Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the season! Merry merry.

The big day is tomorrow, the gifts are wrapped, we head out soon to Grandma Janet's house for lobster souffle. Mmm, lobster. She keeps threatening to stop making it, but happily has not made good on those threats.

I hear the pope has equated homosexuality with destruction of the rainforests. Hmmm. Is he equating trees with penises? Probably not - he doesn't want to cut down trees, but only wants penises up if they are ready to make babies. I still figure we got the go forth and multiply thing down quite well, thank you very much, and can move on to another goal. Love thy neighbour gets my vote. I love Christmas, despite being an atheist, but I do get annoyed at those who think their way is the only way.

Of course, that's what religions do - claim their way is the only way, so please tithe to us. Why are they all so down on gays? Why do celebate men in dresses seem so threatened by intercourse? What's wrong with birth control? Why do fundamentalists get so uptight about science, specifically evolution? How much wood could a wood chuch chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?

So, tomorrow we will unwrap gifts under our pagan tree, eat turkey, enjoy being with our families and not go to church. Most of our traditions come from the pagans, celebrating the return of the light. Turns out a big party is way more appealing than a day in church. So happy solstice, enjoy whatever traditions you have. I will!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silly news

Our local paper has proclaimed the imminent arrival of snowmaggedon - even though the actual article notes we won't get much snow. This is our over the fold front page headline. Aren't there more, um, relevant and important stories to report? Like the proof that our friends to the south have a government that approved torture, at the highest levels?

Snowmaggedon is a fun word. Not headline-worthy unless we're actually getting above average amounts of snow, but fun. Torture is not a fun word. Are the editors trying to keep things light before Christmas?

Time to develop and market a "Free Lynddie England - Arrest Bush" t-shirt. You could have a whole series, given how many people in that horrific administration participated in approving torture.

The argument that torture could prevent a 9-11 is demonstrably false. Nothing prevents an individual being tortured from lying, and doing so convincingly, or telling partial truths that mislead. The evidence I've read shows any form of torture to result in individuals telling their abusers what the abusers want to hear - which isn't the same as providing reliable intelligence, the supposed goal of such heinous treatment.

The only good thing I can see about torture is that it lets us use many synonyms for really bad.


Did I mention wrong? It's that simple - torture is wrong. Always. In all situations. Are there degrees of wrong? Well, there are certainly degrees of culpability. Those authorizing and directing it may be more or less culpable than those carrying out orders, but I'd argue the more senior individuals should be held as ultimately accountable.

Free Lynddie! Arrest Bush! They executed individuals after WWII for the same tactics. I don't think execution is acceptable either, but prosecution is essential to start reinstating America as the leader of the free world. Right now it's a sorry pit of immorality at the highest levels. Thanks Shrub. Have a crappy Christmas. It's what you deserve.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'd like to apply for a job, please

Several attractive positions have recently opened, and I'd like to be considered for each of them, based on my qualifications.

1. Spouse of Madonna. I understand the last one worked for 8 years, and received total compensation of $95 million. My husband and I have agreed that we could share this job, which would allow us to provide superior service in meeting her needs.
2. Canadian Senator. There are 18 positions available, and I am applying for the Ontario based ones. My qualifications include Canadian citizenship, an ability to sound very indignant as required, willingness to participate as an unelected stuffed shirt, excellent literacy skills and superior bullshitting prowess.
3. US Senator from Illinois. Qualifications: I have absolutely no links to Blagojevich or Obama, therefore it would be a relatively scandal-free appointment. See 2 above for other qualifications, excluding the first one. I realize my lack of US citizenship could be solved if I am first given position 1.

Thank you for your kind consideration. I look forward to hearing from and working with you for obscene rates of compensation, totally incommensurate with my qualifications.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Strikers of the world, untie!

I like words that, when misspelled, make other words. Call it inadvertent silliness. Unite and untie. Santa and Satan.

Isn't the word union about bringing things together? A union of heart and mind. But labour unions seem to be about division. Labour and management. Closed shop. Picket lines you can't cross. Our side and their side.

Unions have done great things in the past that brought us all benefits. Things like paid vacation. Paid sick leave. Not getting fired for not sleeping with the boss. Weekends. Health benefits. Pension plans. Working conditions that won't kill you. Clearly some of these are more important than others...but the least important reason I've heard is the right to pick your shifts. Um, if you're in a service industry, aren't the required hours dictated by the needs of those you are serving?

In this instance, the strikers are the bus drivers of Ottawa, a well-paid group by most accounts. 300 of the 2200 union members took the trouble to vote, and 98% of them elected to go on strike. Those 300 were largely senior union members, who are the ones who get first pick at...choosing their shifts! So now all of their colleagues are unpaid, in the cold and likely to be subject to abuse once the buses return to service. How can only 300 people vote, in a matter that directly and immediately impacts them? Was it hard to vote? Was it an open ballot, so only those in favour of strike action felt comfortable voting? Did you have to vote in some odd location? I smell something fishy. Old fishy. Old, smelly, mercury-laden fishy.

In the interim, I have combined car pooling, abandoning husband carless and walking to reach my place of employment. My daughter missed a day of school, but that's because we were snowed in - and quite frankly, a day of school missed isn't going to impact her. She has a long walk home. The boys walk both ways, as mommy stole the car. I was late for work, as I had to drop off dd (darling daughter) at school, and she had to do her hair before we could leave.

Things the strike has impacted for me personally.
1. 3 hours late to work yesterday - scrounged ride from neighbour
2. Scrounged ride most of way home yesterday, long walk on unplowed sidewalks
3. 1/2 hour late today, long walk from parking spot in cold weather (yes, I'm being a wimp)
4. Burned an extra 3 litres of fuel, contributing additional greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. I don't think that's why it's raining on Monday, but still...
5. My children walking long distances when traffic is heavy

They really need to change some rules around striking. One has to be that a legitimate strike vote requires a minimum level of participation - greater than 14% - in addition to a majority of those voting. 300 out of 2200 is ridiculous. I'm sure most of those less-senior drivers would like the senior driver perks, but they may also want a paycheque before Christmas. Unions. They should rename them dividers, that's what they do.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Conservatives step in own rhetoric

They didn't like the smell and are trying to wash it out, but the odour remains...

Our minority government, elected just a few short weeks ago, has SNAFU'd mightily. Harper asked for an election, claiming parliament was unworkable. Well, he's now guaranteed it'll be unworkable. He failed in his bid for a majority, despite a truly lame duck liberal leader, and now may lose his leadership as well as his position as PM. Such fun!

Pundits everywhere are thanking the Harper led government for a wealth of material, possibly leading to larger paycheques in the holiday season. Not enough to stimulate the economy, and certainly not the stimulus Harper may have planned, but far more enjoyable to watch than, say, bridge repairs.

Ottawa's actually had not one, but two bridge repairs broadcast live on TV. And people say this city is dull.

I wonder if Harper's idiocy and arrogance will hurt him as much as the expression "wide stance" hurt Republicans? Amazing what you can learn from conservatives. I had no idea airport washrooms were a hotbed of sexuality. Clearly I haven't lived.

I wonder if the coalition looking to replace the minority government will realize what they are getting themselves into? You'll have 3 parties, 2 of which could never form a government, 1 of which is hated outside Quebec, led by a leader best remembered as the guy a puffin pooped on in a commercial. They can't possibly increase their support under those conditions, can they? Even if the liberals manage to elect a new leader that has some credibility (Ignatief, please), that isn't likely before May as they seem too rigidly organized to figure out something sooner. By May, Dion, Layton and Duceppe could become 3 of the least liked figures in Canada, assuming they last that long. Dion looks beyond smug in the latest photos. He has nothing to lose. Neither does Layton. Or Duceppe, either, really.

Our government is revolting! No, really, it is absolutely revolting. Thanks for the entertainment. I'd far rather read about this than criminals furthering their political ends through murder.

Good news on the stock markets - a 10% loss is hardly worth anything!

On the home front - we have Wii'd. Now we need to balance. And that can wait until after the shopping insanity ends. Next acquisition? RC Skunk. Connor has decided he needs one. Why?

I bought silly pens. They are intended to be impossible to borrow. One claims to be from a pedophilia clinic - from perv to normal in 30 days! The rest aren't as funny. Here are some thoughts on pens I wouldn't want to borrow:

1. Fungal infection clinic - clear up those nasty sores fast!
2. Free STD testing, open 24 hours a day! Drop in and drop your pants anytime.
3. Laxative lovers anonymous. Free group enema sessions nightly.

Insult of the day - evidential idiot. Can be used accurately for creationists and intelligent design "theorists", or anyone who uses the word theory when they clearly mean hypothesis.