Archive for December, 2013

It’s only an emergency if…

Posted on December 26th, 2013 2 Comments

We weren’t affected by the ice storm that swept over Toronto this past weekend. A couple of branches fell off the tree outside our building, and the sidewalks were frozen over, but unlike hundreds of thousands of people around the city we continued to have electricity throughout.

By hundreds of thousands, I mean around 300,000, or 12% of Toronto. As of today, that number is 50,000, about a 83% resumption but that’s still a sizable chunk left out in the cold and dark. That number fluctuates (and because it refers to “customers”,  i.e. billing addresses, that number is probably a lot higher), as additional repairs cause some people to lose power again shortly after they’ve finally gotten it back.

In any event, a number of 50,000 customers according to the specific Power Disruption (Electricity) Emergency Plan of the City of Toronto, is considered a “significant” power disruption emergency (according to all identifying characteristics).

A couple of people have somewhat carelessly died as a result of having to wait out the ice storm, but even being cognizant of the dangers wouldn’t have made this an ideal Christmas for anyone without power.

The fact that warming centers are currently used by about a thousand people per day (according to Robbie), would indicate that the vast majority of the remaining 50,000, or whatever the real number is, are making due otherwise. Many are staying in their homes (often those without the means to go anywhere else), but some will have moved in with relatives or are in hotels / motels. This is nearly five days after the storm, described as “catastrophic” by Toronto Hydro CEO Anthony Haines, declared “one of the worst storms in Toronto’s history” by Rob (what would classify as an emergency, I wonder … a worstest storm?), and we’ve had some snow fall since then.

Rob didn’t think it necessary to hand Norm Kelly emergency powers (or maybe it’s because he didn’t want to?), which would have allowed Kelly to ask for the province and feds for extra cash, which could have been used to hire private contractors to get the city back in order as quickly as possible. Instead, Ford has placated embattled citizens with the knowledge that some extra trucks had been asked to come in from out of the city.

Of course, despite the ongoing financial hostage-holding of the public by the Hydro monopoly under supporters’ public lines of old equipment not being able to withstand Toronto weather, among other things, for constantly increasing rates, and in addition to the outrageous sums being paid to unelected and apparently unaccountable Toronto Hydro execs, citizens are expected to shell out thousands for contractors to connect the final length of electrical lines to homes (assuming they can even find a contractor at this time) … and then await more government benevolence in the form of safety inspectors before even thinking about the welfare of themselves, their families, and their property (that kind of craziness is liable to get you in trouble with the law).

The fact that this is winter and it’s freezing outside makes this a vital matter — one of literal life and death. It’s why power companies can’t shut off your power in the winter — heat is considered vital and essential. Until everything is cleared, damage from the storm will continue to occur. Additionally, all those darkened neighbourhoods are good targets for vandals and burglars.

Tired, cold, frustrated people are getting pissed — at Ford — who maintains he can’t do more than he’s doing. But he says he understands the frustrations of everyone stuck in their homes; it’s not like he was able to take his family to a hotel or that, despite being hit equally hard,  his part of town already has its power mostly restored while others are still waiting.

According to Robbie, this is not an emergency because a “State of emergency is basically when the whole city is paralyzed, business can’t open, people can’t get out of their houses”.  Business not being able to operate, that’s an issue; people freezing in their homes, or having them vandalized / robbed / damaged, not so much (as long as they can leave).

In his path to cheapdom, Rob Ford seems to have abandoned his Scarborough constituency (subways! subways! subways!) most of all, but really all of Toronto; and it’s not like it’s his first time at bat either, and it’s not like people haven’t been warning him.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Pictures

I’m sorry?

Posted on December 17th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Giorgio Mamolliti, one of Rob Ford’s criminally leaning supporters on City Council started a chain of events yesterday that underscored the achingly obvious, on many fronts.

After a heated exchange with Adam Vaughan, a disruptive Mammoliti refused to leave and was heard to say that he would “physically” resist any attempt to oust him from chambers. Citizens would likely be forcibly removed by security for this kind of thing, and police wouldn’t be far behind, but unapologetic Councillors are not held to a similar standard even when they physically assault others.

Council Speaker Frances Nunziata directed Mammoliti to apologize. He refused to say sorry, then refused to leave, and then made the statement that he’d physically resist anyone who tried to get him to budge.

In Mammoliti we have a two-faced, law-breaking, witless goof who has no problem reproaching those around him with blazing hypocrisy while supporting waste, lies, greed, and corruption; the perfect set of qualifications for a member of Ford’s inner circle, the kind of person that the Ford brothers would defend against all opposition.

And that’s exactly what Ford did in Council, claiming that “the most corrupt ones can stay” while Mammoliti was being asked to leave. Considering that neither he nor Mammoliti apologized or left, I’d say that the statement was partially accurate.

I’m sure that Ford Nation would claim that both Ford and Mammoliti apologized. But if that’s an apology…

Mr. Mammoliti had objected to city staff giving their advice between votes on the council floor.

After his apology, Mr. Mammoliti told reporters that procedural bylaws require council members to apologize when asked to, but do not require the members to “actually feel sorry for what they’ve done. In my particular case, I can’t feel sorry for saying that city staff seem to be running city hall,” he said.

For the benefit of Nunziata, a through-and-through Fordite who has given the Ford camp pretty much free reign in Council until now, Robbie’s apology for his accusation was:

“How about ‘I am so sorry? Super, super, super, super, super, super, super, sorry? So sorry?'”

To Ford Nation, everything I’ve claimed so far must seem like incredible hypocrisy. I accuse Mammoliti and Ford all sorts of things, then I fault them in the next paragraph for doing exactly the same thing. But as I keep saying, the difference between slander/libel and merely uncomfortable but completely legal statements are facts.

For example, a statement like Mammoliti being an aspiring criminal might seem like just plain name-calling except for the fact that the claim is linked to an earlier post in which Mammoliti announced (live in an on-camera interview), that he was willing to break the law to push through Ford’s subway agenda (which itself was based on an illegal cancellation of previous transit plans). It wasn’t an off-the-cuff statement and it wasn’t taken out of context, much like Mammoliti’s most recent statement that he’s once again ready to break the rules in order to get his way.

But in the Ford universe, a mountain of evidence backed by a public admission (a fact by most standards), is equal to completely baseless and slanderous comments. If the Toronto Star can accuse Rob Ford of smoking crack without (initially) providing evidence then Rob Ford is entitled to call Daniel Dale a pedophile without evidence too!

The only problem is, of course, that almost every accusation about Rob Ford thus far has been proven true, while almost every accusation made by Rob Ford has vaporized into thin air. And when Ford’s denial of the growing mountain of proof simply can’t be maintained any longer, he blurts out a bizarre admission and, in very rare times, a sort-of half apology.

Adding to this lengthy list of about-turns is Ford’s apology to Dale in Council today, peppered liberally with finger pointing (damn neighbour! damn Star editors!), contradictory statements, and qualifications ensuring that we all understand the limits of Ford’s apology. He sure as heck isn’t sorry for lying to us.

“My comments related to the fear I had for my family when my long time neighbour told me that someone was lurking at my fence, and appeared to be taking pictures of my family home over the fence. To be clear, I never personally saw Mister Dale peering over the fence or taking pictures. My neighbour told me, however, that he did see someone doing this. Mister Dale, apparently, denies that.

At that moment I honestly believed, I honestly believed, my neighbour’s account of the events. I had no idea, at the time, who the person was, my neighbour told me was leering over my fence. At that moment I had the same fears and concerns that I believe many people would have when such a report from a neighbour that they’ve known for over 15 years, and I ran to the area as quickly as I could to accost the person and attempt to protect my family. When I arrived at the corner of my home, very far from the land Mister Dale he implies was researching a story about, I indeed find an individual beside my fence in the general area my neighbour advised me. This confirmed my fears at the time. I accosted this person as I believed he was a threat to my family. This individual turned out to be Daniel Dale on assignment from the Toronto Star.

I have no issue with Mister Dale personally. I understand that he’s an employee in the very competitive news business and must do as do as his superiors instruct him. I do take issue with his bosses at the Toronto Star to put him and I into this situation. I do not mean to insinuate anything about Mister Dale personally in my interview with Mister Black. I certainly did not intend to suggest that he is a pedophile. I was merely commenting on the thoughts that went through my mind on the night of May 2012, before I had any idea that person — my neighbour told me he saw peering over the fence — was a reporter on assignment from the Toronto Star.

It is unfortunate that the word I did not say has been ascribed to me by the media, but I wish to sincerely apologize again to Mister Dale if my actual words have caused him any harm or personal offense. And if Mister Daniel Dale is here today, I want to personally apologize to him.”

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Ethics, morality, common sense “don’t faze” the Fords

Posted on December 13th, 2013 Be the first to comment

See, when I make headlines like the one above, I always get the feeling that new readers are going to immediately dismiss the accompanying posts simply because the headlines sound made-up. At the very least, they sound like hyperbole or some sort of truth-bending. The other option is that I’m just pulling the readers’ legs.

And yet, not only is the one-liner accurate, as is usually the case with the Fords, it actually doesn’t go nearly far enough.

The ethics thing comes straight from the mouth and hand of reprobascious Doug Ford who marched into a social housing project in his ward with a wad of cash and started peeling off $20 bills to hand out to residents. Such actions obviously prove, as they have since day one, that Rob and Doug are just two average guys like the rest of us — not the rich, privileged, “elite”, corrupt, greezee-haired, gold-chained mobster politicians that their “enemies” are (which basically encompasses everyone at this point). Obviously.

doug ford gangster

This obvious vote-buying isn’t a problem, apparently, since an election has not yet been called. But even if we were in an election period and something could be done (which it wouldn’t), it’s clear that there would be no consequences to the belligerent Ford reign. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Ford (either one, really), if he didn’t defend his vileness while simultaneously letting the world know what he thinks of morals and ethics:

It’s my choice [to grease palms]. He [Councillor Gord Perks] can think all the ethics he wants. It doesn’t even faze me.

The very same can be said of brother Rob who, as you may recall, is facing a libel suit for alleging that Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale is a pedophile, a claim made for no apparent reason in a now-missing Vision TV interview with fellow loquacious loser Conrad Black (Vision, part of rich media barron Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia, is also being sued for the same reason). There’s absolutely no proof that I know of to back Ford’s claim — in fact, plenty to the contrary showing that Rob Ford is, as he always was, a lying, immoral, violent, crack-smoking jerkhole.

But, you know, he wouldn’t be Robbie if he didn’t stand by his bizarre off-the-cuff slander time and time again; and, of course, it wouldn’t be Doug if he didn’t defend his brother’s unconscionable bullshit the whole way.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Pictures

Rob Ford takes questions

Posted on December 10th, 2013 3 Comments

From the stills below, you’d hardly think that Robbie was being as belligerent as he was being in his presser defense of his statements made in Conrad Black’s interview on Monday night. There’s a part in the interview in which Ford not so subtly claims that Star reporter Daniel Dale is a pedophile who was skulking around behind the Ford house roughly a year and a half ago to snap pictures of his kids in their home.

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some captions for posterity.


“Look, I already told you, dickweed…”

“…kiss my ass.”

“And if all y’all don’t like it…”

“…y’all can go fuck yourselves.”


“Holy shit…”

“…is it getting hot in here?”

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay, Pictures

OLG breaks own rules, sets the stage for privacy invasions in awarding $50 million prize

Posted on December 7th, 2013 Be the first to comment

It’s not surprising that Kathryn Jones, the alleged winner of a recent $50 million lottery prize, wouldn’t be pressing for an investigation into her highly “unusual” winnings. I wouldn’t either, but given the circumstances, I also wouldn’t be surprised.

If you’re familiar with the story, you’ll recall that the Ontario Lottery Gaming corporation, instead of rolling an unclaimed $50 million from 2012 into future prizes, decided to track down and declare the winner, a woman who had no idea she’d won. In fact, she had no ticket and no tangible evidence that she had bought the ticket — one of two that the OLG had reminded Ontarians was about to expire. According to the OLG’s own rules, here’s what should’ve happened:

MANDATORY: To claim a prize of $1,000 or more, you must complete a Lottery Prize Claim Declaration Form. This applies to both single and group play wins.

OLG requires that you write or print your name on your lottery ticket before a retailer can check it. This is for your own protection. Signing the ticket is an easy way to identify it as yours. And that makes it difficult for someone else to claim your prize if your ticket is a winner. It also helps protect you if you were ever to lose it. Retailers cannot validate tickets that are not signed.

To claim a larger prize, the OLG demands that you put your name on a ticket before handing it over to a retailer for verification, which makes sense. However, in the case of this bizarre $50 million win, not only was a signature not needed, the ticket itself wasn’t even required, neither was a claim or even the knowledge of prize winner herself.

To counter this, the OLG has claimed that it was able to go through video security footage, credit card details, and other information to prove that Kathryn had indeed won the ticket, after which they contacted her to let her know she’d won. While I don’t doubt that these were solid identifiers, the rest of the details are beyond disconcerting.

First of all, it’s incredibly suspicious that the OLG would decide of their own volition to arbitrarily choose solely this one woman to track down while leaving literally all other lottery winners to their own devices. Keep in mind that Kathryn’s $50 million prize was one of two unclaimed ones for the same period, and nothing was done about the other prize. Any claim that this was done in the name of fairness is verifiable nonsense.

Second, and perhaps worse, is the fact that the OLG — again without any prior prodding — decided to seize security camera footage and credit / debit card records from the lottery retailer under the false pretense (see above) that they were trying to maintain fairness in the gaming system.

Gathering video security footage from gaming locations is iffy enough — most are corner stores where many people don’t even approach the lottery kiosk let alone play — but the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation should have absolutely NO access to citizen’s private data — unless of course that citizen approaches them claiming to have won something. Yet in this case, without a warrant, court order, judicial oversight, etc., the OLG has managed to gather the personal data of unknown numbers’ of customers, security footage of private premises, etc.

While the organization takes up to a decade to use the very same technology to investigate issues of fraud and have never awarded a prize like this (even while many are concurrently unclaimed), we are led to believe that this breach of Canadians’ privacy is fantastic news because one of us might just have won (doesn’t matter if you don’t pay the fool’s tax). You may remember that similar arguments were made by Vic Toews, then Harper’s “Public Safety Minister”, spy-state architect, and top apologist; according to Vic, the government needs to spy on everyone at all times in order to protect the children (and if you don’t agree, it’s obviously because you side with the pedophiles).

There’s a section on the OLG’s site where they describe when, where, how, and what types of personal data they gather:

We may collect personal information from you in person, over the telephone, by mail, fax or through the internet.

In general, we collect customer personal information to provide service, to promote our products and services and to operate a responsible gaming business in accordance with legal requirements.

We regularly inform you of the specific principal purpose or purposes for which we collect personal information at the time of collection. We often collect personal information:

  • To identify you
  • To deliver service and improve how we communicate with you
  • To administer program and product benefits
  • To promote our products and services
  • To engage in market research
  • To maintain lottery security
  • To comply with legal requirements
  • To promote responsible gaming
  • To receive and respond to inquiries

Examples of the common types of personal information we ask customers to provide are as follows:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • E-mail address
  • Language preference,
  • Transactional data,
  • Credit card information
  • Video images and photographs
  • Signatures
  • Customer inquiries Information

Note that nowhere does it state: “we may preemptorily and without your knowledge or consent gather personally identifying information such as your credit or debit card purchases, as well as private video surveillance footage, among other pieces of information, to identify you and track you down (at our random discretion) should you happen to have forgotten you won. We may also gather this information incidentally should we believe you may be associated with a winning, or if you just happen to be in the area of a lottery retailer.

There’s nothing implied or stated that the OLG can and will do this whenever you play a lottery game, and yet they’re now doing it to both players and bystanders alike. I’m entirely certain that, despite claiming that it’s their policy, all of the other people that entered the same lottery retailer as Kathryn Jones have not been contacted by the OLG in order to be informed that their personal data has been seized for analysis.

Even the cops, at least under current laws (which Stephen Harper is constantly itching to change), must inform the targets of their wiretaps after 90 days that they’re being spied on. But supporters — no doubt the same voraciously ignorant clique that continues to believe that repeat public liar, druggie, criminal, and all-around asshole Rob Ford is a bastion of honesty and virtue — won’t be satisfied until we’re all toiling under absolute subjugation (which is, of course, the height of evil unless it’s being imposed on us by their beloved leader). And all of it, from those exemplifying the very worst in humanity to those who demand that we all bow down to such depravity, all do so under the twisted, deranged, ignorant, sociopathic banner of vast corporate profits and unchecked greed (or as Rob Ford so fondly and lovingly put it, “I don’t care if you’re 2 years old, 20 years old or 200 years old, you’re not going to live for free.”)

In other words, it’s just fine for the OLG to operate like this (and we definitely needn’t be in any way critical), because history has clearly shown that deception and corruption, especially when there are tens of millions of dollars at stake, are never a problem — you and I are the real criminals for having the audacity to claim that we’re human beings with rights to privacy and fairness and believing that we’re entitled to live off the avails of our labours.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Stephen Harper’s Canada: Shut up and obey

Posted on December 6th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Harper’s latest foray into his proud Canadian vision is the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which, although it will affect all Canadians, is being kept secret  until it’s signed and imposed on us. Proponents of the TPP state that it’s customary to engage in secrecy, which means they don’t want people budding into what is by all rights all of our business — Harper clearly agrees with this proposition.

It’s bad enough that Canadian citizens are being purposefully kept from even knowing about these major, global negotiations, but it seems to court treason when it’s revealed that Harper is signing away Canadian constitutional authority and sovereignty to foreign global interests. He is, quite literally, negotiating a handover of Canada’s legal authority, all while excluding Canadians from the entire process.

Does that seem like a bit of a problem to anyone?

Under Stephen Harper, organizations like WikiLeaks are considered terrorist organizations because they regularly reveal the unsavoury actions and intentions of our corrupt “leaders”, like the recent TPP Intellectual Property provisions leak. While the hard-of-thinking are lulled by increasingly stupid rhetoric, Harper and his cadre continue on their way to creating a fully-fledged corporate dictatorship in Canada.

Examplars of “elite” privilege and law-breaking such as Rob Ford are a startling wake-up call to anyone who believed that the rule of law, or even common sense,  would keep such obvious criminality and immorality in check. To the contrary, we see that the organizations tasked to protect the rule of law and Canadians in general, are engaged in protecting a well-connected and well-protected cabal which often acts against Canadians and the interests of Canada.

To those wondering why, unlike any other citizen, Rob Ford hasn’t been arrested after all the shit he’s done, admitted to and even insisted that he be arrested for, there’s a simple answer: it might set a precedent. Politicians would prefer to keep their dealings behind closed doors than have them spill out into public, but when they do they’re left to their own devices. Kind of like brawls in sports. When big money’s involved, the law is often just suspended and doesn’t apply. Rest assured, however, that the law applies to the rest of us 24/7.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay