Thursday, November 28, 2013

Maybe I'll Even Get Some Gambling In

It's rapidly approaching that time of year again.

The hap-hapiest time.

With brightly coloured lights, friends sharing food and drink, laughter abounding, stories being told over the warm glow of green felt tabletops.

WPBT time is next weekend. Remember when there used to be blogs about it?

I'm once again in town for my maximum tolerance level, and have once again crammed my schedule full of food and fun. Maybe even a comet this time around, depending on the power of our mighty sun. All hail Sol, destroyer of icy rocks.

I think we've got 13 people lined up for Craftsteak on Friday night so far. Still room for more if you're interested.

I'm running through my schedule in my head. I think I have a window of not doing anything early Thursday afternoon, and of course, post-midnight every day. Of course, this is under the assumption that my last longer partner Vinnay and I end up heads-up in the tournament. I see no reason to doubt that will come to pass.

But hey, Pai Gow and craps are always better after the witching hour, with a stomach bloated with food and a liver working on fine wine and cocktails. Which reminds me to check on my caffeine supply. Ah Vegas, land of health. Hell, dinner on Saturday starts at 10pm. Positively European... except that it's Japanese.

Happy Yanksgiving


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Find Your Targets

I was watching the local news last night, mostly to see if anything new was going on in Ford Nation.

They ran a story about how His Worship Laughable Bumblefuck still has strong supporters and showed interviews with 3 or 4 people who more or less made excuses.

"There's been nothing proven in the courts."

"I think he's doing a good job, and if this doesn't interfere, who cares?"

"Everyone makes mistakes, we're all human."


Now, for the majority of viewers, this may have seemed fine. I noticed something though. I knew the neighbourhood all these people were being interviewed in. I used to live nearby, and I worked a couple summers across the road. All these people-in-the-street were found in the same place - directly in front of a pub, in the middle of the day. Each one looked... off. Unkempt, eyes glazed, and speech a wee bit slurred.

Yup, they found a bunch of drunks and asked them what they thought of Rob Ford.

At least we have an excuse for his base now.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Or Else What?

As a kid I remember it occurring to me that "or else" could mean nothing. Counting to 3 without a defined punishment at the end means that 4 could be what comes next.

I often find myself also thinking how delicate the agreed-upon rules of society are. If you walk out of a store with a bag full of stuff, that's shoplifting. I'd like to think most people don't steal because they know it's wrong. Many probably don't because they're afraid of getting arrested. But the reality is that if you went somewhere you rarely frequent and randomly walked out of a small store without paying for anything, that you'd probably never be punished.

An extreme example? Maybe. But so many rules are set up with the expectation people will act decently. The line "make me" or "what are you gonna do about it?" come to mind.

Which brings me to Rob Ford.

Toronto's Mayor's foibles and fuck ups have been well-documented. The latest twist is his friend, Alexander Lisi, a "stand-up guy" by Ford's own written admission, has been arrested for extortion, drug trafficking, and probably a few other things. The press got the documentation for the search warrants released, and they were revealing. Photos of Lisi and Ford going through spy-level package drops and meets, possibly drinking and driving, and generally looking shifty. Along with these came the admission from the Chief of Police that the cops also now had a copy of the crack-smoking video in their possession. The video Ford said didn't exist. The one that Ford had hoped had been mostly forgotten.


So with this revelation, the media descended on City Hall. Ford came out, mumbled his way through excuses, and said he wasn't going to resign, because there was no reason for him to.

He's kind of right.

There are no criminal charges against Ford. Even if he WAS smoking crack in the video (and his lawyer has already said it wasn't crack in the pipe, or more accurately, that they can't prove it was crack, because straws offer good grasping support), that's not enough evidence to charge him with anything. It just means he's a liar, which most people already knew.

If you were accused of a crime and told to quit your job, would you? Or would you defend yourself? Especially if there was no actual charge, just the public casting you as guilty.

Ford SHOULD temporarily step aside to avoid being a further distraction, with the promise to return when his name is cleared. But he won't do that either.

For he knows full well that there's nothing anybody can do to him. Council can't have him removed. There's no recall option. The Provincial Government can only remove him if he's charged with (or convicted of?) a crime. He also knows the support he has left is among die-hard morons who would stand behind him as he threw puppies at a button that would nuke the city. So in short, what can be done to him? He'll just keep deflecting and denying and hoping it all blows over and is forgotten.

What this will do is reignite the investigations into his life and past. He will have no privacy, and no secrets. He knows the police are following and recording him. His friends are rapidly getting arrested. His allies are abandoning him to save their own hides. It will end up being him, his brother, David Price, and maybe one or two council members who are too stupid to get away.

Oh, and I expect Lisi will look for a plea bargain to avoid court, which could keep the video under wraps indefinitely. Because for some reason, the Ford family seems to be scarier to criminals than jail.

Here's hoping he doesn't see a second term.