"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So this happened...

It was a matter of time really, but my latest temporary job has run it's course and I am once again seeking employment. I was hired on a simple letter of employment for eight months as a copy editor and that was ten months ago, so I suppose I can't really complain.
But, I will, just for a moment.
Ah, what a joy to know that one is at the cutting edge of corporate cost-cutting human resources policy. The paper will be the poorer for it, and all my former colleagues will have to work that much harder to fill the staffing gap, but the shareholders will see a .001% increase in their dividend this quarter.
For a few weeks there, I almost felt like I had a secure future.
In the same way that I cannot imagine anyone of my parents' early boomer generation being 45 and facing the prospect of never again having a full-time, permanent staff type of job with benefits and a company pension, I am equally certain they cannot fathom how this is, unfortunately, pretty much the norm for my generation.
We can bitch about the Harper government's decision to defer the old age pension until 67 years of age, but the reality is that many of my peers will never have the financial resources to retire in the first place, no matter what the CPC rate is.
And before anyone starts commenting that I should have saved and put it away in an RRSP when times were good, let me ask, when was that? I put away plenty in my 20s and 30s, despite working at near minimum wage levels in the community newspaper industry in my 20s, but the market crash of 2008 took a major chunk of that - and it wasn't like I had plowed all my money into unicorn futures or anything like that. Just your bog-standard mutual funds and blue chips. It isn't all gone, but I would have made a lot more if I had just bought Krugerrands and buried them in the yard. As it stands, with compound interest and some creative investing twenty years from now I may get back nearly as much as I put in.
So my 'retirement' plan has now gone from "dying while I can still afford the high quality dog food" to "hoping not to have to sell a kidney to pay the rent before I'm 60."

And that is all the whining I'm going to do. I have some prospects in my field, all temporary contracts, naturally, but this is business we have chosen.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All you need to know...

It is said that all the philosophy one needs to live right can be found in a single source. Traditionalists choose the Koran or the Bible or the Talmud. Others rely on books ranging from Lord of the Rings to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Atlas Shrugged. More modern folk choose movies or Television - the Godfather, Star Trek, Star Wars, even Highlander all have their cults.
But for true thinking - All you need to know you can learn from Rio Bravo.  


Sunday, April 08, 2012

What could possibly go wrong?

In the wake of the Trevyon Martin shooting, this is quite likely the last thing that needs to happen:

Neo-Nazis patrolling Florida town where Trayvon Martin was killed

Yes, that's what everyone thinks of when they think of group named after the Nazis, that they are a civil rights organization. Frankly, I almost hope some retired Jewish veteran sees these knuckle draggers waving a swastika and open fires on them, citing the stand your ground laws as justification. They would certainly have a better case for doing so than George Zimmerman did for killing Treyvon Martin.

But remember the NRA says that guns make us all safer. And by "Us" I can only assume they mean terrified bigoted cracker morons with more ammunition than brains. Especially in America's "post racial society" where shit like this keeps on happening.


Blog against Theocracy weekend

Rather than rage against the fundementalists that seek to impose the narrow-minded rules of their various faiths upon us, I'd like to take a positive approach to the Blog Against Theocracy weekend and express my admiration for the Bluewater District School Board for doing the sensible thing and ensuring that public schools stay secular.
As the link shows, they have taken all kinds of abuse from those who seek to impose their religious faith on others, so I think it is important to that we let them know they have the support of the majority out there that don't want religion in the public school system
I even wrote them a letter and urge you to do likewise.

Dear board members,

I am writing to commend you on our decision to ban non-instructional religious materials from the schools in the Bluewater district. Favouring or merely appearing to favour one religion over another has absolutely no place in the public school system.
Please do not be swayed by those who accuse you of "political correctness"  for choosing not to ride roughshod over both the spirit of our Constitution and the feelings of non-Christians. Those who claim this decision somehow erodes "Canadian heritage" or feel free to rage against immigrants are simply demonstrating their ignorance and narrow-minded bigotry. One can only imagine their reaction if a group of dedicated Muslims wanted to give a copy of the Koran to every grade 5 student or a group of Buddhists wanted to come in and teach students how to meditate.
Let those who feel it is important for their children to receive religious instruction send their children to any of the many private or publicly-funded religious schools. Religious instruction is not the responsibility of the public school system and it is vital that public schools remain strictly secular.
I applaud you for your fairmindedness, consideration, sensitivity and courage. The moral strength you have demonstrated in this matter sets an admirable example for the students in the Bluewater District and I hope other boards follow your example.
You can reach the Bluewater District Board of Education at:
P.O. Box 190
351 1st Avenue North
Chesley, Ontario N0G 1L0



/30 Mike Wallace

If ever there was a phrase that struck fear into the corrupt politician, the dishonest businessman or the professional con-man, it was "Mike Wallace is out front with a camera crew and he wants to speak with you."
Wallace was an inspiration to reporters everywhere and proved that TV could do real journalism.