Yes, the great defender. The "R" word. When all else fails, roll out the "R" word and see where it takes ya.
If you’ve driven downtown lately, you’re aware of crappy cabs racing all over the city, honking their horns, nosing in, rarely yielding and paying little or no attention to pedestrians.
It’s nothing new, and given the price of cab licenses and gasoline, it’s not surprising that the taxi-cab industry has become so cut-throat, but at some point, if laws are being broken, the police have to become involved.
But apparently upholding the law is not the main focus of the cops. Targeting immigrant drivers because of their skin colour is the reason they stop cabs.
The Police Services Board will hear this today when they are presented with a report by three authours, who have apparently studied the taxi-cab industry over the past 11 months.
Basically, the drivers are OK, but cops are bad.
Looking for an excuse for getting a ticket is a universal reaction that transcends race, creed or colour. How often have you met someone who admits they "deserved" a ticket? We all look for excuses, but some of us are willing to stretch it to the limit.
Of several cabbies quoted anonymously in the report, one told the surveyors that city police "don't like us for no reason. They hate us, maybe because of our race or colour."
Now tell me, how does a cop defend himself against that?
Yesterday I wrote about Barack Obama and his Father’s Day message to the black men of America.
Obama says its time for African American men to take responsibility for their sperm and reduce the number of fatherless kids in the country.
Failure in school and a life of crime are directly connected to absentee fathers, and Obama showed a lot of guts by tackling the issue now, when he will depend on a large black vote to become President.
Obama called for responsibility, accountability and community leadership, and its interesting that on heels of what he said, the Toronto school board has announced that they want to reduce the black student dropout rate from 40 to fifteen percent within five years.
The aim is to make all intermediate and high schools across the city more sensitive to the demographic roadblocks often facing students of differing backgrounds, and that’s good, but this is better.
TDSB has finally recognized the need for mentors in this process, and that’s the key.
Until the black community comes up with some positive, involved and progressive thinking role models or community leaders, nothing will be accomplished.
It’s alright for a bunch of white guys to sit around and tell the black community what they should do, but it doesn’t go far, and in the end, and nothing changes.
Single parent families is the root cause of the shocking dropout rate of black kids in our schools and until black community leaders come out and address the problem by admitting the problem and create solutions to fix the problem, it won’t matter what the school board does.
There is a sense of accomplishment and status within the Caribbean community connected to fathering several children by different women and until that changes, it won’t matter what the school board does or what teachers do, kids will continue to struggle before they even leave the house in the morning.
Roughly half of the black kids in Toronto schools don't have a father living at home.
But again, I can say it, and so can a bunch of other white guys, but it won’t have any impact until it comes from strong black leaders.
For some reason, nobody wants to take on the responsibility.
This morning I was listening to Toronto's best talk show host, who's filling in on the am 640 morning show this week, and it was very interesting.
Mike Stafford referred to an article in the National Post today entitled "Taking stock in fossil brands."
Adam McDowell writes about discovering "Molson Stock Ale" back in the mid-90's when he was 16 years old. He fell in love with it, but now he's somewhat annoyed that its only available in certain Beer Stores and very few bars.
This inspired a conversation on the Stafford Show about other brands that have come and gone over the past few decades, and for a fella like me, in his 50's, it brought back a lot of memories.
The first beer memory I have goes back to the early 60's when my dad would actually have beer delivered to the house. They did that back then.
A Brewers Retail truck would pull up in front of the house and drop off a case of Red Cap. And I distinctly remember this, because my dad often told me, in the early 60's, 24 Red Cap cost $3.50.
Can you imagine that?
My dad eventually changed his brand from Red Cap to Molson Golden, and he drank that well into the 80's until he finally gave up the suds for red Wine.
Along the way he would enjoy the odd case of 6.5 Brador, because that's what I'd buy him on Father's Day or his birthday.
As a young punk first discovering beer, it was tough for me. I never liked Molson Golden, so "borrowing" the odd beer from my dad was a struggle.
My first beer of choice was Molson Export, but I'd say roughly half of my buddies drank Labatt 50. We dabbled with Labatt Pilsner when it first became "Blue" and tried the other novelty beers as they came along like Oktoberfest and Heidleberg.
In my early twenty's when I first started working at CFNY the beer of choice was Carlsberg Light. It was brewed by Carling O'Keefe back then, and they were a huge sponsor of the radio station.
After Carling O'Keefe was bought out by Molson, somehow Carlsberg Light ended up as a Labatt product and something changed. It lost its taste appeal and I moved on, getting sucked into the introduction of American beers into the market.
Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft.
Eventually I gravitated to Molson Canadian which absolutely blows me away now, because I can't stand Canadian. The first sip always tastes like plastic to me.
After that, it was on to Coors Light but eventually I lost my taste for it as well because I discovered Bud Lite.
Bud Lite. Cool and crisp with no initial shock or aftertaste. A refreshing beer that I continue to drink until this day.
I've been called a "beer suck" for drinking this beer. It's been referred to as a women's beer by a few of my buddies. But I don't care. I like it. I don't like to be challenged by a beer like my good friend Dan Duran.
He often shows up with beers that are dark and thick and bitter, and they have weird names like "Evil Bat Ale" or "Liquefied Vulture Crap Lager."
Needless to say, Dan doesn't have to share his beer that often.
I've tried other stuff like Alexander Keith's, the Rickard line, Stella and the Sleeman stuff, but none of it satisfies me like a Bud Lite.
And no, it doesn't make me want to sit down to pee.
Not to sound like a broken record, but from time to time I've made the point that parenting is the most pressing problem of society today, in particular fatherless homes.
Of course there are those who have their heads stuffed up their asses and won't address the problem, and it becomes even touchier when it's pointed out that fatherless homes seem to a problem more prevalent to African Americans / Canadians / (insert other here)
Unless you're African-Something you stand to be barraged with the "R" word, because its great defense for those who refuse to address the root problem which affects not only the world and North America, but Toronto in particular.
How refreshing that we have the likes of Bill Cosby and now Barack Obama who aren't afraid to speak out on the topic and chastise their own people.
We're supposed to be one people, but when a white person questions the cultural habits of a black person, something is lost in the translation.
But when one black man speaks out against another black man, then it holds some water and people have to listen, including the women who bear children to several different sperm donors.
There’s something weird been going on around my house this spring, and this morning it became so bad it woke me out of a sound sleep and I jumped out of bed and dashed downstairs.
Birds are flying into my windows. Not by mistake, but on purpose.
A couple of weeks ago I heard a constant tap against my basement window and when I went down to investigate, there was a sparrow flying at the window, banging into it, and then perching itself on a tree branch before doing it all over again with precision timing.
There was some stained glass hanging in front of the window so I moved it hoping there was something in the glass that was attracting the poor bastard who was literally knocking his brains out.
It worked for a few minutes, but it wasn’t long before he was back to doing it again.
Over the past couple of weeks, it hasn’t been constant, but every so often another bird will come back and choose another window.
This morning it was crazy.
As I said, it woke me out of a sound sleep and caused great concern with a measure of consternation as I rambled down the stairs in my underwear.
There are the front window was a large Robin throwing itself into the glass repeatedly and making quite the bang.
Like clockwork it would fly into the window, perch on a tree, and then do it again. If you put a stop-watch on the son of bitch it would have been precision timing.
Of course this finally led to the question why. Why are these birds doing this and why are picking on my house?
My mind quickly raced. Are they trying to get at me? Eventually will a huge flock smash through the window, attack me, knock me over and pick my eyes out?
I saw “The Birds.”
And then I had a “dad” moment. My dad loved birds and seemed to know why they did everything, so without a doubt I would have picked up the phone and called him for the answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have that option any more, so I did the next best thing, I googled “why do birds fly into windows” and here’s what I got.
Turns out during mating season they’re a little freaked out and when they see their reflection in a window they think its another bird and they attack.
How bloody stupid is that? Now I know why they came up with the term "bird brain".
I think we should all know the name Elliot Khelawan. He’s a 52 year old man who’s been charged with impaired driving after leaving the scene of an accident on Sunday night.
In these situations you have to say allegedly, because Khelawan hasn’t had his day in court, and with our court system now-a-days, and with the right lawyer, we all know even the guilty can get off easily.
Meanwhile, we know, if the police charged this guy there’s a pretty good chance the “alleged” part of this story isn’t necessary.
Just know that Khelawan is accused of getting drunk, speeding down a residential street and running over a four year old boy before leaving the scene. The four year old is at Sick Kids Hospital in a drug induced coma.
His name is Elliot Khelawan, and I’m sure he’s made his family proud.
Late last night Delyse and I decided to head for the tin palace because the days are clipping by pretty good and next thing you know, the summer will be over, and not only that, but I may have to join the work force soon and three days weekends will be few and far between.
I can't tell you what my next job will be, but I can give you a hint.
Two words, and the second one is Depot. I've always enjoyed working around tools - that's how I lasted in the radio business so long.
Anyway, I can't offer much today. I've got the internet up here, but it's slow and I have a whole whack of other things to do.
I've got to sand the top of a picnic table and re-paint it. I have to head down to Peterborough and pick up a new barbeque, and I have to get into an aggravating debate with Dan Duran about global warming and how the high price of gasoline is actually a good thing for the environment.
That's what my day will involve. But I encourage you to check back later, because at 4:20 I'll be doing another "bit" with Neil Morrison (aka Brother Bill) in Vancouver.
He does the afternoon show at The Fox and he's been gracious enough to add FreddieP.ca to the list of stations I bark on every week.
After I talk to Neil, I'll post it for weekend content.
As for stuff in the news.... Those damn Americans have killed two more Torontonians.
Two young men were gunned down in the Theater District and of course it will be blamed on guns being shipped up from the States.
If Americans would stop doing that, we would probably have no murders at all in Toronto because everybody is nice and wonderful and squeaky clean with the best of intentions.
If only more people would listen to Mayor Miller, things would be a lot better.
On another note, the Competition Bureau will investigate gas price fixing in other provinces following the charges laid in Quebec. Several retailers have been charged and convicted after banding together and screwing consumers.
Encouraging, but it's the first time in over 50 years gas price fixing prosecution has led to convictions in this country.
I think its safe to say there's a lot more of it going on, and there has been for decades.
I refuse to put the Paul Bernardo video on my website because having the putrid bastard come to life on something I’m responsible for is totally out of the question.
But I will admit I watched it, and I’m sure I feel like a lot of you. I’d like to crawl through the screen and grab the son of bitch by the throat and squeeze the slimy life out of him.
But that wouldn’t be human. Or would it?
According to Paul Benardo, regardless of our actions, we’re all human beings.
It was the worst part of the video for me. The part when he says “I realize I’m giving you guys a hard time, but I’m a human being.” And then rambles on about something else.
It’s sickening, because it’s so delusional.
You can see that Bernardo is enjoying every minute of the interview and he carries on like he’s a legitimate member of the society. He refers to mistakes of the past, almost like he thinks he should be forgiven all these years later.
It was another moment in the spotlight for Bernardo and he soaked it up while toying with a shockingly awkward detective.
And here’s another part that bothers me.
Recurring evidence keeps referring to Bernardo’s favourite radio station, CFNY 102.1.
I worked there at the time, in fact the Humble and Fred Show was in its infancy back then, and it bothers me to think that maybe, must maybe we gave this prick one moment of pleasure. It creeps me out.
Needless to say, the concern pales when compared to the pain and suffering that the French and Mahaffey families went through, and are still going through, but it gives you an idea of how far reaching the effects of such a monster can be.
I’m still not sure what the purpose of releasing this video was, because all it does is provide some creepy entertainment for those not directly affected, but it’s got to be excruciating for the parents of the victims.
They’ve had to re-live this nightmare too many times.
Have you ever been witness to anything more useless than recent protests launched by General Motors workers in Oshawa?
We all feel bad for those who will lose their jobs, but do they really think that anything they do will change the mind of an auto manufacturer that is losing money hand over foot.
Do they really think they can stand in the way of reality, the reality of trucks no longer being practical to the average driver?
They want to hold on to their jobs and continue to build trucks, but who hell is going to buy them once they're built. It’s a whole new landscape out there, and two thousand GM workers in Oshawa are the latest victims.
Yes, they can blame General Motors for bad planning and empty promises, but in the end, it all comes down to the all mighty dollar, and General Motors isn’t about to build thousands of units that will sit in a field somewhere.
And now the union is talking about wild cats strikes!
From this standpoint striking against a job your about to lose doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Grand Canyon, Arizona - Vacations are funny. They always start out slow, and then blow by like you can’t believe.
That’s what this one has been like.
When we made the decision to make this trip just a couple of weeks ago, we had no idea it was going to be this amazing. It’s a part of the world everyone has to see.
I’ve been saying it all week, but I’ll say it again, pictures and videos (or digital movies) do it no justice. I post them so you can get an idea, but there’s no depth perception and that’s why these pictures of the Grand Canyon especially, or not worthy of the real thing.
The drive from Sedona to the Canyon yesterday was spectacular. We wound our way through the Oak Creek Canyon which was lush and green, and literally ascended two thousand more feet above sea level reaching seven thousand feet before entering the highway near Flagstaff.
Once there, you can see Flagstaff in the distance with the mountain range still featuring snow on top.
It then became downright remarkable as we took the Flagstaff by-pass and went up highway 89 through the desert. You go from lush and green to barren and pink in no time flat. For sixty miles north of Flagstaff there is nothing but unfriendly rock which looks like the surface of the moon. It’s full tilt desert.
And the temperature change is crazy. In Scottsdale we had temperatures over 100, but they dropped to the eighties in Sedona. By the time we got to the Canyon yesterday, it was in the low 60’s and when we watched the sunset over the Canyon last night, it was downright cold.
Again, there’s no use trying to describe what we saw yesterday, it’s too much to comprehend let alone describe. When you first look at the Grand Canyon its hard to convince yourself that what your seeing is real, and that’s no exaggeration.
We entered from the east side yesterday, started with the Desert View, and then worked our way west for 23 miles stopping at various places along the way.
It didn’t matter where we stopped, the view was different and just as interesting and spectacular. It truly is a wonder.
Today we’re heading back to Scottsdale, and then tomorrow on it’s the plane and back to reality.
However, if I’ve learning anything on this trip its that I may have found my next calling and an alternative to my quest to get back into radio.