Thursday, June 30, 2005


It is, almost, Friday

A religious organization, known as 'The Resistance', wants Jessica Simpson to re-shoot a 'clean' version of the promo for 'These Boots Were Made For Walking' and publicly apologise for her saucy performance.

The Resistance says that the steamy video shows Jessica - appearing as her 'Dukes of Hazzard' character, Daisy Duke - seductively washing a car in a skimpy pink bikini -acting slutty.

She can also been seen on the laps of old men and kissing country singer Willie Nelson, who plays Uncle Jesse in the 'Dukes of Hazzard' movie.

The Resistances spokesman John Conner is quoted by New York website the Bosh as saying: "She should be ashamed of herself. It's disappointing to have Jessica, a pastor's daughter and Christian role model, join the ranks of the 'singing strippers' such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

No truth to the rumour that Conner, like many religious hypocrites, likes strippers.


Moby Dick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fishermen in northern Thailand have caught the biggest catfish on record — a 646-pound (293-kg) giant the size of a grizzly bear — and eaten it, the WWF and the
National Geographic Society said on Wednesday.

The giant catfish, believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever found, was caught along the Mekong River, home to more species of massive fish than any river on Earth.

“We’ve now confirmed that this catfish is the current record holder, an astonishing find,” Dr Zeb Hogan, a WWF Conservation Science Fellow, said in the joint statement.

Read more here.


Newest T-Shirt Craze - Your Partner on Your Shirt

Isn't a sign of true love when you wear a semi-nude pic of your significant other with a provocative slogan between their legs on your clothing?

THAT'S hot.


Publicly funded Health Care an asset!

First, the details. Today, Toyota formally announced that it will build its second Canadian auto assembly plant in Woodstock, Ont., creating thousands of direct and spinoff jobs. The announcement ends months of speculation that the Japanese giant had selected the southwestern Ontario town as its preferred site for the new facility, which will pump out 100,000 vehicles a year when it's up and running by 2008.

The plant is expected to create 1,300 direct jobs and several thousand additional jobs at parts manufacturers and related industries.

The Ontario and federal governments are providing $125 million in financial aid. Ontario's share, $70 million, will go towards training and infrastructure. The $55 million from Ottawa is in the form of "repayable support.

Now, you are probably wandering what in the world does a Toyota announcment have to do with health care. There is a connection and it is one that Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty cited in the announcemnt. McGuinty indicated that medicare is one reason why Ontario won out over a U.S. location. "We've always said medicare is one of our competitive advantages – and Toyota has chosen the stability that medicare provides investors in Ontario," he said.

U.S. automakers are facing rising health-care costs and this is causing the industry problems. In fact, General Motors, the world's largest auto maker, actually spends more money on health care than on steel. The auto giant expects to spend $5.6-billion (U.S.) this year on health benefits for its 1.1 million employees, retirees and their families in the United States. That's up about $800-million from 2004 and it makes GM the largest private health care provider in the United States.

Recently, Chrysler introduced a "baby-step rollback" of no-cost employee health coverage. This rollback could indicate a future change in employer-sponsored health coverage, which "has long made assembly work at a Big Three automaker one of the most attractive blue-collar jobs in America." UAW employees "still have coverage that is the envy of many white collar workers"; however, the change to coverage is "a sign of the union's acknowledgment of the competitive pressures from Toyota and other foreign-based competitors" and "such arrangements are expected to follow for GM and Ford. According to the New York Times, Chrysler is expected to experience "modest savings" in the "low tens of millions of dollars" from the change.

There are a few lessons to be examined here. One, even though the United States has lower individual tax rates the competitive advantage is wasted if more and more workers have to spend extra resources on previously covered employee-employer benefits. Who cares that the tax rate in Michigan is 5 points lower than Ontario if the same worker requires a higher share of their disposable income to cover basic necessities? People who fixate on tax rates alone miss the big picture.

Second, government subsidies, although not a prefered measure for business by this author, are an absolute necessity when you are competing against protectionist and subsidy happy jurisdictions like the US and Europe.

Finally, this problem is only going to get worse for US automakers. As more and more employees retire, live longer and require different medical attention, the bills will come do.


This may look worse than it is

Divers haven't yet found any victims as they search the water around a grounded B.C. ferry, after it missed the West Vancouver terminal and plowed into as many as 20 pleasure craft.

It's not known whether anyone was aboard the smaller boats docked near the Horseshoe Bay terminal when the 7,000-tonne ferry lost power and smashed through at about 10:10 a.m. local time.

Witnesses said the ferry was blowing its horn as it crashed into Sewell's Marina, crushing 15 or 20 vessels.

Thankfully, no injuries had been reported by 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Russian Roulette - Been Caught Stealin'

What is Vladimir Putin thinking? Following a meeting of American business executives and Putin at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg on Saturday, New England Patriot owner Robert Kraft showed his new Superbowl ring to Putin — who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, say Russian news reports.

It isn't clear yet if Kraft, whose business interests also include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring.

However, a Kremlin official who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of compromising his position said the ring was a present. "Such a present was made," the official said. He said Putin had given the ring to the Kremlin library where other foreign gifts are kept.

Patriot's public relations officials say the ring's worth was "substantially more" than $15,000, as the value had been reported. They, however, refuse to be specific, but noted that the ring has 124 diamonds.

As Boney M would say, Oh those Russians!


Slap on the wrist

The Saskatchewan Liberal Party have dodged a bullet. Chief Electoral Officer Jean Ouellett announced Wednesday that although the party was late filing some of its paperwork, missing the May deadline, it's not going to lose official party status.

Ouellet said Wednesday the Liberals convinced him the error happened "as a result of inadvertence or an honest mistake of fact." He also said the Liberals have taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

An honest mistake of fact - the Liberals need to do a better job of reading a calendar. It wasn't like they were busy contesting any elections and the other parties all filed on time. The party needs to do a better job of showing people it can pay its bills before anyone will vote for them to pay all bills.


Waiting on the trickle down

It has happened on Canadian and U.S. colleges and universities so I guess nobody should be surprised that "naming rights" are hitting primary and secondary schools in the United States.

A suburban Detroit school district has decided to sell naming rights to buildings and athletics facilities. The Board of Education for Plymouth-Canton schools unanimously decided Tuesday night to allow the district to sell the rights.

A growing number of North Amercian jurisdictions are establishing similar policies that allow for naming football stadiums, soccer fields and schools after corporate donors. These decisions are being made since various levels of governments are not properly funding education.

The district wants to assure everyone that the naming craze will be subtle and not an advertisement for select companies. The Board indicates there could be hyphenated names for schools, which may include a school name with a mention of a corporate sponsor. Board members are, however, adiment that there will be so "Pepsi Elementary" or "SBC Elementary" They do, however, admit that one could see "Dodson Elementary - presented by SBC" Apparently, they also believe that women can be half-pregnant.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I, Robot

What is your version of a finishing school? In the days of old, people assumed finishing schools taught young men and women proper table manners, etiquette and all the other social graces. Now, however, there is a new finishing school and it involves refining political skills with a large dose of religious fervour.

Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville, Virginia, is a Republican droid generating machine. The College's mission is train a new generation of Christian politicians. Since politics, is, after all, the most social of professions, and many students arrive at Patrick Henry having never shared a classroom with anyone other than their siblings, it is important that these students get the proper foundation. With the Christian homeschool movement as their heritage, they believe that no college in the nation better understands all aspects of the needs and desires of homeschoolers for an excellent Christian higher education.

In conservative circles, however, homeschoolers are considered something of an élite, rough around the edges but pure—in their focus, capacity for work, and ideological clarity—a view that helps explain why the Republican establishment has placed its support behind Patrick Henry, and why so many conservative politicians are hiring its graduates.

The College was started after a series of requests from parents asking where they could find a Christian college with a “courtship” atmosphere - meaning one where dating is regulated and subject to parental approval. The goal of the President is to build an Evangelical Ivy League or a Harvard for Homeschoolers.

The College President rails against MTV, Internet porn, abortion, homosexuality, greed and accomplished selfishness. It is fascinating to me how economic conservatives - who advocate for a free market and full blown capitalism can share a party with social conservatives - who often claim that people's greed and lust cause them to do evil things. Are people's consumer desires - more "wants" than "needs" - not the root of the last 15 years of economic expansion in the North America? The average North American is carrying almost 50 percent more debt than income and most of this is a direct result of material purchases (on credit). Those greedy people have made many Republicans ridiculously wealthy.

My favourite point on the college's website is the following: PHC will not borrow money to finance any of its operations or capital improvements. We believe that when the Lord leads us to expand, He will also provide the means necessary to do so. Apparently, they took the reference to Joseph as a carpenter literally.

Hanna Rosin has a fantastic article in a recent New Yorker about Patrick Henry College.


King Kong trailer

It looks really, really good.


Desperate Politicans

It has been a long and sometimes acrimonyous session in Parliament, but that is no excuse for the latest outburst from Stephen Harper. The Conservative leader is slipping fast and needs to to get out of Ottawa and regroup.

Harper says the government's same-sex legislation will make it through the House of Commons only because of support from the Bloc Québécois, and that, says Harper, means the legislation "lacks legitimacy." A vote on the bill is expected Tuesday evening.

Harper branded Bill C-38 the product of an illegitimate union. "I think because this bill is only being passed with the support of the BQ, I think it will lack legitimacy with most Canadians. The truth is most federalist MPs will oppose this legislation," he said.

Is it not ironic that barely a month ago Harper was working hand-in-hand with the BQ to defeat the Liberal budget, in a move that would have brought down the government. Would the defeat been legitimate then since "the majority of federalists" wanted the government to continue.

Let's be clear, the Bloc Québécois do not have the support of this author. Bloc MPs, who's raison d'etre is breakup the country, however, are legitimately elected by the citizens of Quebec. BQ Leader Gilles Duceppe, who immediately pounced on Harper's remarks, says his party has as much legitimacy as the Conservatives. Duceppe is correct and Harper is in dangerous territory when he questions the legitimacy of one parties elected MPs over another. Is Quebec not still part of Canada? Is Myron Thompson more legitimate than Christiane Gagnon?

Tory Deputy Leader Peter MacKay took it one step further saying the legislation will make the issue a Quebec versus Canada subject. Apparently Achy Breaky Heart MacKay can't read an atlas. It isn't just Quebec MPs who will push the bill across the finish line - most Atlantic MPs and the majority of Ontario MPs will vote in favour of the bill. MacKay, however, is correct when he points out that most Canadians have a skeptical view of Pequistes breaking up the country.

Harper's comments will not play well in the Atlantic, Quebec or Ontario, but that is ok because Harper seems concerned about piling on the vote in ridings like Crowfoot (Alberta), Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon (British Columbia) and Cypress Hills-Grasslands (Saskatchewan). The Leader of the Offical Opposition needs to grow not shrink the Conservative support in other parts of the country if he hopes to occupy 24 Sussex Drive.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Nintendo throws down the gauntlet

Mario says over to you Microsoft.


Republicans threaten Baseball

The Republican Party in the US is sure committed to riding professional sports of all its ills. First, there was the moral high ground taken by hypocrites in the steriod inquiry by the House and Senate. Apparently, the US trade deficit will disappear if Bonds stops taking the juice.

Now comes word that some House Republicans are making noises about Baseball and the proposed sale of the Washington Nationals. Apparently, billionaire financier George Soros, he of the mega-bucks anti-Bush fame, is part of a consortium that is exploring the possibility of buying the Nationals. Soros has joined an ownership bid being led by entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky that is angling to take over the Nats, who are currently owned by Major League Baseball.

ROLL CALL reports: Soros pumped more than $20 million in the last cycle into groups seeking to unseat President Bush and elect Democrats and relates that the very prospect that Soros could have a stake in the team is enough to irritate Congressional Republicans.

"I think Major League Baseball understands the stakes," said Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis (R), who recently convened high-profile steroid hearings.
Davis said that if a Soros sale went through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think its Major League Baseball that gets hurt.

They enjoy all sorts of exemptions' from anti-trust laws. Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.), vice chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that covers the District of Columbia budget, said if Soros buys the team and seeks public funding for a new stadium or anything else, the GOP attitude would be, "Let him pay for it." It is appalling that this wink, wink nudge, nudge reference to the anti-trust exemption that baseball enjoys and that the anti-Labour Republican party also favours would make an appearance.

The US political landscape is even more messed up than Canada. At least, however, we can balance our budget. Big Spending Bush just maxs out the credit card.

Saturday, June 25, 2005


Is it in you?

Montrealers are more dependent on government subsidies to augment their incomes than in any other major city in Canada, according to a study conducted by an independent think tank based in Montreal.

And young people growing up in the city are the most economically vulnerable, concludes the national study based on the 2001 Canadian Community Health Survey, by the Association For Canadian Studies.

Listed below is proportion of total income coming from government:

Montreal: 13.9 per cent

Saskatoon: 12.7

Regina: 12.1

Hamilton: 12.1

Winnipeg: 11.9

Halifax: 11.1

Edmonton: 9.9

Vancouver: 9.6

Toronto: 9.5

Ottawa: 7.4

Calgary: 7.2

A couple of things jump out at you when you read the report, examine the data and analysis the comments from Montrealers - something does not add up. First, three of the top four cities on the list struggle with a higher percentage of Aboriginal Canadians than any other cities in Canada. Although, as Statistics Canada pointed out earlier last week, Aboriginal educational attainment and employment has improved in the past twenty years, there are still many challenges in the prairie region.

Second, Ottawa is performing remarkably well. Calgary is often the economic example for Canada, but it appears that Ottawa is running on all cylinders as well.

Finally, the Montreal data are quite sad. The situation in the city has improved dramatically from the mid-1990s when 25% of the residents were on some form of social assistance and landlords were pleading with perspective tenants to take apartments, but still problems persist.

The Montreal Gazette interviewed a couple of community leaders for their opinion on the matter, but I am not sure they understand the larger macroeconomic situation in the city and the province.

Marlo Ritchie, director of Head and Hands, a community organization that offers counselling services to young people, says young Montrealers face growing obstacles.

"Their debt loads are growing, health and social services agencies are under strain. More and more young people are becoming isolated and discouraged and as a result, health-related complications can arise. Many don't even have food, housing and income security."

Why are rising debts loads a Montreal only phenomenon - they aren't. In fact, I would argue that youth in the Atlantic and Ontario are more heavily indebted, especially when you factor in education related debt - where there is very little in Quebec compared to other parts of the country.

Also, post-secondary students enjoy the lowest university tuition fees in the country - on average $1,800 and there is no college tuition fee. Rent, in Montreal, compared to other major Canadian cities is reasonable and most cases down right affordable.

Patricia Murphy, the director of St. Columba House, a community outreach organization in Point St. Charles, says the findings don't surprise her.

"It's hard to say if there is a correlation, but the high school dropout rate in Montreal is so high, around 40 per cent," Murphy said. "We have a problem keeping kids in school, which must contribute to their economic vulnerability."

Ms.Murphy is actually closer to the real problem in Quebec. The province has an accessible and affordable post-secondary education system but the larger issue resides in the secondary school system. Too many young Quebeckers are turning their back on education. This is a real problem for an aging society with strong ties to their social support programs, a heavy unionized environment and a rapidly declining birthrate (see France and Germany for examples of why is this is a recipe for disaster or internal struggle). The province would be wise to address these areas instead of continually complaining of the mythical fiscal imbalance.


Littlest Hobo Spotted in Honolulu

On Friday, Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law a measure that allows residents to leave a trust for the care of their dog, cat, or other domestic animal.

Friday also marked National "Take Your Pet to Work Day." Several legislators and a number of other workers showed off their four-legged friends, who mostly behaved.

"These aren't just pets. These are a part of the family. You miss them when you're away. You worry about them. They really are important parts of your life," Lingle said.

Animal law attorney Emily Gardner helped draft the original bill. Garner became attracted to the issue while visiting elderly long-term care patients at St. Francis Hospital with her dog, Toby, who works as a therapy dog.

There is no truth to rumour that immediately following the signing of the bill, a large collection of dogs gathered for a high stakes game of poker.


Martin's Alberta Voyege

Does anyone appreciate the irony of Prime Minsiter Paul Martin touring Alberta on St-Jean-Baptiste day in Quebec? What is next for the PM, hitting an Alberta Singles Club on Family Day?

Paul Martin always seems to mess things up. He is a day late or dollar short.


Seal does his best Jean Chretien

Next, he will be pulling golf balls from a briefcase.



Thunderstorms and torrential rain were today threatening to turn this year’s Glastonbury Festival into a wash-out.

Thousands of music fans arriving at the Worthy Farm site in Somerset last night were greeted with heavy downpours and even lightning as the glorious sunshine came to an abrupt end.

US rock duo White Stripes are headlining the event tonight on the main Pyramid stage. On the other is Fatboy Slim, and festival-goers can also see The Tears - former Suede bandmates Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler – on the John Peel stage.

Coldplay and Basement Jaxx will headline on Saturday and Sunday respectively at this year’s festival.

The festival, which first began in 1970, boasts 11 stages and more than 200 performers, ranging from the well-established to untested and quirky newcomers.

Friday, June 24, 2005


No Stars

According to a report in the East Valley Tribune, the National Hockey League could skip the 2006 NHL All-Star Game.

NHL sources confirmed to the paper that, if the league sends players to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy, then the league would likely cancel the All-Star game.

The All-Star weekend is scheduled for February 4-5, while the Olympic Games are slated for February 10-26, making it difficult to incorporate both in a new schedule, especially when travel and practice time are taken into consideration.

A new collective bargaining agreement is reportedly nearing completion, and the league doesn't want to shut down twice during a season in which they will be trying to lure back fans after an acrimonious labour dispute.

This article begs the question, why not incorporate an end of the year All Star week - similar to the NFL's Pro Bowl in Hawaii. Have the event in Toronto next year and do it with some splash.


Molson Duvernay's Top 20 canblog

From the home office in Dundurn, Saskatchewan comes the top 20 canbloggers for trafic. Thanks to all the Moldy fans, we are making some progress. I received an email today from Molson Duvernay informing me that Moldy cracked the top 20.

Enclosed is a portion of the email:

In aggregate, the following top 20 canbloggers account for a very significant portion of daily canblog traffic and have proven to be of sustaining interest--delivering credible and distinctive commentariat performances on a daily or frequent basi--to a very wide audience, as well as to their fellow canbloggers...

So, without further ado, MoDuv's Canblog top 20:

1. Norman Spector

2. Calgary Grit

3. Jay Currie

4. Rick Mercer


6. James Bow

7. Andrew Spicer


9. J. Kelly Nestruck

10.Accidental Deliberations

11. Canuck Attitude

12. The Canadian Perasma

13. Oracle of Ottawa

14. A voice from the left


16. Moldy Peaches

17. Youth in Canada

18. Mathew Good

19. CathiefromCanada

20. Le blog de Polyscopique

You keep reading and I will keep writing.


Sour Grapes

Conservative MPs are still smarting after being outfoxed by the Liberals last night. MP John Reynolds angrily told reporters that the Liberals have proven again they'll make a deal with the devil to save their ass. Reynolds doesn't realize that this is minority parliament and you take support where you can get it. Funny in the minds of Conservatives, it wasn't a deal with the devil when they found a willing dance partner with the Bloc.

Tony Valeri deserves full marks. No member of the opposition had any sense of what the Liberals were planning. Many were already on their way home after 8 p.m., ready for a relaxing weekend, while the Liberals stayed near the House of Commons and waited for their chance.

Conservative MP Peter MacKay was at the airport when he became suspicious. "When people are leaving town all the government limos are out there idling," MacKay told CTV's Rosemary Thompson. "At the airport, there were none. So I called back to the whip's desk and they said, 'The bells are ringing. You'd better get back here.'"

NDP Leader Jack Layton (who has been the best leader in Ottawa for the past few months) summed it up best when he said Conservatives only have themselves to blame. Layton told reporters that the vote was a little bit of a surprise, but the Conservatives weren't all there and that's their problem. They should have been there.

Relaxing on the job in a minority parliament sends you to the showers.


People Can Change?

The nature versus nurture debate has spilled over to the internet. A group in the United States is promoting a sexual cleansing. Call it Web MD for homosexuals.

According to People Can Change, discovering same-sex attractions can cause tremendous internal conflict and struggle, especially when those feelings conflict with a person’s values, beliefs and life plans, or the values and beliefs of his family and culture. They claim to know because they have been there. They claim to have learned that it needn’t be like that. There are positive alternatives for men who are conflicted over homosexual feelings.

The reason listed for why to change - homosexuality was unfulfilling (no mention of how unfulfilling heterosexuality can be - a tad hypocritical). So, the primary reason for pursuing change was that they found homosexuality didn't meet their core need for male association and identity. It left them hungering for something else. Something better.

In order to facilitate the transformation, People Can Change sponsors a Journey into Manhood weekend. This is an experiential exercise and inner-healing process for men who are serious about working to overcome and resolve unwanted homosexual desires. I believe these are referred to as fishing trips in most of the world, but I digress.

Like any treatment it comes with a warning:

Journey into Manhood is intended for men who want to lessen or eliminate homosexual desire and embrace heterosexual masculinity. It is intended for men who feel that their homosexual desires do not reflect their "true selves" but rather are symptoms of problems identifying with men and masculinity. Journey into Manhood is NOT appropriate for men who are looking for a gay-affirmative experience, sexual encounters, a religious seminar or who want to engage in "gay bashing." It is not necessarily recommended for men who are undecided whether they want to live a homosexual life or a heterosexual life; rather, it is recommended for men who have already decided to develop a more heterosexual emotional life.


Sour Puss

No, it isn't the shooter!

Pucker up, if you like sour candies

Coutesy of the Gallery of the Absurd. A fantastic artist!


Everywhere I Go Kids Want To Work

What is the best way to deal with a looming labour shortage? Loosen the mandatory retirement age? That idea seems reasonable since people are living longer and healthier plus the original cutoff was established when life expectancy was in the early 70s. Or, should you follow the lead of Mugatu and let the kiddies work? This idea is now being pursued in Alberta.

Now, before one examines the details of the labour changes, it is important to recognize one fundamental point - this isn't child labour. Let's be clear, there is a difference between child work and child labour.

Children’s participation in the labour market - that does not negatively affect their health and development or interfere with education, can be positive. Work that does not interfere with education (light work) is permitted from the age of 12 years under the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 138.

Meanwhile, child labour is more narrowly defined and refers to children working in contravention of the above standards. This means all children below 12 years of age working in any economic activities, those aged 12 to 14 years engaged in harmful work.

The decision in Alberta allows restaurants to hire children as young as 12 as waitresses, dishwashers and other staff, after the province loosened its child-labour rules. Under the revised rule put in place June 3, employers in the restaurant and food services industry no longer need to get a government permit to hire employees who are aged 12 to 14.

Both business and labour make good points on the recent announcement. Some employers treat all employees fantastic, regardless of age, and as result this could strengthen their workforce. However, organized labour is concerned that children this age do not know or understand their rights and thus may get taken advantage of. This is likely to occur, since it occurs now at shitty work environments such as Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

This decision is a slippery slope and should be monitored. Alberta already has two-tiered minimum wage, which is appalling, and could result in more *older* workers being pushed out of jobs. As Megan Smith, the shift manager at Earls, said employees like Alessio are valuable. "I think a lot of time, if kids are willing to be getting a job at that age, they are a lot keener, have a lot more energy and they [often] work harder than ... people who are a lot older."

Watch your back, the kids are coming.


Supersize US

Income tax has bracket creep, while nutrition now has the portion creep. As portions have grown larger over the past 40 years, so have people in the USA, says Lisa Young, a nutrition researcher at New York University.

Studies show that the more food put in front of people, the more they eat. And since the 1960s, the serving sizes of foods sold in stores and restaurants — from candy bars to burgers and sodas — have become much bigger, Young says.

This means that when given a cookie the size of a Frisbee or a bagel as big as a flotation device, people ramp up their calorie intake. "Americans have grown proportionally to increased portion sizes," Young says.

The calorie content is most junkfood is now quite staggering - the table in the USA today article is fantastic. A large bucket of movie popcorn with butter has over 1,100 calories - yikes.

Canada is not far behind so we should not look down our collective noses to our neighbours.

Read more.


Better late than never

Apparently the PMO reads Moldy.

Prime Minister Paul Martin is slated to tour various Alberta areas hit hard by the recent torrential rain. Martin, will likely, be offering various forms of compensation when he tours the flood-stricken communities today.

Martin will visit High River, which suffered particularly heavy damage earlier this month. In High River, Martin and Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan will meet with mayors of flood-stricken areas, who are expected to request federal aid.

Later, Martin will head to Calgary to see the flood damage in the southwestern part of the city.

Insurance analysts have said the repair bill could exceed $200 million.

No truth to the rumour that the Muck will be in the entourage whispering "disparity" at every turn.


Will the new Stephen Harper include a calculator

Burning the midnight oil in Ottawa, the Liberals scored a quick and decisive victory, catching the Conservatives off guard and passing their controversial Bill C-48.

The bill passed third reading by a vote of 152 to 147. Losing the vote would have automatically triggered a federal election.

With a number of Conservative members missing, the Liberals moved a motion to cut off debate and bring the bill to a vote. C-48 is the NDP amendment to the budget that adds a further $4.6 billion in social spending and the Conservatives were dead set against it.

If a calculator doesn't work for Stephen, can I suggest an abacus. Rule number 1 in party politics - always have all your members present or nearby.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Snobery hits a new high

Oprah Winfrey is suggesting she was turned away from the Hermes luxury clothing store in Paris because she's black and is calling the incident humiliating.

"People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," Gayle King, a friend of Winfrey who witnessed the incident, told TV show Entertainment Tonight. "Oprah describes it herself as 'one of the most humiliating moments of her life."'

King said it's unlikely that Winfrey will shop there again.

Hermes appeals to the wealthy (or tasteful) with their famous colourful scarves going for over $1,000 Cdn. each. Coffee mugs run over $100 while men ties top $200. Damn, they make nice ties.



Gay couples in New Brunswick receive an early Canada Day surprise. Gay marriage is now legal in that province.

The ruling leaves P.E.I., Alberta and the Northwest Territories as the last jurisdictions in the country that do not recognize same-sex marriage. This is likely to change by the end of the summer given the decision by the House to sit into July.


Volunteering is dangerous

A man struck in the head by a shot put during practice for the U.S. track and field championships Wednesday has died. USA Track and Field, the sport's governing body, released a brief statement Thursday saying it "is profoundly saddened by the tragic shot put accident that took the life of Paul Suzuki on Wednesday."

The accident occurred about 4:15 p.m. at the Home Depot Center, where the national championships are scheduled Thursday through Sunday and where the 77-year-old Suzuki was helping out during practice Wednesday.


World prefers China to US

Canadian's attitudes towards Americans are hardening. Big deal? Well, it likely has had an impact on some of the recent trade disputes, but let's examine a larger trend. The real story in PEW Research's polling data is that the majority of nations now have a more favourable view of communist China then of capitalist, freedom seeking and democracy spreading United States.

The U.S. poor image persists even though the Bush administration has been promoting freedom and democracy throughout the world in recent months and has sent hundreds of millions of dollars in relief aid to Indian Ocean nations hit by the devastating Dec. 26 tsunami.

Eleven of the 16 countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center — Britain, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan and Indonesia — had a more favorable view of China than the U.S.

India and Poland were more upbeat about the U.S., while Canadians are as likely to see China favorably as they were the United States.

Apparently the Iraq war has left a bitter taste in most of the globe's mouth. This just further cements the adage that nobody likes a bully.


Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take you... literally

If only this was a stale John Stamos video for the movie Cocktail. Nope, this is real life and something is not right in Aruba.

The latest wrinkle in the disappearance of an American teenages is that the father of a Dutch youth, already jailed in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, turned himself to Aruban authorities.

In a statement, Aruban authorities called van der Sloot the fifth suspect in the disappearance of Holloway, who has been missing since March 31.

Van der Sloot's 17-year-old son and two of the boy's friends, brothers Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18, were seen drinking with Holloway at Carlos 'n Charlie's bar on the night she disappeared. All three young men are being held at the island's correctional facility. A fourth suspect, Steve Gregory Croes, 26, a disc jockey on a party boat that docked near Holloway's hotel, was arrested last weekend.

Read more.

This is a sad case and definetly one that will not be making it on Girls Gone Wild.


Best Personals Ad Ever

Courtesy of Double Viking.


The Quest for the Grey Cup Begins

The first days of summer bring hope and optimism to all Canadian Football League cities, none more so then in Regina, as all teams start with equal records and a chance to raise the Cup in November.

The CFL finally is stable and most teams (spare Ottawa) are thriving. Here is a to a great season, heated rivalries (CGY - EDM, SSK - WPG and TOR - HAM) and the Riders victorious in Vancouver.

Game on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Bernie the Dinosaur

Formula One President and CEO Bernie Ecclestone might be the most ignorant man in professional sports. First came the shit storm in Indianapolis, where the race was a farce. See Michelin article.

Now it seems that Ecclestone had to air his views on women in racing. On Saturday, he made some less than flattering comments about Dancia Patrick and it appeared that he had seen the error of his words about women racing with men when he called Patrick over the weekend, presumably to apologize. But then he repeated his comments.

Ecclestone made news last week with his comments made in response to Patrick's fourth-place finish at the Indianpolis 500. Asked about Patrick's success, Ecclestone acknowledged her strong finish, but then made an assessment about women racing with men that caused a stir, saying, "You know I've got one of those wonderful ideas ... women should be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances."

Read More.

F-1 would be wise to dump this ass and do it soon.


Grewal cleared again

The federal ethics watchdog has cleared Tory MP Gurmant Grewal of conflict-of-interest allegations in an immigration controversy.

Ethics commissioner Bernard Shapiro said the B.C. legislator should not have demanded cash guarantees of up to $250,000 before helping foreigners seeking visas to visit Canada.

Things are looking a little more rosy for Grewal. On an unrelated note, Radio Shack stock is up.


John Holmes named Canadian Ambassardor to Iraq

I know what your thinking, we named a porn star to represent us in the war torn nation. No, it isn't that John Holmes (he is dead). It is the classic case of mistaken identity.

Sadly, Holmes appears to be both the Ambassardor for Jordan and Iraq. Are we really becoming this much of international embarassment that we are into Ambassadorial job-sharing?


Gourmet Coffee Is The New Nicotine?

Soon, we may be subject a new round of ads encouraging youth to put away the cup and reach for the refillable thermos.

Caffeine (hmm Jolt Cola) has long been a drug of choice for students, helping many of them through all-nighters, exam weeks, and just getting up every day.

But some educators say that gourmet coffee is becoming a problem for students, not because of caffeine addiction, but cost. These educators believe that some students are adding an additional $4,000 - $5,000 to their student debt (over the course of their studies) by purchasing fancy coffees. A few of them are starting to speak out about the issue, counseling students that they can save thousands of dollars if they skip the $3 or more they spend on gourmet coffee each day and start brewing their own.

“It’s about living within your means and controlling your costs, because that affects your options in the future,” says Erika Lim, director of career services at Seattle University’s law school. Lim talks to the students she advises about the need to skip gourmet stores and to buy a Thermos. Many students complain to Lim that their loans preclude their taking jobs as prosecutors or public defenders, let alone for public interest law groups, she says. In fact, some of them might be able to do so if they skipped the gourmet coffee and borrowed less money, she says.

Read more.


Till Death Do Us Part

A funeral director in Reading, England, has given a new -- and eternal -- meaning to the term die-hard sports fan.

Fans of the local soccer club can take their allegiance to their final resting place in a coffin finished in Reading's royal blue and white stripes, emblazoned with a team crest and a soccer ball.

Read More.


Why Republicans need to raise the pole... hmmm I mean bar

B Celebrity Mary Carey, who was one of many proud guests at the White House recently, really wanted to sleep over - with the twins.

It was interesting to see the names that Carey rattled off that she wouldn't have minded having sex with - Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan and Alan Colmes – in addition to at least one player from every team in the NBA. Apparently, she has plans for the summer.

Would she really want to have sex with Karl Rove? Wouldn't that break laws in Hobbit land? And Pat Buchanan, while that is just flattering him.

Read more.


PM silent on the terrible floods in Alberta

Where is Paul Martin in a canoe? Why have we not seen him touring an Alberta area in a helicopter. If Toronto got hit with a flood, besides having support from the army, Martin and co would be there promising the moon.

Reason Number 1,431 for western alienation.

This country needs leadership, badly!

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Happy Father's Day

Call your Dad.


Total Recall

Formula One is a funny sport. There are legions of fans around the world, the biggest brand names as sponsors and never a shortage of controversy.

Now, on the heels of The United States Grand Prix (at the Indy Motor Speedway), comes word that Michelin does not want any driver (seven F-1 teams) using their tires to start the race due to safety concerns. Needless to say the race is in jeopardy hours before its scheduled start Sunday.

Michelin, the world's largest tire maker, has been unable to determine why some of its tires failed during Friday's practice sessions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. One failure led to an accident that knocked German Ralf Schumacher out of Sunday's race.

In a letter to the FIA sent late Saturday night, Michelin officials said they informed teams that it could not guarantee that its tires are safe - particularly in the high-banked final turn where Schumacher and Toyota teammate Ricardo Zonta both wrecked. The tire maker asked for permission to change the tires - F-1 teams are forced to race on the same set of tires they qualify with - or the use of a chicane in turn 13 to slow the speeds.

F-1 officials are taking their advice and informing the teams that they should change tires, right? Nope. The FIA sent back a sharply worded response, questioning how the tire maker landed in this position and warning the teams that they would be heavily penalized if they changed tires. The governing body also denied use of an obstacle.

Michelin responded Sunday, saying its teams could not use the original tires. The company supplies tires to seven of the 10 teams - 14 of 20 cars in Sunday's race - including championship leaders Renault and leading rival McLaren-Mercedes.

Not satisfied, The FIA replied with a terse letter, refusing to budge on the issue.
''Your teams have a choice of running more slowly in turns 12-13, running a tire not used in qualifying (which would attract a penalty) or repeatedly changing a tire (subject to valid safety reasons),'' FIA race director Charlie Whiting wrote. ''It is for them to decide. We have nothing to add.''

Leave it to the FIA uphold their elitism and bullshit over safety. These are the same hooligans who extort millions from governments around the world (including Quebec and Canada) with veiled threats to pull their races.

I can hardly wait until Jack Todd (of the Montreal Gazette) throws his two cents in.


Two Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Poor Leno.


Wayne Gretzky to coach in Phoenix?

Oops, wrong photo.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Suck it up

If the media really didn't like Harper, this photo would have graced the cover of most papers this week.

Conservatives need to stop whining about the unfavourable treatment of their leader. Some of the worst whines are coming from Conservatives.

Harper may not be perfect, but he is there to fight, at least, the next election.

There is a great article from the Halifax Herald on Harper and Stanfield.

Hat tip to Bumf for standing up for his guy. You have to dance with the one who brought you.


Poulet For Kriticism

Kentucky Fried Chicken, PFK in French, is coming under fire from various celebrites for their treatment of chickens. Pamela Anderson, Bea Arthur (from Golden Girl fame)and Jason Alexander, not the former Mr.Britney Spears - but George from Seinfeld, are among those speaking out on the way in which KFC processes chicken. These inidividuals are taking the cause on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA is asking KFC to eliminate the worst abuses that chickens suffer on the factory farms and in the slaughterhouses of its suppliers, including live scalding, life-long crippling, and painful debeaking.

PETA claims the more than 850 million chickens raised each year for KFC’s restaurants aren’t able to do any of these things. They are crammed by the tens of thousands into sheds that stink of ammonia fumes from accumulated waste and given barely enough room to move (each bird lives in a space about the size of a sheet of paper). They routinely suffer broken bones from being bred to be top-heavy, being subjected to callous handling (workers roughly grab birds by their legs and stuff them into crates), and being shackled upside-down at slaughterhouses. Chickens are often still fully conscious when their throats are cut and when they are dumped into tanks of scalding-hot water to remove their feathers. When they’re killed, chickens are still babies, not yet 2 months old out of a natural life span of more than 10 years.

In May 2001, KFC’s parent company, Yum! Brands, assured PETA that it intended to “raise the bar” on animal welfare, but to date, KFC has done nothing to address the most egregious animal cruelty in the chicken industry.

In fact, Pamela Anderson has engaged in a nasty letter writing exchange with KFC Canadian frontman John Bitove, he of the failed 2008 Toronto Olympic bid and one-time Rapter owener.

Anderson's first letter:

October 15, 2003

John Bitove, Chair
priszm brandz
101 Exchange Ave.
Vaughan, ON L4K 5R6

1 page via fax: 416-650-1763

Dear Mr. Bitove:

I am shocked to learn from my pals at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that KFC has refused to take steps to eliminate some of the worst abuses suffered by the hundreds of millions of chickens who are killed for your restaurants in Canada, in the U.S., and overseas. If people knew how KFC treats chickens, they’d never eat another drumstick.

Please face the facts: KFC is torturing birds and then trying to pretend that there is nothing wrong with that. In the 21st century, we’re advanced enough to oppose all cruelty and injustice, whether the victims are animals or people.

I am asking that you direct KFC’s suppliers to stop breeding and drugging animals so that they become crippled under their own hefty bulk, that you ensure that KFC’s suppliers stop scalding birds to death, and that you adopt the other key improvements that PETA has recommended (see, which are all based on the work of members of your own apparently powerless and long-ignored “animal-welfare panel.”

What KFC does to 750 million chickens each year is not civilized or acceptable, and you can help change that. Cruelty is cruelty, and KFC is being cruel in the extreme.
I am calling for a boycott of all KFC restaurants until my friends at PETA tell me that you have agreed to be kinder in your practices.

Pamela Anderson

Bitove's response:

Pamela Anderson
C/O Marleah Leslie & Associates
8370 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 210
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

May 2, 2005

Dear Ms. Anderson,

Thank you for your letters and your interest in KFC Canada. As a fellow Canadian, it is terrific to see you take such a wholehearted interest in our operations. You have obviously put a great deal of thought, time and energy into your advocacy campaign. But I must tell you, Pamela, you are counting your chickens before they hatch.
I am sorry to say, the sky isn’t falling! Let me equip you with the real facts so that you can make an educated decision and correct all of the inaccuracies you’re spreading throughout our country.

Did you know we buy our chickens from the same places that sell to our grocery stores and other restaurants in Canada? Did you know chicken sales are negotiated by our federal and provincial governments? Did you know, that unlike most other restaurant and grocery chains, we actually regularly and randomly audit our suppliers to augment government oversight and better ensure that chickens are treated ethically?

To help educate you more, I would like to invite you to have lunch with me anywhere, anytime, at your convenience, even in Beverly Hills if you like. I will host you at a restaurant of your choosing. My preference, of course, would be a KFC restaurant. You can enjoy one of the yummy Southern Peach Salads we are introducing this summer.
Pamela, the facts are “Stacked” against you. I anxiously await your response and look forward to setting up a time for us to meet so that I can be certain you are kept fully abreast of our ethical practices.

John I. Bitove
Chairman and CEO
Priszm Canadian Income Fund (operator of 481 KFC restaurants in Canada)

CC: media

Jason Alexander, a one-time spokesperson for the outlet, has done a complete 180 degrees and joined the chorus of celebrities calling for KFC to shape up.


Keep the blinders on

The Wisconsin Assembly approved a ban on the so-called morning-after pill on state college campuses, a restriction that would be the first in the nation if approved.

The vote in the lower chamber this week sends the bill to the state Senate; both are controlled by Republicans. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle said he will veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

The legislation would prohibit University of Wisconsin System health centers from advertising, prescribing or dispensing emergency contraception - drugs that can block a pregnancy in the days after sex. The state university system has 161,000 students on 26 campuses. Bring back the 1950's sex-ed videos.

It is good to see that the US Assemblies are tackling the real problems facing the nation.

Read more.


To All The Cells He has Loved Before

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas is boasting a new professorship named for Annie and Willie Nelson, the legendary red-bearded, pigtailed country musician. But the endowed chair is not in music. It's also not in acting, tax law, cannabis studies, or other disciplines in which Mr. Nelson has made a name for himself. Rather, it's a professorship in stem-cell studies. Mr. Nelson and his wife are being recognized for helping to raise $250,000 for the university's stem-cell program at a concert in March.

AP reports that Texas Southwestern researchers are excited about the prospect of receiving money in the name of Uncle Jessie.


Swamp land for sale in FLA

This engagement is about as believable as Star Jones or Liza Minneli getting married.

Gossip fuelled art courtesty of Gallery of the Absurd.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Grewal is cleared

Federal transport officials and the RCMP (Air Canada is still investigating) have dropped their investigation over the erratic behavoiur at a Vancouver Airport by Gurmant Grewal.

That should relieve some of the stress.

No truth to the rumour that he asked for the recorded versions (or transcripts) from their decisions.


Saskatoon could get the Blues

In the spring of 1983, "Wild" Bill Hunter had a dream to lure the St.Louis Blues to Saskatoon and finally bring the NHL to God's country - although the Riders are one heartache enough. Now, the Blues are for sale again.

The Credit Union is ready to host more than the odd Cher concert and some Blade games. With the new economic reality about to take hold in the NHL, it will be interesting to see if markets like Winnipeg could return and maybe pave the way for a city like Saskatoon. One can dream.

FYI - The Blues were actually sold to a group led by Saskatoon businessman (yes there are some in the city contrary to popular belief) Bill Hunter. However, the league (read John Ziegler) deferred the sale, looking for another buyer. Miraculously, in 1983, Beverly Hills businessman Harry Ornest, a former minor league hockey official who had made a fortune in real estate, came forward to buy the team and the building for a bargain-basement price.


Kirk Muller heads home

One of the best two-way players in the 1980's and 1990's, Kirk Muller, is heading home to coach the Queens' University Golden Gails Men's Hockey team. Muller was a gritty force in the NHL with a nose for the net (and the ladies).

Kingston and area will enjoy seeing him behind the bench.


Ringing the bell

King Ralph was on Wall Street trying to encourage investors to come and enjoy Alberta Beef... and the Alberta Advantage.

White Stetson hat tip to Ralph for promoting his province.


What the 2 scoops?

Was does Snipes have a South African passport? Is he trying to quietly make Blade 4?

Read more.


Hypocrisy runs wild in Carolina

Two People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) employees from Virgina have been charged in Ahoskie, N.C., with animal cruelty after dumping dead dogs and cats in a shopping center garbage bin.

Investigators staked out the bin after discovering that dead animals had been dumped there every Wednesday for the past four weeks, Ahoskie police said in a prepared statement. Police found 18 dead animals in the trash bin and 13 more in a van registered to PETA. The animals were from animal shelters two counties in North Carolina, police said.

Apparently, the two were picking up animals to be brought back to PETA headquarters for euthanization, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said Thursday. PETA is hosting a press conference later today to try and explain this sorted mess. Newkirk needs a big shovel.

There is no truth to the rumour that Emilo Estevez has finally found material for a script to re-launch his hollywood career.

Read more.