3/06/2002

Random Acts of Madness

A woman shoved by a total stranger from the platform onto the subway tracks at Coxwell Station yesterday had only a moment to scramble to safety under the platform before a train came, police said.

Jean Chretein called on both parties to immediately cease hostilities and come to the negotiating table so that a 'lasting peace' could be established.


More dissent from Canwest reporters. This time it's in Regina.

Reporters at the Regina Leader-Post say they're the latest victims of interference by their owner. And most of them have removed their bylines from paper in protest
Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham is following closely in the tentative footsteps of his leader. Both men are adamant in their insistence that nobody is really better or worse than anyone else. Chretien says "sure it looks like Mugabe is terrorizing and cheating his way towards a stolen election, but let's not jump to any conclusions." Graham gets up today and gives the old 'even-handed' response to events in the middle east. It's as if he really doesn't see any difference between a suicide bomber targeting a crowded pizza parlour and a military response to terrorist acts. "We deplore all acts of violence and that's that." These guys seem to confuse the willful blindness of the cuckold with open-minded statesmanship. It's no virtue to refuse to judge, it's moral cowardice. I'm sickened by the pair of them.
I'd like to apologize for the language in that previous post. It's just that sometimes... Geeeezzz, ya know?
Some flaming asshole... No. A specific flaming asshole, Michel Thibodeau, has launched a lawsuit against Air Canada because he was unable to order his preferred beverage in French. What a contemptible little shithead. Let's review the traumatic events...

Michel Thibodeau, a 34-year-old computer technician with the House of Commons, filed the lawsuit in federal court yesterday. The lawsuit asks for a public apology from Air Canada and regional carrier Air Ontario, plus $25,000 in damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

The Commissioner of Official Languages has already investigated Mr. Thibodeau's complaint against Air Canada and ruled in his favour in January. The commissioner investigated for 16 months before ruling Mr. Thibodeau, who is fluently bilingual, was unable to use French to order a 7-Up while he was a passenger on a Montreal to Ottawa flight on Aug. 14, 2000

Sixteen months. One year and four months to investigate this incredibly stupid event on a flight that lasts less than one hour.

Indeed, so heated did the 7-Up argument become that Air Canada called the Ottawa-Carleton police to interview Mr. Thibodeau when the plane landed at MacDonald-Cartier International Airport. No charges were laid and there was no formal police investigation.

Gee, I wonder who the 'heat' was coming from?

According to the written decision of the Official Languages Commissioner, problems developed as soon as Mr. Thibodeau and his wife boarded the Air Ontario flight when Mr. Thibodeau said "Bonjour" to the flight attendant and she answered in English.

'Problems developed' when the flight attendant greeted Michel in English. Do we really need to know anything more about Michel? Haven't we all met these petty, petulant little losers who, lacking any legitimate claims on our attention, start kicking up a fuss about some imagined slight? "You didn't validate my feelings. I'm going to fuck you over in any manner I can."

Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendant began beverage service. Mr. Thibodeau, speaking French, ordered a 7-Up and the flight attendant told him she did not understand. Mr. Thibodeau repeated the order in French. The flight attendant continued to say she couldn't understand, and eventually an off-duty flight attendant came over to interpret.

I'm sure Mr. Thibodeau was polite and tolerant with the flight attendant, aren't you? Imagine the nerve of this low-class Anglais server to take a job in customer service without learning the language of romance. Complete trash, without a doubt.

The off-duty flight attendant, saying there was not enough time to continue the argument, eventually served Mr. Thibodeau a Sprite. Mr. Thibodeau then asked to speak to the captain. He made the request several times, yelling it at least once, at which point the captain called the Ottawa police and asked them to meet the plane when it landed.

So the asshole did get his drink but was enjoying his wounded feelings so much that he had to demand a new target for his outrage. The captain, presumably busy flying the plane, declined to meet with the idiot. Why the hell wasn't he charged with creating a disturbance, I'd like to know.

God but I am sick of this country. Why do we not have the modest amount of self-respect required to answer this guy in the manner he deserves. "Sit down, shut up and, for god sakes, act like a man. I don't care if you're French or English, Man or Woman, Black or White, start showing a lick of sense about what's injustice and what's masturbation or we'll never get out of this fucking mess."

16 months. $500,000. What a farce of a country.












3/05/2002

David Janes is wondering what the heck is going on with the Liberals in his absence. That's a very good question and I only wish I had a very good answer for you. The short answer (which is not the same as a good answer) is that Jean is in a spot of trouble. There have been dozens of small rebellions going on ever since the cabinet shuffle and I don't know if Chretien has enough fight left in him to put down this rebellion. The Martin backers are obviously feeling their oats and I think Chretien knows that he has let things slip for far too long. He has to make a choice between letting the reins go altogether or trying (and possibly failing) to re-assert his authority. I don't think he has much of a taste for either option. He has to choose between retiring undefeated or fighting one more battle. The Martinites have already taken away his opportunity to go out on his own terms, they are pushing him harder and more openly with each passing week. Here's the latest provocation. The question is; does he go soon with his pride slightly scuffed up or does he throw down for one more battle royale and run the risk of being deeply embarrassed?

People always describe Chretien as a fighter, even a brawler, but I think the man's a coward and I don't think he enters any fight unless the odds are stacked overwhelmingly in his favour. I think he'll make a deal to quiet the dissenters; he'll get a huge showing of support in the leadership review next year in return for an ironclad promise to retire shortly after. The only question is whether or not he has enough credence with the Martinites to let him make that kind of promise.
With a refreshing display of candor a local councilor admits that it may take 'years' to outlaw a perfectly safe product that people seem to want.

Ottawa - An Ottawa City Councilor says it may take years to change people's attitudes about the use of pesticides.

Diane Deans made the comment, as she voted to spend $400,000 on a campaign to reduce the use of pesticides.


"Thankfully, we have the time and the funding we need to get the job done" she failed to add.

Deans says it was easier to convince people that Ottawa's smoking ban was warranted because of medical evidence linking health problems to smoking.

She says the link between pesticides and health problems, is not as clear.


Deans and the rest of the council, undaunted by the lack of public concern, have decided to forge ahead with an information campaign trusting in the research community to come up with some information 'eventually.'

"I don't believe that within a few months or even a year, that we'll have moved public opinion or that medical evidence will have moved dramatically enough to convince people that they should abandon the old habits of spraying pesticides and finding alternative approaches," says Deans.

Deans and the rest of the council will next consider the question of having green shingles installed on every public and privately owned building in the city. "We think it might foster a greater sense of community if everyone has a pretty green roof. "


Another gem from Arts & Letters Daily.

I'm a huge John Steinbeck fan and I've always taken criticisms against him kind of personally. Here's a great defence of Steinbeck from the San Francisco Chronicle

The knock on Steinbeck has always been that he's too emotional, too sentimental, his symbolism is so apparent that -- heaven forfend! -- even a high school student can appreciate it.

Quoting author Peter Orner...

"Steinbeck says somewhere that reading certain great books ('Madame Bovary' and 'Crime and Punishment') was less like reading than living through them because they became a part of his actual memory. All that happened in those books happened to him personally. I feel the same way about 'The Grapes of Wrath,' that I lived through all that dust and hunger and, most important, anger."


I've been kind of discouraged with the whole Blog thing lately... My hit counter is not working because Bravenet got hacked. The free version of the Blogger software has been slow and glitchy - I've considered going to Blogger Pro but I've given just as much consideration (possibly even more) to dropping this thing like a bad habit - I've pretty much hit all my hot buttons and the world is not much improved by it. But, what the heck... maybe I'll keep plugging for a while yet.

There's a promising new site about the Canadian Media that's just been launched. Maybe I'll send them my entire collected works on the Southam Project and get back on that blogging pony again.
Read This Fresh Hell for all the latest and greatest in reckless speculation and snide commentary.

Some dude in the Ottawa Sun is feeding his readers the same old line of crap that I fed my readers over one month ago.

Is it nutrious? ..... NO!
Is it delicious? ..... NO!
Is it Fresh? ..... YER GODDAMN RIGHT!!!