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Coshery for every reader

My regular Friday signed column for the Post is a look at the chances for a unite-the-left groundswell in Alberta provincial politics—in short, a fairly parochial piece, although if such a movement succeeded it would immediately be of national interest. Meanwhile, everybody in Canada is already talking about the single mother fired from Tim Hortons for giving a child a free 17-cent Timbit; she's the subject of a Thursday morning editorial from me. And my Friday editorial on the FARC-Chávez files already has the Hands Off Venezuela nitwits up in arms. Maybe now someone will start up the organization we obviously really need—Hands Off Colombia.


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Comments (11)

That Chavez thread is awesome.

I was massively amused by your little "Stalinist" brickbat in the Hortons piece. The peccadilloes of the NP editorial page never get old.

We adults all know, of course, that the notion of employment at will (of which this is a classic example, worthy of a textbook) is pure libertarian capitalism at its red-in-tooth-and-claw finest, while the Stalinist state was famous for guaranteeing employment for all - the only way you'd get fired in Stalin's Russia was for political offenses - of course, I suppose you could see the act of Donating a Company Timbit as being a political offense against corporate greed...

John Thacker:

Tybalt, I notice that in this case pure libertarian capitalism meant that Tim Horton's had to apologize and hire her back because of the outcry. They didn't do that to be nice, but to make money. And even besides that, I'm sure that she could find employment elsewhere, unlike in Stalin's Russia.

Yes, you could only be fired for "political offenses" in Stalin's Russia. Things like dissent, for example. Or perhaps you believe that everyone who was "fired" by Stalin deserved it? After all, they did confess publicly, didn't they?


Please, a little civility: "Tybalt" is demonstrably not an idiot. Given enough time to himself in a quiet room, he could probably even figure out that, for literary purposes, purely private conduct can be said to have a bullying, terror-inducing flavour. (Lucky the man who has never known someone who conducted their personal relationships the way Stalin ran the state.)

Colby, you are a font of new business ideas. Anyone wanna help me set up Facebook Red?

In Facebook Red, friending would be done silently, but unfriending would be broadcast as a high-priority message. You could secretly vote against a friend's new SO, and when enough friends had done so, the friend would be notified.

Stalinist Facebook is a great idea!


Tybalt, I notice that in this case pure libertarian capitalism meant that Tim Horton's had to apologize and hire her back because of the outcry. They didn't do that to be nice, but to make money.

Indeed, it was employment at will on both ends. You obviously misunderstood quite painfully what I was getting at... I'm not against libertarian capitalism in any but the most mild way, no matter how red the tooth or claw. I work with lots of management-side labour lawyers, after all.

I was merely pointing out the inaptness of the particular choice of words.

As for Stalin, I don't know anyone who goes that far back but a very dear friend once left Jaruzelski's Poland hidden in the back of a truck in the firm belief that the military police were going to fire on him, rather than just fire him. I hold no illusions about Koba and his blood-drenched henchmen and successors.

Sorry, Anonymous was me. Sometimes it seems the more foolproof the posting software, the greater the foolishness I am capable of.

In addition to "Facebook Red", we could have "Facebook Junta", which could make a great show of the free ability to friend and unfriend, but any opinions ventured against the manufacturer would cause one's account to "softly and silently vanish away", a la "Jabberwocky".

okhropir rumiani:

The life and political career Alvaro Uribe, is a story that could rival the best.

I hope one day is told by a biographer that is up to the task.

How delicious it must of been for him to have found those documents showing those buffoons Chavez and Correa support FARC.

The larger point about corporations increasingly monitoring employees for violations of increasingly stringent regulations hit close to home. My mom's been working at The Bay (Sunridge Mall, Calgary) for about a year and a half, and in that time, nearly every minor freedom has been revoked. Everything from not being able to have food or drink on the floor (okay, I kind of get that one) to not being able to buy anything from your department without your manager okaying it, having to fill out some sort of form so Loss Prevention can track it, and then having to pass all your shit through LP on the way out (wait, what?). All because employees were allegedly responsible for 48% of a million-dollar shortfall.

Incidentally, no word on how much of that was the dipshits who did inventory missing entire shelves, nor was there any word on how much of that was due to the incompetent store manager yelling at employees to give customers whatever they want, up to and including returning used (!) underwear and exercise clothes. Because of that, employees are now, for some reason, monitored at the till for every transaction, and they've gone from sending home letters from the principal's office to just firing you if they figure you fucked up enough, all the while continuing to offer customers whatever the hell they want if they pitch a loud enough shit fit. Where does that fit on the historical political spectrum, one wonders?

Oh, and Mom can also apparently be fired for not signing up enough people to The Bay's stupid MasterCard thing. Even though she's the busiest non-manager in the store, working extra hours nearly every day, and the bitches at the till keep stealing her "instant credits," when she actually can find someone who hasn't already got the damned thing. Figure that one out.


The sad truth is the employees at The Bay (not your mom, of course) really are probably the major cause of the lossage, because it's always the employees, historically speaking.

Given the circumstances you describe, I feel free to describe The Bay as what FDR's fourth term would have looked like if there was no WW2.


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