Friday, December 31, 2004
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Holding Out For A Hero
In my not too distant youth I heard Bonnie Tyler sing ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ and it struck a chord with me. Even though she was singing more about her personal desires I was reminded of it whilst thinking about the lack of political heroes and the miserable state of what passes for politics these days. I too find myself asking:
Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
The current stop on my journey through life finds me living in North America. Canada to be more precise. What are the political alternatives offered up:
US President - Bush vs Kerry
Prime Minister of Canada - Paul Martin vs Steven Harper
Premier of Ontario, Canada - Dalton McGinty vs John Tory
Behind their political masks who are these men? Do they have what it takes to build a future of hope? Are they capable of building an environment where our dreams and our children’s dreams can come alive in glorious technicolour? I hope so.
Unfortunately the cynic in me does not believe any of these men are up to the job. Politics of envy and divisions between haves and have nots will be perpetuated. I am looking for a candidate with the courage of his convictions to lay out a vision of the future which recognises the hard choices which must be faced by the electorate for the good of the WHOLE country and not just pander to the whims of the extremists in society.
Maybe someone among my children’s generation will rise to the challenge. One can only hope.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Damned If You Do! Damned If You Don't!
That was my thought for the day. As you can probably guess had a pretty crappy day.....but won't bore you with the details.
I read the astrology section of the newspaper for a bit of light relief and found...
Thought for the Day:
The moon circles us once every 29 days. Sometimes she nourishes us, other times she devours us. The nearly full moon today is swelling in strength before the tempest. Fasten the hatches.
That's all I need is an astrologer telling me to 'fasten the hatches'.
Normal service resumed tomorrow....hopefully.
Monday, October 25, 2004
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
Lenin,Russian Communist politician & revolutionary (1870 - 1924)
I am was surprised to find out Lenin was the guiding light behind one of the campaigns.
What was that about 'weapons of mass destruction'?
What was that about 'an imminent threat'?
Maybe I am being a bit too harsh. At least hundreds of tonnes of explosives won't go astray. What do you mean they've been lost already?
Saturday, October 23, 2004
Well October is nearly over and Halloween is fast approaching. The time of year for ghosts, monsters and witches to come out in force. Unfortunately, as many of you know at great personal cost this phenomena is not confined to October 31st each year.
There have been reported sightings of witches and ogres all year round in many a work place. Normally happy, energetic and conscientious people have been reduced to nervous wrecks as a result of egotistical, dictatorial monsters with little or no social skills.
Reports in the national newspapers show that workplace stress and mental illness is rising as a result. But what is senior management doing in this age where they tell us “the employees are our greatest resource” and “without their efforts there is no way the company could be so successful”.
Nothing! Maybe that’s not fair. We must acknowledge they do mouth a few platitudes and offer up an occasion crumb from their ivory towers.
Never mind. In the words of the great Mexican revolutionary General Zapatta
"Eh Gringo! The revolution is coming. Viva la revolution!"
Friday, October 22, 2004
It's all very well asking Canada Post to help with the security challenge, as reported in the Toronto Star yesterday (click headline to read article).
But how about they start with something simple like delivering me my mail instead of my neighbour's. For the love of Osama is that too much to ask for?
This blog does not take sides in the battle between Canada Post and Osama, and takes no responsibility for disruptions to your mail service resulting from the goverment monitoring your visits to this blog.
Finally, if Canada Post had not contracted out postal services to the rival local services at "Torra Borra" maybe you would not be wasting your time reading this now.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
World Exclusive - Investigation into Obscene US Drug Profits
Those following the US Presidential Race will be aware that drug prices are a big issue for older voters.
My sources tell me that Michael Moore is planning an indepth documentary investigation into drugs impacting quality of life ie. Viagra.
The working title is rumoured to be "White Men Can't Hump". Reports of Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson look alikes being interviewed seem to add credibility to the claims.
Monday, October 18, 2004
There's not much to add except to say it was a lot funnier watching it on TV. He has got my vote.
Size matters say Conservatives
OTTAWA (CP) - For Conservatives, apparently size does matter - at least when it comes to politics.
Tory MP Rahim Jaffer parlayed reports of a government-funded documentary about penises into some bawdy humour about the size of Paul Martin's caucus Wednesday. The Liberals lost three-dozen MPs in the June federal election and Jaffer joked that thoughts of their lost majority might leave Martin with caucus-envy.
"Not only frustrated by having such a small caucus for a governing party, the prime minister suffers the humiliation of having a smaller caucus than his predecessor, Jean Chretien," the Edmonton MP deadpanned.
"The prime minister is distraught over the fact that he could not elect a majority. Worse, Jean Chretien, a man older than he, brags that he did it three times."
Jaffer's phallic monologue began with a reference to a Toronto film company that used classified ads to search for "the perfect penis."
The project received three separate grants totalling over $133,000 from the Canadian Television Fund.
Jaffer wondered aloud why the government would fund such a project.
He eventually offered Martin an unsolicited piece of advice about governing with a shrunken caucus.
"To avoid a crisis, we would recommend that the prime minister stop popping Velotrin (a penis-enlargement pill sold over the Internet) and just accept what he has - a minority."
Saturday, October 16, 2004
$9 Billion Canadian Budget Surplus - Bad News ?
When a $9 billion budget surplus is described as paltry in relation to total debt it causes me to think twice. Sure it made less than a 2% dent in the total debt, and so there may be some justification for calling it a ‘paltry’ in this context. When you look at the bare facts you see that debt stands at $501.5 billion at the end of last fiscal year, down by $61.4 billion over the last seven years. It does not take a mathematical genius to see that this is an average of less than $9 billion per year. It makes no sense to now describe the surplus as paltry.
The Prime Minister Paul Martin in his former role as Finance Minister made his political reputation by slaying the deficit, and helped established the Liberal Party as one of fiscal responsibility (don’t tell Bush since he believes ‘Liberal’ is a four letter word). I would agree that the average Canadian bore the brunt of the pain through cuts in services and high tax rates (I can testify to that having moved here from England). Nevertheless the government has a record that the US President and other governments would be proud of:
- seventh annual surplus in a row;
- federal debt as a proportion of the total economy is down to 41.1 per cent, compared with a peak debt-to-GDP ratio of 68.4 per cent in 1995-96.
- interest expenses at 19.2 % of revenue as opposed to 39% in early-’90s.
So what’s changed ? Thanks to a combination of arrogance, fallout from the $1 billion wasted on the gun registry and the $100 million sponsorship scandal under the watch of the ‘linguistically challenged’ former Prime Minister Jean Chretien the Liberals find themselves as a minority government. As many a minority knows and Sting put it
“Every breath you take.
And every move you make.
Every bond you break, every step you take.
I'll be watching you”
The Canadian budget surplus is certainly generating a lot of fuss. There are those who believe it should have been used to improve health & education or lower taxes instead of paying down the national debt.
There is also belief, especially among the opposition parties and the provincial governments (similar to US States), that the federal government deliberately under forecasts its expected revenues so that it can plead poverty. The provincial governments are very much the Oliver “please sir can I have some more?” Twist to the Prime Minister’s ‘Fagin’.
Personally speaking I look at the $9 billion debt pay down in the same way as my mortgage. Additional down payments now free up future cash flow to fund retirement savings and desires as opposed to needs. In terms of the economy the down payment represents more than $300 million annual interest savings which can be used to fund future education and health spending.
I switch on the TV and hear Mrs Cheney telling everyone that Kerry is a bad man(ok she said he's not a good man). Certainly caught my attention. I am sitting there thinking maybe Kerry had been caught with his pants down, his hand in the cookie jar, kicking a dog or maybe eating babies. But no he had mentioned that Mary Cheney was a lesbian.
What is all the fuss about? Why is the media so fixated on the fact that Kerry mentioned that Mary Cheney is a lesbian? I can understand the Bush camp wanting to distract everyone from the real issues.
At the end of the day focus on this issue will make no difference to the average American.
- It's not going to help find jobs for the jobless.
- It's not going to help the growing number of children living in poverty.
- It's not going to help seniors pay their prescription drug bill.
- It's not going to help find a solution to unsustainable deficits.
- It's not going to help resolve the mess in Iraq.
It is a nuisance issue. It has no bearing on the character of Kerry as Presidential candidate. If Kerry had outed Mary Cheney I could understand it.
Come on let's focus on the issues.
Friday, October 15, 2004
US Presidential Race – “Rope A Dope” Strategy
Just after the first Presidential Debate I was expounding on my view that in terms of boxing analogies Kerry seems to have adopted the “rope a dope” strategy so successfully employed by the great Muhammed Ali. Bush and his surrogates punched themselves out with pre-debate attacks on Kerry. Kerry responded by delivering jarring blows resulting in “mexed-mixed-mexed” messages being sent to Bush's brain and in his inability to deliver a coherent message.
I don't know whether you have noticed but both candidates are really getting into the boxing trash talk. Kerry responded yesterday with "Is that all you got?" to Bush's "You can run but you can't hide" taunts.
This is a good reflection of the "rope a dope" analogy, and Rocky talking to Apollo Creed in Rocky 2.
It seems that life is imitating art!
Thursday, October 14, 2004
US Presidential Race - Rocky Beginnings
If we must use boxing analogies then lets turn to that classic confrontations Rocky vs. Apollo Creed!
Rocky (Kerry) is a struggling senator trying to make the big time. The first presidential match was supposed to be easily won by Creed (Bush) since it was to be fought using the ‘Iraqi’ boxing style. However, someone forgot to tell Rocky, who saw this as his only shot at big prize of moving into the White House. Despite Rocky winning this first confrontation the title remained with the champ.
Creed (Bush) embarrassed by his inability to dominate the "flip-flopper" Rocky demanded a re-match. He taunted the challenger with “he can run but he can’t hide”. In St Louis both fighters came out delivering punishing body shots and a lot of ‘trash talk’. Both fighters were still standing at the end and most objective observers called it a draw.
Some ask who would portray Adrian? I am surprised that anyone needs to ask.
Adrian has a selfless love for Rocky demonstrated by willingness to defend Rocky against that viscous attack dog called ‘Cheney’. Despite being affected by the harsh realities of life Adrian still manages to hold on to the belief that “hope is on the way”, and brings the smile to Rocky’s face.
So the natural choice would be John Edwards.