Saturday, July 28, 2012

To Circulate...

Guest Column in the Toronto Sun, July 23, 2012
‘Flexible’ labour means ‘cheap’ labour

Sid Ryan, President, Ontario Federation Labour

Prepare yourselves for lower-wages, fewer benefits and frequent job changes because middle class wages and job security are relics of the past, according to Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak.  After all, it is a dog-eat-dog job market out there and only the lean and mean will survive.

If you believe that, then perhaps it is time to pack up and move to Indiana … or better yet, follow Hudak’s plan to move Indiana up to Ontario.

This is the vision of the future that is prophesied by Hudak in his party’s latest White Paper on “flexible labour markets.”  The Tories’ new platform unveils an economic scheme that is centered on reduced public services and cheap labour.

To accomplish this, Hudak plans to abolish a century’s worth of hard-fought workers’ rights and make workers compete amongst themselves. The main thrust of his argument is that unions have outlived their usefulness and middle class wages and benefits are driving employers (predominantly in the manufacturing sector) to pull up stakes and take their business south of the border, where they have their pick of anti-union jurisdictions in which skilled workers earn scant more than minimum wage.

Hudak pooh-poohs the gains unions have made for all workers — whether by pushing up wages and living standards, creating health and safety laws, winning maternity leave or securing a shorter work day – as battles of a by-gone era. Instead of rights, pensions and fair wages, Hudak says that what today’s workers really need is “flexibility.”

Perhaps Hudak dreams of a modern day Grapes of Wrath, where workers will shuffle from one low-wage, precarious job to another, competing with each other in a race to the bottom. This is what he means by “flexibility” and, just as it was in post-Depression America, it is the path to perpetual poverty, not prosperity.

If you don’t believe me, consider that Hudak’s biggest bugaboo isn’t with Caterpillar Inc. which closed down its London, Ontario diesel train plant earlier this year after profiting from provincial and federal corporate tax cuts. No, Hudak reserves his ire for the 500 skilled workers of the London plant who refused to accept a 50 percent pay cut from a company reporting an historic fourth quarter profit bump of 58 percent (the highest yearly growth since 1947). According to him, it’s their fault that the lucrative company relocated production to Muncie, Indiana where the average worker will be feeding their family on $13.50 an hour. In a nutshell, Hudak’s advice for working families is: make yourself competitive by matching the lowest going rate. So much for the promise that billion-dollar government investments in corporate tax cuts would “trickle down” to workers through new jobs and wage gains.

But maybe it is all a matter of perspective. You see, for Hudak, “prosperity” means turning Ontario into a low-wage, regulation-free haven where corporations rake in profit at the expense of Ontario workers, communities and the environment.

“Flexible labour” is cheap labour and he proposes to bring Indiana-style laws to Ontario to drive wages down for all workers. So the next time that you hear Conservatives sounding off about unions, ask yourself whether average working people – that means you and your neighbours — are more likely to be better off if you work together or if you compete against each other. Seems to me the only thing Hudak is really worried about is that the rest of us might not buy into his politics of division.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Just Hanging Out

When you can't think of anything creative, you think of stuff that barely makes any sense...  I can't think of any creative title, and we aren't exactly "just hanging out", but it'll do.
So this great looking gal and I headed out on Saturday to a wedding.  We definitely learned our lesson from the wedding we went to in June = Leave the squawking kid at home.  Molly was boarded up at Larry and Diane's house, so we didn't have her to wrestle with this time.  Sorry Molly, but you don't quite have a suitable disposition for weddings yet.... However, we did squeeze out a photo of us together just before we left.
On Friday night Beaser, Kites, Tremain, Kites's buddy Darren, and I skipped over to Buffalo for a race.  It was a 4 Miler through an area of town known as Allentown.  It was a great spot actually and the festivities and race were excellent.  The accommodations, not so much.  Richy, Beaser, and I had this pitiful room with only a double bed, and not much else.  There was nooooo way the three of us were going to sleep together on this:
So over the years I have become a bit of a hotel snob - I came to this conclusion on the trip of 2010 - realizing (within reason) that no amount of $ is unreasonable for a suitable place to sleep.  So if a room is $269 a night, well, so-be-it...  That is life.  The alternative is this crap as you can see above, or it is in the back of a truck or worse off, camping in the rain and being all wet and stuff.  It was the worst hotel in the United States - so said the reviews on, and they weren't too off.  We paid $135 after taxes.  What a rip-off.  Hotel Lenox, I'll never be back!  The long and short of the story is that the 3 of us traded room with Kites and his buddy as they had a king sized bed.  Two were in the bed and one got the floor - I'll leave you all to decide between Richy, Beaser, and I who was where in the sleeping arrangements for the evening.  Kites and his friend must have been comfy in their twin!

But you can't, nor shouldn't be left with a blog posting regarding which dude slept with which dude in some skanky hotel in Buffalo, so it is back to the good looking couple who posed like animals at a zoo for some glamour shots this past Saturday.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Shoot'n, Ride'n, Frog'n

Trevor and I hit up Drew's (Anderson) for a bit of plink'n with the 22 calibre.  Nothing is in season other then the six beer cans we threw out in the field and the steel targets...  Shooting a twenty two must be the cheapest form of shooting a feller can do - other then using a Red Rider BB gun or a pellet gun....  So that was fun for an hour or so in the hot July sun.

We also had the shot gun and a box of skeet - I don't know what excuse to use... 
  1. It was terribly hot
  2. The sun was in our eyes
  3. The barrel is warped
  4. The throwing was bad
  5. It was windy
  6. Etcetera...
But I/we missed 45 of the 60 shots taken.  I couldn't hit anything!  Trevor at least had a decent excuse in that it was his first time shooting skeet from a thrower - But me - I am just plain horrendous with a gun it seems.  Maybe that is a good thing if you are a duck, deer, or turkey. 

Cole, Grayson and I were out for a drive earlier today and came across these three cowboys.  They were wrestling and rounding up some cats in the barn, then some eggs out of the chicken coops.  We finally went on a frog herding expidition and caught some, but they were not suitable enough to eat, so we let them back into the pond.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Brothers Having Some Fun

Add Together
2 brothers
Pick Up Truck
Honda CF230
Yamaha YZ 250
Lots of Fun!

Trevor and I hit up the "Aeroport" today for a rip-a'round.  A few days ago I noted that I thought I could rangle up a few dirt bikes and came up with a red one and a blue one too.  (Thanks Darren and Andrew.)  The weather was great, and we made it through without and major problems or issues for the most part.

Since Trevor is around another week we may have to do it again...  Trevor is very capable on skis, and is pretty good on the bike as well.

Finally some motorcycling and action shots on the blog!

And I just checked - 9,988 viewers since inception = So two pictures of kids to get me over the top:

Cole on the Honda and Molly in the circle of neglect.

And holy crap!  July 10, 2010 = 2 year wedding anniversary!  I knew there was something I was supposed to do today - Happy anniversary Shelly. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Gone Fish"n

So it is official - All of the Macaulay's are back in Goderich, well Trevor, Marsha, and their kids are anyway.  Marhsa arrived a week ago or so, and I picked up Trevor and the boys in London on Wednesday.  The last few days have gone by quickly, and maybe even a bit mancial.
We all got out fishing today for varrying lengths of time - It was a bit hot, a bit buggy, but the fish were liking the worms and our company.  It takes so much more time to bait the hooks then it does to catch the fish out at this pond.  The kids were all probably a bit young still to get-anything out of the day...  They all got a chance to reel in a few bass - Not too interested in taking them off however.
There were also a few good pictures from Thursday night....  It was a silly underware party for the kids from out of state and province.

So there will undoubtedly  be a lot more pictures and stories over the next week as everyone will be around.  I am sitting at 9,930 or so odd hits on the blog too - Getting to 10k by the end of the month should be no problem - And a pretty cool milestone as well.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hip Hip Hur-Ray! Summer Is Here

Molly, Shelly, Kites and Keya are all pretty excited that summer is here!
So school ended without any problems and the summer quickly began last Friday basically.  We had a house-full over for some eats including the lovely couples Kites & Keya, along with Steve and Hellen, as well as Guffer and Brad too. 

Then on Saturday we all poked around for a bit - had a great BBQ over at Don and Janet's house as is the Canada Day tradtion - Just Molly and I attended as Shelly went out on a panty raid bachelorette party with a few girls she works with.....  We all had our good times.

On Sunday I drove down to Windor with a load for Brad who is the city's newest resident.  That is going to be tough - losing Brad as a neighbour, however....  That is life.  Brad will do just fine down there and it isn't like I will never see him again.  All the best Brad!  He even has a Dominion House shirt on....  I told you he'll be fine.

Our backyard garden seems to be doing very well.  The vegetables seem to be coming up and the flowers have began quite a blossom.

My sister made it to Huron County a few days ago with her 2 kids....  My brother is on his way and will be here by late Wednesday night - So there promises to be a few extra pictures and stories to share.

The two EMs - Marsha & Molly