I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Looks like "Caledonia II" has begun
Thanks to the lack of action by the OPP and the Provinical government, we now have a second Caledonia-like situation arising in the once great Province of Ontario. Anyone recognize where this photo is from?
Environmental (emphasis on the "mental") "actvists", (or as defined in this case by the laws of the Province of Ontario, the "trespassers") have occupied a parcel of land that the City was developing for a badly needed industrial park. They have refused to heed a notice of trespass, and have set up an encampment, trenches, roadblocks, and a watchtower. Thus far, the City has not asked the police to evict the trespassers, and the protesters are vowing to remain on the land until the multi-million dollar development is officially cancelled.
Of course, these "act-out-ivists" know that the folks who are supposed to be "in charge" don't have the guts to actually take charge of the situation... a direct result of the lawless fiasco down in Caledonia.
Mark my words, this isn't the last of these... every special interest group in the Province now knows that to get their voices heard, all they have to do is break the law.
UPDATE: Just in case anyone's been fooled by their claims, here's some of the lyrics used in a video posted by the protesters... it falls outside of the normal standards of what I post here on my blog, but I think it's important to expose these lunatics for who exactly they really are...
This is Turtle Island, don't you ever forget Respect Mother Earth, don't settle for less. This ain't Canada, This is Turtle Island man F*** the Maple Leaf, I'll never fly the f***ing flag again
That's right folks... these people HATE Canada. They HATE this great nation of ours. I think it's up to us to make sure we send them a STRONG message...
FROM FAR AND WIDE OH CANADA WE STAND ON GUARD FOR THEE
I don't know about you, but things have been REALLY quiet for me lately. Of course, there's been stuff going on in the news, but haven't been following much. There was Warren's Great Waffer Caper, in which the Liberal Party of Canada ended up with a "host" of egg on their faces, but other than that, nothing that's really grabbed my attention. (NOTE: Just to be clear, I am in no way implying that Warren actually had anything to do with the whole "Wafer-gate" affair... in fact, I don't believe for a moment that he did. I just came up with that catchy little title because on Warren's blog recently, it's been all Wafer-gate, all the time)
Of course, that's a good thing... there's been nothing that major grabbing the headlines, just steady, quiet, good Government. That, and the fact that the economy seems to be beginning it's slow rebound. All in all, this must be driving the Liberals batty... which is never a bad thing, because they normally end up doing really stupid, err, good things when we're driving them nuts.
Anyway, work's just been crazy anyway, so I've been grateful for the downtime. Rollout of our Exchange 2007 system (with external OWA) has gone almost flawlessly, as has the integration of our new Blackberry Professional Server, running 11 Blackberries. Add to that a new firewall system, along with a remote access VPN, I have to admit that it's been fun running multiple MAJOR projects simultaneously... though just a little nuts. Just about ready to burn out... time to begin a well earned vacation.
The Cambridge Police force has since withdrawn the charges. I don't agree. According to the police report, the Professor was yelling "You don't know who you're messing with", almost taunting the police. Sounds to me like he was intending to make the police pay dearly for what they were doing... which was responding to a neighbours call, who thought they were witnessing a break in. Overall, it sounds like the Prof wasn't all that co-operative to me. I know I don't particularly want to co-operate when I get pulled over, but when a cop asks me for some ID, doesn't matter what I'm up to, I produce it.
Now the professor is apparently seeking to turn this into a national "teaching moment" about what he thinks was evidence of racism. Sounds more like a "learning opportunity" for the Professor in "keeping his cool".
Sometimes, a photo op is just that... a photo op. I'd like to take this opportunity to post a few examples...
Exhibit A - A friend posing with a former Cabinet Minister (oops... how'd that anti-Dion shirt get past the guards and into that shot?): Exhibit B - Me posing with the Ontario Provincial Green Party Leader: FULL DISCLOSURE: I had a chance a few weeks ago to snag a shot with Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, as it was just her and I in the hallway for a moment... but I kept walking instead)
Exhibit C - Me posting with a Federal Opposition Party Leader (with whom I share little ideologically, other than the fact that we actually hold ideological positions, unlike our Liberal "friends"): (a co-worker saw this photo the other day, as I have it posted above my desk, along with one of my pics with the PM... her comment was, "I see someone has been cutting and pasting photos!" Pretty much floored her when I told her that no, in fact, those were original photographs)
Exhibit D - Some unnamed blogger posing with a former Canadian Prime Minister and his wife, alongside a philandering and nearly impeached former President of the United States: (only copy of the photo I could snag online was one that was a PhotoShopped one from a conservative blog with captions that I didn't want to post here...)
See where I'm going with this? Sometimes, a photo is just a photo. Posting the "embarrassing" photo was a bit of a stretch, and I'm sure it will come right back at them... as the article linked to by Kady points out (an article she also decries, it should be noted), the ON PC "President" in question was a former Liberal supporter. Here's hoping he didn't manage to snag a similar photo of himself with a certain Premier of Ontario at a local event, eh?
Jeremy Andrews, a high school friend of mine who's an history undergrad at U of T, was given a fellowship by the University of Toronto's Jackman Humanities Institute to create a music video for a rap song he'd written remembering the Holocaust.
This is his finished product... Perpetrators-Bystanders-Victims (Yezterdae) (WARNING - Video contains actual Holocaust footage that some may find disturbing... though at times like this, I think we need to see the images, that we may never forget, and never repeat, this awful crime)
I'd be willing to give it a whirl on my Asus EeePC netbook, which is what the first incarnation of the OS would likely target. Though I must say I'm fairly happy with my Ubuntu 9.04, which I have on my netbook and on my HP dv9000 laptop that I'm running right now. (though I have managed to goof up my Java-based SSL-VPN client somehow... that oughta be a fun one to fix)
Ouch! This is what's classified as a "PR Nightmare" in business... a polite little Canadian artist named Dave Carroll tears a big strip out of corporate giant United Airlines, smiling as he does in his professionally made music video that's gone viral on YouTube. He launched the video on Monday, and it's recorded over 1.6 MILLION views in four days... and he's averaging 30,000+ hits an hour at the moment.
It's gone international too... being covered here by CBC, Global & CTV, down in the States on CNN, BBC over in Europe, along with various media outlets all the way down under in Australia. Here's the CNN clip...
Having had my own little PR battle with an airline recently, and having been moderately successful (they met my demands halfway), it's nice to see someone being able to turn a negative situation into something really positive for himself, and really negative for a slow moving and unresponsive behemoth like United Airlines. So many companies still have yet to clue in that CUSTOMER SERVICE is huge, and if you don't work to meet the reasonable expectations of reasonable customers who have legitimate complaints, such as a smashed guitar, you're bound to get burned in the long run... normally just via word of mouth, but as we see in this case, it could end up being a PR nightmare.
So, the moral of this story is... sometimes it's cheaper to swallow the $1300 repair bill, rather than now having to fight a massive PR battle with potentially tens of thousands of dollars of manpower and company resources.
And as for companies that have a good reputation for customer service in my books, I like Rogers on their Home phone and internet side (though I've had issues with their wireless divisions), and Telus Mobility for their cellular Customer Service. Several times when I've called them with an issue, they've gotten it fixed, and have found some reasonable means of compensation. Telus was the best though, my cell was dying, battery was shot two years into a three year contract. The guy on the phone arranged to cancel my existing contract, and opened things up for me to sign on to a new two year deal with a new phone. Rogers Home Phone did something similar, they'd messed up my billing so bad that I was ready to cancel on them and go back to Ma Bell. Anyway, the guy on the phone saved the day by arranging for several months of free phone service. THAT's how you keep customers.
As for poor examples, well, there's always my infamous U-Haul incidents... yes, that's plural. Like the time I booked a truck, and never got one, PERIOD. Or the time my mother-in-law booked a 26' truck, only to be told THE DAY OF that there wasn't one available, but she could use one of their 17' ones... FOR TWICE THE PRICE. Or the time I was moving my stuff back from New Brunswick, and my truck broke down ONE HOUR into my trip... that was a four hour delay on that one. Might have had to do with the fact that the truck was due for one of it's major service checks that they hadn't bothered to do. Oh yea, and did I mention that it was leaking diesel the whole trip? Then there was the time I was moving my buddy's stuff back from Halifax for him while he was on his honeymoon, and we got pulled over for inspection by the MTO, who noticed a tire was leaking due to the fact that they'd tried to plug the sidewall instead of replacing the tire... which was a MAJOR safety hazard, in his opinion. (some little concern about a potential rollover due to a blowout at 100kms/hour if I hit a pothole the wrong way...) Yea, that was another four hour delay. Each and every time, I talked to U-Haul with some reasonable requests, like covering my cell usage while I called for service, or a night at a hotel after I'd been stranded at the side of the road for hours and wasn't going to make my destination on time. Only ONCE did they ever cough up the dough... $12 for an oil pan to catch the diesel fuel while I was parked. (At least I still have the oil pan) Another time they offered up $200 in vouchers for my "next reservation", which I did end up using for my one and only successfully uninterrupted move... which is somewhat ironic, the only one that didn't have a major incident was the only one I didn't pay for! Another time I managed to get $40 in vouchers, which were then used by someone else. Anyway, there's lots of reasons why U-Haul is the WORST company to deal with when it comes to "customer service"... of which they have pretty much NONE. So my last move? Went with Kelly Car & Truck Rental, and it was a piece of cake.
Some have noticed that I haven't been posting much lately. Been busy at work, (for which I'm very greatful right now with the economy they way it is), and to be honest, I haven't been very politically motivated right now.
Nothing's really gotten me going lately, I'm pretty happy with the status quo. The economy is rough, but things seem to be leveling off, and the right folks are in charge to help with the recovery.
One thing I will comment on is the possibility of the Federal government offering up $3500 for old clunkers to encourage people to buy new cars. Now many of my ultra-conservative brethren (and sistren, I suppose) will probably be writhing around in agony over the prospect of "yet another Government program", but this is actually a program that I support. In the interest of full disclosure, I would likely benefit from this program, as my 1997 VW Golf would finally get scrapped, and it's almost time to replace her, with 323,000kms on the odometer. (and the fact that the tranny's starting to go) But a program like this, where there's a direct benefit to many of the taxpayers footing the bill, rather than the Government throwing billions at the union-bloated automakers, just makes sense to me. It's the kind of program directed at and benefiting the taxpayer who's helping to foot the bill, rather than directly funding the union slobs who got us into this economic boat in the first place. (with all their overpaid union jobs, along with their insanely bloated and company crippling pensions) Of course, they get the trickle down benefit, but I prefer the "Taxpayer First, Automakers & Unions Second" sort of approach to economic recovery. Put it this way... since I heard about the possiblity of this program, and I went out car hunting the other evening. No way will I buy without a program like this though... it's just enough to push me into the market. That's right, I said "The Market"... which is what will ultimately help us out of this mess, not big-spending "stimulus" programs.
Was thinking a bit more about this the other day I saw one of those "Out of a job yet? Keep buying foreign!" bumper stickers. They really tick me off. So I want to get one custom made, maybe even sell a few...
"Car break down yet? Keep buying overpriced CAW-built junk!" or "Car break down lately? THAT's why I buy foreign!" or "Economy broken yet? Keep supporting overpaid unions!"