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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toronto's Loss Is Hamilton's Gain

Collaged images courtesy of, treehugger,com,, and

   That was quite an election Ontario municipalities had on Monday night, eh?  

   Strangely enough, both of the candidates I voted for won, my Hamilton mayoral candidate, Bob Bratina, and my ward 11 councillor candidate, Brenda Johnson, won.   

   I was elated about that.

   But then the bad news about Toronto came, Rob Ford is Toronto's new mayor.   
   If I was still living in Toronto, I don't know if I would have voted for George Smitherman or Joe Pantalone.   Joe was the candidate I truly believed in.  He was an excellent team player for the most recent Toronto mayor, David Miller (a man I like).  Joe believes in Transit City, the public transit plan approved by the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario to add a lot of LRT (light rail transit) to busy Toronto routes.  I have a lot of friends in Toronto, and I'm in Toronto, especially downtown, very frequently.  My friends and I will really benefit from Transit City, a plan Rob Ford opposes.  

    And Rob Ford's the man who is being referred to in that 'wife-beating, racist drunk' sign in the photo montage above.  Is Rob Ford a 'wife-beating, racist drunk'?  I'm not 100% sure, but he certainly seems that way.  There was a publicised 'domestic issue' at Ford's house a bit over a year ago that the cops got involved in.  And, when Ford toured China in 2008, he was quoted as saying, "Those Orientals, they work like dogs!  They sleep by their machines, they work so hard!"   Maybe he's not racist, but he definitely can be culturally insensitive.

   On the topic of racism, cultural insensitivity and xenophobia, there's something I've got to get off of my chest.

   Someone I know gave me a phone call last night.  She sounded excited.

   "I sent an e-mail to our new mayor!"  She isn't from Hamilton, or Toronto, but for her sake, I won't reveal her Ontario city or town.

    "Okay, good for you," I replied.

    "I told him I don't want my city/town to go all multicultural-like, like Mississauga.  I said, keep the brown people and the turbans out!"

    "Oh, my gosh!  What you did was so racist!"  I was outraged.

     "No, no.  I didn't use language like that..."

     "I feel very uncomfortable with you, right now,"

     "Fine! See you later!" she yelled, and hung up.

     I was really, truly horrified.  Racism and xenophobia from a mere acquaintance is disturbing enough.   But, hearing it come from someone I've known for many, many years made me sink into a bit of a depression.  I chain-smoked and drunk voraciously last night, my way of coping.  

    My liberal, tolerant, progressive values should be glaringly obvious, especially to someone who knows me well.   That she thought she could tell me that and I would approve, well, that infuriated me.

     Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, those are some of the ugliest facets of humanity.   Yes, there's Islamophobia, too.  A lot of these Islamophobics don't realize that Islam and Sikhism are two COMPLETELY UNRELATED RELIGIONS, and that it's Sikh men who wear turbans.  But, hatred toward Muslims and hatred toward Sikhs is equally horrible.  These hateful Islamophobes don't even know who they're hating!

    This particular racist person will probably end up reading this.  They may accuse me of violating their privacy.

    Well, my message for you is this- you sent that e-mail to the new mayor's office.  That e-mail had your FULL NAME on it, and your identifying e-mail address.   Twenty or so people from the new mayor's office could have seen it.  With your proper full name, and knowing what city/town you live in, you can easily be identified.

    According to my Google Analytics, a typical post on my blog now gets a couple of hundred hits.  

     But, the vast majority of my readers don't know you.   I went out of my way to not offer identifying information, not your name, not your relationship to me, and not even which municipality you live in.   

     You violated your privacy, by choice, by sending that e-mail, without a proxy server or hiding your full name.   Whereas, by the details in my blog, you're just some random person from Ontario, one of millions.

     I want you to apologize to me, privately, for sending that e-mail.  Your action made me deeply depressed.

     Dear readers, how would you deal with a situation like this?

     Anyway, I'm very happy a good man, Bob Bratina, is my new mayor, and a good woman, Brenda Johnson, is my new councillor.  And of course, the mayor of my old hometown of Mississauga, Hazel McCallion, was re-elected, marking now over thirty years of being Mississauga's mayor.  She is an international record breaker, and a true legend.  

     And, there's some good news about my professional blogging career!  The popular technology and entertainment news source,, has taken me on as their newest writer.  I wrote my first article for them yesterday, Why Newbies Should Use Linux.  You can read it here:

     So, now, if you want to read ALL of my articles, you've got to:
  1. Keep checking out my personal blog, Bright Ideas,
  2. Keep visiting   My author page is here,
  3. Don't forget about Dragon Blogger,!
   And now, I might be paid good money, per article, to write for Demand Media, visit Demand Media's Wikipedia page to read more about them.  My articles would be syndicated, in an objective tone unlike the strongly subjective tone of my other online writing, and anonymous, non-attributed.   So, if you read one of those articles, you won't even know it's me.  But I've got to make a living, tokidoki merchandise doesn't buy itself!


     Part seven of my 'A Brief History of the Web' series hits tomorrow.

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