As you all know, Pete Seeger died Monday night after giving us music for the past 70-odd years (he was 94). Last night CBC Radio’s Ideas with Paul Kennedy rebroadcasted a tribute to him that was originally produced a few years ago. It’s really worth a listen:
There’s a new Rob Ford video! The waiting is the hardest part.
photo credit to Johnny Ward of One Step Forward blog and yes, it was as cold there as it looks.
I love winter. I enjoy the cold and the wind. I love the watery quality to the light that you get here around 3:00pm on a sunny day and the silence of the forest around my cabin where the snow absorbs every sound. I even spent an hour or so today at Lawrencetown Beach watching the snow squalls roll in with the big combers, remembering when I used to sail for a living and how much I enjoyed steering a warship in that kind of weather.
Having said all of that, I recognize that my view on the season isn’t shared by all North Americans, particularly those who are experiencing the wonder and joy of the polar vortex and all that that entails. However, there’s good news! Rush Limbaugh, the worlds most little known meteorological genius and well known clear thinker has declared it all to be a hoax . He’s never heard of one. Apparently you haven’t either and so the Global Warming industrial complex, the one that Rush can prove controls the media, have invented it to push their own, probably socialist, purposes. Because if there’s anything Rush and his buddies are sure of it’s that things that they’ve never heard of before don’t exist. So take heart you poor freezing tea party supporters. Rush is ever ready to dig up a comforting truth for you. Climate change on a global scale isn’t happening or creating catastrophic, world-wide weather events and all is as it should be,always has been and always will. I do have one question though. Does Limbaugh really believe the stuff he dreams up or is he actually the world’s greatest performance artist with a really long term act?
Well, today was a shoveling day for this Haligonian. I chose to clear my own sidewalk, rather than allow the contractors working for the city to do it. These are the reasons:
1) Weather event one: A fairly minor freezing rain event which left a thin sheen of ice on every surface. Nothing like the latest ice storm that hit Ontario-East, but enough to make the sidewalks very slippery. No salt was deployed by these contractors. Anywhere. That was a fun walk to work.
2) Weather event two: A major snowfall (30ish cm) followed by a lot of rain, and then followed by a plunge in temperatures to the land of deep-freeze. The contractors working for the city actually got their equipment out for this one. They either didn’t have the right equipment, or didn’t know how to use it. The wet snow was not cleared to the base of the sidewalks, but was rather compacted down under the equipment, leaving a frozen mass about 2-3 cm thick on all of the sidewalks. This ice, which I referred to as the city-wide luge training facility, was not salted nor sanded, and persisted for about a week. That was a fun series of walks to the bus stop. Which is on a hill, at one of the steepest parts of the luge track. Did I mention no salt or sand was put down?
3) Weather event three: More of the same. This just added to the fun.
Which brings us to today, and weather even four. I cleared my own sidewalk today. Down to the concrete. The snow was easy to move…there was only about 10 cm of it, and it was just a little mushy on the bottom, which suited the plow-style shovel just fine. I was tempted to put a sign up in front of it for the contractors, saying “Don’t you dare! You’ll just ruin it!”, but I had to go to work. I’m glad I cleared my sidewalk, because the on the walk to work, I noticed that the contractors have once again left a 2-3 cm base of compacted wet snow and/or slush on the sidewalks they’ve gotten to, rather than clearing to the base of the sidewalk, as stipulated in their contract. If our temperatures were dipping into the deep freeze again, we would be enjoying the luge training facility for another week or more.
Somebody either fire these jokers or get them trained up on how to do the job correctly. I can’t imagine how much their incompetence is going to cost the city of Halifax, because if I injured myself on a salt- and sand-free luge track sidewalk 3 days after a weather event, I know I’d be looking for someone to sue.
Peter Van Loan worries about the effects of the so-called Reform Act:
Van Loan believes there are “real problems” with the Reform Act. He says the bill may be well-intentioned but it isn’t needed and doesn’t provide for sufficient vetting of potential candidates. Chong has suggested riding associations have the final say over selection of candidates, rather than a party leader.
“I don’t want to be on the same team as people who have been convicted of fraud, charged with influence peddling or are holocaust deniers,” Van Loan said.
All I have to say is that I’m a little surprised Mr. Van Loan holds the same low opinion of the Conservative Base as I do. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though; this gang does engage in base-whispering on a regular basis. The Conservatives obviously are aware that most racists, fraudsters, and other unsavory types vote for their team.
With apologies to William Shakespeare
I won’t bother linking to the many news stories on the web about Rob Ford’s pedophilia accusation. There are too many of them anyway. What can you even say about Rob Ford anymore? Every week he proves again that he’s failed as a human being. He’s barely worth the effort of contempt. I’m saving my scorn and derision for Ford nation, a political body that deserves all of it that we can heap upon them and much more besides. They’re the ones whose childish spite towards
the elite of Toronto anyone who’s different put Ford in office. And let’s not forget the selfishness that keeps them supporting this guy. You don’t have to look to deeply into comments sections to start finding claims that it’s better to have a drug using bully with friends in organized crime for a mayor than the alternatives because the bully said he’d save them a few dollars on their taxes. Their general consensus that only Rob Ford is willing to do that and that a guy born into money is one of the little guys is a straight up example of willful blindness. I’m convinced that Paul Bernardo could get their votes if he made the same promises. Hell, if they vote for me I promise to not raise taxes and not be a perpetual train wreck and stumbling buffoon of a man. And I’ll record my drunken stupors, which will make keeping track of the crack use (which in some circles is apparently viewed as mandatory for the mayor of Toronto) that much easier. I may have to move to the Greater Toronto Area, although I’ll bet that Ford nation doesn’t see residence as a requirement as long as I don’t live in downtown Toronto.
with apologies to The Clash
Here’s a few names for you. Richard Hatfield, Kim Campbell and Brian Mulroney. What’s the significance you ask? Well, One was flung out of power like a union rep in a Walmart, bringing about a one party legislature in New Brunswick, one learned from his example and skipped town before it happened to him and one got to take the blame and become the PM that saw her party flung out of power like the aforementioned union rep. Say what you will about Mulroney but he could read the writing on the wall and decided that he wasn’t going to be another Dick Hatfield. He’ll let Kim Campbell hold that honour instead and more power to her.
Which brings us to Prime Minister Harper, who, with a senate scandal around his neck that looks to get worse before it gets better and more importantly, before the election, may be thinking that Mulroney had the right idea. Or so John Ivison says and I can see no reason to doubt him. Like Mulroney, Harper has always been pretty good at reading the wind. He’d be a fool if he’s not thinking that his political legacy could easily turn into being known as the second Kim Campbell, given recent bi-election results and the press that he and the CPC are getting. I’m sure that he’s done many other things he’d prefer to be remembered for. Besides Mike Duffy and the Rob and Doug Ford never-ending train wreck are the most recognizable conservative faces right now and don’t look to be going away. Entitled scam artists and substance abusing bullies don’t generate a lot of sympathy and will be remembered in 2015. I’m pretty sure that Harper would like to be a distant memory by then.