Friday Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

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I can't believe what a dick McGuilty must be to show up at the Legislature yesterday and proudly sit there while the throne speech is read. Ironically (and not surpassingly) Moody's downgraded our province's credit rating, essentially from bad to worse. I also blame that liar Wynne who didn't dare mention his name during the election campaign but now is his best friend.

OK, we got McGuilty out of the way and now you can rant about Ford. Tell me again, how has anything he's done effected us???

July 4, 2014 @ 9:05 AM

James Edgar

Ford ,Mcsquinty and all the rest of the politicians are totally out of my control today so Meh on politics.

I'm camping in the high arctic for the next 6 weeks. At least that's how it looks considering the vast amount of stuff packed in the car !!

All but one of my camping trips over the last few years has been on a motorcycle. Which means you pretty much have a small tent sleeping bag that's not quite warm enough ( at least if you're like me and too cheap to get a good one) and little else.

Family camping in the car at oastler lake this weekend and it kind of feels like we are moving.

July 4, 2014 @ 9:23 AM


On a lighter note, Poutineville, a Montreal-based poutine chain specializing in all things poutine has announced it will be opening its first Toronto location in the Annex later this summer.


July 4, 2014 @ 9:23 AM

Ryan G

I have a question for Mike and any others who wish to respond.

I hate to box myself into any kind of category, but I suppose you could put me somewhere between atheist and agnostic.

For those of you in a similar situation, at around what age did you start changing your views on religion and why?

Second, if you have a significant other who doesn't share your views, and you have or will have children, how do you handle the whole religious indoctrination thing?

I don't, and probably won't, have kids, but if I did, it would just be expected that the kid is baptised or christened or whatever tom-foolery they call it nowadays. But, I have a bit of a problem with that, and I know if I voiced that concern, I'd be seen as a bit of a heretic by certain members of my own family and my partner's family too. So, do you let that one slide just to appease people (and raise the kid to make up his/her own mind later on), or do you stand strongly against the constant threat of religious indoctrination?

July 4, 2014 @ 9:24 AM

this guest

This isn't 'religious' per se but I am reading a book on Irish mythology. And this quote has left me somewhat shaken. From a section talking about the 'New Age' movement and the embracing of the Goddess but only the light and bright and affirming aspects of 'Her.'

Oswald Spengler in his 'Decline of the West' says:

Today we simply no longer know what a myth is; for it is no mere aesthetically pleasing mode of representing something to oneself, but a piece of the most lively actuality that mines every corner of the waking consciousness and shakes the innermost structure of the old days 'men' did not enjoy myth. Behind it stood death.

July 4, 2014 @ 9:33 AM

this guest

Well that was a light and breezy quote for me to post on a bright sunny day.

July 4, 2014 @ 9:37 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ryan G

I was raised Catholic, and didn't think to question anything. I just believed what I was told by my parents and teachers. It wasn't until my early 20s that I started to step back and look at it all.

By the time I had my first son, I was certain religion was fiction and felt pretty sure there was no god. Of course, you can't "know" there's no god, but I live my life comfortable I made the right decision.

So none of my three kids are baptized, there are no prayers or talk of heaven and hell being real, my wedding was completely religion and god free... I teach my kids to practice good citizenship and to do good because it's the right thing to do and feels good and makes others feel good.

Oh... and to specifically address your question about indoctrination... my newborn's mom comes from a very Catholic family. Well before I proposed and we started trying to have a child, we had a long talk about my beliefs and her beliefs and our children. This communication was key so there were no surprises.

July 4, 2014 @ 9:56 AM

James Edgar

I first came to the conclusion that religion was suspect at the age of about 6. The things they were telling me in sunday school as facts made no sense and were contrary to how I saw the world.
I've never really changed that view though i was More of a militant Atheist back in the day . I'm way more live and let live now.

The kid thing is a bit Tricky. I'm in a similar situation.

I have a stepdaughter now who's in a Catholic school.Obviously I don't have nearly the influence I would if I was her natural father but I have some. Her birth parents are lapsed catholics who sort of believe but are not strongly religious. They both think that the organization is largely corrupt.

Her birth parents are french and went to catholic schools so that was a consideration when choosing schools as was a full french program. Her school is the highest rated of the French board in the west end so she goes there. There are religious classes and Morgan is a believer. But at 9 she is starting to wonder.

My approach is to ask questions and let her choose her own path.

I'm pretty certain I'd be in a different relationship if My GF was religious and going to church regularly.

July 4, 2014 @ 9:58 AM


I believe before you get to heavy into a relationship that could possibly lead to marriage, a discussion has to take place re: religious beliefs.

In a marriage you definitely should be able to voice your concerns over your child's religious upbringing. You seem like a bright guy - I'm sure you'll do the right thing.

BTW, don't let anyone try to "convert" you - only God can :)

July 4, 2014 @ 10:01 AM


@ Ryan - I struggle with some of the same things you're talking about. I was raised Catholic, but I am pretty much the definition of a Lapsed Catholic.

That being said, I consider myself more spiritual then religious. I believe there is more to life than what we see, but I have my doubts about a happy old man sitting on a cloud watching everything we do....or that he sent a piece of himself to Earth in the form of his "son". I'm not saying it didn't happen...just that I have my doubts, which is part of the free will that God gave me (should he exist at all).

However, I have seen religion be a source of immense strength for some folks, I've also seen it be a crutch for others. My take on it is, if being Baptised is crucially important to one parent, and of little to no concern to the other (as it seems to be here) let it be...I am Godfather to both my nephews, and had my son Baptised. I gave my 1st nephew a bible as his Christening gift (a standard gift form a Godfather) but I did write him a message inside. I don't feel the need to divulge the entire content of the message, but I will tell you part of it consisted of:

This book is a good starting point for morals and values, as well as lessons on how we should treat others, but it is far from complete. Never stop questioning it's contents, or the world around you.

So Ryan there are my thoughts on your question....for whatever my 2 cents are worth...

July 4, 2014 @ 10:20 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

If anyone were to ask me to be a godfather (as if!), I'd politely decline. The hypocrisy would kill me. I simply won't participate in the indoctrination.

But The Godfather and The Godfather 2 were exceptional films...

July 4, 2014 @ 10:26 AM


Fair enough but I don't know of any religion that claims God is a "happy old man sitting on a cloud watching everything we do..."

July 4, 2014 @ 10:40 AM


@ Mike - what you call indoctrination, I call exposing to different viewpoints.

And while I know you aren't do come off as a bit of a condescending jerk when the religion discussion comes up. I don't get how you can be so wonderfully open minded about things like homosexuality, but be so closed minded about others. I've made this comparison before, but you look down on those who believe the same way Argie looks down on the gays...

But, you are right! Godfather I & II were exceptional films...

and I think the suckiness of Godfather III is something we can all agree on (seriously...they were cousins...and even acknowledged it...why did no one have a problem with them sleeping together?!?!?!)

July 4, 2014 @ 10:42 AM


@ Argie- I was using a little poetic licence there....I think you'd find my knowledge of our faith a pleasant surprise. While I have my doubts on the validity of it, I know the tenants quite well.

July 4, 2014 @ 10:45 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Because I believe homosexuals are born that way and are equal to heterosexuals.

But I believe religion is man-made fiction designed to oppress and suppress.

July 4, 2014 @ 10:50 AM

this guest

If you have a significant other who is religious
and you have no children
and his/her religion is one of the sham patriarchal suicide-watch
religions i.e. the slow march to the edge of the precipice:
judaism, islam, christianity, fundamentalist hinduism:

get out while you can.

July 4, 2014 @ 10:52 AM

Sam in Pickering

Don't you know not to discuss religion or politics?

But while we're here, I have one question for the believers or those who are hanging on.

If you were introduced to your religion for the first time when you were an adult, would you believe it's true?

Of course not!

July 4, 2014 @ 10:58 AM


For the record, I don't look down on gays. But thanks assuming that.

Many people become religious as an adult. I've always believed in God but only in the past dozens years or so have I practiced my faith.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:10 AM


Would your opinion of gays and their marriage rights change if it was proven no one is born gay? I'm not saying they are or not - just asking a question.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:13 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


No. But I believe you're born gay, which makes it a civil rights issue.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

Sam in Pickering

Aye, but the seeds were planted as a child!

Note of all the religions in the world, you chose the one you knew. You didn't start practicing Hindu, Mormon, or Islamic religions.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:17 AM


But similar to the existence of God, there is no proof. Irony.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:18 AM


I am not religious. When I was a kid, my parents didn't make me go to church. My grandparents and other family members were more religious so I had to go to church when I was little and I was there. Anyway, religion was forced on me when I was in boarding school. I usually went home on weekends, but when I was little, I had to stay at school some weekends and then have to go to church. Also we were forced to say grace three times a day and say prayers at night. I didn't think God was real and nothing really happened. I still think the same way. I would daydream in church. I would get bored and daydream.

Anyway, Subban is not going anywhere. He stays with my Habs. We lost enough, Briere, Gorges, Gianta. No way do we lose anymore and we should have gotten Vrbada.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:19 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Have you ever had a chat with a homosexual?

Sit down and have a coffee with a gay man or woman and ask them about when they chose to be gay. You'll quickly have no doubts they were born that way.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:20 AM


I think its different for everyone. Each person has a difference experience and theory or reason as why they're gay. The redhead chick from Sex & The City said she wasn't born gay but considers herself gay. She said she could change again so who knows.

Obviously, neither you or me are experts in this field.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


But the only people who ever argue that you aren't born gay are straight folks (usually religious) like you.

Since you aren't gay, how do you know what's going on in the head of a gay person? They're the experts! Talk to one (or two!) and you'll quickly learn they chose to be gay the same way you chose to be straight.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:37 AM


@ Argie - No, I didn't just assume. I based that statement off of everything I've ever read from you on the subject!

@ Mike - Where you see oppression and suppression, others see love and enlightenment.

I'll turn your statement around on you. One conversation with Father Wayne (the single greatest Priest I've ever known as well as one of the best human beings in general) and while I doubt he'd change your mind about the existence of God, I can almost guarantee you hid make you seriously reconsider the value that religion brings into peoples lives.

Just cause it isn't for you doesn't make you right. I can completely deal with your skepticism, or even outright denial on the existence of God or the validity of the bible (there certainly is a Mountain of evidence to support such thoughts), what honestly irks me is the smug superiority you seem to display on it, like those who believe are somehow inferior to you....

July 4, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

this guest

at one point
in history, and this is not opinion, it is fact
the worship of earth as a feminine spirit-energy
was reduced via a corporate takeover by the 'he'
god figures.

So, believe what you want, but realize that any
mention of 'heavenly father' came about as a
historical development usually accompanied by
burnings, rewriting of history, oppression of women, folk
wisdom and medicine and a relationship to nature.

That's why I call patriarchy a suicide religion. All of the male
god attributes are acted out via technology and war which ultimately
destroys the world for our children.

Much closer than we think.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I never denied the fact some people get value from religion, I just wish they could get value from reality. I'm sure Father Wayne and others are both religious and good people, just like many are not religious and good people.

And you talk like there's one religion. Does Father Wayne know there are hundreds of millions of people who practice other religions? Does he think all of those people are wrong? Do you?

July 4, 2014 @ 11:55 AM

4x4 Time

Played golf at Copetown Woods in Flamborough yesterday (nice track) from the blue tees. Shot 82. My goal is to shot an 80 on a decent course, and this is the closet I have come so far.

July 4, 2014 @ 11:55 AM

Ben Vidal

My brother is gay. He always has been and always will be. From his earliest years he walked a different path. While I was playing with He-Man figures and Star Com he was playing with Barbies, My Little Pony. Outside I played street hockey and cops and robbers, he played house and skipped rope.

He was never flamboyant, most people wouldn't know he was gay or that he could be gay looking at him or even talking to him for 5 minutes. It was when you saw his interests, who he chose to be friends with, and his reaction to girls vs. boys in his highschool years.

This isn't to say that all gay people do as my brother did. Being gay doesn't mean you like barbies over He-Man. It just means he was born different and is different and that difference is not a bad thing. Nor is that difference a choice.

My brother coming out of the closet wasn't a question of if, it was a question of when. I asked my brother a couple years after he came out when he knew he was gay. His response "he always knew he was gay even before he knew what gay meant".

How can I argue with that? How could I as a brother love him any less? While not being even remotely religious today, homophobic thoughts and pre conceived notions existed within me at a younger age. I grew up in a predominantly WASPY town, being gay lesbian or anything else was an outlandish idea. I don't blame the town or the people surrounding me for my beliefs. I do understand and can see first hand that just like being religious, racist, misogynist; homophobia is often times something you get indoctrinated into at an early age. Without those biases going on when you are young and through your formative years, most people wouldn't struggle to answer questions of faith when confronted with science or confront the idea of being gay not being a choice, but a biological pre-determination.

July 4, 2014 @ 12:00 PM


I'm sure Fr Wayne believes those people are "wrong" just as you believe that those who believe in God (several billion of the world's population) are wrong.

July 4, 2014 @ 12:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Ben Vidal

Thank you for sharing. Like your brother, many gay people I've chatted with knew they were gay before they knew what gay meant. And it was as much a choice as my choice to be straight.

July 4, 2014 @ 12:08 PM


Switching gears here, but how come despite the billions wasted by the Liberal govt you have never, ever posted anything about it? During that same time, between your twitter feed and blog you must have posted about a thousand negative comments about the Fords.

I'm aware of the Ford's foibles but doesn't a billion of taxpayers' money concern you?

July 4, 2014 @ 12:46 PM

519 Rob


Before my son was born (and while my now ex was pregnant) we were at a Christening for one of my nephews.
My Ex's Mom said 'I guess the next time we're all together will be when your baby is Christened'.
Perhaps me laughing out loud at her was the wrong decisions...

I'd say my beliefs are similar to your, I'm sorta of an in-between-er.

But If my son ever told me he wanted to go to Church, I'd support his decision.
Much the same way I'd support him if he came out.

July 4, 2014 @ 12:54 PM


Bad news: Milos lost
Good news: France lost as well

July 4, 2014 @ 2:05 PM


Well, never mind God because today I met The Devil.

Yes, The Devil.

Today I learned The Devil is an Osgoode Hall graduate and a sodomizer. I can vouch for the sodomizer part because I got bent over but good. And, the whole exercise was completely unholy, although I did exclaim, "Oh my fucking God, are you kidding me?!" a few times.

Someone said the sun is shining today. No, it definitely is not.

July 4, 2014 @ 2:13 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Some topics don't drive me to write an entry about them. That story never moved me to write, just like the big Conservative Senate scandal didn't move me to write.

The Fords, however, move me to write.

July 4, 2014 @ 2:50 PM


The conservative senate story is peanuts compared to the various liberal scandals.

So what compels you to write about the Fords? Is it because its trendy to?

July 4, 2014 @ 3:02 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Haha... no...

Although I might be the ultimate hipster. I wrote about the Ford idiocy before it was cool.

July 4, 2014 @ 3:06 PM

4x4 Time

@Liz - Hope tomorrow is a better day for you..

July 4, 2014 @ 5:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Lawyers.... if you can avoid them, do so. I'm guessing it's too late for you...

July 4, 2014 @ 5:11 PM


I'm surprised by how few comments Alan Cross's site gets.

July 4, 2014 @ 5:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I just clicked over. Looks like you're doing most of the work!

July 4, 2014 @ 5:33 PM


Responding to an integrity complaint by the father of an autistic son, Councillor Doug Ford said the man should “go to hell” and accused him of being part of a “jihad.”


Who was it again that killed Anthony Smith? And was it for his phone?

July 4, 2014 @ 6:06 PM


Responding to an integrity complaint by the father of an autistic son, Councillor Doug Ford said the man should “go to hell” and accused him of being part of a “jihad.”


Who was it again ordered the home invasion of the Bassos and the beating they received from a large man and a collapsible baton?

July 4, 2014 @ 6:07 PM


We'll never know. It's just a weird *disease* sweeping Toronto.

July 4, 2014 @ 6:08 PM


No doubt the police are investigating Ford's activities and criminal associations because it's 'trendy.'

God Argie is stupid. As in actually stupid.

July 4, 2014 @ 6:15 PM


Milos did his best playing today. Knew he doesn't have experience like Federor.

Focus now on Bouchard in the final tomorrow.

July 4, 2014 @ 6:46 PM


I never quite understood the love shown to Barack Obama by Canada's left including Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada.
He's been the worst US president for Canadian interests in decades.
It continues with the appointment of the new US ambassador Bruce Heymen.
I've linked a Wall Street Journal article written by an American who lambasts Obama for this appointment and his treatment of Canada during his presidency.

July 4, 2014 @ 7:10 PM


Well, hope my Habs do well, but they better not trade any more players or let them go. No Briere, No Gorges, No Gianta. I wanted Vrbada, but somehow he had to go to Vancouver instead. Well, let's hope my trainer's wife wins soccer tomorrow.

July 5, 2014 @ 7:15 AM


At the end of the day who cares if someone is born or chooses to be gay. If gay marriage has no impact on your life why are you putting your hands in other people's business?

Religion is dying down and how would you feel if we would ban marriage in the church?

July 5, 2014 @ 8:47 AM


Canada has made a major influence to tennis overall this week. I hate the sport but will watch when somebody having a chance to win.

Cannot beleive the so positive comments from everyone, even the US commentators on ESPN. Bouchard & Roanic are still very young & both played to their best as all can be asked for.

Pospisal just won doubles against the Bryan brothers who are ranked #1 & Pospisal & partner Soc not even ranked in doubles.

A very proud day for Canada for sure.

July 5, 2014 @ 3:47 PM

this guest

The replacement goalie who won the day for Italy
seemed about eight feet tall.

Well, Costa Rica, good run with the big fish.

July 5, 2014 @ 7:01 PM

this guest

Dutch rather.

July 5, 2014 @ 7:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Great match... Costa Rica played the Dutch well and almost got away with it.

That decision to bring in the back-up goalie for the penalties was ballsy but paid off. We have a great final four with Brazil vs. Germany and Argentina vs. Netherlands.

I predict a Germany - Argentina final.

July 5, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

this guest

Can't argue with that prediction!

July 5, 2014 @ 7:32 PM

4x4 Time

I know nothing about soccer but I am rooting for the Dutch because they are awesome speed skaters from what I see at the Olympics....
@ Ben Vidal - How was your WC expierence you went to Brazil, correct?

July 5, 2014 @ 9:14 PM


Watching tennis is boring, but I like playing it. goes the same for baseball. Playing it is better than watching it, that's for sure. Well, hope my trainer's wife wins. She is the only reason I care about soccer. It better be a good game for them today.

July 6, 2014 @ 7:48 AM



The love shown to the Obama presidency by the Liberals is because they're hoping to cash in on the same factors that made Obama so attractive; "young,hip, not-your-parents-president". Canadian political strategists are usually a few years behind their US counterparts. They've been grooming Trudeau to be our version of Obama, hoping we won't notice the fact that Obama now shares the worst approval ratings of a President ever with George Bush. Liberal strategists have invested too many years positioning this bubble-headed dandy as a Canadian version of Obama - they have to see it through and hope we fall for the messiah hype. Given the alternatives, we probably will.

July 6, 2014 @ 6:43 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Damn. Just read that Neil Morrison was let go by Corus. Is this true?

July 6, 2014 @ 7:35 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Jason from Sudbury

Yes. it's true.

July 6, 2014 @ 7:40 PM

this guest


May I ask how you are able to play tennis with your vision

I don't wish to be rude but I wondered. I'm glad you can.

July 6, 2014 @ 9:48 PM


I have balls with bells in them. My trainer throws the balls and I hit them. For baseball, I throw the ball and he throws it into my glove.

July 7, 2014 @ 6:23 AM


Well, my trainer's wife loswt the soccer game yesterday 1 to 0. It was close, but they didn't score any goals. That sucks. Well, they better win next week. They are 3 and 4 now. They won't win the cup if they lose any more. Well, let's hope they win all the rest of the games and can win the cup.

July 7, 2014 @ 4:59 PM

this guest

@ Cheryl,

Thanks for your answer Cheryl. You must have a great sense
of hearing. Not sure I could make out the bells moving at
all times but then I don't have the greatest hearing.

July 7, 2014 @ 6:26 PM

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