Saturday, 29 August 2015

CON Vetting Gone Wrong: Meet Hater Toyin Dada

Oh dear, it seems the CONs didn't do a very good job of vetting Etobicoke North candidate Toyin Dada.

Conservative Party candidate for Etobicoke-North, Toyin Dada, appears to have hidden or not disclosed two important parts of her past: (1) her participation with a homophobic Christian group in their protest at Toronto’s Gay Pride parade; & (2) her history of anti-abortion militancy, including protesting at abortion clinics.

She's involved with a gang called Christ's Forgiveness Ministries, that, according to CRA, gets government money.

And look! DJ! gets a link for finding her fetus fetish/slut-shaming connection to Back to Life.

Here she is as one of the "walkers."
The 25 women who walked from Montreal to Ottawa are the face of courage.  Each one has a different reason they walked but most walked because of a very personal experience they had with abortion.  Read a brief description of their reasons below.

The walkers are from different cultures in Canada, different ages, backgrounds and regions of the nation.


Odd, though, innit? that "Her Reason For Walking" is "coming soon." When, exactly, since the walk took place in the spring of 2013?

Here's her campaign website that mentions none of this devotion to hating in the Lard's name.

Well, maybe it did, but much of Dada's online life has been/is being scrubbed.
Video of Toyin wasn’t available. Like the video of her protesting at Pride, like the Google + post, it’s also been deleted. Though the ghost of it still shows up in search results like this.
Gee, I wonder what will happen when CPC overlords get a load of Dada's activities and remarks. Will they drop her like the "outspoken" Gilles Guibord?
Guibord’s exit as a Tory candidate follows the publication Thursday of screenshots of comments attributed to him regarding women, aboriginal people and religion.
And who might be ready to step into her place in Etobicoke North?

Hey! Here's a high-profile nutter candidate.

Asked where he would run, [Doug] Ford said Etobicoke North, where he did not believe the Conservatives had nominated a candidate. The Liberal incumbent, Kirsty Duncan, “outside of being a Liberal, is a good person,” he said. “She does a good job, she works hard.”

The Conservatives, however, say they already have a candidate nominated to challenge Duncan. The riding association has chosen Toyin Dada, a young non-profit executive director and singer.
And more machinations! Ford fans have launched a website urging him to run for CPC leadership.

Run Doug Run was started by a Milton farmer.

The SUN is reporting on the new website. There's a poll there. I voted "yes" to "Should Doug run for leadership of CPC?"

Stay tuned.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Is _Harperman_ to Stevie what _Pussy Riot_ was to Vlad?

Perhaps a living saint like Jean Vanier could genuinely feel a modicum of compassion for the venal and malevolent crew that is toiling to keep the Harper regime in power.

I do not.  In fact, I'm genuinely thrilled to gloat about the latest Harper government shit to hit the fan. 
An Ottawa federal scientist is being investigated for breaching the public service’s ethics code for writing and performing a highly political protest song to get rid of the Harper government.

Tony Turner, a scientist in habitat planning at Environment Canada, was recently sent home on leave with pay while the government investigates the making of Harperman, a music video posted on YouTube in early June that has attracted about 48,000 hits.

Mark Johnson, a spokesman for Environment Canada, said the department wouldn’t be commenting on the case because of “privacy concerns.” He said public servants agree to comply with the value and ethics code — which lays out expected behaviours — when they join the government regardless of their level or job.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, which represents federal scientists, said the union was representing Turner. It said he was put on leave pending the outcome of the probe into allegations that he violated the ethics code by writing and performing a political protest song.

“We will stand up for its members who face the prospect of being disciplined for exercising their democratic rights as citizens. The Supreme Court of Canada has confirmed that public service workers, like all Canadian citizens, benefit from freedom of expression,” said PIPSC president Debi Daviau.
A disclosure.  I know Tony Turner, as a fellow congregant in the same community of faith.  He never speaks of his employment.  An avid singer and composer, he has worked with the congregation's youth in organizing hootenanny-style musical evenings.

Last June I posted and tweeted _Harperman_ with its exuberant cast of performers.




At the time, it did cross my mind that a humourless, vindictive prick like Stevie might use his regime's power to suppress the video.  And now we learn that Tony is being hounded through his employment.

_Harperman_ is trending today on Twitter. And @chris_sigurdson created this hilarious, brilliant meme.


We've produced many blogposts about _Pussy Riot_ here at DJ!  The parallels are clear: Harper, like Putin, is an authoritarian, ruthless, prevaricating leader who abuses his political power to stifle ideological dissidents.

In addition, Tony is a scientist. The Harper regime systematically suppresses research, muzzled government scientists, cut highly regarded programs and destroyed libraries.

No wonder the malignant narcissist who promised to destroy Canada is affronted by the words of _Harperman_.

Owe-lympic Myths: Olympics Are a Good Investment for Host City

Today's Owe-lympic Myth:

Myth 1: The Olympics are a good investment for Toronto

Economists that have looked at the Games see no long-term economic benefit.  In a recent NYTimes story, Philip Porter, an economist at the University of South Florida who has studied the impact of sporting events was quoted saying: “The bottom line is, every time we’ve looked — dozens of scholars, dozens of times — we find no real change in economic activity.”

Another specialist in sports economics, Andrew Zimbalist, in his recent book, Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup concludes that there are "no net economic gains." The wealthy, aka Millionaire Hucksters, profit; the rest of us pay. (In fact, Zimbalist wrote in The Wall Street Journal that Boston would be "lucky" to lose the Games. May Toronto be so lucky.)

Zimbalist cites the London 2012 Games.
They spent over $18 billion (all figures in USD). They took in $5 billion in Olympic revenues, leaving a deficit of $13 billion.

In a preliminary analysis of the just-ended Toronto Pan Am Games (in so far as it's possible without final numbers yet), The Globe and Mail pointed out that while there were winners among local businesses, there were losers as well.

It was a wash.

John Barber, in his column "The case against an Olympic bid," discusses cases, then cites yet another sports economist.
“Public opinion is catching up with the economic evidence,” Stefan Szymanski, professor of sports management and economics at the University of Michigan, noted recently with respect to Boston's abandoned bid.

Yes, the public does seem to be twigging to it: Taxpayers pay. Elites profit.

There is no argument about this.

Seriously. Try to find a reputable economist who will argue against it.



*Third in an ongoing and irregular series.

Previous posts:

Owe-lympics Myths: Reuse Pan Am Venues.

Owe-lympics Myth 5: Health and Fitness Legacy.

Toronto Star and Olympics: Something Stinks

Toronto Councillors' Twitter Accounts

10 People on Twitter

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Owe-lympics Myths: Reuse Pan Am Venues*

One of the biggest porky pies hyped by Toronto's millionaire hucksters is that we're good to go for the Olympics because of all the dandy new Pan Am venues.

Or, Myth 5 at NoTO2024.
Myth 5: We can re-use most of the Pan Am venues
Some sites can be re-used, but even under the relaxed Agenda 2020 guidelines there will be major holes. The ACC and Rexall Centre should be ok, but the velodrome and aquatic centre are too small and too inconveniently located. The Rogers Centre is exactly the wrong size for everything.  The athlete's village will have been converted to housing and we need to find somewhere to stick a $1B+ 80,000 seat track and field stadium. The Olympics are much larger than the Pan Am Games and that level of infrastructure just wasn't built.

Mayor John Tory seems to have been sold this bill of goods.
The mayor added that he’s asked for a report from city staff on the usability of Pan Am venues for a potential Olympic Games.

“It would disappoint me if all that investment we made in very excellent facilities was not to be, under these new rules, something to be taken into account, if one wanted to bid.”
Prepare to be disappointed, Mr Mayor.

Chris Selley of the National Post pointed out that "the Pan Am organizers have always been frank: their facilities are not designed for the Olympics." He also says of the 80K+ seat stadium: "Toronto has no earthly need of such a facility."

John Barber weighs in:
Meanwhile in Ontario, taxpayers just spent $450 million on the four most expensive venues for the Pan Am Games, none of which will be good enough for the Olympics, all of which will have to be replaced by larger facilities if Toronto hopes to host in 2024. There is a long list of new stadiums and every variety of gold-plated facility to be built.
Not only are these venues too small -- and will be too old by 2024 -- some are too too far apart.
. . . many of the venues built for Pan Am are so far from Toronto that they may not meet Olympic committee standards. Some events were in Minden Hills (more than two hours from the city), Welland (90 minutes) and Hamilton (one hour).

New ginormous 80-100K seat stadium, new athletes' village, new/upgraded/relocated velodrome, ditto aquatics centre. . . the list goes on.

In short, existing Pan Am venues are just not viable for Olympics. They will need to be upgraded, expanded or replaced.

All costing mega-bucks.

In other words, a successful Olympic bid would create white elephants like the totally ridiculous baseball stadium in Greece (pictured above).




*Second in an irregular and ongoing series.

Previous posts:

Owe-lympics Myth 5: Health and Fitness Legacy.

Toronto Star and Olympics: Something Stinks

Toronto Councillors' Twitter Accounts

10 People on Twitter

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Owe-lympic Myths: Health and Fitness Legacy

There are many myths about Olympics among the millionaire hucksters' talking points. On the NoTO2024 website, the Top Ten are listed.

I'm going to take a few of these on, not necessarily in order.


Myth 8: The Olympics will make us healthier
Studies have shown that hosting the Olympics has no measurable impact on fitness and sports participation levels following the Games. There is, however, evidence that funding gets pulled from other regions in the country, causing cutbacks to sports funding that hurt participation.

The claim that Olympics would bolster a healthier, more active population figured large for the London Olympics (with, note, state-funded healthcare like Canada). But a comparison of activity levels pre- and post-Olympics concluded: "no Olympic legacy yet apparent."

I know. You're shocked that two weeks lying around on their couches watching professional-turned-amateur-probably-doped-up athletes doing odd things didn't turn the UK into a nation of svelte, kale-gnawing overachievers.

Furthermore, from London again -- where, unlike Beijing, the media closely monitored claims and outcomes -- money meant for "good causes" was pulled from other areas of the country.

In the UK, they have Camelot, similar to Ontario's Trillium Fund, that distributes lottery dough to good causes. For the Olympics £425 million was diverted to the Olympics.
Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative shadow culture spokesman, said the diversion of lottery money to the Olympics and the public bodies administrative spending meant that 1.1 billion Lottery tickets will be sold this year before the good causes receive a penny.
That's a lot of lottery tickets.

Where does that dough go? The Good Causes award categories are arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and voluntary.

Here's sports.
From building new sports venues, to inspiring future generations to participate in sport, lottery funding is helping to grow grassroots sport across the UK with new facilities and coaching that are helping communities to stay healthy, fit and active.

So, the London Games literally sucked money out of grassroots sport for elite sport.

But the London Games were so profitable they paid it all back, right?

Nope.
Three years on from the end of London 2012 and £425 million in raided lottery cash owed to charities and communities across the UK has not been repaid, and the new Government has gone silent on the issue.

Now, this bit should sound familiar to students of Canadian sports history.
However government ministers have continued to drag their feet on the issue – repeatedly suggesting that repayment may take until 2030 or beyond. Despite repeated requests the new Conservative Government has refused to make a statement on this issue. The Directory of Social Change (DSC) has led the Big Lottery Refund campaign, supported by over 3800 charities, which aims for an immediate return of the lottery cash.
Well, heck, that would be only 18 years to repay Olympic debt. We've come a long way from Montreal, eh? They took 30 years to pay off $1.5B even with new taxes.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bread Not Circuses Redux



If you follow me on Twitter, I apologize. I've been a total pain in the ass lately in my lonely effort to get Torontonians in particular and Canadians in general riled up about a proposed bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Though it's lonely work, I'm finding lots of interesting stuff. And today I found some stuff that is actually encouraging.

In 1989-90, Toronto's millionaire hucksters were really pushing to get the 1996 Summer Olympics, which were ultimately awarded to Atlanta.

Opposed to them was a coalition of women's groups, anti-poverty and housing activists, and labour unions. They called themselves the Bread Not Circuses Coalition.

It was led by Michael Shapcott, still a prominent housing advocate here, and supported, they claimed, by 300,000 people, including then-councillor Jack Layton.

Here's an undated archival recording from the CBC's Inside Track, featuring Shapcott, booster Councillor Kris Korwin-Kuczynski, and for some reason, "playwright" Rick Salutin.

There's a text summary at the link but the clip is only 8-1/2 minutes long and it's interesting, not least for the talking/whining points from Korwin-Kuczynski, which we will no doubt be hearing all over again in the near future.

That script -- jobs, tourism, phantom transit, feel-goodism -- doesn't change.

From the summary:

Toronto should try saying "no" for once. That's the opinion of Bread Not Circuses, one of the strongest anti-Olympic organizations in the world. The local group of anti-poverty activists is embroiled in an uphill fight to scuttle Toronto's bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Members argue that the money from the Games - short-term "economic steroids" - never makes it to those that need it most. The Inside Track examines the conflict between hungry markets and hungry mouths.

When Toronto lost the bid, anti-Games activists celebrated in an "Olympic-free zone" in the city's portlands, a location that would have become Toronto's Olympic stadium. [Canadian Olympic Committee President Paul] Henderson blamed the loss on Bread Not Circuses and left-leaning city councillors including Jack Layton (later leader of the federal New Democratic Party). Layton had made a point of publicly questioning the bid committee on social issues.

I happen to believe that the coalition was absolutely correct in its opposition but what stands out from this distance is what genius propagandists they were.

(Some say the "fix" was in for Atlanta, headquarters of Coca-Cola after all, but whatever.)

Some context: The greedy, corrupt IOC was still reeling at that point from the fiasco of the 1976 Denver Winter Olympics.

Never heard of them? Of course not. Because they did not happen.

It's a fascinating story of lies, skullduggery, and citizen opposition.

The usual Olympics story, but this time, as in Boston last month successful.

From the link above: "To this day, Denver remains the only city to reject an Olympic bid."

Yes, Denver had "won" the Games, then said "no, thanks." Innsbruck, which had hosted in 1964, had the facilities and stepped up to save the day.

So, even years later, the IOC was a bit jittery about citizen opposition and went so far as to meet with the Bread Not Circuses Coalition in Toronto.

Imagine that, fans of transparency.

Today, Los Angeles released its bid documents. Pretty snappy for a town that just got the word they were now US front-runners at the end of July.

Makes one wonder what was going on quietly behind the scenes.

And makes one wonder what's going on here.

Mayor Tory says he's still making up his mind, while supposedly consulting "community groups," a claim that would be more plausible if he hadn't broken his campaign pledge to make his schedule public. (Promise made in contrast to former Mayor Ford who had to keep his schedule secret because "doing crack" wouldn't have gone over very well.)

There is opposition forming here in Toronto. There's a website, a petition (now with over 250 signatures!!!!), and a hashtag, #NoTO2024.

We are small but growing, and feel honour bound to warn the IOC and local millionaire hucksters.

As before in Toronto, before in Denver, and very recently in Boston, the will, energy, and commitment of the people is discounted at some peril.




Previous DJ! posts:
Toronto Star and Olympics: Something Stinks

Toronto Councillors' Twitter Accounts

10 People on Twitter

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Toronto Olympics and The Star: Do You Smell Something?

I'm sensing a pattern here.

Is The Toronto Star, the only media in Toronto to publish a totally pro-Olympics piece (by Royson James, below), systematically shutting down anti-Olympic comments?

Every story I could find on a possible Toronto bid has had it comments closed.

Oddly, the overwhelming majority of comments are unreservedly NEGATIVE.

August 13, 37 comments, closed.

August 12 6 comments, closed.

August 12, 57 comments, closed.

August 12, 12 comments, closed.

August 12, Royson James, 16 comments, closed. The most recent comment is dated "10 days ago," which would be before the dateline, but whatever.

August 6, a poll showing Torontonians want Olympics but ONLY IF they don't have to pay for them, 133 comments, closed.

August 1, 104 comments, closed.

And, perhaps not co-incidentally, comments on stories about what many see as an alternative to 2024 Olympics, Expo 2025, are also being slammed shut when they go negative.

Expo stories
July 25, 37 comments, mostly negative about Olympics, closed.

July 28, 45 comments, mostly negative about Expo, closed.

I ask again: Does The Star have an agenda? A financial interest? A friendly relationship to maintain?

The #NoTO2024 campaign is gaining steam. Website and petition.

Here's Canadian Olympics expert Janice Forsyth on costs to Toronto of a bid.

And here's the think-tank report on the spectacular failure of the Boston 2024 bid, ordered by the state of Massachusetts (pdf).

The report details the many exaggerations and downright lies of the Boston boosters. Mainly, that despite the many assurances of the millionaire hucksters, the financial burdens would fall squarely and uniquely on taxpayers.

On Twitter, some city councillors seem to be paying attention, in particular to The Guarantee that Boston Mayor Walsh ultimately REFUSED to sign.



ADDED: The Star's endorsement of Tory for mayor. Lest we forget.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Is Nigel Wright to Harper what Chuck Colson was to Nixon?

From here:
So it was striking to see Nigel Wright, as a witness at the Mike Duffy trial, cite the Bible as his motivation for writing a $90,000 cheque for Mr. Duffy without telling his boss Stephen Harper. 

As quoted in Bloomberg, Wright said: "I was doing a good deed, and this is sort of Matthew 6. ... You should do these things quietly and not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." 

Citing the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew reflects Wright's reported devout Christianity, but it was a newsworthy statement in itself to the biblically illiterate reporters covering the trial.

It may also have been a coded warning to Stephen Harper, because Matthew 6 is one of the most explosively anti-Conservative passages in the Gospels, if not in the entire Bible. 
Read all of it: a trenchant piece from the erudite yet humble Crawford Kilian.

Both fern hill and I have been posting for years about this toxic intersection of extreme christian fundamentalist lobby and the US-style right-wing politicking, as staked out by Harper's CPC for the purpose of gaming Canadian democratic institutions to their advantage.

Prayer breakfasts. Special privileges for evangelical lobbyists. Innumerable private members bills to undermine abortion rights, which has emboldened fetushists to erode women's access in the provinces. Purported maternal health funding for international projects defined by anti-choicers. Prohibitionists pushing bills that criminalize and endanger sex workers. Downplaying violence against women and children - it's all gawd's plan. Christian extremists supporting war weapons sales to Israel and Saudis. Fake apologies to First Nations and Aboriginal people, facilitated by rightwing nutjobs. Progressive christian churches are audited by the CRA or their international projects defunded as directed by Steve. The list goes on and on.

recent event was savaged on Twitter, then crutinized by the MSM now seemingly capable of discerning between an individual's right to religious belief and the blatant deployment of religiosity for the benefit of a political party, à la *Grande Noirceur*.  It was the curious incident involving Con MP Wai Young and an evangelical church.

The Duffy trial, which one hopes will be the tipping point for the well deserved downfall and destruction of the CPC, has been chockfull of dramatic moments.  Wright's testimony and reams of email evidence bears witness to the byzantine works of PMSHithead's Politburo aka the PMO.

Some random christian dingbat chastised us for doubting the sincerity of Wright's religiosity.



Will the Duffy trial accomplish what the Watergate hearings did in the US? Will Harper be exposed, along with his thuggish team of Lee-Atwater-and-Karl-Rove wannabes aka the PMO?

And what about the cypher that is Nigel Wright: was he Steve's Chuck Colson?  

It's likely Wright was pressed to duty by corporate interests with deep, deep pockets who bankrolled Steve's rise to power. This happenstance clever and useful instrument had one assignment: keep a tight leash on PMSHithead.  

Whether he was contaminated by the toxic brew of paranoia and fury that Harper kept at a boil in the PMO, failed spectacularly at his job or deliberately left behind evidence of Mr Party-of-One's wrongdoing... it remains to be analyzed ad nauseam.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Toronto Council Twitter Accounts (and Some NoTO2024 Links)

I just did this for the opposition to Toronto Olympics campaign, but it will be handy for other purposes and people.

Feel free to bookmark, copy, whatever.

Mayor, John Tory: @JohnTory
1 Etobicoke North, Vincent Crisanti: @VCrisanti

2 Etobicoke North, Rob Ford @TorontoRobFord

3 Etobicoke Centre, Stephen Holyday @stephenholyday

4 Etobicoke-Centre, John Campbell @Campbell4Ward4

5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Justin Di Ciano @JustinDiCiano

6 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Mark Grimes: @Mark_Grimes

7 York West, Giorgio Mammoliti: not found on Twitter.
8 York West, Anthony Perruzza: @PerruzzaTO

9 York Centre, Maria Augimeri: @MariaAugimeri

10 York Centre, James Pasternak: @JamesPasternak

11 York South-Weston, Frances Nunziata: @Nunziata2010

12 York South-Weston, Frank Di Giorgio: @FDiGiorgio12
13 Parkdale-High Park, Sarah Doucette: @Doucetteward13
14 Parkdale-High Park, Gord Perks: @GordPerks

15 Eglinton-Lawrence, Josh Colle: @JoshColle

16 Eglinton-Lawrence, Christin Carmichael Greb @CarmichaelGreb

17 Davenport, Cesar Palacio: @CllrPalacio
18 Davenport, Ana Bailão: @Ward18AnaBailao

19 Trinity-Spadina, Mike Layton: @M_Layton

20 Trinity-Spadina, Joe Cressy @joe_cressy
21 St. Paul’s, Joe Mihevc: @JoeMihevc

22 St. Paul’s, Josh Matlow: @JoshMatlow

23 Willowdale, John Filion: @JohnFilion23

24 Willowdale, David Shiner: not found on Twitter.
25 Don Valley West, Jaye Robinson: @JayeRobinson

26 Don Valley West, Jon Burnside @jon_burnside

27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Kristyn Wong-Tam: @KristynWongTam

28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Pam McConnell: @PamMcConnell28

29 Toronto-Danforth, Mary Fragedakis: @MFragedakis

30 Toronto-Danforth, Paula Fletcher: @Paulafletcher30
31 Beaches-East York, Janet Davis: @Janet_Davis

32 Beaches-East York, Mary-Margaret McMahon: @mary_margaret32
33 Don Valley East, Shelley Carroll: @ShelleyCarroll

34 Don Valley East, Denzil Minnan-Wong: @DenzilMW
35 Scarborough Southwest, Michelle Berardinetti: @CouncillorMB

36 Scarborough Southwest, Gary Crawford: @CllrCrawford

37 Scarborough Centre, Michael Thompson: @ward37
38 Scarborough Centre, Glenn de Baeremaeker: not found on Twitter.

39 Scarborough-Agincourt, Jim Karygiannis @jimkarygiannis

40 Scarborough Agincourt, Norm Kelly: @norm
41 Scarborough-Rouge River, Chin Lee: @CncllrChinLee

42 Scarborough-Rouge River, Raymond Cho: @rcho42
43 Scarborough East, Paul Ainslie: @CllrAinslie

44 Scarborough East, Ron Moeser: ron_moeser



Previous post on NoTO2024

Website for NoTO2024.

Petition for NoTO2024.

There are a ton of resources to counter any bullshit claims of benefits coming to host cities. I'll post some after I've gone through them, but a good place to start is here.

Another is from the fabulous and inspiring effort in NoBoston2024.

And a ton more from Boston's Claire Blechman.