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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Oh, and while we're busy demonizing the #Occupy movement ... | #classwarfare #cdnpoli

Daily Kos: I See What Occupy Vancouver Did There...And It's Brilliant:

'via Blog this'

At the Daily Kos, Ed Murray shines the light of reason on the corporate media's theme-O-the-week:
The media’s latest attempt to undercut the message of Occupy movements all across the globe is by touting the “cost” of these protests. Many sources are reporting that Occupy movements are costing cities hundreds of thousands of dollars in police overtime because apparently it takes an entire precinct to make sure that 50 people don't sleep through the night.

Media culpa catches Wente being sloppy again | #journalism

Media culpa: Margaret Wente, Math and Christianity: More factual/attribution errors?:

'via Blog this'

What's that? Wente being sloppy with numbers? Wente being shoddy and haphazard with attributions? I'm shocked. Shocked.

Maybe we should chill out a little, though. It's not as if she's writing about anything incendiary, like white people and brown people, or Christians and Muslims, or anything.

One really has to wonder what purpose the Globe thinks it's serving by running Wente's copy. It's certainly not serving the cause of accuracy or intelligent conversation.

Related posts:

  • Fiscal demonization of @OccupyTO continues on CTV | #classwarfare
  • How The Globe channels the 1 per cent | #Occupy #classwarfare
  • The Sun's effect on our national conversation is obvious, but what about the Globe?
  • "Find new ways to protect Parliament?" WTF?
  • Media culpa: George Monbiot’s unedited letter to the Globe and Mail
  • Friday, December 23, 2011

    Fiscal demonization of @OccupyTO continues on CTV | #classwarfare

    Like clockwork, the corporate media are swinging into action. Or perhaps like robots.

    Either way, the narrative is being reinforced and amplified. Just now on CTV a "news" report is pegging the cost of Occupy at something over $714,000. Police, EMS, landscaping, etc.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    @GeorgeMonbiot takes down the corporate media

    George Monbiot – Unmasking the Press:

    'via Blog this'

    Too bad about Hitchens, but the best thing I've found about the corporate media this week comes from Monbiot. Everything you need to know, including the essential 99 percent versus 1 per cent dynamic, is in here.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Lawrence Martin on Harper's proto-fascism | #cdnpoli

    Under this PM, the state is everywhere - The Globe and Mail:

    'via Blog this'

    It doesn't make up for the fact that it still publishes Wente, but every now and then the Globe manages to do something worthwhile.

    My only quibble with Martin, other than that he still hasn't appeared on the Tweeter, is that he doesn't quite go where he's obviously heading and use the F word. The propensity for control and domination is staring us right in the face.

    Just take a look:

    • Fetishizing the military
    • A publicly funded propaganda machine, amplified by willingly braying transmitters at Stun Media
    • Disdain for democratic accountability
    • Obsessive message control
    • Warrantless citizen surveillance
    • Jails, jails and more jails
    • Demonizing and smearing of opposition
    Really, are these the hallmarks of a government that has its citizens' welfare at heart? Haven't we seen this movie before?

    Related posts:

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    The Sun's effect on our national conversation is obvious, but what about the Globe?

    It's a straightforward question: what are people talking about? What's capturing their attention and imaginations? Public conversation. Nothing gives you a better sense of a community or a society than gauging what people are talking about. (24/7 on Kim Kardashian? That's got to tell you something.)

    It's been one of this little corner's favourite hobby horses for as long as I can remember. Public discourse. National conversation. Provincial. Municipal. Whatever. You want civic ambition, you need to look at the quality of the conversations people are having. (I'm focusing on civic ambition because in a recent piece, the Globe's ideologically reliable urban-affairs curmudgeon Marcus Gee was complaining about the lack thereof. More on that in a minute. )

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Thoughts for Remembrance Day, and Matt Taibbi figures out the Occupy movement

    It's a big man who can start a national column with an admission that he got it wrong.

    This little corner's been relatively silent on the whole Occupy thing, but now that it's gotten the Masters of the Universe sufficiently rattled, they're cranking up the apparatus of repression. At encampments everywhere, the cops are moving in.

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    The door's this way, Chief Blair

    So it seems Bill Blair isn't getting with Team Ford's austerity program.

    Instead of being a good boy and implementing the 10-per-cent reduction the mayor's team is demanding of city managers, he's looking for a budgetary increase. Not a lot, mind, but the surrounding drama, already at a slow boil, has been cranked up even farther, and now there's speculation that his job's on the line.

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    @LornePW keeps the police accountability file up to date

    Big tip of the porkpie to Lorne over at Politics and its Discontents.

    There are times when the sheer inertia and toxic, paranoid self-pity at the core of dysfunctional cop culture makes you want to just give up. Fortunately, Lorne's got the energy and determination to get past those times.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    So Mayor Stupid takes one in the nads on the waterfront ...

    So it appears that Mayor Stupid and Brother Dumbfuck underestimated the backlash they'd triggered by fucking around into the waterfront. A big tip of the chapeau to the folks behind CodeBlueTO, and everyone else who worked to stop them.

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    How do we help poor Sarah Grunfeld?

    In the spirit of charity, I was going to suggest we take up a collection to buy this poor misunderstood child a hearing aid. We're not here to judge, after all. We're here to help.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Oh, look: everything Team Ford touches turns to crap. Don't look so surprised

    I'm all for respectful dialogue and agreeing to disagree, but there's a point at which you just have to admit it: we are right and they are wrong and clinging to their illusions just makes them look even dumber.

    For Christ's sakes. All those disgruntled Ford voters out there who are suddenly discovering that Mayor Stupid has no commitment to transparency and just loves him some tacky backroom waterfront deals with big developers – what the hell did you expect?

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Thwap on "Islamicism"

    thwap's schoolyard: "Islamicism":

    Every now and then I'll make an observation about Harper and his continuing stupidification of Canada, but really, when the thwapster brings his A game, no one does this better.

    Heh. "Looking at them like they puked." Personally, whenever Harper opens his mouth, I look around to see whether someone's just shit his pants, but hey, that's just me.

    'via Blog this'

    Related posts:

    Sunday, September 4, 2011

    How's that "building relations" thing going, @TorontoPolice Tweeter guy?

    Just checking in.

    Any progress identifying / charging these cocksu – er, perps?

    No, eh? Oh, well. Pretty hard when witnesses don't come forward, isn't it.

    How about:

    No? Well, do keep us posted. I'm sure you meant it when you said this:

    Related posts:

    Why not just have the Americans write our legislation for us? - Peace, order and good government, eh?

    Why not just have the Americans write our legislation for us? - Peace, order and good government, eh?:

    What pogge said.

    If I might just throw one more word into the mix: Comprador. Because "whores" and "traitors" just seems a little ... vulgar.

    'via Blog this'

    Saturday, September 3, 2011

    Catholics and Protestants:
    The great schism, explained

    I suppose if I'm going to go on and on about church doctrine, it's only fair of me to put it in context.

    What can I do? The power of Christ compels me.

    Related posts:

    All this Catholic-school business reminds me of a Mel Brooks moment

    I'm sorry, I just can't help it sometimes.

    It's probably not the most famous or best-remembered scene from Blazing Saddles (and in truth, it's got a lot of competition), but in light of the Catholic school system's way of dealing with gay and lesbian students, it seemed apropos.

    Related posts:

    The Catholic school system needs to get its hands out of our pockets

    And that's just for starters.

    The travesty that took place this week is common knowledge by now. Activist Leanne Iskander, who's got more courage in her little finger than most people have in their whole bodies, has been threatened with disciplinary action if she continues her advocacy for gay-straight alliances.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    A monorail for Toronto?
    I'm late for this party, aren't I

    Sometimes the posts practically write themselves.

    I'm sure all the obvious Simpsons references have already been made, although the giant Ferris wheel thing does put me in mind of that scene from The Third Man with Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles.

    Either Mayor Stupid's on vacation or Brother Stupider's gone off message again. Can never tell with these two, and more often than not, it doesn't really matter.

    Related posts:

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Jack's passing seems to have sparked a new competition

    I'm reminded at times of that aphorism (can't remember whether it was Mark Twain or Winston Churchill) about a lie getting halfway around the world while the truth is still getting its pants on.

    It seems you could make a similar observation when you're comparing decency with meanness of spirit. The yargle-barglers may have speed on their side, but then that's because what they do consists of little more than running around, screeching, and scattering handfuls of loose stool as far as they can throw it.

    Let 'em fill their boots. They can only drag us down to their level if we let them. One of the best tributes we could give to Jack is making them irrelevant and aspiring to follow his example instead.

    Related posts:

    Putting the Blatchfords of the world in the proper context

    Activist Communique: An open letter to Christie Blatchford by Alice Moran | rabble.ca

    NOW Magazine // Daily // News // A vainglorious, partisan spectacle

    Thing is, Blatchford and her enablers probably get off on this sort of thing and see it as validation. Sad, really.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Blatchford accomplishes the impossible

    She's found a way to make @SueAnnLevy look classy.

    (Honorable mention to David Naylor for this.

    Well done, all.)

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    @cityslikr lights @SueAnnLevy up like a pinball machine

    (With an apology to pinball machines everywhere.)

    That @cityslikr fella can be wonderfully succinct sometimes. I retweeted this earlier, but it deserves a whole blog post.

    Word. If you're ever curious about why so many of our fellow citizens seem ruled by fear, resentment, and ignorance, the Venomous LoserTM  and her hateful little screeds are a big part of the reason. Sun Media's toxic effect just wouldn't be as toxic without her.

    Some years ago, a singer / songwriter / satirist by the name of Tom Lehrer was said to have summed up his musical career thus:

    If, after hearing my songs, just one human being is inspired to say something nasty to a friend, or perhaps to strike a loved one, it will all have been worth the while.

    He was talking tongue in cheek, of course.

    Related posts:

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    BCL catches @SueAnnLevy rewriting history, smearing brave firefighters

    BigCityLib Strikes Back: In Case You ARE Wondering

    Don't know why BCL isn't on the Tweeter, but that's up to him.

    In the meantime, seems the Venomous LoserTM is perfectly happy to use Toronto's firefighters and their taxpayer-funded equipment as a campaign prop ...

    Click to view at full size

    But, well, you know ... that was then, and this is now.

    ... one wonders, is it unseemly to point out that the guy has to be there whether there's actually a fire or not, just in case? Just in the cause of raising the tone of civic discourse, instead of pandering to the lizard-brains and all that ...

    As BCL writes:

    So, no, Sue Ann, the union hasn't been keeping a file on you.  Turns out you were keeping one on yourself. By the way, if you want to theorize on why Sue Ann has gone out of her way to trash T.O. firefighters, well, consider this: their union took her to the Ontario Press Council in 2007 and hosed her down.  

    Sue Ann? Time to stop digging, maybe.

    Related posts:

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    @AntoniaZ, @SusannaKelley, @marcusbgee, and the Rob Ford ascendancy | #TOpoli

    Wonderful thing, the Tweeter. Keeps things lively, and keeps you on your toes.

    So apparently there's some question over what I wrote about the Globe's ideologically reliable urban affairs curmudgeon and his role in helping propel Mayor Stupid into the Chief Magistrate's office. Over at ontarionewswatch.com, Editor-in-Chief and Ontario Bureau Chief @SusannaKelley apparently takes issue with a tweet from @AntoniaZ regarding a post from me yesterday morning.

    America overheats: The Sewer of Stupid is about to overflow | #USpoli

    Our Climate Of Extremes | ThinkProgress

    Yep. They're in the middle of their worst drought ever, heat records are being broken every day, but they're going to deny the scientific evidence of climate change and schedule days of prayer for rain.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Retiring senior Toronto cop calls #G20 reaction overblown

    Toronto News: Retiring deputy chief calls G20 reaction overblown - thestar.com

    You know where I'm going with this, so I'll just let thwap and Lorne carry the ball on this one. They say it better than I can anyway.

    @marcusbgee calls Ford on his bullshit, but who helped put him there? | #TOpoli

    So a few people – Thor and Nancy for starters – are linking to this piece from the Globe's ideologically reliable urban affairs curmudgeon, who's arguing, not without reason, that Mayor Stupid should have known all along that he couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be any service cuts or layoffs.

    One hesitates to accuse Mayor Stupid of lying, chiefly because it's obvious that he can't tell the difference between true and false. You know those people who are so out of touch that they don't even know what the facts are? The kind who pull facts and numbers out of their asses and know they'll never really have to account for it? The kind who just dispense with facts entirely and go with their gut because ... well ... just because. Shut up and fuck off.

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Another day, another embarrassing eruption from Mt. Ford | #TOpoli

    Honestly, where do you begin?

    First, Mayor Stupid's dismissing all the folks who spoke at last month's city hall all-nighter as left-wing, NDP, special-interest types trying to protect their free money. No surprise there, really. It's not as if the guy's got the intellectual wherewithal to comprehend the notion of "community" or anything.

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    On that whole Nycole Turmel thing ...

    While we're on the subject of journalistic ethics, let me just cite pogge and thwap. They've already said it better than I can.

    From pogge:

    Every year or two I find a reason to point to Declan's post on the Media Failure Two-Step. (And actually I could find a reason much more often than that.) To review, the Two-Step looks like this:
    Step 1) Cause something (bad) to happen through your reporting.
    Step 2) Report on this (bad) thing from the perspective of an innocent bystander.
    And then you just repeat indefinitely.
    Our latest example? With the Globe and Mail leading the charge, since yesterday many in the media have been having a great old time implying that a Quebec politician who has previously been involved with the BQ is somehow unfit for her position as an interim leader for the NDP. That in turn would imply that about half the voters of Quebec are illegitimate participants in the democratic process until they somehow redeem themselves to the satisfaction of the Globe's editorial board. And in case it isn't obvious, deserting the BQ in droves to vote for the NDP isn't sufficient for the purpose.

    And from thwap:
    Whether the NDP has tossed a rope down to allow the Liberal Party of Canada to clamber back up out of the grave is something I'm not prepared to speculate upon, nor is it something I'm inclined to speculate upon.

    I'll let the voters decide. And I can't predict that.

    It does show that the Liberals are looking to knock the NDP off from its perch as the second party in Canada. For the issues of economic and foreign policy, I hope they fail. I hope, for reasons of foreign and economic policy, that the NDP hews closer to the principles of former BQ voters in Quebec. Because given the failure of mainstream (read: harpercon and Liberal) economic and foreign policies, the NDP might just find that adhering to Quebeckers values will resonate with more and more people in English Canada.

    It's just this sort of stupidity from the Village that's brought us to the point we're at now. I'm not carrying water for anyone, but if the NDP chooses not to play this game by these rules, then I say good on them. The reaction from the political and media establishment will, of course, be furious – and predictable. That's up to them. Whether we allow it to matter is up to us.

    Related posts:

    #SunMedia and journalistic ethics: another juxtaposition

    Although I sometimes wonder: given the mockery that whole "commies in the media" thing inspired, are the trolls at Sun Media really thinking any attention is good attention?

    Then again, maybe I'm overthinking. These are the people whose readers do happy dances at the news of Jack Layton's cancer, after all.

    Related posts:

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    As far as @pogge411 is concerned, caribou are more important than people

    Typical bleeding-heart tree-hugger, getting all squishy about caribou and weeping into his tofu. Never mind the jobs involved in forestry and the Ethical OilTM Sands. And where's he getting his information? From the socialists at the CBC, of course.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance | AlterNet #uspoli

    8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance | | AlterNet

    #facepalm just isn't strong enough for this.

    Democracy withers away: Europe’s wakeup call - Le Monde diplomatique | via @NaomiAKlein

    Serge Halimi: Europe’s wakeup call - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition

    When the balance that keeps labour and capital in relative equilibrium gets trashed (or more likely in this context, sold off to private investors), the political and social consequences ought to be predictable.

    Krugman: The President Surrenders on Debt Ceiling - NYTimes.com

    The President Surrenders on Debt Ceiling - NYTimes.com

    OK, can we do a couple of things for starters?

    1. Lose the illusion that Obama's got any balls, or that he's in any way "progressive," or that there's much substantive institutional and policy difference between Democrats and Republicans. All the drama coming from Washington is just so much kabuki theatre.

    Friday, July 29, 2011

    Giorgio Mammoliti: the pride of #TOcouncil | #TOpoli

    Someone suggested during yesterday's marathon that the Fords can't help being ignorant and stupid. They are what they are. But this guy, by contrast, does it on purpose.

    Did I say he makes the Fords look good? This guy makes the cast of Jersey Shore look good.

    Related posts:

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    The Harper regime targets @frankejames

    Franke James » Blog Archive » Canadian Government Tries to Silence Franke James

    We can't really say we're surprised, now, can we. Subtle and not-so-subtle threats, putting the squeeze on NGOs and making sure anyone thinking of sponsoring the show knows there's a shit list just waiting for more names.

    That's how determined this gang of pinch-faced thugs is to squelch disagreement and dissent. Anyone who wants to talk about climate change needs to know: this is what's going to land on you.

    (H/t deBeauxOs, Jymn, Dr. Dawg, pogge, and Mr. Sinister, among others.)

    Related posts:

    Far-right hatred is a sickness, but it's a symptom, not the cause | #Norway

    Late-night submissions on a heavy Sunday night ...

    I thought I'd seen, heard and read it all by now.

    That worthless piece of shit used dum-dum bullets. The cherry on the shit sundae.

    Another sick, cruel piece of shit says those kids all but deserved what they got because, apparently, they said some things that weren't abjectly devoted to Israel.

    And a few other worthless yammering transmitters have been treating the facts as an inconvenient speed bump in their haste to continue repeating their revolting message of Islamophobia and demonization.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    From the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg

    12 Holberg Suite op. 40 - Sarabande by Orwell's Bastard

    Some hauntingly beautiful stuff from Grieg, who might be better known for Peer Gynt. If I recall correctly, though, the CBC used to use another passage from the Holberg Suite as the signature for one of its radio broadcasts.

    When people google "Norway," I don't want them to see lies and poison from far-right hatemongers in their search results.

    Related posts:

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    A word from the Norwegian Party

    As I said, not going to jump into that cesspool. Just trying to help make the Norway conversation about something else. Not like the assholes are going to change their minds or their narrative or anything.

    Related posts:

    Isn't it good, Norwegian wood ...

    It's all been said. Nothing to add.

    How about we just ignore that hateful bald fuckhead?

    Related posts:

    Friday, July 22, 2011

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    @cityslikr on Team Ford's bullshit, and our complicity therein | #TOpoli

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
    – Winston Churchill

    So over at his place, @cityslikr's on about the fact that politicians have an uneasy relationship with the truth, and the cynicism and disengagement that breeds.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Critics accuse Mayor Ford of getting all Shock Doctrine-y | Ford Focus | torontolife.com

    Critics accuse Mayor Ford of getting all Shock Doctrine-y | Ford Focus | torontolife.com

    Writing in Toronto Life, John Michael McGrath draws the comparison but then appears to soften it:

    ... but given that 96 per cent of Toronto’s services are impossible to cut, as those KPMG audits keep finding, Ford really isn’t going to be able to change people’s lives the way, say, a Latin American junta might. So it’s a mild shock, if it’s anything.

    That may be, but the broader picture includes a looming provincial election which could see the return of the Harrisite slash-burn-and-pillage approach in the form of a Hudak government. When we consider that the municipal government is a creature of the province in that light, there's no telling what kind of services will continue to be mandated, and what kind of latitude Mayor Stupid is going to have to wield the axe.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    SIU Concludes Reopened #G20 Nobody Investigation | #policebrutality

    SIU Concludes Reopened G20 Nobody Investigation

    ... aaaaand, guess what? Can't find any way to charge anyone else.

    Who could have foreseen such a thing?

    Oh, well. Maybe the Toronto Police will actually come forward and out the other members of Team Curbstomp. Otherwise, the whining they do when witnesses don't step up and their nice words about acting to regain our trust might look ... hypocritical or something.

    (Why, yes – as a matter of fact, that was a monkey flying out of my ass. What's your point?)

    Related posts:

    Saturday, July 16, 2011

    An Eye-Opener from @fernhilldammit | #onpoli

    DAMMIT JANET!: Eye-Opener

    Nice reproductive freedom you got there. Be a shame if something was to happen to it.

    Go read.

    @cityslikr on Team Ford's Soprano wannabes. They wish | #TOpoli

    An Addendum « All Fired Up In The Big Smoke

    Over at AFUITBS, @cityslikr describes the subtle art of politics as practiced by Team Ford.


    Go read.

    Some late-night thoughts on Mayor Stupid with @thekeenanwire and @UnionSt | #TOpoli

    Storify: great for aggregating tweets, but you can go blind putting them in order if you're dealing with more than a handful.

    If only there were a sort function ...

    Tips of the chapeau to @AureliaCotta and @timfalconer and @HiMYSYeD as well.

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Team Ford's malignancy: It's not just the Jarvis bike lanes | #TOpoli #bikeTO

    By now so much has been written and blogged and tweeted about today's clusterfuck at Toronto Council that there's no point in rehashing it. Go read Matt Elliott's summary at Ford For Toronto if you want a recap.

    For Christ's sakes. This isn't just about the lack of any coherent policy justification, or the Machiavellian political gamesmanship, or the schoolyard-bully dynamic evident on the council floor, or the Speaker's obvious bias and procedural cluelessness. It's about all of those, but something worse as well.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011

    Core Services Review: Rob Ford is a hazard to Toronto's public health / #TOpoli

    I'm sorry, I had to give my head a shake.


    Look, we've all seen the passage in Dr. Strangelove where General Ripper talks about what an insidious Communist plot it is, but the thing is, that's not just satire. Fluoridation of our drinking water has been a touchstone for conspiracy-minded whackjobs since the 1950s, but now Mayor Stupid wants to get rid of it under the guise of the "Core Services Review."

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Kate's royal ass cheek: #sunmedia triumphs again, @davidakin makes sure we all know about it

    Sad, isn't it. When this is what occupies our imaginations and dominates public discourse, is it any wonder that so many people don't bother to take the responsibilities of citizenship seriously? Look at the energy it's consuming, for Chrissakes.  (Yeah, I know. Mea culpa. Now piss off.)

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Friday night

    If the last Friday-night music post was something that aged well over four or five years, well ... give this a spin.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Garrett Styles - The Blue PR machine spins up again | #policeculture

    From teh Tumblr.

    Lives on the line.

    Sudden tragedy.

    A sobering reminder.

    Heroes in blue.

    Gave his life in the performance of his duty.

    Officers coming from all over to pay tribute to a fallen comrade.

    It’s a mythology with a lot of miles on it. You can practically write this shit in your sleep.

    Just one question: even if we allow for the sake of argument that this mindless fetishizing of men in uniform is a good thing, how come we don’t see this kind of blanket, wall-to-wall, 24/7 coverage whenever a Canadian soldier gets killed in Afghanistan?

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Evaluating Mammoliti, redux | #PrideTO #TOpoli

    But let's at least give the guy a chance to speak for himself.

    Yo, Georgie? You want to tell us what you think your video proves?

    Related posts:

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    #RCMP complaints body says it's playing ball with @cancivlib | #G20

    Something about the Tumblr / Tweeter interface is not working ... (mumbling obscenities under my breath ... )

    Tuesday, June 28, 2011

    I'm sorry, @TorontoPolice Tweeter guy - perhaps I'm being a little harsh | #G20redux

    On reflection, maybe I ought to cut you a little slack. Maybe you really are committed to fixing the organizational and occupational culture.

    Maybe you really do want to fix the bridges between the police and the community they're sworn to serve and protect.

    @TorontoPolice Tweeter guy: Is this your idea of building relations? | #G20

    Don't know what this guy was doing ...

    ... but even if we grant for the moment that the apprehension was lawful and justified, can you explain why the Toronto Police officers effecting the arrest decided they had to grind his face into the concrete while one of them put a knee on his head? Right around the 40-second mark.

    @LacyMacAuley and my namesake: This is where we juxtapose, redux | #G20

    "Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you—that would be the real betrayal."
    She thought it over. "They can't do that," she said finally. "It's the one thing they can't do. They can't make you believe it. They can't get inside you."
    "No," he said a little more hopefully, "no; that's quite true. They can't get inside you. If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them."
    George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Chapter 7 

    Related posts:

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    #G20 anniversary: Queen & Spadina, one year later

    Hundreds of citizens arrested on bullshit pretexts.

    Detained arbitrarily in conditions that were gross violations of human rights.

    Subjected to racist, sexist, misogynistic and homophobic slurs and harassment.

    Assaulted indiscriminately.

    Beaten, tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and paraded naked.

    And after all this time, no public inquiry, the Blue Wall endures and only two cops charged.

    Tell us again how the system is working, @TorontoPolice Tweeter guy.

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Creekside: G20 : Caught in the Act

    Creekside: G20 : Caught in the Act: "When police stick to phony script : the Miami Model"

    Have I mentioned that Alison rocks today?

    A whole year of this self-important bastard? Christ on a crutch ...

    Just realized: tomorrow marks exactly one year since the day OB jumped into the blogosphere. The inaugural post:

    The G20 narrative: whose story is it?

    Guess we're still struggling with that, but since you're all clamouring for a speech, I'll just keep it brief.

    Shoutouts to Stephen Harper, Dalton McGuinty, Rob Ford, Julian Fantino, Bill Blair and, of course, Officer Bubbles and the Toronto Police. I wouldn't have done it without you ...

    How to hold them accountable: let them embarrass themselves | #policeaccountability

    Because there isn't going to be any meaningful institutional response.

    But this might be even more effective. Just show them being assholes, and then let public scorn do its work.

    If they don't act like this, they won't have to worry about being embarrassed.

    Of course, enough of these recordings and we may be facing something like this ...

    (h/t policewatch.ca)

    Related posts:

    @SousLePave: Best tweet from yesterday's #G20rally

    Please tell me someone got a picture ...

    Related posts:

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    #Brigette DePape rocks the rally at Queen's Park

    Guess it's good to have the occasional reminder. From Jason Kenney's favourite left-wing kook.

    Related posts:

    @TorontoPolice Tweeter guy weighs in | #G20

    ... with a few nice words about accountability and regaining public trust.

    Here are some suggestions for you.

    • Do something about the assholes who brutalized Lacy MacAuley.
    • Out the sons of bitches who kicked Adam Nobody in the face after he was cuffed and lying on the ground.
    • Press criminal charges against the pieces of shit who did what they did to Sean Salvati.

    Let's see them charged, handcuffed and doing the perp walk for the cameras. You know goddamned well who they are. Talk to us when you're ready to do the right thing instead of letting them hide behind the Blue Wall.

    Talk to us when you're ready to stop insulting our intelligence.

    Talk to us when you're ready to abandon this whole self-pitying narrative about how misunderstood and unappreciated you are.

    Talk to us when you're ready to overhaul your whole sickening dysfunctional organizational culture.

    Until then ... spare us.

    Related posts:

    New poll finds ‘monumental shift’ in public perception of Toronto police because of G20 actions - thestar.com

    New poll finds ‘monumental shift’ in public perception of Toronto police because of G20 actions - thestar.com

    I might just have to revise my opinion of the Star again. This is clearly adding to the pressure for a public inquiry, although I'm not getting my hopes up given the amount invested in stonewalling and resisting it.

    Of course, I wouldn't be surprised to see the emergence of some astroturf group along the lines of Citizens for Police or something in response, amplified by the Sun torquing the shit out of a "grassroots" Cops are Tops campaign. Fuckheads.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    The Sean Salvati #G20 video: Abu Ghraib comes to Toronto

    So apparently it takes three big strong police officers to manhandle one guy. Naked and handcuffed.

    Don't know whether this is before or after they beat the shit out of him.

    Mistakes were made, Bill Blair says | #G20

    So Bill Blair's had some time to reflect on last summer's G20 clusterfuck, and good and loyal servant he is, he's graced us with a report. Among other things, he praises his officers for "facing danger and extreme provocation."

    Indeed. Takes a special kind of guts to stand your ground in the face of a small woman blowing soap bubbles.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    So Toronto cops think they're the #G20 whipping boys?

    From ... guess which piece of birdshit-catcher. The usual "police morale is low" bullshit. A sample:

    The situation has worsened with each new allegation of police brutality and little has been done to restore the faith in those sworn to serve and protect Toronto.
    “It’s become embarrassing to say you’re a Toronto cop,” said one of several officers who recently spoke to the Toronto Sun on condition of anonymity.
    He said it has become a daily concern and many cops are fed up with being “the whipping boys” for decisions they had no hand in making.
    “Cops are leaving Toronto in droves,” he said, explaining many have either transferred to other forces, are in the process of doing so, or are getting out of policing.

    @cityslikr on the danger - and stupidity - of looking for false equivalencies

    An Open Letter To Councillor Josh Matlow « All Fired Up In The Big Smoke

    There's nothing that says "balance" is sacrosanct. When one side of an argument is based on facts, reflection and careful consideration of evidence and the other side is based on sound bites, discredited ideologies and gut-instinct idiocy, there's no virtue in claiming that the truth lies somewhere in between.

    Required reading.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    'Respect for Taxpayers' is a load of crap

    True, I may be undermining weeks of arguing for engaging the people we disagree with in a spirit of openness and respect. And name-calling isn't going to help us show them how they're actually voting against their own interests, or reveal the corporatist / continentalist / ruling-class Divide-and-Conquer strategy. Class warfare's tricky that way.

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    @marcusbgee is right about Bloor Street, but for the wrong reasons

    Ah, Marcus. The Globe's ideologically reliable municipal-affairs curmudgeon is kind of like a stopped clock that way.

    Of course, the analogy only goes so far, because you don't have to ask a stopped clock why it's right twice a day, and that's a degree of frequency and predictability that ... well, let's just say it's not in the same postal code as Marcus.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Friday night

    Following the example of my friends impolitical and pogge.

    A few years old, but like a fine wine, it ages well ...

    Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo by hammockmusic

    Raising Your Voice...Trying to Stop an Echo by hammockmusic

    On the Canucks Riot, Protest, and Division : Politics, Re-Spun

    On the Canucks Riot, Protest, and Division : Politics, Re-Spun

    And more.

    Good lord, someone's actually pointing out the class dimension inherent in the Vancouver riot, and drawing the connection between that and the corporatist power structure's nasty little game of Divide-and-Conquer.

    Not to mention the malignant influence of Don Cherry. You know, that guy who has a national platform on the "left-wing" CBC.

    [drops teacup]

    How unseemly.

    The Sixth Estate » When You Don’t Know Your History, You’re Bound to Make Up S@@t

    The Sixth Estate » When You Don’t Know Your History, You’re Bound to Make Up S@@t

    And again.

    Either the Vancouver Police and the corporate media are taking stupid pills, or they're serving some agenda.

    Now let's think about this: who benefits from mischaracterizing the riots as the work of anarchists and political activists?

    Whose interests are served by the blanket demonization of activism per se?

    Conversely, whose interests would be harmed by acknowledging the connections among NHL product, overwrought ersatz nationalism, unfettered testosterone, economic privation and too much cheap alcohol?

    Hmmm ...

    Porcupine blog: Explaining Conservative Support Among “Ordinary People”.

    Porcupine blog: Explaining Conservative Support Among “Ordinary People”.

    I can't believe I haven't seen this until now.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    @thekeenanwire, #TOpoli and that whole 'deserve' thing, redux

    Go and read this piece from Ed Keenan in The Grid.

    He's right of course, and you don't need a master's degree in public administration to know that public services cost money. And you don't need cheap childish gimmicks, either.

    The troublesome part is that something so blindingly self-evident seemed to elude a majority of Toronto voters last fall. They were all too willing to buy into Rob Ford's bullshit about mountains of wasted cash and municipal inefficiencies and gravy trains, and worst of all, the idea that under David Miller, things were just so irredeemably awful that the only thing to do was to blow everything up.

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Opposing the #HarperRegime: thinking strategically over the next four years

    Sorry, dear friends. This is going to be one of those times when I try to get cerebral, but not too cerebral, and end up sounding like a wanker. Business as usual, in other words.

    In the context of last week's Twitter exchange with @thekeenanwire over the question of what we deserve, I admitted that I hadn't thought through all the implications of what I was saying or where I was going. To the extent that we could arrive at common ground in 140-character bursts, we managed to agree that "need" was probably a better word than "deserve" when we're talking about a police force, or a society, or a government. At least that's the impression I was left with; if I'm wrong, Ed, please feel free to correct me.

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    Sleaze, slush funds and the Auditor-General's report: This is supposed to make a difference?

    With the release of Sheila Fraser's report detailing a record of malfeasance and misdirection regarding G8/G20 spending, a whole raft of familiar patterns re-emerges.

    Sleaze, slush funds, money earmarked for border infrastructure spent in Huntsville (which, one hates to point out, is nowhere near the border). No transparency. No accountability. Blaming public servants. A fig for the public trust.

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    @thekeenanwire and the police / government / society we deserve

    Over at The Grid, Edward Keenan's got a thoughtful and compelling piece about the police assault on Dorian Barton at last summer's G20, and the shameful saga surrounding the SIU's on-again, off-again attempts to investigate.

    We all know how that song goes. The whole police force goes Tommy. Nobody saw anything. Nobody knows who the asshole cop is, even though his face and badge number are visible in the picture AND the force actually provided his name to the SIU, Mark Pugash says. Not even his roommate recognizes him. Chief Bill Blair can't or won't do anything about it. Mike McCormack insists that there's no Blue Wall of silence. And I'm not even going to talk about the police services board.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    That 'disrespectful' Brigette sparks the wrath of Ottawa's Villagers

    Really, it's just so awkward when the lower orders forget their rightful station in the order of things.

    The harrumphing, glaring and disdainful sniffing from the self-appointed members of Ottawa's elite is palpable. The political and media establishment types are getting their noses all out of joint because Brigette DePape showed "disrespect" for the institutions of Parliament.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Re Brigette DePape: I will now eat my words

    What was I saying about having to build an extra-parliamentary opposition?

    This young woman shows us all how it's done. If saying she's got cojones makes me sound sexist, I apologize and beg your indulgence, because it's said in a spirit of unabashed admiration.

    Clearly I'm not the only one who thinks so. Linkfest here, here, here, herehere and here, for starters.

    As for chowing down on my own verbiage: A spirited red, please, sommelier, and preferably New World, but not too aged. I'll need something that can cut through the layers of sententiousness and stand up to the wankery ...

    Related posts:

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Harper's "tough on crime" bill: meaner, more expensive, and not making us any safer

    From the essential Alex Himelfarb, another beautifully written and persuasively argued essay detailing everything wrong with both the omnibus crime legislation and the nasty, vindictive and short-sighted sentiments behind it.

    It's sadly ironic, he writes, that the Conservatives are moving this way just as U.S. jurisdictions are abandoning the "tough on crime" model, given all the evidence of how ineffective and counterproductive it is, and citing the contrast with what's traditionally been seen as a more humane and flexible approach in Canada – one which didn't compromise public safety.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    The challenge we face

    I know, I know. I spent far too much time and energy on it, to no avail. What can you do?

    But reaching people like that is what we have to do, and it doesn't do any good to just write them off as zombies or shallow dullards incapable of critical thought. They're not all beyond redemption.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    #G20 fallout: What @pogge411 and @canadianlefty said

    Links here and here. Lefty's post is a long one, but definitely worth the time. It's all about the not-so-subtle message from last June: activism and dissent are dangerous. Stay home, shut up, and do as you're told.

    More allegations of police brutality at the G20: Gabriel Jacobs

    More serving and protecting by the Toronto Police. (Yeah, right.)

    Via CBC and the Star, news that Gabriel Jacobs is filing a human rights complaint over the way he was treated at the G20.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    What Alison said (and deBeauxOs, and Dr. Dawg ... )

    And while we're on the subject, the inimitable and indispensible Alison over at Creekside sums up the whole police-brutality, civilian-oversight thing as only she can.

    Go read it now.

    Update: And after that, check out this story from Ottawa from deBeauxOs and the Dawgmeister. I mean, brutal shithead cops and their enablers in so-called oversight roles are bad enough, but in this case, the dumbass not only bit a 15-year-old kid on the shoulder – he broke his hand on the kid's head. This isn't scraping the bottom of the barrel – this is breaking through the bottom to root around in the mud and raccoon shit underneath. It's actually worth quoting the Dawg (emphasis mine):

    Not a single component of the system is there to protect and defend the rights of individual citizens when they are casually violated by police officers.