Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Three stories

Not precisely time sensitive on this, but these three stories caught my eye the past few days.

1. I haven't seen much on the province's plan to drop the provincial portion of sales tax on books including CD ROMs in either the news or with other bloggers. The thing that confuses me is that I was unaware, or had forgotten, that the province dropped the tax on book altogether. When did that happen? I'm starting to feel so out of touch with home.

I'm sure Ed and Sue would argue that this is just the province sucking up during a polling period. Which I've always felt is a bit of a disingenuous argument. Most people are fairly aware of why governments make these sorts of announcements during specific times of the year. I don't think they're fooling many people, nor will it influence poll numbers that much.

And besides, Grimes and Tobin were just as bad, if not worse, at doing this sort of thing.

2. Speaking of Ed, I was amused by this little post about a story in the Globe and Mail about a pack rat who managed to acquire a comic book collection worth $2.5 million. There is nothing like a wife to dash your dreams of hidden millions amongst your stuff, is there Ed?

And yes, since I collect comic books, I was thrilled with the story, up to a point. I do love reading about these old collections being found. I can never afford to own any of those comics, but they're so rare to find, it's always a joy when you hear about one.

The thing that infuriated me was towards the end, where it was revealed that part of the collection is missing, having been likely stolen by a contractor who was doing renovations on the house back in the 90s.

Understand, nothing infuriates a collector more that hearing about someone's collection being messed with. It's a nightmare scenario. Just as you wouldn't want it to happen to you, you wouldn't wish it on someone else. I was actually furious when I read that. The family who sold the comics can't press charges (too late) and won't pursue litigation and waste their newfound money on legal fees.

Still, I suspect I speak on behalf of many collectors when I say if you give us his name and address and we'll take care of the rest. Messing with someone's collection. That shit is just wrong.

3. Jon Stewart has already mocked the media for their frenzy over JonBenet Ramsey. And yes, the murder of a little girl, no matter what job the parents had already done to her, is tragic. But let's face it, there are a few bigger things happening in the world and the US right now.

Stewart knows that and was right to mock. My friend Karin sent me this cartoon which also nicely illustrates the point. Time to move on to other things, folks....


Sue said...

I would tend to agree with you that all politicians take advantage of polling period, the people however are not often aware of the polling period until it's over.
Further when you have Shawn Skinner tory MHA saying he did not know it was polling period during his contribution to the poll and pony show - who is being disingenuos?

Ed Hollett said...


A bunch of things, quickly, so I'll just list 'em.

1. Beautiful pup. You guys will have a wonderfully rich life now. I have enjoyed the ongoing build-up to having the dog arrive.

2. Glad you liked the pack-rat piece. Wives are intended to bring us back to Earth. it's in the genes and the job description.

3. On the tax change, I'll have to foul your prediction and say that fudnamentally it's a long-overdue good move. There are plenty more of these little moves governments could do.

4. On the polling thing, stand by for a post later the week. Tobin's crowd used to do it all the time. Grimes' crowd were less effective at it. Danny 's boys do it. Whether it's effective or not isn't as important as the fact they do it based on their belief that it works.

Polling time just stands out; basically since Tobin's day in particular we have seen a regular use of campign comms techniques from government continuously. It's a bigger idea than the idea that by issuing more relases you can make a poll stand on its head and totally distort the numbers.

colette said...

You'd hate my grandfather. My Aunt Bonnie collected comics in the 40's and 50's--all the usual suspects. She left home at 16 and left her collection behind. My grandfather in the 70's and 80's started using them to light the fire in his woodstove and traded some to the neighbourhood hoodlums for a few beer. I hate to think what went up in smoke.

I should pass along that story to my OH to reinforce the warning I've given him with regards to my collection.

towniebastard said...

Sue, I don't think you can use Shawn Skinner as representative of anything in the Tories. He's either stupid or a liar. Pick one. Also, I don't know if there is such a thing as a vulnerable Tory in St. John's in the next provincial election, but I imagine Skinner would be it.

Ed, I like the idea of getting rid of the tax on books. I think taxing education is a bad idea. But the problem with exempting books is that there are so many other things also worthy of tax exemptions. It can get messy.

Colette, I've heard similar horror stories. Fortunately, my parents didn't do that to me, although lord knows my mom wanted to. However, my comics were not only read to pieces, they were also worthless when I was a kid because I was reading comics based on toys and movies (Micronauts, Shogun Warriors, Godzilla) before moving into super heroes later...