Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Meh about the WWE Elimination Chamber PPV

I finally got around to watching the Elimination Chamber PPV and here are my thoughts:

The Good...
The first elimination chamber match was excellent, despite Chris Jericho getting knocked out too easily. People have taken much worse than a kick to the head and gotten up from it. On the other hand, Jericho "never being eliminated" in the contest gives him a legitimate beef to ramp up the rivalry with CM Punk. Punk winning was the right choice and there were some good spots in the match.

The divas put on a very entertaining match. Tamina Snuka is proving that she has the chops to be a star in the ring and has learnt her father's moves well. Beth Phoenix also did her job well, hitting some high impact moves, including the Glam Slam for the win. The women were given enough time to make the match worthwhile as well.

The second chamber match was a show-stealer for me. Santinto was on fire and the crowd went bananas supporting him. That was the hottest crowd I've heard in YEARS. I also like how they fed off that and let everything think Mr. Marella might actually pull off the Rocky-esque upset. Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Wade Barrett also pulled off some nice spots, like Show climbing into the champ's pod before it had opened.

The ambulance match between John Cena and Kane had some good spots, namely putting Cena through the Spanish announce table and Cena giving Kane an Attitude Adjustment from the top of the ambulance. It wasn't as good as the chamber matches, but it was exciting enough and the crowd ate it up. It should have been the match right before the 2  co-headlining chamber matches in my opinion.

The crowd was on fire for most of the show. It was one of the better ones I have heard in quite some time. It's amazing how much more exciting it makes the show seem.

The Bad...
The order of matches made absolutely no sense to me. Why have the best match of the night, the chamber match for the WWE title be the first match? Surely it should headline the show, especially since the PPV is called Elimination Chamber. The ambulance match was mildly interesting, but why is that feud taking precedent over the championship pictures? Oh ya...because Cena is in it. Lame. And what was with putting an impromptu US Title match between between Jack Swagger and Justin Gabriel right before the main event? Talk about NOT keeping the crowd revved up.

Natalya farting. Enough said.

I didn't like the silly gimmick with Hornswaggle to set up the Gabriel/Swagger US title match when they hadn't spent any time building up a rivalry or getting the crowd to care about them. Waste of time, really. It just seemed to be thrown in at the last minute because the writers hadn't developed enough real feuds to fill up the ppv card.  Not much interesting about the match, either, even though it was booked right before the ambulance match main event. This spot should have been reserved for at least a chamber match.

The Meh...
I didn't mind some heels, like Mark Henry, Alberto Del Rio and Christian, coming out to support John Laurinitis and say he should be GM of both Raw and Smackdown, but do they really need to stop the momentum of good matches to do it at a PPV? If they want to set up a Laurinitis/Teddy Long feud, do it on Raw and/or Smackdown where this soap opera stuff belongs. Good idea, wrong place for it.

The commentary stuck to mostly calling matches and Cole actually showed passion and emotion in his voice. they got off track at times, but weren't bad. Anyone else agree that Lawler has become irrelevant as a colour man? He didn't say much and when he did it wasn't very pertinent.

Overall...          77/100
The show was pretty good overall. I really liked the chamber matches and the divas match and didn't mind the ambulance match. Elimination Chamber would have been outstanding if they had cut out the stupid backstage vignettes and had booked the show in a logical order as well. I can't be the only one that thinks the elimination chamber matches should headline the ELIMINATION CHAMBER ppv.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Music Break

EDIT: The concert was unbelievable last night! The Murphys played material from all of their albums and were on fire. The crowd was freakin' mental, too!My only complaint was that the sound was jacked up way too high. Cudos to local bands Class Assassins and Creepshow for tearing it up and getting the crowd warmed up. Their showmanship and musical abilities were on full display for sure.

The Dropkick Murphys are in Toronto tonight, so I figured I would post some of their videos to get pumped up for the show. The band's lyrics are potent and meaningful and their music is just tons of fun to listen to. Here are some of their best works:

I'm Shipping up to Boston

Going out in Style

The Dirty Glass

THe Spicy MgHaggis Jig

Sunshine HIghway

10 Years of Service

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You Don't Say... February 21, 2012

I'm not saying that I'm a practicing Catholic any more, but even a lay agnostic-atheist-who-the-hell-knows-what's-really-out-there like me can appreciate the joys of Mardi Gras. In New Orleans today, one can find divine song, dangerous drinks, delectable food and beads. Who doesn't love beads?

I'm not saying that recent studies showing that the results of bullying last into adulthood were a waste of time, but anyone who has survived high school, including yours truly, can tell you that those thoughts and feelings don't just disappear. The real trick is to give youths enough guidance and avenues to take out their aggression in healthy ways so that they don't beat up on the goths, rockers, freaks, geeks, skaters, stoners, nerds, lesbians, gays and the big-boned.

I'm not saying that Rob Ford and his cronies firing TTC chief general manager Gary Webster is an act of childish retaliation, but he was one of the people who stood to be counted as a fan of light rail and an opponent of the mayor's underground subway strategy. Aww...the mayor didn't get his way, so he not only left last week's council meeting to ride the subway all night, but he also helped get Webster fired without just cause. Webster's only recent crime was to give his honest opinion and tell Mr. Ford that building light rail was more logistically sound than subways, which it is. What's next? President Obama being impeached because he tells Republicans in the House that unemployment and healthcare are more important than corporate tax cuts? Pearl Jam firing Eddie Vedder because he believes that some causes are more important than living the rock star life? Mickey Mouse being fired because he told Disney CEOs to stop making movies full of racism, prejudice and stereotype?

I'm not saying that Jose Bautista is tired of being asked about performance enhancing drugs, but if you look close during interviews you can see he has his baseball bat cocked and ready to hit an unsuspecting reporter's microphone into the upper deck if he mentions the word steroids.

I'm not saying that Premier McGuinty is missing the boat by ruling out any tax hikes to help pay off the deficit, but he is standing in the harbour as it sails out to sea. If corporate taxes were raised even to 2001 levels, the province would have half the problem solved right there. It's better than gutting this province and dealing with the Greece-style social unrest that will occur if the premier follows most of Don Drummond's recommendations.

I'm not saying that Rupert Murdoch's new Sun on Sunday will be full of scandal and corruption, but I'm pretty sure my European correspondents saw his employees tapping Silvio Berlusconi's phone the other day...only to untap it 12 minutes later and run away screaming after hearing words that should never come out of an old man's mouth: "Honey, where did I leave my speedos?"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

On the Fatal Flaw of The Drummond Report

Below is a link to a great article written for on the fatal flaw of the Drummond Report. Essentially, he didn't have a choice but to recommend deep cuts because one of his rules was that he couldn't recommend raising any taxes. Read the eye-opening piece below.

The article suggests that ordinary, middle-class Canadians are not in favour of most tax increases, but 90% would support a tax increase on those whose income is over $500,000 a year. Seems fair to me.

The article also says that raising the corporate tax rate back to 14%, instead of DECREASING IT even more to 10%. What an irresponsible thing to do that would be in these times of financial turmoil! That would lead an even larger deficit for the province of Ontario and would piss off most of its residents to no end.

Mr. McGuinty, I have been a supporter of yours on most policies up until now, but don't turn into another zombie serving the corporate interest over that of regular people. Fight it! I know deep down you are more progressive than Stephen Harper! Allow taxes on big corporations and the wealthy to go up so that we don't have to strip this province to the bone!

EDIT: TwoToronto Star writers wrote some interesting stuff on Don Drummond's report today. Read their take on Drummond and Ontario below.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Time for a Music Break

Let's take a little break from the heavy for a while by enjoying some music by one of Canada's finest rock n' roll bands: The Headstones. Seen em' live three times and they have torn up the stage each time. Here are a few videos to remind everyone how great this band is:

When Something Stands for Nothing


Blonde and Blue


Thursday, February 16, 2012

You Don't Say... February 16, 2012

I'm not saying that I knew Whitney Houston well or that I will mourn for days now that she is gone, but the world lost a talented performer and one hell of a voice. Rest in peace Whitney.

I'm not saying I'm having second thoughts about thinking it's a good thing that Toronto EMS services are now considered "essential" by the city, but how exactly is it a good thing in the long run? They lost a lot of bargaining power by losing the right to strike when they were declared essential and are pissed off as a result. Let's hope the city doesn't take advantage of this fact. Rob Ford would NEVER do that...right?

I'm not saying that I'm happy that Rick Santorum won 3 Republican Primaries over the weekend, but it does make Barack Obama's path back to the White House that much smoother. Those victories keep Slick Rick in the race, which will ultimately prove costly to whoever gets the nomination. Between Santorum, Mitt Romney and good ol' Newt Gingrich, the combatants are tearing each other apart and emptying each other's closets of all their skeletons, making American voters wary of trusting any of them. Their loss is Obama's gain and I'm mighty pleased about it. Keep up the good fight, boys!

I'm not saying that the Federal Tories' changes to the Balanced Refugee Reform Act are stupid, but they are harmful and could prove deadly. So, the conservatives don't want to allow refugee claimants from "safe countries" to be able to appeal rejected claims in order to "speed up the removal of bogus claims", eh? Citizens of "safe countries" have reasonable grounds for fleeing their native lands (see religious or political persecution, crime etc.), but often have their applications summarily dismissed after a scant glance because their countries are "not dangerous enough". These people need a right to an appeal, too, and deserve a second chance of getting their pleas heard.

I'm not saying the Drummond Report paints a gloomy picture for the future of Ontario, but a drizzly, foggy, cold, damp night in London, England looks like a week at a sunny tropical resort compared to this. Is it worth it to harm our childrens' futures by increasing class sizes and user fees for programs just to have a balanced budget by a specific date? Is cutting post-secondary education and healthcare funding and messing with money-making assets just to save a few bucks? NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. Time to take a more well thought out, less guillotine-like approach to raising revenues and controlling spending around here. Closing tax loopholes and raising corporate taxes anyone?

I'm not saying the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doesn't have the constitutional right to complain about President Obama's contraception compromise, but it does appear that they, along with Fox News and others, are being extremely melodramatic about the whole situation. religiously affiliated hospitals and universities don't even have to pay for any type of birth control for employees or students, their insurance companies will. I thought Obama already catered to their feelings and complaints. What gives?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Good, Bad, Ugly and Meh of Monday Night Raw: February 13, 2012

The Good...
Triple H and Shawn Michaels' emotionally-charged encounter that was the highlight of the show for me. It gave new intrigue to the impending Undertaker/Triple H match at Wrestlemania and gave The Game new motivation for ducking The Phenom: he doesn't want to hurt business by taking Taker out. I look forward to seeing how Undertaker responds to that statement.

The Bad...
The commentary took a step back this week. Michael Cole was back to being a cheerleader and didn't spend enough time calling matches. It didn't help the show at all. And why was Michael Cole praising Daniel Bryan so much when he was sitting at the announce table and then bashing Bryan again once the champ left? Heel announcers have done this before, but Cole was too extreme and over the top.

Tamina's win over Brie Bella helped show the daughter of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has in-ring skill, as she hit a pretty splash off the top rope and a teeth-rattling back body drop, but this was totally a 2-minute squash match. Brie had very little offense and not enough time was given for any sort of story to really be told in the ring. Once again I will repeat, if you want the audience to take the divas seriously as wrestlers, the WWE must give them time to show their skill and charisma in the ring.

I like that Chris Jericho beat Kofi Kingston in their match, but how did Jericho kick out of 2 Trouble-In-Paradise finishers and defeat Kingston with 1 Code Breaker? They got a few minutes to tell the story in their contest and both competitors got in some offense and some nice spots. But it just doesn't sit well with me that sometimes finishers are lights-out and sometimes don't really mean much. Did a thumb to Kingston's eye really make Jericho's finisher that much better? I think it's becoming very obvious we will see Jericho/Punk at Mania.

The Ugly...
The 6-superstar debate that started RAW was just not good. Except for R-Truth's weird story about eating spiders, there were no exceptional speeches and it didn't help anyone gain support or heat. Also, why didn't a huge brawl break out when Jericho started insulting everyone and throwing podiums around? It just lacked any umph and felt very awkward.

CM Punk and the Miz had a short match in which Punk had most of the offense. Are they trying to squash the Miz and tell the audience that there is no way he can win the Elimination Chamber match? Miz was in the main event at last year's Wrestlemania and ain't going to be anywhere near it this time around.

The Meh...
The R-Truth victory over Dolph Ziggler wasn't a great match and Truth's victory came out of nowhere, which I DON'T LIKE. Every time you see a guy gaining momentum these days, you know he will lose within a minute.

The Kane/Cena/Ryder/Eve storyline saw yet another deadly attack on Zack Ryder by Kane, but I enjoyed the plot twist. Eve kissing Cena and subsequently telling Long Island Iced Z that he is just a friend was unexpected and an interesting device to use to push Cena closer to the edge of becoming a heel. I'm just not fully sure why Eve kissed him because in previous weeks it seemed very clear she liked Ryder and was certainly not fond of Cena. Some good and some head-scratching confusion puts this one in the Meh column.

Daniel Bryan didn't need to interfere with the Randy Orton/Big Show match, as they were doing a decent job in the ring and developing a rivalry between them. Theses run-in endings are hardly ever satisfying; however, Bryan did an excellent job playing up his character and has started to generate tons of heat from the audience. Again, a mixed bag segment.

Overall: 68/70
The show advanced the Cena/Kane and HHH/Undertaker storylines, but the matches left something to be desired. The crowd was ok and the mic work was entertaining, apart from the debate segment. Finally, the show would have been just as entertaining without the announcers. They are being wasted right now.

Friday, February 10, 2012

On Full-Day Kindergarten

I just read an interesting article written by Meredith Martin, an SK-grade one teacher. She points out some interesting effects of the implementation of full-day kindergarten that the average non-kindergarten teacher wouldn't realize or think about. You can read her article below.

Essentially, she is not a big fan of full-day kindergarten because it hurts daycare funding, many schools don't have enough classrooms equipped with bathrooms and the like to house all the registered youngsters and the class sizes are too big for any teacher/ECE to effectively look after the emotional and educational needs of students who are under 5 years old.

This is a timely article, given that Don Drummond's report on ways to control provincial government spending in Ontario is likely to suggest that full-day kindergarten be given the ax to save over a billion dollars a year. Whilst many argue that this program needs to be saved, I am going to take the opposite perspective and say that it should go.

Why do I think it should be cut? For the same reasons as Martin, plus a few uniquely my own. It's true that many schools don't have enough space to accommodate the new classes full-day kindergarten will make necessary, and it would cost millions to renovate the schools to make it possible.

Secondly, no kindergarten kid can work in a room with 25-29 other wee, attention-demanding lads pulling on the teacher's arm and telling him/her: "teacher, I have to go, I have to go...oh, too late!" The provincial mandate of 20 for half-day kindergarten is still high, but much more manageable than 30 youngsters for a full day. I know that in theory classes have 2 adults in them now, a teacher and early childhood educator, but that doesn't always happen and 4 grownups wouldn't be enough to sort out all the issues that 30 JK students can have from 9-2:30.

On a more basic note, I also think that a full day of school is too long for a 4-6 year-old, no matter how many nap times you give them. The theory is that students can learn a lot more and be much more advanced by grade 1 if they spend all day in school in kindergarten, but this idea forgets the simple truth that there is only so much a young kid can absorb in a day and only so much time they can spend concentrating.

The provincial government got rid of grade 13 in high schools about a decade ago and has since tried to teach 15 years of material in 14 years, starting with more advanced learning at the lowest levels. The only problem is that students are not ready for more advanced ideas at younger ages, especially JK, so cutting off a year at the top end and tacking on class time at the bottom doesn't even out.

So, all in all, I say scrap full-day kindergarten. I know that it would leave lots of kindergarten teachers and ECE's out of work, which is definitely a shame. But, just in terms of the program itself, it isn't working and the money would be better spent giving those ECE's jobs in daycares and such. They could also be kept on to work in half-day kindergarten classes. Hell, 5 adults could be put to good use in any class with little ones, so why not keep the ECE's on to lend a helping hand?

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

You Don't Say... Tuesday February 7, 2012

I'm not saying that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's announcements that the retirement age and how the government selects immigrants is about to change were sneaky and cowardly, but considering he made the changes without consulting the Canadian public, it wasn't his bravest moment. Heck, even Dick Cheney climbed out of his cave to admit he lost respect for Harper's testicular fortitude.

I'm not saying that if Toronto City Council votes to abandon Rob Ford's plan of building underground subways and re-adopts David Miller's Transit City plan it would mean the death of the mayor's re-election bid, but it would mean that almost everything Ford promised to do in his election campaign would have  failed to come to pass. I hear he has a minister and undertaker on speed dial.

I'm not saying it's completely and unequivocally wrong for the federal government to use intelligence gained through torture to protect the lives of Canadians, but that information is incredibly tainted and how can we trust it to be in any way true and accurate? People can be made to say anything to make the pain stop. That is doing something unspeakably terrible to achieve a questionable result like killing an entire family of people because you want their house and car. Amnesty International Canada has already condemned this attitude.

Monday, February 06, 2012

You Don't Say... Monday February 6, 2012

I'm not saying that the Ford administration got the better deal when the tentative agreement with Toronto's outdoor workers was reached on Sunday, but job security certainly took a beating. On the other hand, it appears that the union gained salary increases and got EMS declared an essential service, so we will call this one a draw.

I'm not saying that I don't like the 8 degree temperature we are experiencing in Toronto today, but does anyone else feel that some heavenly or hellish force is just teasing us with this warmer-than-average February before utterly destroying us in the days to come? The planet is out of whack and I think I might start up my countdown to 12-12-12 clock...

I'm not saying that Sarah Burke's insurance company did anything illegal in any way, but to claim that she wasn't covered for the event that cost her her life because it was a "corporate" event and not part of her normal tour events is really slimy if you ask me. Kudos to all who donated money to her family to pay her $200,000 medical bill that the cheapskate insurance company that represented the X Games wouldn't cover.

I'm not saying it was stupid of China and Russia to block UN motions to take more drastic action to protect the people of Syria, but diplomacy has failed for months on end and the time to remove the Assad regime is at hand.

I'm not saying that building more underground subways in Toronto is not possible in the future, but it won't be financially affordable for 800,000 years unless the city, province and federal government all pitch in more funds to make it happen. They did offer money for Transit City, but Mayor Ford decided to kill that deal his first day in office because he doesn't want to "obstruct" road traffic with streetcars. Good luck with your private sector funding Mr. Mayor. Toronto needs something now and, according to experts, an LRT system is the best way to go.

I'm not saying that Greek hydro companies didn't have the legal right to turn off the heat in homes that couldn't afford to pay their bills last week, but it's inhumane to leave people literally freezing to death during the worst cold snap of the year. Greece and the rest of the world can take their austerity measures and tax increases and...

Finally, I'm not saying that Caterpillar and their subsidiary Progress Rail Services are not cowards and evil, greedy monkeys, but when they demanded that workers at their unionized London factory take 50% pay cuts and closed the plant shortly after employees rejected that request, they proved without a shadow of a doubt that they don't give a damn about their employees. I would understand Caterpillar's claim that this factory has become "economically unsustainable" if the company hadn't earned a record $5 billion in profits last quarter. The government needs to step in and compensate workers. Kudos to Mark's Work Wearhouse for taking Caterpillar products off it's shelves.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

On the Royal Rumble

I know I am late again with my wrestling reviews, but here was my take on the Rumble when I watched it:

The Good...
The CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler match featured excellent moves and good storytelling in the ring, then you had the Punk-Laurinitis interaction outside the ring that gave it extra gusto. Good all-around match that finally woke up the crowd.

The Royal Rumble match itself was full of unique spots like Kofi Kingston avoiding elimination by walking on his hands. There also was the Socko vs. Cobra moment between Mick Foley and Santino Marella. Futhermore, Road Dogg showed he's still got it in the ring and there were enough surprises to make this match memorable among the 24 previous Rumble matches. Jericho almost pulled out the victory, but I didn't mind that WWE didn't go with the predictable winner and gave Sheamus the push with the win.

The announcers actually kept the bickering to a minimum and called matches. They have been doing that recently and it has added to - or at least not taken away from - the overall effectiveness of the show.

The Bad...
The cage match between Daniel Bryan, Big Show and Mark Henry lacked any big spots or anything to make it stand out. One could have predicted that given Mark Henry's injuries and the fact that Big Show can't exactly climb out of the ring easily.

John Cena and Kane had some nice brawling moments in their match and got mild pops from the crowd, including tenacious boos when Cena walked to the ring. The double count out and subsequent beating of Zack Ryder bothered me though. A count out is not the way to end a pay-per-view match and Ryder has taken enough punishment over the past few weeks. Dear WWE: stop burying him!

The crowd didn't sustain any real noise or excitement. They weren't bad, but just not as good as Rumble crowds of old.

The Ugly...
An 8-diva tag match at the Royal Rumble? Seriously? This is a waste-of-time Raw match at best. At least make it for the title. I will grant that the ladies got more time to let the match unfold in the ring than they do on weekly TV, but this could have been thought out much better.

A Brodus Clay squash match on a PPV? Seriously? I know I sound like  broken record, but why was this on the Royal Rumble card? Drew McIntyre continued to get buried and Clay didn't get enough time to establish the fact that he can actually wrestle and/or entertain in the ring. This is a match that I would bitch about being on Raw, so why put it on a PPV? Take it away and give the other matches (like Punk-Ziggler) more time to play out.

Overall: 72/100
Punk-Ziggler-Johnny Ace and the Rumble match got the crowd going, but the rest felt like an episode of Monday Night Raw.

Your thoughts on the big show?

Friday, February 03, 2012

On the Equality Petition

If you want to know what I stand for and what I want to see happen, then check out the link below. Tax fairness and wage equality would go a long way to fixing what I perceive as some of the biggest social ills in the world today.

If you agree with me, then sign the petition below and help continue the fight for economic and humanitarian reform. If not, I would like to know what you would rather see as ways to fix economies that are clearly broken, where the middle class is disappearing and the number of unemployed and people living below the poverty line is growing. And I'm being sincere about that. I would like to have a dialogue with people about how we can make the world a better place.

On Bad Bargaining Practices

Rob Ford and his staff keep finding new ways to make me sick. This time it involves bad negotiating practices with the city's unionized workers. City just tabled an 11th hour offer to workers that takes away job security and benefits and makes it easier to fire workers. Not only that, they said that the city will impose these new conditions whether the union accepts them or not, forcing unionized workers to accept their terms or go on strike. Read the Toronto Star article about the situation below.

Basically, Ford is trying to paint the union as the bad guys by giving them an offer they can't accept and then letting them go on strike. This prevents Ford from having to look like the bad guy by locking workers out on Sunday if a new deal is not in place.

This is a really dirty, underhanded tactic that someone who truly wanted a deal in place before the current contract runs out wouldn't do. It is, yet again, another case of bullying by the Ford administration and it is their way of trying to divide and break down the union and to turn the public against them. Essentially, I believe they feel that if the union goes on strike, then Ford's team can villainize them them and convince the public to demand the city use cheaper, non-unionized workers.

Whether you like unions or not, dirty bargaining practices have no place in honest negotiations. Ford and his stooges have to go. They have to go soon before they destroy this city!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

On Austerity

It has become a fact of life that cash-strapped nations are - by their own choice or through IMF or EU demands - turning to austerity measures to trim money off their egregious debts. While in some ways these measures seem necessary and while there is some logic in trimming budgets during a recession, I think that austerity measures are counter-productive and are part of the problem, not the solution. Let me explain:

1. Governments often sell off assets in order to trim money from their budgets to meet austerity requirements. This does save them money in the short-term, but it leads to bigger deficits and debts in the future. Assets often make money for a government (ex. the LCBO in Ontario) and governments don't often make moves to replace that lost income...except for maybe burdening citizens with higher taxes and tuition costs, which they can't afford.

2. Austerity usually means cutting education funding, which is going to make the enormous problem of unemployment in almost every nation on the planet worse. One of the reasons for the huge protests in England in the past 18 months was the doubling of tuitions for many universities. This increase will prevent thousands of young people from being able to afford a post-secondary education, which significantly hampers their job prospects in life.

3. The last time that such budget cuts were made en mass was during The Great Depression in the 1930s. Do you remember what got the world out of that funk? That's right! It wasn't an economy that slowly recovered due to budget was World War II. WWII forced governments to stimulate the economy by spending billions on soldier training, munitions, planes, tanks etc. That also gave millions of people soldier or factory jobs they didn't necessarily want. Are we going to make the same mistake and wait until another huge world-wide catastrophy comes along and forces governments to spend money and  create jobs again?

This is what I would prefer to see happen to end this recession and get the world back on track:

1. The oft-heard cry of "make wealthy people and corporations pay their fair share" needs to be heard and acted upon. Close loopholes that allow these two groups of citizens to pay less taxes than their secretaries and there ya go...many nations would suddenly have billions more dollars to work worth.

2. Stimulate the economy in a smart way by investing in infrastructure. If you put money into education programs, re-training programs for people who have lost their jobs, green energy projects, road and bridge repair initiatives and other such programs you will fix a lot of the current problems in this country and many others.

Funding education more will drop tutions and allow more people to get post-secondary degrees, which makes it much easier for them to find employment once school is finished.

If you spend money re-training people, their job prospects will also increase and they won't need to collect social assistance from the government anymore, thus saving the government money in the long-term.

If you put money into green energy, you will employee thousands of previously unemployed workers and you will build a sustainable future for your country.

If you repair roads and bridges, you will have a safer society and you will create jobs for thousands more people.

And the other side effect of all this investment is that it will help bring in foreign businesses and investment. If companies see a growing economy with a growing middle class that has some disposable income, they will decide that is a place to set up shop. If they see a city/country with a low unemployment rate and a pretty good average household income, which is the goal of my plan, they will see that as a place where people will buy their products.

Where will all this money that would be needed to stimulate the economy so much come from? Why, from tax reform of course!!!

This is a topic I am very passionate about and would love to hear other perspectives in this controversial debate. Leave comments below to spark the debate.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

On Ford Bullying... Again

Well, here is another example of bullying and believing they are above the system by the brothers Ford. This time it was Doug who threatened an activist and is playing kindergarten games about an apology. Read more at the link below.

Whether you agree or disagree with the policies of the Fords in Toronto city council, there is no room for threats and refusals to apologize. It is not an apology when you tell someone that you are sorry if they "took what you said the wrong way" and then refuse a real apology, even after being told to give one by integrity commissioner Janet Leiper.

There is no need to be aggressive and confrontational just because you think the person you are talking to represents "left-wing unions". And besides, this is a clear indication of the Fords' agenda to bust unions and give jobs to the lowest bidder.

Toronto deserves better. Next election we will demand better.