Someone is having fun with Rob Ford’s YouTube channel:

The Google Ads that pop up at the bottom of the screen when you watch Toronto’s internationally controversial mayor, Rob Ford, on his YouTube show Ford Nation are, well, hilarious.

(Keep in mind, these are all actual and completely unaltered screen grabs from the Ford Nation episodes on YouTube).

- We have the bold “High style" notation below the face of the mayor who famously admitted to smoking crack cocaine "in a drunken stupor";

- There is the stark “No home is safe" ad beneath Rob and his city council brother Doug, two of the most polarizing political figures in Canada;

- The “Justin Trudeau poll" ad reminds us that some accounts of the Rob Ford crack video had him slurring homophobic slurs about the Liberal leader;

- “You just know they’ve got to be evil," is a headline under the Fords that will resonate with his vociferous opponents;

- The “Police training" ad could be seen as a nod to the Fords’ contention that Toronto’s chief of police Bill Blair is a bad top cop who has squandered money investigating the mayor and came up short.

Can it all be coincidence?

Or has the genius of Google Ads managed to tell the raucous, rollicking story of Rob Ford in just five commercial plugs?

Episode 2 of my Mafia WIRETAP series.

Real wires of real gangsters.

Listen, watch, subscribe, share. Thank you.

Real wires of real gangsters:

Listen in on secret police wiretaps as Mafia boss Vito Rizzuto takes care of business. This is the first mini episode in my online WIRETAP series; all five episodes are available now on my YouTube channel, with more to come.

Listen, watch, subscribe, share.  Thank you.

spicyshimmy:

no one fights like jim kirk

from great heights like jim kirk

no one’s style of weird combat delights like jim kirk’s

for there’s no one as defiant of gravity

he’s perfect. a pure paragon

Fav is #3: the Butt Slam. Right out of WWE.

26,351 notes

Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind, former driver of Jimmy Hoffa and Mafia bosses and also the subject of my latest book, had lunch on March 5, 2014, with infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, George Chuvalo, the boxing great who twice fought Muhammad Ali, and others. Here’s an annotation of the photo capturing the raucous lunch:
The Place: Barberians Steakhouse, a prestigious and storied restaurant at 7 Elm St., in downtown Toronto. For 50 years, this place has been host to most of the city’s most interesting people.
The Guest List: Left to right in photo: Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind; current Canadian heavyweight boxing champ Neven “No Surrender” Pajkić; ex-fighter Billy Lehman; Mayor Rob Ford; Tom Doyle, vice-president of Loss Prevention Services; George Chuvalo. Arriving late and not in this photo was the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford.
The Menu: Chuvalo had the rib eye steak; The Weasel and Doyle had the lamb chops; Rob Ford had salad with grilled chicken; Pajkić had steak; Doug Ford had soup; Lehman left before ordering. No alcohol was served. The Weasel ordered half-and-half cranberry/pineapple juices for everyone; Rob had a cola and there is a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water on the table to share.
The Conversation: The group of pals are supporting the troubled mayor’s candidacy for re-election as Mayor of Toronto and wanted to discuss how they could help. Their involvement will be on a volunteer basis.
The Controversy: George Chuvalo transformed his fame into being a fierce anti-drug crusader after dramatically losing three of his sons and his wife to drug-related incidents and yet is supporting a mayor who has admitted to smoking crack-cocaine and abusing other drugs. Also, The Weasel has a criminal record and has long links to the Mafia and other crime figures, although he switched sides and worked as a police informant for decades. But the mayor has also spoken out against snitches, so there might be a reason they sat as far apart as they could.
The Bill: It is understood that Doug Ford picked up the tab at the end. You can be damned sure The Weasel didn’t pay.
The Story: here’s a piece I wrote about the lunch with colleague Joseph Brean in the National Post: http://natpo.st/1hUY8Sm
The Book: The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob is being released in paperback this month by HarperCollins. More information is here: http://amzn.to/1nBNj9z

Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind, former driver of Jimmy Hoffa and Mafia bosses and also the subject of my latest book, had lunch on March 5, 2014, with infamous Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, George Chuvalo, the boxing great who twice fought Muhammad Ali, and others. Here’s an annotation of the photo capturing the raucous lunch:

The Place: Barberians Steakhouse, a prestigious and storied restaurant at 7 Elm St., in downtown Toronto. For 50 years, this place has been host to most of the city’s most interesting people.

The Guest List: Left to right in photo: Marvin “The Weasel” Elkind; current Canadian heavyweight boxing champ Neven “No Surrender” Pajkić; ex-fighter Billy Lehman; Mayor Rob Ford; Tom Doyle, vice-president of Loss Prevention Services; George Chuvalo. Arriving late and not in this photo was the mayor’s brother, Doug Ford.

The Menu: Chuvalo had the rib eye steak; The Weasel and Doyle had the lamb chops; Rob Ford had salad with grilled chicken; Pajkić had steak; Doug Ford had soup; Lehman left before ordering. No alcohol was served. The Weasel ordered half-and-half cranberry/pineapple juices for everyone; Rob had a cola and there is a bottle of San Pellegrino sparkling water on the table to share.

The Conversation: The group of pals are supporting the troubled mayor’s candidacy for re-election as Mayor of Toronto and wanted to discuss how they could help. Their involvement will be on a volunteer basis.

The Controversy: George Chuvalo transformed his fame into being a fierce anti-drug crusader after dramatically losing three of his sons and his wife to drug-related incidents and yet is supporting a mayor who has admitted to smoking crack-cocaine and abusing other drugs. Also, The Weasel has a criminal record and has long links to the Mafia and other crime figures, although he switched sides and worked as a police informant for decades. But the mayor has also spoken out against snitches, so there might be a reason they sat as far apart as they could.

The Bill: It is understood that Doug Ford picked up the tab at the end. You can be damned sure The Weasel didn’t pay.

The Story: here’s a piece I wrote about the lunch with colleague Joseph Brean in the National Post: http://natpo.st/1hUY8Sm

The Book: The Weasel: A Double Life in the Mob is being released in paperback this month by HarperCollins. More information is here: http://amzn.to/1nBNj9z

2 notes

I found Santa’s mobster!

When officials in New York and Rome jointly unveiled evidence of mobsters in two of the most notorious crime cartels moving drugs and money across three continents, no one mentioned the strange Canadian connection — Santa’s workshop in Ontario.

Emerging as a central figure in Tuesday’s arrests, accused of forging new links between the deadly, drug-rich Mafia of Italy’s Calabria region and the notorious American Mafia family once led by John Gotti, is a former Canadian resident who made thousands of wooden toys for charity in a prison workshop near Kingston, Ont.

Nicola Antonio Simonetta, who went by the name Tony in Canada, was heralded as the “convict-turned-Claus” for his toy-making charity work. That was in 1985, seen in top photo by Ottawa Citizen photographer Wayne Cuddington.

Tuesday, he was accused of being a Mafia member and masterminding a large-scale plot to smuggle heroin and cocaine around the world, seen in bottom photo by the Calabrian press.

After 30 years, he still loves his mustache.

Please read my full, exclusive report: http://natpo.st/1kAbOVt

2 notes

Founding member of Anonymous set up by FBI to retrieve sensitive national security data he hacked? Or kiddie porn purveyor fleeing just punishment? 

Canadian authorities are seeking to deport an American man who claims he is a founding member of the notorious hacking group Anonymous, accusing him of espionage against Canada’s national interests.

The story of Matthew Paul DeHart — once cloaked by court-imposed secrecy — is muddied, however, by his claim of being psychologically tortured by U.S. agents trying to recover sensitive national security information, by child pornography charges he faces in the United States and by concerns over an apparent psychotic break.

Read my piece on this mysterious case: http://natpo.st/15lhRFo

(Source: news.nationalpost.com)

The Hobo Signs of San Francisco

Is cardboard the Twitter of the homeless?

While every city has its struggles with poverty and homelessness, San Francisco seems to have more than its share of people on the margins asking for help — often with a sign scrawled on cardboard.

Some go for wit (“Why Lie? I need a beer”) and others explain their troubles (“Homeless, legally blind”). Some signs are humble (“We are in need of a blessing”) and others are in poor taste (“I’m getting divorced. I need money for a hitman”).

Here are some I saw recently…
imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage

42 notes

I went on a night hike with conservation activists to see if a rare, endangered species of amphibian had returned to their restored breeding ground — and found poachers were already there!
The presence of a suspected poacher at the pond is interesting because it was just  rehabilitated after it was destroyed by blackmarket fish breeders who were stocking the public ponds with voracious carp and were secretly harvesting the fish at night.
The solution to solving the carp problem was an unusual one: poison the pond and kill the fish to save the salamanders. It highlights the problems of urban encroachment on protected conservation lands.
Here’s my story on the experiment:http://natpo.st/17BPFy7

I went on a night hike with conservation activists to see if a rare, endangered species of amphibian had returned to their restored breeding ground — and found poachers were already there!

The presence of a suspected poacher at the pond is interesting because it was just  rehabilitated after it was destroyed by blackmarket fish breeders who were stocking the public ponds with voracious carp and were secretly harvesting the fish at night.

The solution to solving the carp problem was an unusual one: poison the pond and kill the fish to save the salamanders. It highlights the problems of urban encroachment on protected conservation lands.

Here’s my story on the experiment:

36 notes