Archive for February, 2012

February 27, 2012

Wither the Leafs?

The hockey team, of course.

Here’s my take on it.

I seriously think the talent on this team is over rated. Having said that, there is no excuse for their apparent lack of preparation for games except to single out Ron Wilson as a culprit. It truly is time for him to go.

It’s a brand new team that has had some promising talent that have not performed. Who can we blame? I can think of no one better to shoulder that responsibility than Wilson. When the players are making the same mistakes over and over and they appear groggy and lazy……

While we’re at it, how about Allaire (the goalie coach). Both Reimer and Gustaffson came with great promise. Neither have lived up to their billing. Reimer, in particular, looks so uncomfortable in the crease. More so than last season when he arrived without Allaire’s tutoring. Either Reimer or the coach have to go. I’d sack the coach at this point.

On defense, I like Gardiner and I think he may have a bright future. I  think he is a keeper. I can’t see any other defenseman that I feel strongly about, except Komisarek who I think we would have dealt if anyone else was interested in him.

Schenn is passable but I don’t see him ever becoming a top NHL player. Phaneuf is also greatly over rated. I still like Gunnarson but he isn’t special either. None of these guys are irreplaceable. But what a dumb mistake making Phaneuf captain!

On forward I think Connolly is totally useless. While Lupul is having a good year, I’d bet that next year he doesn’t perform nearly as well.

I don’t know what is happening with Kulemin except that he is Russian. Are they all nuts? Every Russian in the NHL seems to be a flake (except maybe Malkin). I still like Grabovski and think he is a keeper but he too has gone to sleep…is it him or Wilson?

I still think Kessel is not a special player. He isn’t playing both ways and he just doesn’t seem to dig for the puck. He’s got a great shot and feeds off opportunities but I still am not keen on his play. However, he does give us 30+ goals so I guess I can’t complain. It’s just that he doesn’t seem to try hard enough.

The rest of the forwards are….well… just there.

And the entire team is a bunch of pushovers. When the Leafs go into the corners chances are the opposition is going to come up with the puck. If this team does make it to the playoffs, the tighter checking and more physical game is going to kill them.

The Leafs, after four years under Burke and an entire remake are still in need of gritty forwards, talented defensemen, goaltending and a coach. I hate to agree with Burke, but the Leafs do need some size and ‘presence’. Certainly Phaneuf and Kessel aren’t providing it. And, quite contrary to Burke’s idea of the ideal player, adding more Americans isn’t going to do it either.

Wow, way to go Burke!

February 21, 2012

Mayor Rob Ford: Is he fit to serve?

Today Mayor Ford’s toadies on the Toronto Transit Commission fired TTC Manager Gary Webster.

Whatever you may think of him, the only reason for his firing was because he called into question Ford’s absurd plans for Toronto transit. That is, he was doing what he is paid to do…advise on transit issues.

Rob Ford is the most crass Mayor this city has seen. He is almost obscene in his politics.

Now, Mr Respect for Taxpayers, has incurred another $500,000 in severance pay so he can sack someone with the temerity to gently express doubts about yet another dubious-politics-before-reason policy thrust.

Even conservative Karen Stintz is having difficulty swallowing this stuff.

There really isn’t much else to say. The latest opinion poll shows Ford with 49% support. What are people thinking?

February 15, 2012

Toronto Maple Leafs….ugly…

The Leafs have not made the playoffs since 2004.

Brian Burke has been General Manager since November 2008. As far as I know not a single player currently on the team remains from the pre-Burke era. In other words, this team is entirely of his making.

Ron Wilson has been coach since June 2008. All the current players on the team have ‘come of age’ under him and Burke.

Toronto is currently clinging to the last playoff spot and sporting (as of today) a 4 game losing stream at a really bad time in the season.

So WTF is going on? How in the world was Wilson’s contract extended WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IF THE LEAFS ARE GOING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?

I’m not expecting the Stanley Cup anytime soon. But after almost four years of this tag team of Burke and Wilson shouldn’t someone be held accountable? Renewing contracts mid season without knowing if there is redemption of the slightest kind?

Poor management.

By they way, I really do love this lot of players on the team…if only we could (or would) get rid of Komisarek, Rosehill, and am I the only one who thinks Phaneuf is an over rated powder puff?

February 15, 2012

Laissez-faire control freaks, ie: Conservatives

Wow, what a bunch of control freaks.

Stephen Harper comes from the National Citizens’ Coalition and Reform Party barn of no role for government. He doesn’t believe in government as a civilizing role in mediating human affairs. Witness the drop in taxes (in order to make social services unaffordable) and his mismanagement of the economy — ie: the lack of management of the impending economic crisis until the opposition forced him to act.

Of course he has now turned his inaction cum mild stimulus of a rudderless ship into the ‘Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan’. But I digress.

This group of MPs whose baser instincts led to the canning of the long form census as too intrusive into citizens’ (who have now, of course be renamed taxpayers) private lives, have backed the most controlling attack on our justice system with mandatory minimal sentencing (opposed by the legal profession and judges alike) and what will be the greatest expansion of imprisoned Canadians in this country’s history.

But this week brought a further assault on our freedoms and our private lives with Vic Toew’s  (the worrisomely 1984 named Minister of Public Safety) new legislation to allow the police to spy on our internet use without a search warrant. It’s not too hard to see what use the police could put these powers to in the event of a Canadian Spring. Let me just add here that child pornography is indeed abhorrent and no one I know condones it.

Conservatives always see sex and pornography under every rug. They are completely obsessed with pornography and crime (as they define it). Yet daycare for vulnerable children or child poverty doesn’t seem to register on their outrage-meter.

I would suggest that what some of these Ministers need to get laid but, if evidence about sexual activity from right wing American politicians applies in this country, they are likely getting sex. They are just feeling profoundly guilty about it and want to make sure that no one actually enjoys it.



February 13, 2012

‘Saving’ trees, Ministry of Health style

When is ‘saving a tree’ not ‘saving a tree’? Or rather, how the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care thinks we’re stupid….

I work in the medical field. When I want a lab test done on a patient, I have to give them a lab requisition on paper which they take to the lab. Although my office is completely paperless and we are entirely computerized, we are forced to give patients little pieces of paper to get tests because our health care system, despite spending millions, is not equipped to handle computerized requisitions. These paper requisitions are supplied to physicians’ offices by the Ministry.

So how surprised was I to receive a quaint little note from the Ministry of Health a couple of weeks ago? As of April 1, 2012 they will no longer be supplying physicians with lab requisitions. As of that date medical offices will have to log on   to the Ministry’s website and download and print all requisitions in their office.

I can see why the Ministry would like to download this. It will save them printing costs. What I want is for them to send out a notice saying that ‘as part of cost cutting measures the Ministry will not longer supply the required forms’.

But, nope, that’s not what the Ministry did. They sent out a note say that in an attempt to comply with the green measures of the Government of Ontario they are cutting down on their paper printing.

Now I am guessing that the government printers, producing thousands of copies of these requisitions, are likely more efficient per page (environmentally) than me doing one-offs in my office on my printer. But the Ministry is going to sell this downloading as an environmental issue in which they are cutting down on their printing output and, therefore, making Ontario a better place for all.

I guess I can see why so many people vote for the Harpers and the Fords of this world. When the government communicates with people as if they are children how can we expect people to make educated decisions? These people really think we are all idiots, don’t they?

In the guise of green policy, the Ministry is downloading a printing job to community based practices (a printing job made necessary because of lack of electronic co-ordination by the Ministry) where it is likely to be even less efficient.

Wait for the headlines: “Ministry reduces Printing in massive green policy enhancement”.


By the way, this post is not about the downloading, it’s about the hypocrisy.

February 9, 2012

Do the Brother Fords understand the concept of democracy at all?

Like Stephen Harper, Rob Ford thinks that winning an election every four years constitutes all the citizenry consultation necessary. Ford thinks he was elected dictator and that for the next four years ‘l’etat c’est moi’. The last leader with that attitude faced the guillotine.

Since his election, Ford has refused to listen to citizen deputations… the people have spoken and they have elected me.

He doesn’t feel he has to re-think his ludicrous transit plans. City Council’s votes are ‘irrelevant’….the people have spoken and they have elected me.

Because he was elected, no other forum constitutes democracy. In fact, though, he does occasionally ‘consult’ the people. He has his own pipeline to god—his cell phone. He often speaks of ‘hearing form the people’ by which he means someone (always someone who agrees with him) came up to him on the street or called him and said he is doing the right thing. This is all he needs to know the minds of the people.

If the Brothers Ford weren’t so dangerous and in a position to screw up this City, it would actually be funny.

For those of us expecting Ford to be a one term Mayor because he cannot help but screw things up, this has indeed happened. The difficulty will now be managing the next three years until we can throw the bum out.

What continues to confuse and amaze me is how the so-called ‘centrist’ Councillors can continue to put up with this buffoon. I continue to hope that this is the last straw and people like Josh Matlow find their genitals before he is forced to eat them in the next election (I believe the Beaver is still the official animal of Toronto).

L’etat, c’est moi, indeed!

February 6, 2012

Josh Matlow finds testicles….unfortunately they belong to someone else.

Earlier (Jan 10, 2012) we wondered whether Councillor Matlow had found testicles enough to stand up to Rob Ford. We concluded that indeed it was still safe to allow our daughters to roam the streets unaccompanied.

However, I am happy to report that Josh Matlow has indeed found a pair of testicles. It’s just that they aren’t his own. Matlow is quoted in today’s Globe and Mail as saying “I think the city did something unprecdented in that they made it clear …they weren’t going to bend. The strategy seems to have worked.”

Thus spoke ‘centrist’ Councillor Matlow. Now, of course, Matlow is a right-ist Councillor except when it looks like it will be so unpopular that his re-election would be in doubt. Anyone who votes with Rob Ford 50% of the time (yes, that’s the statistic) isn’t centrist but rather a hard right councillor with a view to his own survival in a mid-town constituency that is not traditionally conservative.

Now, as for testicles…yep Matt’s found a pair. But I’m not sure how long it will be before Mayor Ford loses enough weight to notice that his are missing.

February 5, 2012

Why can’t reporters understand Stephen Harper?

The following is a Letter to the Editor of the Globe and Mail yesterday that didn’t get published:

Reporter Joe Friesen has perpetuated the misunderstanding of our Prime Minister in his ‘Stephen Harper’s census’ (Feb 4, 2012). He says that Harper, while playing the demographic card to insist that we cannot afford the current old age security benefits, nevertheless refuses to understand British Columbia’s demographic arguments in favour of a more generous federal contribution to Medicare payments for its older population.

Mr Friesen apparently just doesn’t understand Harper at all. Harper isn’t employing or ignoring the facts of demographics at all. Harper has an agenda of less government and fewer social programs. He has a vision of a Canada unlike what we’ve experienced for generations. His announced intention is to remake Canada in his conservative image.
No amount of facts or ‘evidence’ is driving Harper’s decision making. When the facts are in his favour, he gladly employs them. When not, he ignores them. This is a case of ideology trumping common sense. One thing this is not, contrary to the article, is ‘puzzling’.
This type of misunderstanding of Harper is rampant in the Report on Business and elsewhere in the newspaper world.
Reporters cannot understand why StatsCan would be gutted when it provides necessary information about demographics and such that are crucial to government planning. They couldn’t understand why the Prime Minister, an ‘economist’, would lower the GST (which ended up being partly responsible for our current fiscal deficit, but, also very handily the very excuse to cut government services). Neither made sense and they found it ‘puzzling’ that an intelligent man like Harper would be so evidently ignorant of such things.
Harper’s crime agenda is much more obviously crafted. He is increasing jails and making the justice system more rigid and punitive at a time when crime stats have never been lower (now there’s a good reason to get rid of StatsCan). This is simply and obviously playing to his base. Interesting, though, how conservatives who do not believe in a role for government always end up with enormous bureaucracies to administer ‘justice’ to those who fall out of line.
Most reporters understand the crass nature of Harper’s justice policies. Somehow, though, they are blinded by his economic policies. The fact is, Harper either doesn’t understand economics at all or is simply too ideologically driven to care. I believe it is an unhealthy combination of the two.
Why don’t journalists get this?
February 2, 2012

Mayor Ford eats self!

So the Mayor, apparently, in a share of solidarity with the impoverished everyman has decided to forgo a cost of living raise this year.

What a magnanimous and meaningless gesture.

I have a better idea, why doesn’t our millionaire Mayor simply turn over his private income to the City and live off his Mayor’s salary. That would be a gesture.

Oh, and by the way, he has already pissed away so much money in KPMG budget consultants and his flip flops on transit and contract breaking liabilities that any moneys he refuses cannot possibly compensate.

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