After Nevada, Hillary is toast — Trump is going all the way

Last night, Trump won overwhelmingly in the GOP Nevada caucuses.

To date Trump has won in northeast New Hampshire, South Carolina, and now the wild west of Nevada. His support is clearly national and he is attracting all segments of society, not just angry old men and women.

Trump even captured 45% of Hispanic vote in the Nevada caucus, notwithstanding his strong anti-immigrant position.

(He also did very well in midwest Iowa, coming a strong second to Cruz.)

In his victory speech last night, The Trump confirmed what I have been stating for weeks. Trump is winning the old, the young, the highly educated and as Trump so characteristically called them, “the poorly educated.” To which he ad libbed, “I love the poorly educated. They are the smartest and the most loyal.” That is pure Trumpism. Brilliant. Honest.

And that is why Trump is winning. He is connecting with people, like no one else in the Republican or Democratic races. Because Trump is being Trump. Profane, crude, blunt, brash, controversial. Anti-establishment. And the American people love him.

Sixty per cent of people polled in Nevada support a candidate who is not part of the political establishment.

I suspect that is true of Democrats and independents as well in America.

American people are sick and tired of both the Democratic and Republican establishments.

They are equally sick and tired of the very tired and disappointing Obama presidency. A president who is now being mocked and ridiculed in Europe, Asia, the Mideast and around the world for being a spineless wimp. For “leading from behind”. For failing to step up when Syria’s Assad crossed Obama’s “red line”, and for cutting and running in Benghazi and leaving Americans to be tortured and slaughtered. And for alienating America’s closest allies: Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan and Israel and its Mideast allies, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Obama has also diminished America and Americans in the eyes of its enemies; Russia, Iran and China, by Obama’s inactivity, his indifference  and his overall weakness and spinelessness.

And who has the politically tone-deaf Hillary Clinton aligned herself with, but the failed and failing Obama presidency.

Hillary Clinton epitomizes the American political establishment. The old, decaying and dying sclerotic status quo.
There is a revolution stirring in American politics. The angry American people are mad as hell and they are not taking it any more. And by electing Trump president they want to send a message to Hillary that will be heard around the world:

Get the frack out of Washington and politics, you tired, old, lying, corrupt, political hack!

With “Hail, Caesar!”, Coen brothers show they’re still rebel filmmakers

The Coen brothers’ recent film, “Hail, Caesar!” is a pure rollicking delight, their funniest and sweetest film in years.

A loving send-up of the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood in the late 40s and early 50s, it is a film that can be enjoyed by the whole family on so many different levels.

Those were the days when the studio system churned out biblical Ben Hur-type epics with a cast of thousands; song and dance musicals starring Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire; cheesy aquatic dance numbers with Esther Williams; singing cowboy flicks with Gene Autry; and snooty Joan Crawford/Loretta Young New York Upper East Side melodramas.

In “Hail, Caesar!” the Coens brilliantly recreate set pieces from all these genres, but with their signature off the wall, quirky sense of humour.

However, the film is much much more than a an exercise in nostalgia.

On a deeper level, it subtly tackles larger themes of religion, faith, duty, ethics, morality and the influence of art on life and life on art.

The Coens also slyly take a dig at liberal Hollywood icons like George Clooney (who is one of the actual stars of “Hail, Ceasar!”)

The simple plot centers on a day in the life of a film executive and fixer, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) of Capitol Pictures.

This fictional Capitol Pictures is the same studio that seduced an idealistic New York playwright, played by John Turturro, in the Coen brothers’ first Hollywood-centered flick, “Barton Fink.”

Part film noir, part horror flick, “Barton Fink” was influenced by Nathaniel West’s “Day of the Locust” and Polanski’s “Repulsion”, and exposed the Hollywood dream factory as a hellish destination where artistic and creative careers and dreams are shot down in flames, both literally and figuratively.

Fast forward to 2016. Many wonderful Coen films later, the film industry, for all its weirdness, deception and shallowness, has been kind to the Coen brothers, who have clearly mellowed. In “Hail, Caesar!” their satire is still biting and at times edgy, but also joyful and lots of fun.

Eddie Mannix is a devout Catholic, a family man and true believer in God, country and Hollywood. One of the movie’s best running jokes is that Mannix is constantly seeking absolution from his exasperated father confessor, for such venal sins as sneaking cigarettes and lying to his wife. But there is something greater at play.

On a a deeper level, Mannix is conflicted. He loves his work — which is essentially keeping the Hollywood dream factory running smoothly, churning out fluff and idealized illusions, while backstage, he’s dealing with all kinds of sleazy, corrupt and potentially soul-destroying shite.

The Coens take us behind the painted-on backdrops, fake cityscapes and the constant turmoil among the imperfect stars and extras. We see more sausage factory than dream factory.

From this chaos, dreams and memorable images are created. But Mannix can’t help asking himself, is this what his life is all about?

For example, we see Mannix breaking up a soft core photo shoot involving a seemingly virtuous starlet, and bribing police to keep her name out of the gossip mags.

Then he deals with a twice married, bitchy, pregnant Esther Williams type (Scarlett Johansson), by arranging the handoff of her baby to a fake foster parent, then the re-adoption of her own child by the Esther character. (This actually happened, by the way.)

All the while, Mannix is trying to avoid Thora and Thessaly Thatcher, the competitive twin sister gossip columnists ( channeling Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper), both played hysterically by Coen regular Tilda Swinton.

It appears Thora wants to expose how Capitol Pictures’s box office star and matinee idol, Baird Whitlock, (George Clooney) won his first role by doing the horizontal tango with his male director, precious and prissy Shakespearian-trained director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). (Shades of Rock Hudson.)

And Thessaly has heard that Whitlock, playing a Roman tribune in the time of Jesus Christ, is now missing in action from the massive set of the Ben Hur-like biblical epic movie-within-a-movie, also titled “Hail, Caesar!”

On top of everything else, the Coens involve Mannix in three great set pieces that in themselves are worth the price of admission.

One is Mannix leading a focus group of four different religious leaders reviewing the depiction of the deity in the studio’s biblical epic. This exchange is one of the funniest Coen scenes ever.

The other marvelously funny two scenes are a Gene Kelly-like sailor-themed tap dancing routine with a blazing homoerotic subtext, and an attempt to turn singing cowboy Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) into a black-tie matinee idol.

A contrarian view: Ghomeshi will be convicted because his defense counsel screwed up

Contrary to my fellow Rebel Lauren Southern, I predict that former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi will be convicted on at least one charge of assault, if not more than one.

Ghomeshi’s lawyer, Marie Henein is possibly one of the best defense lawyers in Canada.

But she is human. The last time I checked, she wasn’t able to walk on water in her trademark five-inch heels.

Her strength is evident in her enormous self-confidence, but that is also her weakness.

I have followed her career closely over the years, and believe that her arrogance has sometimes led her astray.

I also believe she made a serious mistake in this trial, and that may lead to her client being convicted.

Henein has performed admirably, notwithstanding that her narcissistic client is on trial for four counts of sexual assault and one charge of overcoming resistance by choking, involving three women.

The first complainant testified as to having her hair allegedly pulled back by Ghomeshi on one occasion in a car. She then alleged that on a second occasion while in Ghomeshi’s house, he pulled her hair back a second time and then punched her in the head three times.

The second complainant, who can be identified as actress Lucy DeCoutere, testified that while in Ghomeshi’s home, she was allegedly choked and then slapped three times in the face by Ghomeshi.

The third complainant alleged that while on a park bench, Ghomeshi suddenly bit her shoulder, then placed his hands around her neck making it difficult for her to breathe.

In each case, the complainant admitted that at the beginning of each encounter there was consensual kissing, so each encounter, at least initially, was sexual in nature and consensual.

However, each complainant maintained that at no time subsequent to the kissing but before the alleged assaults did any one of them consent to this hair pulling, punching, choking, punching, biting, choking or slapping.

My view is a layman’s view, but the law is based upon common sense and reasonableness.

In order to convict Ghomeshi, the Crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ghomeshi had both the intention to commit a sexual assault (known as the mental element, or mens rea) and that he actually committed such a sexual assault (known as the actus reus).

The role of the judge in this case is of a trier of fact. It is his job to assess the truthfulness and credibility of the witnesses and determine whether what they are saying is accurate and can be relied upon in making a determination of the facts.

I was not in the court room. I am relying solely on reports by journalists who attended this trial.

In the Crown’s closing argument, the Crown admitted that there were some inconsistencies and omissions in the testimony of  each of the three complainants. The first complainant was unclear as to whether she was wearing hair extensions when her hair was pulled in Ghomeshi’s car, and a little confused as to what car Ghomeshi was driving when one of these alleged incidents occurred.

The first complainant also neglected to mention that she’s sent Ghomeshi her bikini photo subsequent to the alleged assault in Ghomeshi’s house.

The second complainant, Lucy Coutere, neglected to disclose that subsequent to allegedly being choked and slapped three times in the face, she kissed Ghomeshi good night and the next day she wrote to Ghomeshi that “you kicked my ass and that makes me want to **** your brains out”.

DeCoutere also neglected to disclose that she had spent the next day with Ghomeshi and subsequently sent him a six-page love letter.

The third complainant omitted to disclose that subsequent to the alleged choking on the park bench, they had met a second time and shared a consensual sexual encounter.

In her concluding remarks, Henein argued that the Crown has failed to introduce evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that any of these alleged incidents occurred, because all three of these complainant have faulty memories, omitted crucial facts and provided inconsistent statements which undermined their credibility.

The Crown countered that just because a complainant may be fuzzy on peripheral facts, that does not mean that their statements of facts relating to the actual incidents are untrue.

I believe that Henenin made a serious error in not having Ghomeshi testify that either none of these incidents of alleged sexual assault occurred, or — if some such incidents did occur — they were all consensual and had been explicitly consented to by each complainant.

Of course, there were great dangers to Ghomeshi testifying.

If he had, the Crown would have introduced as evidence Ghomeshi’s arrogant Facebook posting in which he admitted to engaging in rough sex, but only of a consensual nature. That posting and other evidence of Ghomeshi’s propensity for rough sex was not before the court.

However, if Ghomeshi had testified that none of the incidents occurred, or some of these incidents had occurred, but there had been prior explicit consent, then it would have been his word and against the words of the complainants.

If Ghomeshi was credible (and admittedly, that is a big “if”), it is my humble opinion that he would have had a better chance of being acquitted on all these counts.

Based upon what has been reported, I do not believe that Henein’s cross examinations sufficiently undermined the credibility of all the complainants and raised reasonable doubt with respect to all the incidents.

I believe that the Crown has successfully made the case that Ghomeshi has sexually assaulted at least one of the complainants if not more, beyond a reasonable doubt.

Why New Hampshire voters flocked to Trump and Sanders

New Hampshire voters handed stunning victories to the two outsiders: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Donald Trump won 36% of the GOP vote, followed by Kasich at 16%. Then the three also-ran amigos: Canadian-born Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and robotic Mario Rubio, all at 11%.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders humiliated Hillary Clinton by defeating her 60% to 39%.

I love the fact that the majority of so-called political experts and pundits on both the left and right in the US and Canada are stumped by the success of the Trumpster and the raging septuagenarian socialistic Sanders, the junior senator from small town-state Vermont.

Trump’s reality TV show run for the presidency was supposed to have fizzled months ago. The experts had the GOP coalescing behind the heavily-funded and favored Jeb Bushm or the more immigrant-friendly, youthful and telegenic Marco Rubio.

Except, unlike Trump, none of these other candidates appear comfortable in their own skins.

Jebster will never be ready for prime time. In the debates, he came across as boring and indecisive, burdened by his tight-assed New England upbringing and the collective memory of his brother George’s shoot from the hip, overly militaristic and economically unsustainable presidency.

Meanwhile, Rubio is just a poor man’s middle of the road Cuban Mitt Romney, caught in the vortex of the GOP’s highly primal primary politics. In the most recent New Hampshire debate, Rubio shot himself in both feet as he robotically repeated his talking points. One day Rubio is all for legitimizing the illegal immigrants. The next day, bowing to the anti-immigrant GOP right wing, he is all for deporting them.

In this sense, he and the other Republican contenders are much like the now reviled President Barack Obama.

President Barry started with such “hope” and promise. But he has been exposed as the sorriest US president in the last century. He talks and talks and talks. But on the world stage, he carries a very limp stick.

Barry, the leader of the most powerful country in the world, is openly mocked by the thuggish Putin, Arab oil sheiks and Iranian mullahs, to whom he continually prostrates himself. He constantly seeks their approval, just as he unsuccessfully sought, throughout his life, the approval of his distant Kenyan father, who had abandoned him at an early age.

Obama will be forever associated with the pussy-whipped slogan, “leading from behind.” His disappearing “red line in the Mideast sand on Syria,” was the final straw that broke the camel’s back (to mix Mideast metaphors.)

From that time forth, Putin jumped in and overshadowed him. The Iranian mullahs mocked him. And Barry’s key allies in Europe, the Mideast (Israel), Asia (Japan) and South Asia (India) began distancing themselves from him and America.

The result?

An embarrassing near-fatal blow to America’s confidence and national self-esteem, both domestically and internationally.

On the domestic front, the economy has benefited the wealthy on Wall Street and Silicon Valley — but the middle class of Middle America? Not so much. And these angry Americans blame Obama and the political elites from both parties for their financially stagnant lives.

All this accounts for the rise of both Trump and Sanders.

Americans — young, old, white, male, female and of color — want America to be great again. They are tired of settling for mediocrity. Of just getting by. They want to prosper. They want a better financial and economic future for themselves and their children. They want to have a shot at what Trump has — and is promising.

They want to live in a stronger and more competitive America which is not afraid to beat China, Japan and Germany on the economic front. A nation that is not afraid to stand up for American values both at home and abroad, one that will exercise its military power against its enemies.

As for the Democrats, Sanders genuinely believes that government can be a force for good and can uplift all Americans, beyond mediocrity to greatness. Sanders has captured the youth vote (both male and female) with his call for massive change. For a revolution: Free public college tuition. Universal, single-payer, publicly-run, affordable, government-controlled health care. That is, The Canadian model.

And like Trump, Sanders has attacked the Wall Street and Silicon Valley elites who appear to be prospering at the expense of hard-working average Americans.

The big story in New Hampshire and in these primaries in general is that Democratic men and women under 45 are flocking to Sanders and have abandoned the Hillary, and for many good reasons.

These young and middle-aged Democrats see Clinton as “yesterday’s woman,” a tired, old, fat congenital liar and prevaricator. Scandals, lies and deceptions are embedded in her DNA: Whitewater; Benghazi; the destruction of her national security/private emails; Slick Willy selling access to Secretary of State Hillary for millions — the list goes on.

Young Democratic women also see Clinton as no advocate for women’s rights. Instead they view her as a power-hungry Lady Macbeth who humiliated and destroyed scores of vulnerable women who’d been preyed upon by her sexual predator of her husband.

I predict a Trump/Sanders fight to the death.

And a Trump White House in 2017.

What the Ghomeshi scandal reveals about CBC’s leftist culture

So remember when the CBC spent months covering the Duffy trial, with the expressed purpose of bringing down the Harper government?

Well, what goes around, comes around. It’s payback time, you slimy, feather-bedding, taxpayer-supported biased CBC miscreants!

The Ghomeshi affair is symptomatic of the CBC’s leftist culture.

After all, CBC discovered and promoted the multicultural, nonwhite, hip Ghomeshi, who is of Iranian descent.

I have studied, read and written about all of Ghomeshi’s behavior towards women both within and without CBC. And his behavior was quite well known for years to CBC superiors, including his immediate boss, who was also of apparent Mideast background.

The CBC knew about Ghomeshi’s treatment of women but permitted Ghomeshi’s alleged abusive actions in the name of political correctness.

In CBC and in other leftist cultures, as we saw in Cologne, Germany, the lives of Ghomeshi’s women were sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

According to that narrative, Mideast nonwhite folks like the hip, progressive Ghomeshi, could do no wrong. It is always the fault of the old or young white dudes.

Well, for CBC, the chop suey has really hit the fan.

Ghomeshi is the hip tip of the iceberg — of a CBC corporate culture that turned a blind eye to vulnerable women both within and outside the organization, because Ghomeshi was a progressive multicultural hero to the left.

This may be CBC’s culture, but this is not Canada’s culture, which treats women equally and with respect.

Ghomeshi is not only on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting and choking women. CBC is on public trial for indulging a multicultural-based sex assault culture in its own halls.

Hotline No Ring: The Obama/Trudeau bromance is over

During the most recent Canadian federal election, when Liberal leader Justin “Selfie” Trudeau reached out to fellow liberal US President Barack Obama for advice, it was love at first sight.

The chemistry was palpable. Both loved basking in their own glory. Both narcissistic to the max. Barack aspired to be post-racial. Justin aspired to a good facial.

They used to chat on the presidential hotline like two love-struck teenagers. Giggling and gossiping and dissing their opponents.

But stuff happened. Their love is no more. Justin sits by his selfie phone, but Barack never calls.

With a nod to my friend, Drake, here is Justin’s lament:

“Hotline- No Ring”

You used to call me on my selfie phone
All day, when you need my vote
Call me on my selfie phone
Late night, when you need support
But your hotline no ring
That can only mean one thing
When your hotline no ring
That can only mean one thing.

Ever since I left the ISIS fight
I got a rep as a useless wimp
Europe wants to leave me out
B, you let me down, you got me kicked out

Cause ever since I left the ISIS fight, you
Started caring less, ignoring me more
Meetings with Aussies on the UN Floor
Hanging with the Dutch, don’t you care anymore?

Ever since I brought in Syrians, you, you, you
You and me, we don’t see eye to eye
I know they’re not martyrs
And would hit on your daughters
You make me feel like I did you wrong
You treat me like I don’t belong.

Ever since I backed away from ISIS
You treat me like I stepped in “scheisis”
Going to Euro meetings without me
Ever since I cut and run,
You think I’m the ballless one
Sucking up to every terrorist
With a knife or gun.

Ever since I caved on ISIS
You never call me on my selfie phone.

German polls: Steep drop in support for Merkel, migrants

As a result of the New Year’s Eve sexual attacks in Cologne and in other German cities by North African/Arab Muslim immigrants, it is just a matter of time before Merkel is thrown under the DeinBus by her own party.

Speaking of DeinBus, a busload of 31 Syrian refugees was sent from a small town in Bavaria (the conservative heartland of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party [CDU] and its coalition partner, the Christian Social Union [CSU) to Merkel’s Berlin office, to demonstrate Bavaria’s opposition to any more refugees being permitted in its region.

Peter Drier, the mayor of the Bavarian town of Landshut was likely speaking for the majority of German people complaining that the current number of over one million refugees cannot be properly integrated and treated properly, particularly if Germany was to face another wave of one million refugees this year.

To date, Merkel has refused to put a cap on the number of refugees entering Germany, on the lame excuse that such a cap can not be enforced. Of course such a cap can be enforced. But it would require erecting walls and fences and doing what other European nations are doing, out of political and national necessity.

Recent polls indicated that Merkel’s approval rating has dropped to its lowest rating since 2011, primarily due to her mishandling the refugee crisis, especially after the Cologne assaults.

Sixty per cent of the poll respondents said that Germany could no longer withstand the flood of refugees, up from 46% in December. Fifty-six per cent of Germans disapproved of Merkel’s handling of the refugee crisis, while 39% supported the Chancellor.

My gut feeling is that this poll seriously underestimates the depth of opposition to Merkel, and to the influx of any more refugees in Germany.

Another German poll revealed that 61% of respondents were opposed to accepting any more refugees since the assaults, and only 29% of those polled believed that Merkel and her government could handle the unrestricted influx of mostly Muslim refugees.

The popularity of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union has dropped to 37%.

To further complicate Merkel’s political life, her coalition partner, the Christian Social Union Party, hasthreatened to take the German government to federal court to force the Merkel government to limit the number of refugees.

(In effect, the CSU are taking themselves to court. How bizarre!)

Another junior coalition partner of Merkel’s government, the Social Democrats, have already broken ranks with Merkel over the refugee matter.

In addition, 40 politicians from Merkel’s own party, CDU, have signed a petition calling for the borders to be closed for all asylum seekers.

Frankly, I, as many Germans and Europeans outside Germany and North Americans, feel a certainSchadenfreude in the precipitous fall of the impervious and proud Merkel.

For years, Merkel, as leader of the most powerful economic engine of Europe, ruled with an iron fiscal fist over the struggling economies of Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain, showing very little sympathy for the plight of their citizens.

Now Merkel is caught in a mishegas of her own making.

It is just a matter of time before a putsch in her own ranks pushes her out of power.

Auf Wiedersehen, Chancellor Merkel: The Sudden Decline of Europe’s Iron Lady

I predict that Chancellor Merkel of Germany, the most powerful European leader of the most powerful country in Europe, will resign within months, if not weeks, forced out by members of her own party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), and her party’s coalition partners.

The causes are many and they keep multiplying, daily.

Let us start with the thoroughly disgusting rapes and other crimes that happened on New Year’s Eve in Cologne and in other German cities.

To date, more than 500 women have filed criminal complaints over the New Year’s Eve attacks, with 40% alleging sexual assaults. Two women have claimed to have been raped. Many victims identified their attackers as men of Arab or North African origin. Of the 32 people suspected of these crimes, 22 are asylum seekers.

The head of the German Federal Criminal Police Office, along with police in Berlin, Hamburg, Bielefeld, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart reported similar incidents. Furthermore, police in Vienna and Salzburg in Austria, and Zurich in Switzerland, raised the alarm about similar mass assaults against women by newly arrived Arab migrants. Sweden and Finland also experienced the same on New Year’s Eve.

On Merkel’s watch, these poor defenseless women have been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. They were victims of her party’s self-destructive fixation with importing and protecting Arab and Muslim men whose cultures and belief systems are hostile to German and European values of equality of men and women.

Why were the German police incapable of protecting the women in Cologne and other German cities? They were under strict orders from Merkel’s officials to keep away from the rampaging Arab and North African migrants for fear of being viewed as racist or anti-immigrant and thereby giving credibility to the right wing anti-immigrant movement.

Is that crazy or what?

At first, German police came out with a public statement that the evening was “uneventful.”

That’s because police authorities were under strict instructions not to disclose the assaults and the ethnic origins of the perpetrators.

Days after the fact, Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger publicly confessed that there were “serious failures” by the police, who were significantly outnumbered but never called for reinforcements. Jaeger further criticized the police for refusing to disclose that the vast majority of the perpetrators were men with migrant backgrounds, blaming this on misguided “political correctness.”

As a result, the chief of police in Cologne was fired (that is, forced into early retirement) in a pathetic effort to restore trust in the police authorities.

To add further insult to the sexual assault injuries committed by those North African and Arab men, the Cologne’s female mayor, Henriette Reker slut-shamed the women for straying too close to these foreigners. She stupidly instructed them to stay at arm’s length from these foreigners in future.

(Perhaps these women should go full niqab so as not to give license to these Arab Muslim men to rape them.)

Fortunately, the mayor was vilified on social media and in the national and international press and was forced to publicly apologize for her ridiculous comments. Her political career is toast.

I predict that Angela Merkel will be following Cologne;s mayor out the political door, with her legacy in tatters.

Since 2015, over a million predominantly Muslim immigrants have entered Germany.

Merkel hoped this charitable act would once and for all cleanse Germany’s tarnished Nazi history.

But as Oscar Wilde wisely and cynically noted, “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Ignoring the legitimate concerns of police, security forces and millions of average working class Germans, Merkel gave a free pass for hundreds of thousands of Mideast and Muslim men to bring their anti-female culture to Germany.

During the New Year’s Eve rape spree, one Syrian male refugee defended his disgusting actions by claiming, “I am Syrian. Merkel has invited us to your country.”

Now Merkel has promised to make it easier for authorities to deport refugees convicted of crimes. But this is way too little and way too late.

Just yesterday, Merkel admitted that Germany has lost control of the refugee crisis.

Yet she still refuses to cap the number of foreign immigrants admitted to Germany.

Popular support for the anti-immigrant right wing parties is surging. Women are leaving the left and Merkel’s Christian Democrat party.

Auf Wiedersehen, Chancellor Merkel. It is time you stayed many arms’ length from the German people you abandoned for political correctness, for political power and for your very wrong-headed personal legacy.

Reviewing Toronto Mayor John Tory’s first flip-flopping year

When the Globe and Mail is scolding a politician for raising taxes, that’s something you notice.

Marcus Gee of The Globe just did that with Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Tory promised throughout the mayoral race that he would keep annual property tax increases at or below the inflation rate.

And sure enough, John Tory is now raising taxes. He shamelessly lied to the Toronto electorate. And he should be exposed as the lying political hack that he is.

But Tory was not finished. He further lied to the Toronto people by trying to spin this tax, not as a tax, but as a “special levy.” What a slimy weasel.

Next, Tory tried to lessen the pain by referring to this annual $13 per household as just the cost of one ticket to the movies. But as Gee notes, that’s not even accurate, either. The $13 amount isn’t just for the first year, but every year. An additional $13 added to the tax bill over five years equals $65, not $13. That is not just one trip the movies, Mr. Tory, you political reprobate.

Recall that Tory promised throughout the campaign that he would be as fiscally prudent as the former mayor Rob Ford, but without the circus. Tory lied about that as well.

Tory has permitted his own mayoral office budget to increase, far in excess of Rob Ford’s own mayoral budget. It’s already approaching David Miller-ian heights of excess and blatant self-aggrandizement.

You recall how sick and tired we were of Miller’s excesses. Well, John Tory is becoming the second coming of David Miller.

And like David Miller before him, John Tory will be ridden out of Toronto on a rail.

Speaking of our transit/rail system, Gee reminds us about Tory’s promise that his so-called “SmartTrack” would not cost the taxpayer one red cent. He said his multi-billion dollar above rail system would be funded, not by the taxpayers, but by the magic of tax increment financing. Or, as we Tory critics called it, “voodoo financing.”

As we predicted, tax increment financing is a sham. So Tory is forced to finally come clean and approach real taxpayers for real taxpayers money to pay for his transit follies.

Let’s look at another broken promise:

During the first mayoral debate against Rob Ford and Olivia Chow, Tory railed against Chow for suggesting that it was more prudent to retain public sector union garbage pickup east of Yonge Street.

Tory argued persuasively that private sector garbage pick up on the west side of the city had produced annual savings of $11 million, for a total savings in four years of $44 million. He vowed that if elected, he would usher in this more efficient and cheaper private sector garbage pick up in east Toronto as well.

Well, a whole year has passed. And as some of us predicted, the spineless Tory has caved to leftist pro-union interests on city council and in the civil service. Toronto’s east end is still stuck with the more costly and less efficient public sector garbage pickup system.

And who can forget Tory’s characteristic political stupidity and tone-deafness this first year?

Both the left and right on city council were staunchly opposed to Toronto wasting millions of dollars in a ridiculous Olympic bid, and most Toronto voters agreed. Yet Tory doggedly came up with a plan, one predominantly funded by the private sector.

And once again, Tory flipped and flopped. Dithered. Procrastinated. Failed to show clear-headed leadership.
Until he was forced to admit defeat, weeks after most citizens had moved on from this ridiculous debate.

Yes, Tory looks good in a Harry Rosen suit. Presumably he can tie his own shoelaces without the help of his myriad of highly paid handlers, consultants, advisers and spin doctors.

Yes, Tory appears to be a decent guy — so decent that other Toronto councilors run roughshod over the spineless mayor.

But John Tory still lacks good political instincts. And a spine. And he’s still is not ready to lead this great city.

“Room”: The small Canadian film with the big Oscar buzz

Normally, when it comes to films, I am a frivolous, superficial and escapist guy.

I love “rom-coms” and wacky off the wall comedies like Bridesmaids or more recently, Amy Schumer’sTrainwreck. Or action/thriller fare as the “Bourne” and “Mission Impossible” series.

But critics are acclaiming Brie Larson’s performance in the drama/thriller Room as Oscar-worthy.

So I decided to get out of my comfort zone and attend a seemingly disturbing and uncomfortable film about a woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and held locked up in a single small room by her captor for many years.

I am glad I did.

Yes, the first half of Room is at times painful to watch.

It is filmed entirely in a sound-proof garden shed. Joy (Brie Larson) a 20-something young woman, is imprisoned with her five year old son, Jack (Jacob Tremblay). Over time, we learn that Joy was picked off the street at 17 by Old Nick, a 40 something slimy dude, and has been living in this shed for seven years. Jack is the result of Joy being raped by Old Nick.

The shed consists of one skylight, a single bed, a makeshift bathroom and tub, a hotplate, microwave, sink, a television and some chairs and a closet where Jack sleeps when Old Nick comes to the shed to regularly rape Joy.

Within these confines, Joy carves out a loving life for herself and Jack. They exercise and cook together. She teaches Jack how to read and write and he expresses himself beautifully. She reads him classic children’s books such as Alice in Wonderland and Robinson Crusoe and tells him Bible stories. She lets Jack grow his hair long like his biblical hero, Samson.

Joy also tries to explain to Jack the magic of the outside world that he could only glimpse upward through a skylight and through television. The two of them bicker like any normal mother and son. But surprisingly, under horrible circumstances, they appear to have created a very warm and loving little family of two.

The screenplay was adapted to the screen by Emma Donoghue, the author of the original award-winning novel of the same name. Room won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was short-listed for the Governor General’s Award, the Man Booker and Rogers Writers Trust awards, and was a New York Times bestseller.

This film is faithful to the book in which the action and the world is seen through Jack’s eyes. And that is both the book’s and the film’s genius.

Jack and Joy eventually escape and the second half of the film depicts how Jack and his mom relate to the outside world, once Joy is reunited with her estranged parents.

There is joy, literally and figuratively, as Jack tries to embrace, comprehend and articulate the real outside world. But there is also pain, frustration, and confusion as Joy tries to come to grips with how her life has been so altered by that one fateful day when she was kidnapped.

It’s a small movie, filmed in Toronto, with great Canadian talent and a big heart.

Room is well worth seeing.