Friday, August 29, 2014

JOHNSON: FAMILY OVER POLITICS

Finance Minister Charlene Johnson's impending retirement should come as no surprise to pundits, her caucus or the media. The wring has been on the wall ever since her husband left Cougar Helicopters in St. John's to fly helicopters oversees.

I would wager that with her daughter about to begin  kindergarten - the time for putting off decisions about her families future, because of her commitment to labor negotiations and pension reform,  has simply run out.

The timing sucks for the Progressive Conservative's who have lost four by-elections, but this should not be confused as a non-confidence vote in her party or the government. This is personal.

In fact she might be congratulated for taking her role in Finance so seriously that she has presumably postponed her departure as long as she has in what seems to be the best interest of hammering out an agreement with the NLTA and trying to seek an accommodation on the provinces staggering $7 billion pension liability.

While I do not think this is a case of another crew member abandoning a sinking ship - the future of her seat will probably be the same.  

I suspect Trinity-Bay de Verde, which has been tory blue since Johnson first won the seat in 2003, will  inevitable go back to the Liberal fold under the candidacy of Liberal Leader Dwight Balls Executive Assistant Steve Crocker.

I doubt that this is the final curtain on her political career.


ARE MANDATORY VOTING LAWS NEEDED?

DELACOURT ARTICLE

Thursday, August 28, 2014

FORD ON THE REBOUND - A REAL LIFE STORY FROM THE TWILIGHT ZONE

All I can say is WTF?

For anyone who is concerned about apathy in politics might find the Forum Research Poll on the Toronto mayoral race really disturbing. Mayor Rob Ford might be on the "comeback trail."

I would say I was shocked, but after a few conversations with ex-pats residing in Toronto who were home for holidays over the summer - I was numbed by the level of serious support they offered for  the crack-smoking leader. It is all so  outrageous that it seems ridiculous.

Why, I would ask?  Despite his serious  bad acts, they like his unpolished and rough approach. They feel he has taken advantage of his office or City funds. In short, Ford for all his failings is not out for personal gain like Senator Duffy or Senator Duffy.

They feel he is not a greedy son-of-a-gun out to line his pockets and screw the taxpayer, and he has a strong constituency of supporters who are not embarrassed to support him despite his unorthodox approach to respect for the office he holds.





DUMPING COLD WATER ON THE ICE BUCKET CHALLANGE

I suppose it was only a matter of time, some individuals have taken  the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to the extreme - and one teen in in the United Kingdom has died. It it has begun to stray from its original aim of raising awareness and money for  ALS.

Cameron Lancaster, 18, reportedly jumped 80 feet to his death after he opted to, instead of dumping a bucket of cold water over his head and donating money to ALS for Lou Gehrig's disease, leap off a cliff and into a disused quarry containing water. He broke his neck!

I am sure he will be nominated for a Darwin Award!

A quick Google search unveiled a number of other severe injuries incurred by teens and adults choosing to up the risk level by doing perilous activities in new variations of the challenge.

Last week, several Kentucky firefighters were injured in an ice bucket challenge that went awry: The ladder bucket they’d been using to dump water on college students taking part in the challenge got too close to a power line, and two firefighters were seriously injured by an electrical shock. Two others were hurt when they tried to climb the ladder to aid the injured firefighters.

Another example of variations of the Ice Bucket Challenge going wrong include  a women who dumped a bucket of ice on her head while sitting on a horse. The animal bolted throwing her to the ground. 

Belgian Photographer Bruno Brokken, 51, is in "critical condition” after having nearly 400 gallons of water dumped on him by a fire-fighting plane

Here is a video of Ice Bucket Challenge fails.



Could the “fails” end up throwing cold water on the entire trend?



THE FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN DEBATE: UNIVERSAL DAYCARE?

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