Jeers: to yet another politician talking food when they talk about chemicals. What is it with politicians and their food comparisons? Transportation and Works Minister Tom Hedderson is now telling people that the 2,4-D-based herbicide Tordon 101 is no more dangerous than salt. Sigh. When then-prime minister Jean Chretien was confronted about the use of pepper spray on protesters, his response was, “For me, I put pepper on my plate.” U.S. right-wing commentators, dismissing the use of the spray on student protestors, called the spray, “basically a food product.” Some take it further: back in the 1980s, U.S. politician B.T. Collins drank a glass of the pesticide malathion to prove its safety. So, what do you say, Mr. Hedderson? Fancy a tasty Tordon cocktail?
Jeers: to wrong numbers. And while we’re on the topic of the province’s spray program, perhaps folks could be a little more clear about who to call if you have concerns. Callers who took telephone numbers from signs at the spray sites were sent to a Transportation and Works employee who was on vacation, while callers who tried to reach the Department of Environment have said they were ping-ponged all around and still didn’t get any answers. When we called the company doing the spraying, their response was that it was a Transportation and Works issue, and they couldn’t comment. It’s still the strangest kind of government work being done in this province: for everything else, it’s nine press releases every time a shovel bites into gravel. For the spray program, no one really wants to carry the ball.
Cheers: to another week of Dalley-ances. Minister of Festivals Derrick Dalley is still in the midst of his essential travel around the province, last week attending the Stephenville Theatre Festival, the Brimstone Head Festival on Fogo Island, the Mussel Bed Soiree in Lewisporte, the Winterset in Summer Literary Festival in Eastport and Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity. That’s 1,250 kilometres of driving, or 14 hours and 25 minutes on the road. His two-week festival road totals? So far in all, 3,034 kilometres or 30 hours and 11 minutes of highway driving. (He’s now reached, by our unofficial calculation, 18,110 verses of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.”) Heckuva travel claim coming…
Cheers: to technology to help curmudgeons everywhere. Overwhelmed by the sheer volume of baby pictures that your Facebook friends keep sending you? You can now use a web tool called Unbaby.me to replace those irritating and constant reminders of the precious gem’s every little move with more interesting pictures, like cats, sunsets or bacon. Now, if there was only a way to wipe out the incessant cute pet photo and video clutter as well, we might be getting somewhere. And while we’re at it, something to stop the promulgation of absolutely bogus urban legends, repeated as truth by countless “please share” addicts. Oh, we’re just talking loony talk here.