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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Feeling More Marginalized: Looney left goes crazy over Irshad Manji replacing Salutin at The Globe

Canadian “progressives” infuriated by the replacement of a privileged white male with a gay Muslim woman-of-color

Let Freedom Rain's Jymm Parrett originally titled his post  "Globe and Mail replaces Rick Salutin with piece of shit"  but after being taken to task by one of his own readers, calmed down slightly and changed the title to the more straightforward, if grammatically incomplete, " Globe and Mail replaces Rick Salutin Irshad Manji"

However the prose lost none of its demented color with:
Irshad Manji is a clueless bore of an ideologue who is the leading edge of the new Globe & Mail campaign to out fox Fox News. Forget Kory and his TV dreams. This is much worse. The Mop & Pail has flown the coop.
(it goes on, getting better ..or worse, here .. and here )

"Eugene Forsey Liberal" offers:
I beg of you Globe, stop this folly. The world needs less Manjis, Teneyckes, Lavignes, etc., and more brains, more originality, more wit, more insight, uh, like...hmm, who again? Ah yes, Salutin!

"Orwell's Bastard"  gives us:
At a time when the reinvigoration of civil discourse is more important than ever, why in god's name is the Globe jettisoning its most thoughtful, original and engaging columnist? Are focus groups and demographic targeting and tokenism more important to Canada's self-appointed National Newspaper than raising the tone of the national conversation? Sadly, the answer seems to be yes.
In losing Rick Salutin's voice, the Globe isn't just getting rid of a genuinely original and progressive thinker. It's abandoning the whole notion of intellectual curiosity, leaving us with hacks like Blatchford and Wente.

Antonia Zerbisias, in her usual exhibiton of unintentional radical leftist self-parody, characterizes Manji's efforts to reform and liberalize the form of orthodox Islam that imposes the Niqab and condones suicide bombings as "Muslim bashing."

If there was a prize for idiotic interpretations of this event, it might go to David Beers at the tyee.ca who wrote:
Why did The Globe and Mail fire Rick Salutin? Without a better answer from the newspaper's brass, we're left to read Salutin's last two columns and ponder how power behaves when the politics of fear, and those who wield them deftly, are ascendant.
The two columns Beers refers to were critical respectively, of Stephen Harper and Rob Ford. If that were grounds for dismissal at the Globe, they would have no one left on staff but Christie Blatchford. But for Beers to know that, he would have to actually read The Globe and Mail.

What's behind the hysterics, of course, is that the old-school radical left realize that they are being regarded as less and less relevant to public discourse. In the US, Barack Obama knows he can ignore them or take them for granted, depending on the circumstance.

Salutin in the Globe was the way that these people could delude themselves into thinking their voice was being taken seriously. Propping a corpse up and putting it into a chair doesn't make it a living person. The Globe finally decided it was time to bury the corpse.

UPDATE: Manji's first column as a regular Globe columnist. An interesting and balanced discussion about the Tea Party's growing popularity and its Canadian applications.

The usual suspects  (see above)  have flocked to the online comments section to say how awful they think she is. With their usual deficit of irony, some claim they will permanently abandon the Globe because of its replacement of Salutin with Manji, then return two hours later to post another disparaging comment.

After pressuring Thomson to support Smitherman, al-Starzeera starts leaning on its former employee, Rossi

The Toronto Star hates Rob Ford.

It's editorial board has been pressuring Sarah Thomson, Rocco Rossi, and Joe Pantalone to drop out of the Toronto mayoral race and support George (Captain eHealth) Smitherman in their effort to prevent Ford from becoming mayor.

Having succeeded with Thomson, who ended her fiscally (and intellectually) bankrupt campaign this week, they are now setting their sights on Rossi.

Which shows how slow-witted some at The Toronto Star must be.

Rossi's internal polling shows three quarters of his support would go to Ford.

When the Star launched its attack campaign against Ford in June, he was in 2nd place, polling in the mid teens. After all the Star's hard work, Ford is now in first place with between a 5% and 20% lead over George Smitherman, depending on the poll.
this fine artistic rendition was stolen from Blazing Cat Fur

Keep up the good work, al-Starzeera!

It's a sorry state of affairs when Marxist.ca has more insight into Toronto's municipal election than The Globe and Mail

Yeah, there's a lot of blah, blah.. "bourgeois media" ..blah..blah.. 'oppression of the working class', 'exploitative capitalist' type stuff, but they actually seem to be less off the mark as some with:

Rob Ford has, so far, leapt to the front of the mayoral race. He is the only candidate who has had something different to say than all of the other politicians. Ford is nothing but a populist, but he has been able to mobilize the real anger against the status-quo that is present amongst Torontonians. Unlike Bay St.’s darling, George Smitherman, Ford is seen as someone who has answers to the financial crisis of the city and has mobilized support on this basis. However, it would be wrong to characterize this as a move to the right in the general population. There is a seething anger that is looking in every direction for an outlet. One poll that had Ford in front also revealed that David Miller would be in the lead if he were on the ballot. What we have is an incredibly unstable electorate that is looking for answers. If a radical solution is not given by the organizations of the working class then a radical solution will be provided by the right wing demagogues.

Labour’s candidate, Joe Pantalone, offers very little to get working class people mobilized for this election. Aside from having virtually no charisma, Pantalone offers the status-quo, with no solution to tackle all of the problems facing working class Torontonians. His campaign commitments are anaemic at best, with such radical demands as planting more trees and building a cricket pitch. He is, rightfully, seen by many as just another City Hall career politician. It is no wonder that he is far behind the leading candidates.

If Ford’s support holds as the election gets closer, there is a real danger that the leaders of the labour movement, seeing that support for Pantalone is going nowhere, may urge workers to vote for George Smitherman in order to stop Ford from gaining office. However, there is absolutely nothing “progressive” about Smitherman, and nothing that would make him a better option for workers than Rob Ford. Like Ford, Smitherman has promised to privatize various city services (particularly garbage and recycling services), and has promised to “trim” the city’s workforce. For six years, Smitherman was one of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s key cabinet ministers, and we only need to look at the Liberals’ sorry record over that time to know what sort of attacks would come if he were elected mayor.

Read it all, if you dare, here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Word at the Globe: Salutin out - Manji in

The Coast in Halifax reports that Rick Salutin's being fired from The Globe and Mail was a long-standing plan in order to replace him with Irshad Manji.

Manji, the author of the best selling The Trouble with Islam Today,  is one of the most intelligent voices of a non-politically aligned generation of Canadians. A strong advocate for free speech, a defender of women's and human rights, and a reasonable voice in a politicized wilderness.

She will make a big positive addition to The Globe and Mail and the change is a good one!

UPDATE: this is driving the Looney Left crazy!

Laugh of the day: The wing-nuts at rabble.ca demand the re-hiring of Rick Salutin at The Globe and Mail

It was interesting to learn yesterday that Rick Salutin had been canned from his gig at the Globe and Mail.

Actually, from what I understand, Salutin technically was never on staff at the Globe, but was a freelancer whose column was placed weekly in that paper.

It's understandable why the Globe would want rid of him. His columns were tedious and repetitive.

Jonathan Kay nailed it well two years ago when he wrote:
After 17 years as a Globe columnist, one suspects, Salutin apparently has gotten to the stage where he simply throws a bunch of buzz phrases in the air — imperialism, Guantanamo, oil, Omar Khadr, "honest broker" — and lets his readers write their own column.
Throw "right-wing" and "neo-con" in the mix, along with the propensity to presume to understand the hidden, un-evidenced, conspiratorial motives of everyone in the political spectrum to the right of Leon Trotsky, and that pretty much covers everything I've ever read from Salutin.

But the news of Salutin's dismissal doesn't sit well with the radical socialists at the online propaganda bureau that Judy Rebick built, rabble.ca

In a piece by Murray Dobbin demanding the re-instatement of Salutin at the Globe, we get some hilarious histrionics:
There are also not many touchstones for progressive Canadians still intact -- things that give us some comfort that the world hasn't completely fallen apart, at least not yet. Every time I hear the theme music to As it Happens, I get that feeling -- or when I go to the doctor and don't have to pay and he doesn't get a bonus for denying me service.

Rick's column was like that. He may well be the best in the country. Each time I saw that column in the Globe -- a hard-line neo-liberal paper in most ways -- it allowed me to believe progressive voices were still part of the mainstream debate -- a place at the table that we might be able to expand.
This invites the question of how many of rabble.ca's devotees of Karl Marx have a subscription to "a hard-line neo-liberal paper,"  but that is a minor point.

It must be frustrating for over-the-hill Marxists mired in the outdated radicalism of the 1960's to be getting the message, over and over, that they're no longer relevant.

It appears to be like the death of a loved one for Dobbin, because he's going through all five stages of grief in his one article:

Denial: Not many columnists in this country have achieved icon status but Rick Salutin is one of them.

Anger: I've always wondered about that popular slogan -- Speak truth to power. We've been doing that for years and they don't give a shit 

Bargaining: We should demand the Globe reinstate Rick Salutin. Some of us are still speaking.

Depression: I can just imagine the suits at the Globe having a brief conversation about Rick's column: "By the way, why are still publishing Rick Salutin?" Long silence. "Rick who?" I wonder if any of these guys ever even read him.

Acceptance: For the suits, the deal was signed long ago -- it's just taking a while to implement it down to the last remaining article.

I am of course having a bit of fun here and slightly altering some of the context and order of the statements. But I am not exaggerating the verbal conniption fit.

Goodbye Rick. I'll miss your columns too, because I used to get a laugh out of them. But evidently, someone came to the realization that I and the handful of rabbleoids with a subscription to The Globe were the few people left reading them.

UPDATE: The email I hated to send

As much as I welcome the idea that Salutin's tiresome paranoia will have fewer venues, as a matter of principle, I felt compelled to send the following email to the Globe and Mail's Editor-in-Chief:

Dear Mister Stackhouse
I am aware that there are some orchestrated campaigns going on at rabble.ca and with a few of their affiliated bloggers to try to get you to re-instate Rick Salutin.
These people probably very rarely buy a copy of The Globe and Mail.
Personally, I found his columns tiresome, predictable and repetitive. As that previous sentence suggests, I have a very different political outlook than Salutin. I should add that other than on the basis of rumour and scant non-mainstream media reports, I know nothing about your decision, so I apologize and want to clarify that this communication is on that basis.
The people orchestrating the “keep Salutin” campaign are mainly politically motivated and see him as one of the advocates for their point of view. A point of view that I believe to be distorted and outdated, and based on his biases rather than fact.
But I would not want to advocate that a person be removed based on his political views. If removing Salutin was a sound business decision, then you should stick with it. If his columns were uninteresting because of their predictability and inane repetition of themes while introducing misplaced ideological prejudices, then stick with it.
But if he was a valuable contribution to The Globe and Mail and was removed because he offended someone, then, much as I loathe to do so, I would advocate in the strongest terms that he be re-hired.

All I can say is I hope they got rid of the boring socialist old goat because he was a boring socialist old goat that no one read anymore and not for any other reason.

UPDATE 2: Murray Dobbin is encouraging people to send a letter to the editor  (letters@globeandmail.ca)
at the Globe in support of Salutin. I just sent this, which I'm pretty sure is what Dobbin had in mind:
Dear Editor
I found the writing of Rick Salutin to be that of a tiresome, outdated polemicist mired in the politics of 1960’s radicalism. I stopped reading his columns with any regularity quite some time ago, as one could predict their entire substance from the headline.
If that was the reason the Globe and Mail got rid of him, then I commend your decision.
However, if he is a popular columnist who was fired merely for being politically objectionable, then I would ask you to reconsider that decision. That way, I could still check his writing out from time to time in The Globe to mock the irrelevance of the self-described “progressive” movement.

UPDATE 3: The Globe made a great call. Salutin is being replaced by Irshad Manji, who is a big favorite at Eye on a Crazy Planet. Great move, Globe and Mail!

What kind of math do you use to promise to increase spending, freeze taxes, and lower debt all at the same time (and expect people to be stupid enough to believe you)?

this fine artistic rendition was stolen from Blazing Cat Fur

Click "Smither-math" above to see Royson James' column describing how it just doesn't add up

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Iranian Judiciary: Sakineh’s Stoning Sentence Has Been Issued

The news is in from via Planet Iran

The ayatollah-controlled judiciary in Iran wants to prove a point and has confirmed the barbaric stoning sentence for Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani who was convicted of adultery.

See also: Fareed Zakaria - What in the world is Ahmadinejad saying?

Rob Ford's Financial Plan for Toronto

In this video, Ford discusses how his municipal staff attrition plan, which is more aggressive than George Smitherman's, will result in massive savings for the city.

Another proposal that Ford introduces, which he and I discussed in July, is the introduction of financial incentives for city employees to find savings.

One of the problems with the civil service in general is that public employees do not receive bonuses the way that those in the private sector do. It is thought that the job security, relatively high pay and benefits that civil servants receive is compensation for that.

But the problem with that thinking is that once a civil servant has a job (and this applies to Department Heads and Managers in particular), they have a vested interest in maintaining high departmental expenditures. If they do not spend their full allotment during a fiscal years, they fear that their next year's budget may be cut because those preparing the budget will assume the department can run on a reduced amount. That's why many civil service departments go on spending-sprees near the end of the fiscal year to ensure every penny of their allotted yearly budget is spent, often on unnecessary expenditures including wasteful consultants fees.

Ford's plan finally provides civil servants with an incentive to stop this wasteful practice that will benefit both them and the taxpayer. It's the most intelligent innovation that any of the candidates has introduced in their financial plan.

Sarah Thomson drops from race. Says, "We risk handing over the office of greatest local influence on the basis of anger" and endorses Furious George

Thomson, who consistently placed last or near last among the 5 major candidates and who exhausted her campaign funds a month prior to the election, announced her withdrawal from Toronto's mayoral race today.

She threw her meager support to George Smitherman.

Her statement can be read in its entirety here at The National Post.

this fine artistic rendition was stolen from Blazing Cat Fur 

UPDATE: Tasha Kheiriddin at the National Post took my headline and ran with it! Nice work Tasha!

Sarah Palin preferred Republican candidate for Eye on a Crazy Planet readers

In the recent poll concluded yesterday on this site the two people who emerged as the preferred candidates for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2012 election were Rudolph Giuliani and Sarah Palin, with Palin narrowly edging out the former New York City mayor.

The poll, it should be noted, is completely unscientific.

"Other" was a close third choice, while Mitt Romney polled the best of the remaining candidates which included Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

The poll shows that no clear front-runner has emerged with about a year before primary season is set to begin. The Republicans may need to find a star candidate, with broader appeal than Palin, who can capture the imagination and enthusiasm of the American center if they hope to defeat the articulate and persuasive incumbent President Obama.

Sarah Thomson expected to announce end of mayoral bid today.

Conrad Black endorsement "kiss of death?"

Sarah Thomson, who has been polling at or near the bottom of the 5 major candidates in Toronto's mayoral election, is expected to drop from the race today. Her campaign has said she will make a brief announcement today at 10 am and will take no questions, according to The Globe and Mail.

In the absence of a credible campaign of her own, Thomson has recently been a proponent of a "stop-Ford" movement.

More later...

Monday, September 27, 2010

"Ditsy" Sarah Thomson thinks she "knows" Rob Ford because he doesn't socialize with her in the Green Room!

And in other news, Thomson has picked up an endorsement from Lord Voldemort Black. His Lordship writes Ford supporters are "heavy-set Archie Bunkers."

Endorsement to cost Thomson estimated 1000 votes.

As Conrad Black is no longer a Canadian citizen, having renounced it to pick up his British peerage, he cannot vote in the municipal election, so his endorsement should be worth approximately two votes, one from his valet and the other from Barbara Amiel. Of course the Black endorsement will lose her votes from all the Dominion store employees whose pension fund he raided, to say nothing of disgruntled Hollinger Inc shareholders. Combined with the general bad feeling he invokes, this will produce, in my estimation, a net loss of something along the lines of 1000 votes among the small percentage of the electorate that had intended to vote for her.

Thomson the ditsy hypocrite

Thomson, whose campaign is irrelevant with her disclosure that she is in talks with the other campaigns about how to combine to stop Ford (i.e. who is going to make her the best offer in exchange for dropping out and throwing her soft support their way)  has been claiming that she knows "him like the public might not know him."

And where does this intimate knowledge come from, you may ask? From the fact that in the Green Room, prior to the debates, when the other candidates socialize among each other, Ford leaves the room without engaging in insincere pleasantries with them.

Yup, you got that right. That is the basis on which Thomson claims to have a superior knowledge of Ford than the public. She discusses it in this interview.

After the vicious statements his opponents have made about him, it would be hypocritical for Ford to stay and pretend to be friendly with the others. What's even more instructive is that Thomson engages in and expects this kind of hypocrisy behind closed doors.

Now she's a candidate we can trust, huh?

George Smitherman releases financial plan - reads like "Ford lite"

Sensing he has lost his once firm grip on the mayoral race, distant second-place rival George Smitherman released his financial plan today.

It is an eerie echo of Rob Ford's with a less aggressive cost-saving plan through employee attrition and a few figures that don't add up quite right. Not that I'll hold that against him, after all, who's do?

But what inspires less than full confidence in his commitment to it is how his policies have shifted to be more like Rob Ford's as Ford's popularity increased.

Some of his odder and more dubious items of projected revenue include $10 million for "'Catch the little things' incentives; and $132 Million for - "Smarter procurement"

His plan relies on quite a bit of financial influx from his old boss, McGuinty. I actually believe Smitherman would be able to talk him into it. McGuinty would have an interest in buying Toronto to keep it out of the hands of Tim Hudak's Tories. I'm also confident McGuinty would find some new taxes to pay for it, so what we save in municipal costs will end up being added as provincial ones.
this fine artistic rendition was stolen from Blazing Cat Fur

Of course, I could be just a bit over-cynical. After all, who wouldn't trust a former McGuinty cabinet minister?

Here's Smitherman's financial plan.

UPDATE: Socialist extremists at rabble.ca hope for Smitherman win.

Coming to grips with the realization that their preferred candidate, Joe Pantalone, has no hope of winning, the radical socialists and extremists who frequent rabble.ca express hope for a Smitherman win in which he emerges in debt to union interests so they can retain control of city hall.

UPDATE 2: Royson James at The Toronto Star refers to Smitherman's untenable proposal to freeze taxes while increasing spending and claim to lower the debt all at the same time as "Smither-math"

Good moniker, Royson! I'll borrow that in future. I would have just called it "another McGuinty Liberal worthless promise", but your name for it is much better.

An interesting discussion about the municipal election

The National Post's weekly political panel discussion was very interesting this week.

They discussed changing Toronto's first past the-post-system to a one that ranks choices when to achieve a winner with a majority of support.

But when given thought, this proposal ends up being less-than-fully democratic its mathematical implications and a person with a majority of second choice votes could actually win over someone who had more first choice votes. The only honest way of implementing that type of idea would be to have separate, run-off elections in which candidates were gradually eliminated until one achieves a clear majority.

But on the subject of support and opposition towards front running mayoral candidate Rob Ford, two of the panelists, Anthony Furey and Chris Selley, showed some genuine insight into what is helping to mobilize Ford's support and why his opponents' tactics haven't been able to turn it away:

FUREY: It’s not the content of the anti-Ford articles that ends up working to Ford’s benefit, it’s the attitude. It’s the suggestion that Ford voters are too stupid for their own good and fail to understand how voting for Ford goes contrary to their own interests. Now THAT is anti-democratic. It presupposes what people want out of government based on their salary level, the colour of their skin or something other non-determinate variable. Ford supporters may be completely aware of what will happen should he become mayor and they are voting for him specifically for those results. Few anti-Ford pundits have been able to toss off their self-righteousness long enough to understand this.

SELLEY: Don’t think I can put it much better than that. You read some opinion columns and you’d think Toronto will be nothing but a smoking crater at the end of four years of Rob Ford. (In fact there’s only a small chance Toronto will be a smoking crater in 2014.) People who think that the city is already horribly broken in any number of ways are unlikely to respond well to that. They sense, I think, an implicit message that the status quo is OK. It really isn’t, and that’s what attracted them to Ford in the first place.

Furey and Selley make very good points. It's illustrated in the attitude of people like Councilor Joe Mihevc, a local politician whose comments suggest that Ford's supporters are too stupid to understand the implications of their choice, to say nothing of the histrionics in the media from columnists like Christopher Hume and Heather Mallick, which does a lot more to help elect Ford than defeat him.

Read the full piece here in The National Post

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Persichilli: One of the few voices of sanity at al-Starzeera

There's one columnist at al-Starzeera whom I haven't mentioned previously in this blog and I regret that.

Partially, it's because his column only appears once a week on Sundays and the other reason is that his main gig is as political editor of the Italian-Canadian newspaper Corriere Canadese, so I don't think of him so much as being a Star columnist.

But he is and he deserves mention, because he is one of the few editorial anomalies in the organization that gives a forum to the habitually uninformed hysteria of James Travers, Heather Mallick, Haroon Siddiqui, Christopher Hume, Antonia Zerbisias, Linda McQuaig, et cetera.

There are a couple of others, like Martin Regg Cohn, to be sure, but they are the rare exceptions in that organization.

Angelo Persichilli's column are routinely informative, insightful and he actually has the connections in Ottawa and the Liberal Party to be able to report based on credible information rather than wild, paranoid speculation.

Today he wrote a column about what Rob Ford's candidacy represents that has shown a level of insight and maturity that reminded me how out of place he is at The Toronto Star.  I don't agree with Persichilli about his notion of bike lanes being such a representation of the urban/suburban and elitist/public divide. If that were the case than Rocco Rossi wouldn't be the last-place candidate with single digit polling numbers. But basically, Persichilli nails it:

Rob Ford is neither a candidate to fear nor a political phenomenon. He is only an individual who is in the right place at the right time. The Oct. 25 vote is not about Ford, it’s a referendum on outgoing Mayor David Miller and his cronies.

This campaign is about four things: the repudiation of Miller’s vision of Toronto; the revolt of the suburban “colonies”; the frustration of people in the downtown core; and the inability of the other candidates to understand the first three of these factors.

Miller thinks that his Toronto is the real Canada. He’s wrong. Miller’s Toronto it’s only a distillation of this complex country seen through magnifying, distorting glasses. His Toronto is a concentration of Canadian virtues and imperfections, blown up and stuffed together into a few square kilometres around city hall.

There we have the best museums, art galleries and universities, but also a lot of ignorance just a few hundred metres away from those institutions. There are religious icons like St. Michael’s Cathedral, but also in the same street many organizations that are challenging Catholic doctrine. You find the opulent banks at Bay and King, but also food banks around the corner. There are the beautiful houses of the Rosedale enclave, but also a lot of homeless people. There are expensive and fancy cars, but also people who cannot even afford the TTC.

Miller didn’t deal with any of these contradictions. He made them worse by promoting petty projects like bike lanes that were sold as a social revolution, an environmental game-changer. His approach to government has been much like the behaviour of rich socialites who pollute the environment with their SUVs and private planes or sully the lakes in Muskoka with their powerboats and then engage in petty projects such as sending their children to volunteer at the food bank or to some camp in a Third World country for a photo-op to fabricate a social conscience.

Miller’s administration is identified with traffic jams that are fouling the environment; a “special relationship” with the unions and friendly, costly contractors; the garbage strike, which exposed his lack of leadership; waste; tax increases and, most of all, the typical in-your-face attitude of a messiah who thinks he can disregard the opinions of his ignorant subjects.

Read the rest of his column here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Spirit of Man:a blog worth looking at

"Winston is a pen name for a Canada based Pro-America, Pro-Israel Iranian neo-conservative who is seeking regime change in Iran!"


Just looked out the window. No, hell hasn't frozen over, but Thomas Walkom has written the Star's most sensible column about the Ford candidacy

Finally... acceptance of the inevitable, and dare I say it, some welcome sanity at al-Starzeera. And from Thomas Walkom of all people!

There you go, Richard Dawkins. If that isn't proof that there's a God, I don't know what is.

UPDATE: Sorry, Dawkins. I admit it, you could always throw back today's characteristic histrionics from James Travers to counter: "For decades politicians have freely played voters for fools. Now the bill is coming due as Tea Party anger seeps out of the U.S. and into elections from Toronto to Stockholm. Rob Ford’s commanding lead in the contest to control Canada’s largest city is far from the most extreme example."

It doesn't really matter much what they say at al-Starzeera. After their slanderous smears of Ford in the summer, the front-running candidate has refused to speak to them, but has used their attacks on him as an effective means of rallying support.

Rosie DiManno referred to this today: "Yet the guy has sailed through scandal: been caught out in lies, had his drunk driving mug shot plastered in the media, flipped the freeze-out bird to Canada’s largest newspaper, and still he’s buoyant, ascendant, unrepentant."

Hell hath no fury like a left-wing newspaper scorned.

Friday, September 24, 2010

An interesting addendum to Carolyn Bennett's policy clarification courtesy of Dr. Dawg and Antonia Zerbisias

Check out the updates at the end of this post to see strange interpretations placed on straightforward events by a pair of prominent members of The Looney Left.

UPDATE: The story also made Macleans online. The user comments overwhelmingly reflect the idea that people respect a politician who owns up to a mistake and corrects it. The public is behind you on this, with the exception of a couple of people (see above) who are still mired in an acid flashback of 1960's radicalism.

I actually agree with Warren Kinsella!

Warren's got the right idea about the Toronto City Council Race in Ward 32 in the Beaches.

Martin Gladstone would be a much better choice than the awful Sandra Bussin. So would my cat, but my cat's not running, so vote for Martin.

We need Martin in Council to counterbalance this piece of drek in Ward 27. Ken Chan is the only sane choice in the riding soon to be vacated by Kyle Rae.

What's a few million to Christopher Hume?

Christopher Hume, one of the coterie of al-Starzeera columnists going off the rails at the prospect of Rob Ford winning the mayoral contest in October, wrote today "does it make sense to get rid of half of council for no other reason than to save $6 million on a $12 billion budget?"

Evidently, Hume should do what he does best and be out lobbying for some big condo to wreck a neighbourhood somewhere and stay away from numbers.  Hume complains,  "Government isn’t business and voters aren’t consumers. Were Toronto run like a corporation, not a democracy, the fallout would make the current angst seem a love-in. Despite what the candidates might say, government does not exist to turn a profit."

It sure doesn't when the likes of Miller, Smitherman and  Pantalone are running it.

Earlier in his column, Hume mocked Ford for saying voters, "can’t relate to billions of dollars, but they can relate to thousands of dollars. They can relate to getting free gas, free food, free hotels, all the stuff people have to pay for and councillors don’t.”

Clearly, Hume doesn't have any idea how much can be done with the $6,000,000.00 in taxpayer savings he's scoffing at. At least he is helping out by unwittingly proving Ford's point.

On the bright side, Hume didn't call half the city of Toronto that supports Ford "newly emboldened hordes"  again.

Fair and unbiased journalism from al-Starzeera? The Toronto Star anti-Ford Google ad campaign appears. The Star's Advertising Department denies involvement

Does The Toronto Star have a vested interest in defeating Rob Ford? Take a look - One of al-Starzeera's ads turned up on this site (click image to enlarge):

The link on the ad went right to http://www.thestar.com/

UPDATE: I called The Star's Advertising Department and they said they did not take out this ad. However this raises the question, who then would be able to take out an ad placed through Google's ad servers that had The Star's name and a link back to its site on it if not them? These ads are no longer appearing in my ad cycle. All very strange and suspicious.

UPDATE 2: This is very fishy, as is the fact the ads appeared briefly, for one cycle, then vanished.

IF the Star's not behind it, then the logical conclusion would be that it's someone who opposes Ford and whose message/position is being promoted by the Star. I wonder who that could be? That doesn't sound like Pantalone or Thompson..

I tried calling Google offices in Toronto to get to the bottom of this. Believe it or not, Google Canada offers no form of live support, the contact phone number is basically an answering service. The person I spoke with gave me the number of Google's head office in California, which I'll call after 12 pm (9 am Pacific time) but she told me not to get my hopes up about speaking with a live person there either.

UPDATE 3: called Google in California - no live support but posted a question in their help forum

UPDATE 4: The Rob Ford Star ad has reappeared on Sassywire at 12:25 pm!

Here's a screenshot:

UPDATE 5: I just called The Star and was put through, in his roll dealing with Community Relations, to Bob Hepburn's voice mail. I left a message asking him to comment and clarify about this. Yes, the same Bob Hepburn who wrote the column yesterday saying Rossi, Pantalone and Thompson should drop from the race to help Smitherman. I await his reply..

UPDATE 6: Still no word from Bob Hepburn (surprise, surprise) 3 hours later. But I have noticed the anti-Ford Star ad reappear here on Eye on a Crazy Planet quite a bit. I'd suggest you click it if you see it, and you'll see where it takes you (plus it'll cost the advertiser some money!)

and...UPDATE 7: Google won’t help in identifying the advertiser. The fact it had the Star’s name on it and a link back to them evidently doesn’t establish who placed the ads. The logical assumption is that a rival campaign is behind them, but by having the Star listed prominently on the ad and suggesting the ad is from the Star, something underhanded appears to be going on.

Here’s a link to my attempts to solve this through Google:


So we may never get to the bottom of this. Whether it was one of the rival campaigns, The Star, or someone else who placed the ads, remains a mystery for now.

4th place Thompson considers throwing support to last-place Rossi or Captain eHealth - Ford's support firmest of all candidates - this confirms Pantalone as the candidate of the left

Sarah Thompson is considering backing out and endorsing another candidate, possibly Rocco Rossi or George Smitherman, according to reports today.

Evidently she has given up on her own candidacy and appears to be working with al-Starzeera on its "let's get behind Captain eHealth" campaign.

In an email to al-Starzeera The Star, she said she has been in discussions with “all teams to build consensus and work collaboratively”

Polls suggest her endorsement may not be worth much.

When asked if their support was “firm”, or if “it is possible that you might change your mind before Oct. 25?,” the answer was “firm” from 66 per cent of those supporting Ford, who is dominating the race with a simple message of spending cuts and improved customer service.
The “firm” response came from only 39 per cent of Smitherman and Rossi fans, and 38 per cent of Pantalone supporters. Voters backing Thomson were the most fickle, with 26 per cent saying they won’t budge — meaning almost three-quarters could move.
“Ford’s support, how sticky it is, was the most surprising number to me in this poll,” Shanoff said. “People aren’t just flirting with that option because of what’s happening at city hall. His message is sticking.”

UPDATE: text of the actual email:

Hi David,
I have been in discussions with all teams to build consensus and work collaboratively. After 8 months of working together with Rob, day in and day out, we have all seen the real Rob Ford and we all understand what a huge crisis Toronto would be in if Rob Ford were to become Mayor.
I have had a solid 10% support across the city. Smitherman has been coming down since he started and Joe hasn't been able to change his support.
I have not made any decision to step down. I know I have a solid 10% and a passionate tenacious team -- we don't have the money to do big advertising campaigns -- but word of mouth and passion have got us this far. We are working, as everyone else is, to see if we can garner the support that Smitherman can't seem to attract.
The next two weeks will determine if one of us can rise up or not.



This tells us a couple of things.
1) Thompson is in all-out denial if she thinks her support is "firm" at 10%. If she remained in the election, her supporters could easily give up on this no-hoper and move to a better candidate.
2) Saying that her debates against Ford and the others constitiute "8 months of working together with Rob, day in and day out,"  confirms that Thompson's ditzy and delusional.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Inside Scoop on Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett's hard lesson on tweeting

Due disclosure.

I like Carolyn Bennett and a friend of mine is one of her assistants.

I don't agree with her about everything. For example, we have different opinions on the Iraq war. Mine are more like Christopher Hitchens' and hers are like Michael Ignatieff's are now (as opposed to Michael Ignatieff's before he decided he wanted to be Prime Minister, when he too agreed with Hitchens).

But Carolyn is a good MP, a devoted public servant, is accessible and we share enough views that I am comfortable in supporting her.

Today, she tweeted an article from rabble.ca about Stephen Harper's appearance at the UN. Followers of this blog know my opinion about rabble.ca, which I usually refer to as being a Marxist mouthpiece and a collection of some of the least intelligent minds in this country who lend their support to a number of particularly odious causes.

Usually when a public figure tweets something with a description of it being "interesting," it can conceivably be taken as some sort of endorsement. The article by Derrick O'Keefe, contained rabble's typically simple-minded, extreme bias against Israel:

Canada under Stephen Harper has been called “Israel’s best friend,” even as that state has grown ever more aggressive in violating international law to maintain its occupation and collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Fittingly, Israeli PM Netanyahu was visiting Ottawa in May when Israeli forces massacred nine members of an international aid flotilla seeking to break the siege of Gaza. The Harper government took the lead in enforcing the siege, backed Israel’s brutal military assault on Gaza, and has taken steps towards criminalizing and suppressing criticism of the state of Israel. .. -War. But then Harper’s unstinting support for Israel is consistent with his sympathy for war and illegal occupation more generally -
Needless to say, I was very surprised. Carolyn has always been a strong supporter of Israel, but people have been known to change their positions (see Michael Ignatieff above).  I tweeted this back to Carolyn:

I hoped the answer would be "no" and was gratified to see I was correct in her subsequent tweet:

I thought this was an informative lesson on the dangers of politicians using social media without being fully aware of its implications and through my friend, contacted Carolyn to get her version of events.

Of course, Carolyn remains a strong supporter of Israel and her mistake was in not reading the article carefully and not being familiar enough with its dubious source or author. Another part, naturally is that partisanship tends to make politicians jump a little too easily at opportunities to attack the other side, and the people who hate Stephen Harper in this country have not done themselves any favours by acting rashly and aligning themselves with some nefarious characters.

Carolyn asked what I would suggest she do under the circumstances to clarify matters and make sure that no one misconstrues what happened. I suggested two things. The first is to get ahead of the game and make a statement herself telling the truth about what happened. Everyone makes mistakes. And she hadn't done anything wrong. It would only be a problem if it were misinterpreted.

But it's best to talk about it yourself than to wait for someone else to come across it and do just that.

The second piece of advice was to be very careful in the future about sources she use or allow herself to be associated with. rabble.ca is about to the left what the KKK is to the right, and neither is something a credible person would want to be associated with.

Carolyn took my advice and promptly posted this to her blog:

Hard lesson today on retweeting

Posted on 23. Sep, 2010 in Media

A friend sent me a link to a Rabble.ca article on Stephen Harper’s speech at the UN. I didn’t agree with the premise that Canada didn’t deserve a seat on the Security Council, but I thought the the record on indigenous people, global warming, Aid, Khadr was worth sharing .. I retweeted with the word ‘interesting’ … I was shocked to be tweeted back asking if I supported the anti-israel rhetoric in the article. I went back to the article and was upset to realize that the article I bhad read on my berry had truncated and that I hadn’t read the last paragraphs before I retweeted the article. This is a serious lesson for me. I am thankful how quickly the error was pointed out to me and that I was able to reply that in no way did I support the anti-Israel message. As I hadn’t really agreed with the premise of the article I had used the word ‘interesting’ on purpose. But I now realize that as an MP if I cite an article it can be interpreted as ‘promoting’ it or worse yet that I agree with every word. In the future I promise to be more careful and to make clearer my support or lack of support for the opinions being put forth in the ‘link’. Mea culpa. It has also been pointed out to me that I should be wary of certain publications, authors as an initial screen. I will do better in the future. I learn a great deal using social media tools… The information, the frank feedback are all part of a learning culture and a ‘democracy between elections’ in which citizens and their elected representatives can interact in real time. I take this responsibility seriously. I apologize for today’s error.

Her post has already been picked up on Canada.com
All's well that ends well.. just another day in the blogosphere...

UPDATE: Looney Tune al-Starzeera columnist Antonia Zerbisias, whose pathological hatred of Israel led her to write defenses of Hamas in The Toronto Star's Living section until she was canned from that gig, is shocked and saddened that Bennett would apologize for inadvertently tweeting the anti-Israel rabble.ca tripe (which the Zerb no doubt endorses in all regards).

You can't get much better confirmation than that. When the Zerb doesn't like something, it's almost certainly the right thing to do.

UPDATE 2: Less-than-brilliant blogger Dr. Dawg saw Carolyn's clarification and attributes it to the evil Israel lobby and a big conspiracy! Wow, I didn't know a tweet from me was so important. According to paranoid nitwit Dawg, I am "the spinning blades of the pro-Israel lobby."

Thanks Dawg, now I really feel powerful! I left him a comment in gratitude.

it may not have occurred to you, Dawg, but Carolyn has been a consistently strong supporter of Israel, and upon confirming the full text of the article, she wanted to make it clear that she didn't want to be associated with the idiotic views expressed about it.
Quite commendable, really, on her part.
Your position is clear, you want to label Israel as an "apartheid" country, although you really should invest in a dictionary before you continue with that. Apartheid doesn't usually allow for racial integration and full enfranchisement, but what's a few facts here or there?
You might want to look into the Palestinian law that proscribes the death penalty for anyone selling land to Jews and see where that fits into your apartheid concepts, or can we assume that's just fine with you?
Imagine.. a parliamentarian wants to make sure that her position on an issue isn't misconstrued, and since you don't like that position, it must be part of some conspiracy. Suffering from a little LDS yourself, it seems.
And by the way, I'm the one who alerted Carolyn to the full content of the article. We had a nice conversation in which I suggested to her that rabble is not the sort of publication that lends itself to credibility. I make the sacrifice of wading into that ideological cesspool from time to time to see what the other side is up to, but rabble.ca articles probably shouldn't be referred on other than for the purposes of being mocked.

Dawg provided a perfect example of the paranoid delusions and conspiracy-minded craziness of the extremists on the anti-Israel radical left. One tweet from me and  "the spinning blades of the pro-Israel lobby" are at work. And a clarification by Carolyn of her policy position to preclude misinterpretation becomes "self-abasing confessions offered by the victims at Stalin's show trials"   

Wow. And people like Dawg and Zerb wonder why the rest of us think they're nuts.

And by the way, Dawg demonstrated his commitment to free speech and liberalism by banning me from his site after that one and only comment I ever posted on it. Ha!

Heather Mallick: Agent Provocateur?

A lot of people have been observing recently that crazed, histrionic attacks in the media on Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford are actually driving his support up.

The most egregious example is the demented column by Heather Mallick in al-Starzeera (The Toronto Star) where she equates the city's support for Ford to a drunken one-night stand, which she describes in all-too-graphic, sexualized detail.

Even the dim bulbs who frequent the online Marxist propaganda organ, rabble.ca have begun to question this tactic and wonder out loud whether Heather Mallick is an "agent provocateur" working for Ford.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The inspiration for Joe Pantalone's analogy for running Toronto

In the Toronto Mayoral debate yesterday, Joe Pantalone said, "The City of Toronto is a beatufiul garden, and yes you may need to trim it, shape it and prune it, but you have to protect it as well in order to continue flowering."

Those words sounded strangely familiar. Then I remembered the movie Being There, based on Jerzy Kosinski's novel about an idiot named Chance (a.k.a. Chauncey Gardiner) who, by speaking obliquely about gardening, lucks his way into political influence and power.

And then it all made sense! Take a look:

Trouble getting the right message out: George Smitherman says that in a perfect world, Rob Ford "would stop new immigrants from coming to the city"

But I don't think it's what he meant.  It's not hard to see why Smitherman is having trouble communicating his  "leadership" message effectively!

Of course it must be difficult for Smitherman to totally misrepresent what Ford said, as he does in the statement below, while remaining coherent. Evidently the challenge was too much for Team Smitherman to overcome.

Here's the statement from the Smitherman campaign:

22 September 2010

Please find below a statement from mayoral candidate George Smitherman concerning Rob Ford's plan to abolish Toronto's motto ‘Diversity our Strength’: 
At Tuesday night’s CP24 Debate, Rob Ford was questioned several times: What would Toronto’s motto be if he were mayor? His answer – 'Open for Business.'
Sarah Thomson asked, “you would change the motto?” Rob Ford quickly replied: “absolutely."
Councilor Ford stopped just short of blaming new Canadians for Toronto’s gridlock and other problems the city faces.
Rob Ford’s words and actions at last night’s debate were a strong reminder of his stance on immigration – in a perfect world, he would stop new immigrants from coming to the city.
This is a glimpse of how City Hall will treat new and landed immigrants if Rob Ford becomes mayor.
Torontonians have less than 5 weeks to decide what kind of city they want. I believe in a diverse Toronto that builds on our strengths, not divides - that if we join together, our best days are ahead. These are our values. I love Toronto and that is the city I'm fighting for."

Blazing Cat Fur produced another fine artistic depiction:

Toronto Councillor Joe Mihevc goes ape-sh*t via twitter at the prospect of Rob Ford as mayor

Recent tweets from the Ward 21 Councillor:

Ward 21 voters looking for a Councillor who will respect taxpayers should take a look at Shimmy Posen


Blazing Cat Fur: Bumped - Sea Hitler Tribute Video....

Al-Starzeera, take note! Rob Ford’s secret revealed. He’s not nuts

A good piece in The National Post that gets to the heart of Rob Ford's growing popularity.

UPDATE: Check out this recent tweet from a Ford hater. I haven't heard the allegation he made about Ford supporters re: Smitherman, but it made me laugh pretty hard!

Council on American-Islamic Relations and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to Honor Helen Thomas

When I first read this, I thought it was someone's idea of satire.

It isn't.

I'm not kidding. They're really doing it.

The people who consistently scream about Islamophobia and negative perceptions about Muslims in the media are going to honor the former White House press corps correspondent best known for saying all the Jews in Israel should go back to Poland and Germany.

"The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee announced Tuesday it is throwing a gala in honor of Thomas, the second major event she will headline only months after being forced to leave her post for making comments that some found to be anti-Semitic."

"Thomas will also speak to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is bestowing its lifetime achievement award on her at a fundraiser in October. "

I'm not sure what the fundraiser is for exactly. Maybe to help with the introduction of Shaira Law in America or for a new printing of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be distributed to schools in Lebanon and Gaza?

I wonder if the event will be attended by Canada's own Helen Thomas, Deputy Leader of the New Democratic Party,  Libby Davies?

h/t Comments from the Left Field

Larry Summers to leave Obama White House after Congressional elections

Please nobody say "the rats are leaving the sinking ship". Summers isn't a rat.

Full story here

The Atlantic: How Arnold Schwarzenegger might just have saved California

A great article about the possible long term-benefits to America's largest economy due to Schwarzenegger's bi-partisanship and willingness to take on special interests

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When Iranian mental case Ahmadinejad got to be too much for even Fidel Castro

He [Fidel Castro] went on, "Well, I didn't know what a Jew was. I knew of a bird that was a called a 'Jew,' and so for me the Jews were those birds. These birds had big noses. I don't even know why they were called that. That's what I remember. This is how ignorant the entire population was."

He said the Iranian government should understand the consequences of theological anti-Semitism. "This went on for maybe two thousand years," he said. "I don't think anyone has been slandered more than the Jews. I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything." The Iranian government should understand that the Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world, as the ones who killed God. In my judgment here's what happened to them: Reverse selection. What's reverse selection? Over 2,000 years they were subjected to terrible persecution and then to the pogroms. One might have assumed that they would have disappeared; I think their culture and religion kept them together as a nation." He continued: "The Jews have lived an existence that is much harder than ours. There is nothing that compares to the Holocaust." I asked him if he would tell Ahmadinejad what he was telling me. "I am saying this so you can communicate it," he answered.

Full article here.

Foreign based, Soros-financed organization Avaaz accused of illegal attempts to influence Canadian politics

It appears that the foreign-based activist organization Avaaz, noted for interjecting itself into Canadian affairs recently by encouraging censorship of media with which it disagrees, may be in violation of Canadian laws about influence peddling and lobbying,

The column about domestic threats that the London Free Press was afraid to print

September 18, 2010

By Rory Leishman

[Note: The following column was scheduled to appear in The London Free Press on September 11, but was rejected for publication by the newspaper's Managing Editor Joe Ruscitti.]

Following the arrest of three more Canadian citizens on terrorism charges last month, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews warned: “We are not immune from international or home-grown radicalization. I have said this before: The threat is real and we cannot be complacent.”

read the whole article here.

h/t Blazing Cat Fur

Libya welcomed into the UN Human Rights Council with denunciations from NGOs - clashes with USA over censorship

From UN Watch:
Geneva, September 20 — A week into its controversial new membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council, Libya clashed with the U.S. today after the representative of the Qaddafi regime lashed out at speeches by victims of Libyan abuses and requested that the council president delete their remarks from the record, which included a challenge to Libya's qualifications to serve on the UN's highest human rights body.

Read the full item here.

I called it yesterday - Rob Ford's poll surge sends Heather Mallick deeper into the depths of madness

Yesterday, I predicted Ford's more than doubling his lead over nearest rival George Smitherman would send Toronto Star columnist and pompous elitist Heather Mallick further along in the public mental breakdown we see evidenced weekly in her columns.

Okay. Fair's fair. I didn't have to be Nostradamus to see that one coming. And for accuracy's sake, it should be observed that Mallick's phenomenal bouts of  irrational exhibitionism may have more to do with her own internal brain chemistry than Rob Ford's popularity. But Ford certainly seems to be a catalyst in the collapse of her coherency.

In the newest installment of our popular feature, "Today's craziness from Heather Mallick", she offers the following:

It is Oct. 26, the day after the election, and you wake in a hard, unfamiliar bed. Your eyeballs are congealed chip fat and your contact lenses have gone crispy. Your liver is en route somewhere. You appear to be missing a tooth. And there's something in bed next to you. It is the sweaty, beer-smelling oik from the bar last night.
Of course, you'll say what you always say, “As God is my witness, I will never ever do this again.”

Interestingly, this isn't the first time Mallick has used the one-night stand analogy in her column. It seems she is making that a monthly feature. I'm not going to speculate on what might be behind this bizarre propensity of hers, since Heather Mallick's sex life is something that should remain the exclusive and private domain of Heather Mallick. If only she felt the same way.

But there's more... sadly, much more..

Then a passing car will dump a gallon of salty brown slush on my head in January as I walk to work. The TTC is pouting, the snowplows are parked, and the gentle City employees who counsel on power and pipes are manning a picket line and warming their hands on those eternally fashionable oil drum fires.
It's all fun until it isn't fun, just like that night you spent with that Ford guy you met in the bar. Ford's monstrous regiment will slip on the icy sidewalks and break their hips. Shovelling their own streets by hand, they will fall into their homemade snowbanks and won't be found till spring. “Bring out the dead,” will come the cry of ragged-trousered volunteer brigades hauling wooden carts.
Status anxiety did us in. Fearing the future and hoarding our own stash of money and self-esteem, we wanted to stick it to the arrogant politicians we resented.

If this were pure satire, as poorly executed as it may be, that would be one thing. But there's a dark malevolence to her words. It doesn't seem as much to be satire as it does the manifestation of a seething hatred.

You can read her column from today's Star in its entirety here, but be warned, if you are under the influence of psychedelic drugs, reading Mallick could cause permanent brain damage. (Which evidently is not an impediment to getting a job as a columnist at The Toronto Star.)

Take a deep breath and make an appointment with your therapist, Heather. When Ford's elected, your taxes will go down, your streets will get repaved, some of your friends who finance their lifestyles with undeserved municipal welfare payments arts grants may actually have to demonstrate to the real world that they have talent, or get a job, so they'll be mooching off you, but otherwise life as you know it will go on.

And you can be grateful for all the many things you'll be able to bitch about.

UPDATE: Best comment of the day and most disturbing image of the campaign: Heather Mallick's "Hate-F#ck with Rob Ford,"  Followed closely by Bob Divine's " I think that woman is hanging out at the wrong kind of bars. "

UPDATE 2: Heather seems to have serious issues and her column is her Talk Therapy

Monday, September 20, 2010

Suprisingly, someone at EYE Weekly (sort of) gets why Rob Ford is winning

EYE Weekly, a free-weekly magazine that is owned by The Toronto Star's parent company, The Star Media Group, has leftist leanings and is supported in large part by prostitution ads.

It's not the place one expects to find meaningful insight into anything.  But while most of his column is an attack on Rob Ford, Edward Keenan, writing in EYE, uncharacteristically for that outlet, strives to understand Ford. Given the limitations of Keenan's perspective, he presents not so much a genuinely accurate depiction of the real Rob Ford as he captures some of the qualities that make him appealing to the public. It makes for interesting reading:

"as the campaign has progressed, I’ve found myself having to stop conversations with people I generally agree with to advocate for Ford. Here’s the real defence: Rob Ford is full of passionate intensity. 
The ridiculously facile interpretation of city spending he proposes is his genuine understanding of the situation — he is viscerally angered when he perceives money being wasted and actually thinks the budget could be balanced by cutting waste. He does what he says he’ll do when it comes to serving constituents, having spent most of his time as a councillor returning phone calls and personally visiting Torontonians to help them navigate bureaucracy and solve their problems. He believes streetcars and bikes should get off the roads because he thinks like a suburban driver, and is simply incapable of imagining the experience of those hundreds of thousands who commute in other ways. He is no one’s puppet, since he has no friends who are operators of any kind at city hall, and he accepts advice from no one outside his immediate family. Except when childishly denying personal-life indiscretions or poorly thought-out comments, he speaks his simple truth as plainly as he can.
In short, he is incapable of spin and his branding — such as it is — of himself as a plain-spoken, unapologetic truth teller is an honest representation.
Ford has not been playing dirty in this campaign, nor has he wavered or pandered or changed his message one iota. In fact, his message has not changed in a decade. Nothing at all has been surprising about his campaign. Nothing, that is, except his popularity.
In response to that popularity, the main lines of attack are misguided: yes, he is fat, and how is that at all relevant? (Pantalone is short, Rossi is bald, Smitherman is gay — are these things the anti-Ford contingent really wants to consider negatives?) We have no reason to believe he is violent towards women, as the aftermath of his arrest showed. His US pot possession situation over a decade ago: so what? Did you think it disqualifying that Clinton smoked pot? That Belinda Stronach did? That Trudeau did?
Most of all, I think accusations that he is mean-spirited are untrue, and the idea that he’s some kind of malevolent Machiavellian schemer is a feeble and baseless excuse for the incompetence of his opponents"

Blazing Cat Fur: Fun with campaign ads Part 1

Blazing Cat Fur: Fun with campaign ads Part 1

UPDATE: These are even better!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The best thing about Rob Ford's polling surge - the city's elitist a-holes are tearing their hair out

Which doesn't account for Smitherman and Rossi being bald, they started out the campaign that way.

There is but one place for them to put their hope and it is my candidacy  George "I am the messiah" Smitherman

George Smitherman's hysteria at his free fall from what he thought was going to be a coronation to an almost universal rejection has sent him into crazed, messianic, self-delusional statements like, "This is a bit of an alarm for people over what's happening in their city and to line up behind one vision -- a destructive, reckless one or one that is about city building. There is but one place for them to put their hope and it is my candidacy ... We will fight for our city to the end."

As Blazing Cat Fur noted, the addition of famed Liberal party strategist Warren Kinsella hasn't helped Rocco Rossi's polling numbers, but it has made him look desperate and pathetic with his ill-advised and almost universally condemned proposal to revisit the Spadina Expressway as an underground tunnel.

What I find personally gratifying is the idiotic, sanctimonious, histrionic blathering by The Toronto Star's mouthpiece for the condo developers' lobby, Christopher Hume, who wrote "the rise of Rob Ford should come as no surprise. It is yet another manifestation of the wave of nasty right-wing populism sweeping North America. Its newly emboldened hordes may not know what they need, but they know what they want"

Speaking as one of the horde, Torontonians don't want is to be ignored by their politicians and be told how we should think by self-absorbed socialists. We don't need to be told how our "visionary leaders" know what's best for us, whether or not we agree.

Heather Mallick already accused Toronto of being "nuts" when it looked like the city was on the verge of electing Ford. Now that it seems a near-certainty, she must be having a complete mental breakdown (I wonder to what extent that will even be noticeable). I look forward to reading her next rant on the subject.

Welcome to democracy, comrades. I know you hate it. It must be frustrating for Hume, Mallick, Miller and their ilk to be so convinced of their own intellectual superiority yet remain unable to comprehend how they can't do as good a job of convincing the public as their supposed inferiors.

I could explain it to them in one sentence, but why bother; they'd never believe it.

UPDATE: This condescending email just went out from the Smitherman campaign. With little of his own virtue to offer, "I am the messiah" George is going in for all-out panicked fear-mongering with:

If an election were held tomorrow Rob Ford would be mayor.
That’s what two new public opinion polls out tonight show. They also show that George Smitherman is the only candidate who can stop Rob Ford.
While Joe Pantalone, Sarah Thompson and Rocco Rossi have all made important contributions to this election race, they cannot become Mayor.
George represents the best of Toronto’s values: tolerance and respect, hard work, caring, balance and honesty. Over the next five weeks we must redouble our efforts to present George to the people of Toronto and to give them a clear choice: Rob Ford’s city of division, recklessness and anger, and George’s city of bringing people together, balance and sensible choices.
We need your help to fight for our vision of Toronto. We need you to attend debates and events and to actively cheer George on; we need you to staff the telephones and to knock on doors; and most especially we need you to talk to your friends and co-workers. Now is the time to get active.
In yesterday’s New York Times Michael Bloomberg, New York’s Mayor, said "Anger, is not a government strategy," he added. "It’s not a way to govern." He was speaking about the tide in America, but he could just as easily have been talking about the anger being exploited by Rob Ford in Toronto.