Sunday, October 31, 2010

cutest video ever?

look at that little rodent, it's so surprised!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

horsepower before hoes

this is probably the best advertisement ever. i didn't realize that this was bmw's market, but apparently the "guys who prefer to fuck cars" IS the bmw market!!

when your girlfriend/boyfriend starts to get tedious just replace their face with a magazine bmw advertisement and you will be ready to go!

this is why if you're a straight man you give your car a lady name, obviously.

it's all so clear now....

now that we are all recovering from our post election hangover, articles are popping up left and right about how the hell this happened.

since we didn't do enough beforehand to stop the Ford onslaught, we're going to make up for it now by blaming everyone and anyone we can think of.

and now that we can see the result elections, officially, there are articles AND images explaining who we're really supposed to blame: THE SUBURBS.

this one is from torontoist and it places the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who live in the GTA.

but the left, downtown core aren't the only ones using these stats and images. we here at pamphleteers have an exclusive leaked document from a presentation rob ford gave the day after he was elected, proving once and for all that his intentions are sinister and that his idea of the downtown core is totally skewed and biased.

we give you, rob ford's master plan:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

child soldiers? naaaah.

isn't it kind of hypocritical that one one hand the canadian media (and people) celebrate the rehabilitation and rescue of child soldiers but on the other hand totally ignores omar khadr, lets him be put on trial, and allowed him to remain detained for so long? especially in light of all of the media around romeo dallaire's new book on child soldiers?

what's the difference between ishmael beah(author) and omar khadr? one was give a chance and the other one was made an example of?

ishmael beah wrote "a long way gone: memoirs of a boy child soldier" about his childhood in sierra leone and his time in the military as a child soldier.

beah says he killed "too many people to count" and has talked about how "dehumanizing" children is a relatively easy task for the military. after three years as a soldier beah was rescued by unicef and eventually wrote his book about his experiences.

i watched this clip of ishmael beah on the hour (ishmael beah on the hour) and then i read this article about the widow of the soldier who omar khadr "killed" reading her impact statement and letters from her children.

she called omar khadr a "murderer" and that it doesn't "matter" what he says.

she read letters from her daughter and her son, expressing their anger and their hatred of the child who killed their father. "because of you my dad never got to see me play soccer.”
well... because of the war, because of illegal use of child soldiers, and because of the canadian government and people's complete apathy towards what was and is happening in afghanistan, omar khadr never got to play soccer. a child was captured and detained until he was an adult, and then put him on trial to satisfy the public's demand for "justice."

in 2002 canada signed an international treaty aimed at rehabilitating child soldiers. canada was even the first to ratify the option protocol to the convention on the rights of the child, a "treaty that requires signatories to give special consideration to captured enemy fighters under the age of 18."

well, canada's basically bowed out of that one as we can see with khadr's guilty plea this week.

how often do soldiers who die in combat get to put ONE person on trial for their death? i get that this is sad for the family who lost their husband and father, but is breeding hatred and indifference really going to help? is putting someone who is actually a child soldier in jail going to help? no, it isn't.

one of the letters the widow read from her children concluded by saying: “Army rocks. Bad guys suck.”

ah yes, how astute. to a lot of people around the world, the canadian army is the bad guy. all of the afghanis who are killed by canadian soldiers don't get trials, they don't get to read victim impact statements.

i read a news story today about two men who planned a rape and murder of a young woman in b.c., her badly burned body was found in march. the men, 16 and 18 years old, lured the woman to their home, raped her, and murdered her. then they transported her body to a trail and set it on fire.

these men can't be named in the media, because they were underage when the crimes occurred.

rapists and murderers are protected by the courts and the media, but we're putting a child soldier on trial and encouraging people to demonize him.

complete hypocrisy, it's what canadians are good at.

york prof questions hillel's advocacy... what's new?

what's new is that the excalibur, notorious for being the newspaper of the university administration, did its JOB on this one!!

for real, this article("york prof questions hillel's advocacy") is as good and revealing as i've ever seen in excalibur. that's not to say the excal has never covered david noble or the israel lobby and york, but usually they take the hard right stance and just mock everything that isn't 'office of the president approved.'

unlike the time they faked a student poll and would only express one side of the vari hall debate, in "york prof questions hillel's advocacy" author yuni kim actually went so far as to contact people INVOLVED in the story.

according to the article, york prof david noble is "not pleased with the university’s Hillel@York Jewish student group, and he’s letting York president Mamdouh Shoukri know about it."

citing an october 8th letter that noble sent to president shoukri, the article describes how noble has asked the president to end the "club's advocacy on behalf of the state of israel."

alex bilyk, the media relations guy, told the excal that the president would respond in due time.

let's just take a second here. alex bilyk??? when the fuck did that guy parachute back into the university?? remember for a while he was gone? after he put his big foot in his big mouth and told women on campus to watch their backs yo!!then he was off the radar, off the website, not quoted in the excalibur?

like a pregnant teen in the 1950s, alex bilyk was mysteriously whisked away for a period of time and now he's just back with no baby.

(alex bilyk is totally slime, so slimy that we have an entire label dedicated to him!! you can read about all of the different times he's fucked up here.)

anyways, basically the administration ignored noble's letter(as usual) and the excalibur even did a follow up this week on that-- that story is here-- keep it up excalibur!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"i dont know "how that works""

this is one of my favorite rob ford promises: to replace street cars with buses in downtown toronto.

what he "hears" is that street cars just really back up traffic(no word on how dedicated streetcar lanes back traffic up, but i'm sure we'll get a clear explanation eventually) and so they should all be scrapped and replaced with buses.

buses don't back traffic up apparently. i've heard from a very trustworthy source that ford is planning on having all of the replacement buses outfitted with special ramps, so that cars can actually drive right over the buses in heavy traffic.

ford also wants to complete the sheppard subway (started by-surprise-mel lastman!)from downsview to Scarborough town centre and then convert the Scarborough rail transit into a subway. this is a great idea because pretty much noone uses the sheppard line and almost everyone agrees that it was bad transit planning.

sometimes we don't understand the genius... but, rest assured, the genius is there somewhere.

"congratulations, you're a real winner"

i love watching abortion protesters get schooled like this. more often than not they are willing to show horrific signs and shout abuses at people but the second someone confronts them they take a hands off approach.

pretty great, you can read more about the guy who took the video and why he took it here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

guest blogger: "common sense, yo. Let's get into it."

hans on the rob ford victory and what it really means for torontonians:


If Facebook had an application that could measure the proportion of anger and rage being expressed in its newsfeeds, last night it would have been on overload. The number of furious curses bewailing Rob Ford’s election as mayor that I saw on my newsfeed was quite staggering. If I were a yoga instructor, today I’d be advertizing special post-election discounts on deep breathing exercises to help Torontonians come to terms with the outcome (and then I’d rope them into 4-year contracts by convincing them it’s the only way they’ll survive till the next election. See I’d be a really great capitalist if I ever had the time to be at it).

Many of those Facebook entries asked the question: “Why, Toronto? Why?? How could you?” (as though 47% of the population had just collectively cheated on the other 53%)

The bigger problem with Monday’s election is not what Toronto did do, but what it didn’t. The very simple reason Rob Ford was elected was that hundreds of thousands of hard-working Torontonians didn’t vote. Not because they didn’t bother, but because they’re not allowed.

Toronto is one of the world’s most multicultural cities. Exactly half of its 2.5 million people are not originally from Canada (the percentage is almost as high in the 5.5 million GTA). In 2004, the United Nations reported it had the second-highest foreign-born population of any large city in the world. Such distinctions would normally sound good on a city, indicating its welcoming, cosmopolitan nature. Unfortunately, since Toronto’s public policy has lagged so far behind other multicultural cities, it’s resulted in a city with a two-tier population: one tier of largely Canadian citizens who are fairly well off and get to vote and set city policies; and a second tier of immigrant residents who live predominantly in poverty, work the actual jobs that keep the city functioning, and are not permitted any real say in how the city is governed or how the policies are set which affect their lives (and keep them in poverty).

And ‘poverty’ is not an exaggeration. According to a 2001 study, poverty rates among Toronto’s immigrant population have risen by about 12% in the previous ten years, while average earnings for immigrant workers have dropped by about 21%. And this is despite the fact that the immigrants of today are far more educated and skilled than their predecessors: 59% of immigrants accessing food banks in Toronto had a university or college education, as opposed to the mere 12% of immigrant food bank users with such skills in the mid-1990s. Another study indicated almost 50% of the African, Caribbean and Vietnamese community in Toronto are living at or below the Low-Income Poverty Line. These are the workers struggling through three jobs a day to survive, being exploited by Toronto’s notorious temp agencies that pay them sub-par wages and ignore labor regulations (because the government has cut back on labor enforcement staff/resources), and being killed by companies that ignore safety regulations. They’re the ones most directly affected by public policy, and yet also the ones who can’t vote to change any of it.

In the Facebook fallout following the election, I noticed Smitherman supporters berating Pantalone supporters for not having voted for the candidate with the best chance of defeating Ford. Pantalone supporters angrily shot back that even if they’d all voted for Smitherman, he still wouldn’t have had enough votes to beat Ford.

What nobody seemed to consider, was that if the immigrant resident population of the city was allowed to vote – those who live and work here, but were not born here and don’t have ‘citizenship’ – they number more than the total number of people who voted for ANY candidate, Ford included. The problem is not who people voted for. The problem is who was not allowed to vote.

Would they have made a difference? Probably. Much of Ford’s support came from middle/upper class voters (both Canadian-born as well as those immigrants affluent or lucky enough to be able to get ‘citizenship’). Ford’s campaign was focused on cutting public services and public government. These mildly well-off voters are not the ones who will be affected – as directly – by those cuts. The ones most immediately affected will be those who are living in or near poverty, and who rely on accessible public services simply to survive, not to mention raise their families with a decent standard of living. And they – the most vulnerable and the most affected - are the ones who cannot vote.

But wouldn’t it be ridiculous to just give non-citizens the vote? Well actually no. Until World War II, half the US states extended voting rights to non-citizen residents; it was the combined effects of the Civil War and then the Cold War that fueled the wave of anti-immigrant hysteria which led to more restrictive voting laws in that country. Today, however, more and more countries are realizing how outdated and backward it is not to allow all residents an equal vote. Belgium, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Ireland, and dozens of other countries have opened up municipal elections to non-citizen residents. A growing number of other countries – including Chile, Portugal, Sweden, Uruguay and New Zealand – allow non-citizen residents to vote in national and regional elections too. If Toronto is indeed the world’s most multicultural city, it’s time for it to stop being at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to public policy and basic rights for its multicultural population.

Countries have come up with all sorts of reasons for denying people the right to vote over the centuries, and they’ve all been equally silly (and equally tragic). They all reflect efforts by people who’ve got a little tiny slice of wealth or power, and don’t want to share it with their neighbours. So they come up with silly reasons not to allow them to vote. People have been forbidden to vote because they’re black, because they’re Jewish, because they don’t have enough money in their bank account, because they don’t own property, because they’re women, because they’re married, because they’re Protestant, because they’re Catholic, because they’re aboriginal, because they’re not aboriginal, because they’re aboriginal but married to a non-aboriginal, because they’re Muslim, because they’re not Muslim, because they didn’t serve in the military, because they don’t own horses, and now, of course, because they were born somewhere other than the place where they live. THEY’RE ALL SILLY. If you live somewhere, and work somewhere, then you deserve the right to have a say in how that place is governed and how the place functions. That’s what we refer to as ‘common sense’ in the biz.

Mind you, Toronto isn’t the first large city to rely on having a second-class working population, deprived of basic rights, in order to make the city function for its first-class elites. They’re not the first, and sadly they probably won’t be the last. Rome required quite a large population of slaves to make the city function. The United States used ‘convict leasing’ (arresting blacks on trumped-up charges and then ‘renting’ them out as slaves) to rebuild the southern US economy after the Civil War (since slavery was considered technically illegal but economically vital). South Africa built itself on apartheid, and Canada pioneered the infamous ‘Live-In Caregiver’ program whereby predominantly Filipina women work in slavery-like conditions for middle/upper class ‘Canadian’ families. It’s little wonder the federal Conservatives are so terrified of refugees arriving, given all their efforts to create programs like the LCP, seasonal agricultural worker program, and other initiatives designed to bring foreigners to Canada to work in slavery-like conditions. And the more Canada comes to rely on, and legitimize the use of, a workforce of second-class residents deprived of basic rights, the more it lines itself up alongside the other infamous racist states of history that were built on a foundation of slavery and exploitation.

Is it dramatic to draw these analogies? Hardly. The Toronto Police openly admit to racially profiling Torontonians to keep its poverty-stricken (read: visible minority) community in line. Not much those people can do about it: they can’t even vote. There may not be chains and manacles. But to be denied a voice in the city you live and work in, is to be denied the basic freedom that we shouldn’t still have to be fighting for in the 21st century.

So Toronto, don’t berate least not over things that aren’t the real problem. If Smitherman had been elected, things probably wouldn’t be any different for the hundreds of thousands of people of Toronto who are disenfranchised and deprived of these most basic rights. You think YOU were angry after you took the time and trouble to go out and vote, and then Ford gets elected anyway? Well imagine how it must have felt to those who had to sit back and watch the entire slow-motion train wreck which was the Toronto election, knowing the entire time that you wouldn’t even have the right to so much as cast a ballot.

I moved to this city barely a year ago and I was able to go out and vote for candidates I don’t have a clue about, on the basis of pamphlets that talked about things I’d never seen or heard about. Meanwhile, the neighbors on either side of me have lived in this city for over 30 years, own houses, run businesses, have families, and can recite municipal bylaws off the top of their heads. But because they're from Portugal and I'm from Newfoundland, I can vote and they can’t.

Common sense, yo. Let’s get into it.

So forget about ‘strategic voting’, whatever that’s supposed to mean. Let’s spend the next four years working to ensure that all Torontonians have the basic right to vote. Then the people who are actually most affected by the policies that the rest of us spend our time arguing about, will finally have a chance to participate in that conversation too. And then maybe we’ll see some real change.

toronto elects a new king!!

last night torontonians celebrated their new leader by dancing in the streets and releasing doves.

ford is going to save the city. we all know that toronto bleeds money for no reason and ford is going to stop the flow of money out and keep the money IN. where he will put that money, we're not sure, but that's not really our business as subjects.

downsize city council:

according to ford, there are too many cooks in the kitchen. we all know that too many cooks in the kitchen ruin the soup--or the gravy, in this case-- so something has to be done about it.

he says that toronto has "22 MPs, 22 MPPs and 22 School Trustees" but that it only needs 22 city councilors. it doesn't matter that these are all representatives at different level of government, it's too many. it especially doesn't matter because toronto will soon become a city state and we won't need so many representatives. but anyways, there are 5 million people populating toronto and the GTA, and we only need 22 people to represent the needs of all--that's just common sense.

too much money, not enough work:

rob ford thinks that city councillors should "get off the gravy train". this means that they make too much money and spend too much money on non-city items like parties and cabs to see their mistresses.

city councillors make $100,000.00 a year PLUS other top ups. rob ford was a city councillor for ten years so he knows all about this. rob ford is so dedicated to cutting back these expenses that he has skipped every budget meeting this year so that he could spend the time formulating his master plan for saving money and gravy.

no registration fee for vehicles:

rob ford thinks it is very unfair that people have to pay yearly to register their vehicles. if there are two things you shouldn't have to register it's your vehicle and your gun.

the 60$ vehicle registration tax is an "unfair cash grab" that "hits families hard." never mind the families who rely on the TTC, because to make up for the vehicle registration tax ford will probably have to hike TTC fares again, but his number one priority right now is getting rid of that fascist tax.

Toronto residents should not have to pay $60 every year to register their vehicle. It’s an unfair cash grab that hits families hard. Rob Ford will push to eliminate the Vehicle Registration Tax at the first City Council meeting after becoming Mayor.

end the war on cars, start the war on bikes:

noone likes gridlock but everyone loves to drive. rob ford wants more roads and more lanes, so we can drive to more places fast and not have to wait so much.
roads were designed for cars and should be used accordingly. hippies and communists who want to cycle should do so at their own risk. ford will lead this charge

oriental flavour: 100% pure

rob ford doesn't like immigrants and he thinks we should halt immigration to toronto for one year. however, he has expressed his respect for "orientals" who "work like dogs" and "sleep next to their machines."
toronto needs less talky immigrants and orientals and more worky ones. rob ford the leader will help this become a reality!


finally, the city we've always wanted!!! long live rob ford!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

the pamphleteers vote for...

cat in a witch costume!! here's hoping!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

making renewable energy sexy?? finally!!

tree huggers who also like to look at hot lady bods are finally getting what they've been hoping for: a sexy pin up calendar with an environmental theme!! hurrraaaay!

called "renewable girls", the calendar features different ladies with solar panels (the guy who created it has a solar panel company).

my favorite thing of all time is the commodification double whammy: 1) commodify the environment, 2) commodify women's bodies.
commodifying these two things simultaneously is sheer genius!

these are my two favorite photos from the calendar:

the first one has a jungle theme and there are bananas and pineapples around. it screams "save the jungle! save the jungle with solar power!" i also like this one because one of the bananas is peeled and the other is an empty peel-- this is suggestive and it makes me want to buy the calendar. where is other banana?? it could be anywhere!

the next one i like because it looks like an old fantasy poster, like that woman has a fancy tiger with a saddle on it. it looks like she has a sword, but it's really a solar panel--imagination: this calendar has it!

so if you really care about the environment, you'll probably buy this calendar!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

this city is swarming with squirrels.

walking through trinity bellwoods park today and look what was running around-- a WHITE squirrel! at first it seemed really cute... but the more we watched the more we realized it was huge and resembled a gigantic white rat. i'm pretty sure it's eyes were red, as well. i guess that makes it "albino" and not white.

but, besides that, here's something you don't see every day in toronto: an albino squirrel!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

dear america... berlin, the museums are free every thursday. free museum DAY? what a stupid idea.

Monday, October 11, 2010

oh yeah, i want to buy that.

so i was looking at the ikea website today and it was like "hey, look at these awesome room ideas we have!"

i looked at them, and the were normal enough until i hit this one. what the hell is this? the "child abduction" motif?? that is the creepiest picture of
"father" and child i have ever, ever seen.

who thought of this? and, worse yet, who APPROVED this for the website?? this man is clearly looking at the window in that mirror reflection getting ready to bolt with that baby. he's probably going to sell it on the black market!!

worst idea ever, ikea, worst idea EVER.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Guest Blog! York University and the Logic of the Cookie Jar

guest blogger hans!!

read this.


Remember that kid who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar when you were growing up?

The one who decided it would be a good idea to protest their innocence?

The parental figures shook their heads and glared at him sadly. “What were you thinking?” they demand. “What made you such a greedy, gluttonous child? You thought you could have all the cookies for yourself?”

“Oh no!” the child protests, innocently. “It wasn’t for me! I was gonna trade them to Jimmy up the road for smokes! Five cookies for a single, and then Billy’s older brother sells us cans of beer for smokes. Five smokes equals a can of beer. And my buddy Tim just really wanted a couple cans of beer for his tenth birthday party this weekend. I wasn’t being greedy, honest! I would never have done it if the corner store hadn’t stopped selling singles to underaged kids!”

And then the kid can’t quite understand how that doesn’t improve the situation.

Well, this week York University is that child.

Caught with its hand in the cookie jar, it decided the best response would be to ‘clarify’ precisely how stealing from the [public] cookie jar was – in its view – the best way to ensure the long-term sustainability of the cookie jar, and that stealing cookies would, in the long run, lead to more cookies than ever for the cookie jar and everybody who uses it.

It’s a logic particularly unique to university public relations departments. There is, in a way, a sort of childish innocence to it, which seems to presume that anything a university does can’t really be bad, and so long as they explain what they’re doing, in fuller detail, that’ll make everything all right. Perhaps it’s because the university administrations that spend so much money on bloated PR departments assume that whenever a scandal erupts, PR departments can magically make them go away. Universities are notoriously incapable of realizing that when a scandal erupts, it’s usually because somebody did something wrong, and that in some cases it makes more sense – and sets a better example – to simply admit your guilt, and apologize, and accept some level of punishment, than to protest your innocence through press releases and Twitter tweets.

When the Ontario NDP released the results this week of a series of Freedom of Information requests they filed around the use of public funds by Ontario universities and colleges to hire high-paid lobbyists to...”lobby”... on their behalf, York discovered that it had stolen more cookies than anybody else: it had spent close to half a million dollars paying off private lobbyists, far and away more than any other post-secondary institution. In fact, if you take what some of the other cookie-stealers – Lakehead University, Sir Wilfrid Laurier University, Mohawk College and the Ontario College of Art and Design - spent TOGETHER, and then DOUBLE it, York still spent more!

Even the Ontario government – for once – joined in on the condemnation of York’s irresponsible spending – the provincial Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Molloy said “They [universities] have no reason to hire lobbyists...members of my ministry speak with these institutions on an ongoing basis, probably on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is, there is no need for a lobbyist to have contact with my ministry or the government...spending public funds on lobbyists is not acceptable.”

York University decided to >issue a press release yesterday, following the cookies-for-smokes logic that explaining precisely, in sordid agonizing detail, how they misused public funds would somehow make it less scandalous that they misused public funds. Indeed, they denounced the government for releasing the information “without context, timeline or accuracy”. Well, ok. If you’re going to be publicly castigated for committing an irresponsible, unethical act, the castigators might as well provide an accurate timeline of how you did it. But the details are interesting. Let’s explore them.

One contract of $31,500 was spent lobbying the Pan Am Games to expand York’s role in the games. The result? York gets to host tennis. O...kay. It’s somewhat unclear how spending $31,500 to get permission to host a tennis game helps the mission of the university, but I guess the alternative was that U of T might get it, so what else could they do?

$217,000+ was spent hiring another firm to see what the community felt about the idea “of establishing a medical school at York at sometime in the future”. Huh? So York has a vague idea that maybe, sometime in the vague future, it might open a med school (even though the government said last year that it was not gonna happen), and so, without any sort of a plan, it dishes out $217,000 to a private firm to see what the community thinks? If this is what it spends on a broad idea to do something “sometime in the future”, I’d hate to see what sort of money it would spend if it actually had a firm proposal and timeline!

And the idea of gathering community input isn’t a bad one at all. Universities do it all the time. Usually by holding public meetings. $100 on Timbits and coffee is a far cry cheaper than $217,000 on a professional lobbyist. Probably a lot more accurate, too. Some of the more tech-savvy universities might even save on Timbits by setting up a webpage for feedback. But why set up a webpage when you could pay lobbyists two hundred grand to do the same thing?

Oh wait, there’s fine print. Aha! After a lengthy paragraph describing its strategic “sometime in the future” plan that it needed to get community reaction on, it adds that the firm “also provided assistance with regard to labour relations during that period”.

Bingo. Right. York’s grad students went on strike during that period. So while York has five full-time labour relations staffpeople, and 29 full-time media relations staffpeople, and a fully staffed legal counsel office, it still needs to spend a couple hundred thousand dollars of students’ money on ADDITIONAL external counsel to ...battle students? If only we’d known that York was afraid that over three dozen of its full-time highly paid professional staff were incapable of taking on an untrained, unpaid group of students. Without two hundred grand worth of additional lobbyists, that is.

In fact, the most perplexing thing about why York spent half a million dollars on lobbyists – most of it to lobby the government – is that York already *has* a full-time government relations lobbyist position on staff! I actually feel pretty bad for her right now. What does it mean when your employer pays somebody else half a million dollars to do the job that they pay you a quarter of that amount to do?

Of course, not all the money went to lobbying government. Some of it went to hiring people to read the CVs of York faculty members, more or less. $189,000 went to a firm assigned to develop a research strategy for climate change. More specifically, it went to “assess the interests and expertise of York faculty in climate change”. Huh? The literally dozens of full-time paid staff in the university’s academic and research departments couldn’t pick up a phone to call the environmental studies department and ask who was interested in researching climate change? Or read their CV’s to see what their expertise was? Or maybe, you know, even have a meeting with them? You know if York held old-fashioned public meetings for these sorts of things, rather than spending half a million dollars on lobbyists, it could probably get a pretty sweet frequent buyer discount on Timbits and coffee. Think outside the box, York. You see half a million dollars of lobbyists; we see three canisters of coffee and a box of Timbits.

Mind you, in a unique crash-and-burn defense York emphasizes: “It is significant to note that there is no specific government lobbying attached to any of the work that this firm has done for York in this regard.”

What’s that supposed to mean? That there wasn’t “specific” lobbying, but there was kinda sorta “vague” lobbying? Or that there was no lobbying at all, and the lobbyists you paid two hundred grand for actually *did* just sit around reading CVs?

No, York, no. If you’re stealing cookies to trade for smokes, the excuse “but we didn’t actually manage to get any smokes” DOESN’T WORK. AT ALL.

Well, at least they hired an adjunct professor from York to do this. Hey wait now. Why did they need to pay a York Environmental Studies prof hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell them what the “interests and expertise” of her fellow Environmental Studies profs were?

Ooh! And she’s on Wikipedia too. Waaaaaaait now...what sort of a prof has a Wikipedia entry? Oh. The sort who was also really a Liberal MP for 11 years. Now I get it.

Before closing in despair, let’s paint things in a little perspective, shall we? York’s lobbying efforts actually cost a quarter of what media giant YAHOO spent on lobbying the entire US government last year. That same amount of money could provide funding for 55 grad students at York. Or pay tuition fees for 267 grad students. Or pay for almost SEVEN BILLION OREO COOKIES.

(yes, I actually did the math on that one)

Of course, in an institution of impunity where York issues press releases to more accurately detail its wrongdoings rather than apologize for its wrongdoings, it’s probably unlikely that anybody in the senior administration will actually learn anything from this. But the next time you run into President Shoukri or Media Relations Director Alex Bilyk in the halls, you might stop them and say “Mahmoud, buddy, the next time you need a smoke...just ASK!”

another strike against rob ford

election day is coming up very quickly and i'm still concerned that rob ford could win.

sure, we can make political arguments all we want about why ford should NOT win this election, but it doesn't seem to be working.

so, i pose this question instead: do we really want a mayor who, in every picture, looks like he's either shitting or ejaculating in his pants?

toronto needs to think long and hard about that. we are a city obsessed with looks, think about it toronto... is this who we want representing us???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

stop rob ford, save the tranzac!

stopping rob ford and saving the tranzac are probably in no way related, but let's just pretend that they are for now.

remember when the toronto women's book store was shutting down, and everyone was like "i want to help!! here's my money!"

and then they were like "wait, where do i bring my money? why isn't anyone answering my phone calls or emails? does anyone want my money?"

lost momentum = death bells.

well, now another great toronto institution is under extreme financial duress and needs our money! maybe this one can actually be saved.

the tranzac posted this info on their website last week about why they need to fundraise and how much they need. all the usual suspects; a lack of revenue and unexpected costs.

so, you can go to their website or drop in at the bar and donate money/become a member, and if you have any questions you can email them at

or, you could buy some great art from these great guys who will be donating half of their proceeds to the tranzac cause. you can see some of the paintings here and here.

and if you have questions about buying them you can email or

kill two birds with one stone: save the tranzac and buy some art!

Friday, October 1, 2010

there are so many different ways to make money nowadays!

today in the toronto star they feature a toronto clinic that is now offering what is called "social" egg freezing.

when i first read that i thought it meant that you got a group rate if you went with your friends to get your future embryos put on ice, but that's not what it means.

it means, according to the clinic's website, that you can freeze your eggs. on the lifequest clinic's blog they describe elective egg freezing as the perfect option for those who are "19 and 36 years old, and [who] know [they]want to have a family but the time is just not right. "

is egg freezing right for you? well, here are some indicators that it might be: "You may be building your career; or you may be single and waiting until you meet the right partner. There may be medical reasons as well, such as preserving fertility before chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Egg freezing offers the opportunity for a woman to preserve her eggs at the peak of her fertility so she can have genetically-related children at a later, more appropriate time in her life."

the peak of fertility!! genetically-related children!! appropriate timing!!

it sounds so easy doesn't it? want babies some day? well freeze those suckers up now and they'll just be waiting for you in ten years.

they mention somewhere in there that egg freezing is still considered a research procedure and only a very small number of babies have been born from frozen eggs, but who cares? this is 2010, after all, and don't we deserve to have every option open to us at all times if we can afford it? of course we do!

so after some appointments, mandatory counselling, and injecting yourself with hormones for a few weeks, you'll get a needle inserted into your ovaries and they'll suck out your future babies and "slow freeze" them. after that you can go on with your life and not worry about having a baby right away.

it's like this comic says (from the clinic's twitter) "get an education...check! establish career...check! oh my god! i forgot to have a baby!"

yes, women are allowed to have goals and priorities beyond family now. but being allowed can't change the fact that we are biologically DESTINED to pop out babies. the thought of our eggs drying up and becoming useless is an idea that is anathema to us.

today the toronto star also covered the new program designed to provide dental care to poor kids and a story about abuses in a toronto nursing home. about 130,000 children under 17 in ontario are unable to access basic dental care like check-ups and cleaning(it probably won't be these kids having their eggs frozen at 19 years old).

in the same newspaper, on the same day, you can read about the social stratification that allows some people to freeze their eggs for posterity and others to watch their teeth rot out of their head.

let's not even get into the other issues we have in canada, literacy rates, the reserve system where kids grow up without clean water, racism, homophobia, and skyrocketing tuition. those issues aren't going to affect the frozen egg child born in ten years!

and, some people have bigger problems to think about, like making sure they have "genetically-related" children some day when they're 45. yes, some day when you hang your $5,000.00 business suit up in your closet for the last time you'll have your own child(and probably your own nanny brought in by the foreign workers program to take care of it for you) you won't have to worry about the kids who can't afford to have their teeth cleaned or who don't have parents and live in foster homes.

you'll be able to look at that your growing belly, a feat achieved by large amounts of synthetic hormones and dollar bills and think "yes, i deserve this."

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