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Monday, October 11th, 2010

I’ve finally got around to reading Rick Mercer’s book (Rick Mercer Report: The Book.) It’s a great read and I highly recommend it to all Canadians, but I digress. I just came across one of my favourite moments from the show, Pierre Berton giving advice on rolling a joint.

Now here is a guy that I’ve been watching and listening to my whole life. When I was a kid in the 70’s I looked forward to listening to Pierre Berton and Charles Templeton weeknights on CKEY (590 am before the Fan took it over.) And, of course, I used to watch him on Front Page Challenge. (Hey, I grew up in the country where we got about 6 channels, 3 of them CBC.) The man may have been Canada’s greatest historian, author of dozens of books and host of many T.V. specials, but what will most Canadians remember him for… Rolling a frikin’ joint on Rick Mercer’s show!

It got me to thinking that the old adage is true: It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in your life, you’re only remembered for the last thing you did. Don’t believe me? I’ll give you two quick examples. O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson. Now did you remember O.J.’s brilliant career as a running back for the Buffalo Bills? Maybe his acting in the Naked Gun series? Nope, you remember a white bronco driving slowly up an L.A. freeway. You remember a guy getting away with murder. How about Jacko? A cute kid making music with his brothers, The highest grossing singer of all time, or a baby swinging pedophile?

All of this brings me to Stephen Harper. If he were to die tomorrow (not that I’m hoping for that or anything) what would he be remembered for? Well my guess is that he would go down as the Pro-Bush, Republican toadie who did everything he could to block global action on climate change. Or perhaps he’d be remembered as the biggest control freak P.M. the country has ever had. Or maybe even as the biggest spending P.M. ever.

Now, maybe it’s just me, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want my life summed up like that, and I’ll bet Mr. Harper wouldn’t either. So here’s some free advice for the P.M.:

Don’t do anything in life that you wouldn’t want to be remembered for. It may be the last thing that you do, and believe me, that’s all anyone will remember.

Oh, and thanks Pierre, before your help I never could roll a beauty J!

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Monday, October 11th, 2010

First off a big Happy New Year to everybody! It’s been a very hectic time for this GreenDude since Christmas time, with the kids being off school, New Years with the far off friends, and a “vacation” to the land of the Mouse. After spending nearly 2 weeks south of the border I came to some interesting conclusions that I thought I would share with you.

I really don’t understand US politics
Both the Democrats and Republicans are in full swing with their respective presidential primaries. Apparently these are a series of what we would call Leadership Conventions in which members of the parties in various states have their say on who they think should be their party’s candidate in the fall election. Each party holds a few primaries (and caucuses, I have no idea what the difference is) over the course of a few weeks which leads up to a massive multi-state set of elections held on the same day. I guess the preliminary rounds are used to help candidates decide whether or not to continue to their campaigns, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why they just don’t do it all at once.

American news coverage really sucks
Between the ambulance chasing of CNN and the way right wing, Bush loving Fox News, Americans really have no ability to view actual news coverage. CNN has taken sensationalism of news to new heights (lows?) and basically spends the entire day dissecting mabye 4 different stories in every conceivable way, while letting the rest of the news go untouched. Fox “journalists” spend as much time as possible in every report bashing Democrats and “liberals” so the amount of news that they actually report in a given day could be served up in a 1/2 hour show with plenty of room for commercials. Thank God the Daily Show has found a way to get past the writers strike and get back on the air.

I now know why the US is heading for a major socio-economic collapse
Because even one person outside of Brtiney Spears’ immediate family gives a rat’s ass about her personal life! Honestly, CNN spent literally hours of time covering her latest breakdown and hospitalization; and if that wasn’t enough they then spent 2 days covering how Dr. Phil “ambushed” Spears in her hospital room! My God! The mind boggles!

Americans are actually polite
I’m a pretty outgoing person (much to the constant chagrin of my lovely wife) so I tend to strike up conversations with whoever is around. To a person, I found every American that I spoke to very friendly, courteous and polite. Now as a typical Canadian I have fallen victim at times to believing the stereotype of the “rude American” and frankly I’ve never really experienced it on a one-on-one level. However, I did see a lot of rude behaviour during my trip. To my suprise, whenever I witnessed poor public behaviour the perpetrator was either Asian, Latin or Indian. Frankly I was shocked, and it really made me wonder what the deal was with these people because there really was no cause for any of it.

Don’t ever go to a theme park every day of your vacation!
It may sound like fun to go to a Disney park every day, but the toll on your sanity really isn’t worth it. Don’t get me wrong, Disney does a really good job of running a park (Very clean, Very friendly staff, and Fast Passes are a brilliant innovation.) but to spend every…single…day…walking…around…lining up…walking… … … I was pretty close to snapping by day 4 of 6. Thankfully we were able to convince the wife to take one morning off to just relax.

All in all it was a good trip, but I’m very thankful to be back where the money isn’t all green, where words are spelled correctly, where we have decent news coverage, and where all my friends are.

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Monday, October 11th, 2010

Elect Chris Tindal in Toronto Centre

In case you didn’t know there are a number of by-elections scheduled foe March 17, 2008 across the country, and one of the most interesting races is in Toronto Centre. This is a riding that many Canadians may be familiar with, it is the former seat of past Liberal (interim) leader Bill Graham, and is now being contested by Bob Rae.

This by-election has an interesting dynamic given both its history and for who is running in this contest. Traditionally this is a Liberal safe seat (It has been Liberal since 1962) and that’s why Bob Rae is running here. However, with the NDP running a first timer, and the Conservatives running a party insider (They fired their previous candidate because he was too concerned with urban issues, imagine that, in the centre of the largest city in Canada, the nerve!) There is a real opportunity for Chris to become the first elected Green in Canada. All that needs to happen is for the voters to make that choice. Presented here are my top five reasons (in no particular order) for the electors of Toronto Centre to cast their votes for Chris Tindal.

  1. It’s a chance to make history. Face it, there is no other candidate that you can elect in this riding that will bring the country’s, and the media’s, focus on your riding. Electing the first Green MP in Canada is something you can hang your hat on forever.
  2. The only other viable candidate is Bob Rae! You remember Bob Rae right? Former NDP premier of Ontario. Are you really looking for that kind of leadership in your riding?
  3. Since the Conservatives have basically decided that they have no chance in the riding (as evidenced by the dismissal of Mark Warner) voters looking for a fiscally conservative candidate really have nowhere else to turn. If you want an MP who will look after your tax dollars responsibly, Chris is your man.
  4. The Environment is still the #1 issue for Canadian voters. If it’s yours, then the choice is really obvious.
  5. Frankly, with a full general election looming, this is a great chance for you to test drive the Green Party. It is eminately possible that Chris would be facing a new campaign in as little as one month. Which is to say, there is virtually no risk.
  6. (Bonus Reason) The election is being held on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. What could be more appropriate than voting Green on the Day of Green?

So go ahead and make history Toronto Centre. on March 17 vote for Chris Tindal and the Green Party of Canada. You’ll feel great in the morning!

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