Monthly Archives: October 2010

Ontario Municipal Elections: Winner = Harper, Loser = The Public

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In Ontario, we all seemed to want change, but we’re definitely waking up with a hangover this morning that will last at least 4 painful years.

Local municipal politicians grossly benefited from the exorbitant waste that originated from Parliament Hill and trickled all the way down to every nook and cranny at the local level.

The Canadian Economic Action Plan reminded every Canadian that their funds were being wasted and spent by local governments that couldn’t afford to pay for the activities like road repaving and door-knob replacements, but who also couldn’t resist the spectacular opportunity to gorge themselves on federal funding for these inane projects.

As a result of the federally-imposed largesse, municipal incumbents were on the defensive over the last several weeks, defending bullshit infrastructure programs that lined the pockets of local gravel suppliers and landscapers, but did nothing to give us better schools, hospitals or basic services that we all need.

They were cut off from any opportunity to say that they had vision because all of the vision was blindfolded by greed.  Innovative programs related to recycling, bike lanes, renewable power and so on were put on the back-burners so that the Feds could get the stimulus spending out and, quite literally, on the roads.

Most incumbents didn’t stand a chance.  The rising swell of anxiety and frustration about spending was amplified at the local level and the key beneficiaries were racists and traditional politicians that pretended that they were all about change, but what they’re really about is keeping the old boys network going strong.

I’m appalled by what’s happened to most Ontario cities, but the reality is that most of our mayors and councilors had it coming.  If they had any sense about them, they would have stood firm and rejected the federal stimulus money and avoided the bills that we’re all going to have to start paying.

I’m more appalled that Ontario voters still believe politicians when they say they won’t raise taxes and they won’t have to cut services.  The garbage lines like ‘going through budgets line by line’ and ‘cutting councilor waste’ simply mean that our public representatives will lose the tools they need to engage the public.

Within 4 years, we won’t recognize municipal politics in Ontario.  It’ll be a cesspool of waste and corruption like we’ve never seen before and we’ll only have ourselves to blame.

Good job, Steve.  You’ve turned national politics into a local disaster.

Quotes from Toronto’s New Mayor

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Quotes from Wikipedia:

  • In March 2007, Ford opposed providing city funds to build bicycle lanes on roads. During the 2007 city budget debate, he said, “I can’t support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.”[11][12] At the May 25, 2009 Council meeting to discuss reducing Jarvis St. from five lanes of traffic to four, Ford called cyclists “a pain in the ass” for motorists.
  • In May 2010, the city’s integrity commissioner recommended that Ford be reprimanded for breaching confidentiality.  This was the fourth time that Ford has violated council’s code of conduct. In the previous minor breaches, Ford was not reprimanded.
  • Controversy erupted when several councillors reportedly heard Ford call Mammoliti “Gino boy” in the debate over the 2002 budget
  • In March 2003, in a debate over the budget of the Toronto Zoo, Ford called Mammoliti, who chairs the zoo board, a “snake” and a “weasel” in council
  • In 2006, allegations arose of his conduct at a Toronto Maple Leafs game. Two audience members alleged Ford instigated a shouting match.[28] Security at the Air Canada Centre later ejected Ford from the venue. Initially, Ford denied involvement, claiming mistaken identity. The following day, Ford confirmed the allegations and announced his apology to the couple.[29] He cited “personal problems” as a reason for his behaviour.
  • Further controversy erupted in a Toronto City Council session when Ford argued against the city spending $1.5 million on AIDS prevention programs. Ford stated that “(AIDS) is very preventable,” and that “if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.”[30] With respect to the increasing rates of women contracting the disease, Ford said; “How are women getting it? Maybe they are sleeping with bisexual men.”[30]
  • Again sparking controversy in March 2008, during a debate at City Hall, Ford said, “Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out … that’s why they’re successful in life. … I’m telling you, Oriental people, they’re slowly taking over, because there’s no excuses for them. They’re hard, hard workers.” He drew criticism for those remarks from Mayor David Miller, budget chief Shelley Carroll and other councillors.[31][32]
  • In 1999, Ford was arrested in Miami for driving under the influence (DUI) and marijuana possession charges.
  • Ford garnered controversy again in August 2010 after endorsing Pastor Wendell Brereton, who is running for city councillor in Ward 6. Pastor Brereton has suggested online that same-sex marriage could “dismantle” a “healthy democratic civilization.” Ford has said in regards to Pastor Brereton that “We’re together. We have the same thoughts.” Ford also has noted that he supports traditional marriage, preferring that model to same-sex marriage. “I always have,” he stated. “But if people want to, to each their own. I’m not worried about what people do in their private life. I look out for taxpayers’ money.”[38][39]

Congratulations Toronto!  You’ve made your bed, now sleep in it … for the next four years.

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George Carlin Had It Figured Out: Sleeping Through the American Dream

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Every time I see clips of George Carlin, I’m reminded about how spotless his record was with keeping track of who’s winning, who the losers are and why all of us have to be asleep to experience ‘The Dream':

Corruption is pretty much complete and universal.  It’s no longer just an American issue.  Canada has been for sale since the beginning of nationhood.

But now that it’s becoming more common, what are we going to do about it?

How Gluttonous Boomers are Going to Screw Us All

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In the US, walking away from a mortgage or excessive loan is becoming a common occurance.

This piece on how Boomers walking away from their responsibilities tries to go so far as to make the idea seem cool.

It’s not.

Gecko-like Greed has driven the US economy into the basement and the housing crisis is just starting to happen there.  In time, the US will likely depreciate its currency in order to fuel a modest recovery, only to discover that when it does this, it also fuels the prices of almost all commodities in the world, as they are priced in US funds.

Even though the couple depicted in the article did everything they could to be good citizens, they were ultimately ‘forced’ into their own version of ‘vigilante finances’.

The result?

When the backbone of a country starts thinking that laws and rules are not worth following, it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to anarchy.

TV has given us the illusion that anarchy is people rioting in the streets, smashing car windows and looting every store in sight. But there’s also the polite, quiet, far deadlier anarchy of the core citizenry—the upright citizenry—throwing in the towel and deciding it’s just not worth it anymore.
If a big enough proportion of the populace—not even a majority, just a largish chunk—decides that it’s just not worth following the rules anymore, then that society’s days are numbered: Not even a police-state with an armed Marine at every corner with Shoot-to-Kill orders can stop such middle-class anarchy.
Brian and Ilsa are such anarchists—grey-haired, well-dressed, golf-loving, well-to-do, exceedingly polite anarchists: But anarchists nevertheless. They are not important, or powerful, or influential: They are average—that’s why they’re so deadly: Their numbers are millions. And they are slowly, painfully coming to the conclusion that it’s just not worth it anymore.

Once enough of these J. Crew Anarchists decide they no longer give a fuck, it’s over for America—because they are America.

I’m of the opinion that the rest of the world should be munching on the sweaters of this J Crew crowd that has had everything for the last 6 decades simply because they represent a big chunk of voters.

But that doesn’t matter because I’m not one of them.  I’ll be paying for their follies for the rest of my life and my grandchildren’s children will still be paying for their mess.

Unlike the article, I don’t say Fuckit, like the article suggests.

I say Fuckem.

Does (a Conservative) Canada Suck?

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Answer:  hell, yes.

Maybe Canadians will finally get the message that Conservative politics are mean, nasty, dirty and cruel politics and that we deserve the embarrassment that we got today when Stephen Harper’s plea for a security council seat was denied by the UN.  (I know … as a technicality, the Cons withdrew to save face, but the reality is that we lost the bid).

Maybe we shouldn’t have been acting like petty dictators, both towards our own people or towards other countries.

Maybe we need an unbiased and non-religious approach with people like the Palestinians who are now facing genocide at the hands of Israeli greed.

Maybe we should get our heads out of our asses and start to try to make a difference again.

Maybe, just maybe, we should get back to our roots with the UN and support the f-in institution instead of try to destroy it.

Hopefully this is the tipping point.  Steve has failed the country and we need to remind him of that at every turn.

The rest of the world has told us that a Conservative Canada sucks.

Now Canadians need a chance to make the same decision.

No, wait.  We demand the right to vote these losers out of office.