London Ontario Canada

April 30, 2011

Harper, Layton and Iggy on Jets and Jails

Filed under: Uncategorized — thatguyinlondon @ 11:16 pm

Why are the billions to be spent on jets and jails not an issue. With all the Lib slam ads, you’d think that would get some ink. I know Jack isn’t much into the whole slam ad stuff, but when asked how he is going to pay for his platform (Iggy says Jack has promised 10’s of millions in spending) not buying jets and jails would be a solid answer.
So are jets and super jails a given. Are these billions already spent? Help me out here, I am baffled.

Vote Mob Election 2011 – London, Ontario

April 30, 2011 London, Ontario Vote Mob

My dog and I walked down to Victoria Park today to witness the London version of The Vote Mob. Did you see me? I was the guy with the dog who wouldn’t stop barking. He barked whenever the crowd applauded. He barked at other dogs, squirrels, stroller (or anything with wheels) and I am sure he also barked at his shadow and for no reason at all. He did growl at one guy. I suspect he was a Conservative.

I was talking to someone and didn’t really see or hear one speaker. I asked my friend who it was and he told me it was Joe Fontana. Ooops. In my defence I was not very close. Is he really short? Or was I THAT far back. Not that I care if he is short, just asking. mY friend also said he saw Pearson and a couple other Liberals, but none were flying their colours or campaigning. Only the Green Party seemed to be visible, but they kept way back with a table far from the crowd.

There were purple people there and even an old guy. The purple guy told me they said fly your Western colours.  And so he did. Who is The Purple Guy? There was even a guy with a bent nose walking around saying, “fogetaboutit” over and over. I think he was confused by the term “vote mob”. There was lots of red, but it was Canadian red not Liberal red. I was worried about that when the organizers suggested wearing red, but it worked. The turnout was of all ages, but us old folks were well out numbered. If even half the people who showed up actually go and vote I think this event can be called a success.

Rick Mercer spoke for a long time then gave what seemed to be a lesson in photo-ops. He had the crowd do the wave and set up the “Surprise! We’re voting” clip I expect to see with the evening news, looking like it wasn’t staged.  No problem with that. I guess that is how TV works. I was too far away for Rick to see me, but I said hi just the same. Somewhere in the cosmic make up of life he’ll get the greeting.

One thing I noticed was there were only three London Police there for a crowd of (reportedly) 1,000 people. 10 days ago in the same park there were 25 police for a crowd of about 200 people for the 420 Celebration. I guess students aren’t as risky as anti-prohibitionists.

For more Vote Mob photos CLICK HERE


Mayor Joe. I don’t know. He seemed out of his element. Still, he got them cheering and that inspires them and all is good.

Okay, here is another video which I stopped watching at 1:33 so I could post it. I am endorsing this as the “best video ever”, then going back to watch the other half. More than once, for sure.  Got more videos? Send them in and I’ll post them.

This is one from London Fuse, including an interview with Rick Mercer.

As a matter of perspective and contrast or whatever the right words are, but mostly  because I can, here is a shot from Victoria Park (close enough to the same angle as the purple guy) of April 20th 2010, 420.

Click to enlarge

(okay, there wasn’t a confused mobster walking around)

April 29, 2011

420 2011 25 Police For Maybe 200 Anti-Prohibitionists in London, Ontario

Prior to April 20th, 2011 the press published articles about the 420 activities in London’s “designated area” of Victoria Park. These articles were warning (or threats) from the London Police. It was stated that arrests would be made. Cited were the charges that would be laid. The turnout was bleak. Partly due to weather, but partly due to fear. Well, arrests were indeed made. Both local papers ran a story with a video. The LFP didn’t allow comments and Metro doesn’t seem to have readers, or nobody cares. I am not seeing much about this anywhere. There is no follow-up and nobody seems to care that the police started the unrest in the first place. The fact there was blatant police brutality has not received any press.

Someone made a video and posted it on YouTube. Around the 3:20 mark you can see three “peace” officers kneeing someone they have well pinned on the ground. Here it is:

How could this not have drawn some outrage? First the warnings, then the overkill on the arrests at an otherwise peaceful gathering. This is a first, too. 420 has always been tolerated and it went about its brief day without incident. This time the police caused the incident. Now I know they didn’t do this on their own. They were told to do it. 25 officers were sent to the park with a mandate of making arrests. The reports are there were three. I wonder if that was the mandate? The question is, who told them? Who are the likely suspects? I can only think of two with the “power” to do so and that is the Mayor and Chief of Police. Are there others who can say “sic ’em”?

Does anyone know the people who were  arrested? Got any follow-up info you want to share?

(This segment was cut from the first blog post. What started as an introduction became a rant so I separated the rant part and reposted it here. This got so little attention here and in the local media. Here I can understand, who really knows these words are here to read. But the local media? Other blogs? Barely a word.)

Here is the video Hutch mentioned in his comment. Looks like it is just him and I who are outraged:

Newsmakers: Jodie Emery talks about prohibition on Rogers TV. May 12, 2011

April 28, 2011

Harper’s Susan Truppe Ignattieff Slam Flyer

Filed under: Federal — Tags: , , , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 7:57 pm

Today I was honoured with a 5 1/2 by 9 1/2 piece of junk mail from Harper.  I am not sure which is supposed to be the facing side. The first side I saw had a big red square (attention-getting) with a waving Ignatieff. The quot above read:

“Canadians associate the Conservatives with Economic recovery and low taxes, and the Liberals with weak leadership and internal divisions”

I am not sure if they are attached, but below in much smaller print is the quote:

“stronger economy weakens Liberals” – John Ivison, National Post, January 7, 2011

I believe it is true that Canadians associate the Conservatives with economic recovery. The thing is, it was the Conservatives who caused the deficit. As far as the low taxes, they didn’t trickle down to the likes of me. I am paying more taxes as far as I can tell. That last bit I cannot make sense out unless Ivison is saying this false perception makes the Liberals look bad.

Flip this card. I say card because it is made with a very heavy stock. (I wonder what that set the Conservatives back?) On this side I am forced to look at a picture of Harper. That smile of his makes me think he is about to turn on me any second. Here are listed quotes boasted the Cons achievements.

“Good jobs stage comeback” – Globe and Mail, January 7, 2011 (only good ones, like maybe appointments and upper management)

“Canada’s economy is creating more secure, higher paying jobs” – Globe and Mail January 7, 2011. (secure? Those must be Senate posts)

“The Canadian job market capped off its best year since 2002…powered by a record surge in manufacturing (jobs)” – “Canada sees robust gains in new job data” – National Post, January 8, 2011 (The best record since 2002. This was written in 2011.  And how robust were those gains over 9 years?)

“Better job security” – Globe and Mail, January 7, 2011. (How do you measure job security? That is likely just a sound bite from the same Jan. 7 article)

“Canada has the strongest economy in the G7 and has already made up all the jobs lost in the 2008 recession. (but not as good as it was in 2002 and I am still reading about job cuts, layoffs and high unemployment rates.)

Back to Iggy at the bottom of all this with the  quote:

“Good news could evaporate if the debate – led by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff- continues to escalate (and) result in a ‘long-run’ cost of….roughly 200,000 jobs.” – “Analysis: Tax cuts needed to stay in game” – Financial Post, January 25, 2011.

Okay, so not Iggy either. Thanks for the tip, Steph. Just curious though what these 200,000 jobs are going to be and what do the ….’s replace?

Did I mention Susan Truppe gets a small, quoteless section at the bottom of the Iggy-slam side? Normally this kind of junk mail goes directly to the recycle box. What a waste of paper! Note the dates? All from January 2011, all but a few from the same paper. My guess is the same article. Was Harper campaigning in January? I heard the Con rhetoric that this was an election that Canadians did not want. But it sure seems that is was one that Harper not only wanted, but was getting in early. They are still airing that one slam add that has Iggy saying he won’t take a GST hike off the table. From 2008. Here it is 2011 and the GST is gone with a higher rate HST.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not an Ignatieff fan. I was afraid I would have to vote for Pearson (another Lib who doesn’t show up to vote) just to deny Harper a majority. Now I can vote with my heart and give Jack a chance. They say he has no experience. Maybe that assumed lack of experience will translate to more accountability. Maybe that assumed lack of experience will mean more transparency (he’ll certainly be under the microscope) and maybe, just maybe we will see less spin come out of Ottawa.

The Most Brilliant Idea Ever?

I am a firm believer that there are no original ideas, but  got this one and to ME it is original, so I am just going to go with that.

Background:

Joe Fontana wants to build a new City Hall.  It will cost (he says) $100 million. The discussions I am seeing involve questions like: Should a new one be built? Should they just fix the old one? Where is the money coming from? (Apparently a great deal of Fontana becoming Mayor is due to his pledge of zero tax increase).

My Brilliant Idea:

It’s not original. It is “stolen” and reworked. You know the TV show Extreme Home Makeover (or whatever it is)? We have an Extreme City Hall Makeover show. Huh? See where I am going with this?

Why do businesses donate to a home makeover? Mostly advertising and a bit for goodwill. Here they can have both. Certainly London has enough major construction companies to pony up a chunk of their advertising budget to donate to rebuilding City Hall.  Dare I suggest even the unions kick in? But not just the big dogs. Small businesses should also want to get in on the action, they have advertising budgets too. Advertising companies have advertising budgets. Let’s invite them too. The local media could have potential National Exposure (advertising dollars). The A-Channel (or maybe the new Sun) could take it and run with a series of shows. How hard can it be to put together a “reality” show? The list goes on.

What’s in it for you? The citizen?

You get a new City Hall (likely better than the one you’d get for $100 million), at a cost of ZERO tax dollars.

I call this Tax By Choice. This particular tax is in the form of advertising dollars. You got advertising bucks? Pony up, if you want.

April 26, 2011

Lotteries, Prostitution, Cannabis and Gambling

Another day of studying Election 2011 and watching hockey. The games are full of campaign ads. I keep seeing that Con ad that slams Iggy with a sound clip saying he “won’t take GST hike off the table”. That was in 2008 and the GST is the HST. Not sure if it the same ad or not, but another Con gaff is stating Harper got rid of the GST. Okay, I’ll give him that, but they failed to mention bringing in the HST.

It’s all about money. The most recent slam ads against Jack Layton and the NDP don’t go after his platform as much as they go after where the money is coming from. I would think the most simple answer, and the biggest vote-getter, would be  something like, “I won’t waste 9 billion on super prisons and I won’t waste (whatever the number eventually becomes) 14 billion on jets”. Nobody is saying anything like that so I have to think Liberals, NDP and Cons are all on the same page on those  issues. I certainly hope not.

All governments need money for their programs and mostly it comes from the citizens and usually the lower classes suffer the most and the upper classes couldn’t care less. So we have to find money somewhere else. Oh wait, they all talk about reducing crime too…well, except Harper, he wants to increase crime by making more laws so he can fill his super prisons. Maybe that’s not really his thinking, but that’s what he makes me think. Back on track. What if we could reduce crime AND make billions in taxes doing so? What if also with the same stroke of the brush we could make a national statement on freedom and human rights? Impossible, you say? Likely, because this country (world) is so full of holier than thou moralists it’ll likely never happen, but I can dream.

Lotteries are already a huge business. How much does our government get? We do not tax lottery winnings and that is a good thing. No point in winning, then losing all in the same stroke. Some of the lotteries like 649 and Lotto max often have top prizes of  $10m plus. Lotto Max once a week and Lotto 649 every two weeks. So why isn’t the governments on all levels not getting a bigger piece of the pie. I mean really, if you are making 50 grand a year and you won a $5m lottery, would you be bitching because it could have been $10m if the government wasn’t making off it? Okay, likely because the majority of us are greedy bastards, but let’s look past that for now. While I am on about lotteries, what sense does it make that a 1st place win can get prizes like $50m and the 2nd place is a buck and a half. Spread it out! Lottery winners are going to spend, let’s make more of them. And maybe lots will take their winnings and retire, opening up jobs. Tax by choice. Sounds reasonable.

London has a Slots Casino and racetrack. I was reading the other day and hope I read wrong but it said city or maybe province got 5%. Now that doesn’t sound like much. Who gets the rest? Where does all that gambling money go? And since we already condone gambling in the form of horse races, slots and lotteries, why not add poker and other casino games to the mix, with the governments taking a bigger cut? More tax by choice.

Anyone with half a brain, baked or no can see the economic value of legalizing cannabis. All we need to do is figure out how to get past the lobbyists from big pharma, lumber, tobacco and alcohol. Can you say cash crop. Even if it is hard to tax because people can grow their own, much can be made from it. Certainly enough to pay for rehab and health costs from other drugs. Okay, I am saying Cannabis here but really all drugs. Legalize pot and decriminalize all the others. Treat addiction like the health issue it is.

The oldest profession. We all know what that is and if you extrapolate that word to mean just selling self for money (as opposed to sex) we are all prostitutes at one time or another. Decriminalize, tax and admit it is always going to be there no matter how righteous and indignant lots may feel about it.

Each of these things requires taking away illegalities which will instantly reduce crime. Each of these things will bring in unheard of tax dollars. So much in fact that  maybe we can get rid of or actually reduce income tax. (like THAT will ever happen). The downsides? I’ll leave those up to you. I got to leave something open to invite dialogue in case anyone stumbles in here and actually reads my ramblings. Have at it.

April 25, 2011

Inevitably I Write About The 2011 Federal Election

Filed under: Federal — Tags: , , , , , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 11:30 am

I have never really been big on politics or the news in general. To me politicians are spin doctors and little more and the news is so slanted on cannot believe what one sees. Maybe it was the movie Wag The Dog that got to me, maybe it is just reality. Well, I am paying attention now.

When I first heard there was going to be another election I was glad. In the past couple years or so I have been reading tons about Cannabis, the “War on Drugs” and prisons. The USA has the #1 prison population, and though I cannot be bothered to look up the stats as I sit here and type, I am betting Canada is not that far behind. This scares me and seeing Harper wants to pass a “tough on crime” bill that will imprison people for smoking a joint, I KNOW I don’t want a Harper Government. Besides that, I am Canadian and will always want the Government of Canada no matter who is the leader.

To test the mettle of a person I like to find out what their stand is on the decriminalization of marijuana, or as it should be called, Prohibition. I don’t do this because I am a pothead who just want to get high, though that argument could be fairly made, I do this because it is a good testament to one’s character. The whole illegal cannabis thing is political. It started with William Hurts worrying about his paper mills, and I suppose that industry is still involved. But the main players are Big Pharma.  They cannot patent cannabis, cannot make money off of it and it doesn’t lead to their completely legal, highly addictive, expensive prescription drugs. So to me, if you are pro-prohibition, you do not care about the lives of others and support the age-old propaganda.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that I first looked at each parties view on cannabis. It is amazing how many politicians claim they have smoked pot, yet they won’t put the laws on their platform. They think it should be legal. That means they broke the law. That means they are admitted criminals, yet they can still run for public office. Does that make sense? And even if that doesn’t make them criminals, it certainly makes them hypocrites. Not a real popular trait for someone saying what we can or cannot put into out bodies.

Sure that’s just one point and an election platform has many. I was thinking that for this election my only option was to vote against Harper. That means I’d have to vote for Pearson (the guy who doesn’t show up in Parliament to vote so therefore doesn’t really carry your voice) because he stood the biggest chance of defeating Truppe. As the campaigns rolled on my fear of Harper increased and I really, really tried to give Iggy a chance but I just don’t trust him. Both the Greens and PQ are caught up in a single issues, or so it seems. The PQ want to be their own country and the Greens are banging the environment drum. They are both issues worthy of attention, but it takes more than that to run the country.

This leaves Jack. I have always liked the NDP because they took the time to make me feel like they really cared about people. I see Jack stumping around and just like him. I like a lot of what he says and like the sense of hope he instills. I really like the fact that I feel I can call our PM Jack. The attack ads I saw lately have questioned where Jack is going to get the money to support his platform. I don’t know, but I bet the NDP have given it some thought. You could ask that about any party, really. Where is the money coming from to but jets and build super prisons? It costs somewhere around $80k a year to house a prisoner.  That means for every non-violent, no victim criminal released from jail, 5 seniors could have a pension closer to, but not quite there yet, to the poverty level. Buy one less jet (how many are going to crash anyways?) and you could do the same for about 830 seniors. That’s just a flip example a dough head like me can come up with. The money is there and being spent by every party, so let’s look at where it is spent not where it is coming from.

In news comment posts I often see Bob Rae waved as a red flag against the NDP. When was that? 20 years ago? Is Jack Bob? Has nothing changed with the NDP since Rae? And isn’t Rae a Liberal now anyways? The only people who can use Rae as a slight against the NDP are Harper Canadians. Man, those people scare me.

If I wasn’t really paying attention to the campaigns I would be voting Liberal to oust (and send a message) to Harper. Since I have been paying attention I realized I can vote for Liberal out of fear, or NDP out of hope. Harper is just friggin’ scary. Iggy will say whatever works. Jack feels real and I have faith in him to continue caring about the country and its people.

I do believe my mind is made up and I don’t just want Jack to beat Iggy to lead the minority opposition, I want Jack as PM and the NDP as the minority. I mean yes, I like him, but I don’t want any of them to have a majority. I the beginning of all this I was just saying VOTE. Just get out there and vote (out Harper). Now I am convinced that voting NDP is the best of the choices we are given. Now, even if there were a “none of the above” on the ballot, I would still put my X next to NDP. Now to spend the last week of the election looking up German Gutierrez to see what he is all about personally, not that it really, really matters. In Canada we have to vote for the party, not the representative. I am pretty darn sure the Cons would do better this tine around if they didn’t have a Harper attached to them.

Vote NDP. If you cannot manage that, at least get out and vote, unless you like Harper then maybe it’s best you just stayed at home.

April 24, 2011

Update to 420 Peaceful Demonstration Arrests

Filed under: 420 — Tags: , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 9:23 am

From the  Police Service website:

Results of “4-20”
On Wednesday April 20, 2011, at 4:20 PM, the London Police attended the area of Victoria Park in response to the anticipated “4-20” protest. There were approximately 100 protestors. Police arrested 5 people which lead to 4 drug possession related charges and other criminal charges, such as cause disturbance and resist arrest. As the protest continued, the protestors remained peaceful and there were no further confrontations with the police.


100 protesters and 25 “peace” officers equals 5 arrests. The big sting! I am sure this brings great pride to all Londoners. It is good to know our tax dollars are well spent. Not!

Note the time of the arrests: 4:20pm. How long was the demonstration going on before that, with no problems? Right at 4:20 the police made their move and the “cause disturbance” began. Shouldn’t it be those officers up on charges? I don’t want to sound like I am in a schoolyard, but they started it! What about “resist arrest”? Did you watch the video? Any of them? Did anyone see any resisting other than maybe the guy on the ground resisting getting kneed in the kidneys? If you did, let me know, I’ll post it. And it closes with “As the protest continued, the protestors remained peaceful and there were no further confrontations with the police.”  Could this be because the “peace” officers stopped harassing people? I say it was peaceful from the start and the police created the disturbance.

Who are these 5 people? Do you know them? Are they willing to talk? When are the court dates? Have any charges been dropped?

If you have any information, pictures or video, please get in touch. I’ll be happy to post them and present your side of the story.

April 23, 2011

Building new City Hall part of mayor’s core vision

Filed under: City Hall — Tags: , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 9:53 am

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2011/04/22/18056911.html

Since the LFP chose to not allow comments on this story, I’ll repost here with my comments and leave plenty of space for you to leave your own.

LFP: With a summit on the downtown’s future looming next week, Fontana is pitching the pricey project — a source of debate for years — as a catalyst to trigger millions in private development in the core. – LFP

(How can building a new city hall trigger millions is private development? The only way I can see is whatever construction company gets the job will have millions to spend. And will that construction company be a Joe supporter?)

LFP: “This is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said.

(“He”  being Joe. Of course it is once in a lifetime. Do you think you’d get a chance to do it twice?)

LFP: Details? Few have been offered, but Fontana says council must decide by this summer its plans for city hall — and he’s prepared for criticism of his idea.

(Good thing you are prepared for criticism, Joe. I bet you’ll get plenty, starting here. No details yet but only months to decide. Way to plan ahead.)

LFP: It’s been estimated construction of a new city hall could hit $100 million, a huge bill made all the more eye-popping considering the mayor’s push for spending restraint and tax freezes. But Fontana counters that the construction costs make sense considering what’s already being spent on the aging city hall. Asbestos removal at the 40-year-old building could top $20 million, and the city spent $2.2 million last year leasing outside office space for squeezed-out staff.

(Could hit $100, but how many projects come in under budget, especially when the city is footing the bill? Spending $100 million so you don’t have to spend $20 million can only make sense in politics. As for the $2.2 million for renting outside space, how about reducing staff in city hall?)

LFP: Spending millions to maintain a city hall that some consider inadequate is a bad idea, Fontana says.

(Who considers it inadequate? Joe doesn’t like his office?)

LFP: An alternative he lays out involves building a new city hall that could be “leveraged” to create an even larger project that would bring institutions and private companies into the core.

(Like say a convention center or an arena such as the JLC?)

LFP: “We have an incredible opportunity. Let’s start setting the table and see what it looks like,” Fontana said.

(As in spending thousands to do studies that in all likelihood will be ignored if they don’t show the “correct” results?)

LFP: This is clearly Fontana’s priority with the so-called Downtown Core Summit — something of a brainstorming exercise between politicians and the public — set for next Wednesday.

(An exercise is correct. An exercise in futility, perhaps. The public may be able to speak, but will council listen?

LFP: Fontana’s arrival at city hall has clearly shifted those gears, and he’s made continued downtown renewal a priority.

(Is that why the police were called to arrest peaceful demonstrators in Vic Park on 420?)

April 22, 2011

Yeah, Like The Internet Needs Another Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — thatguyinlondon @ 9:44 pm

Who am I and what am I doing here?

The first part is easy. I am just a guy with stuff to say. I live in London, Ontario and a lot of what I have to say is local, but London is in Ontario so some of what I have to say is Provincial. Since both of these are in Canada, some of what I have to say is Federal.

For many, many years I managed to get by just fine by not paying a lot of attention to the news. What with the Federal Election I started reading the online papers (London Free Press and Metro), blogs, YouTube and links to all manner of  sites. My interest in the federal elections led me to an interest in US candidates for 2012. No telling where surfing the net will take you. Most everything online has a “comment” section. I found with many of the papers I have read, they are very selective with what stories they allow one to leave a comment. Or the comments section is closed the same day the story is published. One story really got my attention and I guess can be attributed to start of this blog.

(I moved the later bit of this post. It started out to be an introduction but fast became a rant about 420 and the police. I moved that to its own blog post. I apologize to the only person to comment on this thread. I am going to delete it because it is now so disjointed. Please feel free to recomment on the appropriate post)

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: