Merry Christmas! 
Merry Christmas, World!!

Mine was everything I could have hoped for. I hope yours was the same!



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Say it like it is! 
I haven't posted for a little while here but it hasn't been for any lack of opinions on what's going on. I just haven't really been able to formulate words for all the ridiculousness going on in the world around us.

First there was the fiasco in parliament, with the Liberal party forming a coalition to boot out the Conservatives who had only been in office for a few weeks. Their leader was someone that nobody liked and who had already announced his pending departure due to record unpopularity.

Now they've replaced him with someone they've appointed and who has stood up to no real scrutiny whatsoever. But that's beside the point. They're like a bunch of squabbling children up there in Ottawa and there's really nothing I need to add to the commentary in the news.

Then there's the city of Toronto. Our money-grubbing mayor just introduce a new plastic bag tax that we have to pay at the grocery store if we want to carry our stuff out in plastic bags. All the discount places already charge 5 cents a bag. This new tax just forces everyone else to charge the same. The premise behind this was to divert all those bags from going to landfills and have us use reusable bags instead.

This sounds all well and good except for the fact that just days after implementing this, they announced that we can now recycle those exact plastic bags! We can bundle them up and put them in the stupid giant recyle bins the mayor spent a fortune on, and they'll be kept out of the landfills. So then... more tax... no benefit. Seems about par for the course for this mayor.

Now today, while reading about the failure of the auto industry bailout, I found this quote too good not to repeat.

From this article: http://biz.yahoo.com/zacks/081212/16364.html?.v=1

"If a union can only deliver the same pay as a non-union shop, why pay the union dues?"

This pretty much sums up the value of the unions to me. All those workers for companies like Honda and Toyota who are being treated fairly and will probably still be employed once all the dust settles are probably asking the exact same question.

I believe the implication is that the union's purpose is to bend the company over backward and get the employees more than their fair share at every opportunity. Otherwise, how do they justify their dues? If all is well and everyone is treated fairly, can't they just say it's because of them and leave well enough alone? Why do they always need more?

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A New Leafs Era? 
All the news about the Leafs these days surrounds the imminent announcement of Brian Burke as the new president and GM for the team.

Now we've seen GM's come and go over the years, but this one in particular has my interest, and not because of who it is.

I'm more excited at what appears on the surface to finally be an attempt to make the management of the team credible and install some confidence in fans that they might actually care a little about winning rather than just raking in cash.

Rumour has it that Mr. Burke's contract is pretty explicit about him being able to do pretty much whatever he wants without approval from the Leafs brass. With a 6 year contract, that should give him plenty of time to prove his muster without having to care about immediate results or playoff ticket sales or anything else.

With the league's salary cap, upper management don't have to worry about him breaking the bank and just trying to buy his way into a decent team, so it seems they can leave him free to do anything he wants and just hope for the best.

If he's half as good as the media is portraying him to be, this could give some very good results in 4 or 5 years or so, and if we see him further tearing the team down over the next 2 or 3, at least we don't have to be skeptical that they're just improving their bottom line under the guise of rebuilding.

Yes, this is very good news for those of us trying to keep our false hopes alive. In this case, there may very well be actual real hope to look forward to now!

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An Historic Occasion 
History was made yesterday with Americans electing their first African American president, though I think that fact in and of itself is rather low on the list of accomplishments made.

Looking at the overall results, the Democratic Party has been given sweeping powers to make major changes in America and I for one am excited about watching it happen.

I suppose that having Obama be black is just a bonus to a lot of people. To me, he was simply the best candidate for the job, and that's the most important thing.

It will be of great benefit to us in Canada for people to start believing in America again and for their economy to get out of the dumps and get back in working order, and it will be a nice change to not look down on them with disdain at what a failure of a person they had put the fate of their country in.

Congratulations, Barack Obama and Joe the Senator. I look forward to the world improving under your watch.

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NASCAR at Atlanta is a snoozer! 
I nearly fell asleep twice yesterday during the race. Nothing happened. Nothing at all.

There didn't seem to be anything interesting going on until the last 10 laps, when Jimmie put the smack-down on the field. Way to go, Jimmie!

I think the best part of the entire race was the post-race interview with Hot Carl when we all got to see the moment he found out that Jimmie came in 2nd. That was priceless!

I'm not sure what they have to do to fix it, whether it's repaving the track to get more grip or what, but something needs to be done. One of the most exciting aspects of NASCAR is the constant battles for position and the ability to pass. If they're driving like they're on ice and can't get around one another, then what are we watching for?


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