Tonight's Vice-Presidential Debate 
I know I should be paying better attention to the Canadian leaders debate tonight, and I know that Elizabeth May might make some idiot comment or other that I'll find endlessly amusing, but really... I just can't get into it.

I know right now that It's just going to be a four-pronged attack on Mr. Harper and that's just not terribly interesting to me.

What IS interesting to me is finding out what the Sarah Palin train wreck will run into next!!

My prediction is that she answers at least one of the questions with this:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, um, some people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, should help South Africa and should help Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future."

If it happens, she'll be immortal.

Now we all just have to pray that Gwen Ifill asks the candidates why American kids can't find America on a map.

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Elizabeth May Might Be Insane 
Green Party leader Elizabeth May has got her panties in a bunch over not being allowed to participate in the nationally televised leaders debates.

Apparently she thinks it's sexist.

She says "This is anti-democratic, closed-door, back-room decision making by four national party leaders who are all men, and five television executives who are all men, to keep out the one woman leader of a federal political party and I don't think many Canadians will think that was fair,"

I think maybe someone should tell her that it has nothing to do with her being a woman, and everything to do with the fact that she's from a second-rate tree-hugger party with no chance at having any sort of significant impact on parliament. If she clues in to this, she might save herself further embarassment. Insulting the intelligence of the average Canadian to gain a little press isn't going to help her cause.

Consider if every party with no shot at more than a seat or two was allowed to put their leader into these debates. We'd have the 4 leaders of the parties that get elected, along with a whole peanut gallery of fringe party leaders basically just looking for their 15 minutes of fame. Heck, every independant candidate across the country could claim they're a party of one and ask to be included.

It would be like Survivor, Canadian Debates.

I'm sure this would be hugely entertaining, but I'm not sure what value this would have to our electoral process.

Of course, it wouldn't happen because we're probably prejudiced against all those other "leaders" too, for whatever reason they might find convenient to each of their selves.

Elizabeth May should definitely have a chat with her allegedly pot-smoking hippie tree-hugger advisors and perhaps take a step into the 21st century.

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Toronto City Council are Idiots! 
For all the talk we hear about how society is getting fatter, and we're collectively not getting enough exercise, it would appear that Toronto has responded to the call by making it illegal to get some friends together and throw a ball around in a public park.

I play softball in a recreational league. We have permits to use the diamonds we play on, which start next week and ensure that we have exclusive use of them to play our games.

Obviously a system like this is needed or nobody would ever be able to run a league.

What happens though, when nobody has a permit for the diamonds at any given time? You'd think it would work on a first-come, first-served basis and the public would be free to go out there and throw some balls around just for fun. Apparently this isn't the case.

Though our schedule doesn't officially start until next week, a bunch of players got coordinated and decided to play a practice game just for kicks last night. An email then got sent out saying the following:

The teams from the 5pm games were met by permit checkers on the field just now. If a team plays without a permit, it is a $300 fine per team. We all knew that in past years we could sneak past the system and play a week early but today that has come to an end. For next week's game, copies of our permit will be handed to each captain to retain with their roster and other game paperwork.

So, as I understand it, unless you pay to use them, public ball diamonds are off limits. Forget about getting some friends together for a pick-up game. If the city isn't taking money from you, they'd rather the diamonds be empty and unused.

How very nice of them. Rat bastards.

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Those TTC bastards are at it again! 
I woke up this morning to find out that the Toronto Transit Commission decided to up and go on strike last night at midnight.

Not only do I think they should be declared an essential service such that they no longer have the right to strike, I think that this latest one should be met with harsh penalties giving all of them a 5% pay cut and denying any concessions that had won in the recent contract negotiations.

Why so harsh?

Back when they were negotiating, the union made it very public that they would give 48 hours notice if they intended to strike. As I understand it this morning from listening to the news, some of their members didn't like this idea, so in the end they decided to just forget it and strike by surprise last night at midnight, leaving all sorts of people stranded without notice.

They're overpaid as it is, and keep getting more and more by taking the city hostage. This has to be stopped.

I understand the value of a union, but they've long since overstepped their bounds in this arena. Unions should fight to get fair pay and benefits for their members. They should not be fighting to bend their employers over a barrel and ream them for all they can.

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What exactly do we owe poor people? 
This article in the Star talks about poor people living in half-million dollar houses funded by our tax dollars.

There is now some suggestion that these houses be sold and the families moved to regular low-income housing, and apparently there is opposition to this plan.

To this I ask... what do we owe these people? Why should they be living in better places than I am when I'm working for a living and earning my keep?

To quote Margaret Greaves:

"I'm uncomfortable with the idea of low-income people only living in areas where the housing costs less,'' she says.

How does that make any sense? Of COURSE low income people live where the housing costs less. They have low incomes! That's all they can afford!

I'm sure I'd be perfectly happy living in a house on the Bridal Path, but as it turns out, I can't afford it. So I don't live there.

Professor Ernie Lightman says this:

"If the goal is to let people live as normally as possible, then it's clear the more integrated a community the better,'' he says, noting that, like Allen, most people wouldn't have been aware the families on Ellerbeck St. were in social housing.

Is that our goal? Are we trying to put poor people on easy street, living off the backs of the rest of us? I would have thought the goal would be to give them the bare necessities required to live and the opportunity to better their situations through hard work and a little ambition.

Now I know that our social programs fail in that respect in many places, but that's not the topic of discussion here.

That being the case though, shouldn't these properties be sold and the money spent toward helping all the poor, rather than putting up a select few in tax-funded luxury homes?

Wouldn't the money be better spent improving the schools and community programmes in poor ares so poor tax-leaching kids have a better chance at growing up to be something other than poor tax-leaching adults?

I'd be curious to know how long the people who live in these places have been there.

At the very least, give them a 5 year term and then kick them back to the projects. That way, we can give them a taste of the good life with the opportunity to improve themselves and then, if they don't take advantage of it, we can give the same shot to someone else.

Otherwise, what motivation is there for these people to go off on their own? If they earn a living but can then only afford a low-rent apartment, why would they ever move?

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