Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Catastrophe through a racial lens

Good to see the news reports are staying consistent with the racial profiling.

A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it made landfall on Monday. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)

Looters hit a drug store in the French Quarter district of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. Fresh floods, fires and looting rode in the destructive wake of Hurricane Katrina, deepening a humanitarian crisis that left hundreds feared dead and sections of New Orleans submerged to the rooftops.(AFP/James Nielsen)

As one person looks through their shopping bag, left, another jumps through a broken window, while leaving a convenience store on the I-10 service road south, in Metairie, La., Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This photo was taken during a helicopter tour of the area that included the governor of Louisiana. (AP Photo/Bill Feig, Pool)

Via: Daily Kos


Katrina and the Waves

All indications are that New Orleans is in a deeper state of chaos than could have been predicted and could use international assistance. A quick sampling of the daily news and you get the sense that things are going to get worse before they get better. A person knows that it is beyond serious when the whole city will soon be evacuated.

The city faces two crises that Louisiana's governor called nightmares: stopping rising floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and evacuating survivors of the deadly storm. The rising flood waters overwhelmed pumping stations that would normally keep the city dry. About 80 percent of the city was flooded with water up to 20 feet deep after the two levees collapsed.

There is the engineering nightmare of trying to fill two breachs of the levees where the waters are pouring into the city and the problem of trying to evacuate thousands of people from the Superdome. The latter is a huge human problem since inside the sports arena, toilets are overflowing and there is no electricity or air conditioning to provide relief from 90-degree heat.

The ugly side of humanity is also starting to seep through in the city. There are reports of wide spread looting in the French Quarter and there have been at least two suicides inside the Superdome. The last one occurred as a man finished a game of checkers and then plunged to his death.

Pray for survivors and a return to normalcy in the South as soon as possible.

In the aftermath of these events one has to wonder why Canadian papers feel the need to quote lyrics from the Tragically Hip - classless, truly classless.

Flood relief assistance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


A spade IS a spade

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has spared Canada a Clintonesque scandal. Justice Nicole Garson said she had been persuaded that she had the authority to make a change in the definition of adultery. Justice Garson granted a Vancouver woman a divorce on Tuesday by deciding that the woman's husband had indeed engaged in an adulterous affair with another man, despite the current definition of adultery involving people of the opposite sex.

This decision is expected to have far-reaching consequences across the country because of the increasing number of same-sex marriages that could inevitably lead to same-sex affairs.

All is fair in love and lust.

Read full story.


The Buzz in the Biz

Dukes of Sussex. Jessica Simpson and gang set to take sequel across the Atlantic.

Pitt, Jolie and Walters. Oh, the drama.

Oceans 13 - Clooney and Pitt invest billions in Vegas.

Courtney Love is really pregnant or at least that what the voices are telling her.

Ashlee Simpson wishes she could play Three's Company with Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.


Tutoring by Chuck Vindaloo

Educational tutoring has become a popular option for many families. The growth has been fuelled in the past decade by "helicopter" or ultra paranoid parents, who want that extra edge for John or Sally. It is estimated that tutoring is now a multi-billion business worldwide. Now comes word that American students are receiving online tutoring from firms with call centres based in India.

Despite some educators' worries that offshore tutors might not meet certification requirements, one U.S. company already has conducted a pilot program with Indian tutors. Career Launcher piloted a tutoring program last year with eSylvan, a division of Baltimore-based Educate Inc., through Educate's retail operations. There were difficulties getting teacher certifications forced them to pull out of the pilot, but Career Launcher is developing its own program and hopes to launch sessions directly through schools this year.

Indian tutors work, on average, for the equivalent of about $200 monthly, putting in six to eight hours a day, five to six days a week. That means they earn the equivalent of about a $1.40 an hour, compared with upward of $20 to $30 an hour for many U.S. tutors.

Public schools in the United States last year spent about $218 million on tutoring with an anticipated price tag of $500 million this year, says J. Mark Jackson, a senior analyst at Eduventures, a Boston market research company specializing in education.

Outsourcing tutoring is perfectly feasible, however, it removes the local element of education and introduces a series of unknowns. Tutoring is a largely unregulated and fragmented environment - which has some potentially bad outcomes for the consumer. Desperate parents often resort to desperate measures and most would be smart to pause and shop around - locally.

Read full story.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Willie Tanner has hit "crack" rock bottom

Actor Max Wright - Willie Tanner - apparently likes Freddie Mercury look-a-likes and crack? Alf, we could use a little assistance with this one.

Via Socialite


The Buzz in the Biz

Pamela Anderson, coffee and her nipples. Apparently all parts of her love espresso.

Tara Reid asks for a 2nd room in a London hotel for her...... shoes.

Britney Spears makes 13 year old actress cry. No truth to the rumour that this happened by her telling the girl that if she didn’t get things together she would end up a pregnant, no-talent hack.

Patrick Swayze to produce and star in new endangered species show. Apparently haz been actors are a dying breed.

Maria Sharapova likes athletes and rockers, just not at the same time - yet.


CIS Football is here

The time honoured tradition of Canadian university (college for my American friends) football is set to commence this week and spill over onto the Labour Day weekend. You really have to love varsity sports - true passion for the game.

The early rankings are out and my alma mater is situated high on the board - as one would expect. The Budweiser/NFL CIS Football Top Ten for Week 1 is as follows:

1. Laval
2. Saskatchewan
3. Wilfrid Laurier
4. Alberta
5. Montreal
6. Saint Mary's
7. McMaster
8. Western Ontario
9. UBC
10. Acadia

Here is hoping that BT can bring the Vanier back to Saskatoon once again.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Government owned street meat

The Cuban government is now firmly entrenched in the state sandwich business. After more than a decade of privately run vendors peddling sandwiches, pizzas, milkshakes and other junk food outside busy public spots in Havana, it is all over. In late June, Fidel Castro's Communist government closed down all snack shacks and opened a series of state run service outlets.

As the June 25, 2003 Economist points out, this is the latest step in a determined campaign by Cuba's president to roll back the small economic reforms that were allowed in the early 1990's - at the urging of the Soviet Union. A lot has changed in the past decade. Castro has a new alliance with Venezuela where the oil is cheap and China were the loans are cheaper.

Cubans are (were) learning what even the Chinese have come to realize - private ownership is far better than state ownership at providing goods and most services. I hesitate to say that all state ownership is bad since public utilities still should remain in the hands of the public. It is only a matter of time before Communism becomes a thing of the past, however, in the case of Cuba it appears they will need to take a step or two back before leaping forward.


Hang Up, Hung Up.

The much talked about Do-Not-Call registry is on track, barring a fall election, to become law early next year. Nearly four years after the United States took significant steps to eliminate unwanted telemarketing calls, a Canadian version of the Do-Not-Call registry is in the works. Prior to the House rising for the summer break, the Industry Committee reported back to the House on Bill C-37, the bill that would establish the registry.

This bill is long overdue. The average Canadian household is far too often contacted multiple times by Name-Only firms and they happen to phone exactly at supper time - a truly uncanny skill. Plus, I know how hard folks in Industry Canada have worked on this legislation. A hat tip to a good friend in Emerson's office, she deserves some credit.

The strongest advocate, beside the general public, for such a program is the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). The CMA currently possess a "Do Not Contact Service (DNCS)" that enables individuals to reduce the number of marketing offers they receive by mail, telephone and fax. Consumers register to have their names removed from marketing lists held by members of the CMA. The database contains about 340,000 names. To their credit, however, they recognize that this is not enough.

There are some serious limitations with this self-policing approach. The DNCS only applies to companies that are members of the CMA. There's little the CMA can do to punish violators, except kick them out of the CMA.

The proposed legislation unveiled by the federal government on Dec. 13, 2004, is modelled on the American registry. The bill calls for fines of $1500 per person and $15,000 per business for each infraction.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission program was designed to block about 80 per cent of telemarketing calls. Consumers register the number – home or cellphone – they want protected. The concept is simple: if you do not want to receive calls from telemarketers, you fill out a form or call a toll-free line.

Under the legislation, companies cannot call people who have signed up unless:

- The company has done business with them within the last 1½ years or fielded an inquiry or application from them within three months.

- The person being contacted gave them signed, written consent.

- The caller has a personal relationship with the person he or she is phoning.

- The company is among certain exempted groups such as charities, polling companies and political campaigners. These groups can ring numbers on the list unless they're asked not to call again.

Telemarketers must check the registry every 90 days and scrub names from their own lists. If they contact those numbers anyway, they can be fined up to $11,000 US per call or face jail terms. The federal regulator said it received between 10,000 and 12,000 consumer complaints alleging violations of the list in the program's first 11 months.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will likely administer the registry, perhaps with a private sector company under contract to do the actual work of taking the names of consumers who want to be on it. The CRTC regulates Canadian telephone companies, and has already come up with some rules to protect people from aggressive telemarketers.

Here is hoping the bill makes it back to the house for 2nd and 3rd reading soon and then to the Senate for royal ascent.

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Bra Wars or Tempest in a B cup?

ViaGlobe and Mail.

Women in London have been stocking up on bras, especially the cheaper ones, since it is believed that three million bras are being imprisoned in warehouses across Europe, banished from sale until January in an unexpected trade skirmish that has pitted the Chinese economy against European pride.

As every European woman learned from the newspapers yesterday, Europe imposed a quota on imports of Chinese garments in June. The quota limit was reached, unexpectedly, this week, and retail chains are saying that there will be no low-cost undergarments, pants or shirts available on store shelves until 2006, forcing European women to limit themselves to hideously expensive Italian-made smalls this fall.


Tommy Boy remembered - Did I hear a niner in there?

Quite the motley crew that gathered to celebrate Chris Farley's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I understand what David Spade, Tom Arnold, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock are doing there, but Gary Busey. How did he find the time in his busy schedule?


The Buzz in the Biz

Rocky VI a go, thankfully. Mr.T will be back as Clubber Lange - of course he will what else does he have to do?

Jessica Simpson lashs out about anorexia rumours. Nobody from Texas can have an eating disorder.

Country star Gretchen Wilson spits - literally.

Tom Jones lives large, a little too large for Elvira.

Jo-Jo and friends predict it will be a boy for Britney Spears. Cletus Spears has a good ring.

Coldplay will be back in North America in February through April.

Patrick Swayze back at the well.


CNN v Fox

Via National Ledger.

CNN president Jonathan Klein recently slammed Fox News and their coverage of the Natalee Holloway story as "easy and brainless" in a phone interview with the NY Times. It is, however, worth noting that Fox news regularly wallops CNN in the ratings game.

Now the NY Post's Richard Johnson makes an astute observation (or two) in a recent column:

CNN president Jon Klein should watch his own network before he complains to the New York Times about Fox News Channel being "meaningless nonsense." On Monday — the day before Klein was quoted in the Times — CNN's Larry King interviewed the multi-talented Pamela Anderson. King asked Anderson a whopping 13 questions about her breasts, including, "What size [are your breasts]?" and, "They expand on camera?"

Her answer--yes I think they do expand on camera and "D."

Larry astutely pointed out to Pam that a D-cup "is not average."

Transcript here.

The NY Post then cited a Fox insider that reportedly snickered, "King only got 926,000 viewers, proving that nothing on CNN can get a rating — news or trash. Maybe if Anderson would have taken her top off, they would have had higher ratings."

And in Canada, the CBC remains locked in a work stoppage.

Friday, August 26, 2005


False Advertising

Wingman offers a unique, safe alternative to drinking and driving by providing responsible and timely on-the-spot chauffer services. Wingman is also proud to announce day services ideally suited for medical visits, dental work and social events.

There is a fundamental problem with this firm using the word “Wingman” in their company’s title. Apparently some moron in the States thinks it is funny to play tricks on drunk, horny men. A real wingman is a guy who’s there for you when you’re about to approach at least 2 girls. He’s the guy who is supposed to take one for the team, and let you have the better looking girl. The guy who is supposed to motivate you into picking up that drunken MILF at the bar when your chips are down. He is the guy who forces you back into the field after finding out that your significant other has participated in a group orgy without you. That’s a wingman - not a cab driver.


The Buzz in the Biz

House of Wax stars relaxed at the Brass Rail in Toronto after a long day of press. Chad Michael Murray confesses to his wife that he thought it was going to be a whisky, tough-guy bar. Hopefully they didn't stop at Zanzibar cause I would hate to hear what he thought that could be - a safari themed restaurant?

How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days sequel a go. Phew, thought it would never happen. When is Black Book II?

Kevin Federline has found work. The Spears / Federline union is now a true two income family. She is a multi-Millionaire and he is, well a dance instructor.

Robert Redford has a fear of bears. Note to Redford don't pass out parties.

Calvin Klein likes them gaunt. One half of the Olson twins new spokesperson.

Britney Spears hosted a Moroccan baby shower. She insisted that people come barefoot and beautiful. Hmm, didn't know they had trailer parks in Morocco?

The Seinfeld's add another to their clan. No truth to the rumour that the child looks like Newman.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Big Trouble in Little China

The land of the rising sun is truly modernizing - with baby steps. Another sure sign of this transformation is the first undergraduate course on gay studies ever offered at a Chinese university begins this fall. For what it is worth, the course has drawn far more applicants than the 100 available seats.

The course, at Fudan University in Shanghai, will focus on health, legal, and social issues related to homosexuality in China. The supplemental funds for the course come from the Chi Heng Foundation. The Hong Kong-based foundation says on its Web site that its mission is to finance care for people affected by AIDS, and education projects related to AIDS, AIDS prevention, and antidiscrimination.

China stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001, but gay people still face discrimination and social pressures.

According to many experts the new course's popularity stemmed from ignorance about gay issues in China. Chinese students don't know much about homosexuality and, apparently, really want to know more.

A graduate student at Fudan agreed. "Students are just curious," said Laura Liu, who is studying journalism. "Homosexuality is a hot topic among students. Also, it's controversial, and students like controversial topics."

Gao Yanning, who in 2003 started a graduate course at Fudan's School of Public Health focusing on medical issues related to homosexuality, welcomed the popularity of the new undergraduate class. "It's good that our students are concerned about society and want to learn more about this," he said.


Can this man turn around the Riders season?

Here is hoping that a visit from the Prime Minister ends the horrific losing streak that is gripping the province of Saskatchewan.

The real story, however, is not the Riders but rather Mr. Dithers and his drifting boat. According to Liberal party pollster David Herle the party is poised to reclaim their majority stance in parliament. Now, it is job of the pollster to report trends to the MPs and party, but to blow smoke up their ass is a stretch. David Herle should have been out of a job months ago, but apparently the Prime Minister stays loyal to the idiots that brought and almost wrecked him.

Currently, the Liberals, hold only 133 of 308 House of Commons seats, but Herle believes there are potential gains sitting there in Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia when Canadians go to the polls this winter.

MPs were told that:

Winning back some of the 25 Ontario ridings that Martin's party lost to the Conservatives and NDP in the June 2004 vote is a strong possibility. This is likely, but it also could result in 3-5 seats.

The party, which holds only five of 56 seats in the Prairies, could capture eight or 10 ridings, mainly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. No way, no how. Herle, from Regina, should know better. They over performed last election in Saskatchewan with their "a vote for the NDP is a vote for Harper" tactic late in the election. The NDP will be stronger in both provinces.

The Liberals are poised to make substantial gains in British Columbia, where they now hold eight of 36 ridings. The majority of the non-Liberal seats are solid Conservative and the NDP will be a bigger factor - see above. Small gains, if any, are probable.

The Liberals will be lucky to hold all their seats in Quebec. In fact, they are likely to lose 2-4 seats. They will drop 1, maybe both in Alberta. The Atlantic, well we need to see what pre-election spending comes out.

The Conservatives and NDP have had a quiet summer, but you get the sense that it will be a loud fall / winter. Both parties sense that the Liberals are still weak and polls show no clear favourite. Both parties will soon be talking policy, issues and Gomery and that will boost them both. Also, Canadians have not warmed to Paul Martin and his indecisive ways. It is very likely that the next election will see another minority government.

Read full story.


It is all the rage

The Japanese logic game, SUDOKU, is taking North America by storm. Many U.S. newspapers this summer, including a personal favourite USA TODAY, have added the game to its pages. Also, the craze is pushing half-dozen puzzle-packed books up USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books list. Three weeks ago, no sudoku (sue-DOE-koo) books were in USA TODAY's top 150 ( In today's list, there are six.

Try it here.


I am NOT a wild party!!


The Buzz in the Biz

Hillary Duff confesses to having dental work. It isn't out of vanity, however, she just keeps chipping her teeth on microphones. Hmm, didn't know her concerts were staged in small booths where fans feed quarters into a slot to make the window go up.

Mandy Moore enjoyed her time with Hugh Grant not as much as he enjoyed his time with Devine Brown, but close.

Frank the Tank, Mitch and the gang are coming back for Round II.

Pamela Anderson throws gay wedding - for her dogs.

Tom Cruise likes to dress in drag.

Punky Brewster is a mom.

Justin Timberlake to launch own clothing line.

Good Charlotte - are they still churning out teen angst? - claim that Hillary Duff is the best female singer on the plant and have her guest on their next album. Maybe it can be on their greatest hits?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Where are we going? Higher....

... as in the price of gas.

Thank god that "experts" are predicting that rising gas prices will result in violence at the pumps. Who are these experts? According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, on average, one in every 1,100 fill-ups was a gas theft last year, the said. With about a penny per gallon as profit, a retailer would have to sell an extra 3,000 gallons to offset each $30 stolen.

FYI - Yes, 7 / 11 has national a lobby group (Why do those hotdogs look so stale? The hotdogs need to be allowed to stay on the spit for two weeks to maximize their flavour. Are there any health risks with the Family Gulp? Just the 3 pounds of sugar).

Gasoline theft cost retailers nationwide $237 million in 2004 — more than twice the $112 million loss in 2003, according to NACS. Gas prices have jumped this summer by as much as 18 cents to an average of $2.55 a gallon nationally.

A quick insight into the persuasive minds of the Chips and Pop lobby - "As the price of gas climbs, people's values decline," an NACS spokesperson stated. Life is so simple, why can't I land a job like that?

Read the full story.


The Buzz in the Biz

Britney Spears should live in Utah. Apparently she collects husbands.

Charlotte Church offers Tara Reid advice - from one drunk to another - kind of brings a tear to your eye.

Pamela Anderson frustrated by lack of dating action. Like OJ in the white bronco, she just wants to be pursued.

Monica Bellucci back in the saddle again.

David Gest is on the verge of telling the world that Liza Minnelli is crazy in an upcoming book. Let's recap their marriage - awkward public affection and Michaal Jackson as the best man - seems like she is sound as a pound.

Michael Jackson's accuser's mother (sister's neighbours friend) is charged with welfare fraud.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


And people wonder why there is hatred towards the United States

Reason number 2,290 for separation between church and state. Uber-Conservative U.S. evangelist Pat Robertson is calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying the leftist leader wanted to turn his country into "the launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

The founder of the Christian Coalition said during the Monday night television broadcast of his religious program, "The 700 Club," that Chavez, one the most vocal critics of President George W. Bush, was a "terrific danger" to the United States.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Robertson is correct to say that Venezuela is ripe for communist infiltration. Although it is unclear what damage that does to the United States. Like Cuba, it isn't great for the locals, but that isn’t America's business.

The Muslim extremism comment, however, is utter nonsense. It is absolutely mind boggling how Conservative hack after Conservative hack can spew such shit about this country or that country while trying to play connect the dots to terrorism. If the United States was serious about terror it would look in its foreign and domestic policy for some answers.

To the credit of the Bush administration the State Department is distancing itself from this crackpot. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack condemned Robertson's comments as "inappropriate" and said they were from a private citizen and did not represent the U.S. government position. It would be nice if the White House press secretary would do the same.

Pat Robertson should relax, get a hooker and continue spreading his hypocrisy across the land.

Read full story.


The Buzz in the Biz

Keanu Reeves likes the silver foxes (and looks like a loser on two wheels).

Bragelina storm Calgary. His divorce is pending.

Tara Reid pisses off former co-star Jason Biggs by draggin him into her sad, twisted life.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Quebec is in horrible financial shape and on the verge of potential civil disobedience but... least we can now have access to butter-coloured margarine.

An interprovincial panel has determined that the province must open its borders to butter-coloured margarine by Sept. 1, a ruling that will apparently end one of Canada's most enduring — and, for some, amusing — internal trade disputes.

According to the Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada, which represents margarine producers like Unilever Canada Inc., long-haul trucks are set to spread yellow margarine across Quebec, the only jurisdiction in North America yet to end its ban on butter-coloured margarine.

Read full story.


Delta battling Bre-X for useless stock

Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. continued to slide Monday, after a memo from the company to pilots warned cash reserves have fallen and last year's agreement seeking to avoid bankruptcy may have to be revisited.

Delta's stock fell 9 cents, or 6 percent, to close at $1.41 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock's price sits at its lowest level since analysts began tracking such data in 1962.

In other news, Northwest Airlines is still flying - for how long, who knows. A strike is threatening that airline at a time when labour costs, demand and fuel costs are crippling the industry.

Air Canada has never looked so good.


More fun for Stephen Harper

The second biography, The Pilgrimage of Stephen Harper, of the year on Stephen Harper contains some interesting news and notes. According to author Lloyd Mackey, a small group of radical religious conservatives wants to wrest control of Stephen Harper’s Conservative party — and ultimately Parliament — but have so far had little success and have at times alienated mainstream evangelical Christian Tories.

Part of the problem is the aggressive approach taken by the radicals, or “charismatics,” who helped Stockwell Day defeat Preston Manning in the 2000 Canadian Alliance leadership race. In what is undoubtedly the political understatement of the year, Mackey tells the Vancouver Sun that the charismatics could appear intimidating, almost frightening, to the more traditional evangelicals.

The most radical of the charismatics aim to ban abortion, minimize gay rights, and ensure religious freedoms are secured to permit the most public denunciation possible for anything that their leaders considered an abomination. Sounds a lot like living in the United States.

Now, to be fair to Harper he can't instruct the radical right to stop supporting him. The radicals, however, appear to be like moths to light. They clearly have their sights set on political mobilization and why not take your luck at an emerging political party?

Just for one month I wish that Harper and the Conservatives could focus on their master plan for Canada instead of having to put out religious and social fires. One has to think, with the likes of Monty Solberg, James Moore and company, that they have some good ideas to move the country forward. At the very least they can't be worse than the non-ideas being generated by Martin and the Liberals. More coins and fewer dollar bills.


The Buzz in the Biz

Tara Reid confesses to having breast implants. What, next someone will tell me there isn't really an Easter Bunny?

Katie Holmes wants a low-key, event of the decade wedding. Her command of the English language leaves something to be desired.

Courtney Love is apparently pregnant. Dear God she is the only person that makes Tara Reid look sober. As Golden Fiddle says, maybe the fetus will realize who it’s inside of and abort itself.

Eva Longoria, now, likes to keep in clean. She only discovered that at 26, yikes.

Pete Sweaty recognized by PETA.

Twin Peaks MAYBE back. Finally an idea worth pursuing.

Scarlett Johansson was kidding when she said she made love in an elevator with Benicio Del Toro. Aerosmith visible upset by this admission.

Neil Young soon to release a new album and may hit Canadian cities with his lavish tour. All good news.

Sharon Osborne slams Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden. In unrelated news, another tree fell in the forest.


Do you have some spare currency for our athletes?

Sometimes you wonder if monkeys are running the government. Honestly, who thought it would be a good idea to focus group a proposed $5 coin and pass on savings from the switch to Canadian Olympians? The country is poised to have a surplus of at least $8 billion and we are looking for ways to cut corners using currency. Utterly embarrassing.

Why not propose the elimination of the $10 bill and use the savings to beef up the military? Scrap the $20 bill and inject the savings into infrastructure? Better yet get rid of all paper money all together so Canadians can all carry around change buckets like a bunch of retirees at a Vegas casino.

What is most embarrassing about this story is that Finance allowed Heritage to focus group this idea. No, check that, what is most embarrassing is that some bureaucrat will get a performance bonus for being creative.

Read story.


Time to hit the lava

Hawaiians are known for being a little different. Maybe it is the island air? All the tourists? Is it a disconnect from land? Whatever the reason, their contribution to sport is certainly different.

Lava sledding, a long dormant sport, is undergoing an attempted revival. The sport sees competitors reach the top of a slope, stand up, lie down or kneel atop hardwood sleds -- often carved from kauila or ohia trees and measuring 12 feet long by 6 inches wide -- and speed down the man-made courses of hardened lava rocks sprinkled with grass.

Who exactly made lava sledding dormant? The risk averse Christian missionaries who brought Christianity to Hawaii and saw the sport as "a frivolous waste of time.

Now, Tom "Pohaku" Stone, who is fond of barreling down grassy slopes aboard ti leaves and banana stumps, is attempting to bring it back. What began as childhood fun on a natural roller coaster has evolved into an academic and cultural journey aimed at reviving the 2,000-year-old Hawaiian tradition of he'e holua, or Hawaiian lava sledding.

Read full story.


This blobs for you

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey will soon begin probing waters off Nova Scotia (Georges Bank) in search of a slimy creature - of porridge like goop - they believe is slithering north and could be blanketing some of Canada's richest fishing grounds.

The Blob, known for its icky texture and habit of covering nearly everything in its path, is on the move and feared to be making its way to Canada.

The organism was discovered in 2002 on the U.S. side of Georges Bank, a rich fishing area between Nova Scotia and Maine. The creature, which measures one to two millimetres individually, attaches itself to rocky bottoms and proliferates rapidly until it creates a sometimes huge carpet that can come between various fish species and their food.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


The Buzz in the Biz

Garth Brooks sells out. Fans cry out for the return of Chris Gaines.

Winona Ryder has aligator arms. Someone tell her the cash register is not decoration in stores.

Hillary Duff left dumbfounded when appartment hunting. Apparently the key goes in the door.

Snopp Dog wants to do a movie with Halle Berry. Is she available for Soul Plane II?

Harrah's in Vegas v Rod Stewart. The house always wins!

Kathie Lee Gifford joins Pat O'Brien over at the Insider. Frank Gifford all smiles.

Tara Reid is ready to quit Hollywood. Reid insists that she isn't a wild child and claims to be just a regular happy person who makes others happy. Textbook definition of a clown.



At least President George W. Bush is serious about one thing - cycling. Bush, an avid mountain biker, got a chance to test his mettle against cycling superstar Lance Armstrong on the weekend.

The seven-time Tour de France champion joined the president for a two-hour, 17-mile trek through the canyons and river-crossings of Bush's 1,600-acre Texas ranch. Armstrong, a fellow Texan and Bush friend (who nonetheless disagrees with the president on the Iraq war), called it a "dream scenario" to cycle with the president.

Bush, on his annual August vacation, took up mountain biking after a knee injury forced him to give up jogging a couple of years ago. He has, however, taken a few well-publicized spills, including one in Scotland last month when he collided with a police officer.

The president is in "superior" condition for a man his age and takes pride in his six-day-a-week workout regimen and just last week he showcased the statistics on his heart rate monitor for a group of reporters who rode with him. The monitor showed he burned 1,493 calories in a two-hour ride, also 17 miles.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


Guess who is coming to dinner?

U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney visits Alberta in September and he will attend a fundraising dinner organized by right-wing think tank the Fraser Institute.

Guests, which are likely to include Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and former Ontario premier Mike Harris, will pay $5,000-$10,000 a plate for the dinner, scheduled for Sept 8.


I' ll find you

Ideal for Gloria on Wedding Crashers.

Embrace is a concept bracelet that enables the user to be seamlessly connected to their significant other over periods of separation.

It consists of five nodes:
- an LCD screen displaying images sent via Bluetooth.
- the battery.
- the technical components that fuel this device.
- a camera lens that constantly records images until the user specifically shoots an image by gently grasping each side of the lens node, which uses "touch sensitive" technology.
- a scent palette that emits one of five odors chosen by the owner of the device indicating an incoming image from their significant other. For exemple, when you receive the scent of pina-colada, others may be able to smell it as well, but only you will really know why it smells like pina-coloda

The shape of Embrace allows the bracelets to unite with one another.

Hat tip to Double Viking for unearthing this scientific treasure. Read all about it.


History lesson

Canada Post recently issued a new, 50-cent stamp commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Acadian expulsion by the British from what are now the Maritime provinces.

This event is one of the worst in Canadian history and deserves more attention. Canadians remember the treatment of the Chinese on the railways and Aboriginal people / residential schools, but seem to forget this.

As a lad growing up in the west this story flew too far under the radar. It wasn't until relocation into Central Canada and the formation of a great friendship with 2 Acadians that the extent of the event was conveyed.

In 1755, there were 16,000 French-speaking Acadians living in the area when British troops embarked on a grand scheme to expel them. Acadians lost their, thousands perished and many families were separated during what became known as the Grand Derangement. In all, over 6,000 Acadians were deported, while another 4,000 hid in the woods where they waged a campaign of resistance.

A must read on the subject can be found on the Devil's Trash. Now, if you are like me you will have to read it twice or three times to get the meaning.


Carrot Top hits the juice.

Apparently dialing down the middle and a little steriod can do wonders.

Read about it on the Superficial.


The Buzz in the Biz

Multi-talented Pamela Anderson records song with Bryan Adams. Nostradamus winks and rolls over in his grave.

Jennifer Aniston has underwear stolen, they later show up on eBay and hires security to watch her panty drawer. Someone lend Matthew Perry some money already?

Teri Hatcher too busy to date. She is looking for hired help.

Hilary Duff eliminates fries from her diet and magic ensues.

Mini Me has a big problem - divorce.

Jenny McCarthy is hitting the open market, again.

Even celebrities use fake id. Ashlee Simpson claims to be Jessica and bouncers nod and smile.

Doctor Obvious chimes in with this nugget - Courtney Love admits to using drugs. Really, hadn't seen that coming.

Friday, August 19, 2005


The Buzz in the Biz

Kirsten Dunst wants to learn French. She just spent three months in France and claims to know only hair and make-up terminology.

Double down Affleck cutting...back on the cards. That is the real Planned Parenthood.

Melanie Griffith taking up pole dancing to save marriage. Apparently Puss N Boots is a simple man.

Griffith better not count of lessons from Eva Longoria.

Hugh Hefner has goals.

Jude Law, he of the small member, begs girlfriend to take him back and have his baby. Apparently the nanny was busy.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Oh the Christian irony

Liberty University is now granting its students new sartorial freedoms. Liberty, an evangelical Christian institution in Lynchburg, Va., has amended its dress code, allowing students to wear flip-flops, sandals, capri pants, and "neat" jeans to class. Students can also wear "modest" shorts in the dining hall and, after 4:30 p.m., in academic and administrative buildings.

The Liberty campus has grown by nearly a million square feet in the past year and it was time to make a more reasonable, more comfortable dress code for the students who are walking great distances for their classes. It has nothing to do with popular culture, but rather the desire to modernize "business-casual" dress.

The university is still asking the ladies to stick to more modest shorts -- in other words, not Daisy Dukes. No short shorts allowed.

As for jeans, well don't even get them started. Although there's no apparent verse in the Bible that would say that somehow wearing jeans is sinful, it is just a preference not to see them. Phew, I thought I missed something in Daniel 3:21

The institution's official dress codes - men & women.


Opening the vault

The past 4 years a select group of friends and colleagues have been called on to compile a series of top discs, movies, concerts and books from the previous year. This year will be no different, however, it would be great to expand the list. Therefore, anyone interested in participating should continue to view MP in the coming months or email to get on the all important list. In the interm you will find my previous three lists.

Top Discs for 2004

1. Arcade Fire – Funeral
2. Tragically Hip – In Between Evolution
3. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
4. Interpol - Antics
5. Green Day – American Idiot
6. Loretta Lynn – Van Lear Rose
7. U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
8. Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News
9. Sarah McLachlan – Afterglow (Live)
10. Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters
11. Neko Case – The Tigers Have Spoken
12. The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
13. Ben Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama – There Will Be A Light
14. Melissa Etheridge – Lucky
15. Elf Power – Walking with The Beggar Boys
16. Michael Franti – Songs From the Front Porch (An Acoustic Collection)
17. Alicia Keys – The Diary of Alicia Keys
18. Brian Wilson – Smile
19. The Libertines – The Libertines
20. (tie) REM – Around the Sun and Lenny Kravitz - Baptism

Top Discs for 2003

1. White Stripes – Elephant
2. The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
3. Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism
4. Fountains of Wayne – Welcome Interstate Mangers
5. Hawksley Workman – Lover / Fighter
6. Beulah – Yoko
7. New Pornographers – The New Version
8. Super Furry Animals – Phantom Power
9. Camera Obscura – Underachievers Please Try Harder
10. Belle and Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress
11. Kings of Leon – Youth and Young Manhood
12. Ryan Adams – Rock & Roll and Love is Hell Part 1&2
13. Ted Leo and Pharmacists – Hearts of Oak
14. Jack Johnson – On And On
15. The Strokes – Room on Fire
16. The Thrills – So Much for the City
17. The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow
18. Kathleen Edwards – Failer
19. Stereophonics – You Gotta Go There to Come Back
20. Sloan – Action Pact
21. Granddaddy – Sumday
22. Johnny Cash – Unearthed
23. Elbow - Cast of Thousands
24. Cat Power – You Are Free
25. Neil Young and Crazy Horse– Greendale
26. Lucinda Williams – World Without Tears
27. The Raveonettes – Chain Gang of Love
28. British Sea Power – The Decline of British Sea Power
29. The Be Good Tanyas – Chinatown
30. John Mayer – Heavier Things
31. Pernice Brothers – Yours Mine and Ours
32. Sam Roberts – We Were Born On A Flame
33. My Morning Jacket – It Still Moves
34. Damien Rice – O
35. Radiohead – Hail To The Thief
36. The Coral – Magic and The Medicine
37. Calexico - Feast of Wire
38. Go Betweens – Bright Yellow Bright Orange
39. Dashboard Confessional – A Mark : A Mission : A Brand : A Scar
40. Dave Matthews – Some Devil
41. Rufus Wainwright – Want One
42. The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music
43. The Stills – Logic Will Break Your Heart
44. Billy “Prince” Bonnie – Master And Everyone
45. Damien Jurado – Where Shall You Take Me
46. Warren Zevon – The Wind
47. Various Artists: Just Because I’m A Woman: Songs of Dolly Parton
48. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Fever to Tell
49. Sarah McLachlan – Afterglow
50. The Sea & the Cake - One Bedroom

Top Discs for 2002

1. Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales
2. Wilco - Yankee Foxtrot Hotel
3. David Gray - A New Day at Midnight
4. The Tragically Hip - In Violet Light
5 (tie). Red Hot Chili Peppers - By the Way
5 (tie). Clinic - Walking with Thee
6. Spoon - Kill the Moonlight
7. Foo Fighters - One by One
8. Tom Petty - the last DJ
9. Superdrag - Last Call For Vitriol
10. Coldplay - Rush Of Blood To The Head
11. Ron Sexsmith - Cobblestone Runway
12. Bruce Springsteen - The Rising
13. Norah Jones - Norah Jones
14. Starsailor - Love is Here
15. The Hives - Veni Vidi Vicious
16. Super Furry Animals - Rings around the world
17. George Harrison - Brainwashed
18. Kasey Chambers - Brickwalls and Barricades
19. Ryan Adams - Demolition
20. Elvis Costello - When I was Cruel
21. The Vines - Highly Evolved
22. Beck - Sea of Change


The art of timing - When to release a greatest hits package?

The USA today probes an issue that has been the topic of some debate amongst music lovers around the globe - when to release the all important greatest hits collection.

The greatest-hits album once stood as an important career milestone chronicling a collection of top-rated hits, culturally significant songs or the end of a stellar career. But in recent years, a flood of "best of" titles from acts with only few songs (I refuse to label them hits) in the business and performers who are still wet behind the ears have hit stores.

For example, last fall, Britney Spears released Greatest Hits: My Prerogative, a retrospective of her chart-topping, multiplatinum recording career — all six years of it. The Backstreet Boys put out The Hits: Chapter One in 2001 — just four years after releasing their first album. Is it not even more insulting that they had the nerve to label it Chapter 1? Are they expecting to be around for another couple of chapters?

In fairness to Spears and the Backstreet Boys they had a steady collection of hits or at least they can say more than just one. Among the more questionable greatest-hits collections that have popped up in recent years: Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika (with one hit from the 1980s); The Best of Mandy Moore, from an entertainer who had more success as an actress than she ever did as a singer; and The Best of O.D.B., from the late rapper who will best be remembered for his wild behaviour and legal troubles than his chart-topping hits (or lack thereof).

Now enter the latest no talent hack. Teen queen Hilary Duff, who has sold millions of albums to screaming 10 year old girls and released a grand total of two discs (the first one in 2003 and neither spawned a top 10 hit) has a best of collection out.

Meanwhile, Tragically Hip fans must wait until November 1 for a real greatest hits collection from a band that has paid their dues.

Read full story.


X - BOX the Sequel

Microsoft's new Xbox 360 game system will provide video game lovers with two different options, a fully-equipped $399.99 package that includes a 20 Gigabyte hard drive and a stripped-down $299.99 version.

Both systems are expected to be cheaper than the new Sony unit. Also, they are expected to be available in the USA and Europe during this upcoming holiday shopping season.

In addition to the detachable 20GB hard drive, the higher-priced package includes a wireless game controller, headset, remote control and high-def video cables. The Xbox 360 core system ($299) comes with the same Xbox 360 console system and a wired controller (but no hard drive, headset or remote and standard video cables).

Add another couple of billion to the Gates fortune.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


A Saturday night addition for red meat Conservatives

Looking for a great way to spend some time with friends in Brooks, Alberta? Not quite bitter enough at society? Why not try the only board game ever banned in America. Public Assistance - Why Bother Working For A Living?

Each game comes with the following:
1 sheet of 30 out-of-wedlock children;
6 sheets of funny game money;
5 sheets of welfare benefit cards (50 cards);
5 sheets of working person's burden cards (50 cards);
Playing pieces; and
The board in 4 pieces (for regular home-printers), and the board in one piece (for professional and oversize printers).

The highlight of the game would have to be landing on a "Have Out-Of-Wedlock Child" block. It entitles a player on the Able-Bodied Welfare Recipient's Promenade to an extra $200 per child when that player lands on or passes the First Of The Month. Classic.

Download here.


Dumb laws

Did you know?

It is illegal to publicly remove a bandage in Canada?

That it is illegal to water your lawn in Nova Scotia when it is raining?

Common sense would dictate the latter, but apparently legislation is the next best thing in that province.

Dumb Laws


The Buzz in the Biz

Britney Spears is NOT orally challenged.

Beyonce does not want to have kids. It is too bad the world needs some little Jiggas.

Eminem is playing private voice-mail messages left by Mariah Carey and this is starting to piss her off. No truth to the rumour that the messages include a reference to the old Students' Union Vice-President Communications and Events - F*$K.

Matt LeBlanc really enjoyed his bike trip to British Columbia. His wife on the other hand not such a big fan.

Madonna is 47 and clumsy.

Prince Harry and William are coming to Springfield.

Phoff Diddy didn't cut it. The artist formerly known as P Diddy is now known as Diddy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


What is wrong with Viagra?

Red Bull... anyone, anyone?

Sadly not a joke, but rather a true hospital story. A Russian, desperate to make sex with his wife last longer, stuck a thermometer into his manhood. Sergei Abramov came home from a night of heavy drinking at a Moscow pub to find his wife in the mood for sex.

Fearing he wouldn't be able to perform, because of the amount of alcohol he had consumed, he used the temperature taking device to keep him erect throughout the love-making session.

However, after having sex he collapsed in agony - because the thermometer had got lodged in his bladder.


The Buzz in the Biz

Sarah Jessica Parker really likes perfume.

Tara Reid, new host of Wild On, storms out of European sex show claiming to be offended by what she sees. No truth to the rumour that participants stormed out first.

Los Angeles residents weep as Clay Aiken packs up and moves home.

Owning 7 homes apparently makes you grounded... or at least Sting.

Ozzy, hm check that Sharon, decides to pass the torch.

Monday, August 15, 2005


Men reduced to sperm donors??

Veteran BBC newsreader Michael Buerk may soon be looking for another line of work. Buerk, clearly agitated by something, has complained that "almost all the big jobs in broadcasting [are] held by women," and that men have been reduced to "sperm donors".

The former primetime news presenter, who now reads the news on BBC World, also said that the "shift in the balance of power between the sexes" has gone too far, saying that "life is now lived in accordance with women's rules".

He doesn't let up. Buerk goes onto question the new British male role model - David Beckham and Tim Henman. He claims that this is a direct result of men becoming more like women.

"Men gauge themselves in terms of their career, but many of those have disappeared," he said. "All they are is sperm donors, and most women aren't going to want an unemployable sperm donor loafing around and making the house look untidy. They are choosing not to have a male in the household."

I am not sure if Buerk is just vacationing here from another planet, but I thought there were still more than a few gender inequalities left.

Read the full story.


2 Forces collide - Politics and Pop Culture

Christopher Walken is running for President in 2008. The White House needs more cowbell.

UPDATE ------

Apparently the Washington Times blows the lid off this hoax. No more cowbell.


The Buzz in the Biz

Is the quickest way to a women's heart through copying all her tattoos? Apparently Steve-O from Jackass thinks so.

The most anticipated sequel ever is in production. Bill Murray will again lend his voice to the Garfield movie.

Yes Virginia there is some honesty in Hollywood. Director Tony Scott says he makes movies for money not the academy.

Demi Moore wants, well, more.

Returning to scene of the crime - Ashlee Simpson may be a guest on SNL this year.

The Dukes had a short run. They are now number 3.

The real surprise is that "Deuce Big-gest women I have ever seen" grabbed the number 5 spot with nearly $10 M in sales. The movie is actually going to make some money. God love capitalism.


You stay classy Winnipeg

As of 12 01 AM today CBC workers were officially locked out. Negotiators for the broadcaster and the Canadian Media Guild could not agree on a contract by the CBC-imposed lockout deadline.

The network will consolidate all news, sports and weather reports and rely heavily on the BBC for feeds. So expect stories on Leeds and Everton as opposed to Lethbridge and Edmonton.

The real interesting part will be who is reading the news tonight at 10 when the National hits the air. Peter Mansbridge, my personal favourite, will not be at the desk reading the news as only he can. Instead, the CBC will temporarily replace him with a mystery anchor. Two words - Ron Burgundy.

Imagine the introduction he could get:

There was a time, a time before cable. When the local anchorman reigned supreme. When people believed everything they heard on TV. This was an age when only men were allowed to read the news. And in Canada, one anchorman was more man then the rest. His name was Ron Burgundy. He was like a god walking amongst mere mortals. He had a voice that could make a wolverine purr and suits so fine they made Sinatra look like a hobo. In other words, Ron Burgundy was the balls.

If not Burgundy then why not Wes Mantooth?


Is that Anatrophill in that Ferret's urine?

Bye-bye Ferret Olympics. Hello Ferret Agility Trials. After nine years of fast-paced, heart stopping competition, the Ferret Olympics are being forced to change its name. Why? The U.S. Olympic Committee has threatened to sue.

So over the weekend an estimated 75 ferrets vied for medals at the Ferret Agility Trials in events including the Tube Run and the Paper Bag Escape.

If I was the organizer of the Agility Trials I would register the Paper Bag Escape. Olympic Committee's around the globe, including the IOC, are desperate for new sports as mentioned in previous posts.

Read full story.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Witch hunt

Nepean-Carleton-Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilievre apparently will not let the non-issue of the new Governor General die. Poilievre has issued an email to former PC National Youth head Pierre Bourque calling for the Governor General to admit that she didn't vote to break-up the country (in '95) and that her family isn't / wasn't sympathetic to FLQ.

The sooner that Canada breaks from the monarchy the better, however, in the interim we need a Governor General and Martin's choice - and there are many previous ones that could be questioned - is actually a good one. The main constituents of discontent are western conservatives (who won't be happy until the Liberals are out of Ottawa) and Quebec separatists.

The worse description of discontent comes from one of the better bloggers going. Kate at Small Dead Animals apparently has a small issue with Jean. Sad really. Jean is anything but a poster child.
Text of the email.

Subject: Speak up or Stand Down
Date: August 14, 2005 2:28:12 PM EDT
Speak Up or Stand Down

PM should demand new G-G come clean on alleged terrorist ties and 1995 referendum vote or step down

For Immediate Release

August 14th

Nepean-Carleton-Conservative M.P. Pierre Poilievre said today that if the Prime Minister cannot extract a public statement from Rideau Hall`s newest residents denying terrorist links and separatist loyalties, he should reverse their appointment.

"If the accusations are not true, why won't Ms. Jean simply deny them?" asked Poilievre. "The soon-to-be tenants of Rideau Hall face claims of terrorist sympathies and separatist leanings. Nobody knows if these charges are true. But Ms. Jean's total unwillingness to deny them feeds our worst suspicions."

"We know that Paul Martin is a phoney. But what is he concealing? Why is he instructing Ms. Jean to hide?"

"Paul Martin should take responsibility for this appointment and demand that Ms. Jean come out of hiding and tell the truth about where her loyalties lie."

Poilievre reiterated his call for Ms. Jean to renounce her French citizenship.

Poilievre said that a simple public statement - written or verbal - would put the issue to rest.



Mothers rage against the system

Two interesting stories have emerged this week in North America with respect to mothers lashing out against "the man". In Canada, an Ontario woman is questioning when the country became so damned left-winged. Meanwhile, in the United States, a mother of a solider killed in Iraq is into week two of her protest at Crawford, Texas.

First the Canadian story. A 15 year-old mystery, that haunted Carol Taylor and her family, was finally solved earlier this week. Lynda Shaw's mother, however, felt no relief, no sense of closure when OPP officers shared the name of her daughter's killer about two weeks ago.

Shaw, 21, was abducted, raped, beaten, stabbed and dumped off Highway 401 near London in 1990 by a convicted double murderer named Alan Craig MacDonald -- about a year after he was paroled and living in a Brantford halfway house.

Her mother says that she feels a deep sense of anger over a justice system that failed her daughter by freeing MacDonald after he served 12 years of a life sentence for the 1975 killing of Dartmouth, N.S., police officer Eric Spicer, 28, and cabbie Keith E. McCallum, 23. Also, she is extremely frustrated over a police decision to withhold MacDonald's name from the public out of privacy concerns because the burly construction worker committed suicide in 1994 and thus could never be tried.

Taylor concluded by saying she was told because the convicted was deceased, his name needed to be protected for 30 years. Authorities state that this is standard practice under privacy legislation. Taylor, she thinks it’s incredible and the country has become so left wing.

Meanwhile in the United States, Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, is calling for Bush's "impeachment," threatening not to pay her taxes, calling for Israel to get out of Palestine and discussing her hatred of pants - ok, I added that last part! You may as well aim for the fences if you are swinging.

Sheehan, who is asking for a second meeting with President Bush, says defiantly: "My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we'll put this war on trial."

The 48-year-old California mom remains tented up in a ditch along the one-lane road that leads to Bush's Texas ranch. As her protest entered its second week, hundreds of people with conflicting opinions about the war in Iraq descended on the area.

Bush has not handled this situation well either. He dispatched Stephen Hadley, national security adviser, and a deputy White House chief of staff, to talk to Sheehan on Saturday. Sheehan said the meeting, which she called "pointless," lasted 20 minutes. The White House said it lasted 45 minutes. This has just added fuel to the fire and gave her case some legitimacy.

Sheehan declares that if America got out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine then you'll stop the terrorism.

I am actually glad that the world doesn't take policy advice from grieving parents since both of these problems are a little more complex than they have made them out to be.


The Buzz in the Biz

Nicole Kidman, seeking someone to father her children, is apparently receiving no shortage of offers from fans.

Buy a piece of Minnie Driver on eBay. She authorized it for, hmm.., charity. Sounds like someone is a little financial embarrassed.

Posh Spice has never read a book in her life. Really, it doesn't show.

Jason Alexander, the former Mr. Britney Spears, got screwed - figuratively.


Now pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax...

ahh... check that Vin Scully, I believe that is an African elephant making its way from the bullpen. The West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team made history on the weekend when they had an elephant throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Not only was Friday's pitch thrown by an elephant, but the ball went straight to catcher Chris Robinson's mitt. Fans and players cheered the 9-foot (2.7-meter)-tall, four-ton African elephant named Laura after she flipped the ball high and wide.

Laura, no stranger to attention, having once shared the silver screen with Jim Carrey in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls." She and her owner, W.C. Walters of Ivory Haven Farms in Newaygo, also make frequent appearances across the state.

Whitecaps right-hander Andrew Kown said the team's pitching staff could learn from the animal. "I couldn't believe how far and how hard she throws it," Kown said before the Whitecaps lost to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4-1. "If an elephant can (throw a strike), we should be able to do it."

The doctor obvious quote of the year goes to Robinson who felt the need to state to the Grand Rapid press-"I've never caught an elephant before and she actually had pretty good life on her fastball. It tailed a little bit.


Not again

It is so annoying when all summer television has is re-runs, however, does it have to extend to the news? President Bush, speaking on Israeli television, indicated that he would consider using force as a last resort to press Iran to give up its nuclear program.

"All options are on the table," Bush, speaking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, said in the interview broadcast on Saturday. Pressed further to say if that included the use of force, Bush replied: "As I say, all options are on the table. The use of force is the last option for any president and you know, we've used force in the recent past to secure our country."

Iran has angered both the European Union and the United States by resuming uranium conversion at the Isfahan plant after rejecting an EU offer of political and economic incentives in return for giving up its nuclear program. Tehran says it aims only to produce electricity and denies Western accusations it is seeking a nuclear bomb.

Bush made clear he still hoped for a diplomatic solution, noting that EU powers Britain, Germany and France had taken the lead in dealing with Iran.

Now, let's hope that cooler heads prevail and that Bush isn't listening to close to the same group of morons that had him invade Iraq. Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz (now head of the World Bank) and co should be frozen out of any major decisions in his second term.

There is a great article in today's Globe and Mail (subscription required) about how the US is not only losing its place in the world, but doing it rapidly and without a clue. Apparently, (as discussed here from time to time) record deficits - with no plan to eliminate them - (the trickle down effect articulated with a possible fix is frightening) and overstretching your military are a real problem.

Bush should get his domestic house in order before he brings the global economy to its knees.


Who says religion and lego don't mix

John 3:16 this!

Via - Bumf

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Dick to visit Alberta....

....No not Assman, "The Real Deal" Cheney is coming to Wild Rose country. Ralph Klein let the nugget of information out yesterday at the Premier's meeting in Banff that the VP would in the province investigating the tar sands.

Interest in Canada's oil patch continues to grow as the demand for fresh crude supplies becomes more intense. Political uncertainty in oil producing hot spots around the world has made Canada's oil and gas supplies even more attractive to the United States and other countries.

The visit likely has allot to do with keeping an eye on the dragon and the rising price of gas. China has been eyeing the Canadian oil patch -- a point not lost on Washington. Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the U.S. and major American petroleum producers have made big investments in their northern neighbour.

Alberta's oilsands are also viewed as a major piece of the puzzle in meeting North America's energy demands.

It is too bad George couldn't come and bring his friends. Bush is doing his best Lucky Pierre.