Facepalm Newsoids 40: The Alley Cat Edition

“I didn’t know alley cats could talk!”

Biden lost to an alley cat. With the facts on the Democrat’s side and every reason to be on the offensive and win the debate, Joe Biden succumbs to his cold medications and appears overwhelmed, inarticulate, senile, and, after a week of preparation, handed Donald Trump, a man with no preparation for anything, the victory. This is the first time in my life where I witnessed Trump as being quiet, and not overbearing. All Trump needed to do is to stand by quietly and allow Biden to fall apart, unaided, in front of an audience of 51 million CNN viewers. And when it was Trump’s turn to talk, he only needed to repeat his catalogue of lies about his presidency and Biden’s, knowing that he would say those things effectively unopposed regarless of the facts. It is worth noting that the Democrats called the debate and largely set the rules. But despite Trump’s victory, there is still no Republican platform, other than “vote for me”. And I still hear that the only Mexico paying for “the wall” is New Mexico. Just sayin’.

What I would have told Trump yesterday. The day after the debate, at a rally in North Carolina, Joe Biden gave an inspiring, rousing speech for the ages that was largely ignored by the media and had nowhere near the ratings of the debate. It appeared to be a catalogue of “what I would have told Trump to his face” if he had his faculties the previous day, but at least it was done with feeling.

Alley cat morality in the news. Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun could not remember the number of former employees he fired for whistleblowing. This came up during a Senate hearing after two Boeing passenger planes crashed, resulting in a $243 million criminal penalty, and an undisclosed amount to the families of the victims: an amount still undisclosed even after being asked by Senator Richard Blumenthal what the CEO knew the dollar amount was. Calhoun said he didn’t know the precise amount. As for the fired whistleblowers, he said “I know it happens”, though he didn’t say how many were fired. (18 June)

Vote for beer freedom. Speaking of parties with no platform, we need not go all the way across the American border to observe right-wing leaders making no political platform, but trashing the opposition for having one. Right here in Ontario, Doug Ford spent an extra billion to get alcohol into the grocery stores 1 year earlier than planned; shut down the legislature a week early for summer recess (to extend summer recess until October 21, six weeks later than normal, for a total recess period of nearly 5 months),  after a surprise expansion and shuffling of his party’s cabinet; then shut down the Ontario Science Center in a bid to move it to a smaller venue, Ontario Place, under the ruse of a roof in need of repair in the old location, which even had the original architects of the Ontario Science Center crying foul. Because the legislature isn’t sitting, the government doesn’t have to face accountability from opposition members for Ontario Place, spending an extra billion for its signature “beer liberalization” policy, the shutting of hospital emergency rooms, or anything else.

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Rob Ford and his Enablers

Joy Green

An “Etobicoke resident”, who went by the name of Joy Green, was interviewed twice by the CBC, once for CBC Newsworld, and one more time for As It Happens on CBC Radio One. Etobicoke, a Toronto bourough which is known for shuttered factories and high crime, is known to some (like me) as “the Automotive Ghetto” for its plenitude of auto mechanics who work within a 1-kilometre radius of Rexdale Boulevard and Islington Avenue, who work in run-down garages and will  fix your car for cheap. Some of the closed shops and businesses had been converted to churches of one-of-a-kind denominations such as the “Mountain of Fire and Miracles” Ministry on Rexdale Boulevard which was formerly a car dealership. In fact, these one-of-a-kind churches are quite common around the Rexdale-Islington area. This is Ford Nation, a word they use to describe the hard-core supporters of Rob Ford, who mostly hail from Etobicoke.

It was pointed out in the CBC interview that Joy Green lives in a condo that has had numerous drug raids. In fact, one of those raids led to the infamous crack video that incriminated Ford and is currently under police possession. This would make it possibly the 320 Dixon Road complex, well-known for its high crime. It is the reason why that complex and other condos in the area command the lowest prices in the Greater Toronto Area. It is about the only place in Toronto where you can buy a condo for under $100,000.

One would find it hard to believe that a resident such as Ms. Green would support Ford, but she is unwavering.  Joy speaks with eloquence and intelligence, in fact disarmingly so. She has that “common touch” to her voice that almost makes you forget the level of literacy she seems to have, and in fact in both interviews, the CBC never tells us what she does for a living. I estimate from her eloquence that she must be a lawyer or some other kind of professional, but then what would she be doing living in one of the mosr crime-infested condos in Etobicoke? Why doesn’t she move out? In both interviews, these and other obvious contradictions were never explored.

Most of what I read in other media and news reports seem to treat the allegations against Ford as serious, and the strangeness of Ford’s refusal to resign despite his own admission of cocaine use with a raised eyebrow. The dominant theme I hear, including from Joy Green, is that he ought to “get help” and at the very least take some time off. This I don’t dispute, but that is not the whole story, and compared with other things, is the least of his worries.

The real story, the one that arose briefly over the past couple of days then got buried, was the extended journeys with Alexander “Sandro” Lisi, Ford’s “unofficial” driver, and a man now up on charges of extortion. From there, we are aware of a connection with drug dealers that go back a long way, and possibly involve Bob’s brother Doug Ford. Police had recorded observations of Ford “exchanging envelopes” between cars in a parking lot, where Lisi was involved. This is  a much darker tale than being caught smoking crack while inebriated (which for the mayor of the fourth largest city in North America, is already dark enough as it is), and it links Ford and Lisi to possible criminal activity. Lisi was not the only shady character Ford was known to hang around with. The fact that the Fords have been allowed to get away with this up until this huge scandal would establish them as skilled public manipulators. They lack polish, but they even work that to their favour.

UPDATE: I have discovered Joy Green mentioned in the UK Independent. News travels far.

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