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"Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light"
Updated: 29 min 45 sec ago

Saskatoon snatches defeat from the jaws of victory

Sat, 10/18/2014 - 12:30
So you might think that the reluctant LRB ruling both the transit lockout and the pension bylaw illegal would have provided the Saskatoon civic administration with a great opportunity to rethink their whole strategy with this labour dispute, and come up with something that would work better.
But you would be wrong!
The city strategy of trying to starve the bus drivers into an agreement was never going to work, and now it is in tatters -- the drivers know they will eventually get their back pay for the 27 days the strike has lasted so far.  But the union was so happy about the LRB ruling, that the drivers would have cheerfully gone back to work without an agreement, and they would not have dared to go on strike.
So the city could have jumped at the opportunity to get everyone on board with the obvious way to end this dispute -- the same pension changes as everyone else, a slightly higher percentage increase than the rest of the city unions got, but with a longer contract to justify the difference. There, done!
But no.
Clearly, the city was in the wrong with this lockout, and that what the LRB ruled, but the powers that be in the city administration just couldn't accept "losing".
They doubled down by immediately issuing a new lockout notice to the transit union.
“My first thought is ‘Oh my goodness, they’re going to do this to the citizens of Saskatoon again,’ ” ATU local 615 president Jim Yakubowski told reporters outside City Hall Saturday morning. “They don’t deserve that, nor do our members deserve this.” And the people are furious:
I am profoundly disappointed in @cityofsaskatoon. They missed an opportunity to fix this mess: #yxetransit #yxecc

— Tracey Mitchell (@TMitchSK) October 18, 2014

The City of Saskatoon's actions toward their employees and citizens have reached indefensible levels. I am ashamed. #yxe #yxetransit

— Paul Thompson (@paulbthompson) October 18, 2014

#yxecc, the students at #uSask deserve much better leadership from you. This has cost #yxe enough. End this nonsense. #yxetransit

— USSU Executive (@USSUExec) October 18, 2014

@cityofsaskatoon/#yxecc have issued another lockout on #yxetransit. #yxe, this isn't leadership. It's politics at the expense of the people.

— Jordan Sherbino (@JordanSherbino) October 18, 2014
I don't know how this will end now, but it isn't going to be pretty.

Oh, the humanity

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:48
Happy thanksgiving everyone, though somewhat belated.

The greatest line in television history: As god is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Playing with the big boys

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 22:54
I haven't written anything about the Harper Cons enthusiastic support for Canada's participation in Son Of Iraqi Freedom Part Deux because I haven't really known where I stand on this.
I can't say I have thought it through still, but two things struck me today.
First, Michael Den Tandt explains why Harper wants Canadian fighter jets to participate
The PM told the House of Commons Friday – and there is no reason to disbelieve him – that he made the decision to deploy warplanes knowing that doing so is politically difficult, particularly in an election year. He also acknowledged, laudably in terms of simple frankness, what appears to be his main rationale. “If Canada wants to keep its voice in the world – and we should, since so many of our challenges are global – being a free rider means you are not taken seriously.”In other words, we're not throwing our marbles into the ring because the Harper Cons think our participation will actually make a difference in a fight against an awful enemy, but rather just so the rest of the guys on our side will still be our pals.
At least this time the goal of the whole exercise is clear -- to degrade and destroy ISIS.  If Obama has his way, western armies won't be an occupying force, handing out money and Viagra to warlords, sending soldiers out on meaningless and dangerous patrols, running prisons.
But if we're participating in a potential quagmire without any actual sense of mission ourselves, except to show everybody that we have jets too, then I wonder how Canadians will feel when we have more hearses to salute on the Highway of Heroes.
And that brings me to my second observation, about Trudeau's supposedly juvenile and much-criticized comparison of our CF-18s to big swinging dicks.
If Canada is flying combat missions only because we are trying to impress the big boys, then maybe we actually are just participating in a dick-measuring contest.