Open Mike

Welcome to this week's 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.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Sam in Pickering

Is everyone excited about the PanAm Games?

May 22, 2015 @ 8:29 AM


If you have a shitty Ontario license plate that's peeling, don't forget that you can get a free replacement.

I've seen a ton of them in my area in the past year or two. Service Ontario provides free replacements on a 5 year warranty. They've admitted they screwed up a huge batch of the plates, so take advantage of that while you can.

ESPECIALLY since if your plate is too faded or damaged, YOU will be the one pulled over and ticketed, and not Service Ontario.

May 22, 2015 @ 8:31 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I've been under the weather this week, but I want to pay respect to some local female journalists who passed away recently.

Yesterday, we lost Malene Arpe. She died of a sudden heart attack. She was only 50. You likely know her best from the Toronto Star's Stargazing.

Earlier this week, we lost Tracy Chappell. This mother of two and writer / editor of Today's Parent died suddenly of a heart attack at the young age of 41.

Earlier this month, we lost Barb Turnbull. She passed from complications from pneumonia and was only 50. You know her from the Toronto Star.

And although she wasn't a Toronto reporter, Ottawa's Lauren Davis passed away in her sleep at the age of 24. I'm unaware of a cause of death in this case, but understand she was seemingly healthy until the night she went to sleep and never woke up.

Here today, gone tomorrow. You just never know..

May 22, 2015 @ 8:38 AM

The Sane Voice

Toronto Maple Leafs are Canada's team. Yeah, right.

Sorry, boys and girls, but it is Vos Canadiens, by any measure, who get to wear that hat. Not even close. By any measure you want to use, Le Tricolore swamp TML.

Leafs get credit in one category, more money than brains.

Babcock is the latest in a long procession of saviours this franchise has brought in, usually in the off-season and usually with great pomp and ceremony. To date, not a one has come close to working. Babcock is a very good coach, but he is even better at self-promotion. Interesting that 2 of the richest owners, Pegula in Buf and MLSE went nuts trying to get this guy. Babcock is laughing all the way to the bank.

Some Leafs fans, the Leafs nation cohort anyway, lap this stuff up, and have not quite clued into how much they are being played.

The hockey media in Toronto is a compliant and lapdog bunch, only too eager to suck up to ownership. Most of them are almost certainly fans of this team, many admit to it.

It's a gold mine for MLSE, a product in huge demand and a self-flaggelatting fan base that simple refuses to see beyond the crest on the front of the sweater.

Babcock accomplished 2 things: he got rich, and made 2 owners look foolish in the process, not that either needed his help.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:41 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Sane Voice

I'm confident if you could poll every Canadian with an interest in hockey and ask him/her what their favourite team is, the Leafs would win that poll. So in that sense, they are indeed Canada's team.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:44 AM

Lyle Lanley

What are the panam games?

May 22, 2015 @ 9:47 AM

2015 Pan American Games

The 2015 Pan American Games, officially the XVII Pan American Games or the 17th Pan American Games, is a major international multi-sport event that is scheduled to be held from July 10–26, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with some events held in seventeen other Golden Horseshoe communities. Approximately 6,135 athletes from 41 nations are expected to participate in 36 sports.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:49 AM

The Sane Voice

.....and we all thought that Canada's team is the one that beat the Russian club last week. We must be so misinformed that I guess we should all go back to school and learn more from Toronto Mike. At the moment the Senators, Flames, Canadiens, and Canucks are more deserving of the title of "Canada's Teams".

May 22, 2015 @ 9:52 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@The Sane Voice

Please... you can't bait and switch like that. We both know you were talking NHL clubs.

Of all the NHL clubs, none has as many fans in Canada as the Leafs. This has nothing to do with recent success or capability, of course. I'm all too aware the Leafs have been dismal this past decade.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:55 AM

Ben V

I've been getting up at 5:30 to go to the gym for the last 3 months. CNN is always on one TV at least.

As I glance over or catch things in between sets I've noticed how absolutely abysmal their reporting is. The content and overall news is just terrible. Does anyone here watch CNN ever? Would you agree?

I had to laugh at the same time how yesterday apparent news in Canada and more specifically Toronto was all about Babcock. They filmed his plane landing and his car driving towards his initial presentation/interview. Who the eff cares? How does that matter? Is there nothing else to talk about in sports other than that?

On a brighter note. Just got back from Spain and Portugal last week. I didn't realize how awesome Portugal was. Truly a great place to visit. Lisbon was incredible. I know people think that Europe is in trouble economically, but from talking with family in Spain and meeting up with someone from Portugal things aren't as bad as we let the media portray to us here. People there also don't seem to be as worried as they walk down the street compared to when you around Toronto. Perhaps it's because every 10 feet there is a cafe or mini bar where you can grab a drunk or some tapas on sit at a table on the sidewalk. Maybe Toronto would be happier if you didn't have to get 3 million permits in order to have a patio.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:59 AM


@ Sane Voice,

I agree with every word you wrote. But I do wonder how you can get so "passionate" about a mans coaching position and care so little about a woman reporter being harassed and embarrassed by an idiot TFC fan.

Not criticizing, just curious about your logic.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

The Sane Voice

Please stop with the "Canada's team" thing! Yes there are lots of Leaf fans but there are more "other" fans as well in Canada. Just because the media goes crazy over this multi year losing team doesn't mean the rest of us have to have that franchise shoved in our face as if they are "our team".

I do hope that Toronto some day gets a team that can win more games than they lose and make the playoffs more times than not but even then they will not be "Canada's team" as no team no matter where they play ever will be.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

The Sane Voice


The TFC fan did a great job embarrassing himself. The reporter actually came out on the positive end.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:05 AM



May 22, 2015 @ 10:08 AM


@The Sane Voice
There's no debate here: The Leafs are Canada's team. Just look at the television numbers - they dominate them, even in years they suck.

The Leafs are Canada's team as the Cowboys and Yankees are America's team in their respective sport. Obviously the Leafs are NOT the most successful team (that would be the Habs) but by popularity, its the Leafs - by a mile (or 1.61 km).

May 22, 2015 @ 10:12 AM

The Sane Voice

I'm impressed that 33% of American 8th graders even know that Canada is a country.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:35 AM


@BenV - Now you have seen why CNN has not been the #1 cable news channel in the U.S. for years. Not that MSNBC or CNBC are any better (nor are their ratings).

May 22, 2015 @ 10:36 AM


@Ben V

Good for you for waking up so early and working out. I start my day at 5 AM and find I like working out at that time of the day. It's peaceful

As for CNN, I hear you. Some time ago, my business required me to head to Ottawa on occasion. While there I'd be sitting in what the guys called "the War room". They had a few TV sets tuned to news stations (Al Jazeera English, CNN, etc). CNN was just GOD awful. It was extremely repetitive & the news was quite shallow. It seemed more like infotainment versus actual news. Yet, strangely, Al Jazeera English was better than CNN.

It's no wonder Fox News is number 1 in the USA. The fact it, opinion & political nonsense aside, it's better produced. The only thing good about CNN was Anthony Bourdain.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:53 AM



CNBC isn't so bad, especially the morning show, Squawk Box. It's purely business but I sometimes play it if I'm at home working. They have employed a few staff who break the whole "business reporter" mold at times (especially Mark Haines, RIP). I'm a long time fan of it and listened back when it was Financial News Network

Did you know CBC broadcasts their morning show on TV now? I noticed this the other day.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:58 AM


PS. For those lurking with kinks, Adult Friendfinder was hacked & your personal information is now posted on a forum.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:14 AM


I am not excited in the least about Pan Am games. Well, my trainer said he would make it during those times, but I won't know until it actually happens. He commutes very early in the morning so hopefully he will make it. It's going to be hell getting stuff delivered though. I will put my groceries in the earliest window possible 6:00 to 7:30. I have to. They're going to make HOV lanes and all that junk and traffic will be a mess. Anyway, as for the Leafs, who cares. The Habs are winning the cup next year. The Coyotes will win the western final.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:16 AM

The Sane Voice

"The 2013 Country Ratings Poll of the BBC World Service found that out of 22 major countries being tracked, Canada was the 2nd most favorably viewed -- in a survey which interviewed more than 26,000 people across 25 countries. Further, the survey shows that fewer people think negatively of Canada than of any among the other 21 countries tracked. Most importantly perhaps, for those who argue that our reputation is falling under Harper, between 2012 and 2013, more people have come to think positively of Canada and fewer people negatively. With that, even the oft-mentioned argument that Canada's current reputation is but residual completely fails.

The findings of the BBC survey are further validated by this year's report by the Reputation Institute in New York, which ranked Canada first, out of fifty countries, when it comes to international reputation. Canada was actually ranked second in 2009, but has since risen through the Conservative administration, ranking first for the last three years."

May 22, 2015 @ 11:31 AM


@Sane Voice. Wow, do you own a Canadian Thinker shirt? *LOL*.

I might hurt your feelings when I tell you this but all data is now skewed & it's an extension of someone's agenda. A union will give you "the right answer" and proof just as will the Fraser Institute. Hell, I could compile such information.

As for what people think about Canada, well I mean really, come on. The average world citizen knows jack shit about Canada. They see hockey, they see a Mountie uniform, they see Beavers & they Oil sands.

People once believed smoking was healthy. They believed formula was superior to breast milk. They believed they needed to drink milk OR they'd get osteoporosis. And that margarine was superior to butter. And that eggs were bad for you, then good for you, then bad for you. And eating bread was bad for you, then good for you. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

What you didn't ask if who the Reputation Institution actually asked. What demographics. What agenda. What income level.

Facts finding is an art dude.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:42 AM


@ Ben V

Portugal is awesome. Lisbon has been named best European city to visit 2 or 3 years in a row now. Porto, Braga and Coimbra are also exceptional. Despite being the 12th or 15th most visited country in the world (depends on the year), many people still haven't reached the epiphany you have. My family is from Portugal, so I've known the secret for decades. Also, if you've never been to the Algarve or the Azores, you must make another trip.

The problem lies in pretentious people always boasting about their travel and quoting the trifecta of "India, Spain and Italy", and you can replace Brasil with any of those 3 as well. People in Toronto like to be "trendy" but still claim to be counterculture. The more I talk to many of them though, the more the all sound the same.

As for CNN, they've been awful since forever. I used to get into arguments with my Dad about Larry King. I never understood why he or anyone else thought an interviewer who cut people off, asked irrelevant questions and often repeated the same questions and immediately cut gusts off again was anything near a great journalist.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:44 AM

The Sane Voice


The facts....they burn!
Poor little lefties, they are immune and allergic to logic.
It's like pouring salt on a garden slug.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:50 AM


@ Irv,

The more I read from you, the more I have hope for humanity. Someone gets it! Please include me in your Ottawa/Civil servant plight you mentioned in the Buick article. I say "plight" because the government has their HR chronies screen against hiring any critical thinkers or renaissance men/women.

Your reply to sane voice was 150% spot on. Most people have no clue about Canada, period. Great place to live, but not without its faults. And Europe isn't all bad as Ben V pointed out. I've actually toyed with the idea of moving the herd over to Lisbon if I could get a decent job. Great food, beaches, real soccer teams (sorry TFC need not apply), and sunshine! That said, leaving Canada would suck too.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:51 AM


@ the Sane Voice,

Can you explain to me why people who support Herr Harper always have to resort to using "lefties" and some childish rebuttal to address anyone who even slightly disagrees with you? Harper isn't even a true conservative. Conservatives were interested in supporting things like national economy, In fact, they actually started as the "Liberal-Conservative" party of Canada! (shocking eh?) They campaigned on Canadian sovereignty and values (granted, values back then were much different).

But Harper is a neo-capitalist. He'll sell off as much of Canada as he can to secure his own financial status once he leaves office. Think I'm wrong? See Mike Harris and Brian Mulroney. So-called Conservatives who sold their country and province down the river for personal gain. This party has stayed in power by making Canadians believe they are wealthy just because they have access to cheap credit. Vheap credit does NOT equal wealth. But by pulling the wool over people's eyes, and using fear, they managed to be re-elected. We'll see what happens when the country hits a recession. It's already happening. Look at Alberta. Look at the GTA even, over 50% of Torontonians are without a full-time, permanent job.

May 22, 2015 @ 11:59 AM


Irv is right that the rest of the world knows very little about Canada. I know we Canadians always get bent out of shape when he hear about Americans show their lack of knowledge about Canada but ask any Australian, or Belgian or Frenchman or whatever and they also know very little about us.

The fact is Canada is country that provides services to people who need it - free health care, free education, equal opportunity, etc. When it comes to culture, history, food, architecture look elsewhere. Yes, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver all have great restaurants but the food is of another country.

I'm not slamming Canada, just giving the facts.

May 22, 2015 @ 12:09 PM

The Sane Voice

@ Christos

Just imagine what an international LAUGHING STOCK Canada would be with baby Trudeau as PM !!!

May 22, 2015 @ 12:10 PM


@ Sane Voice,

What is your basis for that argument? Is he a hillbilly who is illiterate? Better yet, is he an overweight crack-smoking former mayor? Conservatives in the municipal and federal governments have done more than their fair share to make Canada look bad.

Mr. Harper and his chronies didn't bother asking any Canadians (you know, the people he is supposed to represent), their opinions on the matter before he decided to join the US and Israel and vote against Palestinian statehood. Isn't that nice? Canada and a whopping 8 other countries getting their say in whether or not another country should be recognized. How many voted FOR Palestinian statehood? Oh, just a mere 138. Yeah, he made us look real good there.

Now, I am not a Trudeau supporter because I don't believe of family cycles or dynasties in Politics. But I am at least willing to hear what he and all the candidates have to say leading to the election.

May 22, 2015 @ 12:22 PM

The Sane Voice

Christos, have you ever bothered to address the question of why do you do this? If you detest Canadians as you indicate why do you bother posting on this board? What is it about Canada - even in the negative - which causes you to have this morbid curiosity about this?

May 22, 2015 @ 12:30 PM


Palestine should have their own country but Harper's job does not require him to seek out what Canadians think. It is to lead, make decisions as PM and when the election is held, voters can decide if he's done a good job or not and re-elect him or don't.

I don't want a leader changing his vision and values because some or even most Canadians tell him to.

May 22, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

Tita Nic

Should the Captain of the ship listen to the passengers and crew yelling 'Iceburg!' at the top of their lungs?

May 22, 2015 @ 12:40 PM

4X4 Time

Re: Canada's Team...I was just curious and checked with a friend of mine in Montreal who does some online fulfillment for the NHL/COM Buy site. Nothing scientific of course but here is the split of top 10 total dollar sales shipments YTD in Canada (all products)
Toronto – 28%
Boston – 11%
Montreal – 10%
Detroit – 7%
Pittsburg – 6%
Edmonton – 6%
Chicago – 4%
Vancouver – 4%
New York Rangers – 3%
LA Kings – 3%

May 22, 2015 @ 12:47 PM

The Sane Voice

@ 4X4

If we used that system in the political arena, the NDP would win every election as their supports traditionally have more signs posted than the other major parties combined.
Mike's site is Toronto based and one could argue that half of its posters are NOT Toronto fans. How is that for loyalty?

May 22, 2015 @ 12:51 PM

Ben V

Isn't a leader in a democratic society supposed to reflect or implement things that the majority of his/her country wants?

May 22, 2015 @ 12:51 PM


@BenV and Irv
I had a look at yesterday's ratings for the US cable news channels. FOX is indeed #1, which will come as an absolute shock to most. Actually, they have over a 50% share. In other words, more Americans watch FOX News than all of the other cable news channels combined. All of the channels have their strengths and (even more so) "room for improvement". You do need to be better overall to be #1, though.

May 22, 2015 @ 12:54 PM


@Mike I have been shaken by the deaths of Malene and Tracey. I went to school with Malene - she was a wonderful , straightforward person who told it like it is. I thoroughly enjoyed Tracey's columns and writing.

It doesn't help matters that my sister will be admitted to PMH today to begin her treatment and undergo a bone marrow transplant.

My mindset is tenuous and will likely be for the next while.

May 22, 2015 @ 1:01 PM


Ben V, that is what "democracy" stands for.

Argie, I disagree. If you only have to worry about a job evaluation once every 5 years, what is to keep you from doing whatever you want for 4 years and then turning on the charm on an election year? The whole point of a leader is to represent the people who elected them, hence the term election.

WHat you propose sounds to me like someone with no accountability or interest for their constituents. And there are times when a leader has to lead, such as times of brokering peace, or times of economic difficulty. But if the question is "do these people have a right to sovereigny" I think it is hypocritical of a democratic leader to vote against that. It is morally wrong, in my opinion.

Sane Voice, I am Canadian, I am Torontonian. You will find that those of us who say things that are not just fluffy and bogus inflation care about this country and city a great deal. I liken it to parents with children who just go on about their little angel, eager to sugar coat everything. Parenting, just as life, is complex. Having a discussion about things and even disagreements, is an important part of life. I'd rather talk to other parents about the issues I have as a parent. It is more constructive. Builds a sense of community and can even help overcome these issues. This is how I see discussions about politics. I respect your opinion, even if I disagree with it. I am not de-valuing it. But providing a counter-argument does not mean I hate this land. Quite the opposite.

May 22, 2015 @ 1:12 PM

The Sane Voice

@ Christos

Perhaps it hasn't occurred to you in your general delusion, that my comments are based on the fundamentals.

Canadians are indebted to the highest level in their history, their housing is the most unaffordable in the world except for Hong Kong, the prices of their energy exports of oil and gas and other commodities are down by 40% in six months. Those are the fundamentals. From which I speak.

But I can see why you wouldn't.

Canadians are so used to nods all around when they speak of how special Canada is. Oh so superior to the US. The media confirm this. The Canadian government confirms this. The "aren't we special" stories get circulated round and round until they become part of the Canadian lexicon

You are totally unused, as many Canadians are, to dissent.

I am Canadian also, but I am an American as well.

You see I now see through all this self praise. And find it somewhat puke inducing. And at the same time, laughable.

Canadians have become intensively arrogant and narcissistic.

And I have perspective: I have lived in four countries and visited 35 more.

May 22, 2015 @ 1:17 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


My thoughts are with your sister. The people at PHM are the best in the business. She's in good hands.

May 22, 2015 @ 1:45 PM


Sane voice:

First of all, your need to insult dilutes any points you make. Secondly, I don't really understand what your message is. First you said Canada was highly ranked in world reputation. Now you're saying that Canadians are delusional and think themselves special. It seems you are confused.

While you sort out your arguments, let me clarify for you; I am not deluded. I was not speaking of sunshine and lollipops. I said that the Canadian reputation is more unknown than well-respected to foreign countries. Then I mentioned the pitfalls of the current political climate and the challenges of the economy and why Canadians are duped into believing they are wealthy and "conservative" when they are not.

Your muddled arguments are what I have noticed about many pro-PC party followers for a long time. They recycle the factless and ad hominem catchphrases the Tories throw out in their ads. They believe that because they have enough credit to lease a $50,000 Audi and walk around with $30,000 in credit card and line of credit debt, they are well-off. But they can shift gears and go on about employment and economic stability.

Who do you think caused this? The Tories have been in power for almost a decade. They have put all their eggs in one basket with the oilsands. They have done little to stimulate job growth and they were fortunate to inherit a financial system that was set up decades ago and safeguarded Canada (for the time being), from the 2008 recession thanks to strict banking policies. Over the last few years though, what has been done aside from lowering the interest rates?

Finally, and relating back to my first point, I enjoy debate. I don't find any need to use name-calling when I address you or anyone else. Perhaps you should try not taking these discussions so personally since they are nothing more than opinion. Disagreeing doesn't have to stoop to disrespect.

May 22, 2015 @ 1:45 PM

The Sane Voice

@ Christos

Ah, finally a realist.

Your mother must not have been one of many who repeated to you that, as a Canadian, you were special, no matter what. And definitely superior to those Americans in every respect.

It seems that she might have imparted that being special was earned and not proclaimed by you to yourself.

As I travel the world (39 so far) I am increasingly hearing from travelers and locals alike that when they see the maple leaf festooned suitcase they run for cover, fearing that they will be buttonholed with extensive renditions of how special Canada is, preceded, of course, by, "now I am Canadian, you know, not one of those Americans".

May 22, 2015 @ 1:56 PM


@Ben & Christos
The term "democracy" only refers to the voting process of a nation (i.e. how a country elects its leader). Once said leader is elected he can do whatever the hell he wants (within reason).

If we want the PM or Premier to go to the public every time he/she has to make a decision, nothing would ever get done. Also, how do we decide what gets a public vote? Should the PM ask the public if we should gave aid to 3rd world countries, and how much we should give?

We have our say at election time and that's it. We decide which leader and party is aligned with our views and hope to hell they follow through with their promises.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:01 PM


@Sane voice,

Your trolling job is impeccable. Just as I talk about having meaningful discourse and being respectful, you start talking about mothers. Congratulations about your travel by the way. You remind me of that gumba with glasses in the youtube ads: "just driving around here in the Hollywood Hills in my Lamborghini. But you know what I value more than materialistic things? Knowledge!" Then he goes on to spit out some hackey, made up mumbo jumbo on the fly. Exactly like you, since you can't even read that what I've been saying is the opposite of the "la la la, everything is fine" mentality.

Congratulations by the way on your quick turncoat from a Canadian who doesn't like seeing anyone bash Canada to an American who is fed up with Canadian "attitudes, man". Make your 40th country North Korea, and be sure to stay a while, you seem to have a lot in common with their leader.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:04 PM

The Sane Voice

@ Christos

You seem to always have a boilerplate response to what others
post, consequently, what you post, has not merit or interest to anyone who comes across your remarks.

Your remarks are boring to read, and repetitious, and take up more white space than your remarks merit.

Indeed arrogance and narcissism are your nemesis.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:07 PM


@ Argie,

While I see some of the merits of your argument, "democracy" actually means: A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. So by that very definition, they elected officials are meant to act on behalf of the people.

I am not suggesting that the PM have a town hall meeting with 34 million people every time he wants to decide if they should switch catering companies on Parliament Hill. But I am suggesting that the very job of a politician is to be in touch with the people they represent. It's also a ctach 22 though right? As a leader, for every decision you make, 50% will love you and the other 50 will hate you. But that doesn't mean fully ignoring the people. By the way, if people shouldn't have access or representation to their democratic government, I am wondering how you feel about lobbyists and private interest groups that regularly have the ear of our politicians. Are they more entitled to a say than the people? Just some discussion points.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:10 PM


@ Sane Voice;

Discussion boards are for discussion, are they not?

May 22, 2015 @ 2:13 PM

The Sane Voice

@ Christos

Amazing how you can spam this one article with ten (and counting) comments over the past four hours while laying down a full shift at the plant. What does your company manufacture, blog posts?

May 22, 2015 @ 2:23 PM


Most if not all politicians will listen to what the public is saying - out of survival. They all want to get re-elected (except in Obama's case he can't get re-elected) but my point is that they're not obligated to listen to the public.

You gave the example of Harper and the Palestinian vote. However, in Ontario Wynne has instituted the new sex-ed program to all schools. I've seen recent surveys that show most parents are against it. Regardless as to what you or I think of it, its Wynne's decision to institute and it sure looks like she's sticking with , regardless as to what the majority of parents think.

The opposite of that was her predecessor (McGuinty) who would often float out an idea only to change is opinion on it and scrap it. The new sex-ed being one example of that a few years ago.

And finally, I hate lobby groups - even the ones who advocate for issues I care for.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:25 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The next guest on my podcast is Steve Anthony. He's coming over next week. Let me know if you have any questions you'd like me to ask him.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:32 PM

4x4 Time

@Sane Voice - LOL, Chill dude, I could care less about what Sports Team is "Canada's Team"..Like I said not scientific by any means, but I was just curious for some data on what people buy...Now, if we want a real debate we should discuss Canada's Best Band!...

May 22, 2015 @ 2:34 PM

Nigel Trousershrapnel

Please refer to the voice of our generation as "THE Sane Voice". He has declared it so as the prophecies said he would. You may see it as self praise, find it somewhat puke inducing and at the same time, laughable, but those of us who read the signs, knew he would return and with him the intellect of a thousand Steven Harper's. All praise Dean del Mastro!
Your humble servant,

May 22, 2015 @ 2:37 PM


@4 x 4

Just kidding. Is there anyone out there who actually likes this band? Seriously.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:38 PM


@ Argie,

Good point with the Wynne example. But in a democracy, as far as I'm concerned, politicians have to listen to the people, as you mentioned. They are obligated to an extent, as too much disapproval and even a vote of non-confidence. Look at the Alberta situation. The sitting government got way too caught up in their own dealings to notice that the political climate passed them by. They didn't relate to the people anymore, so now they're out. I too cannot stand lobby groups.

@ Sane voice,

You're at 14! Lol, talk about "do as I say, not as I do". Don't worry, I'll leave you alone. I get it, you don't like playing with others.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:38 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I'm sure I'll get heat for it, but my vote for best current Canadian band (apologies to Rush fanatics) is Arcade Fire.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:48 PM


Wrong Toronto Mike!

Best Canadian band of ALL-time is easily the Crash Test Dummies!!!


May 22, 2015 @ 2:52 PM

The Sane Voice


Way to make sweeping generalizations.

I know you're trying to sound profound somehow, but you're not doing a very good job of it.

May 22, 2015 @ 2:57 PM

Christos the profound

I'm trying to sound profound? From the guy who calls himself "the sane voice"? Oh the irony!

May 22, 2015 @ 2:59 PM

James Edgar

Or The Hip. Depends on the day.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:00 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

The Hip is my all-time favourite band, so they get my vote for best Canadian band, ever. But of the more current bands, I'd say Arcade Fire is the best. That Funeral album is still ridiculously good.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:08 PM

Christos the profound

I want to thank the sane voice for my new handle.

Arcade Fire are excellent, no doubt.

How do people feel about Sam Roberts? I've always liked his bands music and their chords/musical arrangement are actually more complex than people might believe.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:14 PM

The Sane Voice

Using 4X4's argument, then Celine Dion would win hands down. Using historical data, no band from Canada made a larger impact on the World stage than "The Band."

May 22, 2015 @ 3:15 PM

Ben V

@Argie: Big difference between misinformation being spread on the new ontario sex ed curriculum and Harper arbitrarily deciding on Palestine.

The sex ed curriculum brings things into the 21st century, the choice on Palestine takes things back 40 years.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:19 PM

Ben V

Arcade Fire have always had a big ego. Eveb before they broke through. I havent really liked them since I saw them perform about a decade ago. More self involved than anything.

Sam Roberts, now there is a performer. A truly good guy and humble.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:25 PM

Christos the profound

@ Ben V,

Agreed on that, except 40 years back in time would be a godsend for Palestinians. They would not be occupied as they currently are AND, the 1967 borders actually had them owning 60% more land than today.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:32 PM

The Sane Voice

Trudeau supporting C-51 is the kiss of death for the Liberals as now the party has to struggle to explain why they like it enough to vote for it, but why they hate it enough to show the Conservatives were wrong in implementing it. Mulcair's constant opposition to it shows stability and principled reasoning, but Trudeau showed blind opportunism.

Trudeau probably never gave a second thought to the NDP taking him over as the alternative to the Conservatives, but that's where we're at right now and it'll be almost impossible for him to get that support back at this point and seeing how they threw everything behind Trudeau, it may be a long time before they can even think of being the official opposition again, let alone winning an election.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:52 PM


Arcade Fire is the most over-rated and BORING band anywhere. OLP is not far behind.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Your favourite band sucks.

May 22, 2015 @ 3:58 PM

Jason from Sudbury

There are 2 songs I like by Arcade Fire. I like OLP's first 3 albums. Anything after Happiness sucks especially Life, that song is horrible!

May 22, 2015 @ 4:59 PM

800 more olive trees cut down recently.

May 22, 2015 @ 5:18 PM

Frederic 'Chip' LaCroix

Speaking of war criminals...
New Documents Show Bush Administration Planned War In Iraq Well Before 9/11/2001
All of us knew it but couldn't prove it. Now we can prove it. Newly declassified documents published at the National Security Archive prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the Bush administration planned to topple Saddam Hussein and invade Iraq as early as January, 2001, and were making strategic plans and resource allocations as early as November, 2001.

January 30, 2001 – Bush administration principals (agency heads) meet for the
first time and discuss the Middle East, including Bush’s intention to disengage from the Israel-Palestine peace process and “How Iraq is destabilizing the region.” Bush directs Rumsfeld and JCS chairman Hugh Shelton to examine military options for Iraq; CIA director George Tenet is directed to improve intelligence on the country. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke are both struck by the emphasis on confronting Iraq, an aim consistent with Rumsfeld’s hiring of Wolfowitz and later Feith, well known for their bellicosity on the issue, for high-level Pentagon
positions. (Source: EBB/Franks Timeline (PDF))

May 22, 2015 @ 5:25 PM

4x4 Time

I don't really have an all time fave Canadian band, but if I had to choose one I always listen to it would be The Band. But I like all music and right now our country has tones of new talent to please everyone...Dinner Belles, July Talk, Monster Truck, Arkells... Who else?

May 22, 2015 @ 5:25 PM


Whoever HP is...I like him/her. Obviously great taste in music.

May 22, 2015 @ 5:59 PM

twins from bolton

This is crazy.

I'd love to see Christos & the Sane Voice in a public debate or Boxing Match as that would be more entertaining than the rubbish written here.

Expecting possible flurries tonight & -2 degrees. Oh shit I removed my snow tires 10 days ago.

May 22, 2015 @ 6:17 PM

I see pants on fire

In 2008, the Center for Public Integrity completed a project in which they went over the public statements by eight top Bush administration officials on the topic of Iraq, and found that no fewer than 935 were false, including 260 statements by President Bush himself. But the theory on which the White House operated was that whether or not you could fool all of the people some of the time, you could certainly scare them out of their wits. That's what was truly diabolical about their campaign.

May 22, 2015 @ 6:33 PM

Christos the profound

@ the Bolton twins,

If you back, you'll see I actually tried to have a productive discussion with Mr Voice. He replied with mother insults and personal attacks.

I've since left the conversation.

May 22, 2015 @ 7:04 PM


Is this how a 'leader' leads?

Tories' bill strips Elections Canada of power to promote voter turnout
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 05 2014, 5:53 PM EST

May 22, 2015 @ 7:32 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Geez all this political talk, and no one mentions the Duggar scandal.

May 22, 2015 @ 8:29 PM

4x4 Time

So, my niece who is a B+ student in grade 12 says to me tonight , "what do you think I should study" ....She wants to be a criminal "CSA" type....I say " Go with whatever you think you will get you a career that will make you happy"...My sister rags on me for being non supportive....I give up, not all kids will be a Bay Street Lawyer or University Avenue Surgeon....And that is alright in my world...XXO Tess....

May 22, 2015 @ 8:52 PM


I, for one, am really looking forward to the Pan-Am games. We have tickets for the rugby 7 finals, diving and tennis. How can you miss a world class sporting event coming to our city?

Favourite (new) Canadian band these days is the Arkells.

Hive mind…I have been struggling trying to make a gluten-free graham cracker crust for key lime pie. Anyone have a source for gluten-free graham cracker crumbs? I do not really want to make from scratch (not that adventurous). One of my family members has celiac disease, so would be nice if she could enjoy my fabulous key lime pie.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:02 PM



If you're niece wants to be a crime scene analyst encourage it. Most of the people who are CSA's or "CSI's" in the TV sense start as police officers. You complete basic training & will likely spend a few years as a police officer. The RCMP is a good place to start. Training is rigorous & the starting pay is very good (nearly 50K a year). Pay rates rise quickly too. The training is 24 weeks.

After a few years as a constable, you can start to work toward being a CSA/CSI. You can specialize in many things too. Biology, chemistry, anthropology, etc. A good base in science is the place to start (college/university). There are also civilian jobs where you do not need to be a constable nor gone through the basic training (Regina in Western Canada).

The hiring process will take time & may include a polygraph. ;-). Answer the questions honestly. The fact you smoked a joint when you were 15 isn't going to stop you. ;-). We all did. The chief probably did too lol.

Science & technology now play a huge part in policing. And things are changing rapidly so the CSA/CSI thing has a bright future. And along the way you'll make a good wage & if you're inclined, have a bright future.

A cadet makes 50K a year, a constable can make up to 80K a year. A Sgt makes nearly 100K and a detective/inspector makes even more. You can live anywhere in the country & it's unlikely police will be downsizing any time soon.

May 22, 2015 @ 9:38 PM

James Edgar

@ Rick C
The Duggar scandal has been bugging me all day.

The hypocrisy of them and anyone who is supportive makes me want to puke.

May 22, 2015 @ 10:09 PM


mr. friendly hands Duggar is a prominent pro family, anti sex ed twit in Republican circles. All sorts of photos of this dirtbag out there preaching 'the word.'

May 23, 2015 @ 7:12 AM


@ Mike
Feel better soon.

Now to add more misery to all the sudden recent deaths, I am sorry to read about Marlene Arpe's early passing. If laughter doesn't keep you alive, I don't know what does. She will be missed.

Some medical types are wondering online about the possibility that Lauren Davis had Long Q-T syndrome. This heart condition often goes undiagnosed, and can become particularly dangerous during the postpartum period. The family may never know for sure. So very sad.

May 23, 2015 @ 8:10 AM


First sorry about your sister, Elba. She will be in good hands though, but cancer is awful. Well, traffic is going to be a mess during Pan-'ams. I have a feeling my trainer may not make it, but he says he will try to make it. Groceries will be delivered some time between 6:00 and 7:30. It's okay. I'm up then anyway, but I like to work first thing in the morning. Well, if I put them in a later window, they would probably be held up in traffic. Oh well, let's talk about some good stuff. How about those Orioles. Great win for them. Diamondbacks also won. I got lots of pool wins. I don't know why the Royals are so good, but they are and it's helping my pool. I also got wins from the Rays, Angels, Tigers, Nationals, Pirates and Giants so good pool wins. It's hard to keep track of 12 teams, but I'm doing it. I'm winning the pool. As for best Canadian band, it's either the Stampeders, Trooper or Ian and Sylvia. Now those bands are great.

May 23, 2015 @ 8:22 AM


@ Irv

Being a security guy, you might know the answer to this. Back in '87 I had to pass very high security clearance, including fingerprinting, to work on the accommodations/accredition database at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Vancouver. I knew where they were staying and what flights they were using. That's the meeting where the Queen and all the Prime Ministers of the Commonwealth bring their massive entourages to a big meeting. This one was hosted by Brian Mulroney, but the great Joe Clarke took the time to shake my hand after it was all said and done. I worked 100+ hours for 8 weeks; at the very least, I deserved a handshake. Anyway, back to the question: Would the RCMP keep me on file indefinitely? Are they still tracking me? Not that there's anything wrong with that ... just wondering.

May 23, 2015 @ 9:21 AM



I can't say for sure, but given it wasn't for an arrest it's unlikely. The fingerprints all had to be transferred to a computer system years back. Today they're submitted via a highly secure computer channel. You are free to inquire though.

It's not likely the RCMP would track you unless you are a threat to internal security, a known associate of organized crime, etc. The whole spying thing in Canada is more on the CSIS & CSEC side.

May 23, 2015 @ 11:18 AM


My big brush with crime: I got caught on W. Georgia going through an amber light once. No and no to the rest of it. ;-) I read In the Star what a journalist finally got when he asked to see his CSIS file. Lots of red tape and time wasted for many redacted pages amounting to nothing.

May 23, 2015 @ 11:32 AM


@Lynne. Yeah, I read that article in The Star too. I have a real problem when the government feels it necessary to create a file & use resources for a journalist.

And when does it stop. Do you remember the show MASH? Do you remember Colonel Flagg? The ultra paranoid guy that went off on Major Burns because he saw the Russian Ballet. And in the one episode he was sent there to spy on another guy who was there to spy on him. That's where we are.

Too much information is a bad thing. You can't filter or parse it properly.

May 23, 2015 @ 11:56 AM

Blind Dave

A gorgeous spring/summer day here on The Prairies. My bro-in-law turned over our garden yesterday, and my wife & I are off today to get some tomato plants, lettuce plants, and some non-edibles that make the rest of the yard look nice.

I think Babcock will be a good Leaf's coach overall, but it is very hard to win the Cup in a 30 team league. The players are mostly deadwood with a couple of exceptions so the roster three years from now will be completely different than the embarrassment from this past season. The first thing MB needs to do is change the culture and make the players accountable yet want to play here. It's all been said before, but perhaps he is the one to finally make that impact.

May 23, 2015 @ 2:31 PM


Dear Husbands, Boyfriends, Teen males- the change room in the men's department is for MEN!
Tell your wife/girlfriend/mom to wait outside. Tell them to talk to you face to face, not stand in the changeroom calling out instructions to you! CRIST! Dress yourself!

Dear Wife, Girlfriend, Mom- get out of the men's changeroom. I can't even get changed in peace.
If I went in a woman's changeroom, I would be arrested. I can't go into men's changeroom without seeing/hearing a woman telling some 'man' what to do. Had to say 'excuse me' to a woman in the men's changeroom. And then the female attendant tried to break into my cubicle unannounced, without apology
Honestly, might as well change right in the isle. Two sets of rules.
Dear 'man' - why the *bleep* can't you dress yourself, BY YOURSELF?

@ Irv
"Wow, do you own a Canadian Thinker shirt?"

May 23, 2015 @ 7:07 PM

Rick C in Oakville

Freddie P will be happy to hear references to his old Blog Canadian Thinker!
I guess I have no shame, doesn't really bother me if done guys female other half is outside the change room. I remember as a kid in the 60's n
My mom took me to Honest Eds and an elderly gent proceeded to try pants on in the aisle.

May 23, 2015 @ 10:46 PM


@ Irv

In 1984, I had the pleasure of visiting Asia for a month, courtesy of a prize I won in a women only cycling event in Stanley Park sponsored by Canadian Pacific Air (remember them?)

We decided to travel from Hong Kong into China for a one-day tour (which was highly staged to the point of hilarity by the Chinese). Along for the trip were some wives of American military men stationed at Okinawa. Believe it or not, they were given the option of NOT having their passports stamped by the Chinese. They gratefully accepted that offer out of a sincere concern that there might be some sort of governmental blow-back for having visited that particular communist country for less than 24 hours. Even then, they were concerned about the optics of it to their fellow Americans, including their spy agencies. (I am happy to say that I got my passport stamped. I recall that we had to leave all printed materials at the border, to ensure that we would not leave any capitalist propaganda in the hands of their comrades. We were able to retrieve our books and magazines upon exit.)

May 24, 2015 @ 8:00 AM


My Orioles lost. That sucked. The Sucky Marlins won 1 to 0. Brian Matusz from the Orioles got ejected because he was like Will Smith of the Brewers. He had this substance on his arm. He would think he would know what would happen. I didn't know he would be so stupid. Anyway, Diamondbacks lost as well. This also sucks. Royals won again. Boy, they're hot which is good. If I didn't have them in my pool, I wouldn't be doing as well. I do have the Tigers though in my secret pool. They lost, but to the Astros who I aalso have. Nationals lost and Angels lost. It really wasn't a good night. The Leafs won't win the cup any time soon. The Habs will win it before the Leafs do. Habs and Coyotes will be in the final next year.

May 24, 2015 @ 8:01 AM

aghast ion

Micheal Harris article at ipolitics.

A sign that the PM’s ego may have become dangerously bloated was offered last week during his visit to Nova Scotia. Steve arrived with all the trappings of a U.S. president. His entourage looked like a military convoy — three cabinet ministers, a senator, a parliamentary secretary, a Cadillac limo, three black Suburbans and innumerable ghost vehicles containing a small army of bodyguards. All for a pre-campaign stop at … a Truro high school.

(As for the event itself, it was the re-announcement of a previous announcement, combined with a Tory pep rally. The fields around Truro are an inch deep with this stuff.)

May 24, 2015 @ 10:27 PM


Well, my Orioles lost again to the sucky Marlins. Not a good thing at all. Diamondbacks won though. That was a good game. Paul Goldschmidt had a home run. Brad Ziegler is the closer for the Diamondbacks and he is good. So glad they are using him instead of Addison Reed. Anyway, Royals did lose, but to the Cardinals who are also in my pool. Angels lost. Pirates beat Mets, but both are in my pool. Nationals won. Tigers lost, but the Astros are now in my pool. IGiants won as well who are also in my pool. I think adding more teams gives me a better chance to win the pool.

May 25, 2015 @ 7:18 AM


Movie: American Sniper

Watched this on Apple TV on the weekend. Contrary to what many people said, the film isn't a rah rah America film at all (outside of the first few minutes). It's more focused on the ugly side of war & the PTSD the character acquires after travelling to the Middle East too many times. It's also good in pointing out that the most likely person to be affected by a Muslim another Muslim.

It's still "Hollywood" but no where near as bad as some people said. For a true view of the war, watch Restrepo. It now has a sequel Korengal on Netflix. The "real reality" of war when a soldier gets home & prefers not to sleep because of the bad dreams.

May 25, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Ben V

Whatever will the religious right do in North America. Their sterling example of hating gays while loving god and holding onto family values has been Tarnished. Enter stage right the duggars. Talk about hypocrisy.

Dan Savage summed it up properly:

"Particularly when religious conservatives want to talk about it, they want to point a finger at non-family. They want to point a finger at people that they define as the enemies of families or not from or having families of their own -- LGBT people, particularly trans people increasingly with these anti-trans bathroom bills"

Of course in the religious world child sexual assault isn't as bad as being Gay. Huckabee was of course front and centre saying Josh should be given a second chance. However note his stance on gay rights.......


May 25, 2015 @ 12:15 PM


@Ben V

I will tell you one thing. When it comes to violence against children & humanity, you often find it in places which are considered to be safe. Where there is no smoke, there is often a raging fire.

May 25, 2015 @ 1:25 PM

Ben V

@Irv: If you watch the link Dan Savage calls that out. It's not stranger danger that's the problem it's family members or friends of the family that are often the problem. Not gay strangers or straight strangers for that matter.

May 25, 2015 @ 1:35 PM


I think child abuse is one of the most vicious forms of abuse & should carry the same weight as a murder conviction. Here is why.

An abused child will often flee their home when they are young. If you follow Missing Persons Canada, you will often see young people (usually 15 years old) are "missing". They are technically missing but many have simply fled home often because of abuse. To them, life "outside" is better than life at home.

Each city has a shopping mall & a bus station where "groomers" work. Groomers are people's whose job is to befriend & gain the trust of troubled young people. They are social engineers. They also work social media. The groomers feed kids the drugs. There are no gateway drugs. Drugs are a momentary escape from a person's hell. It's a cold beer after a bad day.

Then it falls down. The drugs take over the lives of these people who will, in turn, do anything for a fix. Until you've either seen dope sickness firsthand or experienced it, you don't understand. And for anyone threatening to talk/walk away, comes the threats of attacks against their family. Oh, you think you might run brat? Well then your sister is next.

Then you get into human trafficking, prostitution, etc. And sadly, those people are winning the war. You cannot issue a warrant for a missing person unless you have specific evidence that foul play is at hand. It can't be circumstantial. It can't be conjecture. It leaves the police with their hands tied. And far too often we ignore the poor & destitute & write them off.

People always talk about terrorism as a threat to Canada. Child abuse is far more prevalent and far more destructive.

May 25, 2015 @ 2:00 PM


I also watched American Sniper on the weekend. Like most Eastwood-directed films, it was great. I expected a slower, more cerebral film but it was actually quite intense and entertaining. Overall , it shows the horror of war and while it didn't glorify it, the film explains why some people are drawn to the military.

Oh and that last scene with the funeral procession - thankfully I was able to blame my allegories for my teary eyes.

May 26, 2015 @ 8:27 AM


I'm not going to get into debate/argument about the religious right vs. LGBT rights but when one starts referencing Dan Savage, they lose all credibility. its like me referencing Rush Limbaugh or civil rights people quoting Al Sharpton - it aint worth diddly.

May 26, 2015 @ 8:30 AM

Ben V

@Argie: Did you actually watch the clip? He's not spouting BS or lies like Rush Limbaugh does. In fact near the end he actually scolds people on the left for taking delight in the downfall of the duggars.

May 26, 2015 @ 9:17 AM

heads up

I suppose Mike will delete this in a sincere wish to eliminate bullshit but actually the idea of medical professionals being concerned about vaccines is not that uncommon.

[link redacted by Mike]

May 26, 2015 @ 9:23 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@heads up

I don't want to host links to dangerous anti-vaccination propaganda, but your comments can stay.

May 26, 2015 @ 9:34 AM


Lol, @ heads up you called it. Redacted.

While I don't sit on the anti-vaccination camp or the pro either, I think when you do something like that Mike, you remove the opportunity for discussion. I'm starting to see Irv's point about you being hard-line in your viewpoints.

@ Argie,

A friend of mine forced a bunch of us to watch American Sniper. I threatened him with our friendship. If you don't think that was propaganda, you must enjoy a regular dose of Fox news. It was an absolutely awful film that only (as usual) looks at the so-called cost of American lives and creates an "us vs them" mentality. A good film would explore the whole situation, but Mr. Sniper was not a particularly nice man in real life either. His comments and generalizations about the middle east are ignorant and xenophobic at best.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:07 AM



Why does bringing up Dan Savage ruin credibility? Would love to hear this.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:08 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Respectfully, if heads up had linked to a New York Times article, it wouldn't have been redacted.

In fact, if it was any site with credibility, it'd still be there.

I can link to as evidence there are aliens among us, but it would mean nothing.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:10 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Since Argie deems homosexuality both a choice and a sin, I'll bet Argie finds Dan Savage lacks credibility because he's an openly gay man and advocate for gay rights.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:13 AM


"us vs. them"??? Are you kidding? It is in fact us (the good guys) vs. them (terrorists). You can disagree with the US's decision to invade Iraq but for me there's no problem deciding who are the good guys and who are the bad ones. If you can't see that distinction, then you'll never "get" American Sniper.

Obviously the book goes into much more detail about this guy but going by the movie, he's a hero. His only goal is to protect his fellow soldiers from murdering terrorists - using his skill as a sniper. Again, you may see the US military as murderers, but I sure don't.

Oh well, agree to disagree.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:22 AM


That's a weak and tired point you made. I expected better from you. No that's not the reason I hate that freak. Its the crap he's said and done over the years.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that and let you all chime in. Enjoy!

May 26, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


It might be tired, but I thought it was pretty strong. :)

May 26, 2015 @ 10:26 AM


@ Argie,

Explain to me how a man hiding in camouflage with his scope trained on unsuspecting people in THEIR homeland is a hero? Are there bad people all over the world? Of course, but anyone who buys this "us vs them" nonsense has no understanding of the centuries of political oppression, private interests and greed that have created wars.

Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, the list goes on, are just unfortunate to either be sitting on boatloads of oil, or geographically close to another world superpower. There is no heroism in that. I would argue the last war where there was a clearcut "evil" side was World War 2. Everything after that has been based on greed, oil, political fear or a combination of the 3.

I "get" American Sniper, I get what it's really about, and that is nothing more than good ole US propaganda. Fox news endorses that film.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:29 AM


@ TO Mike,

OMG! You go to too? Isn't that site just the best?

I don't know what site was linked that you took down, but I will say that the majority of information that comes to us from the medical world is rarely vetted and ends up being from pharmaceutical companies who I trust about as much as you trust Rob Ford to be mayor again.

Some of the sites/sources that are dissenting usually have some credibility but the establishment is quick to call anyone who doubts their practices "quacks" or opportunists, which is hilarious when you consider the disgusting track record of the FDA, which is essentially a legalized drug dealer.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:33 AM


"unsuspecting people" Yeah unsuspecting people with a RPG in their hand about to fire it at an American convoy.

Go ahead and hate America all you want, but without them, we're not here today. And that's not pro-US BS either. They ended WW2, the Cold war with USSR and hopefully they'll end this one too.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:35 AM


@ Argie,

I don't hate the US. I hate their politicians and propaganda machines. I have nothing but nice things to say about Americans (I count a few as close friends), except sometimes they get a bit loud with their Jimmy Buffet karoake sessions on resorts.

But the capitalist system they adopted has largely ruined the country. Since Reagan's office, the middle class has been sliced in half, the rich get richer and the country is in perpetual war. American foreign policy is antiquated and barbaric. If you think the 160 kills that man made were all people with RPG's in their hands, well, I feel a bit sad for your naivete. Wars have collateral damage, much of which is unfortunately, innocents who happen to be stuck in the middle.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:44 AM


I suppose only Kyle would know of all 160 kills were legitimate (or even if 160 is the correct number). Who knows?

We can all agree that war sucks and anyone who enjoys the "killin" is probably not right. Its something that should only be a last resort - but nevertheless, a necessary means when everything else fails.

May 26, 2015 @ 11:08 AM

Ben V

@Argie: What things has Dan Savage said that could even be on the same level as Rush?

May 26, 2015 @ 11:17 AM


@ Argie,

We're agreed on that. Unnecessary death should be avoided at all costs.

And parking tickets. Many are unnecessary and should be avoided at all costs.

May 26, 2015 @ 11:20 AM


@ Toronto Mike,

Will you be posting the news about the Ombudsman's report on Hydro1? Pretty damning stuff and confirms what many have been saying all along. What saddens me though is the Ombudsman is still only tapping them lightly on the wrist. The abuse of power is disgusting.

May 26, 2015 @ 11:37 AM


If you look up Rick Santorum you'll see how this "person" Savage is a piece of work. He's also been quoted as saying "republicans should all effing die" and a few other wonderful quotes.

Of course he always apologizes and makes a joke of it but he seems like a troubled person - not one you would want advocating your rights. He's kind of like Bill Maher - except he isn't at all funny like Maher.

May 26, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Ben V

You are taking the discussion he had on real time with Bill Maher. Do you watch the program regularly and see the things Bill says? Par for the course on that program. He didn't write a column saying that.

May 26, 2015 @ 12:12 PM


@Argie, few things

The beef between Santorum & Dan Savage is because Savage put out a call to name the "liquid" that is a mix of lube & shit when people have anal sex. The name santorum was choose. Some enterprising internet types used search engine optimization & the site dedicated to it ended up on top of Google (so..surprise for anyone searching for Rick).

Now, as for the kid or Mom of the kid throwing a RPG toward soldiers, well look at it this way Argie. How would you react if someone invaded this land to "destroy the Lefties" but in the process wiped out most of your family in the process. Your wife, children, brothers, all killed because it's a theatre of war. It would become personal. Would you just wave them on?

PS. The US didn't end WW2 or the Cold War. The Yanks had little to do with stopping the Germans. They stopped the Japanese. And the Cold War ended because the system caved in around them (the Russians).


Chris Kyle (American Sniper) isn't so much a killer, but a victim. He joined the military for the same reason most guys join the military. They believe in freedom and are willing to defend their country.

The real story is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he suffered. I read this morning some 49% of veterans suffer from PTSD. I know police officers, hackers, ambulance drivers, etc who suffer from it. And it's more common than you can imagine.

I know Chris Kyle (figuratively). He was torn between doing his duty & being a human (no human wants to kill children). In the final scene he has a kid in his scope with an RPG and he says out loud "put it fucking down, please".

That's the real story of this movie. PTSD. Chris Kyle meets his brother who is going back home. He is sick, scared and pale. He's not OK. Kyle can see that. 49% of soldiers come home and have PTSD. And so do police, agents, first responders, etc. All do their job & sometimes have to put the line of duty first before their own beliefs.

PTSD. It's when you wake up at night..and your pillow is soaked in sweat. Or you're scared of the dark. Or when someone knocks on your door at 8 PM on a Saturday and didn't buzz up. To you it's just an annoyance. To a person suffering from PTSD they might think the worst. Is this someone coming to get me? Are they after my family? Your heart races as you walk to the door. Look at that Mountie who got caught smoking weed in his serge. People freaked out saying he has disrespected his uniform. No one asked him how he was. He committed suicide not long after. He was a corporal in the RCMP. Two chevrons on his arm. That amounts to 15+ years of service (typically). 15 years of trying to make this world a better place.

American Sniper is not a war film. It's a film about PSTD. And the ending shows that. Chris Kyle was gunned down "by a brother". A brother with PTSD. A brother likely left behind by Veterans Affairs and told to "harden up" and do his job.

That's the story.

May 26, 2015 @ 3:13 PM


@Christos. Here a song about that war, from the perspective of a soldier there. "Dad" is Baghdad.

#SupportYourTroops. Even if you disagree with the war.

Out in the desert there's a soldier lying dead
Vultures pecking the eyes out of his head
Another day that could have been me there instead
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad's Gonna Kill Me
Dad's Gonna Kill Me

You hit the booby trap and you're in pieces
With every bullet your risk increases
Old Ali Baba, he's a different species
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad's Gonna Kill Me
Dad's Gonna Kill Me

I'm dead meat in my HumV Frankenstein
I hit the road block, God knows I never hit the mine
The dice rolled and I got lucky this time

Dad's Gonna Kill Me
Dad's Gonna Kill Me

I've got a wife, a kid, another on the way
I might get home if I can live through today
Before I came out here I never used to pray
Nobody loves me here
Nobody loves me here

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

Dad's in a bad mood, Dad's got the blues
It's someone else's mess that I didn't choose
At least we're winning on the Fox Evening News
Nobody loves me here

Dad's Gonna Kill Me
Dad's Gonna Kill Me

Dawn Patrol went out and didn't come back
Hug the wire and pray like I told you, Mac
Or they'll be shovelling bits of you into a sack

Dad's Gonna Kill Me.

And who's that stranger walking in my dreams
And whose that stranger cast a shadow 'cross my heart
And who's that stranger, I dare speak his name
Must be old Death a-walking
Must be old Death a-walking

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

7 muzzle monkeys standing in a row
Standing waiting for The Sandbox to blow
Sitting targets in the wild west show

Nobody loves me here

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

Another angel got his wings this week
Charbroiled with his own Willie Pete
Nobody's dying if you speak double-speak

Dad's Gonna Kill Me

May 26, 2015 @ 3:30 PM


Richard Thompson is a genius. No question about it. Love his work madly.

haha. Did you see what Argie's heroes are up to this week?
OTTAWA - The Harper government is being accused of a machiavellian plot to wreak parliamentary havoc after a secret Tory handbook on obstructing and manipulating Commons committees was leaked to the press.

Opposition parties pounced on news reports Friday about the 200-page handbook as proof that the Conservatives are to blame for the toxic atmosphere that has paralyzed Parliament this week.

May 26, 2015 @ 3:32 PM

Kumbaya my lord, Kumbaya

200 pages. Maybe the Harper govt can sic the Saudi Wheat Board on the CTV head office.

May 26, 2015 @ 3:34 PM

Kumbaya my lord (again)

oops. Looks like it was an 8 year old article. I'm sure they've (cough) improved their attitude towards democracy by now. (haha)

May 26, 2015 @ 3:36 PM


Irv, I agree to an extent that the movie has a strong element of PTSD, but to say it is solely about PTSD ignores Clint Eastwood's intentions. If you've ever watched his films (as a Director), he follows the structure of the "Hero's journey" very carefully. Let's review the stages;

1. Introduction to the "hero": Chris Kyle, an everyman Texan who happens to be a great marksman
2. Call to adventure: in this case, the beaten like a dead horse premise of 9/11 (awful for the families, brilliant for the movie studios, Dick Cheney and Haliburton)
3. Threshold: this is when the hero begins to change. Perhaps being challenged. In this case, his military training and deployment.
4. Challenges: his time in Iraq, "heroically" sniping everyone with an RPG, as Argie put it
5. Revelation/Rebirth: in this case, his eventual development of PTSD but ALSO his rejection of normal life when each of his tours concludes. This was already explored in "The Hurt Locker". So, what does he do? He represses his PTSD but also goes back to the very addiction for danger that caused it.
6. Transformation: clearly, the rooftop scene that magically has him kill his nemesis of the film, the Syrian sniper. Very coincidentally, it is at this moment of his longest kill and "greatest accomplishment", that he decides war and killing is not for him. There were some major creative liberties taken with this part of the film. Suddenly, he decides he DOES want to be a dad and husband.
7. Atonement: his return home, attempts at being a family man and very clear PTSD symptoms.
8. Resolution: the death of a noble hero. In this case, his trying to "be there" for others who returned from war.

So, I agree, PTSD is a big part of the film, but the biggest message of the film is the patriotism and heroics of people who join an army that is vastly superior in every way to anyone else, go abroad to "defend freedom", kill wholely evil and conveniently faceless people and then return home.

There is a real issue with PTSD and veterans, but no one ever talks about the PTSD of children who live in the countries the US is "freeing". For that reason, this is less a PTSD movie and more an "American patriot" film.

May 26, 2015 @ 3:41 PM


I hate accusing people of being trolls but that's what 'kumbaya' is. Sorry had to do it.

For the record, I'm no fan of Harper but when you look at the alternatives, he's effing brilliant. Oh and more people come up with conspiracy theories on him, the more I like him (a la Rob Ford).

@Christos & Irv
You're both right and wrong in a way. There certainly is that element of patriotism to the film but there's also an element of the effects of war has on a person. In this case, I can totally understand why Eastwood takes these routes. Soldiers tend to be patriot (at the beginning) and after experiencing a war, many also suffer PTSD and wonder 'why the hell did I do that'. It is by no means a "recruitment" film as some idiotic critics have categorized it.

I would call it a war move - in the same category as a "Deer Hunter", "Apocalypse Now" and "Platoon."

May 26, 2015 @ 4:03 PM


I am winning in the pool by a mile. It's teams like the Astros, Giants, Royals and Cardinals who are helping me win by a mile. Anyway, my Orioles won. My Diamondbacks lost. I got wins from the Pirates, Mets, Nationals, and Angels last night. Anyway, I'm going to win the money for sure. Stupid Rogers sends junk mail and they put something in my mailbox that was for someone else in another apartment. I hate Rogers and I hate Bell. I will never like them. Primus is the way to go because they have great customer service and they never send junk mail. They believe in saving the trees, saving paper so no junk mail. Rogers and Bell should do the same.

May 26, 2015 @ 4:39 PM

Kumbaya the trollish

good analysis Christos

May 26, 2015 @ 4:56 PM



The perspective of the movie comes from a person's perspective & experiences in life. Some might see it as a rah rah American film. Others saw it as a "recruitment film". I saw it as a PTSD film with some "rah rah" injected in the beginning. That "rah rah" in the beginning reflects the naive view a recruit has when he enlists.

The repression of his PTSD is about his sense of duty. This is both a personality trait & something basic training would instill in him. Sense of duty is that firefighter who goes back into the fire to save a puppy for a crying kid. Or that rescue guy who keeps digging in an avalanche because the victim "could be alive.

As for the PTSD of the children & the people living in those war torn nations, I want to share something with you.

In my neighborhood, I have long seen a younger guy, complete with cane walking around. He's a Master Corporal & a veteran from Afghanistan. I approached him the day the soldier was shot in Ottawa. He looked down and his mouth got tight.

I've got to know the guy somewhat. He's a vet. He's got PTSD. He "did not re-adjust to civilian life". Our system left him behind (don't even start me on that). But I know one thing for sure. He is acutely aware of the damage & destruction he inflicted. He's aware of those kids & their families & their suffering.

Yeah, Sniper was "Hollywood" but some valid points were made in it. PTSD was definitely one of them. But that's less apparently when you've never had to put yourself in a traumatizing situation and "soldier" on even when you want to run away. Courage isn't about not being afraid. It's about facing your fear and fighting through it.

May 26, 2015 @ 5:10 PM


Wait? There's people out there that still think the whole Rob Ford thing is a conspiracy?

Some of the newest polls are showing some very interesting NDP numbers. After seeing what happened in Alberta, who knows what this means!

May 26, 2015 @ 6:57 PM


Micheal Sam signs with Montreal in the CFL.

A great football player with a vision & not afraid to promote it secondarily with his football abilities.

All the best in Montreal.

May 26, 2015 @ 7:07 PM


Rape and incest represent heinous crimes and as such should be treated as capital crimes.

Chief Duggar back in 2002.

Wonder what his stance is on this now?

May 26, 2015 @ 8:49 PM


@Anonymous. He'll ask everyone to pray. Speaking off, how come the CHRISTIANS aren't demanding this guy distance himself from the rest of the Christians? I mean the Muslims are expected too.


The only outcome of these wars is a continuation of the conflict. Nothing is solved. Some people say that ISIS is the creation of Bush. I wouldn't say creation, but I will say that it's unlikely they'd be owning Iraq if Saddam was around. His army would have pulverized the motherfuckers. Of course ISIS may well united the middle east.

And, I believe there is a "war machine". I don't think the average American wants war. But I do believe large corporations & some elements of the government want it. Why wouldn't they? It's profitable for those firms & it is good PR for the Feds. A few years ago I was talking this this senior senior national security type guy. I cynically commented that there was little difference between organized gangsters & big business. I was surprised he agreed.

My feelings on war run in the same vein as Ron Paul (US Politician). It's not our problem & we shouldn't be there. The great part is Ron Paul is a Libertarian & not a lefty so I don't get the predictable "you stupid lefty" shit from right wing robots.

The sad part is this never ends. It's like in 1984. The kids of the middle east are seeded with a hate of the United States. Its' like how natives hate white people. We took their kids away by force, whitewashed them, raped them, tortured them & performed experiments on them. Now they hate us. And the 12 year old Muslim kid who saw his family get blown to shit will grow up with the same resentment. So we are 2 generations away from any form of peace.

But it won't come. We'll just go bankrupt fighting an enemy we cannot win against.


Emmanuel Goldstein

May 26, 2015 @ 9:08 PM


Good analyses Irv.

I respect Ron Paul a lot. I don't agree with everything he says, but his take on US foreign policy is spot on. And he has balls. Big ones, the way he's spoken at Republican national conventions is impressive and while Democrats and Republicans all sound the same nowadays, Ron is very unique.

That said, the 2 party system is the biggest problem in US politics.

I remember reading Animal Farm and 1984 in school. Animal Farm resonated very deeply with me, especially when you look around at the social structures in high school. 1984 disturbed me. A lot. I've re-read both books several times as an adult and I still feel the same way. I realize that 1984 still disturbs me but I've come to appreciate it so much because I see it's relevance in the everyday. This was especially true when the Edward Snowden situation popped up.

Speaking of the Duggar Christian situation, I highly recommend a book by a classical European author, Eca de Queiroz. It's called the Crime of Father Amaro. One of my favourite books. 140 years old, but still relevant today.

May 26, 2015 @ 9:43 PM


1984 was made into a movie. It's rather good, if dark. Interesting fact, but the publisher and editor of 2600 The Hackers Quarterly called himself Emmanuel Goldstein. The name comes from 1984 & the guy who was the enemy of the state. And Snowden is the latest "enemy of the state". He's the villain to the government because hey, why should citizens know the truth about their government? And the Feds can try make him a villain, but the truth is only strengthens those against the big hand of government. They were there before Snowden, Anonymous, etc and they'll be there long after it's gone.

I have some respect for Ron Paul. Not a fan of his bigotry but I can cut him slack because he is old & came from a time when that was "the norm". It's not right, but it was reality. But unlike the rest of the options he stands by the constitution. It's all about "We The People". And, unlike his ass kissing Republican buddies, he doesn't twist his message to suck the dicks of big business. It is what it is, so you take it or your leave it.

Truth is, the "conservatives" of today are embarrassing to me. I once associated with "conservative" but I can't anymore. I see them as a bunch of corporate cock sucking opportunistic motherfuckers. They'd pimp out their sister to seal a business deal. They shout "small government" but are the first to push the feds to limit gay marriage, limit the sale of liquor or drugs & tell a woman she can't sell her own body. Like they own it. So much for "small government". The guise of small government is just a code word for control of what they don't like. It has nothing to do with small government, nor liberty, NOR freedom. Only a fucking retard would support a government that spies on it's own people. It's the modern day equivalent of a "house nigger".

But what really pisses me off about conservatives is they're selfish angry fucktards. They're petty. Give some single Mom a cheque to feed her kids and they scream blue murder. They call her names then have to remind us how they "stood on their own and made it". Yeah, sure you did. Your education was paid for by Mom & Dad, the roads you drove on were supplied from the government. So was the library you studied in. And so were the police who secured the area you lived in. When you had a problem, you called the cops, you weren't some 1% biker who solves problems without police.

May 26, 2015 @ 10:40 PM

pinpoint accuracy

Santorum is a nutcase Republican who keeps a foetus in a jar in the living room his wife miscarried.

At the very least ISIS is a byproduct of destroying Libya etc.... and trying to destroy Syria.

Ron Paul has it 50% right in a political world that has it 0 % right.

May 26, 2015 @ 11:09 PM


I think Irv got it slightly backwards, that Dan Savage held a contest requesting definitions for "santorum" if I remember correctly.

The reason Rick Santorum is known to Savage's readers/listeners however is that he likened "homosexual acts" (he doesn't have a problem with homosexuals, just the acts!) to pedophilia and sex with dogs, as well as that ludicrous "argument" that gay marriage would permit polygamy and incest as well.

He's still going on about it, saying shit like a child would be better off with a father in prison than having lesbian mothers.

May 27, 2015 @ 8:46 AM


Oh good, the old angry Irv is back. I'm not an advocate for weed, but you may want light one up.

May 27, 2015 @ 8:48 AM

pinpoint accuracy

Santorum had his (actual) children hold the foetus (stillborn) to say 'goodbye' if I'm not mistaken.
In what world does this makeany sort of psychological sense.

May 27, 2015 @ 9:08 AM


Sorry man, but this discussion has gone to the shits. You now have various people mocking a man grieving over the loss of his dead unborn baby.

I know, its ok with you but God forbid anyone write anything that might be deemed "homophobic". Then , there's hell to pay.

May 27, 2015 @ 9:51 AM


keeping a foetus in a jar in the living room is 'grieving over an unborn baby.'


May 27, 2015 @ 10:18 AM


It was a bad night last night. My Orioles lost and my Diamondbacks lost. Also more losses in my pool by the Angels and Nationals and Rays. I got wins by the Tigers and Giants and Pirates. Royals lost and they're in a bit of a slump. I really hope not many more bad nights like this.

May 27, 2015 @ 10:44 AM

Ben V

@Argie: I don't think people were mocking the man over his loss or his grief. However what he decided coming out of that is a bit creepy. Do you disagree? Or having foetus in a jar is normal in your living room?

May 27, 2015 @ 10:57 AM


Having a fetus in a jar in your living room is disturbing to say the least. I'm not mad Argie. I'm just telling it like it is.

May 27, 2015 @ 11:30 AM


Does Ikea carry those now?

May 27, 2015 @ 12:33 PM

pass the pretzels please

ISIS destroys another sacred, ancient site.
Oh wait. It's a mining company. Okay never mind. Nothing happening here.

May 28, 2015 @ 12:14 AM


Orioles won last night. Finally Chris Davis is out of his slump and homers twice. That's great. They play a doubleheader today against the Whitesox. That's to make up games from the riots. Anyway, my Diamondbacks lost though. That's not good even though the Cardinals are in my pool. Royals lost again. Now they are slumping. I got wins from the Giants, Mets, Pirates, Nationals, and Tigers. The Angels and Rays lost. I'm still doing okay in the pool.

May 28, 2015 @ 9:57 AM


God no, I wouldn't have done what he did. I just don't think he's the next coming of Hitler as some on the left would have you believe.

May 28, 2015 @ 11:02 AM

Linguistic Analysis Agency, 4th Floor, Cubical 10

The sperm that created Hitler was 'sacred.'

May 28, 2015 @ 1:41 PM


Goebbels would be proud

Mulroney on CBC today. He was talking about the coming election & mentioned that Harper had his "good handling of the economy" on his side.

Federal Canadian debt increased around $150 billion dollars since 2009. How is that good stewardship of the economy. Oh ain't it the era of misinformation.

May 28, 2015 @ 1:46 PM

choice game

100 hours straight of Watching Ben Mulroney jr. on TV or dinner with Rick Santorum's family?

May 28, 2015 @ 1:50 PM


@Choice Game.

I'll take Gitmo for 300, please.

May 28, 2015 @ 2:17 PM


@ Cheryl

Have you ever considered working for a Baltimore TV or radio station as their sports commentator.

You should check it out with your knowledge of Baltimore sports, but just watch the riots!!

May 28, 2015 @ 7:33 PM

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