Looking back at the Ontario strikes

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Both the Ottawa transit and York University strikes are now over.  It was good to see cooler heads prevail in the Ottawa transit strike, accepting arbitration in the end.  Granted, it took the threat of back-to-work legislation, but it could have been worse.

The York strike seemed less sane by the end.  The University administration seemed set on waiting for back-to-work legislation, which is at least partially a win for them. Given the recent pattern, is it now in the best interests of the management of many companies to wait for government to step in?  The criteria for those companies seems to have expanded beyond just critical services like police and nurses.

The union didn’t seem any better though, having refused an offer of binding arbitration previously.  I can’t understand how any side in a labour dispute, who thought their demands were reasonable, would refuse arbitration when all other options have failed.  If your demands are reasonable, the arbitrator would accept them, no?

The only other data point I have on that was listening to an interview on CBC with an older union member.  His opinion was that the union had a vocal, young, minority driving the strike on a political agenda rather than common sense.

Obama: what a difference a week makes

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Wow, the world seems so much better after less than a week:Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards

Bush had rejected the right of States to set their own vehicle emissions standards tighter than the EPA, while at the same time not letting the EPA reduce the standards.  Obama has issued an order to begin the process of reversing that.

I’m actually not sure what is better, allowing the states to define the standards themselves, or just having the EPA set a better standard.  But, in the end it’s probably the same, as enough large states would join in to make manufacturers adopt it nationally.

As a tangent, I always thought it was assinine that the EPA under Bush wouldn’t allow cars meeting Californias higher efficiency standards to be sold in other states.

Jack Layton wants to depress house prices further

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I heard Layton on CBC today talking about economic stimulus. He said he wants to use stimulus money to build houses.

What the hell? The current recession is caused, in large part, due to falling housing prices. Doesn’t he realize that adding more houses to the market will lower prices further?

I hope the Liberals aren’t so crazy.

A new age of international cooperation

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Well, that’s a lot to hope for.  But, just look how sane other world leaders are now talking since there’s a less aggressive US President:

I can’t believe a one-state solution is feasible, given the Israeli stance.  But, neither do I think the current framework for the two-state solution is fair to the Palestinians.

Comedic Karma

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First, the karma: Cheney Injures Back While Moving.  How sweet is that?  The person most directly responsible for, quite possibly, the most deaths in the last 8 years injures his back while moving out of the seat of power.  May my tears provide a slippery surface for your next tumble.

Next, I really like this comment from Chris Rock:

“You know, if you’re the president you only have two jobs: peace and money. That’s it. I mean, it’s like, what did Clinton do? We were at peace and we had a budget surplus. That’s it. That’s the gig. The closer you get us to those two goals, you know, that’s pretty much the gig. Is that too much to ask for?”

Cheers.  How opposite were the Bush years?  Inventing evidence to support the invasion of a country and blowing a budget surplus.  Pretty much as opposite as it gets.

How can the markets go any lower?

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I don’t know, but it sure looks like the markets are headed further down.  Some good links from the Kirk Report:

This downward action still confuses me, as I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t already have an extremely negative outlook.  I’m still waiting for some confidence that the floor is done falling out beneath us so I can start investing again.

Anti-Israel Crap

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The title, “anti-Israel crap”, is a quote from Warren Kinsella, which is indicative of his blind pro-Israel attitude.  This has always driven me crazy.  There are many important points surrounding this continued conflict that should be debated in a civilized way.  However, people like Kinsella immediately classify any opinion not qualifying as “pro-Israel” as anti-semitic.  This is a transparent attempt to bully people into staying quiet as a cowardly debate tactic.

Historical guilt should never be a reason to forever give an entire nation a blank cheque, especially when one of the actions this is allowing is almost as inhumane as the reason for the original guilt.

Again, I’m not saying one side is right and one is wrong in this conflict, but the inability to debate the issue will guarentee it never gets solved.