Categories for Musings

Olivia won the first hour of the first debate!

Don’t just take my word for it:

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: OLIVIA BEGINS FIRST MAYORAL DEBATE ON A WINNING NOTE

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 26 2014
In the opening 23 minutes of CityTV’s first mayoral debate, journalists, columnists and pundits across party lines agree: Olivia has already demonstrated to Toronto that she is the only candidate that can beat Rob Ford.

Here’s what they said:

“First zinger of night. Chow tells ford his gravy train has become a train wreck.” – Elizabeth Church, Globe & Mail

“I grew up taking #TTC and I still do. @oliviachow immediately differentiates herself from the crowd.” – Joanne Deer, CTV Truth North political panelist

“Martineau begins with a “full disclosure” note that Tory sits on Rogers board – which is something the Chow campaign wants people to know.” – Daniel Dale, Toronto Star

“Olivia Chow questions John Tory’s courage to stand up to Ford’s positions.” – CBC Toronto

“Chow hitting Tory, saying the city hasn’t even put in an application for the federal funding Scarb subway advocates counting on.” – Oliver Moore, Globe & Mail

“Ford says the Scarborough extension costs “$5” per household. Incorrect. It’ll be $40 per year as of 2016 for about 30 years.” – Daniel Dale, Toronto Star

“John Tory is referring to Ford as Rob.” – Jon Lorinc, Globe & Mail

“@oliviachow leading CityTV’s viewer poll of trust on transit with 40 per cent.” – Laura Kane, Toronto Star

“Most viewers of [the] debate rank Chow [as] the person they trust most on the transit file.” – James Armstrong, Global TV

“It’s pretty obvious – the only person who has the facts and not the anger is @oliviachow.” – Joanne Deer, CTV Truth North political panelist

“Why do John Tory and Rob Ford hate buses? Poor sad buses.” – Antionia Zerbisias, Toronto Star

“Mr. Ford is actually right.” – John Tory, 5:23 p.m.

“Tory agrees with Ford that TTC service hasn’t been cut. Which, again, is wrong.” – Jonathan Goldsbie, NOW Magazine

As the debate continues, Olivia will continue to show her challengers – and the people of Toronto – that she is the top candidate for a better city.


Twitter blue checked me!

I’m not entirely sure what this means, but Chatty Trout spotted it and told me.

Does this mean I can now boost my billable rate? Get better tables in restaurants? Live in a $10-million mansion on Lakeworth Lane in Palm Beach?

Oh, wait, that last one’s John Tory.  But anyway, I’m blue checked. Watch out, baby.


Five reasons we don’t need jets on Toronto’s waterfront

  • “Whisper jets” is the biggest oxymoron since “airline food”
  • Jets belong at Pearson, where they can keep company with the other jets
  • The waterfront is a mess as it is – let’s not make it even worse, okay?
  • Porter is fibbing about its “facts” and plenty of other stuff – why reward them?
  • Dumping dirt in the lake to extend runways is, you know, dumber than a sack of hammers.  Dumber than a box of hair.  Dumber than Rob Anders. Dumber than…you get the idea.
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In Tuesday’s Sun: Barack Obama, we no longer know ye

As I type this, a big sign from the 2008 Obama presidential campaign hangs above my head.
 
Around my office, there are no less than a half-dozen Obama campaign posters on the walls. They are still there, and they are easy to spot.
 
The precise moment at which Barack Obama broke many progressive hearts, however, is just as easy to ascertain: it came in June of last year, when it was revealed that the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the “Five Eyes,” the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – were literally spying on millions of their own citizens.
 
Obama’s response was swift and brutal. He stripped Edward Snowden, the source of the revelation, of his passport and charged him with espionage. He dismissed Snowden “a 29-year-old hacker.”
 
A 29-year-old hacker he may have been, but Snowden’s claims were not made without proof. He gave tens of thousands of backing documents to journalists.
 
The U.S. government and the Five Eyes listened on millions of phone conversations. They surveilled Internet records – everything from instant messages to emails. They mapped locations using cell phone data. They tapped into Google and Yahoo’s data centres to collect information on users.
 
And the targets of all of this surveillance activity? Not criminals or terrorists or hostile governments: just citizens. Millions of law-abiding citizens. You and me.
 
That all of this was illegal is beyond dispute. Our constitution, like the American variant, is full of many high-sounding words about “liberty” and “freedom,” and how you and I possess inalienable “rights” to ensure that we remain free and liberated.
 
But, as Edward Snowden’s appalling case suggests, we are neither. Tellingly, the post-Snowden response of Barack Obama – who came to power with a pledge to “strengthen whistleblower laws,” quote unquote – was not to rein in the shadowy agencies that had broken the law. His first response was to render the whisteblower a criminal, and destroy his life.
 
Oh, and he called those who toiled at the agency that coordinated the illegal spying “patriots.”
 
Conservatives, when they are in power, justify the curtailment of constitutional liberties with dark warnings about threats to our safety. That is, violating liberties in the name of protecting liberty.
 
Progressives like me are just as bad. When in power, we seek to abridge individual freedom by claiming to be acting in furtherance of the collective good.
 
None of it is new, either. More than 250 years ago, no less than Benjamin Franklin dryly observed that “the populace are never so ripe for mischief as in times of most danger.” And if there is no danger, make it up and say there is: after all, there are still plenty of teenage Gmail accounts that remain unseen by terrorist-seekers at the NSA.
 
So, will my former champion, Barack Obama, read this column, and its earnest plea for our constitutions to be worth the paper they are written on?
 
No need. The NSA likely tracked my keystrokes, intercepted my email to editors, and provided the president’s staff with a copy long before this morning’s paper hit the streets.
 
Welcome to the new era, where our “freedom” is gutted in the name of, you know, “freedom.”

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