Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I Know There Are Administrative Costs But Surely 17% of the GST Adds Up To More Than A Penny

I'm loving the rhetoric surrounding the money that cities are demanding from the feds. "It's our money!" No, its our money. As in, the taxpayers. The people of Toronto may have paid a significant share of the federal sales tax, but the City of Toronto certainly didn't.

I hate the assumption that just because I live in Toronto I want to see federal tax dollars going to city coffers. And I think it is inappropriate that the city is using my money to fund a political lobby (when it is supposedly so cash strapped). I'd rather have that "penny" myself thanks -- I feel pretty confident that I won't waste it subsidizing other people's aquafit classes.

The campaign just so dishonest. "Only a penny". Well sure, one penny in six. We could all play that game. Let's give it a try: All I ask, is that you, for the privilege of reading this blog, give me one penny. For every three that you earn. Who's in? Come on, it's only a penny!

I can't speak for people in other municipalities in Canada, but as a Toronto resident, I am very nervous about extra cash being handed over to the morons at City Hall. It's not that I have particular faith in any level of government, but nobody is even paying attention at the municipal level. And when government demands money, I like to see some accountability. I'm old fashioned that way. How is a guy in Moose Jaw supposed to demand accountability from a Toronto city councillor? My god, it's hard enough getting your own MP to answer mail (man, I'm gonna miss Bill Graham).

If the federal government gives in now, we're never going to see the end of it. The city got a portion of the gas tax, and extra funding from the province. Meanwhile, they continue to waste ridiculous sums of money supporting programs that should be privately funded (plus there's all those brooms for Mayor Miller!). Apparently there is just no limit to how much this city can spend. After all, we are trying to become the Greenest City in North AmericaTM. Sure, public transit works for some. But what if you don't live near a transit route? Do I hear subsidized Piouses Priuses for everyone?...

The Case For Homeschooling*

I hated a lot of my teachers growing up. Luckily, none of them went this far.

*Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind. My children will go to school. I would like them to grow up to have a personality.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Don't Let The Closet Door Hit You on The Way Out

In other Liberal news, it seems my old MP Bill Graham will be retiring as of the next election. I'll miss you Billy!

Bob Rae -- acknowledging with the rest of the country that this whole Stephan Dion farce probably isn't going to last very long -- is expected to run in Toronto Centre-Rosedale so that he'll be poised for another failed bid at the next Liberal leadership convention.


I take it we've now all had a chance to get over the complete and utter shock that baby Trudeau will be running in the next election. I for one wish him well. Any man who uses his own father's funeral as an opportunity to begin his unofficial campaign will make an exceptional Liberal.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How About Mandatory Lights Out After Midnight?

John Tory is leading the charge to ban incandescent light bulbs in Ontario. Apparently, Ontarians want to be at the cutting edge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Which is why we have to ban the use of the bulbs. Because people want to stop using them.

Mr. Tory has looked at how Ontarians live and determined that the biggest problem is our light bulbs. It's just so arbitrary. There are so many ways that we waste energy: heating and cooling badly insulated megahomes, extra freezers to store food until it goes bad, minifridges to keep pop and beer in the basement....

I like incandescent bulbs. And since I live in an apartment building, walk everywhere and don't eat meat (I feel the need to emphasize here that none of these things have anything to do with a desire to reduce my carbon footprint), I have very little tolerance for John (not so) Tory telling me how I should be lighting my home.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Genocide May Be Spreading to Chad

UN Officials are concerned that the genocide in Darfur may be spreading into Chad. It began with janjaweed militia crossing the border, but now it seems that Chadians are participating in the violence.

Genocide rarely stays neatly within national borders. Given the history of rebellion and civil war moving between Sudan and Chad, it is hardly surprising that this has occurred. The fact that there was not better planning to avoid exactly this situation further highlights the worlds failure to respond to Darfur.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TNR Slow To Catch Up

The New Republic has an editorial this week with the header: It's becoming obvious: No one is going to save Darfur .

They have been one of the most reliable voices on the subject of Darfur, but timing suggests a certain naivety on their part. Referring to the genocidaires, they say: "By now, these sadists and their powerful patrons must have figured out the obvious: that no one is going to stop them." Well yes, from their actions, I think that sadly they figured it out long before the good folks at TNR.

Bad Blogger

I apologise yet again for the light posting. And yet again, I will blame illness and French philosophy. This time it was Foucault (I'm now officially a grad student). I'm actually starting to think one may be causing the other. Either French thought makes me sick or on some subconscious level I know that I can only start to make sense of this stuff while high on cough syrup.