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We feel your pain, Toronto

Published: Sun, November 24, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

An open letter to the residents of the city of Toronto, Canada:

Dear Neighbors to the North:

Greetings from the Mahoning Valley, a region held hostage for 17 years by a political buffoon — a carbon copy of the one who is causing you such anxiety and embarrassment today.

For us, James A. Traficant Jr. was a nightmare we thought would never end. But then, just when we had resigned ourselves to being forever represented in Congress by an individual whose preoccupation with flatulence and other bodily functions had made him a national figure, fate (or his own venality) intervened.

Traficant went off to prison for eight years and thus ended the Valley’s political nightmare.

Likewise, you thoughtful residents of Toronto will one day be rid of your crack-smoking, foul-mouthed mayor. But until then, embrace the moment.

Indeed, if you see the humor in all that’s going on, it will be easier to accept the fact that the largest city in Canada is being led by a buffoon.

Brain ailment

It would interest you to know that while Traficant and Mayor Rob Ford do not share physical attributes — yes, they both played football, but one has kept in shape, the other has not — they do suffer from the same brain ailment.

Consider some of their more infamous public comments:

Ford: “My question is, I urinated in a parking lot. What does that have to do with anything?”

Traficant: “Mr. Speaker, is she or is she not? Rumors persist that Miss France is not a big-bone diva but actually a man. Reports say that pageant officials said they are anxiously awaiting the bathing suit contest.

“Unbelievable. Maybe J. Edgar Hoover will crown the next Miss France, Mr. Speaker.

“Hey, what is next? Will they have certification standards performed by licensed gynecologists for these pageants? Beam me up. This is not brain surgery. Even the University of Dayton School of Political Science can determine human genitalia.”

Ford: “I don’t understand. Number one, I don’t understand a transgender. I don’t understand. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl, or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we’re funding this for — I don’t know, what does it say here — we’ve giving them $3,210?”

Traficant: “Mr. Speaker, last week a girl was crowned prom king in Washington. This week we learn a whole new classification term for men and women: Transgenders. That is right, transgenders. Ohio University has designated 30 restrooms as transgender-type restrooms, able to be used by both men and women at the same time. They are officially called unisex restrooms. Unbelievable. What is next? Unisex locker rooms with thong/jock support dispensers? How about Maxipad vending machines in locker rooms? Beam me up. I yield back this higher education business as yet simply getting high.”

Ford: “Who the [expletive] do you think you are? Are you a [expletive] teacher? Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?”

Traficant: “Broadway has announced a new play called ‘The Vagina Monologues.’ I quote, the promo states that ‘Vagina Monologues uses humor and drama to explore such things as sexual fantasies, orgasms, pelvic examination and rape.’ Now if that is not enough to entice your condominium, this vaginal virtuoso is being billed as theater at its finest.

“Unbelievable. What is next? Rectal Diaries? Men are dropping like flies in America from prostate cancer, and Broadway is promoting vaginal titillation.

“Beam me up. I advise all New York men to sleep on their stomachs, and I yield back all the STDs on the East Coast.”

Ford: “I’ve changed the culture down here. You don’t hear about the scandals anymore … I mean, a money scandal.”

Dear Neighbors to the North, Traficant has been put out to pasture. Take heart. Your man is just another crack pipe away from his fall from grace.

TV ‘stars’

Incidentially, just like Mayor Ford and his brother, city Counselor Doug, Traficant had a television show on a local channel. He used the air time to rant and rave about his favorite subjects: The Internal Revenue Service; the FBI; the Chinese, and the powerful Jewish lobby in Washington that, he charged, controls the federal government.

Since the Fords’ television show lasted only a day, perhaps the mayor and the former congressman can star in a reality show called, “Nuts and Dolts.”


1questionreality(736 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?"
— Kurt Vonnegut

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2janeyblue3(85 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

What a load of nonsensical garbage. Does it take you the entire week to come up with this drivel?
Basically you are calling Trafficant a drunken crackhead? After all you say the two are identical.
This is just a pitiful pi$$poor piece of writing. You are the true buffoon in this moronic tirade. Next time Bertie,compare yourself with Ford,the similarity is uncanny. You both spout bullpoo and believe every word that comes out of your gaping gob.
And here I thought you were going to compare the king of buffoondom Beatras with Ford. Wake up Bert. It is nearly 2014. Live in the present instead of dredging up stuff from eons ago. Sad to say,you just grabbed the King of Buffoondom from Dave. Congrats. You wear it well.

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3GoPens(397 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

All these years later and people are still defending Traficant?


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4Nom_De_Plume(60 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

An open letter to Bert, the Vindy editors, and the readers who continue to suffer.

Another week of suffering through the useless commentary of a washed-up, agenda driven columnist. It's hard to believe that the Vindy dedicates any of its shrinking column space to this guy let alone issues him a paycheck! However, this drivel represents a new low.

Bert writes, "He used the air time to rant and rave about his favorite subjects: The Internal Revenue Service; the FBI; the Chinese, and the powerful Jewish lobby in Washington that, he charged, controls the federal government."

Sound familiar? Just replace a few words. Bert uses his column to rant and rave about public employees; Jim Traficant; YSU; and the Cafaros who he believes control local government!

Look in the mirror you horrible little man. You should be relegated to the same trash bin. Hypocrite.

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5kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Right on gdog! Berts column may be a bit misdirected- somebody like Traficant was a thousand times more injurious to our area- over a longer period of time- than a pathetic substance abuse case like the Toronto Major could ever have been.

If we in the Mahoning Valley had had somebody like Mayor Ford to deal with (a guy who seems to hurt only himself) instead of a shrewd, cunning, immoral Mobster like Jim Traficant, we'd have been lucky. Bertram- and the Vindy- is to be commended for going after "Our Jimbo" a long time ago. The people of the Mahoning Valley (most of them) were (are?) FOOLS for not listening and, instead, continuing to support the low-life J. T. for all those years- despite the overwhelming evidence that he was a Criminal: Our Congressman, courtesy of the Mob, Right! Scotty, Beam me Up!

P.S. Another criticism of Bertram I have is the timeliness of his column- I mean, Traficant is (let's pray to God) history- J.T. is no more (hopefully) as a political force- except in the addled brains of his Fan Club Members (some of whom appear to be on this thread), so why talk about him at all? Let it go Bert, especially when there's another ripe (over ripe?) target on the local political scene for your rhetorical cannons to aim at. Forget J.T., there's another set of initials you should be thinking about (I know you have already, but keep it up!) What are they- those initials? D.B., of course, a man close to Traficant in buffoonery- though whether close to Traficant in corruption hasn't yet been determined. The future will tell, but I have faith in his abilities.

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6Millerh113(217 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

If Mr. de Souza is such a poor writer why do the responders continue to read his column? My guess is that they never miss any of his Sunday columns. If I were Mr. de Souza I would interpret that as a compliment.

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7redeye1(5666 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

gdog you are right there hasn't been any jobs made in 40 yrs. Why? Maybe because you liberturds didn't want any. You see poor people have voted demoncratic in this valley for as long as I can remember . Guess what they are still POOR! Who fault is that , the simple minded people of the valley, like you, that's who!

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8kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

For anybody interested in understanding why Jim Traficant never accomplished much in Congress, I just came across an interesting book, that addresses his Congressional Record- specifically why Traficant never got any important Committee assignments- the key to getting anything done in Congress.

It's called: "Committee Assignment Politics in the U.S House of Representatives", by Scott Frish and Sean Kelley and is published by the University of Oklahoma Press. You can find it on Google by entering: "James Traficant Congressional Appointments" which takes you to pages 170-74 "The Political Style of James Traficant"

Quite an eye opener! Should be required reading for James Traficant Fan Club Members- might cure them of their illness (if it doesn't give them a heart attack or stroke!). Here's a brief quote: "..he (Traficant) was not placed on any important positions because (fellow members) felt he would prove embarrassing to them...Traficant came to Congress with a reputation as a brash, bombastic individual who was not a team player..." It says, paraphrasing here, he had a record, from the very beginning, of not getting along with the (majority) leaders of his own party, which kept him from important political assignments- specifically "Appropriations and Ways and Means", which he requested several times and was turned down (no surprise- his party colleagues and leadership thought he was "nuts", a guy who shot from the hip, a self-aggrandizing grand stander who couldn't be trusted).

In other words, the only thing Traficant accomplished with his antics all those years was the care and feeding of his own ego. By comparison, hold Traficant's record next to that of Tim Ryan's- in 11 years he's already had important Committee assignments and, whether you agree with him or not, Ryan is someone worthy of respect- an effective legislator- and, most importantly, he doesn't bring shame or ridicule to the people of the Mahoning Valley.

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9Roger_Thornhill(1068 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I much prefer Traficant to either congressman we have now.

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10kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I guess "nom de plume" doesn't like Bert's Columns: "commentary of a washed-up, agenda driven columnist... this drivel represents a new low". Wow, strong stuff- even harsher than anything I've ever said.

Nom doesn't seem to like Bert, as a person, either- he (or she) gets real personal: "Look in the mirror, you horrible little man. You should be relegated to the same trash bin. Hypocrite." As I said, strong stuff- bit "tetched in the head" as well, I would say.

I'm betting this post originated from an office cubicle in the basement of the Cafaro Comany Headquarters- am I right?

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11kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Correction: "Comany" should read "Company"- that's what happens when you work late- and I've only had four glasses of Burgundy!

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12Nom_De_Plume(60 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I notice that you didn't disagree with what I said, Kurt.

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13dontbeafool(2094 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

I never have met aN honest, do what is best for the people, politician. Some act like idiots, some are funny, some are arrogant, some are stylish, but ALL ARE CROOKED AND WILL DO AND SAY WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET RE-ELECTED. All of the ones listed above fall into this category and deserve/deserved what they got.

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14papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Traficant was a jackass. I still remember when he pretended to shoot the moon to a committee in Washington. how embarrassing for our valley. he's a buffoon and now we have a good rep in dc with tim ryan.

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15southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Why are we still talking about Traficant? Move on already. That is one problem in the Valley, too much fixation on the past prevents moving forward.

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16kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

For all the people on this thread who dislike Obama Care, one bit of advice: the solution is to stop voting- like a knee jerk- for Democrats- they're the ones who rammed it down our throats without reasonable debate- the Republicans voted almost wholly against it.

We have to get rid of our "one-party" mentality around here and try to entertain opposing viewpoints and people- let one group of people- the Democrat Machine- run things, without opposition, and they get corrupt- and arrogant (like Nancy Pelosi saying- about The Affordable (ha, ha!) Health Care Act, "You have to pass it in order to know what's in it". That is infuriating! No tin-pot dictator in a Banana Republic (sorry Latino's) could have said it better to perfectly express "One Party" rule which is exactly what we peasants in the Mahoning Valley "enjoy". We are the Banana Republic of Ohio Counties- which is why we get so little respect in Columbus.

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17kurtw(1823 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

You're wrong about that, Nom, I do disagree with what you wrote- if you think Bertram is a lousy columnist (I don't) that's your opinion and you're free to express it - but I think every fair minded person would reject as venom: "Look in the mirror you horrible little man. You should be relegated to the same trash bin. Hypocrite." In my view, you crossed the line when you wrote that- it's called decency. You don't attack a man that way because you disagree with what he has to say or the way he says it- and, if you do, you've branded yourself as a bigot.

P.S. I still think your post was written on a Cafaro Company Computer. I do believe they hate DeSouza's more than anybody else in town- Why? Because he has a history of holding their feet to the fire (deservedly)- and that's not a comfortable feeling, is it?

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18uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

I would vote for Traficant any day over Pelosi and Reid. Bertram better look out--say what you want but Martin Bashir is gone and Rush Limbaugh is still on the air.

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