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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 03:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,021

Journal Archives

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford "crack video" is real

Police Chief Bill Blair is holding a press conference about it, now. They've announced that they have the digital file that is consistent with the descriptions released in the media (indicated The Toronto Star and the Gawker stories about this).

What it does -not- contain is, apparently, anything that the police want to use to press charges against Rob Ford himself. They've released the entire warrant (redacted) regarding the investigation into the drug ring, including Rob Ford himself, and his friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi.

So, now it's the waiting game for us in Toronto. Do we finally get to dump this right-wing buffoon of a rich privileged mayor, or will he hang on, and remain in charge until the end of his tenure? He's been a disaster in many ways for Toronto, and his entire term has been plagued with controversies.

I made a post in the Canada discussion group with links to a lot of the emerging stories, please check out here:

All the right wingers saying that it was a left-wing media conspiracy, that there was no video, that we'd do anything to get Ford out of office... well, here's vindication. The video is real, and the police have it.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's alleged crack video intensified investigation

Bill Blair is giving a press conference at this time. So far he has announced that the infamous "crack video" is in the possession of the Toronto Police, and that the emergence of the video caused them to intensify their investigation into drug-related activities of Rob ford's friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi. The police have also released the search warrant that was spawned by the "crack video." The document is here:

Lots of stories emerging all at the same time right now in Toronto and Canadian media.

From the CBC:

Toronto Star:

(right wing) Toronto Sun:

Local news CP24:

It has nothing to do with what's good for the people

... it has only everything to do with ideological purity.

I've brought this up before on my journal, but right now, I feel like it bears repeating. The word "Orwellian" gets tossed around a lot, usually in the context of a surveillance state, or in terms of the thought police. I always feel like that's a simplistic reading of 1984, and that the true core of that novel is O'Brien's speech near the end of the book when Winston is in his office.

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were- cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

We can point to the NSA wiretaps, CoIntelPro, gov't shutdowns, changing the meanings of words, etc... and say that they are Orwellian, but what I fear most is the attempt at ideological purity, mostly seen on the right and far right. The main purpose is to impose that will on the people. Another quotation from 1984:

The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy — everything.

All you need to do is point yourself towards Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck in order to see all of these things. The general attention span of the TV public makes it hard to have a more nuanced discussion, so all they can jam into that time are the simple jingoistic buzzwords of fear, hatred, rage, and triumph.

The emperor hasn't had clothes for a long time now. Things are changing. Unrest is bubbling up from beneath the surface and showing up here and there. Occupy Wall Street. The riots in Greece. The riots in Brazil. The G20 protests. The Arab Spring. But things are going to get worse before they get better. We need to keep the conversation open and make sure that people are informed. Remember that reality has a well-established left-wing bias!

The far right Tea Partiers really are only in the game to win it. Their ideology isn't to win to help people, it's only to win because they have to win. The greatest thing about progressives is that we all tend to be progressive in our own ways. There are so many different ways to go forwards. The opposite is not true, the far right can all be regressive in the same way, and that is why it's easier for them to frame the us vs. them. We need new strategies to educate and inform. It's like the episode from The Newsroom where Will and Mac tried so hard to get the new debate format. Of course it was doomed, because they couldn't use their talking points. We all need to beg for that level of discourse, and people who are willing to hold people to a real answer.

More random ramblings that I just need to get off my chest.

Something finally occurred to me.

I see so many people who just feel stultified by the inability to act. People living hand to mouth who feel paralyzed by inability to get anything done. It's not just having not much money... there's lots of people who've been very successful coming from little or nothing. But it seems to be rarer and rarer these days, why is that? What's going on now that's different?

People still have good ideas. There's always the fear that there are no new good ideas, that everything's been done. That's not true, there are lots of great ideas that people can still accomplish. So, what is it, now? Those of us living paycheque to paycheque, getting by with increasing debt, credit card interest rates, etc... are just decried as lazy do-nothings. Takers.

With all the recent talk about the Swiss idea of giving all adults a guaranteed minimum income monthly, regardless of their employment status, it finally struck me. It's something that's happened to me, much to my dismay. I've been forced for so long to say, "Well... I just don't have the money to implement that project or this idea, I guess I'll have to put it off." And then the next idea gets put off. And the next. Until you find yourself just stultified and unable to even form ideas any longer. I used to have some great ideas for things to do. Projects for the future. But I live paycheque to paycheque. I work in a retail travel job, and don't make a whole lot of money. I pay down my credit cards when I can, I'm not super-deep in debt. But I don't have the funds to start new projects, and when I come home from working long retail hours being talked down to by many customers, I don't have any motivation left for new ideas. I read. I watch TV. I'm anesthetizing myself. So are so many of us.

Why is it? Because community is only for rich people now. No, I'm serious. The wealthy have networks that get their family members into jobs, into schools, into anywhere they need to be. And the "libertarians" and Ayn Rand worshipers have been trying to convince us for years that it's all about your own individual impetus to become a success. That we don't need the help of others, and we should not help others. But that's not how the wealthy work. Again, I'm using broad strokes here, and there are of course self-made men and women who struggled up with no wealthy benefactors, etc... but as time goes on, it's harder and harder to do that. Why? Because we're bring told that doing it on our own is the only way to do it. Getting help from community or from government is just this side of COMMUNISM! And that's the worst possible thing! How well do your know your neighbours? How well connected are you through your place of work, or your local community centre? Volunteer work?

The wealthy don't have any of these worries. They have the funds and the network and the community to accomplish all of these things without deciding, "Do I start this project, or skip meals for a couple of days?" or, "Do I gas up my car or feed my kids this week?" Income disparity may be the biggest issue currently facing us, and we're told over and over that it's no big deal. Why doesn't anyone seem to have any money? Because it's all in the holdings of the mega rich. It's not in the economy. It's only making more wealth for those that hold it.

So, this has been long and rambling. It probably doesn't make much sense, but I had to get it out and off of my chest.

Some information about income inequality (some we've seen before, I know):

Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R) helps gov't shutdown, says park ranger should be ashamed

From the Washington Post:

“How do you look at them and say — how could you deny them access?” Neugebauer says at the World War II Memorial. “I don’t get it.”

“The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves,” Neugebauer says.

“I’m not ashamed,” the ranger says.

“Well, you should be,” Neugebauer says, before walking away.

He is then confronted by a man who says he is a 30-year federal government employee who is out of work. The man tells Neugebauer that the ranger is just doing her job, and that Congress is responsible for federal parks and memorials being shuttered.

Holy crap on a crap cracker. They really do want to have it both ways, don't they? They want to be able to pull the lever to shut it all down, then blame those that they've furloughed for the results. I don't understand how republicans' heads aren't just exploding from cognitive dissonance.

The good news is, it looks like they're just killing themselves on this.
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