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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘conrad black

[NEWS] 15 links about Canada and Canadian politics (#cdnpoli)

  • Scott Gilmore at MacLean’s notes how, in the United States, Canada as a model is a common idea among Democrats.
  • David Camfield argues at The Conversation that the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike offers lessons for Canadians now.
  • Le Devoir notes the recent argument of now-Québec premier François Legault that a Québec that was, like Ontario, a relatively wealthy province would be a Québec that would have fewer tensions with the rest of Canada. Is this plausible?
  • Éric Grenier notes at CBC that, in Ontario, Andrew Scheer’s federal conservatives will need to draw voters from beyond Ford Nation.
  • MacLean’s hosts the arguments of Frank Graves and Michael Valpy that Canadian politicians are not paying nearly the amount of attention to economic inequality that Canadians think they should.
  • MacLean’s makes the point that Conrad Black seems to see much to like in Donald Trump.
  • Ontario and the Canadian government are fighting over funding for the proposed Ontario Line, the Canadian government insisting it needs more information about the route. The Toronto Star reports.
  • Facebook, it turns out, chose not to pay proper attention to sending officials to testify at a Canada government inquiry into fake news. Maclean’s reports.
  • Justin Trudeau, speaking recently in Toronto, credited immigration for the success of the tech sector of Canada. CBC reports.
  • Foreign workers turn out to play a critical role in staffing the lobster plants in the Acadian fishing village of Meteghan, in Nova Scotia. CBC reports.
  • Canada and the United States are again disputing the claims of Canada to sovereignty over the Northwest Passage. Global News reports.
  • MacLean’s interviews Northwest Territories premier Bob McLeod, who dreams of a massive development of Arctic Canada, including a goal of a million residents for his territory.
  • Enzo DiMatteo suggests at NOW Toronto that the growing unpopularity of Doing Ford in Ontario might hurt the federal Conservatives badly.
  • Could the Green Party go mainstream across Canada? The Conversation considers.
  • The Conversation reports on what the national fervour over the Toronto Raptors represents, including the growing diversity of the population of Canada and the global spread of basketball.

[URBAN NOTE] Five #topoli Toronto links: Faith Goldy, progressives, city council

  • Brian Budd at The Conversation argues that the strong showing of Faith Goldy shows not only her particular threat, but that her expertise in social media and mobilizing support is something other alt-right people can learn from.
  • Michael Coren at NOW Toronto argues that the attempt of Conrad Black to soft-pedal the racism and fascism of Faith Goldy is part of a broader effort by some people on the right to make Goldy and her views more acceptable.
  • Anastasia Pitcher at The Varsity takes a look at Faith Goldy from her perspective of a U of T student, someone sharing in the traditions that Goldy has taken for her own in her alt-right career.
  • Rob Salerno at Daily Xtra suggests that the confusion about progressives in Toronto about the sort of city they want, about the material ways they would make the lives of Torotonians better, will contribute to their continued defeats.
  • Could rookie members on Toronto City Council hold the balance of power? The Toronto Star reports.

[URBAN NOTE] “Conrad Black Wants You To Know Donald Trump is Totally Cool, and Not Racist or Sexist”

Torontoist’s Christopher Bird fisks a Conrad Black column written in defense of Trump. Yes, yes, I know, why pay attention to the opinions of a convicted felon. Bird’s fisking is a delight.

Because of Conrad Black’s historical ties to Postmedia, and because there are still Canadians out there who respect Black as some sort of intellectual paragon—despite, you know, the crimes and all—he still occasionally writes columns for the National Post. He uses this space to remind us that he’s an Important Historian in addition to being a felon (and Black’s historical writing is fine, so long as you don’t mind there being certain… issues… with his discussion of Indigenous peoples). We are all expected to pay homage to his bloviating about modern politics, receive his wisdom, and take his arguments seriously.

There is a central problem with this thesis statement, which is that Black’s personal biases taint his work. Or, to put it another way, Black has a nigh-terminal case of Old-White-Man-Forgives-Other-White-Men-Their-Foibles Disease; this was particularly evident in his infamous televised interview with Rob Ford on ZoomerTV. It’s also prominent in Black’s columns about the American election, of which his latest is a sterling example—Conrad Black is forgiving of Donald Trump (and there is so much to forgive), and thus needs to explain to us all that, no, the presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton was in fact “even” instead of what actually happened, which is that Trump melted down in front of a massive national and international audience and acted like an incontinent toddler. But never fear: when a conservative contrarian is needed to tell the public what actually happened, Conrad Black is always at the ready!

There is so much to unpack here, but let’s try to go through the lowlights:

Trump, though given to tangents and grating egocentricities, was sensible and his views were not immoderate.

During the debate Trump claimed that the Federal Reserve was abandoning its nonpartisan duty in order to assist the Democrats and Barack Obama. He repeatedly described the United States as a “third world country” and particularly—and nonsensically—complained about American airports in this regard. His justification for being sued in the 1970s for discriminating against Black people was to point out that he had settled the lawsuits and that lots of people were being sued for the same thing. (Which is not really a great defense because there was a lot of discrimination against Black people then.) And this is before you consider all of the insane things Hillary Clinton pointed out that Donald Trump has said during the campaign where he simply lied and pretended he had never said them.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 5, 2016 at 8:29 pm

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Bloomberg notes Venezuela is considering dollarization in order to save its auto industry, and looks at the possibility of an OAS intervention.
  • Bloomberg View looks at the anti-immigrant mindset.
  • The Inter Press Service notes political crisis in Nicaragua and examines the plundering of African fisheries by foreign fleets.
  • MacLean’s notes Conrad Black’s seeking an emergency hearing to let him sell his home.
  • National Geographic investigates the origins of the stars which produced the first detected gravitational wave.
  • The National Post notes Bolivia’s interest in a new chronology.
  • Open Democracy examines the British Chinese perspective on Brexit and looks at the tremendous alienation in British society.

[NEWS] Some Thursday links

  • Bloomberg notes a report of Egypt’s discovery of the wreckage of the crashed EgyptAir jet, reports on the visit of a IMF team to Mozambique, and looks at Vietnam’s success in capturing Southeast Asian trade with the European Union.
  • Bloomberg View notes that Donald Trump’s candidacy can mean bad things for the Republican Party.
  • CBC looks at how a top export from Tibet is a parasitic fungus, and looks at controversy over a CSIS evaluation of diaspora communities and terrorism.
  • MacLean’s looks at the wife of the Orlando shooting.
  • The National Post notes the retraction of an ASEAN statement about maritime borders with China.
  • Open Democracy carries an ill-judged radical Brexiteer’s statement. All I can say is that socialism in one country is not likely, certainly not with the Tories in charge.
  • The Toronto Star notes the fears of tax authorities that Conrad Black might abscond without paying his taxes.
  • Universe Today notes the discovery, in a Swedish quarry, of a type of meteorite no longer present in the solar system.
  • Wired reports on the second LIGO discovery and notes the import of The Onion in times of trouble.

[URBAN NOTE] On Conrad Black’s tax issues

The National Post carries Linda Nguyen and Alexandra Posadzki’ Canadian Press article looking at how Conrad Black is fighting two liens placed on his Forest Hill mansion, currently up for sale.

Conrad Black is fighting two liens that have been placed on his Toronto mansion that claim he owes more than $15 million in unpaid taxes.

The former media mogul filed a notice of application Wednesday with the Federal Court for a judicial review of the liens.

The liens were filed against Black’s home on May 6 and May 10, alleging that he owes taxes from 2002, 2003 and 2008.

The Canada Revenue Agency claims that Black is in arrears in the amounts of $12,307,717 and $3,513,877.

In his notice of application, Black claims the national revenue minister used information that contained “material omissions and inaccuracies” and wasn’t “full and frank” when applying to the court for the liens.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • blogTO notes that the Canadian government has prevented Conrad Black from selling his Forest Hill mansion on account of taxes.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a beautiful 1981 live performance by The Church.
  • Language Log notes the inclusion of Singaporean and Hong Kong English words into the OED.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the four Italian nuns who helped the Vatican map prt of the sky.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing concentration of the Quakers in Kenya, and by extension other Christian denominations in Africa.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the success of solar energy in Mexico.
  • Strange Maps notes the history of Middle Eastern migration into Europe.
  • Torontoist looks at a Kensington Market project displaying graffiti from around the world.
  • Towleroad notes Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax returns.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the role played by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in Russian politics.
  • Zero Geography links to a paper co-authored by the blogger looking at the online representation of Jerusalem.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO notes that Conrad Black’s mansion is up for sale, and looks inside the climbing gym that replaced Koreatown’s Metro Theatre.
  • Centauri Dreams notes a new telescope optimized for detecting, among other things, Kuiper Belt objects.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a video of South African cyclists chased by an ostrich.
  • Far Outliers notes the existence of a Second World War prisoner of war camp in Hawai’i that sought to detect dissidents among the Japanese prisoners.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Caitlyn Jenner’s dislike of Hillary.
  • Language Hat and Language Log report on the crowdsource-legitimized Italian word “petaloso”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the lasting effects of segregation in the South and a href=”http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2016/03/why-are-our-cities-segregated”>in cities.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the unpopularity of Trump in Mexico has progressed to the point that the president made a statement criticizing the man.
  • Torontoist has an essay about Toronto parks that features a photo of mine of Christie Pits.

[LINK] “The tawdry fall of the Postmedia newspaper empire”

The National Observer‘s Bruce Livesay describes the continuing decline of Conrad Black’s lost Postmedia empire.

Postmedia is a national media giant with nearly 200 papers, magazines and websites. Its dailies reach 6.3 million Canadian readers every week, with some of its best-known papers including the National Post, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader-Post, Winnipeg Sun, The London Free Press, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.

But Postmedia is also a ship taking on water, due to both self-inflicted and industry-wide wounds.

Of the self-inflicted variety, Postmedia was pilloried last month in the run-up to the federal election after its Toronto executives ordered 16 of its major daily newspapers to run editorials endorsing Stephen Harper. (Postmedia did the same thing last spring during Alberta’s provincial election, forcing its papers there to back Jim Prentice’s Tories).

In a surprising move, John Honderich, chair of Torstar Corp., which publishes Canada’s largest daily paper, The Toronto Star, devoted an entire op-ed page article two weeks ago heaping scorn on Postmedia’s decision, decrying “the negative impact this affair is having on the newspaper industry in general. At a time when the relevance and impact of newspapers are under attack, this doesn’t help.”

Then there was the stunning resignation of Andrew Coyne as the National Post’s editorials and comments editor. Coyne quit on the eve of the election – although he remains a columnist with the paper – when his superiors told him he was not allowed to publish a column dissenting with their endorsement of Harper. Coyne, who declines to discuss the matter, tweeted his disapproval of the censoring, saying “I don’t see public disagreement as confusing. I see it as honest.”

Written by Randy McDonald

November 24, 2015 at 2:31 pm

[LINK] “‘No alternative’ but to fight to clear his name: Conrad Black”

MacLean’s reports on convicted fraudster Conrad Black’s continued efforts to clear his name, this time in Ontario.

Conrad Black told Canada’s largest securities regulator Friday that he’s had “no alternative” but to fight to clear his name of allegations and U.S. criminal convictions that he considers illegitimate.

It was the first time that the former Hollinger executive has been able to testify and defend himself publicly before the Ontario Securities Commission, which oversees Canada’s largest stock market and many of its publicly traded companies.

The provincial regulator is considering whether Black and former Hollinger chief financial officer John Boultbee should be banned from acting as directors, officers or registrants of public companies following two U.S. criminal convictions.

The OSC process has been sidelined for nearly a decade as Black faced numerous fraud-related charges in the U.S. and ultimately served time in prison for two of them. Boultbee was convicted of one count of fraud in the U.S.

Black has previously been a director of several major companies, including CIBC, and was both an officer and director of several of the companies within the Hollinger newspaper group that he also controlled as a major shareholder.

But he told the OSC panel Friday at a hearing that he has no plans to hold that type of position again within Ontario’s jurisdiction, which includes most publicly traded companies on Canada’s largest stock exchange.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm