I’m trying to imagine the Toronto police force, let alone Ford Nation, supporting a mayor who behaved like Rob Ford but who was, oh, say, black. And a woman. A single mother mayor from Jane and Finch who hung out in the evenings smoking crack with Somali drug dealers.
Also, I wonder if the Globe & Mail editorial board would have endorsed Prime Minister Libby Davies as the best person for the job if she had Stephen Harper’s record as leader of an NDP government going into the election of May 2nd 2011.
And how would Conservatives react if the NDP was caught post election having cheated its way into power, too, its massive database that turned out to house all kinds of information on Canadians, accessed by persons unknown, the data used to commit electoral fraud.
And imagine the hue and cry if it hired Allan Young to do everything he could to prevent evidence of the fraud from being heard in court.
It’s kind of ridiculous how political partisanship depends so much on looks, eh? Rob Ford’s getting away with behaving badly because he looks like Chris Farley, who, sadly, has coked out and so can’t play him on SNL now. And Stephen Harper’s getting away with looting the federal treasury because he looks and acts like what we think accountants look like.
Phff, well, the mafia has accountants, too, people. And always remember, no wait, never forget, Paul Bernardo was an accountant, or, at least, that’s what the media told us once upon a time.
And Russell Williams is tall, white, and male, just like Clifford Olsen was, but because he wore a uniform, nobody noticed the resemblance.
I’m also thinking of Maude and how she was always being called out for her liberal guilt by Florida, the black maid who went on to have her own successful show on television. Someone on my Facebook recently posted a video of a Fox News hostess telling Americans to punch Obama in the face. It was posted with the usual tsk tsk regarding the violence of Republicans when it comes to Obama, but I thought, you know, if the Department of Justice seized journalist phone records while George W. Bush was President, I’d be all for Americans punching him in his Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?” face, too.
Obama is the President of the United States of America, liberals. And the Department of Justice just seized the telephone records of American journalists. And Guantanamo is still open. And unmanned drones are being used to assassinate people living on the other side of the world on his say so.
None of the above is what I thought Obama would bring to the table as President.
Oh, and he’ll approve the pipeline, just you watch.
But this all comes about as a result of an article I read in the Vancouver Sun that depicts the NDP under Tom Mulcair currently acting out the plot of All About Eve, as Murray Rankin, a rookie MP from BC, moves into the spot normally occupied by Libby Davies.
Mulcair, who has for months pointed to Rankin as one of his rising stars and top recruits, invited the rookie MP to question period strategy sessions and asked him to take the seat usually filled by Libby Davies, the deputy leader and Vancouver East MP who was away this week.
I mean, okay, Rankin’s a law professor and maybe we should have a few more law professors in Parliament, seeing as that’s where laws are made, but honestly, it’s like the Vancouver Sun was suddenly okay with the prospect of Prime Minister Tom Mulcair because he’s getting advice from an even older whiter man on how to ask succinct questions in Question Period.
And really, of all political leaders ever, I’d say Tom Mulcair has the least trouble keeping his questions succinct. It’s Stephen Harper, of all political leaders ever who has trouble answering them.
When he’s even in the House, that is. And why the hell is Stephen Harper never in the House, anyway? Who the hell does he think he is? Prime Minister Emeritus?
But speaking of white male privilege, does Chief Paulson of the RCMP seriously think we’re going to believe he has other duties to attend to other than defending against “outlandish claims” (or, as we lay people call them, claims of sexual assault by male officers in the RCMP against female officers in the RCMP)? He was hired, specifically, to do just that, ferchrissakes.
Imagine if Chief Paulson was an Aboriginal woman saying she can’t waste her time defending against outlandish claims by male officers that they’re being passed over for promotions because of a few bad apples who make it seem like white men can be trusted with power anymore.
C’mon, people. Enough. With white male privilege should come some responsibility to do the job, shouldn’t it?
I went camping on the long weekend with an organization that caters to gals, sometimes literally, but not for this trip, which was survival gourmet cooking in the wild. It tends to attract lesbian/bi gals but I can pass for either/or so it’s all good.
That’s right, I’m back to referring to women as “gals”. Like Heather Mallick, I’m tired of the backlash against Feminists by women claiming to represent women not represented by Feminists.
Anyway, I’m going to blog more about the weekend later but right now I’m still stuck on all things political because, well, it’s so much fun, isn’t it.
But first, there was an awkward moment at camp when one young woman, a reservist around 30 years old, was going on about Canada being the greatest. She’d had a few drinks but when she turned to me to ask, “Don’t you think Canada is the greatest?!” – I demurred.
That’s me, nothing if not demure – even at camp – sporting my Ralph Lauren pajamas under a micro fibre housecoat and fleece lined nylon jacket and still freezing my ladylike ass off.
One thing I learned on this camping trip is that the outdoors is not at all comfortable. There’s nowhere to sit that properly supports one’s back, and no matter where the tent is pitched, the ground slopes stupidly one way or another and remains cold and hard.
“I’m not very patriotic, actually.”
She was shocked and dismayed, of course, so I softened the blow a little bit by saying maybe it was just Conservatives getting me down about Canada and being Canadian, but then I went to bed because it really isn’t just Conservatives. The fact is, trace any one of their egregious policies back and you’ll find it’s really just a nasty update to a Liberal one. And my Canadian identity is very wrapped up in all things Liberal because, let’s face it, Canada is stamped Liberal.
But what could be worse than a government transferring an insurance fund into a quick cash pile, as the Liberals did with our employment insurance surplus. I’m on employment insurance now, having been laid off by Conservatives, and I wish it could be there for everybody, but it won’t be long before it isn’t. I would never have dreamed in a million years that I’d be on it, having never had difficulty finding employment before, but there you go, times change with governments, don’t they.
Of course, I would never have dreamed in a million years that I’d be going on weekend camping trips, either. But I am. And no matter how uncomfortable the last trip was, I’m on to planning the next one because I’m a people person and you have to go to where they are and sometimes they’re a little out of one’s comfort zone.
When I heard Ottawa’s own Conservative Senator Marjorie LeBreton claim that elites were attacking her party, I laughed along with everybody else, but yesterday my Conservative friend, who is a Sun News aficionado, and who grew up in tony Alta Vista, let me know that there is no video of Rob Ford smoking crack, that it, too, is a vendetta by the elite.
Why would Conservative supporters pretend not to know that Marjorie LeBreton and the Mayors Ford are the elite? Not Nigel Wright elite, but elite, much more of the elite than I am, for instance, although I suppose even the young New Democrat MPs from Quebec are more of the elite than I am.
Pay your back taxes, dammit!
And what is it about Nigel Wright that he can have every pundit in Canada falling all over himself to make it clear how ethical he is even after he just supposedly paid off a sitting Senator to keep him quiet? This after getting caught – blue-handed – taking calls from Barrick, his old company, once he was supposed to be off the call list and working for the Prime Minister.
Us? Who the hell do staff in the Prime Minister’s office work for, anyway?
Of course, as Canadians, we aren’t allowed to see proof that Nigel Wright even did what he is alleging he did. I’m not sure why we persist in believing that a rich dude actually spent money out of his own pocket with no thought of a return on his investment. I mean, if that were true, how the hell did Nigel Wright get so rich, eh?
But while I may not be patriotic anymore I’m not pessimistic. Quite the opposite, actually, because we’ve never been more democratic than we are now and it’s evidenced by poor and stupid and proud of it Ford Nationals from Etobicoke loudly declaring on CFRB that they support the Mayors Ford alongside my rich and stupid and proud of it Conservative friend and Sun News aficionado from Alta Vista.
And when I take that evidence together with Heather Mallick getting called out at a Q&A session for a group of human rights lawyers by a woman claiming to represent women not represented by “hetero-normative” Feminists by virtue of her skin colour, which is darker than the skin colour of bi-racial Heather Mallick, I realize that the mistake the elite makes – and I’m speaking as a member of it because I do consider myself to be better than both Marjorie LeBreton and Rob Ford but not Heather Mallick – is in trying to make the world a better place for everybody and not just ourselves.
Nope, my sister and brother elitists – forget the rabble – it’s time to admit that Ayn Rand was right. Stop trying to save poor/rich and stupid and proud of it Conservative Canada from itself and start looking after our elite self-interests.
The rest will either follow or stay poor/rich and stupid and proud of it.
Okay, seriously, schadenfreude overload. I was so excited to see The National last night that I drank too much white wine and had to retire at 9:30 p.m.
I mean, white wine is a lady’s drink, isn’t it?
Anyway, that’ll teach me for gloating about Rob Ford and Stephen Harper.
But today I read two articles that gave me pause. One was in Macleans and talked about the characters behind Rob Ford, including Nick Kouvalis, and I found myself feeling bad for Rob Ford that he’s surrounded by so many people I would be terrified to meet in a dark alley.
Okay, now I’m terrified posting that I’d be terrified to meet Nick Kouvalis in a dark alley, but I’m keeping it there because I’m trying not to be such a nervous nellie about shadowy people with a lot of power for reasons that are just clear enough as to be murky.
Remember, if I show up dead, check my blog for suspects.
The other article was by Chantal Hebert (in the Star) and in it she tries to puzzle out whether Stephen Harper wants to be thought of as an evil genius or a fool.
I’d go with evil genius, myself, so… why does he look like such a fool all of a sudden like?
Well, my guess is because Stephen Harper is a myth, and no more in charge of the government of Canada than I am.
Think about it. He was some sort of an accountant, supposedly (as was Paul Bernardo, but never mind) who hated to travel and didn’t care about money. But the guy who pushed that line on us was Tom Flanagan and where is he now?
Oh yeah. Jump pushed into retirement.
Meanwhile, he’s gone through 7 or 8 communications directors in as many years and, well, at least a few chiefs of staff. And they always seems to come out of their time in politics a lot better than he will, if now is any indication of where he’ll end up.
I’m thinking Mulroney minus the good voice.
So yeah, I’m upping this conspiracy ante to blog that I don’t think Stephen Harper is in charge of anything, not even Stephen Harper, and that he’s just a puppet on strings being pulled by, well, I don’t know who, but I’m starting to wonder if we’re not so much a country as we’re somebody’s numbered company.
Now that we know Stephen Harper can’t even manage his own office, or the party of his creation, how is it that professional media such as your good selves thought he was the best bet to manage the country?
Meanwhile, Duffy sure seems confident that he has a deal with SOMEBODY…
Just catching up on the latest in Ford Nation, formerly known as The Big Smoke, and I have to say, it sure is raining men down there. Gangstas and staffers, all men, men, men. Men everywhere and not a woman in sight.
Not to be, you know, a skirt, as Rob or Doug Ford might say, but is there a sign at the entry to Ford Nation that says “No Girls Allowed”? I mean, seriously, where are the broads, the dames, the molls? Yes, I know the Mayors Ford are married, so shouldn’t there at least be prostitutes in this story?
Never mind the employment equity – where’s the sex?
I posted a comment on my favourite political last night that I think I’ll cross post here on my blog because I’ve been preoccupied with committee business (I’m Elle Presidente of our housing association).
You’ll be pleased to note, dear Sooey Says reader(s) that our annual general meeting went well and our committee was – literally – applauded for its efforts no less than three times.
Well, exactly three times, but who’s counting. And as nice as it is to be applauded for one’s efforts, I hope next time our members throw money at us, too, because even though I’ve acquired some pretty major business experience as a volunteer on our committee, it doesn’t seem legitimate for my resume because I wasn’t paid for it.
On a side note, when I went back to work after being a homemaker for a decade I was wracking my brains trying to stretch a previous decade of employment into more than it was, even though it included a pretty cool gig at Queen’s Park for a while, working in various capacities at the NDP caucus. Finally, my friend B. whom I’d asked to look over my resume said, “What about all the writing you did while you were a homemaker? Why isn’t it on your resume?”
Of course I’d completely forgotten about my writing even though I often told the story about realizing my ex may not be the super genius I thought he was (sorry kids) when he suggested to me that an email from the then editor of the op/ed page of the Ottawa Citizen, Peter Simpson, “How does $150 sound?”, probably meant that Peter Simpson expected me to pay him $150 to put my opinion piece in the newspaper.
I believe that one was making fun of a column by George Jonas, one time squeeze of the brilliant, if quite mad, Barbara Amiel.
When I emailed Peter Simpson back to inquire as to who would be paying the $150 I received my answer thusly, “Damn, should have said $200.”
So I added the writing I’d done in between cooking, cleaning and reading aloud to kids, and it added up to a lot more accomplishment than the hobnobbing I’d done at the NDP.
Of course, I really put the social in socialist when I worked at the NDP caucus. But don’t tell Bob Rae I said that because his memories of the caucus are less social(ist) than are mine, I’m sure.
But speaking of Bob Rae, R.I.P. Henry Morgentaler, whom I did not have the pleasure of knowing. However, I did walk past his clinic on Harbord Street in Toronto on my way to work every morning, and once staged a solo pro-choice counter demonstration to a pro-life one.
Yes, I’m back to using “pro-life”, as it has its own meaning and I refuse to play semantic games anymore as they just add to the noise.
This came about when I called in to work from a pay phone (remember those?), because one of my work buds was also a member of the abortion rights action league, to report the pro-life demonstration in progress. She said to start a counter demo, so I did. I was very pregnant at the time, and apprehensive because there had been violence at previous demos, but work is work and I started chanting and pumping my arm up and down as if I was carrying a placard.
“Every child a wanted child! Every mother a willing mother!” Pro-lifers yelled at me that I shouldn’t be allowed to have a baby, that I was a baby killer, that I should have my baby taken away when it was born, etc, etc, but I carried on, “Every child a wanted child! Every mother a willing mother!” aware all the while that had most of our mothers had the choice, well, my resume would be very spotty indeed.
Spottier even than the resume of a leader of a modern day political party.
Pro-lifers are very committed to their position. It’s more than religion, it’s salvation, life everlasting in death, and worth waging battle for here on earth, and I understand it. We will no more win the battle of hearts and minds over abortion rights for female persons than we will colonize Mars. It will never happen and perhaps it never should. In the meantime, the fact is that as long as men can impregnate women, women must have the right to terminate pregnancy.
That’s it and that’s all or there is no justice, the unborn be damned. And personally, I just do not believe that it is even practically possible for us to care about the unborn, so theoretical caring be damned, too.
Eventually, reinforcements showed up as promised. And then Clayton Ruby showed up, too, because the cops had showed up and pro-choice demonstrators were being arrested. A couple of them were upset because pro-lifers were hassling women trying to get into the clinic, blocking the paths of their escorts. A friend of my mother-in-law was one of the escorts, too, a middle-aged volunteer who was a tough cookie, as they say, but no match for this crowd.
But I was pregnant and anxious to get out of harm’s way, so I left my socialist sisters and brothers in arms to head into work.
I know, very unusual for me to opt for work over a demonstration but I even forewent a Madonna concert at the Skydome because I was worried about being pregnant in a crowd and didn’t want to risk it, whatever it might be.
By the way, I’m thinking of cutting through the shit at my next job interview and laying it out there, “Look, muthafukkas, I don’t want to be bored, but I don’t want to be stressed out, either. Now whaddaya got for me? I’ll do anything until something better comes along.”
As a joke, my abortion rights action league bud had put a yellow plastic coat hanger in my mail inbox, her signal to me that I’d done good. Another friend and I were laughing about it when Bob Rae came into the office and asked what was so funny. We pointed to the yellow plastic coat hanger, har har, and he blew a gasket.
“That’s not funny!”
It was awkward, because it was funny, and I seem to recall him wanting to know who had done it, and I hope I didn’t rat out my bud, but I probably did. They had argued before at a party, he arguing abortion is a moral issue, her arguing it’s a medical one, so he probably would have guessed it, anyway. I mean, she wore a button every day advertising her membership in the abortion rights action league right on her left breast where even he couldn’t miss it.
But it’s not the first time I’d witnessed that reaction to the humour of young women. Men (and a lot of women with sketchy memories, it seems) are really out of the loop on the irreverence of young women for a lot of life’s philosophical conundrums, because it’s true what Cindy Lauper says, “Girls just wanna have fun”, and we spend much of our lives having it in spite of how seriously society at large wishes we would take it all. Some men have even insisted, the famous Christopher Hitchens being one of them, that women can’t be funny because we have babies and babies can die and there’s nothing funny about dead babies, is there.
Interesting that he was also so famously pro-life, isn’t it.
Well, who’s laughing now, Christopher Hitchens?
Okay, that was mean.
In any case, Henry Morgentaler was undeniably courageous, principled and an active proponent of the basic human right all female persons should have to terminate unwanted pregnancies.
The world is better for having had him in it, the irony being of course, yes, pro-lifers, that had his mother had an abortion, he wouldn’t have been, would he.
So it goes and so it is, but as my own mother told me, “Life is for the living”.
Maybe it’s just me, but if I was a member of the Conservative Party and I found out that its database, CIMS, which stores all kinds of information on Canadian citizens, was compromised by persons unknown and the information used to commit electoral fraud, I’d want to get to the bottom of it.
And if Conservative Party brass is innocent of any wrongdoing, why doesn’t it want to find out the identities of the real perpetrators? Because it sure as hell looks like the likeliest suspect from where I’m sitting.
Yeah, yeah, sure, now it turns out the Mayors Ford might also be murderers.
Ferchrissakes, media maggots, where’s the video of Ford planning to raise taxes? How about a video of Ford wanting to expand PRIDE? Or, and here’s what would really piss off Ford Nation – a video of Ford riding a bike to work!
In the meantime, it’d be cool if the remaining government scientists could get to work on a way to sterilize Ford Nation so it can’t reproduce itself.
I see Doug Ford is flailing about in the news now denying the truth about his mullet nights selling drugs.
Ah, the 80s, eh? A decade of fashion violations.
Dude, it’s not really the drugs, it’s the lying, the hypocrisy, and the beating up on drug users who don’t come from wealthy politically connected families that makes you despicable.
The drugs almost make you look good.
Kids, know your dealer, because one day he will no doubt grow up to become a Conservative politician and buddy up with law enforcement officers to grow their ever-expanding war-on-drugs crime-fighting budgets.
Always remember, no wait, never forget, we’re paying for this.
No representation without taxation, boys and girls.
It’s discrimination, pure and simple. The wealthy and politically connected (lest we forget, Rob and Doug’s father was a Conservative MPP in the Mike Harris government, speaking of sketchy mofos with unsavoury connections) can buy, sell and do drugs with impunity but anybody else risks fines and jail time.
I hope Rob and Doug Ford stay on as Mayors of Toronto because every day will be a reminder to Canadians that this, too, is part of who we are, a country that has one set of laws for the wealthy and politically connected, another set of laws for the rest of us.
And take a look around your downtown at how the disenfranchised addicts among us are treated by your finest. It’s inhumane, and it’s perpetuated by former drug dealers like Doug Ford.
Think of Doug Ford, big city half mayor, the next time you see a law enforcement officer being less than solicitous to a homeless person.
The NDP would decriminalize marijuana, the Liberals would legalize it. The Conservatives, some of whom would seem to have benefited financially from its illegality – want to keep it that way – fueling the law enforcement gravy train.
Well, I just read the old news story the Globe & Mail finally published today about Doug Ford’s drug dealing days.
One can only imagine what happened to anybody who went up against a member of the Ford family back in the day let alone now. There’s nothing quite like privileged sons to clear a sidewalk. Imagine, teenaged boys acting criminally and with impunity as they did.
Wonder if there are any former teenaged girls out there with repressed memories of the Brothers Ford.
It’s aggravating, isn’t it, the truth of then juxtaposed with the lies of now, like Stephen Harper on ethics and accountability when Paul Martin was Prime Minister and Stephen Harper now, “Nigel did it!”
Of course, he probably did, didn’t he. I mean, money is power and Nigel Wright is one rich muthafucka, as you can tell by how often his upstanding character is cited by his contemporaries. The more you watch our seemingly bewildered Prime Minister (he didn’t list bewildered as one of his feelings but that’s how he looks to me) whine and complain about what’s going on in the PMO from outside the country, his favourite place from which to address we the people, the more you wonder who really is in charge.
It’s disheartening to realize that it’s true, the rich are different from you and I, especially when it comes to the application of our drug laws, which are discriminatory and should be abolished, isn’t it. If I behaved like Rob Ford I’d have been in and out of jail several times already, I’m sure.
Just say no to drug laws.
But now that Ford Nation knows the level of hypocrisy displayed by its heroes, the Fords, will it make a difference in how it votes? Probably not. They seem a particularly “who gives a shit” crowd and maybe they’re right. I mean, there could be no bigger difference in lifestyle between Rob Ford and Stephen Harper, and yet, there go they, neither one able to answer for his behaviour in elected office.
Why is it always the same with governing politicians? Is it not possible to get elected in Canada by telling a modest truth and then not betraying it by trying to cover up every act of criminality and corruption that happens once you’re safely ensconced in public office by lying about every single gord-damned thing?
A court has determined that widespread electoral fraud occurred in the last federal election by way of the Conservative Party of Canada’s database – CIMS. Worse, the judge determined that the CPC went out of its way to obstruct justice (my words) and drive up both the cost of the case and the time necessary to hear it. That’s what Arthur Hamilton, lawyer for the party does on its behalf, tries to slow down, wear down the wheels of justice.
Somebody has to, I guess. Although, I’m not sure why. And it would have been individuals within the CPC, the party brass, who authorized the fraud. Whoever did it had access to CIMS, motive, and approval from on high. That’s reality and everybody knows it but I guess it’s enough that the CPC was left with the bill for court costs.
We’re left with political representation that stinks to high heaven, but whatever. Oh, and also a lot of the bill for court costs, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers and justice, such as it is, doesn’t come cheap.
I watched The Agenda the other night (so refreshing, TVO panels) and there was a panel on discussing the latest scandals plaguing us? our governing politicians? and one member of the panel, a psychologist, pointed out that we’re actually very democratic, surprisingly so, as evidenced by our outrage at political corruption.
It’s true, too, and I’ve never not believed that because, even though Stephen Harper is supposed to run a highly secretive government, what has he gotten away with that we don’t know about eventually via the mainstream media?
Well, lots of stuff, I’m sure, but it looks like that could be changing come this October with the re-launch of Frank Magazine in Ottawa.
But more importantly, those of us who exist outside the rarefied atmosphere of the rich and powerful and politically connected will once again rejoice to the sound of the rabble’s mocking laughter.
What else is there to do but laugh?
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