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Trump, baseball, and the last farmer standing…

February 8, 2017

I’m in Toronto for the weekend and the free subway newspaper has a profile on the last standing farmer working within Toronto’s city limits. (https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/02/06/two-centuries-and-counting-for-torontos-last-farming-family.html)

He is a man named Dale. He has 350 acres in Scarborough. The land is worth millions to developers. He prefers to grow crops. The farm has been in the family since 1805.

The last farmer.

We have given up on these men at our own peril. Our faith in an international – global – food system absolute.

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With Trump now in charge, and with a Presidential approval rating among Republicans that soars somewhere into the clouds, we sleep a little less easily, for we are now just imagining what even a little fascism can do.

I think very soon, we are going to find ourselves to be in the same position as this year’s Toronto Blue Jays – not the best team in baseball, though not the poorest either – not as talented as last season’s team (which was less talented then the year before that) – with some explosive starters – but with no relievers and middling bench strength.

We have forgotten that good pitching always beats good hitting.

I think baseball was so popular in the heartland of America, where the last farmers live, because farmers much more so understand the strategy of good pitching. That one’s real strength is knowing there is a good bullpen behind you.

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 The poor people of rural Ontario, people living in places the Toronto Star once called the Ozarks of Ontario, have been protesting the high cost of electricity (known in Ontario as Hydro One) ever since Hydro service was semi-privatized a couple of years ago and prices started to jump.

Thousands of rural people suddenly found themselves disconnected.

But “rural Ontario” may as well be in the Appalachians as far as politicians and the media care.

Which made yesterday’s front page story on the high cost of Hydro in the Toronto Star that much more ironic.

“It’s crazy,” cottage owner says of shocking hydro delivery charge.” (The Star’s headline read.)

You see, “rural Ontario” is not known to urbanites as rural Ontario – a place where people live and work and have families, grow old and die. Rural Ontario has been transformed into “cottage country” by city-centered people.

Cottage Country: the place where you have a 2,500 sq ft cottage on a lake, where the sun shines and the children swim, where you drink a beer and your wife has a cranberry cocktail while you watch the latest Netflix offering on the flat screen, while a loon calls in the night.

The front page story was about a computer programmer from Toronto who had to pay a $82 delivery charge to get his $1 of electricity to his unused cottage in the Muskokas.

To add another layer of irony to the story, Premier Wynn, who sold off part of Hydro One and who’s polling numbers are the worst of any Premier in Canada, after months of selling to the public the positivities of privatization, now stands faux outraged at the podium and tries to echo the voice of the old NDP Party.

“Every month people in our community are struggling to cover the total cost on their bills,” she said.

Whatever Kathleen.

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Wouldn’t it be great if we could send politicians like Wynn, and Trudeau back to whatever hole they came from. At least with Harper we knew what we were getting, there was no bullshit.

They think that just because they support Gay Pride, anti-racism, or multiculturalism, that is all that is required to make them fit to lead.

They do whatever the Bankers tell them to do, because, well they are the so-called experts on such things.

Our farm dog can smell the scent of wolves long before he watches as they cross the back of our fields at night.

Well, we have all caught a whiff of the lies that are daily sold to us as our own good.

The privatization of essential government services, Trudeau’s support of pipelines and Bill C-51.

It’s really starting to stink.

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Trump outed the courts on the weekend as the supporters of terrorism, in a chess game that has America drifting ever closer to the end of the idea that we should be ruled by laws and constitutions, and towards the petty dictates of a Dictator.

The fascist strategy always involves the removal of the courts as the law of the land. When the people have collectively agreed to uphold Constitutions, Bill of Rights, the United Nation’s Proclamation on Human Rights, and that this is supposed to be the first and solemn oath – then the courts are the first that have to go.

With Sunday’s federal appeals court decision to stay Trump’s Islamophobic anti-immigration act, they have effectively set up a show down with Trump’s White House.

Any Muslim terrorist attack within the USA (real or manufactured) will now be blamed on the Courts. American deaths will be laid at their feet.

When that happens, Trump will walk through the doors to their chambers and throw the judges to the streets to be mauled by the masses.

How long, do you think, it will take a pharmaceutical company to figure out a pill for our impending collective freak-out?

(And don’t think Canadians are exempt. A Federal Court recently ruled that the federal government has been illegally spying on Canadians – at least for the last 10 years. And for the second time in the last three years CSIS has violated its legal responsibilities by lying to the courts. The Liberal government refuses to rule out changing the laws to make these crimes legal.)

 

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2017 5:12 pm

    Dale is a friend of mine. He is the last large scale farmer in Toronto. He lives on expropriated land. The land was expropriated in the 70’s , a period of mass expropriations by Canada (Pickering Airport), Ontario (Seaton Development), and Toronto. His family settled the land in the 1870’s. He’s on a yearly lease and also rents farmland locally to sustain his ability to produce sustainable crops, which makes it tough to plan for the future. He’s an incredible individual and intends to keep farming as long as the land is available.

    • S.J. Hines permalink*
      February 9, 2017 5:03 pm

      Thanks for the insight Ed.

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