Little Respect For Politicians

            For many years, on federal and provincial election nights, I was a member of Toronto radio station CFRB’s political panels, where I was always identified as a “keen political observer.” I still am. Although I’ve never been directly involved with any party at any level, I’ve been intensely interested in politics since I was about twelve years old. As such, I’m reasonably informed on many current Canadian and American politicians. And sad to say, I have little or no respect for most of them. My reasons are so numerous and varied that I could probably fill a couple of “Musings” explaining them, but I’ll limit this rant to a few of my strongest objections to their habitually despicable conduct.

            Let’s start by staying with the subject of respect. Far too many present-day politicians seemingly have no acquaintance with the word. Not only do they show no respect for members of other parties, they show little or no respect for the legislative body to which they’ve been elected, be it national, provincial, or state. But to me, their most egregious lack of respect is manifested by their wanton waste of taxpayers’ money; which, of course, is OUR money.

            Also sad to say, today’s politicians are mostly an unprincipled bunch that cares only about getting elected, and then re-elected; which, of course, also relates directly to their disrespect for taxpayers’ money. When it comes to buying votes, their efficiency in spending our money is unparalleled. What’s best for the country, province, or state seems never to enter their minds.

            The adage that you can tell when politicians are lying by whether their lips are moving has moved beyond being a joke and is now reality. Broken election promises are the norm. When being interviewed, or appearing at  press conferences, most politicians (especially those in power) steadfastly refuse to directly answer tough questions and are seemingly unable to utter any words other than the meaningless “talking points” previously drummed into them by their aides.

            While on the subject of press conferences, and, for that matter, also the wanton waste of other people’s money, I’m disgusted by politicians being surrounded by a dozen or more lackeys of some sort any time they appear on TV. All of those people mugging for the politician are likely taking time off from work for which they’re presumably being paid, most times probably by taxpayers. As a person who has made hundreds of television appearances, I can attest that nothing happens quickly in TV production. The cost of lost productivity in this narcissistic and useless endeavour is enormously wasteful.

            OK. That’s enough for now.

The NHL Needs To Crack Down On Slashing

            The NHL simply has to crack down on slashing; witness the gruesome image of Marc Methot’s bloody finger tip hanging by a thin ribbon of skin, and the earlier twenty-one slashes in one game to Johnny Gaudreau that finally fractured one of his fingers. But don’t hold your breath. The person in charge of “player safety” in the NHL office is Chris Pronger, probably the dirtiest player the NHL has ever known. (Yes, Pronger’s appointment was still another Bettman-blow to the integrity of the game.)

            There’s no reason to delay this action until two or three committees talk it to death (standard procedure during Bettman’s reign – he always sets up things so that he has someone else to blame if they don’t work out), because no rule change is required. Just tell the referees to call it.

            Ever since I played the game many decades ago, so-called “tapping” of a player’s hands has been allowed. But it’s no longer “tapping,” it’s become outright vicious slashing.

            Another contributing factor to the increase in the number and severity of wrist and hand injuries is, of course, the lack of protection offered by contemporary hockey gloves. Players are now willing to risk injury as the price to be paid for flexible gloves. (Some of us remember when hockey gloves were called “gauntlets” and actually provided pretty good protection.) But the players aren’t going to change their preference for “feel” over protection, so the only solution is to call penalties.

Just Wondering

            Now that the baseball season is upon us I’m wondering if Las Vegas odds makers have an over/under for the number of times Blue Jays TV analyst Pat Tabler will say “just a little bit” during the next six months. Hundreds, would be my guess.