Posted in Canada, Daddy, family, government, Life, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

More Kid Kontent: Gross Commercials, Politics and Tik Tok


Today, April 19th, 2021 is the first Canadian Federal budget in over 2-years. It’s been a hot topic of conversation amongst my friends, my colleagues and, yes, my kids.

At work, and among friends, we are concerned that the only way this Liberal government can pay for all the massive spending they’ve done over the past 7-years is through increased taxation. Increased taxation to Liberals tends to mean, calling taxes anything but taxes, so “levies”, “fees” and other cute names get thrown around, while the Liberals continue to push for increased taxes on the “wealthy”. Unfortunately, “wealthy” in Canada now becomes anyone earning over $80,000, or combined income of “$120,000”, which essentially becomes the “middle class”.

But I digress.

Whatever I know about politics in Canada I have earned through a specialized honours degree in Public Policy and Administration at University, plus an additional 10+ years of working for the Canadian government. That, however, still doesn’t make me qualified to educate my children about government-related matters because my kids know more. They have Tik Tok.

From Tik Tok, they learn a ton. A lot of it is really helpful, and useful, and informative. The facts that these kids pepper me with are factually correct, and legitimate. Considering the chaos around schooling during a pandemic, it’s nice to see the kids are learning important facts, however, some of these facts are a bit, shall we say, too far to the left, and blur the lines between what’s going on the in the US, and what political life is like in Canada.

The extra scrutiny of the Trump Republicans in the US has caused kids to not only tie together Conservativism in the US with Conservatism in Canada, but it also brought along the stereotypes and misinformation from the US, up to Canada. I can’t say how many times, I’ve mentioned that the Canadian conservatives won’t allow guns, won’t discuss abortion and that conservatives are not Neanderthals who treat people different by race, age, sex, religion or nationality. It’s not a thing.

With all of that being said, I do welcome the attention that they now pay to politics, and enjoy the dialogues that we can have around what’s best for Canada and what’s best for Canadians. If my kids know anything, it’s how to spend only the money they have, and not the money they hope to have or hope to borrow, thus making themselves fiscally responsible. They also know that this government in particular is fiscally irresponsible and they do not like the concept that their taxes will be higher as they start to earn money.

When prompted what they would do if they strived to be a high income earner, to start a business, employ and support others and earn as much as they could, they were quite frank in their replies. They would take less money to offer their employees a higher wage/salary. I commend them for that. Unfortunately, when prompted about what they would do if the government took 60% of their income or more, they simply replied, that they would move to a country which took less.

This is my biggest fear with the way this government has gone about their business.

When an election comes, they spend, spend, spend, because they know 3 things. First, that ordinary Canadians appreciate the spending and think the government is doing something for them. Second, they know that if either of the governments are critical of the spending, they would in turn be criticized by Canadians, and third, they know that when a new government takes over and has to balance the budget, by spending less or cutting costs, that narrative doesn’t go over well at all, and can be used as a re-election strategy (re-elect us, because we don’t cut everything like they do).

With all that being said, I expect this will be an election budget, not a pandemic budget, meaning, spending a LOT of money on everything and not making any controversial decisions. No taxes. No cuts. Just spend, spend, spend, without any regard for who is going to pay and when.

Can’t wait to discuss this with the kids, at a more appropriate time.

We started to have this conversation but then one of 2 dreadful commercials came on the TV. It’s a commercial with Heinz Ketchup (a brand we love), in which a potato with a face gets cut up and eaten. It’s enough to not want us to eat potatoes anymore, and just barely exceeds that horrible Pepsi commercial with ice cubes with faces are plummeted into a glass where they melt to death.

As the kids pointed out, we don’t eat as much mean because of the efforts associating the food with a living being that has feelings. After watching those commercials, the kids want to establish a charity to save the potatoes and save the ice cubes.

UGH.

Posted in Canada, Community, events, family, health, Life, Parenting, school, sleep, The Urban Daddy

How to Blog During a Pandemic


This blog post will provide some key tips to help you maintain your blog during the pandemic.

The key to doing this involves learning a very important skill; how to repeat posts on a daily basis so you don’t end up filling your draft folder with hundreds and hundreds of posts which you started but never completed.

Take this template, and add your twist to the end.

Blog post #…

Today, I woke up.

Today, I stayed home. Actually, we all stayed home. Today marked the _______ day, that we all stayed home.

Today, we (Insert an activity from the list below);

Browsed social media

Read

Got kids onto their zoom classes

Worked from home / my bed / my dining room table / my home office

Tried to work

Exercised / Tried to Exercise

Browsed Tik Tok (and learned…)

Ordered something online / a package came today which contained…

Optional: Left the house

Not optional: Wore a mask!

Went to sleep

The highlight of my day was…

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

More Questions Children Ask About the Way We Do Things


Building on the previous questions – the post a few days before this one – that children (my children) have asked about the way we do things, and why.

  1. How is the US possibly considering taking away women’s rights to do what they want with their own bodies? If the US is REALLY pro-life, then they would ban guns, and murder, and violence, because who says the life of an unborn baby matters more than the life of a child or adult who are killed for the colour of their skin, their sex or their ethnicity?
  2. If police here in Toronto really wanted to crack down on cars that speed, don’t follow street rules, and have tinted windows, they should make a law. (We have the conversation about the fact there are laws). In that case, if they break the law, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. They should be forced to make the changes to their cars. In the mean time, they should have to take public transit. And they should have to pay a fine. That money should go into educating drivers what will happen if they break the laws. If they drink and drive and hurt someone or kill someone, they no longer get to drive. If they damage someone’s property, they should have to pay for it. There needs to be accountability.
  3. The funniest of these very serious conversations came while discussing limits on screen time. We have always limited screen time, and sites kids can and cannot visit. When parents, my kids say, they will not restrict screen time. They will instead, have serious conversations with their children about when they can access screens and for how long.

When asked what they would do to ensure that school work was completed?

Take away the access until it was done?

Nope.

They would “discuss” the importance of making sure school work is a priority.

How about if they work still isn’t done?

Take away access?

Again, no, it would make much more sense to have a conversation with the children to let them know that school work comes first and electronics second.

So I asked… What if they lie to you about having work done, or don’t contribute to the house chores? Don’t help with meal prep? Don’t set or clean off the table? Don’t take their laundry downstairs, or don’t take their wet towels off their beautiful hardwood floors?

Without missing a beat, they said; “They will”.

Puzzled, I asked, “so all I needed to do was have a serious conversation with you guys about responsibility, but give you free and unlimited access to electronics and you would be help out more around the house?”

“Absolutely!”, was their response…

“But”… was their next word… “You guys are terrible parents so we likely would have just been on our devices all day!”

I sat there blinking my eyes at them.

“Parenting is really not that hard, you just have to know how to do it properly.”

At which point I stopped the car (we were home) and pointed to the outside, and said, “OUT!”

… and they disappeared with devices in hand, never to be seen or heard from again, or at least until I yelled, “dinner!”.

Posted in Canada, disaster, Life, news, politics

Geez, I Miss CNN


It’s been bothering me for a while now, and I was finally able to put my theoretical thumb on it, and it’s that I miss CNN… The old CNN. The CNN that was a news network that we turned to for breaking news, around the world.

The old CNN was voiced by James Earl Jones, and had the star-studded cast of journalists who would tell you the facts, and show you pictures, and speak to experts and from there, we got world news like no one could deliver.

But along the way something happened…

Something terrible.

CNN changed, and not for the better. Now when I tune in to channel 33 (on the Rogers dial here in Toronto), I don’t see the news, and I don’t get reports of whats going on in the world. Instead I get a bunch of hack, wanna be “journalists” on their soap box being the news, rather than telling the news.

It’s a cross between comedy and pathetic.

Each “journalist” gets their opportunity to talk about how bad President Donald Trump is, as if their opinion is why people turn into the station – it’s not. There is no more world news, unless something breaks which is far more interesting that the anti-Trump show they put on daily.

The coverage of the Trump presidency from CNN, as I’ve noticed over the past 4-years, has been pretty “inconsistent” and its’ no wonder Trump started calling them fake news. By inconsistent, I mean downright one-sided, against the President.

Just the other day, I wanted to see how the rest of the world is handling CoronaVirus, and typically, I could count on CNN to have that information. But do they talk about it? Nope. Instead they bash Trump for this, and they bash Trump for that. Then they bring on their “experts” who bash Trump some more. There is no doubt in my mind that this “news network” is really a “vote democrat” station.

India is catching the US in COVID cases. Brazil and Russia not too far behind. How is Africa handling it? What about how Sweden has fared? Or maybe, ahem, your neighbours to the north, in Canada?

Nope. If it’s not anti-Trump, then it just isn’t newsworthy in the new CNN, and its sad to see.

Whether I support Trump, or Biden, or neither – as I’m Canadian – the fact of the matter is that this station is a shell of it’s former self, and I have to remind myself, when I sit down to watch the US “news” that I’m not going to get any on CNN.

I can’t imagine what’s going to happen when, and if, Biden gets elected. I want to see how their reporting is going to change and if they’re going to go off on Biden as they have on Trump. I have my doubts.

I’ve often wondered, since CNN has a “fact” checker to report on Trump’s lies, if they’re going to keep it up when the President is a democrat? Again, I have my doubts.

I can’t imagine being someone who didn’t follow the news, and only followed CNN. They’d believe that Trump ate babies, and had a satanic slogan carved into his forhead.

All this type of biased news reporting does, is make me wonder why the US doesn’t have a government-supported news station like we do in Canada with the CBC, and certainly, if the CBC was all-in for one party over another, you can guarantee that the public funding would have stopped already.

Granted, coverage from the CBC is typically very centre-left, and the current Liberal government did give the CBC a lot of money, and the same CBC really eases up when reporting about how terrible this Prime Minister has been to women, natives, people of colour, and the economy.

When you look at the actual numbers, the COVID response in Canada and the US has been very similar, the US have lost less people than Canada has by percentage of it’s population, and the US closed their border with other countries way faster than Canada, but Trudeau gave out significant amounts of money to keep everyone appeased, while Trump wanted to keep the economy open. In Canada, Canadians are pleased with the Liberal governments response to COVID-19, whereas in the US, CNN would have you believe that Trump killed every single person himself…

I will, however, say this… thankfully the CBC is no CNN, because whomever made the decision and allowed CNN to go from reporting the news to become they joke they are now, should be fired and never allowed to run a TV station again.

Posted in Canada, cars, Coffee, Daddy, news, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Things Discussed With My Kids: Yesterday


The joy of teenagers, and I have 2 of them now, is that they know everything. It’s amazing, it really is.

When they are not telling me how little I know, they’re usually on a device somewhere out of sight, playing games or “talking” to their friends.

Sometimes, however, we talk about stuff.

Here are a few topics of conversation for yesterday.

My middle child – bless him – just realized the irony of the fact that his mother does not like / hates coffee, yet eats Coffee Crisp chocolate bars… (Mind blown). The funny thing here is that she’s never had coffee that he’s ever seen. She’s eaten coffee crisps as long as he’s known… The so-called penny dropped.

If there are speed limits which should / must be adhered to, and there are significant penalties for violating these limits, and getting caught… Why are car manufacturers making cars that can go upwards of 250km/h? If speed limits are 100km/h, and cars exceeding 150km/h are deemed to be “stunt racing”, then shouldn’t cars not be allowed to exceed 150km/h, rather than 250km/h?

Rather than spending my time helping Canadians with tax troubles, my kids suggested that I should explore a career far more lucrative, such as owing a Subway franchise, South Street Burger, or a Tim Hortons location. Why? So they can have free stuff, of course…

Why do the parking enforcement officers (parking police) always park illegally when they’re out on their rounds? Because there are no parking spots for them to park in! So why doesn’t the city create more parking so people can park? They’ll make more money from parking, right? (future politician)

If the government wants more people in cars, why don’t they take away cars from people who do things illegal with their cars, thus forcing them to have to take public transit for the rest of their lives. That’s appropriate punishment, isn’t it?

We had an interesting discussion about Donald Trump which was more a conversation about a left-wing media, and the general dislike of right-wing politics. As a result, we’ve discussed that the US needs a third party that falls in the middle of the democrats and republicans and one which allows voters an option that isn’t either pro-or-against-guns, or pro-or-against-abortion, but one that caters to the voters. Unfortunately getting information from typical “left-wing” media, the soundbites that kids get fed these days don’t tell the full story on every political issue in the most transparent way. a lot of media circulated is slanted one way or another and a lot of kids can’t tell apart facts from biases. For example, the kids were surprised that Trump paid on $750 in taxes and while they do understand that its possible to pay that little in taxes by using the tax system to it’s fullest (see, I have taught them something), they just knew it didn’t pass the smell test.

So I asked them if Trump paid $400,000 in taxes would that be better? As Trump was one of only 2 US Presidents according to snopes.com, who have donated their entire Presidential salaries to charity.

Sure, they said, but all Presidents donate their salaries… Not true, but certainly there are a lot of clips stating that to be the case.

All I ask my kids, is if they are going to follow, support, understand, politics, they should take what they hear and read with a grain of salt, make sure they research it, and try not to spread inaccurate facts, if at all possible.

Not a pro-Trump moment, because between Trump and Biden, I think we all feel sorry for the American voters because they’ve been given some pretty sad choices. Not that things are better here in Canada with our questionable leadership from our Liberal government…