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Monthly Archives: February 2012

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY MARCUS GEE IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

A cheeseburger-eating dullard from Etobicoke who likes driving his car every day into the city, often while illegally using his cellphone, fires an experienced expert in transit.

And this is transportation policy?
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“Rob Ford clearly campaigned and won on a platform of subways. The bureaucrats are there to serve the government of the day.”

A mayoral candidate may campaign on any issue he or she likes, but being elected does not mean, in our system, that your campaign issue becomes law.

The Council – the genuine political authority for the city, just as Parliament is the genuine national political authority – has voted, and Ford lost.

We’ve had that happen, many times.

Just because Miller was elected, we did not close down the Island Airport, and that is a good thing.

Ford simply does not know what he is talking about. What kind of city do you build on the basis of ignorance?

Toronto is a city of narrow streets for the most part, and it has almost no grand avenues going its length or width to permit the flow of cars.

It absolutely must think in terms other than the car for the future.

And subways are terribly expensive.

The world’s great subway systems – like London or Paris or New York – were mostly built when labor was extremely cheap: you could not reproduce one of them today unless you had a hundred billion dollars available.

When you ask the general public a question in which either they are not competent or that is loaded with emotional baggage, you can often get just the answer you want: polls and marketers do that all the time.

So asking people in general about subways – without their having any hint of knowledge about technical or financial realities – borders on meaningless fantasy.

Claiming campaign slogans as representing the voice of the people is simply unthinking nonsense, much like giving weight to a candidate’s asking people if they’d all like free passes to an expensive restaurant.

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Just one more proof of the trash CBC management is making of our once-proud radio network.

When Bill Richardson handled Canada Reads, listeners heard sly humor and the observations of an interesting, graceful mind.

Jian Ghomeshi and the people organizing his show have long ago demonstrated they have the Midas touch in reverse by turning gold into garbage.

Bringing on the guest who made these tasteless, and perhaps libelous, comments (Anne-France Goldwater, who called one author a terrorist and another a liar) shows the same lack of judgment shown when a certain unpleasant America hillbilly singer seriously embarrassed Ghomeshi on air.

And why was the unpleasant hillbilly or this “Judge Judy” type brought on air? To juice things up as only mediocrities like Ghomeshi and his producers would understand juicing things up. Once again, they were caught in a display of poor judgment and genuine incompetence.

The genuine humor is gone from Canada Reads because Ghomeshi, as proved through several past efforts of CBC executives pushing him on the radio-listening public, has no sense of humor worth listening to.

I recall, a few years back before he had his current show, when this boring man served as summer host on a show, dishing up day after day, as his idea of humor, a pathetic line about trying to read James Joyce’s Ulysses plus a few other inane attempts at humor.

I never wanted to hear his voice again, but he was given a big new show, all kinds of publicity, some big-name interviews, Canada Reads, and apparently a very large salary which CBC will not reveal.

As for the intellectual part of Canada Reads with Bill Richardson, well, Ghomeshi is nothing but a pop record promoter – not unlike a latter-day, Canadian version of Dick Clark. He has a totally uninteresting mind, and I never listened to Canada Reads again.

Well, they do say, ”time wounds all heels,” don’t they?

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY PAUL KORING IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

We went into Afghanistan for one reason only.

The exact quote is: we owe one to the Pentagon.

Those words were said considering Canada’s previous principled refusal to enter the insane slaughter in Iraq and to participate in one of America’s projects for the militarization of space.

The Liberals, in agreeing, thought Canadians would not be in front-line duty and serve only as the kind of behind-the-front (fairly token) support true so many other NATO nations hoping to placate America.

Also since America had managed to get a UN resolution – as it mostly does in such matters through quiet browbeating, threats to aid, cajoling, and even pay-back threats – Canada took it as a sign of international recognition of legitimacy.

But Afghanistan never had real legitimacy.

Just look at all the NATO contributions. In view of the size of the country and of the exaggerated American claims of its vital nature and world-importance, all the contributions are token, ranging in size from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Does anyone not believe that had NATO countries believed the American nonsense about the vital nature of the mission that the contributions would have been in the tens of thousands?

The entire matter has been a vast charade, a charade basically covering America’s naked desire for extreme revenge in Afghanistan.

The Taleban never attacked anyone, and to this day we haven’t one ounce of proof bin Laden had anything to do with it, other than to enjoy the spectacle of an enemy being hurt.

Nasty as the Taleban were, they were no worse than the ugly members of the Northern Alliance, the people America used – behind a front of carpet-bombing – to actually fight the Taleban and the people some of whose members rule until this day.

All the stuff about rights was the lowest form of propaganda.

After all, the Russians during their invasion and occupation did many things in keeping with improving Afghanistan’s modernity, and what was the American response? To send billions in armaments to the people fighting the Russians.

We have no better modern example of a pointless war presented as something which it was not.

Even Vietnam, that modern holocaust in which the United States killed perhaps 3 million people and left behind a hideous mess of mine and Agent Orange and craters from carpet-bombing, never had such phony propaganda about its purpose.

A fool’s mission all around I am sorry to say, but the ugly truth may better prepare Canadians against such lunatic American projects in future.

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“Almost all the top comments here have unnecessary and ANTI-SEMITIC language.”

People who criticize Israel are not, ipso facto, anti-Semitic.

Nor are the people who apologize for Israel’s bloody excesses necessarily qualified to judge the motives of others who do not accept such behavior: fanatics in any realm of human activity are never people qualified to sit in judgement.

It is an insult to logic and intelligence to have this slur repeated, over and over, yet in every forum of public opinion concerning Israel, we have this name-calling repeated.

It is ad hominem attack which itself reflects clear prejudice and often just plain hatefulness.

If Israel is to be a state like any other state, it is subject to the same criticisms as any other state, full stop.

And today Israel, as a state, breaks almost every international norm and treaty and convention you care to name.

People who care about such things are not to be put off by gratuitous insults.

There are huge issues at stake in Israel’s behaviors and in its demands, and since Israel and her supporters demand of people in Canada, the United States, and Europe, never tire of seeking assistance and support, surely the people of these countries have the right and obligation to speak about very troubling matters.

Israel extra-judicially kills at will regularly. If you want to support that, fine, but there is no argument against the ugly fact.

Israel steals the homes and farms of others regularly. Again, if you want to support that, fine, but it is practice violating every norm of a free society and indeed of a free enterprise economy operating under laws.

Israel keeps millions in oppressive bondage with no genuine rights or application of just laws. You are free to support that, but others are right to observe it is a throwback to societies we all believed were things of the past.

Israel attacks every neighbor that it has, over and over, and it demands military action against countries like Iran who have made no threats. You are free to support that, but others are just as free – in our society at least – to say that the invasion of Iraq, which the U.S. conducted on Israel’s behalf, was a terrible war crime, responsible for deaths of a million souls, and repeating it in Iran is simply unthinkable.