Posts Tagged: "Mary Lou Ambrogio"

My Sober Second Thoughts About the Senate

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

“The press leans Liberal which explains why it’s only since the Conservatives have had a majority in the Senate that they’ve become obsessed with it.”

Mary LouIt’s all fun and games until someone loses their taxpayer funded entitlements. The vitriol we’re witnessing in this election isn’t about Duffy, missing and murdered aboriginal women, muzzled scientists and Canada going from 2.5 million protected lakes and rivers to 159. Those are all red herrings. The madness we’re witnessing is all about public servants and CBC executives losing their entitlements. This is what has turned these ‘loving’ creatures on the left into invective-spewing demons.

If you don’t believe it, try to engage them in serious policy discussions taking the conservative position. They won’t offer a rational alternative and the discussion will only result in more over-the-top rhetoric which they’ll then aim at you instead of Harper. Fortunately, election day is almost here and I can’t wait until it’s over. While I’m genuinely concerned about how we’re governed and generally enjoy politics the way some people enjoy sports, this has been like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

My ideological position has never been a secret so of course I don’t enjoy the way conservatives are being vilified but truly, the Harper Derangement Syndrome is out of control. The prolonged fever they’ve worked themselves into has clearly made them delusional because apparently they actually believe the crazy things they say about Harper and conservatives. I know because I’ve attempted to engage in reasonable conversations about real issues but they just can’t seem to stop battling the demons they’ve conjured up in their fevered minds. It’s too bad because we’re missing an opportunity to have important discussions about matters of substance and consequence.   Continue Reading

The Unworthy Joys of Schadenfreude

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

“In the end, the main thing we’re left with after yet another incident of unseemly politicking, is a perfectly clear demonstration of why most people won’t enter public life.”

?????????????????????????I’ll admit it. The first thing I felt when I heard that Bill Armstrong was suing a laundry list of characters for defamation was schadenfreude.

Hamlet said, “‘Tis dangerous when the baser natures come, and that is true.

But before that he said, “Their defeat does by their own insinuation grow,” which is often also true and when that is the case, we humans tend to enjoy seeing someone get their proper comeuppance.

At the end of May, The London Free Press reported that councilor Bill Armstrong had named Corus Entertainment, radio show host Craig Needles, and a couple of Armstrong’s political rivals and allies alike, in a lawsuit alleging that they had conspired to smear him on two AM980 radio segments during the 2014 municipal election.

Those named in the lawsuit had discussed issues old and new that had been swirling around the 20 year council veteran as he ran for his seventh term. He won the election, by the way, and given his victory, one might have thought he’d choose to let sleeping dogs lie, but one would be wrong.

Gord Hume, a man with over 30 years experience in both media and politics, described this type of lawsuit as “virtually unheard of”, and it’s easy to understand why. Most people accept that when you enter public life you have to put your big boy pants on and expect that people will talk smack about you, especially if your public life involves politics in any way. Continue Reading

Anatomy of ‘Progressivism’

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Mary Lou“If you take them at their word when they say they care about individuals and think everyone should have a say, that’s hard to square with their emphasis on centralized decision making and tolerance of ever-expanding bureaucracies.”

Words matter. But, not in the way that Jihadists, feminists and the like would have you believe. Contrary to what they claim, words are not actual weapons and while they can hurt our feelings, they can’t chop our heads off or slash 23 cents off of every dollar from a woman’s pay cheque.

They can be used to lie to us though, as in, “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”. In the preceding example of Orwellian language distortion, words are used to describe the exact opposite of what is meant. To that end, maybe we should carefully examine the term “progressive” and see if the outcomes imagined by proponents of this political movement actually match up to what the word suggests.

Most understand “progress” to be a good thing, as in, “Johnny is progressing well in grade three,” but the word itself only describes a movement towards something, so an action could just as well lead to a negative outcome as in, “the cancer is progressing at an alarming rate”.

Progressivism is better described as a “movement” than a political philosophy. The movement began with a strong strand of populism and continues to be primarily fuelled by emotion, unconstrained by reason or sober second thought. Well-intentioned but ill-considered, it tends to be reactionary without requiring much proactive thought or consideration for bothersome things like “consequences”.

Conservatism says the ‘tried and true’ should guide us while Liberalism suggests that ‘free will’ should reign. Progressivism appears to just mean “go”. But “go” where? One man’s progress may be another man’s regress, as noted in the difference between “progressing well through grade three” versus “the cancer is progressing rapidly to stage three”. Continue Reading

An Entrenched Incivility that Precludes Debate- The Yodeller Interview with William D. Gairdner

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - Interviews
The London Yodeller

MARY LOU INTERVIEW MAY 14 John Gairdner(1)“While humans probably love freedom and security with an equal passion, what they really love more than both of these things, is control.”

William D. Gairdner, Ph.D., has been an Olympic athlete, an academic, a businessman, and a successful author. After earning a number of higher degrees, including a Doctorate in Literature and Philosophy from Stanford University, he taught at York University in Toronto for several years, and then decided to pursue a career in business, from which he retired in 1988 to devote his time to writing. Beginning in 1990, he produced a string of bestselling books, including The Trouble with Canada (# 1 in Canada in 1990) and The War Against the Family. He was then the managing editor of Canada’s Founding Debates – a landmark 400 page compendium of official reports from the pre-Confederation debates that took place in the seven British North American colonies as they considered whether or not to become part of ‘a more viable union’. Gairdner went on to publish The Trouble with Democracy, The Book of Absolutes, and The Trouble with Canada … Still. This follow-up to his first book, was released in 2010 and sold out in three months.

Bill’s latest book, released in February 2015, is The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree.  Bill describes its major premise: “The theme of The Great Divide is that the populations of the democratic world are becoming increasingly divided from within, due to a growing ideological incompatibility between modern liberalism and conservatism. This is partly due to a complex mutation in the concept of liberal democracy itself, and the resulting divide is now so wide that those holding to either philosophy on a whole range of topics, can barely speak with each other without outrage (the favorite emotional response from all sides). Clearly, civil conversation at the surface has been failing – and that could mean democracy is failing.”

That subtitle, “Why Liberals and Conservatives Will Never, Ever Agree,” concerns me. I always thought left and right could at least agree on what the problems were but diverged in their solutions?

It is indeed a provocative sub-title. This book was produced by an American publisher, and down there, the two words – liberal and conservative – are taken to indicate underlying political and moral disposition rather than party affiliations. As you know, if we speak only of policy and legislation, there are many liberal republicans, and conservative democrats. So from the first page of The Great Divide we tried to make it clear that this is not a book about politics or parties. Its focus is on the underlying and – in my view – incompatible world-views that these two terms designate. In the field of policy, it is true that in the long tradition of so-called liberal democracy, the objective has always been to find compromises that make their way into law. A good thing, needless to say. You are correct that there is often agreement as to ends, but strong differences as to means. There is a means divide. I try to point out why that is so, and why, even though compromises are often found, liberals and conservatives nevertheless can never agree because their disagreements are rooted in mutually-exclusive philosophical and moral propositions, versions of human nature, and so on. Continue Reading

How Did a Commitment to Free Speech Become Illiberal?

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

“It’s hard to vilify someone or impugn their character when you know them, know their family, know how they treat others and know what experiences have shaped their views.”

Mary LouSome of my best friends were gay but then I came out as a conservative and they started acting like they didn’t even know me. For all we hear about how hard it is to be gay, transgendered and/or some new category of made up gender identity heretofore unknown to mankind, this complaint sounds terribly anachronistic to me. “Get with the times people!” I want to shout. I remember when coming out of the closet was problematic but those days are gone. The worst thing you can come out as now is a person with right of centre views.

Deny it all you want, but I’ve lived it and watched it happen to others. Most fascinating is when it happens to those who don’t consider themselves ‘conservative’ but who inadvertently wander off the progressive plantation on one issue or another due to a sudden urge to speak common sense in a world rife with nonsense.

I recall the first time I really understood that coming out might hurt my social life. Not that I had much of one once marriage and baby carriage came, but humans are social creatures and it’s nice to have a few people besides family that aren’t ashamed to say they like you. Having taken a pass on what’s referred to as ‘higher education,’ the bulk of my friendships were made in my punk days with people who were either musicians or artists – many of them remaining unmarried and childless long into adulthood. The opportunities for our friendships to evolve along with our lives weren’t really there since we took different paths. We didn’t bump into each other at school bake sales or PTA meetings so the shared interests that were the basis of those old friendships were gone.

There were a few I stayed connected with by email and occasional coffee chats despite lifestyle differences. In 2004 sad news came of a friend who was ill and dying so a reunion of several bands was organized for a fundraiser that would bring together people who had since scattered. We’d all converge at Call the Office to raise money and reminisce and it would happen during the federal election. Continue Reading

Letters to the Editor

- - Everything Else
The London Yodeller


One Step Beyond – London’s Theatre Future [Theatre Space, Mar. 5, Jeff Culbert]

Absolutely great points made here by Jeff. I’d really enjoy more plays about this actual city and the people whether documentary, historical, present, future or imaginary, and sketch comedy on the same topics. Something I love about the Blyth Festival is the local specifics of the plays. I guess that tradition began with The Farm Show. Where’s the comedy show about the Fontana Ate, for example? Too late now maybe, but last year it might have been a sensation. – Art Fidler Continue Reading


Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Mary Lou


The Fontana 8 may be gone, but they’re not forgotten.  Tire Gate has reinvigorated the passions of those infected with Fontana 8 Derangement Syndrome. The latest scandal has given us an economy size version of the Fontana 8 meme, reduced to the ‘Free Wheeling Four’, showing that there’s still considerable mileage in running down the gang that tried to bring down spending. Time will tell if it has the kind of traction of its predecessor meme. Continue Reading

What on Earth Was Andrew Lawton’s Suspension Really About?

Mary Lou Ambrogio - - News & Politics
The London Yodeller

Mary Lou“Emerging Leaders is missing an opportunity to keep an impressive young leader of today and tomorrow employed in London”

Emerging Leaders’ (EL) mandate is “to inspire, encourage and support the leaders of tomorrow”. Yet, this taxpayer funded make-work program for people with no discernable skills is missing an opportunity to defend an impressive young leader of today and tomorrow and keep him employed in London. Despite the fact that Andrew Lawton, host of ‘London’s Most Irreverent Talk Show’ on AM980 has recently brought London to national attention with his meaty interviews with Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and despite many contributions to local culture as an actor, singer, musician and dynamic speaker, some people want him gone from AM980. Why? Continue Reading