Tuesday, March 28, 2017

George W. Bush & Rob Ford

Recently, there's been efforts to rehabilitate the war criminal (and moron) George W. Bush. Supposedly he respected the news media (when he wasn't lying to them about WMDs) and he isn't as obnoxious as Donald J. Trump. Yes, and for this thin gruel we forgive him his criminal war of aggression against Iraq; his vicious racism, his corruption. This lazy, stupid, ignorant man is now an "elder statesman" or something.

Why is so much our political culture self-evidently vile and stupid???

Similarly, the shameless hacks and hypocrites at SUN Media are reflecting fondly on the career of Rob Ford on the first anniversary of his death.

Now, first of all, of these two men, Rob Ford was the better. He might have been a vicious homophobe (and given that he's younger than me, that's inexcusable), and a hypocrite and abusive, but he also had a hard-working side to him. Bush was, and still is, irredeemably lazy. Also, Ford had the "common touch." He genuinely got along with a lot of people. Bush was an arrogant elitist. (Some achievement for an imbecile.) Ford had this endearing fuck-up aspect that charmed many people.

But let's not forget some other not-so-nice parts of our dear, departed ex-mayor. Now, normally, I wouldn't bother to write about Rob Ford, especially critically, now that he's gone. He wasn't a world-historical monster, whose grim legacy has relevance for us all still. But if the Toronto Sun is going to deliberately mythologize the man, and lie about his record and his behaviour, then their bullshit deserves a response.

Let's start with Joe Warmington's "Ford's Influence Still Felt": Around about the middle of the editorial he writes: "The headlines and interest in videos about his addictions are gone." "Videos about his addictions." That could be a video with two doctors talking about the nature of the drugs Ford was taking and their impact upon his health. Or, it could be a fucking video of him smoking fucking crack cocaine that was later used to try to extort money from him. And the newspaper headlines would be about that too. Isn't it goddamned newsworthy when the mayor of Canada's largest city is smoking crack cocaine with gangsters??? Especially a mayor with a stated "zero tolerance for drugs and gangs"?

Warmington continues: "So is the cat-and-mouse game of political opponents and media trying to force him from office." I have to say, Joe, that it's entirely common practice to expect that politicians caught engaging in illegal behaviour tend to resign. If Dennis Miller was caught on tape buying heroin, do you think Toronto City Council would ask only that he "seek help for his demons"? And the other time Ford almost lost power came when he stupidly spoke to and voted on the question of whether he should have to pay a fine. Ie., something on which he had an individual financial interest. This is called "conflict of interest." And he was being fined for hitting up lobbyists to donate to his highschool football charity.

[Now here's the thing about that: I have no doubt that Ford's football charity was legit. I do not believe he used it for personal gain. But it looks bad to ask people coming to City Hall asking for jobs or favours, to hit them up for money. Tolerating what Ford did would allow for all sorts of murky activity. Any idiot who isn't a partisan stooge would see and admit that. That Ford spoke to and voted on whether he should be fined for such behaviour was absolutely atrocious.]

Warmington goes on about how with Ford gone, the free-spending, lazy ways are back. Also: "Political correctness is back with a vengeance."  What the fuck??? Oh my god! "POLITICAL CORRECTNESS!!!" Shriek! No! Won't somebody think of the children???

What is the dumb-fuck even talking about with that one?

"He believed every tax dollar was sacred and not to be wasted or squandered."

Except for the multi-million dollar fines he had the city incur for cancelling "Transit City" when shovels had already started digging the ground. Except for burying a report on the Gardiner Expressway because he likes that ugly white elephant and didn't want to have a debate about maybe tearing it down or burying it. And except for all those friends of his who got jobs in his office. And except for those assistants who ran personal errands for him on the taxpayers' dime while he was railing about other councilors buying an espresso machine for their office or a bunny suit to march in a parade.

Another article: "'He was lynched' Mother and brother remember late mayor'"

Now, obviously, someone who married Ford's obnoxious blowhard right-wing father, is going to have loved her obnoxious right-wing son. And she would naturally be hurt by the criticism of her son. But let's face facts: He brought international disgrace to this city. He was a monstrous hypocrite and a fiscal incompetent. Yes, he restrained (some) spending. But he obviously had no clue about the city's finances and would contradict himself as to whether Toronto had a revenue or a spending problem depending upon what he was talking about at the time.

Lastly, Adrienne Batra speculates about what Ford would say about Kathleen Wynne, Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. Basically it's a bunch of pointless crap with constant references to how careful Ford was with the city's money.

If you want to know how loyal Donald Trump's fans are and will be, look no further than the loyalty of "Ford Nation." You can literally smoke crack with gangsters, after having rejected funding for anti-gang programs as "hug a thug" spending, and get away with it. Ford was a personal disgrace and a disaster as mayor. Do not seek to mythologize or canonize the man.

(I thought this edition of "24 Hours" also had the racist idiot Sue-Ann Levy's sycophantic article about fellow racist idiot Ezra Levant's talk at Ryerson University. But it must have been another one. What scum.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Trudeau Killed Electoral Reform

Just a reminder Liberal partisans: Hero boy has a solid majority. harpercon obstruction and NDP lately deciding they'd agree to a referendum were irrelevant in the face of this majority. Like harper with his omnibus bills, the Liberals could have passed anything they had a mind to. But this same solid majority reminded Trudeau and his Liberals why they liked "first past the post." Electoral reform died on election night.

So, any bitching and whining about anybody "splitting the vote" from a Liberal is monstrously hypocritical.

Friday, March 10, 2017

What's Going To Happen To Chris Alexander?

I've loathed Chris Alexander since I'd first heard of his existence, back in 2011. That was when he was first running for office as a Conservative candidate in the riding of Ajax-Pickering. He was saying that torture in Afghanistan wasn't a big issue, even though Afghanistan's entire justice/legal system was rife with abuses from top to bottom.

But, aside from my own misgivings, the meme about him was that he was this "golden boy" diplomat from within Canada's Foreign Affairs Department who brought real ability to his new role as a politician. Obviously, I never saw it and still don't. It seems more likely to me that he was nothing more than a supreme butt-kisser/yes-man who took the position of Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan because he was determined to make something out of such a hideous job. He was prepared (as so many of his colleagues probably weren't) to turn a blind eye to all the war crimes and other abuses he would (and did) see, and to cheer-lead for whatever brazen hypocrisies the Canadian government of the moment uttered about "the Mission."

Which was why he ignored Richard Colvin's numerous e-mails about how ALL of our detainees were being tortured by their Afghan jailers. He presided over such barbarism and failure for years, and then he parlayed that into a career in politics, eventually rising to become a Cabinet Minister, where he similarly ignored the desperate cries for help of Syrians trying to flee to safe havens after the USA and its allies turned their country into a slaughter-house. Unfortunately for him, this policy of murderous cruelty ended up hurting him when Syrian refugees began washing up dead on the beaches of the Mediterranean in the hundreds as over-crowded, leaking boats they were on sank beneath the waves. And, sadly for Chris, some of them were tiny children, whose parents had tried to apply for refugee status in Canada, and they died during a Canadian federal election. Alexander had to "suspend" his campaigning and go back to Ottawa (ostensibly to "deal" with the crisis, but actually, simply to hide from the media until the storm subsided).

Chris Alexander subsequently lost his seat in that election. And now he is running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. But he isn't doing so well. He's barely registering. He's certain to lose. What then? Back to diplomatic service? Not fucking likely. He's been exposed as a dishonest, partisan rat. A sick joke. (Given his public behaviour, I'm willing to bet Alexander pissed a lot of people off on his way up the ladder.)

Canada is a rich country but we starve our culture. Canadian households spend their money on ordinary things. And Canada's super-rich spend their money on luxury goods and safe investments. That's why former high-ranking politicians often have to take jobs shilling for parasites like the pay-day loan people. Our media is on life-support.

What I'm saying is that the future doesn't look good for ol' Chris Alexander. And I hope it stays that way and he genuinely suffers.