Rick Howe Follows the Mobs Lowest Instincts

I was unfortunate to have the Rick Howe show on the radio this morning. He and his listeners were castigating the Prime Minister and the Federal Government over benefits granted to the convicted murderer Christopher Garnier.

Of course, it is disappointing that the benefits designed to reward service are spent on such a case. Worse would be a system where the law is bypassed to restrict benefits or enhance benefits at a political whim.

Sometimes we have to accept that we pay for the people we don’t want to preserve the system for all.

Cultural Change Required – Let’s Start Now

An interesting article is posted on the ipolitics website, written by Susan Delacourt. 

Entitled The darker side of life as a political staffer it tells the story of Paul Wernick who worked as a staffer to a Liberal MP.

The demands on political staff can be overwhelming and the fact is the culture of 80 hour weeks and a punishing after-hours schedule is archaic and lead ultimately to poor policy. In addition, this lifestyle demand excludes many people who have families or disabilities that limit the time they can work. It is little wonder that a monoculture starts to exist where it is all about some sophomoric battle about who can put in the most time rather than who is the most creative or productive. As well, these positions are staffed too often by “sons of”, “friend of” criteria rather than merit. All too often staffing is a closed shop where who you know is about all that counts.

Provinces like Nova Scotia are poorly served by this kind of political culture which is so insular and recycles people over and over rather than seek new talent.

Doug Ford – Really?

We have watched from the fences as the angry white man act trolled its way into the White House in the form of Donald Trump. We can no longer sit back and assume the destructive forces of right-wing populism have no foothold in Canada.

The upcoming Ontario Election will see Doug Ford try to put lipstick on a pig and make the regressive and destructive forces self-interest make him Premier of Ontario. There is little doubt that there is a real appetite in Ontario for change, but change to what? The Ontario Conservatives have a party in disarray, a leader who doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about and virtually no policy beyond demonizing Kathleen Wynne.

Remember Doug Ford supported and defended his drug-addicted brother, denied the truth and subjected Toronto to unnecessary ridicule and turmoil. Doug Ford participated in fundraisers for Stephen Harper while Mr. Harper smirked his way to destroying Canada’s International reputation, sowed division at home and thumbed his nose at the institutions and traditions that guard our democracy. He called the press liars, threatened to sue and belittled opponents – sound like a familiar game plan.

There are problems in Canada that need to be worked on and ultimately solved. Mr. Ford needs to offer the people of Ontario options if he truly wants to lead, he needs to offer real ideas, real policy and not a garbage can full of vague outrage that will be twisted to his own devices if elected.

Ontario voters need to listen closely to what he says, and what he does not say, them make a properly informed decision. Ontario and Canada need you to elect a government that helps build Canada, not divides it.

Read my other Doug Ford observations https://jimgoddard.com/2018/04/05/doug-ford-is-not-trusted-even-by-conservatives/

When I’m 64

The Beatles recorded When I’m 64 in 1966, and it was included on the Sgt. Pepper’s album released in 1967.
Music can be a powerful influence on us, and the impact of a single title can evolve and transform like we all do over time.
I regarded this song as rather trivial when I was younger, how peoples relationships would shape their existence at that long off period was so remote it was no concern to me.
My generation is now faced fully with these questions of how we fit into the world of 2018 and beyond. For many of my peers, their plans of comfortable pensions and a quiet retirement are coming true. They worked jobs that provided that opportunity, it was what they wanted and they are finding things that fill their time. Travel, gardening, grandchildren, and hobbies fill their days and money is no concern.
I don’t want that.
I want to work, engage in growing businesses or organizations and shaping public discourse. I don’t want to serve on the senior’s committee or be engaged on senior’s issues. I have become increasingly marginalized by assumptions society makes about people as they age and I have had enough of it.
Issues I want to be working on:
1. Demilitarization– Whether it is the increasing use of force in place of diplomacy or the Swat Team mentality of law enforcement we need to back up and move our society in a more positive direction. Force has never been a long-term solution, more weapons just create more violence.
2. Politics – Not a new interest for me, but one I want to continue to engage in. Politics in Nova Scotia has always been a blood sport, however social media is contributing to an increasing pettiness to it. We need the debate about how we grow our economy so we can have good jobs for people with livable wages and a viable social contract. We need to debate how we continue to provide for those who will never be able to provide for themselves and what our responsibility is to those whose choices or circumstances make them dependant on society. These are discussions we keep punting down the road hoping that something magical will occur so we never have to really deal with them.
3. Ecology – Nova Scotia/Canada still has many pristine natural areas but third world countries like Cuba have placed a higher priority on preserving their ecology than we have. Paper plant effluent, raw sewage, plastic waste and mountains of garbage from our disposable society are real problems – here, today, now! Like the economy, we need to step up and deal with what we are doing to our natural environment.
I heard the other day that an actress that I have never heard of was making $64,000 per post on Instagram for posting racy content and a mediocre pitcher can make $15 million per season. As I approach 64 I don’t like what I see and I plan to spend my time doing something about it.
When I’m 64 I plan on continuing to feed myself, and I think the world still needs me.

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

The Globe and Mail are carrying a story about a Liberal MP requesting an investigation into the fundraiser held by Kevin O’Leary.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-liberal-mp-calls-for-investigation-into-kevin-olearys-campaign-debt/

This time a Liberal is asking for an investigation into something trivial and stupid. Yesterday, Jagmeet Singh was criticising the brevity of the Prime Ministers schedule as the PM was attending to some personal matters.

Is this because the politicos are too stupid to debate something important or is it because they think the Plebs are too stupid to follow anything above a grade 2 schoolyard taunt. (My apologies to the grade 2 students across the country.)

Maybe the commons could all get together and pass a bill that would apply for seven days only to Kevin O’Leary and allow him to pay the debt himself. That way we never have to hear from him again.

Doug Ford is Not Trusted – Even by Conservatives

The Ontario Conservatives have made a smart move, trying to limit media access to leader Doug Ford. However, the move to not provide a media bus to accompany the leader’s tour in the upcoming election is so transparent it may backfire “bigly”

Media coverage is the lifeblood of political campaigns and without it, the press may spend even more time analyzing Mr Ford’s current and past public statements. That won’t be good, he has said some wildly stupid things.

Like Donald Trump, Doug Ford wants to tap into the sense of unease that grips so many people these days. Many people have seen there incomes stagnate or jobs lost as the economy restructures itself without them. They are looking for a voice that matches the opinions they hold like someone is stacking the deck against them or they have been screwed by the boss, or the company or the government. Pick the villain the feeling is the same and they want someone to voice that feeling for them, not tell them their feelings are wrong.

Doug Ford is a man born to wealth and privilege who wants to be that voice. Filled with contempt for the very people he wants to speak for, he needs to be stage-managed and shielded from the press. Hopefully, Ontario is not like the “Trump Nation” and will see this man for what he is – unfit to be Premier of our largest province.

Check out a great article on the move By Paola Loriggio — The Canadian Press — Apr 5 2018  .

Why Can’t You Just Shut the F***K Up?

This week was burger week in Halifax, an annual fundraising event that is widely reported and followed by citizens.
I only got out once, to the Celtic Corner where the proceeds of Burger Week went to support Margaret’s House.
Margaret’s House is named in memory of Margaret Savage, who was a great supporter of the F.O.O.D. program as was her husband John Savage.
Mayor Mike Savage and his brothers and sisters continue to support Margaret’s House.

Another person who had a burger this week was Premier Stephen McNeil. I am sure few of the other participants who posted #HalifaxBurgerWeek posts on Twitter were subjected to the following petty, mean and self-promoting comments. The Premier also posted an item promoting the Cancer Societies daffodil campaign and received the same sort of comments.


I have participated in the political life of Nova Scotia for a long time and I have written many posts that criticize the policy proposals of political parties. I do not, however, make a practice of attacking people personally. I did post a tweet to Gary Burrill noting his constant stream of negativism, but it was not on a post promoting a charity.

These types of things get much worse than those I have highlighted here. They include comments on character, appearance, sexual orientation and intelligence. They include harsh and abusive language, threats and become a constant stream of disheartening noise.

Why?

Are any of these good citizens prepared to put their time and energy into anything more than tweeting? Will they put their name forward to serve the province, city, neighborhood? Will they subject themselves and their families to the abuse they dish out?

This week the Herald ran an opinion piece from Bruce Lantz on this topic, an interesting read.

I ask again why? If you don’t want to get involved your facebook posts and twitter rants are a waste of time. I have the greatest respect for political opponents who work and advocate for their position, and maybe some of the twitter posters do as well.

So maybe we can agree that anyone who is promoting a good cause can just get a pass on that? Can we agree on that? Probably not, and we will reap what we sow.

#nspoli #HalifaxBurgerWeek