a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Need A Video Of Mayor Ford Smoking Crack? No Problem – It’s Easy To Make One

There has been an unbelievable amount of press coverage over an alleged video that purportedly shows Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack cocaine. The allegations were originally made on the American website Gawker and almost pathologically jumped on by The Star, Toronto’s largest newspaper and anti-Ford crusaders.

Not long after, Canada’s largest national newspaper the Globe and Mail was out with its own story about the Mayor’s brother, Toronto councilor Doug Ford. Quoting unnamed sources, the Globe alleged that Councilor Ford had been a drug dealer in his younger years.

Since then, it’s been a feeding frenzy of abject stupidity with all kinds of people and media jumping all over the two stories. Everything is examined in minute detail. Why didn’t the Mayor sue The Star? Why are so many of his staff leaving his office?  Every new detail becomes one more piece of ‘pseudo’ evidence that he is guilty.

But even if he isn’t, his attackers have almost achieved their objective. Guilty or not, they have succeeded in turning Toronto City politics into a circus sideshow for which the Mayor is being blamed. There’s nice work if you can get it. Continue reading

Political Scandals, A Hot Bath and Celine Dion

I don’t mind admitting that there are times when I despair for our future. Unlike my environmentalist friends, I don’t worry too much about the planet being destroyed; it’s been around a much longer time than we have and it will shake off whatever damage we do without much effort. It may deal with us in the same way it dealt with dinosaurs and that didn’t end too well for them.

It’s us, people and our long-term viability as a species which rises to the surface from time to time. I am forced to admit at times that if we don’t eradicate our species through war, junk food, prolonged exposure to Justin Beiber;  we might just destroy ourselves out of sheer stupidity.

I see  increasing examples of it virtually every day. It’s not that I’m brilliant but Christ in Heaven; you don’t even have to have an IQ to detect it anymore. I thought we had pretty much succeeded in keeping it contained on social media but I was wrong. It’s spreading faster than the attitude of entitlement in a Canadian Senator’s expense claim. Continue reading

Justin Trudeau – He’s Too Sexy For His Shirt And For Us Too

“I’m too sexy for my hat
Too sexy for my hat – what do you think about that?” 

Right Said Fred

 

Just when you think it isn’t possible for Justin Trudeau to underscore further just how vacuous and thoughtless he can be – bingo – he

Liberal Party Leader, Justin Trudeau - too sexy for his hat?

Liberal Party Leader, Justin Trudeau – too sexy for his hat?

opens his mouth and out pops more of the most absurd, naive nonsense to be heard in politics today.

And that’s saying something because there is a lot of absurd nonsense in politics lately.

The Senate expense scandal gave The Fairy Prince a golden opportunity to further differentiate between himself between the Dark Lord, Stephen Harper with some political smarts  but so far all he’s been able to do is flit about sprinkling more pixie dust.

The scandal in the Senate, which has reached into the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has created demands for major political reform, especially of the Senate by politicians, the media and the broader public. Some are even calling for abolishment or even, as Google labels it when you delete your Internet surfing history – obliteration.

And that is what finally captured Peter Pan’s attention.

Up to this point, our Justin has been reading his questions prepared for him. He stands in the House, takes out the day’s question and then holding the paper firmly in two hands so he doesn’t fall, he reads whatever questions have been prepared for him like a kid in

Our Justin in Questin Period photo: Toronto Sun

Our Justin reading his questions in Question Period
photo: Toronto Sun

short pants reading a speech to the class. It’s a pretty sad performance but when he was asked if he thought the Senate should be nuked, he required no talking points.

Instead of the carefully crafted ‘keep him on message’ response usually provided to him, The Fairy Prince adlibbed and you could almost hear the cries of anguish from the bowels of the Liberal caucus strategy cave. “Oh my God – he’s not following the script!” Continue reading

Considering The Price Of Life

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
Henry David Thoreau

 

Everything in life has a price and the price to be paid is determined by each of us according to our individual values.

For some, material wealth has the most value while others place a higher value on the esoteric. Some of us value family above all else.  Others consider faith or their ideology or their profession to be the most valuable thing in their lives.

Most of us place the highest value on our own lives but we seldom think about it. In fact in practice, for many, life is cheap; especially when it comes to the lives of others. Suicide bombers are indicative of those who place less value on life, including their own, than they do on a cause or belief.  Even in democratic nations, the lives of young men and women are considered expendable in service to the nation and the centuries are filled with the forgotten lives of millions who died from the wars of others.

Most of us never have to confront the issue of what life is worth until it our time to leave it which seems kind of odd to me considering that we are all going to die at some point. The only real questions are when and how you die and how much value did you place on your life while you lived it?

Killing others isn’t the only way to cheapen life. Sometimes, we cheapen the value of life simply by what we did with the life we were given.

There is a something inside each of us; a consciousness that the religious call the soul and that others call the spirit. Whatever it is, we all have it within us. It is what makes us sentient; aware of ourselves and each other.

It is where our feelings reside and where the conscience is anchored. Based on my personal beliefs, I call it a soul but you can define and call it whatever you like. In the end, it amounts to the same thing.

To paraphrase Thoreau, how much of your soul are you prepared to trade for something? How much of your values and your principles are you prepared to compromise in support of an ideology, a system of belief or to acquire things? Continue reading

“Source” – Some Journalists’ Invisible Friend

“The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”
Hunter S. Thompson

“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”
Walter Cronkite

 

The most quoted person in journalism today is ‘Source’. He  (or she and sometimes they) is everywhere. He goes by many different names. Sometimes Source is identified as ‘Reliable Source’ and sometimes as ‘Unnamed source’.

Source gets around and often hangs out with fairly well-placed others and together they’re sometimes referred to as ‘sources close to’. The most important Source is  ‘an unnamed, reliable source close to….’.

While Source is often quoted, Source never appears in public and nobody except the journalist quoting Source ever gets to see or interview him, her or them.

I don’t mind admitting that it’s a bit of an issue for me. I believe that If Source is going to accuse someone of something or if the media are going to use Source as the sole informant for a story, there is an obligation to name Source so that his, her’s or their veracity can be verified or challenged. Failing that, then the information provided by Source should be corroborated from  others who will speak on the record.

It’s difficult to respond to an ‘Anonymous source’. It’s also difficult for us to know whether or not we can trust the information because we don’t know whether Source actually exists or is just a figment of a journalist’s imagination.

It’s not like some journalists and media these days haven’t been proven to have crossed the line from objective journalism to political advocacy and that always changes the colour of the information being transmitted. Continue reading

Smuggler’s Blues

“It’s a losing proposition but one you can’t refuse – it’s the politics of contraband. It’s the smuggler’s blues.”
Smuggler’s Blues by Glenn Frey

 

I took the day off from the big blog yesterday to go down to The States and pick up some stuff I had ordered online from Home Depot. They were quite happy to deliver it right to the house but while shipping to anywhere in the United States is free, shipping to Canada is 300% more expensive than the actual cost of the item. That worked out to almost $1200 so I opted to have it delivered to the store closest to me in the U.S. and took a jaunty drive across the border.

The day started out dull and dreary but by the time I hit the highway, the sun had broken through, the coffee order was right for a change and the talk show I was listening to was just full of back and forth about DuffyGate, the Senate expense scandal that had expanded to include PeruGate when the Prime Minister hightailed it to South America without answering any questions.

In other words, the day was working out just fine although it did slow down a bit at the border.

Traffic was light but my American friends had decided to only open two lanes into the Land of Opportunity so, of course, traffic was backed up for at least 45 minutes. In situations like that, I don’t measure line ups by how long they are but by how long they take to get through them.

It’s my own little variation on Stephen Hawking’s space/time continuum theory and probably explains why he’s considered a genius and I’m not. Continue reading