Sunday, August 28, 2011

August's Morons of the Month

First a correction: Last month, I mistakenly identified Toronto Councillor Doug Ford (the brother of Mayor Rob Ford) as the Deputy Mayor. In actuality, he's just a close cohort.


  • The Republicans/Tea Party for blaming Barack Obama for America's band-aid solution to the debt ceiling crisis, when the right wing went out of their way to obstruct Obama's more constructive plan, OUT OF SPITE.

  • Toronto Councillor George Mammoliti for vowing publicly to hunt down all "communists" in the city. Yes, I'm serious.

  • London Police for allegedly shooting dead an unarmed man, planting evidence to claim that he had shot at them first, regularly harassing and abusing coloured people and the lower class, and then wondering why the city rioted.

  • London Anarchists for hijacking a major protest and using it as an excuse to burn everything to the ground, just for kicks.

  • Michelle Bachmann for proclaiming that women must submit to their husbands (and people wonder why I compare the Christian Right to the Taliban), and being such an idiot that she thought that August 16 was Elvis' birthday... when it was actually the day that he died. (I'm not an expert on American pop culture either, but if I were running for president... I would look this shit up!!!)

  • Hollywood for continuing its mission to remake every single film ever made... by announcing a remake of Dirty Dancing. This is particularly dumb when you consider that this is less than ten years after the sequel Havana Nights came out, which was almost a remake anyway.

  • Christie Blatchford, The National Post, Michael Coren, and various conservative trolls for waiting mere hours after the cancer death of NDP/Opposition Leader Jack Layton, before calling him a manipulative opportunist, communist, and pedophile (even with no proof of any of those things), and attacking his family and supporters for having the nerve to grieve for a man who had just died on that morning.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Conservatives vs. Decency

As all Canadians know by now, Opposition Leader Jack Layton passed away on Monday, after a long fight with cancer. We can debate forever about the man and his politics, but the fact is he was a very effective leader, genuinely stood up for every Canadian, and is probably the most inspiring politician that the country has seen in some time. However, simply respecting this fact, seems to be very hard for some of his critics.

National Post writer Christie Blatchford decided to print a column in yesterday's paper, slamming Layton's deathbed inspirational letter to Canadians as a cynical political ploy. Yes, you read that right. According to her, telling people to be nice to one another, is evil and manipulative, even when it's one of the last things you ever do. Furthermore, she whined and complained about how Layton's death was all over the news... less than a day after Layton had died, when it really WAS news.

Very classy, Christie.

But the sick thing is, that's about as tasteful as the criticism I've seen, gets. If you go to any open comment board on the Internet, that refers in any way to Jack Layton's death, you will find a lot of comments like "good riddance, now we won't have to pay his pension", or "now Stephen Harper can get things done". There are also remarks accusing Layton of being a pedophile, with no evidence at all to back it up. Just how low people are willing to go, to criticize a prominent left-wing leader, seems to depend on whether or not they have to post comments with their real names.

You know, I never thought that I'd be caught dead, defending Stephen Harper on a moral issue, but even he had the class to show some respect to Jack Layton's family and what they've gone through. Yet his followers -- the same kind of people who claim that gay people and atheists are inherently evil -- can't even wait for Layton to be buried, before going to the bathroom on his grave. It reminds me of an obscure children's movie, called "Alaska"; one scene features a polar bear cub being teased by poachers with the skin of his dead mother, which he still licks affectionately.

It does not -- and should not -- matter if you are liberal, conservative, or social democrat. It should not matter if you are religious or not. If you have been raised with ANY moral standards at all, you know that there are certain things that you just don't do. One of them, is attacking a dead man and his family, barely 24 hours after he passed away. Another, is attacking other people for simply being in grief. Presumably none of these ghoulish, sleazy troublemakers would want anyone attacking them and their loved ones after a death in their families, so what makes them think it's okay to kick others while they're down? Furthermore, while it takes very little courage to attack people who are emotionally wounded or physically unable to fight back, I wonder if these scumbags -- including Ms. Blatchford -- would have the guts to hold up signs with their vile views, at Layton's funeral, where they will be seen by Layton's family, friends, and supporters. I suspect not.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rest in Peace, Jack Layton

I just heard this morning, that longtime NDP Leader Jack Layton passed away today, after a wrenching fight with cancer. This was the fight that, in more ways than one, cut short his time as the first leader of the New Democratic Party to be elected Leader of the Opposition in Canada.

While I am not an NDP supporter, and occasionally had my issues with Jack Layton as a politician, there's no disputing that a man who turned the NDP from obscurity to the largest single opposition party in Canadian history, had his talent as a leader. Whatever your political stripe, this man should have struck you as a passionate leader, and a true Canadian in every sense of the word.

Rest in Peace, Jack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

City of Toronto vs. Left-wing "whiners"

So an outspoken conservative Toronto councillor has said to the media, that he screens "communists" from his Facebook page. George Mammoliti -- who lost the mayoral race last year, to fellow right-wing blowhard Rob Ford -- says he is sick and tired of left-wing "whining". I wrote a version of the following in to The Toronto Star (which reported his rant) and to Mr. Mammoliti himself.

Councillor Mammoliti,

There are many things wrong with your deranged diatribe against left-wingers and imaginary communists in Toronto. First of all, do you even know what a communist is? I've seen many hardline conservatives think that anyone vaguely compassionate or pro-worker is a communist, so I seriously question your grasp of the word. Second of all, contrary to conservative hate-mongering, many left-wing people are hard-working, informed people, not looking for handouts at all. They just want to help people who can't help themselves, which many would argue is our moral obligation as a society.

Third of all, what is the your definition of "whining"? Does it happen to be, criticizing conservative policies, or reporting on the plight of our unemployed? By that logic, any political participation at all, is whining. Finally, in case you has failed to notice, the majority of Toronto citizens are left-wing; therefore you are basically telling the majority of citizens to shut up and stay home. If one of Toronto's councillors has such distaste for the people he is supposed to represent, then he can leave. As a hard-working moderate, I would be more than happy to do the job for you.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt Crisis "Resolved"

Well it's official. With mere hours to spare, the debt ceiling compromise bill passed by Congress last night and this morning, got signed by President Barack Obama. It's definitely a good thing that this thing got settled, rather than letting America default on its loans, collapsing the country's economy and probably devastating most of the world as well.

But you know that I wouldn't be writing a Bored on the Corner article on it, if I didn't have some problems with it.

The particulars of this are over my head, but I'm very skeptical that this deal has done any real long term good, because it looks like the majority of the plan was to scrap trillions of dollars worth of social spending, over the next decade or two. Lots of truly innovative plans were touted, but every single one of them was shot down, usually by the conservatives in control of the House of Representatives. Particularly against meaningful action, were the Tea Party lunatics, who seem to think that defaulting on your loans is just a myth. It would be interesting to hear what their working-class constituents have to say about that, given how many people have been bankrupted in the last few years.

In my view, the most sane approach to this, would have been a mix of all of the major proposals. It goes without saying that spending needed to be clawed back, but my first target would have been the military (especially since the US has wasted tons of money on foreign wars that it has no business sticking its nose into -- Libya being a prime and contentious example, right now). Once America's troops are back on domestic soil, then we could talk about further cuts to other programs (though I wonder if any would be necessary, after a reduction that big).

It would also be utterly stupid to not address income, namely by taxing the super-rich. Now, I can already sense the conservatives reading this, itching to call me a communist (at which point I'll ask that you read this), so let me explain the point. The absolute richest people in America, make BILLIONS of dollars a year, regardless of the economy; so first of all, they have plenty of cash to spare, and I'm not convinced they'll miss a few million bucks. Second of all, while they are pocketing this insane amount of money, these same billionaires are very often cutting front-line employees; this is not only grossly unfair, but it further endangers the economy because companies need average-grossing customers, to sell anything. Finally, there are companies in the US -- like General Electric and ExxonMobil -- that pay NO INCOME TAXES WHATSOEVER, and yet are still moving jobs overseas! So excuse me if I don't feel a ton of fucking sympathy for these leeches -- especially when the people supporting them, are so cold-blooded that they would just as soon run over the homeless, as help them get decent housing.

Finally, on top of all of this, the debt ceiling did need to be raised. I know it sounds stupid to basically raise the credit limit of an entity that's trillions of dollars in debt, but to be honest with you America is so far gone that solutions are needed that cover all of the bases -- that includes giving it some room to work. So that's probably the only part of this deal that I did like (but again, I'm not convinced the signed deal has done a great deal of good over the long term).

Unless America is willing to make some major leadership decisions -- like rethinking its global actions, and representing the people instead of the corporations -- then all that this will do is delay the inevitable. Sadly, delaying the inevitable seems to be just fine to most of those suit-clad, middle-aged, wealthy sycophants in Washington.