Category Archives: The Star

The Real Assault on Democracy

While Stephen Harper has provided obvious fodder in the last few months for the assertion that our democracy is crumbling, we ought not to lose sight of the fact that the real assault on democracy is being perpetrated by the Liberals. Harper throws wrecking balls at democracy, but Liberals are the water damage that erodes the foundation. Which is more insidious? I believe the duplicity and surreptitiousness of the Liberals is ultimately worse. Firstly, because Liberals are no better than Conservatives and secondly because the public, sadly even “progressives”, repeatedly fall for the illusion that Liberals are an answer to the erosion of democracy and the future of Canada. Two examples come to mind from today’s news.

In a real democracy, there ought to be a functioning progressive and critical voice represented in the spectrum of mainstream media. In Canada, for instance, even red necks, beer guzzling populists, and potbellied army loving mullet wearing males who revel in the destruction of the planet regularly are reflected The Toronto Sun and the National Post. Similarly, smarmy careerists and opportunists of middling intelligence burdened by colonial guilt but not really willing to do anything substantive about it and who equate democracy with Liberalism and conflate pragmatism with entitlement will find themselves reflected in The Toronto Star. What about a critical Left perspective? Wholly absent from mainstream media (yes in part owing to failures of the Left as well).

To anyone who has ever doubted that The Star is anything but a shill for the Liberal Party, you need to look no further than than today’s paper which leads with a vicious, calculated and sensationalistic attack on Adam Giambrone. That an alleged affair by a mayoral candidate would make the news is not surprising. What is surprising is the newsbroker. If the Toronto Sun (which I’m sure is relishing piling on Giamrone) or Sue-Ann Levy (expect her hysterical contribution soon) had led the charge of such an attack, I wouldn’t have blinked, but this was perpetrated by The Star; and in a fashion meant deliberately not only to sully his character but to destroy his political campaign. For right-wing Puritans the news of an affair would have been enough, but you add the revelations of the political staging of his live-in relationship and you add a whole new layer of dishonesty and opportunism. And what do Liberals notoriously excel at? Yes, staging, co-ordinated photo-ops, creating false appearances, and win at all costs opportunism.

Here’s another take on events, about as substantiated as the Star’s revelations. This entire episode reeks of gutter politics, precisely those not unknown to that prototypical Liberal, George Smitherman. Wonder if he’s ever used his office inappropriately. The Star story is far too crafted and is deliberately nuanced to undermine the political campaign. This is clearly not done in the interests of the public, but transparently politically motivated. While various candidates stand to benefit from this crippling blow to Giambrone, Smitherman has the most to gain in that it virtually makes him an uncontested front runner. I’m not suggesting that the Smitherman goons have paid this woman to come forward (not that it’s beneath them), rather that the changing political culture at the Star, as the unabashed mouthpiece of the Ontario Liberals, is such that it too now shamelessly engages in the same sleek, demeaning and nefarious kind of politics that characterize the modern Ontario Liberals.

I mean, even if what is reported is accurate, is it really that reprehensible that Giambrone would attempt to minimize his relationship if trying to seduce someone else? I certainly hope we never reach the day when all of our correspondences, especially those about which we have an expectation of privacy, become public. You can bet, however, that if someone did come forward with allegations about Smitherman’s inappropriate sexual or professional behaviour, The Star would not take the lead.

Lastly, I understand that tomorrow across Ontario will be held a forced ratification vote amongst the province’s 9000 or so “full-time” faculty, a majority of whom are really not at all full-time but partial-load (which means no class limits, no job security, no pay for prep or evaluation). My understanding also is that the average annual salary of these faculty is just over 30000. My sense is that the dispute is hardly about a bunch of overpaid facultyThere are also about 8000 part-time & “sessional” teachers who do the bulk of the teaching, but that’s a whole other story.

For the membership to accept the imposed final offer is quite simply is a capitulation to the continued undermining of collective bargaining and democracy in this province. The attack on this constitutionally protected right was brazenly started by Mike Harris who shamelessly repealed anti-scab legislation, made union certification more difficult and decertification easier, even repealing a law that had allowed farm labourers to unionize. Here’s my problem: The current Liberal government swept into power promising to reverse the damage only to surreptitiously continue the assault on organized labour. Each time workers are legislated back to work, each time a forced ratification vote is granted, it only naturalizes these insidious assaults on democracy. And it is precisely in recessionary times that we must not cede ground.

For the record, a forced ratification vote is nothing but a calculated attempt to circumvent a duly elected representative union executive and its bargaining team by ignoring its legitimacy and attempting to sway the membership directly. It is neither endemic nor helpful to reaching negotiated settlements.

P.S. Sociopathic military leaders? That’s only the second place I’d go looking for sociopaths. Number #1 location in Canada for sociopaths: Bay St., Toronto.

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The Toronto Star should be ashamed!

I was wondering when The Star would ramp up it shilling for the Liberal Party of Canada, and I guess today’s Saturday edition must have been decided as the best time to do so. I suspect that next Saturday is when we’ll see the editorial board come out and officially endorse the LPC. I still maintain The Star should have been claimed as a campaign expense by the McGuinty Liberals last year and that they failed the public miserably in their coverage of  the provincial election.

It’s unfortunate that the Left and progressives in this country need to be dependent on the whims of  the CBC and The Star in order that occasionally and inconsistently their voices may be heard in the MSM. But, it’s downright shameful when The Star resorts to this kind of irresponsible, transparently biased, reporting.  Seriously, in this story The Star approaches Cherniakian levels of desperation and disingenuousness. As we’ve seen in the last couple of days, The Star’s story line to aid and abet the Liberals is going to be to attempt to refashion Dion’s image as leader and to create the impression that the tide is turning. 
Thus, under the banner of Winning Support, we see the bold headline Dion in need of converts”.  We are then told the story of conversion of  Sue Cox.  I think Sue Cox was chosen because apparently women supporters of the Liberal Party have been drifting over to Conservatives for a more phallic leader. But anyway, this articulate woman had come to see Dion with a certain negative predisposition and amazingly walked away “completely changed”.  Cox’s conversion was of biblical proportion. It was like Saul becoming Paul on the road to Damascus. The tide is turning, Dion is a really leader (note how, he defended Lesley Hughes, then after flip flopping, following apparently heavy influence from Jewish community groups, he showed leadership and fired her, without even telling her).  The tide is turning, the campaign isn’t over. We have a leader. Right? Well, not so much. (numbers today showed NDP and Liberals tied in support at 21% and Liberals bleeding support to Conservatives).
Back to the article, and Sue Cox could have been one of those women lured to the dark side by Stephen Harper, but having seen Stephane Dion, she has become a “CONVERT”. This is all well and good if by “CONVERT”, The Star actually means “shill, decoy, Liberal hack, and Gerard Kennedy campaign worker.  I repeat, The Star, and Bruce Campion-Smith particularly, should be ashamed of their grossly incompetent journalism. Just about everyone in Toronto knows Sue Cox’s direct connections to the LPC. 
While Gerard “don’t hate me cause I’m a spoon fed white boy “Professor” who fights poverty sitting on a chair earning good coin” Kennedy was building up his “incredulous” reputation as a poverty activist, Sue Cox was his right hand woman, who eventually became herself the Director of The Daily Bread Food Bank (this is not a shot a the Food Bank which has served our community admirably, but to the extent it has done so, it is largely because of the many people who volunteer and who actually roll up their sleeves and go meet poverty head on).  Sue Cox endorsed Kennedy’s run a the Liberal leadership, and has been working on his campaign to represent Parkdale High Park. She is also part of the Parkdale-High Park Federal Liberal Riding Association.
So, I’m left wondering. How can anyone with any integrity refer to Sue Cox as a convert. Perhaps, the headline should have read “Liberal insiders finally starting to respect Dion”. But then again, perhaps that headline should’ve come ago so that the Liberals could have mounted a credible challenge and alternative to Stephen Harper.  More worrisome, however, is the brash and transparent attempt to propagandize for the Liberals and deceive the reader!  This article was clearly contrived to attempt create a different image of Stephane Dion and to reverse the trend for Gerard Kennedy, whose star is rapid falling here in Parkdale High Park.