From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Twitter Killed the Blogging Star

First off I want to thank the folks at DJ for all the amazing work they have done over the years you are an inspiration to many of us.

I have kept my blog open because I keep telling myself that I will start writing again but the truth is that I get all the detritus roiling around in my head out on Twitter. I also find that my writing has been infected by the shortcuts the old 140 character limit forced on us.

Also lost along the way was the motivation to do the necessary research required to write credibly on any subject. Bloggers have only one currency and that is their credibility, without that you merely end up shouting into the wind.

We were a community there for each other, correcting each other when required or adding to to our knowledge of a topic, often writing on the same issue from different perspectives. Blogging opened up my world and lifelong friendships have been forged in the process and while the same can be said of twitter the depth of the relationships forged through blogging is just not there.

In the end we were able to go from oh you're just a blogger to in many instances having the media steal our work. Many legacy media outlets eventually started calling their own opinion writers bloggers in an attempt to appropriate the culture we had established.

The blogging community broke many stories, changed the narrative on many others and added depth to the debate, in the process opening some eyes to the truth of what this world has become. In the end though change comes, twitter and facebook will wither away as well with something new replacing them but the blogging community will always be closest to my heart 

Friday, April 5, 2019

Canada the Timid

For most of my life I have bristled at the notion that Canadians are a timid, staid bunch, however, of late I've come to see that as true.

What is commonly seen as apathy is actually fear, fear of change, of upsetting the status quo. No matter how much we detest it.

Name an issue and that timidity shows itself in our reaction. There is not an issue too pressing to force us into action. 

Abolish or even reform the senate, too damn hard so why even try

Electoral reform, too damn complicated 

Climate change, yeah it's killing our planet but fixing that is too scary

Et cetera Et cetera Et cetera

We are stuck in a world that we detest but are too timid and fearful of change so we mutter on in our comfort zones desperately clinging to what we know, even in the knowledge that doing so is not in our best interests.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Why I Will Be Voting For Amber Morley On Monday

I have lived in what is now Ward 3 for close to thirty years and have witnessed first hand it's decline and recent revitalisation. When I first moved here it was like for many to live closer to work and it's inexpensive housing. Sadly most of the major employers have left or are in the process of leaving leading to the disappearance of thousands of good jobs.

As a result of this decline in employment,  banks and retailers abandoned the area, however with the explosive growth in condo townhouse and in fill development, areas of Ward 3 are being revitalised resulting in the return of banks and retailers.

While there are many pluses in  this there are many negatives, Skyrocketing housing costs are driving out many long term residents, huge increases in traffic which will only worsen as the many new developments open and no transit improvements in the works.

Making matters worse is there doesn't seem to be a plan in place to deal with any of these issues which brings me to our current councilor ( not to forget about the departing DiCiano of the defunct Ward 5) Mark Grimes.

To say that Grimes has been ethically challenged would be an understatement. From appearing in promotional videos for developers to being censured by the integrity commissioner and under review by the OPP for allegedly accepting and failing to declare $40,000 in local polling data in the last election  from the developer who employs DiCiano's twin brother it is clear that Mark Grimes represents his own interests and not ours.

It is also important to note that Grimes as chair of the CNE board is responsible for the lock out of stage hands and the subsequent hiring of out of province scabs in the service of large corporations.

Those are all good reasons to vote against Grimes but I believe it is most important to vote for something and someone. It is the only way to effect actual change through the ballot box, which brings me to Amber Morley.

While I have not personally met Ms. Morley I have spoken to several people who have and they all speak glowingly of her , of her experience at city hall, of her community involvement and activism.  She has also garnered several endorsements from publications like NOW and the Toronto Star.

Amber Morley grew up in this community and understands our issues, she is young knowledgeable and energetic all of which we need at city hall. I will be voting for Amber Morley on Monday and I ask my neighbors to consider doing so as well.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

And, you know, there is such a thing as society

As a society ( yes despite Thatcher's contention society does exist) we have a responsibility to each other, a responsibility to set a floor under which no member of our society can fall.

A floor that says no one goes unfed 
A floor that says everyone has the right to adequate housing
A floor that says ensuring everyone regardless of income has access to quality post secondary education is in society's thus our best interests

We have the resources to easily accomplish this, it merely comes down to priorities. Do we prioritize low corporate taxes which today make up the smallest percentage of overall taxation in over a century or do we prioritize ourselves the people who make up our society?

That is but one example of how our priorities have become skewed.  Trans Mountain if it is built will cost upwards of $20 billion and likely higher when the delay from the court ruling is factored in. That cash could help a lot of people instead of enriching a few of the richest among us.

When I think back to when and how we let our priorities become so wrongheaded I always come back to Thatcher's no society comment.  It was vital to the project of neoliberalism to convince us that there is no society only individuals looking out for their own self interest.

Once that was accomplished it was but a small step to convince us that our self interest lies in low taxes and austerity.

Decades on we see the evidence of what this has wrought. Inequality and poverty not seen since the beginning of the 20th century, record levels of migration as millions flee war and violence and governments so neutered by so called trade agreements that they are incapable of addressing the world's ills. 

Yet despite all the evidence many still cling to this failed ideology and the notion that society doesn't exist.  

Society does exist , is worth fighting for and we will all be better off for it 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Things that make me go hmmm

Andrew Scheer has been on a world tour of late meeting luminaries the likes of Boris Johnson and John Bolton. One wonders what they talked about during these meetings.

All three being staunch defenders of democracy I'm sure  they conferenced on how best to defend this institution that is under a massive assault.

John Bolton-founded political group was one of Cambridge Analytica’s first customers

Donald Trump’s new national security adviser John Bolton collaborated with the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica on an experiment to target YouTube videos to different “psychographic” profiles of US voters, the Guardian can reveal.

The project, to explore how different types of political campaign ads would resonate with an electorate divided into different personality types, involved Bolton appearing on-screen endorsing candidates in New Hampshire, North Carolina and Arkansas in the run-up to the 2014 midterms.

Boris Johnson’s undisclosed meeting with Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica

 Now that Alexander Nix has been suspended as Cambridge Analytica chief executive, the hunt is on to see who else he has been meeting – in London or Washington. His meetings with UK officials would have been disclosed. But one wasn’t: a meeting with Boris Johnson in December 2016. The Foreign Secretary wasn’t seeking the algorithm that took Trump to victory – his objective was to try to learn about, and improve links with, Team Trump. And here was a Brit who, apparently, was a close part of that team.


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Of airports and accountability

It seems the Trudeau Liberals are intent on privatising our airports  which is a disastrous idea but I want to talk about something else today, accountability or more precisely the lack of it.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A letter to my MP on Trump's Muslim ban

Dear Mr. Maloney, I am writing to you today to register my dismay at Trump's ban on Muslim refugees.

In the thirties Canada along with other nations turned away Jews fleeing the Nazi's, today we are presented with an opportunity to redress that tragedy by offering sanctuary to US visa holders from these banned nations.

We not only have this duty to each other as humans but also as active members of NATO which is  to a large extent responsible for this refugee crisis.

As World War 2 taught us appeasement of evil is itself a crime against humanity so I implore you and your government to stand up for what is right.

Open your (our) arms to those in need .

Find your Member of Parliament using your Postal Code

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Of Outrageous Outrage

The inanities that get Canadians outraged never cease to amaze me, the latest being a tossed beer. The air was full of HANG EM FROM THE YARDARMS. While the act was a silly one it was dwarfed in silliness by the overreaction to it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I didn't think I'd ever blog again especially with Harper as the subject matter, but here goes

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What we have wrought

Far too many Canadians are blind to our colonial past, many willfully so, but nothing demonstrates our colonial legacy as the residential school system does.

Case in point: they were taken away from their parents at age five or six for 10 months a year. They were forced to eat vomit, subjected to sexual and physical abuse and put in an electric chair.
“The little ones first,” recalls Edmund Metatawabin to the Wawatay News in July. “And I was, I think, about number seven or eight, meaning I was one of the smaller ones.”
The children sat on a wooden seat with their arms strapped to a metal chair. A Brother held a wooden box with a crank ready to send the electric charge.
“Your feet is flying around in front of you, and that was funny for the missionaries,” Metatawabin says. “So all you hear is that jolt of electricity and your reaction, and laughter (of the Catholic school administrators) at the same time. We all took turns sitting on it.”

 Think about that folks, we snatched kids from their families and tortured them in the name of assimilation, stripping them of their language and culture. Also think about the Catholic church reneging on compensation for these crimes.

It will take much more that a mealy mouthed apology from the PM to address the great harm we have wreaked on the indigenous peoples whose land we stole and profit from to this day.

When we look at the issues facing First Nations today we must always view them through the lens of our colonial past and present. These issues just didn't spring up in isolation, they are a direct result of our actions as such we have a huge debt to repay.

We cannot begin to address the suicide crisis and other issues plaguing First Nations across the land until we as Canadian own up to our role in creating these issues. We need to do whatever it takes to help indigenous peoples and communities to heal.

However we cannot simply impose solutions, we need to ask those affected by our actions what they want and need to begin the process of healing. Let them dictate the process while we support those solutions with every ounce of resources we have.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

#CETA and the #ISDS "Club"

The video below from the Council of Canadians (CoC) while directed at the EU is also a must watch for Canadians. It delves into Canada's history and the effects NAFTA's Chapter 11 (ISDS) has had on us and what the EU can expect if The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is ratified.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Demanding your own oppression

The current collective bargaining talks between the city of Toronto and it's inside workers ( CUPE 79) have as usual unleashed the usual venom from those who advocate for their own oppressors.