Archive for February, 2006

Creative Parenting

I have managed to pull off the parenting coup of the year. My son, who is 5 years old, was having trouble getting to sleep at night, because of his fear of the scary monsters in his bedroom. This went on for weeks and weeks, until I finally had enough of it.

A few nights ago, I convinced him that the monsters were not bad monsters, out to harm him. I told him that they were really nice monsters, despite their scary appearance, and that they were merely keeping an eye on him for me, and letting me know if he was in trouble. And that they would come downstairs with me to watch television after he was asleep.

He seemed to understand this idea, and decided that they should no longer be called monsters, because they were not bad beings. From now on, he decided, they would be called “nicers”, because they are nice, not scary. So, according to my son, a nice monster is a nicer. This is working so well that he told me this morning that he didn’t have any scary dreams last night, since he named them “nicers”, only good dreams.

Can you tell that I am rather pleased with myself for this little bit of creative parenting?


The Decline of the (North) American Empire

There is a fundamental problem in America today. At last year’s Superbowl half-time show, Janet Jackson showed a mostly naked breast. This caused an uproar of gigantic proportions. The US Government went ballistic, the right-wing nut jobs had a fit, and the FCC went apoplectic over this, and suddenly, all media was being watched like a hawk, with censorship running rampant. This year, there was a concerted effort to keep the Superbowl half-time show G rated, even to the point of censoring Mick Jagger on three separate occurances while he performed songs.

Now, contrast this with the fact that you can see violence in the news, on television, in the movies, etc., in large doses, on a daily basis. You can see advertisements for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on television all the time, and see shows depicting murder, beatings, dismemberments, and rape in prime time. But show a nipple, and the titty cops will be all over you for obscenity violations.

Does this sound rational to anyone? Something beautiful, like a woman’s breast, is immoral and bad and should be censored, but a gang member raping and killing a woman? Show it on prime-time television! That’s the stuff of great cop shows! Can’t censor that!

People need to get a grip, and figure out what the real harm to society is. If I had a choice between my son seeing some woman’s naked breast, and him seeing some gang-banger killing some innocent by-standers in a drive-by shooting, guess which I’d choose? The choice is an easy one. And if you think this problem is limited to the borders of the US of A, guess again. We get a spillover effect up here in Canada. Since we watch a significant amount of American television shows and sporting events, what they show or don’t show affects us equally, and that is not a good thing.

I Wanted To Be Wrong

Do you know what bothers me most about the new Prime Minister? I had always distrusted this Conservative from the West. I thought he was a slimy snake from the moment I first heard of him. I’m not even entirely sure why I didn’t like him, but I didn’t. It could have been because he reminded me of a Bush wannabe. Who knows. I never thought he was fit to run the government, certainly not in the way he claimed he wanted to run it. But you know what? I really, really, wanted to be proven wrong. Never before had I wanted to be wrong about something as much as I wanted to be wrong about Stephen Harper. And in his first week in office, I feel he has proven me right. I desperately wanted to be wrong. But I wasn’t. And I am really saddened and disappointed about that.

It Needs To Be Said

Just remember one thing, folks. David Emerson, former Liberal and now a Conservative MP and Minister of International Trade, and Michael Fortier, who didn’t even bother to run in the election, and is now the Minister of Public Works and Government Services (where the sponsorship scandal started in the first place) have something in common with David Dingwall, the former head of the Royal Canadian Mint: they seem to believe that they are entitled to their entitlements.

This honeymoon seems to have ended faster than a one night stand in Las Vegas.

An Inside View of Canadian Politics

I have just discovered the blog of an elected Conservative MP from southern Ontario, Garth Turner, MP. His blog is called The Turner Report. It gives an interesting perspective of the turmoil and other goings on inside the Conservative Government. I encourage everyone to give it a read.

Different Party, Same Lack of Ethics and Morals

It looks like the Conservatives will continue with the hypocracy that started the day of the swearing in of the new government. According to a CBC new article, which can be found here, David Emerson has no intention of stepping down and running in a bi-election. To quote him directly,

“No, I’m not going to quit.”

“We’ve got at least three, perhaps more, members of Parliament who have crossed the floor or opted to sit as an Independent. Frankly, my circumstances are not any different than those. As, and when, Parliament changes the rules to apply to all members of Parliament, I will abide by those rules,” he said after getting off a flight at the Vancouver airport.

This is what we have to look forward to for the next couple of years. No matter what the Conservative Party has said in the past is wrong, and shouldn’t be done, they will do it themselves, simply because they can. Never mind that they campaigned on a platform of government reform and cleaning up government corruption and immorality. Now that they are elected, they have shown that they are no different than the Liberals that they are replacing.

They say this is different, because he didn’t cross the floor to prop up a government looking at a possible non-confidence vote, with the promise of a nice Cabinet portfolio. I disagree completely with this. This is exactly the same. Emerson was enticed to cross the floor, with the promise of a nice Cabinet portfolio to help prop up the government. The only difference is that Stephen Harper didn’t wait until the vote was imminent before starting the enticement game.

I’ll give Prime Minister Harper credit where credit is due. He is certainly no procrastinator. It only took him a few days to make people think he has no parliamentary ethics at all, and that he’ll do whatever it takes to hold on to power, now that he has it. Gee, why am I having a feeling of deja vu all over again?

Congratulations, Mr. Prime Minister. You’ve proven to everyone that a businessman from the West can be just as shady and underhanded a leader as lawyers from Quebec have been. I can’t wait to see what he does next to make people wish they had voted for the Liberals or the New Democratic Party.

The New Conservative Government

Stephen Harper is the new Prime Minister of Canada. Last night, he spent his first night at 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Prime Minister. He has been Prime Minister for less than a week, and already, he has done things he has previously spoken out against.

For example: On many occasions, he has spoken against appointments to the Senate, desiring to reform Senate. So what was one of his first acts of office, just after being sworn in? He appointed someone to Cabinet who did not even run in the previous election, never mind actually wanting to run for a seat. And to give this guy some political legitimacy, Harper appointed him to the Senate. This was his first few hours as Prime Minister.

Another example: On the same day, in the same time as he was doing the above act, he announced that he had coerced someone who got elected as a Liberal to cross the floor and get sworn in as a Conservative Cabinet Minister. I seem to recall that he was quite upset when Belinda Stronach, a member of his own party, did this to him last year. I recall that he declared that this was an ethics violation, though not against the rules of the House of Commons. So let me ask you this, Mr. Harper. Is it more ethical when you do it than when then Prime Minister Paul Martin did the exact same thing?

I am left to wonder if we are in for more of the same sort of governing that we got from the Liberals. We wanted to send the Liberals a message that we are tired of the same old politics as usual act we’ve been getting for years. Apparently, Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party didn’t get that message either.