Category Archives: Uncategorized

What do we want of Toronto in 2033?

When Porter announced last May its intention to seek accommodation for Jets at the Toronto Island Airport it was on the understanding that it was a small change. What has emerged in the 10 months since that fated announcement has shown just how far Toronto has lost control over one of the most valuable chunks of infrastructural real-estate in the city.

The Raccoon of YTZ has pretty much sculpted the debate on the fate of the Islands into a contest between those for and those against jets. Those who seek convenience and those who simply don’t want progress. However, this actually skirts the issue. The real concern is what happens if City Hall agrees to allow jets and agrees to extend the current tripartite agreement beyond 2033? I want to propose a debate of much wider scope: what does this city want? Can we imagine something better for the site of YTZ that goes beyond a private venture on public land? I want us to ask ourselves seriously and without reservations: what do we want beyond 2033?

Do we want to continue shuttling people down Bathurst Street for the sake of flying them off somewhere else or do we want to make the bottom of Bathurst a destination in its own right?

Do we want that vision shaped by the political friends of whoever is sitting in Ottawa? The TPA’s board of patrons will never operate in the name of the city regardless of who controls Parliament, because it is a set of appointed jobs for the party loyal. As far as the Toronto Port Authority is concerned there is nothing at stake in the future of the city as anything except a center for extracting rent.
Does 2033 look like a place we want to build and live in or a place we simply have foisted on us? The conversation began 10 months ago. It’s been dominated by a single deafening roar: Bobby and his Jets. It is time for the rest of us to actually talk this out.

Stop using the mentally ill as target practice.

It happens over and over again. The mentally ill, or those having fleeting but scary beaks, end up being used as practice targets by police. Its not a Toronto problem, its not a Durham problem. Its a POLICING problem, and it starts with three things: a gun, an attitude of untouchability, and ignorance.

Why did Durham police shoot and kill a naked man? | Toronto Star


Why idiots shouldn’t be allowed to make info-graphics (I’m looking at you today “A” Atheists).

One of my feeds threw up the following info-graphic:


Read the fine print.

This infographic is actually really disturbing. It conflates Islamophobia with the wrong idea.

Islamophobia is when people make pejorative or sweeping judgements of exclusion based on a person’s belief in Islam. It is actually directly akin to anti-semitism. Anti-semitism is bias or bigotry aimed at a person because of their faith or ancestry. That the person’s faith is merely an idea is neither here nor there. The linguistic mechanisms used, denote a stance of extreme prejudice rather than one of engagement.

Look at the way the text uses “in a civilized society” to imply the incivility of someone who feels discriminated against because of their belief in Islam. The text itself is a cudgel, using imagery like that to quash dissent.

I notice as well that “homophobia” is also not mentioned, and while homosexuality is not a belief, homophobia is based on other people’s misconceptions of what it means to be a homosexual.

Sexism is similarly excluded. Sexist language is based on assumptions about gender roles. While one can quibble about debate about what gender roles are, that is not the same as sexism. Just as Islamophobia is not the same as debating the merits of Islam. One is an act of violence, the other is engagement.

In short, the person or persons authoring the infographic clearly have no idea what bigotry or freedom of speech means. The alternative is that they have a sinister and frankly horrifying ideological axe to grind. My guess, given the target of its pseudo-logic, is the latter.

Genocide and capitalism

If this doesn’t make you weep… How Slavery Made the Modern World

China just opted out of the UN Process Governing the Oceans.

It remains to be seen if this is as serious as it sounds but the Guardian notes it is the first time a state has opted out.

China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines | World news |