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Golden Screw award for 2015 goes to Goodwill Toronto

It is time to announce the golden screw winner for 2015. It was hard to pick a winner this year; so many candidates, but it is hard to build a good file on any of them. Cause pimp groups seem to be getting better at keeping negative information about themselves off the net.

coping with counterattack

There are not so many people contributing information. This may be because of the troubles we have had this year with a new tack from the authoritarian left networks in pushing us off the net. The owner of the cause pimps web site was sued in small claims court for defamation. They have caught on that he is being blackballed by the scum who run that court because he could cause an awful lot of damage to a lot of quasi criminal groups if he could actually use the damned courts as the courts ought to be useful for.

So the web site has been moved to a server in Switzerland, the great haven of freedom from internet bullying of various kinds. A new domain name had to be found, too. But this web project has needed a name change to make it clear exactly what the point of it is.

There are now some other sites using 'cause pimp' to indicate someone seeking to promote and fundraise for social organizations. These groups usually are cause pimp types of operations, that is using 'social activism' to make jobs and businesses for people. This can create an undeserved positive connotation to these organizations and to the activity of cause pimps.

However, some supporters of this site have complained that the new name and the registry in Switzerland makes it harder to find on the net. It always has been hard to find on the net, but we do not want to get into a rankings war with these people; it would be futile. The site has always attracted a reasonable number of visits by word of mouth and references. Recently more traffic has come from twitter.

real problem, real solutions

The thing is, these scum are not going to be brought down just by putting up a web site about them. If that were possible, a few outfits like Federation of Metro Tenants Associations would have been gone long ago. The site is for people who are already fairly clued in about how the world really works, and who know how to really search the net for good information.

To get rid of the cause pimps organizations is to change the political culture in Toronto. That is why the owner of this site is doing more work on democracy reform, especially on deepening democracy and localizing democracy. The cause of all this cause pimp corruption is ultimately with the kind of hyper partisan mentality that develops from the system of political parties, especially in winner take all voting systems.

Paradoxically, the absence of a formal party system in Toronto makes this hyperpartisanship even more hyper, more intense. The New Democrats used to be the big problem here, but the Liberals are becoming as bad. The conservatives are not as powerless in Toronto as some people think, but they seem to be pretty much amateurs at this kind of patronage based machine politics.

But the conservatives have more and easier sources of funding. The NDP cannot work as a formal party in Toronto and so has a hard time raising funds and resources to run campaigns. But the nasty way it goes about getting resources, by having networks of cadres take over organizations and use them as fronts, which they learned from their sometime buddies in the communist groups, antagonizes people.

The NDP is famous for not really knowing what it is for, but taking its natural supporters for granted, treating them with contempt, and getting totally out of synch with them. That is why it has been almost wiped out in federal and provincial politics in Toronto, though it still has a lot of power at city hall.

A paradox; NDP uses patronage intensely in local politics to compensate for the lack of a formal party system, but this hurts it more in higher levels where there are formal parties. But most voters in Toronto do not know and are not much interested in the party allegiances of their councillors. Since they cannot vote for the idea aggregators that parties are, and since local government delivers most of the services which really matter to people, the Toronto voter are concerned almost solely with local issues.

Yet here is what would really reduce the cause pimping in Toronto; a party system based on proportional representation, with a system of funding for each party. Of course this will require a huge fight to implement, as a whole network of party hacks and politicians and social 'activists' and agency apparatchiks has become accustomed to this way of doing things.

So there is why it becomes necessary to take over non profit organizations and use them as host organisms to support a small army of 'clients' who can turn out during elections. Or more sinister, to attack people who are seen as a threat to the front organization or the network it works within.

The trouble is that too many parasites tend to pile onto the captured organization, which might in itself be a useful or critical organization, and weaken and kill their host. We see these kinds of collapses happening every so often in Toronto; everything from the humane society to the Ryerson radio station CUIT, to most of the local legal clinic system, and most recently the Goodwill second hand stores.

This last is a pretty big fish to turn belly up, with plenty of ties to other pimp infested groups. It has been a delight for the right wing press who miss the real point about its collapse. The collapse did not break into public consciousness until January of 2016, but clearly a crisis had been building up during the last months of 2015.

winner

So, here is our golden screw winner for 2015. We have changed the website greatly, but we are keeping the golden screw awards. Now, what else can be said about this sad turn of events, which has created a big hole for so many people?

scapegoats

Central to the collapse of Goodwill has been the character of Keiko Nakamura. I have spoken with her a couple of times and watched her performance when she was head of Toronto housing (TCHC). She struck me as someone who is very competent in some ways, and trying to do what is right, but who has a fatal flaw; she cannot say 'no' to people. She needs to be liked by everyone.

As such she gets used by people with more sinister motivations, and made the scapegoat when the inevitable collapse happens. She is no doubt finished as a manager of anything. But clearly she is not solely to blame for the collapse of goodwill, just as the trouble with TCHC started long before she came along.

There is no way to really piece together exactly what was going on inside Goodwill a few weeks ago, but the broad pattern is familiar. The board all abruptly resigned, which seemed to catch Keiko by surprise. This is clearly what prompted her to shut everything down.

Much heat but little light is generated by all the news coverage of the collapse. The more right wing papers have their agendas, which the Goodwill fiasco works well with if you are selective with facts. One thing that did not cause the Goodwill collapse was the mere fact that it was unionized. Similar operations are also unionized and doing just fine.

what happened

The signs are of a politicized board. You had all these people who were getting management jobs at Goodwill without being properly qualified. They cycled through and then moved on to other jobs in government or the non profit sector.

A couple of inside accounts tell of a bloated management, no clear job descriptions, and no one taking responsibility for anything. This usually indicates a top management with little power, who were being told who to hire and unable to get rid of them if they could not do the job. That sounds a lot like how it went at TCHC, and still does.

These political cadres are powerful. At TCHC both Keiko and her predecessor Derek Ballantine got a very rough ride whenever they got in the way of these people. We know what happened to Gene Jones when he tried to clear them out and tighten the command structure.

The cadres want their salaries paid, and subsistence paid their 'clients' or 'members', while they spend their time working for their networks. At TCHC, they also liked their friends to get cheap housing in one of TCHCs choicer buildings. At Goodwill, supplying free labor under some sort of 'job training' was demanded.

No doubt, Keiko will be expected, like a good mafia soldier, to take the fall, keep her mouth shut, and later on get put into some new position as a reward for loyalty. But Goodwill is now finished in Toronto. Its role in the low income survival economy will be taken over by Sally Ann and a few other groups who can do the job better because of fewer conflicting aims.

This is likely why Goodwill collapsed at this time; they could no longer enjoy a monopoly over a needed service. When the board decided there was no more to be got out of the host organism, they did a 'bust out' just like the scum who wrecked the CUIT radio station.

And that, folks, is why Goodwill is the golden screw award recipient for 2015.