The Righteous Indignation of the Sanctimonious Small Mind

May 13, 2013

If after two and a half years you’re still trying to get a handle on what drives Ford Nation, to pop open the hood and see the grinding of the gears, to catch a glimpse into its beating black heart, allow me to introduce Exhibit A.onthecouch

I’ll set the table for you first.

It’s during Tuesday’s city council debate. The item is a request for a report from the City Manager on an exemption to the commercial jet ban at the island airport for Porter Airlines. Like everything else about the island airport, the issue is heated and contentious.

Up stands Councillor Mike Del Grande to wade in with his thoughts. Remember the topic. A report. From the City Manager. Exploring the merits (or not) of lifting the current ban on jets flying in and out of the island airport. Porter Airlines. Jets. Island Airport. Staff Report.

Take it away, Councillor Del Grande…

Umm… What?

A quick reminder. A report. From the City Manager. Exploring the merits (or not) of lifting the current ban on jets flying in and out of the island airport. Porter Airlines. Jets. Island Airport. Staff Report.

I guess somewhere in there is an attempt at a logical through line that with jets, whatdidhejustsayPorter would experience an overall expansion of operations and, with that, more jobs although given the company’s labour dealings right now with its striking fuel handlers it’s tough to say that would necessarily be a good thing for the overall economy.

But frankly, I’m stretching to give those five minutes any kind of coherent narrative. It’s really nothing more than impenetrable resentment and anger directed at those who, what did the councillor say, come to City Hall, impolitely bullying councillors and “… sit there smug because you got it good and other people don’t have it good.”

Now, it always bears pointing out that, back a little while ago when this very councillor was the city’s budget chief, he derided the widows and orphans for wanting cupcakes. And somehow he now views himself as a class warrior, looking out for the have-nots? And standing up in defense of re-opening an agreement that would allow one company to buy a fleet of jets it’s already pre-ordered with delivery contingent on the city now allowing it to fly jets in and out of the airport will somehow bring prosperity to the land and spread the wealth around?

Trying to piece together such rantings is entirely beside the point.angrywhiteguy

Like the mayor and the mayor’s brother, Councillor Del Grande’s outbursts are never about making a particular point. It’s always about the anger. The entirely misplaced feeling of alienation. These guys don’t give a shit about the existence of the very real underclass in this city. If they did, they would be entirely different kinds of politicians.

They rail and fulminate against those who don’t see the world exactly like they do, don’t live their lives exactly like they do. There’s no rational sense behind it. It’s just a vituperative antagonism to anyone or anything they see as different or holding dissimilar views.

Looking out for the little guy? Hardly. It’s basic chest-beating tribalism. A noxious mix of rigid ideology and angry opposition that makes for potent noise-making but ineffectual and divisive governance.


lividly submitted by Cityslikr

Don’t Look At Me. It’s Not My Mess.

January 30, 2013

Our premier to be says ungridlocking the GTA by investing in new transit is one of her first priorities. To do that we must generate new revenue streams. madhatter1Our Toronto mayor says he’s not really a tax-and-spend kind of politician. The ROO screams ‘favouritism’. (Seriously. Read through the comments in the linked Toronto Star piece.)

Over at the city’s Parks and Environment Committee, chair Norm Kelly wonders out loud about the expensive necessity of preparing for the fallout of climate change. What if it’s not a thing? Can scientists’ models be trusted? Why the rush to judgement? Besides, if some of the stuff he’s read is to be believed, it could end up being like Tennessee here. How great would that be?! (It should be pointed out to the councillor that climate change alarmist Al Gore hails from Tennessee. Just so the facts are all out there on the table for him.)

It’s days like yesterday when I wonder if it wouldn’t be better for all concerned if we as a species aren’t simply wiped off the face of the earth by one rogue tidal wave created when a big chunk of Arctic ice sheers off and plops into the ocean. Or some mammoth solar flare fries us all to dust. redqueen2Or God simply claps his hands and starts all over again.

I’ve written often of our lack of resolve to tackle important issues that might possibly involve any degree of personal sacrifice. Is that what happens when you see yourself as a consumer or taxpayer instead of an engaged citizen? You can have my money when you take this wallet from my cold, dead hands!

Yes. We’ve become a society of grumpy Charlton Hestons, unwilling to look at the bigger picture beyond our own backyards. Every penny in tax we pay is a penny stolen. Inconvenient truths that threaten our lifestyle need further study. We’re sick of the country asking what we can do for it. What’s it going to do for us for a change?

What have the Romans ever done for us?

Businesses sit on more than half a trillion dollars, yet government boondoggles and outrageous union demands drain our coffers and our patience. There is an easy solution to all our financial and infrastructure problems that don’t involve us giving up anything especially more money because… well, because… eHealth! ORNGE! We already gave at the office, OK?

Build us a casino. One that will pay for everything we need. So simple, it’s a wonder no one’s ever thought of it before.

I don’t want to get too cranky here and sound like some bitter old drunk in a divey bar bending everybody’s ear about the ill-state of the world today. aliceontherun Because in my time, in my time, youngsters, progress has been made on many fronts. Matters of equality in terms of gender, race, sexual orientation have evolved in a positive direction over the past four decades. An African-American president of the United States? A gay, female premier in Ontario? Not during my lifetime, sonny jim. Yet, here we are.

But those are historical inequities and injustices that are far from being leveled and while we’ve been battling on those fronts, new pressing problems have emerged. These are legacy issues as well which will fit nicely under the environmental umbrella. Climate change. Infrastructure to both help cope with the implications of climate change and to mitigate possible worse case scenarios from playing out.

Shrugging it off with pejorative terms like ‘alarmist’ is the easy way out. alfredenewmanAs a late onset boomer, I think my generation’s lasting contribution is fighting to get governments off our backs, to keep taxes as low as possible and minimize our civic engagement. Good for us who got in while the going was good. Not so much for those coming after us. We’re like the anti-social picnickers, enjoying our time out in the sun and leaving all our garbage behind.

We aren’t the first era ever to face seemingly insurmountable challenges. What era has been spared such a dilemma? As of now, we’ve avoided stepping up to accept the responsibility. What, me worry? is our official motto, Alfred E. Neuman our spokeman.

Not sure who that is, kids? Ask your parents. They can tell you.

responsibly submitted by Cityslikr