Shrug Off A Thug

February 20, 2013

You have to give Mayor Ford marks for honesty. When asked about the recent spike in shootings of young men in Toronto, he said, “If I had an answer for (gun violence), I’d implement it.” shrugAnd then, “We’re trying everything we can and I just don’t have a magic answer right now and if I did, like I said, I’d be the first one to use it…I’m trying my very, very best and I don’t know really what else I can do.”

He’s right in some ways. Crime is a multi-level governmental problem. As the mayor of the city, his jurisdiction is limited. It’s not as if he can just grab the assailants by the scruff the neck and force them to play football. homersimpsonOr deport them from the city.

He can’t deport them, right?

Besides, former mayor David Miller reacted to a spate of shootings during the infamous Summer of the Gun under his watch, and for what? Seven years on and people are still getting shot and killed. Trying is the first step to failure, as Homer Simpson said. So aside from rolling back initiatives and programs of your predecessor, a mayor can only do so much.

Proaction starts with the same three letters as progressive and a fiscally conservative minded politician like Rob Ford has no time for either concept. There’s only one answer to deal with each and every problem society faces. Cut taxes, cut government and let the free market create jobs and opportunities. hediditFailing that, lock up all criminals and throw away the key.

Looking for any other kind of response from him is futile. He knows no other approach. His lingering appeal lies in the simplicity he brings to even the most complex of problems.

He’s not alone.

Watching Councillor Mike Del Grande at yesterday’s Police Services Board meeting, the same kind of thinking was on display. In response to Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle’s deputation [page 9] about the unsolved murders of over 50 men from the Somali community in Alberta and Ontario over the past decade, the recently installed board member intoned the dark spectre of ‘drugs’. “…[news]papers seem to report drug-related causes leading to young people’s deaths”, Councillor Del Grande suggested. As if, unsolved murders, sure. But if we’re talking ‘drug-related causes’, what are you going to do?

Reap what you sow and all that. Just how Jesus would’ve reacted, casting the first stone at any and all sinners. nothingtobedoneOr at least, cast aspersions to absolve yourself of any responsibility.

It’s a collective shrug of indifference from our council’s conservatives. If flat lining spending can’t solve a problem then that problem is simply intractable. Nothing to be done. Certainly talking for five or six hours at council over something like Councillor Josh Matlow’s Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence motion won’t solve a thing especially if it leads to any sort of thug hugging.

So stop looking to our mayor and his fellow conservative colleagues to deal with stuff, folks. They’re in over their heads. If they can’t slash and burn their way to a solution, they’re at a loss how to respond. Expect anything more and you simply haven’t been listening to what they’ve been telling us.

matter of factly submitted by Cityslikr


Until We Meet Again. In 2011.

December 12, 2010

I don’t know how y’all celebrate this particular season but around here we go unplugged. In reaction to the crazy consumerist bent that these holidays have become, awhile back we made the decision to simply take a step back, tune out, turn off, drop out. (I know, I know. That’s not the exact quote. It suits our purposes here.) Starting (roughly) 12 days before Christmas, we go downright Amish minus the barn building and plus the booze. (Do the Amish drink alcohol?)

No TV. No radio. No computer with its internets and Tweeting. Just us and our thoughts. And food. And music. We’re not animals here. And almost a year’s backlog of magazine subscriptions to catch up on. And booze. Did I mention booze?

A tradition which pains me a little this year as it means missing next Thursday’s city council meeting. It’s going to be a doozy! But what’s tradition if you just go around breaking it, willy nilly, on any old thing that catches your fancy? So, forgo the meeting I must. Can’t wait to hear all about it in the new year.

Before signing off for 2010, we’d like to give some shout outs to everyone who’s been following along with us since January.Of course, family and friends who have been very supportive and encouraging and whose names we keep confidential for fear of delivering upon them retribution from all our enemies (you know who you are.) Specifically, a very loving thank you to my wife for indulging me yet another career twist. This one’s going to stick. Really.

Then we’d like to thank the folks over at Spacing and Torontoist for their links to our pieces every now and then. Much appreciated. And Edward Keenan, senior editor at Eye Weekly for acknowledging our minor disagreement with him, pleasantly and politely. (Yes, people. That is a shameless way for us to point out that some very important people have noticed us here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke.)

Over on the Twittersphere, we want to give a h/t to @paisleyrae for all the regular, sometimes daily links. Thank you very much. And @orwellsbastard for all those #FFs. Much appreciated. I’m sure there are many more folks we’re missing. Our apologies ahead of time. Don’t hate us because we’re forgetful.

Two last big shout outs.

One, to Tim Falconer for his early sage advice and bumps on Twitter that got our site up and moving. Thank you very much. And everyone out there reading this, go get Tim’s books! Buy them, read them and give them as Christmas gifts.

And finally, Jonathan Goldsbie. His overwhelming enthusiasm for our work here was invaluable to bringing us a wider readership, unwarranted for sure but appreciated nonetheless. Without Jonathan’s regular queries about our true identities, Leah McLaren would never have started following us on Twitter. That alone makes us eternally grateful.

Moreover, Goldsbie’s encyclopedic knowledge of what goes on at City Hall and his easy willingness in sharing it with those like us who are woefully ignorant was, at times, incalculable. We won’t ever possibly be able to return the favour, so hopefully a heartfelt thanks will suffice.

For many of us, 2010 was an awful year, politically speaking. Terrible. Disheartening. Disillusioning. We’d like to think it couldn’t get any worse and that we’ve hit rock bottom. But we fear that’s simply rum and egg nog induced wishful thinking. Shit could get a whole lot worse.

Which is why we need to rest up, kick back and take a breather. Enjoy the holidays and prepare ourselves for the battle(s) ahead in the new year. The slog, she has just begun.

So Happy Holidays to all and we’ll see you early in 2011.

Peace out.

seasonally submitted by Cityslikr