"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday, 17 October 2016

Modern American Politics

A couple  of weeks ago I concluded, for whatever reason,  the drama of the presidential politics could be enjoyed. 

I was wrong about that. 

The unfolding tale grows uglier and ever more bizarre. 

The "locker-room banter " and Confessions of a Sexual Predator last week brought the saga to a new level of  human degradation. 

Nothing learned about his life commends him. His children were raised by their mothers.
From  grade  school his father "had had enough"  and enrolled  him in a military boarding school.

He doesn't read. Words are mis-spelled and all bad acts are the fault of others. 

At an accountant conference, he evinced  no interest, leaving the spouse of the day to ask all the questions. 

In bankruptcies, bankers ,calling in loans ,left properties in his name for their advantage. Everything was forfeit. 

Contractors ,suppliers,architects, stiffed of payment,  all the little guys, never recovered what was owed.

On an audio- video he professed to lewd, lascivious  and criminal sexual exploitation,then passed it off as "locker-room banter"

Nothing in his character commends his intellect. 

His idea of campaigning is tearing others down. 

Unfortunately with the help of the media, that is exactly what he accomplished. Journalists persist in 
skirting the obvious.

Forget his lack of morality, the candidate is not mentally competent. 

The world is watching. There can be no doubt, yet the media continue to reference him as a credible 

This morning his voice is dragging ,the tone sagging , the panel continues to speculate about 
"Strategy" even as the acknowledge , based on everything that's gone before, there will just be more of the same incompetent rambling at the final debate in Las Vegas to-night. 


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES": 

This is not a comment for this post but a new one for discussion.  

I read in Thursday's Era Banner dated October 13 that Council was to have debated on October 11 (that is correct, a newspaper talking about what was supposed to have happened 2 days previously) train whistle banning.... AGAIN!!

Why do we continue to waste time and money on finding a way to make it less safe on our roads? Transport Canada mandates that a train must blow their whistle/horn when approaching a level crossing. The mandated sounding is a long-short-long. Each engineer has his or her own style of this sounding - stop and listen and you will hear the differences.

As a train approaches a level crossing, it will encounter a small sign with a "W" on it. That is the trigger to make the sounding.  

In the newspaper, Mayor Dawe makes a brilliant statement. "There are 5 trains in the morning and 5 trains in the evening. Increasing the GO schedule will mean more trains." (I have paraphrased).  

We have GO transit level crossings at Englehard, Wellington and St Johns within the Town. We have had a death before at Englehard. Wellington is our "gateway" to downtown Aurora and the trains are either slowing down or starting out (depending on the direction). St Johns is a major 4 lane road taking a lot of traffic. 

I grew up in a railroad town with 24 hour rail traffic. The horns on the old diesels were a lot louder than the new GO equipment. I found it comforting to hear that sound. Even now, I will hear the whistle of the train as it approaches the Bloomington Road crossing just west of Bathurst. It is a reminder of my youth but more importantly it is a safety feature that has been in place for over 100 years.

Let's not screw around with something that will 1. cost the Town money and 2. make it more dangerous to cross the tracks.

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 17 October 2016 at 08:09

Sunday, 16 October 2016


I was in my teens when U.K. elections were held after the war. It was halfway through the forties
and there had been not been an election  since halfway through the thirties. 

The government had been a coalition of Conservative and Labour since war was declared. 

I wasn't old enough to vote in the post-war election.

 I had  accepted employment in London with a Jewish family that had left Germany and France a few years previously. 

I wasn't home in coal country Scotland to hear the political discussion but I didn't need to be to know how they would vote. 

Winston Churchill was Prime Minister and Conservative Leader. 

The war was won. He received much of the credit and it was well-deserved.

He never faltered in his support of the armed services. Broadcast speeches had no other purpose 
but to encourage resolve of the people. 

Every opportunity to be where the battle was and apparently much to the aggravation of colleagues in government and commanders at the front , he was there. The  men loved to see him. British Pathe 
and Movietone News left no doubt about that. 

Coveralls  in Air Force blue serge were made to fit his substantial bulk. His head thrust forward on his shoulders resembled nothing more than the British bulldog he came to symbolize. The black cigar 
in his mouth and the sturdy walking stick completed the pugnacious picture. 

Early in the war, he noted and compared the physical condition of the British Tommy and German soldiers. Programs providing free clinics, orange juice, milk and cod liver oil for babies and free milk 
for school children were introduced. 

Labour's leader in the election was Clement Atlee, a small stooped individual with a sharp nose and dark wire-rimmed glasses. Nothing about him is memorable. 

Labour won the election. 

The army vote was the deciding factor. 

After what they had been through ,they were not coming back to what they had left. 

The Conservative Party was not getting another chance to deliver more of the same. 

The opportunity to rebuild a country and a society changed beyond recognition  by six years of death and destruction, was snatched from the hands of the man who brought them through to the bitter end. 

Thursday, 13 October 2016


CNN repeats programs,it seems like three times a day Panel shows are most tedious. People talk over each other at a frenetic speed. Hosts exercise sporadic control and often seem cowed by panel members. Trump's surrogates grow ever more fierce and desperate. 

It may not be easy to fill opposing panels on a daily basis. The same people re-appear over and over
and logic diminishes. Someone must be paying for their time. It's not clear who. 

Jake Tapper , CNN host,  appeared on Seth Meyers late night talk show this week and talked about programming. At the beginning they didn't know how they'd fill the time, he said. I don't think they've figured that out very well yet. 

Last night, around midnight, Don Lemon had a single journalist as a guest. The topic was Hillary Clinton's addresses to bankers Goldman Sachs. Hillary has refused to release the texts. Her fee apparently was $225,000. as declared in her tax returns .  While revealing nothing, Bernie Sanders  repeatedly suggested they indicated Hillary was in cahoots with greedy,corrupt bankers who were grinding the faces of the poor into the dirt. 

It seems Wikileaks has leaked all kinds of Hillary material. The talks to the bankers among them. 

Surprise, surprise, the talks are anything but supportive of the banks' activities. 

Journalist Dan, Don's guest, an expert in the banking industry, finds nothing blameworthy in the texts. 

The opposite is true. 

Hillary's understanding of the banking industry is remarkable. She pulls no punches in the talks and warns  the bankers if they don't change their ways, the government will take corrective action. 

Dan says she is absolutely right and doesn't understand why she refused to release the texts. 

It's a mystery. 

It's not the only mystery. 

Considering how much has been made of  the speaking fee and the implication Clinton is in
collusion  with  the corrupt banks, it is passing strange,  the news  is so quietly discussed at 
so late an hour in the day. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


I changed the channel fromTVO . Three children were walking together wearing flimsy plastic 
capes to protect them from the rain. Dad was walking ahead, pushing a small cart. Mother also walked separately carrying a small child.  

Sister asked ; "Is this the border?" 

Mother stretched out an arm; "Is this it. All this mud"  her face and voice laden with despair. 

The scene was chaotic. People huddled under a sparse hedgerow, tarps gathered about them ,trying to stay dry and failing miserably. 

It was  the end of their journey. They  had nowhere else to go. 

In my house, warm and comfortable and safe. I changed the channel. Stephanie had come up to let Mickey the dog out. She looked at me.

"It's too terrible"  I said. I can't do anything about it and I can't bear it. 

"You could write a blog about it" 

"Why?" I asked. "D'you think there's anyone out there who doesn't know about it"

"You might make people  think about it. Talk about it. " 

"And then what? "

"It would be something " 

They are people, just like we are. A mother and father with four children.  As they walked, the girl
was telling about their lives before. Dad coming home from work every day with treats and toys. 

"Bags and bags of toys " she said exultantly.  She talked about their  home and family . 

All of it gone. 

Now they're on the road in the rain with no idea of what's ahead of them. 

Until that minute ,the border was the goal and they'd  just discovered. It is  a dead end. 

Hundreds  of thousands are displaced.  Mothers and fathers and children.

People just like us with the same modest hopes and dreams. 

Thursday, 6 October 2016


OAnonymous has left a new comment on your post "TAX DODGER....DRAFT DODGER ..YA DI YA...YA DI YA": 

Mr. Balz is out to sea with a couple of his "opinions" notwithstanding his 38 year career with the Washington Post, now an Amazon paper.

And your love affair with Hillary is degrading.

She may be all you wish to see in an elected representative but she must also have a likability factor, that she does not and never will. 

Her husband, on the other hand, is so likeable that he has been able to charm billions of dollars out of companies and countries for his fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases (malaria) afflicting third world countries. Read "Man of the World" just published.

I will be glad when this election is consigned to the dust bin and you and we can get on with our lives, like picking the apples from the oranges in the next provincial election. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 6 October 2016 at 09:23


And a very good morning to you too. 

Mr.Balz opinions, his to express and he's being paid to do so, are no more out to sea than 
your own for example. That's the thing about opinions. They appear to belong to individuals though in this instance ,there's a common thread  that runs through.

Ii's the implicit bias being talked about during this campaign. By myself and others, if you like to know.

 I think your opinion about Hillary and Bill Clinton is all about implicit bias. 

You are biased against her and for him and you don't even know it. 

How d'you like them apples or insults? No better than I yours ,you betcha. 

Where do you get off saying  my respect for Hillary's competence, experience and accomplishment 
is a "love affair" ? 

Or that any love affair is degrading? 

Why do you take it upon yourself to speak for everyone? 

You don't even put your name forward to claim your own opinion. 

When this election is over ,thirty more days of our lives will be over. 

Thirty days of enjoyment watching the bellicose billionaire get knocked about like a penyatta with all his nasty, not -so -secret past, so far obscured by the media, spilling on the ground as they now try to justify promoting his candidacy.

Thirty days of watching them try to undo what they've done. 

Because if the world's worst fears are realised and that buffoon gets elected, the blame will be theirs,
one hundred per cent. 

No doubt the  implicit bias that yammers on about the ephemeral of like-ability .

They thought the boorish billionaire with the gold crapper was one of them until he trashed them as
he did his political opponents, to their huge amusement. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YES...YES...AND YES !": 

Too bad she isn't more likeable.

That would cement the outcome 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 5 October 2016 at 13:25


I can comfortably watch the drama now. The plot became instantly more intense when the New York 
Times reported the belligerent billionaire has likely not paid federal taxes for two decades. 

Think about that. 

He has likely not contributed  one red cent to any expenditure in federal programming in that period.  He milked the system instead. 

Hillary Rodham Clinton is everything I like to see in an elected representative. 

I would be content knowing whatever decision needed to be made would be most seriously considered.

Personal affection is neither here nor there, 

I just want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to be safe, secure and enjoy their lives. 

The world has never been a more dangerous place. 

Alec Baldwin's caricature of the candidate brings humour to an otherwise humorless narrative. 

He reversed the role of hero and villain to fool with one performance. 

For in-depth coverage,Print media has triumphed over the cacaphony of talking heads.

Television brings up the rear. 

I still mute the vast right wing surrogacy but expect more changes momentarily. 

Last night's V.P. "Debate" passed the time. The GOP candidate concentrated on posing and peering intently into my soul.Mellifluous tones and meticulous coiffure suggested nothing more than fastidious toilette. 

Immediately after,Jake Tapp named Governor Pence the winner. 

The camera immediately swung over to a room with twenty independent voters who promptly and mostly raised hands for Senator Cain. 

Tapps response was to point out the Senator has been a Councilman, Mayor and Senator in the area and insinuated natural preference. 

Sometimes I yell at the T.V.  

When Tapper named his preference, I yelled " D'you think think we're all effing stupid?" 

I was alone in the house at the time. 

Paul Bagala predicts Governor Spence' sole  intent was to lay groundwork for a presidential nomination  in 2020. It sure makes sense to me. Spence is nobody's stooge. 

Tuesday started on CNN with a comment in the morning from journalist Dan Balz. He didn't think the belligerent billionaire's non-payment of taxes will be  a voting issue. Mr Balz once commended the "muscularity" of the candidate's performance. 

This week, the author of a book on the nefarious business career stated shareholders in a company
he created, were swindled of their assets, as were contractors who did business with the greedy,
glutinous, lewd and crude self-styled  behemoth. 

Mr Balz doesn't think that matters. 

It will take time to sink in.

There is time. 

Mr. Balz and the rest will soon discover how much it matters. 

Monday, 3 October 2016


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "WEASEL WORDS": 

Did you always think that Hillary was the best candidate for president in this term. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 3 October 2016 at 20:12


I thought Hillary was the right candidate in 2008. 

My respect for Barack Obama's intelligence and character has grown. If he was following Hillary 
now instead  of the other way about, he would have been better off. 

It takes more than intelligence and principle to earn distinction. 

What it takes can be learned but can't be taught. 

Lyndon Johnstone is considered most effective. 

In 2008 , Hillary had already served as a  Senator and made a practice of "working across the aisle" 
to move things forward

As First Lady, she  probably learned at least as much as the President while they occupied the 
White House. 

She was an excellent presidential candidate. When she conceded, her deportmant was without peer. 

The moment  Barack Obama took the Oath of Office was intensely moving. 

But he did not have what he needed. It was not his time. 

The enemy that was the Tea Party was already within and strident . 

The outcome might have been the same with Hillary . But she had skills and life experience 
Obama did not. 

Intelligence and integrity are not the whole ball of wax.  

They say it helps for a policeman to have a little larceny in his soul...a  deeper humanity. 

 It's not gender specific but may be closer to maternal  than male instinct. 

Like a Warrior Queen in defense of her children. 

It's easy to  empathize with a person of high moral character.

Inadequate personalities are almost certainly likely to blame others for personal failure.  

They are hard to excuse and harder to like but in politics everyone counts. 

So yes ....I believe Hillary is  the right candidate in 2016  and was even more right in 2008. 

A victory for Hillary will be the great equalizer.