Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some Additional Advice For John Tory's Posse....

Now, people who know me know that I've pulled some dirty tricks in my time.

There are two rule to black ops in politics:

1. If you're going to hit someone and leave fingerprints, do it so they can't get up. That way, even if they wanted to retaliate they can't.

If you can't do that, then follow the second rule:

2. If you are unsure if your nasty operations will adhere to Rule #1, don't leave any fingerprints, digital or otherwise.

John Tory's crew failed on both accounts.

You may have noticed that the anonymous douchebags over at Tories4Truth raised quite a kerfuffle when they personally attacked Rueben Devlin and Bart Maves. Led by Adam Daifallah and this humble piece of cyberspace, many other bloggers weighed in on how low/stupid/irrelevant these attacks were.

It got so bad that Together4Ever and John Tory's staff at Queen's Park disavowed the smears. And that's where they really messed up.

As an independent blogger myself, I can say that if I had decided to do a hatchet job, no cries from an elected official or stern comments from the blogosphere would stop me from hitting my target until I achieved my event or objective - in this case a vote on whether there should be a leadership contest.

Since the initial outcry and the disapproving remarks from Tory (which people claim exist, although I've never seen them), Tories4Truth have not published one post. Not one. If you're trying to show you have no command-and-control function over a proxy doing a hit on your opponent, or you're even trying to even appear to have no connection to it at all, you may want to not have them follow your instructions.

John Tory says the posts are bad and the posts stop. Odd, that.

I'll just come right out and say it: while the specific identity of Tories4Truth will likely never be known (thanks, Google - you'll sell traffic info to the Chinese, but you won't reveal identities of jerkoffs hiding behind a blog), there is no doubt in my mind that that Tories4Truth blog is directly (not someone he knows casually, I mean it was part of Tory's overall offense strategy and a deliberate tactic) linked to Together4Tory and/or John Tory's rescue crew. They misjudged the furor the blog would cause and they got burned. Period.

Once again, it make me wonder whether these guys are ready for prime time (and not in the good SNL way, either). They are repeatedly showing that they are not. Man, I feel like a broken record.

But I will offer this - next time you want to hit someone (politically, of course), let me know.

I haven't been caught yet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Recruitment Video From The Church of Hilarity

Quite a good spoof on Tom Cruise's bizarro cult video from last week.

In case the video doesn't work, the link is HERE.

Not exactly the classic "Landlord" skit, but good on Jerry O'Connell. He's come a long way from being that fat kid in "Stand By Me".

Remember that?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

John Tory's Team Are a Bunch of Hypocrites


These guys are rapidly losing ANY respect I had for them at all. Here's another brainchild from the smart folks over at Together4Ever:

Toronto, ON – The Together With Tory campaign responded to assertions made in today’s Globe and Mail:

“But [John Tory] is under new pressure form the party rank and file after the launch of the Grassroots PC campaign, the first organized effort to replace him.”

The story also quoted Nick Kouvalis:

“This is really a battle between the grassroots and the party establishment.”

Rank and file? Grassroots?

There is nothing “rank and file” or “grassroots” about Reuben Devlin, Bart Maves or any of the other names associated with the effort to overturn the results of the last leadership election.

They are unelected, unaccountable and represent no one but themselves.

Many are, in fact, professional lobbyists and consultants – the very antithesis of “grassroots.”

Really? So are the good folks at Together4Ever. Their main media hack, John Ratchford, is a consultant. he works for Ensight Canada - a joint venture of two lobbying companies, Enterprise Canada and Navigator Ltd.

And quite recently, he was also a lobbyist. Here's a screenshot of his registration:

At the samr time, John Capobianco, who is the (unelected) leader of this group was first a consultant for big-time lobby outfit Hill & Knowlton and now for Edleman. His registry is too large for this post, so you can view it HERE.

Listen, I've worked with the Johns. I like the Johns. But they are being flat out hypocritical when they are going after other Party members by calling them "unelected, unaccountable consultants" when that's EXACTLY what they are.

Did you think people wouldn't figure that out? I found this stuff in half a minute.

And frankly, I've had enough. Stop being bald-faced hypocrites.

You started this. Remember that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

John Travolta Sure Is Selfless

I saw this on one of those gossip websites I tell people I don't read. It was funny enough to publish on this esteemed piece of cyberspace.

Here's John Travolta on the tragic death of Heath Ledger.

Woman's Day Magazine: Did you know Heath? How has his death affected you?

John Travolta: I did know Heath and I adored him. I am pretty devastated over this. He was my favourite actor and my favourite talent. It's like losing James Dean. I would give back all my awards and all my nominations just to have him back — I think he is a real loss as a persona and as a talent.

John must have REALLY REALLY thought highly of Heath Ledger if was willing to sacrifice so, so deeply to have him return to the land of the living.

As for me, I just hope that The Joker was killed off in the end of the upcoming Batman movie. Otherwise, there may be some plot holes.

Hey, its not like I knew the guy. And I like Batman movies.

My Requiem For Fred Thompson...

What could have been..... *sniff*. I thought this was worth running again.

Its unfortunate this Fred never really appeared on the campaign trail. But we'll always have youtube.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shame On You

You know, I wasn't really going to get involved in the whole Leadership Review thing going on in the Ontario PC Party. I'm not even attending the Convention (not that I could of anyway, I didn't get notice for my DSM - but that's another story).

And its been well document documented in this blog that I had serious concerns about the election campaign and how it was run. Nothing new there. But now I'm seeing some stuff that's really getting me mad. And if you're a grassroots riding person, you should be too.

Firstly, a new blog has popped up called Tories4Truth. These Swiftboat-wannabe douchebags have decided that rather than propping up the Leader, they would go after the folks who are calling for a leadership contest - Rueben Devlin and Bart Maves.

Look, I'm not close to either of these guys. In fact, way back in the day, Rueben and I were on other sides in some riding fights. But to bring up his hospital's death rate record and his response in the media is beyond the pail. In fact, its shameful.

They also try to paint Bart as some guy would couldn't bring it home in his riding when he was a candidate in the fall. But I guess that was then.

Then, the Together for Tory crew send out this release with proxy attack dog MPP Lisa MacLeod as the point person:

----- Original Message -----
From: john@ratchford.ca john@ratchford.ca
To: john@ratchford.ca john@ratchford.ca
Sent: Mon Jan 21 14:20:37 2008
Subject: REALITY CHECK / 21 January 2008

For Immediate Release
21 January 2007

Democracy 101 for Rueben Devlin

Toronto, ON – The Together With Tory campaign responded today to Rueben Devlin saying in a CBC Newsworld interview that a minority of PC Party members should decide the party’s leadership.During the interview, Devlin said: “I think if Mr. Tory can show significant support within the party then he deserves to stay.

But we want to see significant support that would translate into significant support among Ontario voters.”Don Newman: “Well, give me the number that comes with significant. That’s what I’m trying to get you to do.” Devlin: “We’ve always looked at 80 percent.”According to Rueben, this is democracy.

Unfortunately for Rueben, he hasn’t always thought this way. Here’s Article 24 of the PC Party Constitution – it’s the same as when he was Party president:

"24.1 At the first general meeting of the Party following an Ontario general election in which the Caucus does not form the Government of Ontario, and only at such meeting, the delegates shall be asked by secret ballot: “Do you wish to have a leadership election?”

24.2 In the event that more than 50% of the votes cast are in the affirmative, the Executive shall call a leadership election and such election shall occur at the earliest convenient date as determined by the Executive.

PC MPP Lisa MacLeod said: “The Constitution is approved by a democratic vote of PC Party members. It is not a buffet where people can pick parts they like and ignore the rest. We believe in democracy in our Party.”


Wow. That's friggin' profound. So, because he was President and didn't change the constitution, he's now a hypocrite. And that's great that the Together4Ever crew is aiming so low. 50% +1: that's quite an acheivement.

So here's what he have: the folks around John Tory are throwing sh*t at regular Party members from the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition or their Constituency Offices. Others are anonymous cowards trying to take down Party members because they have the audacity to publicly question the Leader.

This is straight up embarrasing. I cannot believe that in less than 5 years, we have gone from the most successful fundraising party in Canadian history with 2 back-to-back majority governments to this lame circus playing out in the media.

Memo to Together4Ever clowns: numbers speak. If you jokers actually were as confident in your delegates, you'd ignore Rueben, Nick Kouvalis and everyone else, go in and defeat the leadership review.

But no. You had to once again show PROFOUND lack of judgement and start attacking party members. You should be better than that. This confirms to me that you guys couldn't buy a clue.

This is just beyond sad. Shame on all of you.

P.S. I will delete all anonymous comments as soon as they are posted. If you don;t have the balls to say who you are, you don't get a say on this blog.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Death of Hip?

What happened to hip people? Is it just me, or are people becoming lame-ass dougheads?

Exhibit A: The remixes of Michael Jackson's Thriller hits.

Exhibit B: Barack Obama's dance moves (not sure how I missed this one).

C'mon people, let's put some effort in here.

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Death Volt for Mass Transit?

So, I'm reading one of the MANY articles entitled "Who Saved The Electric Car?", which talk about GM and their new electric car, the Volt, which is scheduled to be ready for consumers to buy in droves by 2010.

I've been reading a fair bit about the vehicle and it seems pretty interesting. Unlike the EV1, GM's first aborted attempt at an electric zero emission vehicle (and the subject of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?"), the Volt seems much more practical. You don't need to build a charging station; it just plugs directly into the wall socket. And, it looks pretty cool as well:

Compare that with the pod-like shape of the EV1 - which made you just want to broadside it into a diitch while you passed it on the highway in your Hummer - and its a marked improvement. You can read about it on GM's website/blog hybrid.

But here's my thought.

All these enviro converts are clamouring for a zero-emission vehicle. They watch the development of lithium battery stacks and breathlessly await news from the Electric Vehicle Conferences out in California. Some say such a car is a few years away, some say a vehicle fully capable of the daily demands of the commuter is decades away.

All the while, the key method enviro activists and transit advocates are using to get our lazy asses onto buses, subways and GO Trains is guilt. "You're polluting the environment", they say. "Do you know how many tonnes of greenhouse gases are eliminated with every full bus?" they ask.

What happens when a zero-emissions (read: zero-guilt) car comes along? What will be the compelling reason for commuters to use public transit? If a zero emission car is finally put into production, will environmental activists be making presentations to the provincial government asking for an increasing in funding for roads? What is the endgame here?

There is obviously a portion of the population who ride smelly buses that are packed like sardines because they are trying to do the right thing. Will those people still take transit if their personal vehicle is cleaner than the bus or streetcar she is on? And how will they handle the decline in revenue caused by a decline in ridership?

I suppose if gridlock continues to be a problem, as it is here in the GTA, then an argument can be made for greater transit funding. But that also means new hybrid or zero emissions buses and trains. There will need to be completely new spending to adjust to this "new reality" that your personal vehicle is now cleaner/greener than most of the existing bus and train fleets.

So, the enviros could be shepparding in a new era of zero emissions vehicles, while presiding over the decline or even the demise of signficant public transit.

The TTC must be hoping GM et al never find the key to a long lasting battery for their vehicles. If they do, they'll be in for quite a shock. Yeah, I went with it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sitting on the dock of the bay

I am about to head north by northwest to visit Ontario's first diamond mine.

It is a balmy -10 in Timmins and -29 at the site. Lovely.

Does anyone care that McGuinty increased the royalty rate on diamonds?

No, probably not.

However, the project has been delayed by 6 months or so and it means that none of the projected revenue in the budget is forthcoming in the current fiscal year and did nothing to contribute to the 3 Billion surplus that was quckly spent on tax breaks.

Which begs the question: Why was this royalty increase needed, or warranted before one single diamond was pulled out of the ground?

Evidently, word on the street (or at least at the Tim Horton's) in Timmins is that there are larger, better deposits out there, but the royalty increase is a disincentive to invest at this time.

So we, the taxpayers of Ontario, can expect this increase to geneate $0.00 in new revenue.

On that note, I will be roughing it this week without blackberry or internet access, so no posts from me this week (I can hear B-double smirking now).


Friday, January 11, 2008

Together With Tory, Cybersquatters and Other Hacks

NOTICE: It has been brought to our attention that Grassroots PC has this blog listed as a link. While I agree with their concerns and appreciate what they are doing (I can't speak for Q) we are not affiliated with them in any way. I have asked that the link be removed. I have been assured that it will be.

In life, you are often judged by the company you keep. So, I'm curious as to the kind of people John Tory has in his leadership revival camp.

Yesterday, I got a wonderful e-mail from the good folks at the John Tory Fan Club. They were trumpeting a new website, Together With Tory, which talks all about the myriad of support he has from caucus members, staff and party hacks supporters. Great. It's good to see them sweat.

However, when I did a WHOIS search on the domain, as I'm wont to do, the following came up:

Status: EXIST
Registrar: (10dollar.ca) 10 Dollar Domain Names Inc.
Registrar-no: 1064689
Registrant-no: 1120459
Domaine-no: 2131768
Subdomain: togetherwithtory.ca
Renewal-Date: 2008/12/18
Date-Approved: 2007/12/18
Date-Modified: 2007/12/18
Organization: Shane Barnes
Admin-Name: Mr Shane Barnes
Admin-Postal: 657 Champlain Dr Cornwall ON k6h6h9 Canada

Now this isn't the same guy who is cybersquatting on the domain for the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, is it? Why yes it is! And I'm not the only one who noticed.

Status: EXIST
Registrar: (10dollar.ca) 10 Dollar Domain Names Inc.
Registrar-no: 1064689
Registrant-no: 1120459
Domaine-no: 1845382
Subdomain: dannywilliams.ca
Renewal-Date: 2008/04/09
Date-Approved: 2007/04/09
Date-Modified: 2007/04/09
Organization: Shane Barnes
Admin-Name: Mr Shane Barnes
Admin-Postal: 657 Champlain Dr, Cornwall ON k6h6h9 Canada

And registered in time for that province's October election. Nice. Nothing like Tories trying to cash in off of other Tories. Looks like Williams' camp didn't take the bait.

I really dislike cybersquatters. They are like the extortionists of the information superhighway. But I'm SURE Mr. Barnes was just holding it to make sure dastardly Liberals didn't get it first. Which is why Mr. Barnes still owns it, right? Of course it is.

Secondly, I'm curious as to how the good folk at Together With Tory actually GOT my e-mail address. The Party Constitution has very strict rules on who can access the central membership lists and for what purpose.

What lists are they using? How did they get access to them? Is it from Frank Klees' leadership campaign? If so, that's a big no no. As none of the three (John Capobianco, Frank Klees and Graham Fox) are Party officials or work directly for the Leader (as John C keeps telling us), then how did this "unofficial" effort get access to Party membership lists? Hmmmmm?

Some interesting questions to be sure. I guess the point of this post is that the pro-Tory people conduct themselves with this air of righteousness. Like they are doing the Party a valuable service. Maybe they are.

But their tactics are hackery in the highest order. We all know that they are working with HQ people to make sure that information on DSM's is limited and not circulated in a timely fashion. I have met Party member after Party member who has told me they didn't receive notice for their riding DSM and will not be attending the AGM. This scorched earth policy (a TM special if I've ever seen one) may win the battle, but it will lose the war. I will try to look surprised when I hear them moaning in 2011 that they can't find anyone to help them on the ground.

So, good luck with your quest, guys. Although you may be inheriting a "poisoned chalice." Now, where have a heard that phrase before....? Right. That's where.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Reason #6485 why I hate The Star

This editorial essentially says governments know better.

They call the GST cut regressive but at the same time and increase in the GST would also be regressive. I don't get it.

I sincerely hope the next phase of our platform includes yet another 2 point cut over four years to the GST.

Along with other tax cuts.

Speaking of which, I am glad someone else is talking flat tax again. While I don't expect to see it in my lifetime, perhaps we could at least be trying to simplify the tax return process.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2008 Presidential Picks

B-Double wrote an article below on the Primary season.

I thought I would add my preferred picks as the Iowa caucuses are tomorrow.

On the democratic side, I would be surprised if Hillary didn't win the nomination. Despite the Oprah factor for Obama, at the end of the day, no one has the organization, finances and clout that the Clintons can put together. The question will be what Hillary will do about a running mate. A Hillary-Obama ticket may yet happen.

On a side note, the Oprah factor is not to be discounted. For those of us who live and breathe politics, it is hard to understand those people out there who just don't care. In the states, especially, there are a huge number of people who won't even know the nominees' names, let alone where they stand. Many of these same people watch Oprah and do what she says. Don't believe me? Look at the book sales for the Oprah choice of the month.

On the republican side, I am a Thompson fan. Not because of his policies, but because of his acting :-) I would vote for anyone who appeared in a Die Hard movie. Even the second one (which was arguably the weakest). He is the only candidate that has the moral authority to intervene in the Hollywood writers' strike. ;-)

Seriously, I think that the Republicans are going to end up with Huckabee somewhere on the ticket, only because the others have not tapped into the Christian right. However, I don't think the Christian right will be voting democrat if the choice is the one I mentioned above.

I disagree with B-Double about Rudy's infidelity affecting his ability to be a leader. I would prefer all my leaders to be pure of heart and integrity, but with that said, none of us gets to pass judgement on what happens in a private marriage (unless he was beating his wife).

As for the Republican ticket, I am going to go out on a limb and say McCain-Huckabee in 2008. I am only basing this on the quote by Liz Lemon on 30Rock: "I tell everyone I am going to vote for Obama, but will secretly vote for McCain."


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