Hello World!

Meet Sloane. The cuteness is overwhelming. We’re all in puppy love.

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Dave from Etobicoke

This made me laugh. Even more because of this. And this.


The PMO needs some adult supervision

The Tories have a lot of problems these days. From Harper’s Chief of Staff writing an ill-advised (and now subject to an ongoing RCMP investigation) $90K cheque to a senator who was caught double-dipping to Elections Canada disasters to plummeting political support.

So, what does the Conservative Party brain trust decide to do? Use political staffers – paid for by you and me – to protest Justin Trudeau. Leader of the Third Party. With 34 seats.

We’ve learned two things about the Tories from this one episode: They are desperately, ridiculously scared of Justin Trudeau and they don’t give a shit about taxpayers’ money anymore.


A letter from a reformed sexist to his daughter

I liked this so much I’ve posted the letter in its entirety below. Some time ago, while out with friends, one of the men in our group launched into a sexist rant that bordered on full-scale misogyny.  Unlike, this recent exchange when the Ontario NDP leader was called a whore on a radio program, I didn’t hold back. “You are the father of a daughter,” I hissed. “What if one day some asshole talks about her as you are talking about women right now?”

Read this.

Dear Daughter:

This weekend is Father’s Day.  On Sunday morning, you’re going to crawl into my bed and curl up next to me.  We’ll turn on the TV and I’ll feign excitement when Dora comes on, more just to watch your eyes light up.  At some point we’ll get into a tickle fight (which I will undoubtedly start).  We’ll get into a raging debate over which of us loves the other one more.

I’m going to love every minute of it.  Watching you grow up has been the purest pleasure in my life to date.

Which makes it even more jarring to admit that I was once a sexist.

Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill, woman-hating misogynist who believes God made him superior to the fairer sex.  I’ve always hated that guy.

Instead, I was the guy who didn’t even notice all of society’s subtle sexist behaviors.  Sometimes I participated without realizing.  It wasn’t until I spent months traveling around the country with Hillary Clinton, and then later becoming your father, that I began to see all of this.

The constant stories about Hillary’s hairstyle or pantsuit color, but never about Obama or Biden’s tie color or haircuts.

The questions Sarah Palin endured about whether she could do the job with small children at home, when not one male candidate ever had to answer similar questions. (And it is not easy for me to defend Sarah Palin!)

The sophomoric giggles from late-night talk show hosts about a woman soccer player ripping off her shirt in celebration that got almost more attention than the championship she had just won.

The cable news host who commented on how good women politicians look “for their age.”  The beauty pageant that asks us to judge which young woman looks best in a bathing suit.

It was everywhere.  And it made me mad.

So I pledged to do my part to make sure you always knew that you were an equal to the boys you saw every day.  (Personally, I think you’re superior, but that could just be the dad in me talking.)  I wanted you to never feel discouraged, to know you could do whatever you wanted, and to live a life without this subtle sexism.

The problem is, society is sending you mixed messages.

We tell girls they can be whatever they want when they grow up.  So why are so many people still telling women that they can’t balance career and family?

We tell girls that they can succeed if they work hard and be themselves.  So why is it that a woman in business or politics is seen as cold and harsh if she doesn’t show emotion — but seen as “emotional” or manipulative if she does?

We talk about creating economic opportunities for women.  So why are we still debating whether they should receive equal pay?  Even worse, why are we having a national conversation over whether women in the workforce hurts our “social fabric”?

We tell girls that they can grow up to be soldiers and serve our country.  So why have we allowed a military culture where some of the greatest threats women soldiers face are from their male colleagues?

We tell young girls that they shouldn’t ever rely on a man for their happiness or success.  So why are we telling them that they need to rely on a bunch of men they’ve never met to tell them when they need an ultrasound, where to put it, and what other healthcare decisions are best for them?

As a father, I’m horrified by all of this.  You deserve better from all of us.

A few years ago, Hillary Clinton talked about putting 18 million cracks in the ultimate glass ceiling, so that someone might soon finally break through.   I look forward to witnessing that with you.

But what I really want is for it to seem completely unremarkable to you.

In the past few weeks you have told me you wanted to be a doctor, a pilot, a face-painter, a pizza maker and a princess.  Some days you want to be all of them.

And the most awesome thing is that right now you believe you can be.

That list will only grow in the coming years.  I can’t wait to watch it grow, and see where it leads you.

I only have a few things I want to add to the list.

I want you to be happy.

I want you to truly do and be whatever you want.

I want respect and equality to be the status quo.

I don’t want there to be any more glass ceilings for you to have to break through.

I hope that someday, when both you and your younger brother get older, you’ll read this and neither of you will have any idea what I’m talking about. That would be the best Father’s Day gift ever.

Love,
Daddy


Riot Fest announces the Replacements!

What a killer lineup! Can’t make the Toronto show, so I bought a couple of tickets to Riot Fest’s Chicago gig. The Replacements (first show in more than two decades!), Violent Femmes, Public Enemy, Against Me!, Bad Religion, Rancid, Blondie, and so many more.

Just. Wow.

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Cops raid crack video “Ground Zero”

Toronto police chief is holding a media avail at noon today. Read more here.


More Senate talk on Sun News

I’m no fan of Mac Harb’s but his residency issue is quite different from what Tory senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau are currently dealing with. Read what Harb has to say, in his own words.

But the larger issue is the growing list of Harper’s parliamentarians who are in some hot water (Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, Shelly Glover, James Bezan and Eve Adams), as well as his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright. The Harper attack dogs are only going after Justin Trudeau in a lame attempt to change the channel.

As I said this morning with Pat Bolland, Trudeau is the only leader who is calling for posting parliamentarians’ expenses online – and he has stated that Grit caucus members will do so beginning this Fall. Why won’t Harper do the same? What is he afraid of?


Little Super Men

Or, Twin Terrors? I say that with love, of course. The little boys in this clip are my nephews and the very patient woman, my baby sister.  The twins, who were born incredibly premature, are actually delightful creatures, despite what three minutes of live television captured.


Front line heroes

It was a tremendously sad day last Friday when the world learned that four crew members – two pilots and two paramedics – lost their lives while en route to a patient. Our hearts and prayers go out to the surviving families of these fallen heroes.

I worked at Ornge from 2010 until the summer of 2012. I didn’t know any of the four who perished – many of us who worked for the corporate side of Ornge were kept “siloed” from the front line personnel. But I knew how hard they worked and how dedicated they were (and continue to be).

One day I even experienced it first hand.

Ornge HQ (which was dubbed the “Crystal Palace” by the media once scandal broke) has an impressive staircase in the main foyer. Several people had tumbled down it, which had inspired one exec to declare that the next one who falls down it will be fired. Well, that next one was me.

It was just after nine a.m. and I had forgotten my blackberry in my car that morning. As I started down the stairs, my foot went out from under me, and down I went. If anyone who fell down a flight of stairs could possibly be considered lucky, it was me: almost all of the medics were at Ornge that day! Within seconds, one of the paramedics I did know was by my side and another near my feet. Many more were nearby with neck braces, a back board, you name it. They were kind and professional and efficient. This period of time is hazy for me so I don’t have total recall but I do remember that there was a paramedic – one of the new guys, I believe – crouched behind my head, stroking my cheek and telling me it was going to be okay. They shielded my face so I couldn’t see any blood and kept me calm, telling me that everything was going to be okay.

(After a trip to the hospital by ambulance, at least one broken bone, staples in my leg and a head injury, I started to mend, thanks in large part to Ornge medics).

Just days later, all hell broke loose in the media. Through all of the shit, the front line personnel – the paramedics, the pilots, the call centre dispatchers, and countless others – went to work and did their jobs with the same level of professionalism and care, as they did before December 2011. They didn’t have the luxury of hiding in the corporate offices. Confronted with public anger, these men and women continued to do their jobs; making sure that the critically injured received excellent treatment and care; and making sure patients were flown from wherever they were injured or sick to wherever they needed to be for care.

They were already brave. And now they were braver still.

Through all of it – politicians screaming at each other in the Legislature and front pages, daily, shouting devastating headlines – these medics and pilots continued to make sure that the sickest of the sick had the best possible chances for recovery. Even when criticism and abuse was hurled their way. No matter what.

We lost four of the finest last Friday. If you can, please donate to the Ornge Employees Benevolent Fund to show your thanks and appreciation to those who risk their own lives while trying to save ours.

 


Crack Nation

The video everyone has been dying to see:

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Also, the lead singer is kinda hot.