Saturday, May 25, 2013
Who's Advising Him?

"Hardly a day goes by when senior staff in the mayor’s office aren’t called by so-called expert strategists and told what to do.

Even members of the public call the mayor’s customer service staff, advising them on how to handle the media.

Ford’s staff bite their tongues and politely listen to this advice, the vast majority of which would be impossible to implement because, let’s face it, this is hardly a normal mayoralty.

For example in March, Sun City Hall Bureau Chief Don Peat reported the mayor had shown up at an event 'between local politicians and the Toronto Eruv committee, organized by Coun. James Pasternak.'

Typically, this wouldn’t make much news but it did because the mayor came ill-prepared and gave a barn-burner of a pro-casino speech to an Orthodox Jewish audience.

Had he informed his senior staff he was going to attend, they would have given him a scroll to present to these community leaders, briefed him on who would be there and given him prepared -- and appropriate -- remarks.

Recently, after being briefed on all the proper protocols, the mayor missed an event when Prince Phillip came to Toronto. An event he was clearly expected to attend, since a chair with his name on it sat empty.

And, since I have your attention, the mayor’s staff did not advise him to call the police on a reporter checking out his property regarding his application to buy an adjacent piece of land from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

The mayor’s staff did not advise him to call 911 when a plastic sword-wielding Marg Delahunty (aka Mary Walsh) ambushed him on his driveway. (I dealt with that one when I was Ford’s Press Secretary.)

His staff didn’t tell him to hand out magnets at a community meeting in Etobicoke, though it is worth noting the staff member that did help the mayor on that one is new to the office and, according to the Globe and Mail, allegedly sold drugs in high school with Doug Ford. (Ford has denied this allegation.)

What his current and former experienced staffers have advised him to do is to get a driver, stop calling constituents late at night, get some rest, and as the Sun reported, go to rehab."
Friday, May 24, 2013
"The 24-hour news channels that run silently in the corners of bars and dentists’ offices loop random clips of Ford being chased around by packs of TV reporters. Here’s Ford trying to order something through a thicket of microphones at Tim Hortons, a forced grin on his face. Now Ford peeling out of his driveway in his Escalade. Now Ford crossing a parking lot, mob in tow. Behind him in the last frame, the sign on the gas station, over his shoulder: 'On The Run.'"
Thursday, May 23, 2013

Boys Walking, 2013
New WG, The Peripheral.  That careful observing tone I remember.

"She called his name. 'Easy Ice,' he answered, her gamer tag, bumping the door open with the flat of his hand, pulling a new white T-shirt down with the other hand across that chest the Corps had given him, covering the mark above his navel, size and shape of a playing card. Inside, the trailer was the color of Vaseline, LEDs buried in it, bedded in Walmart amber. She had helped him sweep it out before he moved in. He hadn’t bothered to bring the shop vac down from the garage, just bombed the inside a good inch thick, some Chinese polymer, glassy and flexible. Now you could see stubs of burnt matches in it, or the cork-patterned paper on the squashed filter of a legally sold cigarette, older than she was. She knew where there was a rusty jeweler’s screwdriver and somewhere else a 2020 quarter. The polymer had taken care of the smell, now he just had to get his stuff out before he hosed the inside every week or two, like washing Tupperware. Leon said the polymer was curatorial. You could peel it all out before you put your American classic up on eBay, let it take the dirt with it."

Publication scheduled for 2014; can't wait!
Monday, May 20, 2013

Relevant to my interests.  The methodology involves a level of access I'm unlikely to enjoy in this lifetime, but, still.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
"'It is not the Russians that we quarrel with,'' Mehmet says quietly, 'but their choice in allies. They believe themselves to be infidel atheists, but by their deeds they shall be known; the icy spoor of Leng is upon them, their tools are those described in the Kitab al Azif. We have proof that they have violated the terms of the Dresden Agreement. The accursed and unhallowed stalk the frozen passes of the Himalayas by night, taking all whose path they cross. And will you stopper your ears even as the Russians grow in misplaced confidence, sure that their dominance of these forces of evil is complete? The gates are opening everywhere, as it was prophesied. Last week we flew an F-14C with a camera relay pod through one of them. The pilot and weapons operator are in paradise now, but we have glanced into hell and have the film and radar plots to prove it.'"

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