Are they at it again?

Some of you may remember the films produced during WWII and how they all seemed to portray the Americans (often led by John Wayne) taking on and defeating the evil Axis powers. They were meant to instill a sense of patriotism in the viewers.

Again, you may remember the (usually not very good) invaders from space movies that were popular during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. In these the aliens were meant to be seen as analogous to the “Red menace” and, as with the movies of the ‘40’s, once again the Americans were always victorious.

These movies, in addition to entertainment, were intended to instill a sense of patriotism and a belief in the invincibility of the American armed forces. Hollywood has often been used as a propaganda tool, as it was during the Second World War and the cold war.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I think the studios and other independent producers of television programming are at it again. By “it” I mean pumping up the patriotism and faith in the invincibility of American forces,. Times have changed greatly and too much has happened for people to believe in the infallibility of US forces but they are still a formidable opponent. Three new shows this year, “Seal Team”’ “The Brave” and “Valor”, appear to be designed to put a positive face on the military. I find it more than coincidental that we have three new shows glorifying the armed forces.

Given the Apprentice President’s words and actions, especially regarding North Korea and Kim Jong Un, and Kim’s responses, it appears war grows closer every day ( or hour – I have seen any new tweets today.) Shows such as these could have the effect of, as I said, increasing feelings of patriotism in viewers as well as prepare them mentally for the possibility of war. I sincerely hope I’m wrong and it really is just coincidental these shows all appeared in the same season, for I know that living north of the US/Canada border won’t protect me if everything does fall apart.

All we can do in the meantime is let ourselves be entertained and pray that calmer heads in both Pyongyang and Washington prevail.

Cat.

 

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An open letter to Caitlyn Jenner

This was dictated to me by a friend who doesn’t have access to a computer. This friend is not trans, nor lesbian, so qualifies as a disinterested bystander.

Dear Caitlyn:

Despite what you may hear from the media and the costume makers, you are not a superhero. Despite all the media attention, know that you are the wrong person to be designated a spokesperson for the trans community. The reason is simple – you haven’t paid your dues yet. Had you completely embraced the idea of being trans, you wouldn’t refer to other trans people as “they” or “them”, but would use inclusive pronouns such as “we” and “us”.

From what I’ve seen on “I am Cait”, you live in a protected bubble in your gated mansion and have no idea with what the average transwoman has to deal. A short visit to speak with ordinary transwomen does not qualify you to speak on their behalf.

My best friend is a 71 year old transwoman and lesbian and has been for 19 years now. I’ve known her for 11 of those years and right from the beginning I saw her simply as a woman – no thoughts of “he” or “it” or “he/she” – just a very beautiful and likeable woman. Unlike many people, I never asked her what her name was; she volunteered it after about ten years. When she visits, my husband who knows of her past life, treats her as the lady she appears to be. She has been accepted whole-heartedly and without reservation by my own family. Over the time I’ve known her she has told me much of what she’s gone through – the discrimination in employment; the hurtful words heard on the streets and other less savoury things. To me, she is the superhero, not you, for she’s lived through a lot in her quest to be her true self.

If you truly want to live up to that “superhero” billing and become a true media spokesperson, donate some of your money to trans causes. Try living as an ordinary transwoman and see what real life is like. Then we can discuss your status.

Chris.

Enough nonsense

If you live anywhere in the Golden Horseshoe of southern Ontario or along the Niagara Frontier in New York State (and probably much further afield) you’ve seen commercials for Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls Ontario.

Based on their recent batch of commercials, I wouldn’t go to Fallsview.  If you’ve seen these three spots – the caddy; the bowlers, or the bodyguards – you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re fortunate enough not to have seen them, I’ll give you a brief description.

First, the caddy.  In this one, it takes place on what appears to be the final hole of a golf tournament.  The golfer is lining up his putt for the winning stroke when his caddy gets a text message.  Upon checking it, the caddy sees his friends have arranged a night at Fallsview Casino.  This sends the caddy into a fit of celebratory yelling and screaming and ends with the caddy picking up the golf ball and kicking it somewhere off the green.

Next, the bowlers.  Similar situation – bowling team all get a text about a visit to Fallsview and promptly disrupts the entire bowling alley.

The bodyguard one has to be the most irritating.  Two bodyguards step out from a stage door, to make sure it’s safe for the Big Name to exit.  They get a text about Fallsview and promptly start yelling and carrying on and flopping around on the red carpet.

Two thoughts on these spots.  First, if these people consider visiting a casino the high point of their lives,  they lead very sad lives indeed.

The second thought is this: If Fallsview Casino, or their advertising agency, think that commercials that treat viewers like idiots are going to attract people, perhaps they should think again.  To me, these ads scream “If you’re dumb enough to fall for this nonsense, come on down, we’ll gladly take your money.

I object to commercials – all commercials – that try to treat me like an idiot.  And these Fallsview spots certainly do that.

Since it’s December 31, I wish all my readers and followers a Happy and Prosperous 2015 and a safe New Year’s Eve.

Remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Bring him to justice – progress report

Many, many thanks to two readers, cm and Concerned Follower, for providing me with the link to the following article which appeared in The Jamaican Observer of Monday, October 13, 2014:

Jamaican wanted in Canada on sex charges fights extradition

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A Jamaican man, who was ordered extradited last month to Canada where he’s wanted for trial on sex crimes, has taken his fight to remain in the island to the Supreme Court.

The man, George Flowers, is to appear in the Supreme Court today where he’s challenging the ruling in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court that he be extradited.

The order was made by Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece, who told Flowers that he could appeal the decision to another court within 15 days.

Should Flowers lose his battle against extradition in the Supreme Court, he has the option of taking that fight to the Court of Appeal.

Flowers, who goes by the name Mr Flowas, is wanted in Canada on several counts of  aggravated sexual assault.

He was arrested in Jamaica on June 4.

That arrest date is actually June 4, 2013.

In this case, “aggravated sexual assault” means he was HIV positive and never told any of his partners.

I’d like to say “this is it”, but I know it probably won’t be.  Should the Supreme Court uphold Madame Wolfe-Reece’s decision, as the article states, Flowers could go to the Court of Appeal.  And, in the event the Supreme Court sets aside the lower court’s ruling, I’m quite certain the Crown will appeal.  Either way, unfortunately it ain’t over yet folks.

I started the “Bring him to justice” series on August 14, 2012, a day after the Toronto Police Service issued their first Public Safety Alert on George Flowers.  I’m saddened to say that other than a brief flurry when the PSA was issued and a brief interview conducted by Global Television Toronto with one of his victims, there has been no Canadian (or even Toronto) coverage of this.  The only media coverage I’ve seen has been the above article and one other short piece in Jamaican papers.

I know it’s been a long time between postings on this matter, but I refuse to print rumour and this is the first confirmed information I’ve had since I wrote of his capture.  As more confirmed  information becomes available, I will issue updates.

Following is a copy of an email I received from the detective in charge of this case, which I feel bears repeating:

Hello Cat,

I am the officer investigating the aggravated sexual assault allegations against George Flowers.

I have stumbled upon your blog and have read what has been going on.

I appreciate you making more people aware of this investigation as we deem this situation as a major public safety risk.

My goal is to find and speak with anyone who has had sexual contact with Mr. Flowers.  They need to know that there is an active investigation and given the option of whether they would proceed with police involvement.  His non-disclosure actions are criminal whether or not a sexual encounter resulted in HIV infection. A lot of people are under the impression that if they DIDN’T contract HIV, that they have no criminal claim and that is false. The charge is for the “threat” of contracting the virus at the time of sexual contact if they were NOT advised of someone’s HIV status PRIOR to any sexual encounter.

The reason I am telling you this is because you indicated in your blog that you have spoken to other people who have been previous sexual partners of Mr. Flowers.

If you have any further information in regards to his whereabouts or anything else, I would appreciate it.  You can remain anonymous.  If you can also advise the other people who have been previous partners of Mr. Flowers of what I wrote, it would be appreciated.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call me.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Regards,

Nancy Johnston
Detective Constable #8734
Family Violence Unit
Toronto Police Service
Phone: (416)-808-5505
Email: Nancy.Johnston@torontopolice.on.ca

Note especially the bold section.

If Detective Johnston isn’t available, please speak with one of the other detectives in the unit .

Cat.

Where’s the logic?

I haven’t been feeling well this summer and as a result have been watching a lot of television. If you’ve read my postings before, you know I take great delight in ripping into commercials. Don’t worry, that’s coming, but first, something nice to say about an ad, as well as a comment on a series I’ve been watching.

1 – I’ve recently been watching a series on AHC called “Gunslingers” about some of the better known names from the old west. So far, there have been five episodes: Billy the Kid; Jesse James: Wyatt Earp; Wild Bill Hitchcock, and John Wesley Hardin. I’ve been struck by the similarity in the way most of these men died:

Billy the Kid – shot in the back by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Jesse James – shot in the back by one of his own men. What’s that old lyric “the dirty little coward who shot Mr Howard laid poor Jesse in his grave”?

Wild Bill Hitchcock (how did they get “Wild Bill” from “James Butler”?”) – shot in the back of the head while playing cards. This was the origin of calling aces and eights “the dead man’s hand.”

John Wesley Hardin – shot in the back of the head while enjoying a drink in a saloon.

The sole exception was Wyatt Earp, who died of natural causes in Los Angeles in 1927. Yeah, 1927- not that long ago really.

2 – Mazda Canada has been running ads for the Mazda 3. I’ll admit I don’t really see the connection, but I like the fact they are using Canadian sports icons such as James Naismith (inventor of basketball) and Christine Sinclair (Canada’s soccer goddess) and relating their accomplishments to the Mazda’s performance.

3 – Now the not so good spots.

First, Honda Canada (and I presume Honda USA as well) has been running ads for the Honda Pilot. Before I continue, let me ask you: When you come home, do you park near the house, or at the street end of the driveway? If you’re like me, you park near the house. Not the people in these Honda commercials. Right near the end of the drive. Are there mines in the drive so they can’t go any further, or do they just want to show off their vehicle to the neighbours. Where’s the logic?

Next, Buick. Again, a question for you: If you’re at a place that has valet parking, when you want you vehicle, do you just tell the valet the make of the vehicle, or do you also tell them the colour? In this commercial, the man simply says “It’s the Buick” with no mention of colour.. You arrogant SOB to think you’re the only person who can afford a Buick. Of course, the valet isn’t that bright either or he’d use the key fob before trekking the entire parking lot. Where’s the logic?

Finally, Ford. They’ve been running ads promoting some of the safety features. In this one, we see some amber lights in the lower left corner of the windshield and the driver tells us “the flashing lights just warned me an accident could be imminent”. Excuse me, but looking out the windshield would also tell you how close you are to that pickup in front of you. You don’t need flashing lights to tell you that if you’re paying attention to the road. Once more – where’s the logic?
The Ford commercial is a good example of how the auto companies are developing huge “nanny” complexes. They want us to buy their products, yet at the same time, they are installing all these devices to protect us from ourselves, such as lane change warnings. So many devices are being installed that supposedly protect the car’s occupants that people will rely on these devices and forget such things as checking rear view mirrors. To my mind, the only really beneficial gadget added recently has been the back-up camera.

Okay, I’ve ranted and I feel better.

.Remember to hug an artist, we need love too.

Cat.

About time

Last night, Rob Ford, the mayor of all subway-loving Torontonians, finally admitted he has a problem with alcohol and some of his decisions while under the influence. He announced he would be taking a 30 day leave of absence to seek treatment. If you’ve read my previous postings, you know I am not a fan of Robbie and while I’m glad to see him finally ‘fess up to his substance abuse, I’m suspicious of the timing.

One of the Toronto papers, The Globe and Mail, claims to have seen another video of Robbie apparently smoking crack and showed three screen grabs from that video. This video was apparently taken very early last Saturday morning in the basement of his sister’s home. Another paper, the Toronto Sun, claims to have an audio recording made Monday night in one of Robbie’s local bars. In this recording, someone we are told is Rob Ford is heard making misogynist comments about a female candidate for mayor as well as comments about his wife.

In the past, when tapes come out, such as last year when the first crack tape was revealed, Robbie just ignored the whole thing – for six months. Only when the Toronto Police Service announced they had a copy of that tape did Robbie admit to having smoked crack. He has used this “ignore it and it will go away” tactic several times over the past year, but this time he is in the middle of his re-election campaign, so that won’t work. My personal opinion is that this “leave of absence” is in actuality nothing more than him running away from his problems. In an interview on one of the Toronto television stations, a reporter who was involved in breaking the first crack tape story stated that even though the mayor is taking 30 days off, the reporter fully expected to be having the same discussion in 60 days.

I certainly hope the mayor is serious about getting professional help, but I’m curious what that help will be for – he only mentioned the alcohol problems and completely ignored the crack.
Rob Ford’s absence at city hall will have no effect on running the City of Toronto for he was stripped of most of his powers months ago and the deputy mayor, Norm Kelly, has been running things. So, if Robbie needs more than 30 days, I suggest he take it.

Cat.

Robbie, you’re old news

Rob Ford has never been one to let facts get in the way of his version of events.  How long did it take him to finally admit that he had smoked crack?   Here’s another example of Robbie ignoring evidence in an attempt to smear a Toronto Star reporter.  The following section has been extracted from a CBC News report on an interview between Conrad Black and Toronto’s titular mayor Rob Ford:

At one point in the interview, Black asked Ford about media intrusion on his family’s privacy, and Ford singled out Dale for an incident that happened in May 2012.

Ford had confronted Dale outside the mayor’s west-end home in an adjacent park — a section of which the mayor was looking to buy.

“Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures. I have little kids. He’s taking pictures of little kids,” Ford said. “I don’t want to say that word but you start thinking what this guy is all about.”

Dale said that at no time did he ever take any photographs of the mayor’s family, house or even his property — and a police investigation bore that out.

When asked directly about the Dale comments, Mayor Ford said at a press conference that he stood by his words in the interview.

“I stand by every word.”

Robbie, the whole city knows you don’t like The Toronto Star, but to suggest one of their reporters is a paedophile is low even for you.  Despite the existence of a police report (see bolded section above) you stand by your comments.  Then again, even though you knew of the existence of a certain tape, until the police announced they had retrieved a copy of it from a hard drive, you denied there was such a tape.  So what’s it going to take this time before you retract your accusations?

News flash Robbie: You’re mayor in name only and no matter how much huffing and puffing you and your brother do, that ain’t gonna change.  You’re old news.  Stop trying to draw attention to yourself.

Cat.