Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
The anonymous nature of the internet has long been a source of irk for people that like open and honest debate. It's too easy for people to duck behind a handle and lob hate-filled tirades at such diverse targets as Barack Obama, the Cincinnati Reds and filmmaker Ridley Scott. Now I believe in Freedom of Speech as a foundation for our whole, you know, society, but part-in-parcel with that freedom is responsibility.
So when someone who goes by the moniker "Serious Cynic" compares our local government to Nazi Germany, it means it's time to reach back and remember some words written here and here.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
“Voter suppression is as old as the hills.”
If you thought that was some pundit or internet blogger saying those words you'd be wrong. Nope, it was Arthur Hamilton, lawyer for the Conservative Party of Canada in matters of legal action concerning the outcome of the 2011 Federal election.
Consider that this was no mere suppression, all the robocalls representing a nation-wide effort to stop thousands of Canadians from exercising their right to vote, to basically shrug your shoulders and say "oh, well" seems like something of a brush off. As if this entire affair was a waste of his time. Fortunately, others disagree.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Yay! The splash pad in front of City Hall is officially open, and on the first week of summer, with sky high temperatures, it was proverbial kismet. The timing was either karmic or shrewd depending on who we thank for it. With such a wonderful, and refreshing, addition to downtown, who could possibly be angry?
If you said the merchants of Carden Street, you must be psychic. Not enough to be front row centre in one of the busiest new areas in town, and not enough to have survived the long drought of over five-years of construction, but now people are parking in their spaces in front of their stores because they're using the facilities in front of City Hall. Quelle horreur. How is someone expected to run a business when people can't park directly in front of the place?
Sunday, June 17, 2012
To complete my trifecta of things in the Mercury that have made be angry (sorry Mercury staff), I come to another post on the 59 Carden St blog. Well, in the Mercury's defense, they were just regurgitating something posted on Ian Findlay's blog, but let's just say it opened old wounds.
You may recall a to-do made a month ago about a promotional video featuring the City of Guelph that the Mayor and others tried to pawn off as a prestige placement that Guelph was selected for, but what it really was was an infomercial paid for by the City. The series, Profiles with Terry Bradshaw wasn't so much a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous for out of the way tourist destinations in North America so much as it was a get-rich quick scheme for Bradshaw.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Last weekend, the Guelph Mercury's Scott Tracey wrote an editorial about his limited, one day experience taking Guelph Transit and how it didn't turn him into a transit user. Unsurprising based on the facts: Scott suffered one late bus on his way to the office, got his pants wet in the rain, and had to hang around in the office an extra half and hour when he couldn't get down to Guelph Central Station on time to get the bus home. It's what my eighth grade math teacher would have called a sad but true story.
The real sadness though is that Scott Tracey, using the tremendous platform that he has, basically dismissed the use of transit after one day; a day that's one of the busiest considering that everyone rides for free, and not exactly pleasant given the downpour. But based on one day and four bus rides, Scott decided that transit isn't for him. Fair enough.
The last week I've been tracking a bizarre discussion on the 59 Carden St. blog about, of all things, the newly opened splash pad in Market Square in front of City Hall. Three of the first five posts were critical saying things like:
- I see the new down town pissiors are back in operation with a new twist.
- These eco-nuts are just that - No Eco - just PLAIN NUTS!!
- In the end it is just another feel good waste of money by the Council that loves to spend on the wrong stuff.
To which I responded:
What is it with this town where even a splash pad becomes a lightning rod of controversy?
I have yet to get a satisfactory response from the "Serious Cynics" of the world, but I would, however, like to expand on my observation.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
It was a bug on Mayor Rob Ford's butt since he was elected: a 5 cent fee on all plastic shopping bags. But in the midst of the mayor's many other issues as of late, perhaps it's unsurprising that the vote didn't go exactly according to plan.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Today the celebrations for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee took place in, around, and on the Thames River, and it was just about the biggest thing to hit London since the premiere of the last Harry Potter movie. Or maybe bigger than that.
Now I've made no secret that I'm a monarchist, or at least if it is a secret it's been unintentional. Call me crazy, but I think the monarchy still has meaning in the 21st century. Maybe there's something to being reminded that power was once held be an elite few who only shared it with blood, and that now their power is granted by the continued good graces of the people. Or maybe the monarchy still matters because we still look to the Queen for comfort in times of distress, the Commonwealth's mutual grandmother for all intents and purposes. Or just maybe, the monarchy plays into our collective love of pageantry, playing dress up in elaborate costumes, getting to take part in parades, wearing awesome hats, etc.
Friday, June 1, 2012
The primary ingredient to this past week's infamous face-eating/zombie attack affair in Florida has apparently made its way north. Specifically Canada. Specifically Guelph. At least according to the Guelph Mercury, bath salts are in the Royal City.
Apparently, and I did not know this, bath salts have already made a beach head in Canada in the Atlantic provinces. The drug, a combination of mephedrone and methylone called methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) that just so happens to look like Epsom salts, is not technically illegal in Canada, even though its two core ingredients are on the list of substances banned by the controlled drugs and substances act.