Everything went as planned—the tributes, the placing of flowers— until it came time to lower the coffin into the grave. Then a giant of a man, a veritable Zorba, stepped out of the crowd…Captain Mamousakas… his mustache was large, sweeping, ferocious…“Such a man as this,” he rumbled, “must be put into his grave by heroes.” So saying, he picked up the head of the coffin by himself. His three friends took hold of the other end. Together they lowered Nikos Kazantzakis into his personal abyss. (Frank Riley, “A Cross In Heraklion,” Saturday Review, October 14, 1967, pp. 47-48.)
Layton was cleared of any wrongdoing in this case, yet this damaging attempt to smear him successfully covered over more than merely the absence of any wrongdoing. I have lived in a mixed housing co-operative myself, and served on its board. I learned that, given the nature of the government subsidies that such entities receive, they require roughly one third of their tenants to pay full market value rent (with another third receiving shallow subsidy, and the final third receiving deep subsidy). The problem often is that once people's economic fortunes improve, they tend to leave the co-op that subsidized their housing in the past, and buy a home on the private market. By deciding to reside in a mixed-income housing cooperative when they did not qualify for government subsidy, and could easily afford a home of their own, Jack and Olivia were actually showing solidarity with the less fortunate people in their community, and contributing through their full market rent to its overall financial sustainability. To me, it is beyond cyncial that Layton's desire to practice what he preached concerning social solidarity and fairness in his own choice of personal housing could be spun to create a portrayal of yet another hypocritical politician bellying up to the public trough.
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one - a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world's environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don't let them tell you it can't be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.
I’m a little bit angry at him for killing himself. He and I were going to record a trial run of the album, a demo tape. It was all set up. He had a plane ticket. He had a car picking him up. And at the last minute he called and said, 'I can't come.'
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