Sunday, May 31, 2015

Life In Scarborough: The Barflies Of Scarborough

So I was sitting in a "Workin' Man's" pub in Scarborough.  The old East Indian guy by the window was a regular; he occupied my favorite table the whole time he was there, the only table in the place where you could plug in your netbook.  After having Vivian the bar-girl (not her real name) call him a cab, and just as the cab pulled up outside, he pissed himself and staggered away and buggered off in it. Later the owner came by with some paper towels and rubber gloves and cleaned up, but nevertheless I was not ready to claim my usual spot.  I exited the place unhappy, my computer uncharged.

And it reminded me of years gone by, when I lived in a ritzier part of Scarborough (Central Scarborough, by the car dealership), and would hang out in the Workin' Man's pubs in that part of town.  My favorite place had this old German guy.  He would spend the whole evening grabbing ass off the various waitresses, and when it came time to go he would piss down his stool and leave a lousy tip.    According to Vivian, the old East Indian also tips poorly.  So the problem appears to be endemic to "The Scar", as we locals call it, or "The Bro", as we also call it for reasons I won't go into.

The barflies of Scarborough really must up their game.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Public Enemy In The Morning

A fine way to start the day.  Love the fact they're using a live band.

Friday, May 15, 2015

NDP Governments Are Always Fun!

Gawd! This gal from the new  Alberta provincial NDP government is giving me flashbacks to Rae Days. Although I don't think Bob Rae had a death-metal chick in caucus, just some guy that posed topless.   Anyway, six months from now her federal counterpart might be Finance Minister. Who knows?  Life is like a box of chocolates, or assorted nuts, when the Orange Wave washes into town.

Your Daily Nazi: PCPO MPP Monte McNaughton In Nazi Leaning Local Newspaper?

So there's an T.O. East End Newspaper called Your Ward News.  From what I gather its mostly a direct mail affair; the publisher, a guy named Leroy St. Germaine, has Canada Post deliver it to folks down in Ward 31 (The Beaches).  It has apparently always been a bit flaky/racist, but the last couple of issues have seen a guy named James Sears gradually taking over, until recently he was appointed "Editor in Chief". And he has taken the publication "Full Nazi": articles promoting holocaust denial by old Heritage Front members; articles praising Adolf Hitler; articles promoting "white pride". The works.

Back in March several mail carriers complained to Canada Post about having to deliver the publication, but company lawyers told them it was legal.  Since then the language in Your Ward News has grown more extreme, the Nazi references more obvious.  CP might want to revisit their decision.

In any case the thing is full of ads.  If the post office doesn't reconsider, a move against the publication would surely involve trying to convince some of the people behind these ads to discontinue them in future.

What interests me in particular is their February issue.  At this point they hadn't gone entirely mad yet, but for example Sears' Neo-Nazi New Constitution Party has already taken out a full page ad (back page), and there's an article about the perils of "uncontrolled mass immigration" which concludes:

A peak at their website tells you these folks are crazy.  Apparently, they're the people who recently distributed racist pamphlets up in Brampton.

And then there's this, an anti-wind piece from MPP Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex and one time contender for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario:

So, a question that one might put to Mr. McNaughton, or indeed to his new boss PCPO leader Patrick Brown, is: what the hell? McNaughton's campaign was all about catering to the hard right, but this is crazy.  Did he actually pay money to have campaign lit appear in this rag?

I should note that yesterday evening I sent Mr. McNaughton a tweet asking about his relationship to Your Ward News. As of this morning I have not heard back from him.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

That Poll...

Its just one poll, and a preliminary result as well.  But pretty damn interesting.  And not entirely surprising given Notley's victory out West.  It will be important to see the regionals.  Given my previous analysis I would not be surprised if the NdD national number depends heavily on gains in the Western provinces.  

The problem for both the LPC and CPC is that the Notley effect--for surely Mulcair and the federal NDP has little to do with this sudden surge--will probably last until after election day, especially if the new Alta. gov. doesn't do anything crazy in its first budget next month.  Not that they won't get attacked by the usual suspects anyway, but they would do well by their federal cousins to present as small a target as possible.  Save the mass beheading of tar-sands executives until next year.

As for the LPC, well, being in a statistical tie a few months out from E-Day is hardly a disaster, and now the Tories may have to start spreading around some of their attack ad money.  Some are advocating panic.  On the other hand my counsel is to maintain a stiff upper lip and plow onward.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Right Wing Mag Sacks Michael Coren!

His problem?  The Interim could no longer countenance the guy's heterodoxy!  So: Boom!  Coren's outta there, and apparently being replaced by some dude who will natter on endlessly about Free Speech for unborn babies.  Man, its that heterodoxy gets you every time!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Is CBC Hate Speech Story Bullshit?

WK thinks its bullshit, and he's mostly right.  It would be really, really difficult to use CDN hate-speech laws to go after the BDS movement, for reasons he cites.  And there is a long chain of inferences leading from the actual facts as stated in the CBC story to the writer's conclusions.  But on the other hand, why would the ministry explain what "zero tolerance" of the BDS movement meant by referencing "a detailed list of Canada's updated hate laws"?  That is rather odd.

PS.  I had similar concerns as those expressed in the story a few years ago.  I am enlightened in the comments section.

PPS. Reading the thing more closely, I note:

But in response to specific questions about what "zero tolerance" of BDS means, and how it will be enforced, Blaney aide Josee Sirois gave CBC News a much clearer picture of the government's intent.

"I can tell you that Canada has one of the most comprehensive sets of laws against hate crime anywhere in the world," wrote Sirois.

She highlighted what she termed "hate propaganda" provisions in the Criminal Code criminalizing the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, and further noted that "identifiable group" now includes any section of the public distinguished by "among other characteristics, religion or national or ethnic origin."

She also referred to Criminal Code provisions requiring that a judge consider hate, bias or prejudice when sentencing an offender.

"We will not allow hate crimes to undermine our way of life, which is based on diversity and inclusion," she concluded.

OK now that does sound as though the governments does intend to use our nation's hate speech laws as per the CBC story's assertion.  If so, that's insane. It also won't work; the barriers to moving a case forward are incredibly high and the BDS movement simply does not employ the kind of extreme language that would make the cut.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Has Stats Canada Screwed Up job Numbers?

Same day we got new warnings about bad data in the census.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Life In Scarborough: Today, A Curse Was Laid Upon Me... a little old lady in Sunday-Morning-Churchy gear.  She was walking towards my bus shaking her fist at the sky.  When it slowed to pick her up, she pointed and began hurling imprecations. Naturally, the driver accelerated away.

In spite of this, I hope to have a pretty good day.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum As A Federal Issue

When I first read that Team Trudeau was blaming its recent slide in the polls on the new Ontario Sex Education curriculum, I didn't buy it.  But Lo!, here is Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne suggesting that this is indeed the case:

"That, by the way, is going to be an issue in the federal election," Wynne said Thursday during a speech in Ottawa where an audience member congratulated her for overhauling the program for Ontario's schools.


Wynne said she has heard federal Conservatives might try to mobilize opposition to the Liberal sex ed. program in attempts to hurt federal Liberal candidates on the campaign trail later this year.

One federal Conservative who has unquestionably tried this approach is Brampton–Springdale MP Parm Gill;  he has sent out letters to his constituents on the topic.  And if one were to infer, one would infer that the CPC thinks it has identified a streak on anti-gay sentiment in several of the ethnic communities around the GTA, and intends to exploit it federally in the months ahead.

Something to be prepared for, as our dear Premier notes.