Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Rinse, Wash, Repeat

In my previous post I mentioned that if you aren't reading Skid Crease's local blog, then you should be.  Skid's latest installment a few days back really struck a nerve with me. I found myself remembering that this is how it all starts.  People would often say to me "I don't know how you have the nerve to sign your name to your blog. I'd be scared to death."

It starts with highly veiled threats.  Your phone rings non-stop but there is no caller name ID or number, so you don't answer. That's what the Police taught me. The message box on my office phone would be filled, for weeks on end, every single day with hang-ups, which rendered the phone incapable of taking real messages because it was filled.  As a matter of fact, that was done to many of my staff, who acted in the capacity as family support workers in the community.  It was a shameful and disgraceful act of harassment.

I sat there staring at Skid's blog, I felt his vulnerability and it made the hair on the back of neck stand up.  Again my mind wandered, recalling a board person, from my place of employment at that time, telling me they got a call from a woman, who would not identify herself, demanding I be removed from my position because of my political activities. BTW, I know who called.  Yeah, I do.

Then came the late night phone call, answered while I was half asleep, a voice on the other end telling me that when the election was over, they were coming for me and then hung up.  Another chilling memory.  These are crazy times we live in.  You can't take that shit for granted.  It was all very real and very frightening. Some people would say that I brought this upon myself, being such an opinionated bitch, or better yet, the tact that two guys, standing next to me at the meat counter in the grocery store took.  One of them whispered at me, under his breathe, just loud enough for me to hear
"You fu*king c*#t".

Excuse me? 

I looked at him and I thought to myself, you are a son, maybe a brother, a husband, a father but you are not a man.  No way, no how.  Not now, not ever.  I stared at him hard and asked him in a very loud, stern voice "Do you kiss your wife with that mouth?".  He looked away because that is what cowards do.

I'm a Canadian woman. I thought I was allowed to have an opinion. As long as I remained inside the guidelines of slander and libel laws, I was entitled to write about my opinion. I don't think you'd even find an f-bomb dropped in anything I had ever written. I was simply sarcastic, in a confectionary cupcake kind of way.  I just wanted people to think for themselves and not be sucked into the hubris of the politicians, the wannabes, the engines of minions, those reprehensible lackeys, the holders of the silk purse strings and the hateful, more than likely paid, henchmen. I was also of a mind, that there would always be people who were ardent haters to those who chose to take a stand. It comes with the territory.

I was followed frequently.  Now I understand why the previous Mayor bought an innocuous little car to travel about in. She blended. It made it harder to find her car in a crowd. Then again, she lived in a house with bullet proof windows for a reason.  I've often wondered how many sets of slashed tires she went through during her time in office.

I never took the back roads in Caledon, ever.  I learned to always have a cell phone at the ready. In a conversation with my lawyer (yes, I had even received legal threats) I finally confided that I was in a full drawn episode of panic and fear.  It was fight or flight moment at its worst.  My only child had come home to visit.  She's works on the other side of the country as an Urban Planner. She had borrowed my car to go and visit around town.  Then it sunk in.  Someone could be following that car, thinking it's me.  I became paralyzed with fear and couldn't breath. I broke down in tears, crying to him.  It was the first time I was ever really broken. If anything happened to her, I couldn't justify taking those risks.  All of that fear, all of what could be lost, just over a political opinion and because I'm a sarcastic cow.  It was a heavy burden.  It also made me realize how far people were willing to go to win an election.  This was my Stephen King "It" moment.

I can appreciate Skid's blog.  He makes no mention of any one specific news journalist (I use that term loosely here) but we all know who is being talked about.  The clock is ticking down to a local election and what do we get?  A silly local news dude, who acts like he's an affiliate to Fox News, short of going full on Sean Hannity.  It boggles my mind. Peel Region wants to increase Caledon's population by a half a million people and all this Tucker Carlson's doppelganger wants to do is swat a beehive by writing about is locked doors out at the Town.  What a maroon.

One last thing. Read Skid Crease's blog. I'll make it easy for you.  Just click on his name.

Skid, get our your chicken hat.  Use it like a super power. Whatever you do, don't stop writing. What happened to me was just a few short years ago but it would appear that players remain the same in this game.

#AintNobodyHereButUsChickens #MayTheForceBeWithUs #CaledonProud #CaledonStrong #HennyPennyWise

Saturday, November 25, 2017

You've Got A Friend

I've lost count over the past few weeks of how many people have asked me about getting a friend request from a particular Caledon Councillor.  Of course, most of them didn't realize who that person was and asked me if I was familiar with them or if I had received the same request.  I chuckled.  Actually, I snort laughed. I asked them how it felt to be treated like click bait or how happy they were to be electronically culled into the social media streams that the ilk of a small-town version of the Orange man and the Russians had used to dupe millions of Americans with fake news.  It's become quite an interesting talking point behind the local scene and trust me, there is plenty of talk.  Yes Bolton, you've got a friend.  Or maybe not. This is a friend who, for no other reason than political gain, wants to tap in to your online portal.  Is it all a coincidence that we are approximately 12 months away from an election? 

Most recently this person has been chiming in on a very regular basis on local Bolton Facebook pages. For the most part it's really just what I refer to as "faux cooing" and that expression, in of itself, makes me giggle.  In a nutshell it encapsulates what this person is all about. It's a candy-coated conversation akin to rubbing butter on the turkey.  Get out your baster. Then came a particular post on a small local Bolton page, that is supposed to be about community, events, businesses and just all-around activities in and around Bolton.  To be clear, this wasn't just a post.  It was an all-out diatribe with guns a blazing and a lawn dart pointed directly at a Caledon blogger, with a blatant attempt to discredit this writer. The blogger isn't named, which, in my opinion, is done on purpose.  After all, why drive anyone to his blog by naming him, right?  So I’ll do it for you.
If you aren't reading local blogger, Skid Crease, you should be.  Hands down, Skid Crease is the best political blogger in Caledon that I’ve read in a long, long time. He is smart, well researched and he knows his stuff.  Skid is not the political hack writer that this Caledon Councillor(s) would have you believe.  He's got serious writing cred along with legit press credentials and what he is writing about is spot on target.  There were a couple of five-star posts that were absolute mic drop moments that should not be missed by any Caledon resident.  I especially enjoyed "Defamation and Libel and smears ohmy!" as well as Skid’s post "Caledon: Creating a Climate ofTruthiness"   Of course these posts, in particular, would explain why the intent by this Councillor was to literally try and drop kick his blog and his credibility in to oblivion. Read it for yourself.  Make up your own mind up perhaps, before you hit accept on that friend request, you may give pause.  
Back in February 2016 I wrote a post called “Her Brand is Crisis”.  More than ever, it is relevant and I’m going to bring that post back around to what we see currently unfolding, particularly here in Bolton, with this whole urgent health care centre business that a couple of Councillors are kicking up dust about.  Not all is as it appears to be, then again, it never is. In closing, I would say to those of you who are moderators of those local FB pages, please let’s just use some common sense and ask that you recognize how some people are trying to manipulate and use your community pages for their own personal political agendas.  Take ownership of your pages and delete this crap and let your page be what it was intended for.  The community that you love so much will be all that much better for it. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Walking Dread

It would appear that the White House is about to be painted gold and have a Trump Tower sign slapped on to the front of it.  The Donald and his entourage have arrived.  Life as we know it, even though he's not our leader, has forever changed.  I'm not sure how others are feeling but I feel like I've been caught inside an episode of The Walking Dead meets Mad Max and the war for survival is about to begin.  First Brexit and now this.  A girl can only take so much.

I know that most of us are reeling in disbelief with the election of the Donald.  How is it that a man whose whole campaign rhetoric has been rife with hate, racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia and admitting to sexual assault possibly be elected to the most powerful political seat in the world? Nothing, absolutely nothing about that choice, makes any sense to me.  I feel angry but more so, I feel filled with an aching dread.

The whole discussion about the up rise of the alt-right, as though that movement on its very own, catapulted Mr. Trump into the Oval Office is, for me, missing the mark.  More than 6,500,000 registered Democrats DID NOT cast a ballot.  Zero.  Zilch.  That's just the warm up.  Then apathy took hold, apathy of the status quo and exhaustion of a system that has simply ignored the citizens of the country.  Subsequently voter turnout was just barely over 50%.  So in essence, 25% of the voting populous of the United States of America, elected the most dangerous candidate that I have ever seen as their Commander and Chief.  Then again, one might take the perspective that NO vote, is a vote. So without actually putting their mark on a ballot, they in effect, voted for their leadership. These are dark days. As we watch the appointment of the new cabinet and inner circle, people such as alt-right extremist Steve Bannon, the likes of Rambling Rudy Giuliani, which I'm sure is soon to be followed by appointments of Chris Christie and Sarah Palin, there is much to be afraid of.  Thinking about the Trump offspring having national security clearance takes my breath away.

Of course, we sigh our sigh of relief. All of a sudden that wall is looking pretty darn good.  We could grow ivy on it and garden along its base.  The silliness of that kind of election could never happen here in the land of the Maple Leaf, right?  After all, we are a country that is infinitely polite, so very tolerant (which we all know is bullshit), always saying thank you, pardon me and asking you to pass the maple syrup.  Well it's time to put an end to that thinking.

Last week, shortly after Mr. Trump claimed victory, I could hear the chanting of the war drums starting to thump from the camp of Kellie Leitch.  Ms. Leitch, an MP from Simcoe-Grey and wannabe candidate for the Conservative Party leadership, hitched her little blue wagon to the Trump campaign as she hailed that this was "An exciting message that needs to be delivered in Canada as well." (Macleans, November 9, 2016).   That wasn't the first time Ms. Leitch has tapped in to the Trump rhetoric.  Prior to that she has chimed in on the issue of screening newcomers for "anti-Canadian values" (Macleans, 23, 2016).  Does this sound all too familiar?

Remember watching the news coverage of Mr. Trump, stepping out on to that escalator at Trump Headquarters, as he prepared to declare his candidacy for the Republican nomination and we all laughed our heads off, right?  What a buffoon.  How could the man who's known for the reality TV line "You're Fired!" possibly rise to the Presidency? Are we still laughing now?  Kellie Leitch is stepping out on that very same escalator.

There is a movement here in our country, deep in to the grassroots of our communities, that will eat up the rhetoric of the Kellie Leitch's of the world.  We are seeing glimpses of it and we will continue to see it pop up all over our country.  Just see for yourselves.  At the bottom of this post, these types of presentations will start to pick up steam, especially fueled by the likes of Ms. Leitch.

As a Canadian, people like Kellie Leitch concern me greatly.  I was absolutely shocked to learn that her big gun fundraiser is none other than Andy Pringle.  Andy Pringle is the Chair of the Board of the Toronto Police Services Board.  Read that again, slowly and let that sink in.  I don't know about you but I consider this a highly inappropriate activity on the part of Andy Pringle.  Police departments all over this continent are really under scrutiny so to learn that the Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board is fundraising for a leadership candidate who is latching themselves on to the forward motion of the hate train of Donald Trump, you are damn right I've got concerns.

What the hell is Toronto City Council and Mayor John Tory thinking?  Of course, we all know Mayor Tory's blood runs blue but to allow Andy Pringle to engage in this kind of activity while he is sitting as the head of the board of the Toronto Police Services is inappropriate and unacceptable. It's time for John Tory and the Toronto Council to get off their hands and remove Andy Pringle from his post.  If he's supporting Kellie Leitch, who is going to position herself as the Canadian version of Trump in drag, then how can Andy Pringle possibly provide leadership to Toronto Police Services?

Yesterday I did something in a million years I never thought I'd do.  I registered a membership with the Conservative Party of Canada and in doing so, it will allow me to vote for their leadership.  Let me be clear, I'm not a PC but if I stand idly by, taking no action then I'm just as guilty as those 6,500,000 Democrats who didn't vote. If Kellie Leitch or any other Conservative starts to spew the Trump rhetoric, just like we just watched in America, like sheep, there will be plenty of people willing to drink from her fountain of koolaid.  So I'm acting on the only choice I have to try and pre-empt this poison from seeping in to our system by being sure to cast my vote for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada and that won't be for the ilk of Kellie Leitch.  Is this the kind of person that we want in any leadership capacity in this country?  Sorry, pinning a safety pin to my coat just isn't going to work for me and maybe you need to ask yourself what it is that you can do to make sure that the Kellie Leitch's of our government don't end up as our Prime Minister.

If you think I'm kidding, check out the pics below.  So it begins.  If you don't take some sort of action then that is your way of leaving the door ajar for the likes of Kellie Leitch.  Apathy wins every time.
I ain't putting on no damn safety pin.  Slacktivism isn't going to cut it this time.  Join me.  Fifteen bucks will get you a membership to the PC party and give you a vote against Kellie Leitch. https://donate.conservative.ca/membership   Say no to the hate.

Seen in Mississauga, draped over an overpass.   
Posted up on the streets of East York.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Long And Winding Road

"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.  A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." - Lao Tzu

It's been a while.  Thanks for the notes, the messages and the emails asking how I am, if I'm OK and when I'd be posting again.  I know I left things dangling with the last entry about the night Annie Groves came up to the Beaver.  I'll come back to that.  First things first.

On September 13, 2015 I turned 59 years young and like most women the thought of that next birthday and the benchmark of turning six decades old triggered a lot of introspective thought. I realized in those thoughts that I wasn't in a good place.  This wasn't about me turning 60, it was more about me not feeling right in my own skin.  It's difficult to find the appropriate words to articulate it but I'm sure there is someone out there who will say "Yes, I know exactly what she's talking about."  I struggled when I was awake.  I struggled when I was asleep.  I was never at rest. My emotional balance was off its center mark.  My body ached.  I had trouble concentrating.  I was exhausted just walking a flight of stairs.  Excess became a part of my daily routine.  Too many late nights.  Too many late mornings. Too much food. Too many drive thru's. Too much alcohol.  Too much coffee. Too much time on a sofa. Too much time with a remote control in my hand.  Too much time on the phone.  Too much time online.  Too much time in traffic. Too much time with an ATM card at my beck and call. Too much time fighting battles on Hamburger Hill followed by those moments of wondering how on earth I ever got to that place.

So I decided that it was time to begin my journey of recovering who I was, what was truly important to me, why I was here and where I wanted to go.  One. Step. At. A. Time.

In October of last year I began keeping a notebook. This wasn't one of those Dear Diary things.  In it I wrote down all sorts of stuff.  Things that most of us took for granted and never give a second thought to. Things like what time I woke up.  What time I went to bed.  Where I was spending all my nickels and dimes. Every bill and every credit card statement I paid. Every single glass of booze I slurped up.  How much TV I watched that day and what it was that I was actually watching.  I wrote down how much time I spent in my car, on the phone, online, in the grocery store, in the mall, in my office. I wrote down how much I laughed, how much I cried, how often I felt absolutely nothing at all. Numbness is an all consuming black hole.  Nothing was off limits.  I wrote it all down.  Day after day. Night after night.  Moment after moment.  How was I going to figure out where I was going until I could figure out where I had been?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Her Brand Is Crisis

Let me be clear, right from the get go.  The only really combustible, incendiary, volatile matter that Bolton residents really need to be concerned about is its Regional Councillor, Annette Groves. Whatever you do, don't put an open flame near that girl.

Doing what she does best, Councillor Groves is hard at work, twerking up a community issue where one doesn't really exist.  That is the one skill I'll give her mad props for and what we've learned about Annie Groves is that her brand is crisis. We all watched her hone that skill during the years she rolled out the drama with the town and in particular with her issues with our former Mayor, Marolyn Morrison.  That is Annie's modus operandi and she plays it well, that is, until someone calls her out on her crap. Watch where you step my Bolton neighbours, the manure is deep.  I can only imagine the methane levels expanding exponentially from her rhetoric.  Boom.

I see that our rusty, not so trusty, Councillor has been quoting excerpts from a two year old news article from a rent-a-writer who was whipping up the fear factor about hydrogen being used at the Canadian Tire site out on Coleraine Road.  I know this article well because I picked up about 300 copies of it off the streets in the south end of Bolton during the last municipal election.  They, like this faux crisis, were swirling around, littering the streets, after being blown off the doorsteps, which were placed there by a group of young high school students who told us they were getting their required volunteer hours by helping out the Groves campaign team.

Councillor Groves would have you believe there is a conspiracy at the town and that they are in collusion with Canadian Tire, keeping Bolton residents in the dark and putting them at risk.  True to her form she once again plays this out in the local rags and through her inept social media venues. She has pleaded with us that she needs our support in fighting the evil powers at work and is encouraging us to write our Mayor and our Council.  Oh I'll write, for sure.  I'll tell my Mayor, my local Councillor Rob Mezzapelli, the Caledon Council and staff at the town that I believe that hydrogen is one of the most important bio fuels of the future and support its use for a greener and cleaner technology.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Crystal's Balls

I absolutely adore the local Facebook Page "I'm from a little town called Bolton in Ontario".  Thank you Samantha Corless for assembling this page and a special thanks to Derek Paterson who posts up the coolest pics & historical info about our community.  This girl is very appreciative of your efforts.

Social media, which at times can be a thread that connects us, can also become a conduit for silliness, of which I'm the first to admit to engaging in. However with that being said, F-bombs aren't my bag but sarcasm and humour are.  Topics from politics to sports can become lightening rods for discussion and etiquette and respect are the first boundaries to get kicked to the curb.  The FB page "I'm from a little town..." is no exception to that rule. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with dissenting opinions.  Some people just need to turn on their filters about right time and right place.  Those people who liberally rant through FB pages have their own page where they can spew all the vitriol they want.  The minute they take it to a larger group, it's a different animal. If they feel they have the right to spew, then I have the right to push back.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer Breezes

Have you ever found yourself at a community or public meeting here in town, you notice it is being covered by a local publication (and I use that term very loosely), in particular by Matt Strader, and a few days later you find yourself reading about said coverage only to start asking yourself this question: "Were we at the same meeting?"

After years of the myopathy demonstrated by Matt Stader and the Dopey Doodles of  the powers that be at the Caledon Enterprise, it's time to just call 'em as I see it.  The lovely straw breaking moment came when Mr. Strader reported on the recent ROPA public meeting.  What the hell? I had only just recovered from the lopsided news coverage of the public meetings with respect to the Heritage Designation discussions about the core of Bolton.

Then comes the stupidness of the Election Expense review.

Let me be clear.  There was no breezing in to public office.  Geezus, Matt Strader manages to make the title of that article sound like a chapter out of "The Great Gatsby".  As a girl, who's boots were on the ground, knocking door after door, handing out information where ever I could, I can swear on my life that there was no easy peasy breeze blowing us around, like a piece of tumbleweed, soft landing in to elected office.