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JuicyLesson 204: Rob Ford; More Fear and Loathing Plus Music from Tom Petty …

Featured today is a video showing stills of Rob Ford pulling on what has been described as a copper pipe, inhaling and then exhaling a fairly large puff, not the first time that Ford has been on the pipe nor is it the first time that he has been caught at it.

Like many others, I believe that Ford has got to go. How long can this drama centred on the drug- and alcohol-addicted mayor continue? For fuck sakes, the guy’s obviously in need of a serious dose of self-respect. No one with even a modicum degree of respect for oneself could or would be willing to subject himself to the ridicule that Ford has allowed himself to be subjected to since late last summer when the first whispers about the existence of a video showing Ford blowing crack surfaced for the first time. By the way, that particular video has not been released, at least until the time of this writing, for public consumption.

Hopefully the municipal and provincial governments involved have learnt their lessons from the Ford debacle. For example, there has to be a procedure put in place to suspend or totally get rid of any future mayors who prove themselves to be unfit to hold office as Ford has so obviously done. No way he should have been allowed to continue as the mayor – whether of Canada’s largest city or not – throughout this whole extremely disturbing sequence events but there is no way to legally remove him. Unfortunately both for him and for Toronto’s citizenry, he has successfully fought to maintain his job, in name only because he has had much of his power stripped from him and placed in the hands of Toronto’s Deputy Mayor, Norm Kelly, and to whom Ford voluntarily relinquished his little remaining power before leaving Toronto Thursday morning, landing in Chicago at around noon.

If the now ex-mayor had not decided to leave, as he has done, what could have happened subsequently boggles the mind. So, get it together governments of Toronto and Ontario to ensure that this never happens again by putting a system in place designed to purge from public office those, like Ford, who have shown themselves to be unworthy of occupying it.

Another point to be made here – or more appropriately a question to be asked – centres on Ford’s basic inability to determine when he has put himself in dangerous situations and once in those situations, he seems unable to differentiate his allies from his enemies. For example, who the hell took that photo or made the alleged second video which has just emerged from the train wreck that is Rob Ford’s fucking life? Someone in his sister’s basement with Ford at that time must have snapped the stills showing him with the pipe and made the video which has yet to be released. Who was it?

His sister, an admitted and self-professed drug addict, may have taken the photo and may have done so to get her brother to seek help that she and everyone else except Ford himself strongly believes that he needs. Also in the room at the time were a dope dealer and this guy, whose name has come up a number of times previously. Who do you think took the picture?

Music from Tom Petty — “You don’t how it feels”

From the GLOBE AND MAIL, Thursday, May 1/14.
Enough already; Rob Ford must resign.

The Rob Ford story changes; the Rob Ford story remains the same. The past year has been like a non-stop showing of Groundhog Day meets Barfly. The mayor is caught in a drunken stupor or a drug-addled state. He’s in a basement, or at a restaurant or in a bar. Racist invective is spewed. Or sexist phrases. Or homophobic words. Or all of the above. A heartfelt apology is issued. Promises are made to cease and desist, and to seek treatment. Change is guaranteed. And then? It’s rewind and repeat, again and again and again.

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Late on Wednesday night, as this newspaper released details of a new video showing Mr. Ford smoking what appears to be crack, the mayor said he would be taking a leave of absence. Last year, when revelations about his habits, relationships and addictions first became public, a leave to seek medical treatment might have meant something. At least it would have been a start. But now? It’s more than a little late. He’s been lying for too long and carrying on even longer.

Mr. Ford on Wednesdsay said that “I know that I need professional help,” and “I am now 100 per cent committed” to getting it. But he’s been saying as much for months. After the first crack video and police surveillance transcripts become public last year, he admitted to his long-denied crack use, swore that he would change and promised to seek help. Yet his behaviour remained the same as ever, as did his promises.

On Thursday, the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, and his mother both urged that Mr. Ford be left alone and given some privacy. But the man’s behaviour – the words that come out of his mouth, the things he puts in his body, and the people he chooses to spend time with – has been the subject of public interest because he’s a senior public official, the mayor of Canada’s largest city. And as of Thursday afternoon, voters still don’t know what he’ll be doing on this leave of absence, where he’s going or how long he’ll be there. It is not yet known if he’s going to rehab.

Rob Ford has not changed over the past year, and neither have the needs of the city of Toronto. He should have resigned a long time ago and he must resign now. More than ever, the city needs to be saved from its mayor. And the mayor, as always, needs to be saved from himself.
— FROM the Globe and Mail, May 1/14

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