

…earlier retirements? To some, this was the future as seen through the lenses of the mid 1990’s.

With the Robot Master and his minions raising the possibility of changing the age at which one qualifies for OAS from 65 to 67, I cannot help but think of a course that I took while completing my M.Sc at U of G on “Leisure Management Planning”. It was based on the assumption that we were destined for EARLIER retirements and MORE leisure time.

What happened, Prof. Reid?

Any USRPDers want to weigh in?


Lots of chest puffing these days…

…about something that is really rather trivial considering all else that is going down in the world right now – e.g. world economy in the crapper, homelessness, climate change… that sort of stuff. This particular “something” comes up every year around this time. A school bans a Christmas play, taxi drivers are warned to not display seasonal decorations, a bus ad wishes everyone a Happy Holiday instead of Merry Christmas.

Yes. It’s the “OMG-They-Are-Taking-Away-Our-Traditions!” frantic time of the year!

Watch out boys and girls! Merry Christmas becomes Happy Holidays! Santa is banned because his obesity should not be celebrated! Christmas ties are forbidden in the office!

Arggghhhhh!!! Run away Run away!!!! The sky is falling!


In my ever-so-humble opinion (sounds of distant laughter), all of this hand-wringing is SO beyond trivial that it really should not even come close to registering on the who-gives-a-shit meter! Really.

And I’m not saying this cuz I’m a non-Christian who is just venting off some Atheist steam. Uh-uh. I call it “Christmas” because That’s. What. It. Is. The only difference for folks like me is that I don’t attach any emotional or spiritual importance to the time of year other than the fact that it means a couple of extra days off work! And THAT is good for my emotions and spirits!

Hey! Even I think that the whole political correctness BS gets way outta hand. No need to deny the fact that this is, essentially, a holiday that has its roots in Judeo-Christian history. If you are offended by that, then keep your opinions to yourself.

It’s also a pagan holiday – but I’ll leave that for now.

But do I get my knickers in twist over it like some peeps. No way. Not worth the effort to engage in thinly disguised xenophobic arm-flapping. The so-called “immigrants” aren’t out there plotting ways to steal your little holiday away from you, people! I can’t think of a single first generation Canadian Muslim, Jew or Sikh that I know who doesn’t enjoy the season just as much as the good ol’ 7th generation boys down on the farm.

Besides, there are much, MUCH more important things out there to fret about than whether or not my kids’ teachers call it Christmas, the Holidays, or Festivus! Aren’t there? Aren’t there?