Saturday, March 27, 2010

Canadian Wrestlers at Wrestlemania 26

With Wrestlemania only 3 hours away, I though this is the best time to take a look at Canadian wrestlers who will shine at WM 26. With out a shadow of a doubt, the best wrestlers in the world are Canadians. Consider Stewart “Stu” Hart for instance. He revolutionized the wrestling industry. Because of him, today we enjoy wrestling. Here a list of popular Canadian Wrestles:

Chris Jericho aka “the best in the world at what he does”: Jericho, trained by Stu Hart, is currently the World Heavyweight Champion. It was widely believed Chris Jericho’s *** was His Wrestlemania opponent is another Canadain wreslter –“Rated R Superstar” Edge.

Edge – Having the won the Royal Rumble for the first time in 2010, Edge might be able to cached in his opportunity at Wrestlemania 26 – with a spear!! Edge, arguably, is one of the most recognizable wrestlers in the world today.

Bret Hart – the legendary, 500 time WWE World Heavyweight Campion, promised that Wrestlemania 26 the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be! Can’t wait to see how that’s going to work out. He was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. This year, he is the inducted his father Stu Hart to the WWE Hall of Fame. Bret is famous for his failure to job his title at the Survivor Series 1997. From then on, it was widely believed that Vince screwed Bret, but according to Vince McMahon himself, he used to say Bret screwed Bret.

Christian - Jason Reso, the man commonly recognized as “Captain Charisma” is a 4 time World Heavyweight Champion. He will be competing in the Money in the Bank ladder match for an opportunity to contend for either WWE Championship or the World Heavyweight Championship.

Money “Flows” During the Depression

In the midst of the Great Depression, Canadian Prime Minister R.B. Bennett promised that he would give $ 20 million to every province, and he did. As a matter of fact, Bennett spent much of time buying lottery tickets to raise money to heal the wounds. However, it could not heal the consequences though. That money hardly reached average Canadian’s hands. Provincial governments also did nothing to change economic situation. For example, in Winnipeg, many people didn’t trust the government, because they did not implement any significant policies to change the lives of ordinary people. At the end of Bennett’s era in 1935, he introduced a new plan called “Bennett’s New Deal”, which was a gimmick –just like John McCain’s gas tax holiday that he proposed in the summer of 2008. In this plan, Bennett stated that he would do anything to cope with the depression. For example, he said he would introduce an unemployment and social insurance scheme. As soon as this news spread, people thought that he had been already in the office for 5 years and had done nothing to improve our living condition. Canadain’s became really angry at him. The Ivanov family felt the same way. In the election of 1935, the Liberals came to power; however, they too had hard time to figure out solutions for the depression.

People felt big governments didn’t work, and wasn’t effective in coming up with solutions. As a result, new political parties formed all over the country. Co-operate Commonwealth Federation (CCF) was one of them. It was a dynamic political party formed by James Woodswroth during this time. He was a resident in Winnipeg and many people, event the Ivanov family, trusted on this movement. During their tenure, they provided social welfare. It made a significant difference. They made a great progress since the formation of their party. They gained some constituency in British Columbia and Saskatewan because people trusted their work better than the federal government. Many people believed new political parties could make a difference. However, the depression was not over. Newspapers stated that in 1939, over one million were on relief. Many relied on the new political movements to find jobs.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After 200 Years, US Finally has Healthcare

Before I start to talk about anything, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Pres. Obama and Vice President Joe “Joseph Robinette aka the senior a** kicker” Biden for finally passing health care. After 200 something years, you guys finally manage to pull this one off. So congratulations. Bill Clinton failed to do it, Franklin Roosevelt failed to do it, and most importantly, George Bush, the rattlesnake, FAILED to do it!!!! However, Obama managed to do something that everyone failed. Now that’s the kind of change Americans expected from Obama. Therefore, the Obama Administration should be very proud of themselves.

Now, since the enactment of the new health care bill, also known as Obama Care, a lot people comparing it to Canadian health care bill. Many American born in the deep south swaps of everglades, and in red states, say Canada has socialized health care. Let me talk about a persona story: when I broke my leg, I had to spend a week in the hospital. And the total cost is…. $14 (Yeh!!! That’s in Canadian Dollars, which is about the same in US Dollars) The only reason I had to pay $14 is because I watched Football! So is that the definition of socialized health care?

Now that Obama has passed health care, the world can sleep little bit better. The taxes will increase a little bit to covert the a** of the health care bill. US deflect will little bit increase. All these are taking place because of the previous administration. Oh yeh!! because they were responsible for job growth, in US and in Iraq.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Causes of The Great Depression

Over production in the 1920s:
The Roaring twenties were a phosphorus time period for Canadians. Since the end of WWI, innovation and entrepreneurship lead to making the country and the continent wealthier. The best example is The Model. Over thousands of Model Ts were produced and Canada, and even more in the United States. With lower prices, every average family owned a Model T. When the depression occurred, nobody could afford to buy cars anymore. As a result, cars were piled up stocks. Works were laid out from factories – adding more people to unemployed list. This scenario didn’t limit to cars. It applied almost every staple made in North America at the time.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, aka Obama's Baby Stimulus Plan:
Ever since George W Bush, a rattlesnake from the state of Texas trained by Bush the Sr, left the office in 2009, Americans were depressed because during his presidency, everybody enjoyed a peaceful and a prosperous time period. CM Barack Obama (CM stands for Chicago Made), Bush’s predecessor, promised to change everything. As Obama promised he changed, and still changing, everything Bush did. Part of his changes included American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. This added fewer jobs and more debt. The hiring rate and the debt rate were far apart, that every person hired, either ten people were fired or $1000 added to the national debt. As a consequence, the changes Obama made also played a major role in making a depression!

Greater Bonds with The US:
The Europe and Canada were closely tied with the United States when it comes to economy. Millions of goods were import and exported in the 1920s. When New York Stock Market collapsed in the 1929, stock holder lost money and killed themselves. Now, killing people may be a good thing, because there is less competition, losing money wasn’t. US companies were forced to shutdown. Unemployment rate dramatically increased. American consumer confident declined, and as a result, Americans didn’t buy. Since nobody could afford to buy anything, importing goods were pointless. This forced Canadian productions, like wheat, lumber, timber, fish, and snow, to stop. Consequently, workers were laid out factories.

To be continued…. keep on keeping on

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Hoover Wagons and the Bennett Buggies

During the Dirty Thirties – another name for 1930s – nobody could afford to spend money on gasoline. As time progressed, provinces adopt various types of gas tax policies, since it was a major source of income to the provincial governments. When these provinces went into deficit, they increased these taxes, making gas even harder to buy. Thus, people could drive their Model Ts they brought in the previous decade. (Read about Model T and the Roaring Twenties) Instated of driving, what people did was that they used horses to pull the cars! The engine was removed to make the car lighter. Smart??

These cars were common in North America during the 1930s. In Canada, they were known as Bennett Buggies – to symbolize the failed policies of Richard Bennett. Bennett was the Prime Mister of Canada from 1930 – 1935. In the United States, the same cars were known as Hoover Wagons. The idea was the same: people use it to condemn then President of US, Herbert Hoover.

Surprisingly, Hoover Wagons are still being used by some in the United States. Most notable person using Hoover Wagon is Ralph Nader, who was also ran for president in 2000, 2004 and in 2008. One of the major campaign promises of Ralph Nader was that if he becomes the president of US in 2009 (after winning in ’08 of course), he would give people every family a Hoover Wagon as this reduce global warming. Since he lost in 2008, he polices were never enacted. But it was clearly evident, that if they were enacted, GM, Ford and Chrysler never needed a federal bailout – because they could have made inexpensive Hoover Wagon for families making $250000 or less. It would've also saved 700 billion dollars Obama spend on the stimulus bill!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Political Turmoil in the 1930s

Politics is and was every where. This was particularly evident in the 1930s. As usual, when the country was in turmoil, finger pointings and blame games were nothing unusual.

McKenzie King and the Liberals were in charge when the depression started. However the Liberals were shattered in the election of 1930 because McKenzie King neglected provinces with Conservative Governments. For instance, King didn’t give the “five cent piece” to any province with a Conservative Government. Manitoba, where the Ivanov family originally settled down, was one of them. Therefore, almost everybody in Manitoba stood against King’s actions, the Liberals as well as the federal government. As a result, R.B. Bennett came into the office. In order to cope with the depression, he set up a relief scheme through out the country, mostly in Ontario. Men worked day and night under dreadful working conditions, and at the end of the day, they received a payment of 20 cents. 20 cents was mealy sufficient to sustain anybody. Thus, this plan clearly didn’t work!

In reaction, many people protested the government. “On-to-Ottawa Trek” was one of them, where people tried to go in front of the parliament and protested. Having seen all these events, people thought the changes of the two parties, from the Liberals to Conservatives, were like exchanging gingers with chillies!

People who traveled to the prairies hoping to find jobs were forced to travel to other parts of the country. In the prairies, farmlands and windmills were shattered and everybody was deprived. These circumstances were common throughout North America and much of the Europe. The government’s lack of responsibility was one of the main aspects that worsen the depression. R. B Bennett’s policies were no differing from the once already executed by McKenzie King. In the midst of the political bickering, average citizens would continue to suffer for years to come!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

1930s Great Depression Chokeslams Canada

End of the 1920s and begging of the 1930s were a peaceful time period for the Ivaov family. But then, out the blue, bad news came: Mr. Ivanov had passed away. He was 77 years old. He lived peacefully ever since the family arrived in Canada. He worked hard for decades. He was one of the courageous men the family had ever seen. Filat and entire family were deeply sad about this tragedy. The other major incident in the 1930s was the fact that Filat was forced to leave the town the find a job. Filat left his family, his son Maczim and wife, for the second time since he first for WWI. The 1930s were the very opposite of the previous decade. It was the beginning of a long lasting depression. Almost every middle class worker had lost their jobs because factories were closed due to overproduction. Filat worked as a sheet metal laborer. The manager of the factory laid of workers because there was no demand for his productions. This did not limit for the Ivaov family only, but it expanded through the entire province of Manitoba and across Canada. As a result, men had to leave their families to find jobs.

The next worst thing that happened to the Ivanov family was that Maczim lost his job. He too had a job. After he left college, Maczim worked in a shoe factory. During the late 1920s, the town was prosperous. His wife, Anna, also had a job, and she served as a cobbler. However, at the beginning of the 1930s, almost everybody lost their jobs. Nevertheless, Maczim did not leave my hometown because he had to look after his two sister’s families. Sabina and Selena’s husbands left Brandon to find jobs and support their families. They also had children. Maczim was responsible for looking after them. They came to his house and lived for almost 6 years. These events were common for every family. Millions of Canadian families had to “brutally” endure the great depression For instance, Maczim recalled meeting a person called Adam at his factory, who had two children. However, he had to leave his family because he was looking for jobs desperately. After few days, Maczim also realized that he should attempt to find a job, but his family did not allow him to do so. He was loitering around the town, but no one provided him a job; because other had their own problems as well. The only way most Canadian families survived was using government aid. Canadian Government provided a family with a $4.55 a week. Although it may seem little, but it was a huge a relief for millions of families. What's more, the prices of groceries were relatively low: a loaf of bread was 6 cents and flour was 11 cents per kilogram. Needless to say, these prices pale in comparison to the hardships that people went through.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

1920s American Influence on Canada: Music, Movies, Fashions, Dances

The 1920s in Canada wasn’t just a famous time period for the inventions, like the radio and Model T. It was also famous for the American influence on Canadian culture. American music, movies, fashions, dances and magazines dominated Canadian culture and the lives of young people. Almost every middle class citizen, like the members of the Ivanov family, could afford to buy tickets to watch movies in a local theater. The fare of a ticket was twenty five cents in 1924. Back then, there were only black and white silent movies. I don’t think anybody in modern here ever heard of silent movies, so let me explain it: silent movies are just like modern movies except no sound was present. Watching a silent movie today would be like amusing ourselves to death, but back then, people did enjoy them, as it was the only medium of visual entertainment. In fact, teenagers, young men and women in their twenties used to imitate characters in those movies. They wore baggy pants and greased down hats. They wore fashionable bright hats, bows and ties. Jazz was also a big part of Canadian lives. Canada idealized American movie stars. Couples, after their marriage, would continuously dance for days!! It was reported that in the later 1920s, a Canadian teenager was hospitalized due to non-stop dancing. He danced for four days, before finally became unconscious.

During the midst of American takeover of Canadian values, conservative parents, namely those who recently immigrated to Canada, were worried about their kids. Most of them wanted their kids to stick Canadian traditions and values. (I’m not saying American culture is bad :-), but I’m just reporting facts, and the information retained from the interview I had the Ivanov family.) In the 20s, Mary Pickford was a famous Canadian actress, who also had a great reputation in Hollywood. She stood up for Canadian values over the American’s. Pickford gave Canada a great stance in the American film-world, and also in a time where America took over Canadian culture. Despite Pickford’s to elevate Canadian culture, young women were prejudiced by American fashions. Flappers were the most common dress to women at the time.

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Inventions of the 1920s in Canada

During the Roaring Twenties, Canadian cities were rapidly growing. With the recently invented radio, people had access to news happening in North America. Sometimes people enjoyed sports news, especially hockey. People gathered around radios when they hear the voice of Foster Hewitt, who was the most famous sportscaster then, in 1920s and 1930s. People could listen to news, music, entertainment shows and weather forecast. Suddenly, the North American continent became a small village. Somebody in Edmonton knew what was happening PEI or New York. For some middle class families, like the Ivanov family that I’ve been writing about for the past week, radio was an expensive device. On average, a middle class woman earned per hour. During the twenties, however, job market was more diverse. With the end of WWI, Canada families reunited with their recently came loves ones. People who couldn’t afford to buy a radio, newspapers were the only available media source for them. Furthermore, radios were common cafes and stores. It’s was common see small groups of people gather around a radio to listen news and entertainment events.

Another great invention at the period was the automobile. Needless to say, the Ivanov family couldn’t even dream of buying one. Since the invention of the automobile, many more job opportunities were available for middle class families. Many men resigned from their conventional jobs, and began working as road building laborers. Indeed, roads and traffic signs were rapidly built. Filet’s working supervisor had a model T car and he used to come to work by that. As he recalled, the supervisor would say “That is the best,” Everywhere in a given town, roads were built and automobiles had changed the daily life of people. Model T – invented by Henry Ford – was the most common automobile. With a Model T, two hour journey can be accomplished by just fifteen minutes. As a result, families could invite relatives far away for a dinner, for instance, and have a good time.

Read more about Model T -

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Introducing to the Ivanov Family

Over the past few days, I had the opportunity to talk to a Russian family who immigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, in 1901. I already wrote two posts about their adventurous journey as new comers to Canada. But I forgot to introduce them to you! :-( It's pity, but first thing is first - here's a brief introduction to the Ivanov family:

"As a Russian family, The Ivanov family came to Canada at the Turn of the Century. They managed to settle in Manitoba because of job opportunities and availability of free land. Mr. Ivanov’s poor education made it hard to find a job and he finally managed to become a railway ballast laborer. The Ivanov family consisted of seven members. Filat, the older son of Mr and Mrs Ivnov, managed to job to support his family. Mrs. Ivanov, who was 35 then, could not find a job the in first few years after we had migrated to Canada. The sibling of Filat, Palton who was 12 and Pavel who was 10, often helped him to sell newspapers, which was his primary job at the time. Things the Ivanovs hoped were to provide their kids with a better education and hoped that they would become good citizens in the future.

The Ivanovs feared that they world be unemployed for a longer period of time because of their lack of education, their unfamiliarity of the new language and inability to adapt to an unfamiliar society. Because of these reasons, they never knew what would happen to their kids and to themselves. It was very hard for them to adapt to the new society because of poor language skills. Mr. Ivanov’s job, as a railway ballast laborer in the Brandon Railway Station, was the one of most significant events because it foreshadowed a rich future. Other important events include the days that Filat found his first job as a newspaper boy and the first day of his school in Kenton Junior High School in 1901. Filat admitted that he liked Canada because there was no violence; there were equality rights and a good education system."

If you haven't done so, please go back and read the previous two posts that I wrote earlier. I'll write again tomorrow.

-- David

Hardships During WWI

If you haven't, please read the introduction first

Continuation of the Russian story from the previous post…

“One thing that really shocked the Ivanov family was that Mrs. Ivanov got a hard job in her husband’s working place. When men had been dismissed because of the World War I, almost all women had to change their daily role as wives or as mothers. Therefore, same thing happened to Mrs. Ivanov. She had to do a job to earn money because of missing her sons.

At the beginning, Mrs. Ivanov dreamed of getting a job ever since she arrived in Canada. When Mr. Ivanov retired when he was 55 due to his terrible health conditions, she was willing to take a job in my father’s work place. Mr. Ivanov’s work place was converted into artillery manufacturing company during World War I. Mrs. Ivanov also thought, if she did not get it immediately, some one else would get it. For that reason, at the beginning, she got along with her new job, as a machine operator. As she did it, she understood the hardship of that occupation. She worked with chemicals that used for explosives. She was paid the minimum wage, fifteen cents, and that was worse than what her husband used to earn. This was very common at the time - women at her work place were treated badly because many men did not recognize women’s rights and freedoms. They had different attitudes toward women. They had to work with heavy machines. Women also had to make artillery for the war in the Home Front. They had to load and unload heavy equipment to and from the cargo trains.

For Mrs Ivanov, she didn’t have any safety awareness at her factory, while she was working with chemicals and other hazards. One day, her hair was colored in yellow and it smelled like gunpowder. On the other hand, many women, including Mrs. Ivanov, fought to gain their rights in elections. They argued that the Canadian government must give them the right to vote in elections. Women justified their reasons stating that they had worked hard in factories to make weapons and other artillery gears. Because of the demands of women, Canadian Government gave that opportunity for women who had relationships with Canadian troops. Even though, women got the right to vote in elections, their working conditions didn’t changed. As WW I progressed, women had to work under toughest conditions yet!”

Next: ups and downs through The Roaring Twenties

- Daivd

A Russian Family's take on Canada at the Turn of the Century

If you haven't, please read the introduction first

“ The worst thing that happened to the Ivanov family in this time period was the dismiss of Povel and Palton due to WWI. Povel and Palton were sibling of Filat. As the family recalled, Mr. Ivanov had told their sons “It is your responsibility to save your kids and country”. He also said, “Russians are on the battlefield, so you must go and join them” Therefore, Filat, the olderest son, left with no choice. Filat's wife, Anya, had a two year old son, Maczim. Anya and Mrs. Ivanov didn't like the fact that Filat was going for the war leaving the family behind. Mr. Ivanov decided not to go for the war because of his old age. He was then 55 years old at the time. However, he was glad to see his sons leaving home for the Western Front. The day they left was a significant moment in everyone's life. As soon as they left home, the Ivanov family had changed. Mr Ivanov retired from his job. Therefore, his wife had to find a job. Many vacancies were there due to the missing men in the war. She was given a job in the same place where her husband used to work; in the railway ballast labor camp. Filat's two sisters, Sabina and Selena, decided to help their mother. Nevertheless, Mr. Ivanov didn't allow them to do so. However, after Filat had arrived home they told him that they got plenty of time after school, and spent that time helping Mrs. Ivanov. Anya, came to live with Filat's parents. She couldn't help Mrs. Ivanov and Filat's sisters in the factory because she had to take care of Maczim. However, she did help Mrs Ivanov at home and she also looked after Mr. Ivanov. There was a letter written by Filat to the Ivanov family while he was serving at Vimy Ridge in March in 1917. On those days, everybody felt confident about the Allies’ victory because of the great battle. However, as a newly immigrated family, the Ivanovs' always worried about thier kids. On top of that, when Filat had arrived at home, he was informed that Platon, who was thirty years old then, killed during a battle in Passchendele in 1917. This is another dreadful moment that the Ivaonovs still share. Mr. Ivanov did not feel as bad as Mrs. Ivanov. Mr. Ivanov said Platon served bravely for Canada.”

This is just the first part of the discussion that I had with the Ivaov Family. More to come later.

- David

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