Monday, December 20, 2010

In the News

   
There's a reason I don't pay too much attention to the news beyond scanning the headlines on a couple of articles a couple of times a day - wait, that actually sort of sounds as if I do pay attention to the news, but nevermind, the reason it doesn't go much beyond that is that it tends to make me cranky. And although there is only five days left until Christmas, I'm going to share some of these types of stories, because… Well, there've been a number of them and I might as well share them with the world, right?

Our new mayor, Rob Ford, as in his first Council meeting followed through in his election promise to cancel the $80 vehicle tax which was intended to go to green initiatives, etc., And which was incredibly unpopular with the driving public (or so we have been led to believe). This was one of his major platforms and I'd like to take this opportunity to state publicly that in my opinion, if you can afford a car, you can afford an $80 a year tax. As I'm sure that the majority of you boneheads people who voted for him believe that we should be kind to this Earth whenever possible, that you may even have children or grandchildren for whom you wish the best possible future and that I'm sure you likely recycle, it seems ridiculously shortsighted and quite frankly downright Scrooge-ish to mandate your elected officials to get rid of this tax. Because it will leave the city with a 48 million shortfall - apparently not the $84 million I tweeted a couple of days ago - which our esteemed new mayor called a "drop in the bucket" and opines that efficiencies will be found to make up for it. When they close the pools next summer or reduce another City service, I would like all of you voters who made this happen to be as happy about our new mayor as you are today. And to the councillors who rolled over and played dead on this instead of standing up for an important initiative, I say pfffthhb!

Some time ago, Greg Walsh, an Ontario minor league hockey coach pulled his team off the ice when one of the members of the opposing team used a racial slur (the N-word) against one of his players. Walsh has now been suspended for the season because according to the Hockey Canada rules, you're not allowed to refuse "to start play." The player who used the slur and two of his coaches were suspended for three games. Although the article linked to in this paragraph say that the two game officials heard the racial slur, the latest news stories say that according to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, they did not and the OMHA therefore cannot hand out any penalties to the player. Although in my opinion, suspending someone for three games seems to state right out there that you're punishing them for something, so I'm not quite sure what's happening with this. Except that certain people seem to be hiding behind the roles. In any respect, good on you Walsh. Thanks for standing up for your players and doing the right thing.

Last week, a really big thing happened that wasn't reported by mainstream news, namely that the biggest prison strike to happen in US history took place in Georgia (thanks to The Boy for keeping me informed). Inmates in 10 Georgia prisons went on a peaceful strike to protest working conditions, nutrition levels, poor conditions, substandard medical care and a host of other really alarming issues. There are two issues here. The first one is that just because you're in jail, doesn't mean that this state has the right to treat you in a way that was abolished by Abraham Lincoln. And secondly, where was the mainstream media? Had this been a violent protest, it would've been all over the news, but an entirely peaceful and unified protest by all prisoners, regardless of gain or group affiliation is not. Is it me or does it seem as if everyone are really scared? The microcosm in a prison depends on cooperation by prisoners to work, an agreement to act according to the rules of being a prisoner and when they don't, when they do something as revolutionary as unified and quietly protest without violence? That has potential ramifications, doesn't it?

But there was good news in the world of election promises, too. The U.S. Senate repealed the asinine Don't Ask, Don't Tell rules for gays serving in the US military. It never made sense to me that you are allowed to sacrifice yourself for your country, but not be open about your sexual orientation, so at least this year ends with some degree of sense was restored to civil liberties. And that made me happy to read the newspaper. Of course, as some brilliant person said in a comment somewhere - and you'll have to ask The Boy exactly where this was - when the US pulls out of Afghanistan, Fox News will no doubt be very busy talking about how the US lost the war in Afghanistan because Obama repealed the rule. Sigh.

And I will now go into a self enforced news-free diet for the remainder of my vacation.
  

   

5 comments:

Trevor said...

I watch the news everyday with my mom while we have dinner.  There are a growing number of things that make her think she should stop watching the news since they make her angry.  It's sort of amusing to watch. :)

Marie said...

I live in Georgia and my small town newspaper didn't have anything about the peaceful strike in the prisons.  I am not surprised.

I was glad they repealed Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Faux News just flat-out lies regularly.

Nairn said...

Late breaking *good* news -- Greg Walsh's suspension has been rescinded and the Hockey Officials are saying they are going to 'review' the rules.  An unexpected and excellent turnaround!
Nairn

AlisonH said...

@Nairn: yay!

Re the vehicle tax rescinding--didn't they learn a thing from California doing that? You don't get anymore what you don't pay for anymore. Ford can feel free to come look at what our roads are now.

Jocelyn said...

I agree with you on that last one - there was celebrating here at home when we heard about it (although I promptly went all feminist and muttered about wondering when the day will come that women can serve openly througout the military, too).  As for the first one, I immediately thought what Alison wrote!  Talk about one of our major turning points in the slide towards fiscal hell - along with Prop 13 and the Three Strikes law.  California, where are thy schools?

Enjoy your news ban; I've got one going myself these days.  If only I could convince my campus to stop sending me campus news in my email - that's where my very worst news is coming from these days.

Merry Christmas!  I was thinking of you the other night as my husband was pickling herrings :)