Thursday, December 31, 2009

1511...Blue Moon

Once in a blue moon. Very rarely. Like New Year's Eve 2009.

Cut and paste number from

In 2009, a blue moon will occur on December 31 (New Year's Eve).

IN MODERN times, the term "blue moon" is defined as the second full moon occurring within a single month. By a somewhat older definition, it's the third full moon in a season that has four — instead of the normal three — full moons. Either way, it's an out-of-the-ordinary phenomenon occuring only once ever few years.

"Blue moon" was understood in a much more literal way historically, writes folklorist Philip Hiscock in the pages of Sky & Telescope. Once upon a time, he says, it denoted a phenomenon even rarer than an extra full moon, one that has occurred perhaps only once or twice in recorded history: the face of moon literally appearing to turn blue in color.

"In fact," notes Hiscock, "the very earliest uses of the term were remarkably like saying the Moon is made of green cheese. Both were obvious absurdities, about which there could be no doubt. 'He would argue the Moon was blue' was taken by the average person of the 16th century as we take 'He'd argue that black is white.'"

Unusual atmospheric phenomena such as dust and ash thrown up by massive volcanic eruptions probably account for the few times in recent millennia when the moon presented an azure face to observers on earth. In December 1883, geologist W. Jerome Harrison reported viewing a striking "electric-blue" crescent moon against a copper-colored sky from his home in Birmingham, England. He attributed it to lingering debris from the explosion of Krakatoa.

Most people don't realize that "blue moon" took on its present astronomical meaning fairly recently. It's a "truly modern piece of folklore, masquerading as something old," says Hiscock. The second-full-moon-in-a-month definition only dates back about 50 years. No matter how it's defined, the phrase will probably always retain its ancient connotations, as evinced in popular songs identifying the image with loneliness and despair.


1510...Soupy Sales Died This Year


He was the comic who invented the pie in the face; hey someone had to do it.

But in my view he is most famous for the little green paper incident of New Year's Day 1965.

More on that on New Year's Day 2010.


1509...I Loverboy Rock And Roll

And Paul Dean of Loverboy loves...Taylor Swift and Hillary Duff...he says he is the oldest tween on the planet.

Good fun as reported in the Ottawa Sun.

Now I don't have to feel guilty for having a Selena Gomez poster on the wall in my bedroom.


1508...Sort Thru Your Pennies

Look for one's dated 1936.

One such number is going to get about 300 000 . 00 USD next week on auction in New York City.

Sort away.


1507...This Is Why We Have 911

Or, as they call it in Merry Ole England, 999.

In a reasonably insane move the Daily Telegraph, a London, England birdcage liner, reports that an unnamed woman in Manchester called 999 Christmas day because her cat was "...playing with a ball of string..." Of course. "She stressed that it was a serious emergency...and it was 'doing her head in'...[and] had 'been going of for two hours now'..."

Fair dinkum.


1506...The Newest Way To Steal

In a step up for the WFDS I was reading the New York Times today. Ah, the stuff one finds on the bus. Anyhow, there was a piece in the paper by Steven Greenhouse that says that the new wave in department store theft is from the inside, specifically false merchandise returns and siphoning cash onto gift cards.

At the Saks flagship store in the Big Apple a 23 year old clerk was recently caught ringing up 130 large, that is 130 000 . 00, in fake returns and flipping the coin onto a gift card. For herself.

1.51 per cent of total retail sales walk out the store one way or another and the 2008 National Retail Security Survey says about half of the theft is by employees. And when employees steal they really steal: the average shoplifter lifts 438 shekels worth of swag per episode; the average klepto employee 1890 dollars worth of schtuff.

Another growing field in the world of department store larceny is the gift card switcheroo. You buy a gift card for 50 dollars to mail to your friend out west and the clerk swaps the 50 dollar card for a blank one.

Beauty, eh?


1505...Lil Wayne Lil Gone Lil Long

Lil Wayne, the rapper who has collaborated with anyone and everyone in the rap, crunk and r/b music industry, returned to his hometown of Nawlins for a performance farewell show in in hometown.

Associated Press reports that the 27 year old rapper is slated to go to jail for a year on February 9th next year on a weapons charge dating back to '07.

Keeping it real.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1504...Dick Clark Is Back Balling New Year's Eve

I, on the other hand, will be at the Carleton Tavern, the Ugly Club, where me and my festive sombrero fit in.

"America's oldest teenager, Dick Clark, actually turned 80 in November. Despite lingering effects from a stroke in 2004, the former American Bandstand host will be back to roll in the new year on ABC's Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2010. "

So says the USA Today.


1503...Like You Care But I Have A New Fave Show

It was Julie Snyder's Le Banquier on TVA but now I have graduated to La Guerre des Clans on TQS.

I must be maturing.

It is the Quebec version of Family Feud and they are in the money round as I write this; Maxime Cyr got a rousing 34 in the first round, starting out with three, er, trois zeroes in a row.

As those of you who went to college and university know you need 200 points to win the big money, which on the TQS show is 2,500 smackers.

Better luck a demain.


1502...Remedial Media

Weather woman on CBC National News at Noon:

Drivers in Cape Breton will see zero visibility today.

Uh, no.


1501...Stephen Harper To Shut Down Parliament

"If the government attempts this manoeuvre, it's a shocking insult to democracy," said Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale. "The government is in a very sticky place with respect to Afghan detainees and they're running from accountability here -- this is a cut and run government."

That is Mr. Goodale being quoted in the Toronto Sun this morning regarding the shut down of Parliament until after the Olympics by the Tories.

"Sources say the government is expected to prevent Parliament coming back on its scheduled return date of Jan. 25 so it can keep the House in recess until after the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver."

This calculated and sleazy move is being done to spin the Conservatives out of the mess they are in. What our beloved PM is hoping for is a great Olympics for Canada, a great Olympics would be winning the hockey gold, lots of photo ops for him and his gang and then, boom, snap election.

What the funk?


1500...Local TV Doesn't Matter

Or give a flying f*ck.

Case in point: An Ottawa Police officer was killed, allegedly murdered yesterday morning by an RCMP officer.

One of the biggest local stories in the history of your Nation's Capital.

It is the day after, noon, and where is local TV?

CBC is running their noon national news and giving this important case about 10 of the first 20 minutes that they are on.

But it is national.

The local stations, well, on the English side, nothing. Ottawa's alleged newsleader, CTV News/CJOH is showing the Team Canada selection. Ditto their sister station, A Channel. On the French side, nothing but the Team Canada selection on Radio Canada and dubbed American reruns on TVA and TQS as I write this at 12 20 pm. Six local TV stations plus a dozen repeaters and nothing local.

If this horrible crime had of happened in Detroit or Buffalo or DC or or or you know, you know that they would have been all over it, Live Eye, Local 4, Eyewitness News, wall to frigging wall.

Please let Ian Morrison and the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting in on this.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

1499...Jacques Cartier

Samuel de Champlain.

Henry Hudson.

WTF were they thinking.

Minus 25 right now in Ottawa.

Why couldn't Mr. Cartier et. al. discovered someplace warmer in the winter?


1498...Oh Radio, Oh Radio

He hee.

It is me and you tomorrow morning, 93.1CKCU, six to seven.

Joined by Tyrone Drummond, a conspiracy whacko who I love dearly and tic, another conspiracy whacko who I love dearly.

May be we can get to the bottom of who really killed JFK.


1497...No Snitching

That is the code of rappers and the rappers world, right?

No snitching.

Unless of course it is the rapper that gets jacked.

Case in point: Nelly. You know him, he usta be a big star, wore a Band Aid under his left eye to represent his peeps in jail, hard core, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Associated Press tells that apparently someone harder core than Mr. Nelly figured his way into Mr. Nelly's St. Louis crib and took a whole bunch of his stuff last month. So much stuff that Mr. Nelly, no snitching please, has went to the po po and Crimestoppers with 10 000 . 00 dollars as an enticement to get someone to play Judas so he can get his sh*t back.

No snitching.



1496...Cop Killed In Ottawa

From the Ottawa Citizen, sad news:

An Ottawa police officer has been killed in a stabbing in the Emergency
Room at the Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus.

Police say one man has been arrested in connection with the incident,
which occurred at the hospital about 4:30 a.m.

The name of the officer has not been released.

Yellow police crime tape can be seen outside the emergency room
entrance, but the ER remains open, said Nicolas Ruszkowsi, vice-president of
communications for the hospital.

Police Chief Vern White is to hold a media briefing Tuesday

It is the first death of an Ottawa officer in the line of duty since
1983, when Const. David Utman was shot in an altercation at a city shopping


1495...Wanna Buy A Baby?

Got thirty bucks?

In northern Florida?

Jacksonville perhaps?

See Robert G. Ellingson and Maghen Duvala. The Pensacola News Journal reports that this dream couple tried to sell their two month baby in a Pet Smart parking lot for thirty dollars. This is apparently against the law in Florida.

Charges have been laid.


1494...Danny Williams, Rock Star

The Newfoundland Premier, Danny Williams, is the most popular in the land with an approval rating of 78 per cent according to Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs at Vancouver-based
public opinion firm Angus Reid Strategies.

The story, reported in yesterday's Vancouver Sun, also indicates, as best I can figure, that no other elected leader in Canada approaches fifty per cent, not even our Prime Minister, old blue eyes.

So there.


Monday, December 28, 2009

1493...The Pirate Returns

Milkman Unlimited, a radio industry website and news source, reports that the pirate in Ottawa is back:

After signing off recently and writing an apology letter to the CRTC, the 14 year old operator of an illegal radio station in Ottawa signed back on the air Dec. 24th.

Yesterday's broadcast included airing the Teen Top 40 with Kevin Dees in its entirety.

The boy has stones.


1492...Good News For Lobsters

Bad news for lobstermen.

In this morning's Moncton Times and Transcript "Liberal MP Geoff Regan says the number of lobster fishermen facing the threat of foreclosure is escalating, but the Conservative government is nowhere to be seen."

Imagine, the Stephen Harpers not giving a flying f*ck about the citizens of our great land.

I am appalled.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

1491...Colts 911'd By Jets

See ya later 16 and 0.


1490...My New Political Hero

Is Governor Narain Dutt Tiwari, the 86 year old Governor, or I should say, ex-Governor of Andhra Pradesh State in India.

Shades of Kwame Kirkpatrick, the former mayor of Detroit, Governor Tiwari has been jammed up in a sex scandal.

Good on him. He is 86 and he got caught on tape with three, that is one...two...three, three women.

The Associated Press reports that the television channel ABN Andhra Jyoti News broadcast the tape that was made in a sting operation. The three women were from his northern home state of Uttrakhand, it claimed and were stinging him by having sex with him coz he reneged on a mining deal with one of them.

Way to get even; have a four way. That will teach the Governor.


1489...Paris Hilton Gets Hitched

The Mail On Sunday columnist Piers Morgan, you may have seen him on America's Got Talent as a judge, married Paris Hilton in Las Vegas for his forthcoming ITV1 reality show.

The fifteen minute ceremony at the Little Church of The West was only for show and the show.

Yet it is conservatives and Conservatives that still insist it's the gays who are ruining traditional marriage.


1488...And The Wheels Fall Off On Bourbon Street

New Orleans Saints become the 'Aints.

Two in a row in the loss column for Nawlins.



Saturday, December 26, 2009

1487...Iranian Genius

Saw this in the Ottawa Citizen Boxing Day and it is brilliant.

Iranians are using bills, banknotes, money to communicate their distaste for the current regime. IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, reports that Iran's central bank has warned people to not write on banknotes and are confiscating ones that have slogans that are against the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Pithy slogans such as "Death to the Dictator" have appeared on banknotes.

Creative, fun, innovative.


1486...Sarah Jessica Parker Speaks

On the website the well known butterface and fashion diva and star of Sex And The City reveals that her next fragrance concept is going to be body odour based.


"I really like B. O. and I think it is sexy. I wanted to figure out a way to make it palatable to everybody."

79 dollars a bottle to smell like the Y.



1485...Penalty Claus On Boxing Day

Proving that be a petty prick is not confined to these shores The Sun, that is the London Sun, as in London, England, The Sun's Jane Hamilton offers up this piece of non good cheer to residents of Merry Old:

More than three-quarters of councils have decided Boxing Day is NOT a public holiday this year because it falls on a Saturday. And they are set to clean up as shoppers innocently park without paying in areas signed "public holidays - no charge". Despite deeming it a non-Bank Holiday, other council services like libraries and swimming pools will be CLOSED.

Pricks they are, pricks.


1484...Canada Gives Back

With the obvious exception of Sudbury, Ontario's Angelina Marcantognini, who won Canada's Worst Driver 5 [reference Post 1478] and may be the worst driver on the planet, those of us in the Great White North tend to be pretty good at driving even under extreme conditions such as the freezing rain that has gripped Ottawa/Gatineau today.

Richard and Judy, the nation's favourite TV couple, provided, of course, that the nation is the United Kingdom, offer driving tips via one of their mother's who "... is Canadian and her father ran a garage in upstate Ontario." [I love that: upstate Ontario.]

The tips, as published in the this day are three and they are golden: "The three golden rules: drive so you don’t have to brake; accelerate so gently that you are almost decelerating; and follow the line through bends."

It is so simple when one pays attention.



Friday, December 25, 2009

1483...Psycho Killer

Well, almost.

Reported widely, not as widely as Tiger Woods' dalliances but pretty widely, was the story out of the Vatican about the crazy chick who jumped the barricade at midnight mass this year and took down Pope Benedict XVI and also wiped out and broke the leg of a French Cardinal.

What you may have missed was that they were holding midnight mass at 10 o'clock coz his Popeness cannot stay up til midnight.

Um, like, weird.


1482...The Christmas Truce Of 1914

Not too many heart warming stories come out of the War To End All Wars, WWI, but this, cribbed from the History Channel, is one.

During World War I, on and around Christmas Day 1914, the sounds of rifles firing and shells exploding faded in a number of places along the Western Front in favor of holiday celebrations in the trenches and gestures of goodwill between enemies.

Starting on Christmas Eve, many German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across the lines, and at certain points the Allied soldiers even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man's-land, calling out "Merry Christmas" in their enemies' native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.

Some soldiers used this short-lived ceasefire for a more somber task: the retrieval of the bodies of fellow combatants who had fallen within the no-man's land between the lines.

The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers' threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers' essential humanity endured.

Merry Christmas.


1481...Good News; Bad News

Good news: Researchers identify factor that reduces cancer risk.

Bad news: It's Alzheimer's.

Good news: Researchers identify factor that reduces Alzheimer's risk.

Bad news: It's cancer

BBC News reports that researchers at
Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis have made this discovery.

You win; you lose.


1480...Brian Mulroney B*tch Slaps Stephen Harper

Well, not really, it is Martin Regg Cohn, an editor at the Toronto Star writing in the great man's voice in Tuesday's paper but still...

Dear Prime Minister:

So you think you can dance? Around climate change?

You're clearly chuffed about flying to Copenhagen while staying under the radar - undetected and uncommitted. But if you ask me (and I know you don't bother anymore) you shouldn't be so pleased with yourself.

Even my son Ben and his MuchMusic fans and Canadian Idol groupies expect better of you. That's why I'm sending this note via the back-channel.

I know you think internationalism is never a vote winner - unless you find a wedge issue like Israel that plays in swing ridings.

And I suppose you're determined to do things differently than all those Liberal phonies - Chrétien and Kyoto, Trudeau and his travels to Cuba and China, Pearson and his Nobel Peace Prize.

But Copenhagen was a new low for Canada. Not because of what you did or (mostly) didn't do. Or didn't say. Or didn't stand for.

No, what really p----d me off - sorry, peeved me (okay, I'm working on cleaning up my language) - is the way you've turned your back on Canada's history of international engagement:

Honest broker, middle power, peacekeeper or responsible ally - take your pick, but at least take a stand. Turn your back on the world and the world will pass us by.

That's what we saw in Copenhagen on Friday when Canada found itself the forgotten nation.

There was Barack Obama charging in to save the day. And there you were, hiding under his skirt, mumbling feebly that you would do exactly what the Americans did on greenhouse gas emissions.

Canadians understand the pressures of harmonization, although I took a lot of heat for it in my day. But we were always players - and the Americans were at least interested in what we had to say.

Where were you in Copenhagen when Obama summoned 19 other world leaders for a pivotal meeting to thrash out the framework for a deal? It's one thing to miss the "family photo" at a G8 summit because you're in the bathroom. But to not even rate an invitation to a consultation - while Australia is seated at the table wearing the mantle of middle power? Nothing against those Aussies, but they are a smaller economy and population.

So why was their PM, Kevin Rudd, being asked for his advice by Obama while you were cooling your heels? And you're supposed to be the host of next year's G8 and G20 meetings here!

Listen, your staff is too timid to tell you this, and Jim Prentice is too cowed by Alberta ranchers and the oil patch to speak truth to power, so I will: You're not doing the right thing on the environment. And you're not doing anything on the global stage.

It wasn't just Liberals who gave a fig for foreign policy. I cared about Canada and the world. I lobbied for sanctions against South Africa and stood up to Margaret Thatcher. I reached out to China without selling out on human rights. And I forged a partnership with Ronald Reagan on acid rain.

When George H.W. Bush stitched together a coalition to evict Saddam Hussein's troops from Kuwait, he was on the phone to me constantly seeking advice. When Europe was worrying about German reunification and how the Soviets would react, Bush called me for consultations. And we fished together at Kennebunkport.

Okay, I admit it - I loved getting a phone call from the White House switchboard. And it bugs me that you never place a call.

But now, you don't even rate a phone call from Obama when he's giving our allies the heads up on his new Afghanistan surge. You got Joe Biden calling to say that his boss was too busy calling up everyone else that matters.

My point is that the Liberals aren't the only good guys on foreign policy. Progressive Conservatives were internationalists - not just me, but Diefenbaker too when he sold wheat to China and spoke out passionately against apartheid when you were just a baby.

Listen, you've been PM four years now. Remind me, what's your legacy going to be? Cutting the GST by two points? It's not just what voters say, but the verdict of historians that you will have to live with.

Who do you think was chosen Canada's most environmentally conscious PM a couple of years ago? That's because I was ahead of my time, which is not exactly something you can boast about.

Which recent Tory PM won two consecutive majorities? Exactly.

You can do better. Try a little harder on global warming - and statecraft. You never know when voters will start holding you to account on the environment, or start wondering why you can't be a bit more worldly.

Yours in alacrity,

Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney

...Mr. Cohn does make some valid points.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

1479...George Michael Dies

Many tears will be shed this Christmas in the District of Columbia. Longtime WRC TV sports anchor King George Michael passed away Christmas Eve after a long battle with cancer.

If you are hip to sports, hip to rock and roll or hip to broadcasting you know Mr. Michael. Before he started at WRC and started nationally telecast Sunday night sports panorama, The George Michael Sports Machine, he was the evening disc jockey at 77WABC, which, during the hey day of AM radio, let's say 1960 to 1980, give or take, was one the the most important radio stations on the planet. Mr. Michael was such a key jock that Rolling Stone magazine profiled him during the summer of '77.

Truly a hall of famer.


1478...Canada's Worst Driver 5

Google this name: Angelina Marcantognini.

Watch the show: Discovery Channel.

Never, ever go to Sudbury as long as Angelina Marcantognini lives there.


1477...Those Who Cannot Remember The Past...

...are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana, the American philosopher wrote that back in the 1930's in his book Life Of Reason I.

Perhaps someone should get Ed Stelmach, the Premier of the Wild Rose province, Alberta, a copy of that book.

Petti Fong of the Toronto Star wrote about the Tory leader's biggest problem, that being the upstart Wild Rose Alliance. In that article she writes "An Angus Reid poll this month showed the Wildrose Alliance at 39 per cent support, 14 points ahead of the Conservatives. A poll last week gave Stelmach the lowest approval rating among the country's premiers at 14 per cent, a nearly 30-point drop within a year." The dynastic rule of the Conservative Party in Alberta may be ebbing.

Contrast that with what happened four decades ago in Alberta, when the Social Credit Party was dynastic. At least until election day 1971:

"The Progressive Conservative Party, led by Peter Lougheed, broke the 36-year hegemony on Alberta politics of the Social Credit Party. Ernest C. Manning had resigned Social Credit leader and premier in 1968, a year after leading the Socreds to their ninth consecutive majority government. His successor, Harry E. Strom, had been unable to revive what was seen as a tired regime. Meanwhile, Lougheed had significant momentum going into the 1971 election, increasing his caucus from six members to ten after two floor crossings and two by-election wins. The collapse of the other opposition parties made the PCs the only credible challenger to the Socreds. Lougheed, with 46% of the popular vote, won 49 of the 75 seats in the legislature, and formed a strong majority government."

The more things change...


• "The highest form of vanity is love of fame."

1476...Jack Layton Asks An Important Question

In today's National Post NDP leader Jack Layton makes a statement and asks a serious question about our war in Afghanistan.

If you don't have time to read the whole thing I can synthesize his 650 word statement down to two words: Afghanistan: WTF?

Jack Layton : We deserve to know
National Post
Thu Dec 24 2009
Page: A19
Section: Issues & Ideas
Byline: Jack Layton
Source: Special to the National Post

Canada has at been at war in Afghanistan for nine years now.
The blood of our sons and daughters has been shed on its
battlefields and the country has become the largest recipient of our
foreign aid. Our combat role will end in 2011. Like many Canadians,
we are asking, what non-military role can or should Canada then

This should be the subject of an urgent national debate. That's
unlikely to happen, if we are to judge by the actions of the *Harper*
government thus far.

When we asked for an accounting of the cost of the war, the
government refused. It took Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page
to make an informed estimate: $18-billion and counting. For his
troubles, the government cut Mr. Page's budget and now consistently
undermines his work.

When, in 2006, my colleagues and I raised the treatment of
prisoners detained by Canadian troops and transferred to Afghan
authorities, we were attacked as Taliban dupes and sympathizers. We
were accused of ignoring security concerns. We were vilified for
failing to show support for our troops in the field.

Our troops are doing what they were trained to do when conducting
operations. We can all be proud of the professionalism they have
demonstrated. They are risking their lives for Canada. They deserve
to know that decisions being made in Ottawa are not exposing Canada
to charges under international humanitarian law.

We raised concerns about the detainees because, as Judge Advocate
General Kenneth Watkins recently put it, "the transfer of detainees
to a real risk of torture or ill-treatment is contrary to
international humanitarian law, also known as the law of war." Mr.
*Harper* appears not just indifferent to these concerns, but
unrelentingly hostile to them.

His government's stonewalling prompted human rights groups to
successfully lobby the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC)
to conduct an inquiry into the treatment of detainees. This fall,
chair Peter Tinsley was obliged to suspend that inquiry after the
government threatened witnesses, refused to hand over documents and
challenged the authority of the MPCC. True to form, the government
announced that Mr. Tinsley would not be reappointed.

My colleagues, foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar and defence critic
Jack Harris, called for a parliamentary committee to take up where
the MPCC had left off. In classic doublespeak, the government said
there was no need because the MPCC was investigating.

No sooner had the parliamentary hearings begun, than the government
once again

began intimidating witnesses and refusing to hand over documents.
Diplomat Richard Colvin bucked the threats and offered damning
testimony to the committee. In response, Defence Minister Peter
MacKay and others trotted out the old accusations, insinuating that
he was a Taliban dupe and mocking the quality of his evidence. All
of Mr. Colvin's evidence has since been corroborated.

Our party firmly believes that only a public inquiry will enable us
to get at the truth of the detainees issue. On Nov. 19, we called
for such an inquiry. Mr. MacKay and his colleagues have said there
is no need because, as the Prime Minister told Parliament, "this
issue has long since been dealt with."

When we entered the Afghan conflict, we were told that it was about
dismantling the terror network of al-Qaeda. Eight years later we are
helping to reform the economy, root out the heroin trade, eliminate
corruption, build schools, strengthen the legal system, improve the
prison system and much more.

These are admirable but terribly ambitious goals. We have tumbled
down this path without a national debate about what we are doing and
why. We have done so while the government of Canada has viciously
attacked anyone who has raised questions about the mission, and
fended off all attempts to get at the truth of how the war is being
managed by officials in the Prime Minister's Office, the Department
of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Before we are asked to commit any more of our blood and treasure in
this war, Canadians deserve to know the truth. We are not likely to
get that from the *Harper* government.

- Jack Layton is the leader of the federal New Democratic Party


1475...Tomorrow Is The Big Day


If you are between sixes and sevens about the big day, need something to do, let me suggest that you come volunteer and eat at the Carleton Tavern, 227 Armstrong, presuming, of course, you are in Ottawa.

The dinner, put on by Simon and Sam along with Cheryl Parrot of the Hintonburg Economic Development Committee, runs from 11 to 3.

I will be there, with my green and red sombrero, food tasting.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

1474...Here Is A File For Senator Michael Duffy

CBC News reports that Afternoon Delights, one of the few sex shops in Senator Michael Duffy's fiefdom, has filed for bankruptcy.


1473...Global Warming Is A Killer

Global warming, disguised as cold weather and snow has killed 90 people in Europe, reports CBC. 79 alone have died in Poland, where temperatures have dropped to minus 20, which, btw, is just another winter day in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Fort McMurray.

Global warming has also f'd up travel plans in the American Midwest.

Would someone please alert Elizabeth May about this.


1472...Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

From the New York Sun, December 1897.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


1471...Alex Cullen, Boy Mayor

Actually Alex Cullen is the boy councilor for Bay Ward, a north-west Ottawa ward. Mr. Cullen, a former MPP by the way and, by his own admission, one of the most brilliant men to ever walk the face of the earth, has been making serious noises about running for mayor of your Nation's Capital.

Apparently this is not going to happen.

I was in conversation with a friend who has an ear to the ground when it comes to Ottawa politics and my friend told me that there is a grassroots petition circulating in Bay Ward asking the great one, Mr. Cullen, to stay on as their representative.

I am horrified to tell you that in our conversation my friend said that the thought was that Mr. Cullen, who would have his head handed to him in a mayoralty race, leaving him unemployed, had started the "Keep Me Here" petition.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

1470...Wake Up With WFDS

Markus Von Bolterstern, a CKCU metal head host.

Tom Shock from the Ottawa 67s broadcasts in studio.

tic pissed off.

6 to 7 tomorrow morning.



1469...Stripper Names Of 2029

Miley. Khloe. Esme. Bella. Rhianna. Hayden. Malia.

Yell those names out in the projects in five years or the strip club in 20 and watch heads turn.

"Pamela Redmond Satran, the creator of website, says, 'While the biggest baby name news of the year was Emma's rise to claim the number one spot for girls' names, the names moving fastest up the popularity ladder were influenced by stars, their babies, the characters they play, even reality shows and news stories.' The names of fictional characters in hit vampire franchise Twilight also proved popular: Edward, Cullen, Bella and Esme are new favourites."


1468...When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Chief

And not a Kansas City Chief either. For starters, the pay in the NFL ain't up to snuff. And the careers, way too short.

No, I want to be an Indian Chief, an Aboriginal leader.

Check this out from today's National Post:

Chief Glenn Hudson and the four band councillors of the Peguis First Nation were paid between $206,000 and $311,000 each in compensation last year. That means that for managing the affairs of their community of 7,200 people, 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, each of them received more than former Manitoba premier Gary Doer, who last year earned $154,000. One councillor, Glennis Sutherland, collected $310,731, twice Mr. Doer's pay for running an entire province.

To make matters worse, the chief's and councillors' remuneration was, of course, tax-free, making it the equivalent of between $295,000 and $440,000 in taxable, off-reserve income.

Cake, that is a lot of cake. And steak and travel and scotch and money. Lots of money. "One popular perk for many band councils is paid trips for council retreats in Las Vegas, Florida or other warm-winter locales."

"This is all especially appalling give the high rates of poverty and unemployment on most reserves. Peguis's unemployment rate, for example, is at least four times that of the Manitoba average, all while the chief and councillors live in large homes and travel extensively on band funds."

Politicians have a reputation, unfounded in many cases, for being overpaid while under serving their constituents. In the above case it is crystal clear that the leaders of the Peguis First Nation are truly both overpaid and under serving.

Still, nice work if you can get it.


Monday, December 21, 2009

1467... Hill Times Best/ Worst of Politics in 2009

The one category that stuck out to me was that my friend and his Mike Duffy, er, Senator Michael Duffy of the great province of Prince Edward Island, made the poll:

13. Which talking head [television pundit/journalist] would you most like to silence?

Mike Duffy: 7.9%

Jane Taber: 6.1%

Warren Kinsella: 5.2%

Good on him.


1466...Dictator/PM Stephen Harper

The Toronto Star, now there is a great birdcage liner, the Toronto Star ran a nice piece by Haroon Siddiqui that I am cutting and pasting below:

When Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Jean Chrétien were in power, conservative commentators used to complain that both tended to be dictatorial, courtesy of our parliamentary system that made the prime minister too powerful, more so in some respects than the president of the United States.

Where are those pundits when we really need them? Stephen Harper is centralizing power in the PMO on an unprecedented scale; defying Parliament (by refusing to comply with a Commons vote demanding the files on Afghan prisoner abuse); derailing public inquiries (by a parliamentary committee and the Military Police Complaints Commission); muzzling/firing civil servants; demonizing critics; and dragging the military into the line of partisan political fire.

"When you add up all that this government has done, it's truly scary," says Gar Pardy, former head of the foreign ministry's consular services. He's the one who organized the petition that defended diplomat Richard Colvin from Tory mudslinging, and which has been signed by 133 retired ambassadors.

The extent of Harper's misuse of power becomes clearer when you realize that the Conservatives are replicating some of the worst practices of the Republicans under George W. Bush and Dick Cheney:

Consolidating executive power; eviscerating the legislative branch; operating under extreme secrecy (by keeping an iron grip on information, through endless court challenges and censoring/redacting documents); riding the coattails of the military and questioning the patriotism of political opponents; and forcing out public servants who refused to fall in line.

Count the heads that have rolled in Ottawa:

Peter Tinsley, chair of the military police commission, who initiated the Afghan prison abuse probe – refused a second term.

Paul Kennedy, chair of the Complaints Commission for the RCMP, who criticized the use of Tasers – refused a second term.

Linda Keen, nuclear watchdog, who insisted on safety at Chalk River – fired.

Kevin Page, parliamentary budget watchdog, who rattled the Tories with several revelations – rendered ineffective with a cut of $1 million from his $2.8 million budget.

Marc Mayrand, chief electoral officer, who probed Tory election spending – publicly attacked.

Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who dared criticize both the U.S. and Israel – refused support for a second term and publicly rebuked.

Jean-Guy Fleury, chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board, who opposed the Tory politicization of appointments to the tribunal – frustrated into quitting.

Similarly, groups that won't toe the Tory line are being penalized.

The Canadian Arab Federation lost funding after its chair attacked Ottawa's pro-Israeli policies. Now the same fate has befallen KAIROS, a Christian aid group, for "taking a leadership role in the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign" against Israel, boasts Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the designated Tory bulldog in charge of attacking real or perceived enemies.

Ottawa is rife with rumour of another scandal in the making: Harper asking Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue Parliament, yet again, this time during the Winter Olympics (ending Feb. 28) and perhaps also the Paralympics (ending March 21).

She should flat-out refuse and not repeat her mistake from a year ago, when she got rolled by him. At that fateful meeting, she should not have let Kevin Lynch, clerk of the Privy Council, into the room. Get-togethers between the governor general and the prime minister are privileged.

She also should not have shuttled between Harper and a team of constitutional advisers she had assembled. Instead, she should have taken his request under advisement and sent him off, and summoned Stéphane Dion and perhaps also Jack Layton to brief her on their coalition agreement.

That way, she would've had more choices:

Advise the Prime Minister to seek a vote of confidence. Or, if he felt he didn't have it, to ask if someone else on his front benches might. Failing both, turn to the opposition to demonstrate that they could muster the confidence of the House, as claimed.

Jean failed in her duties by deciding the fate of the government behind closed doors, rather than in an open democratic process by the elected representatives of the people.

A governor general is not obliged to take the prime minister's advice, only that which she deems appropriate to our parliamentary system. What Jean saw as appropriate last year wasn't. Each passing day proves it.

Haroon Siddiqui writes Thursdays and Sundays.


1465...Soccer, On The Other Hand, Is Okay

In Post 1460...Methinks The Senators Are In Trouble, I parsed some stuff from the Ottawa Citizen that said that the Sens, Ottawa's NHL team, are papering the house at a level only seen in non hockey markets.

This papering [giving away tickets] is not happening in Toronto, at least not for the Toronto FC, the Major League Soccer time in the Big Smoke.

In Richard Starnes' column in Saturday's Ottawa Citizen he wrote that the club has sold all the 16,000 season tickets they have to sell and are holding back 4,500 tix for single game sales. Not bad, considering the season doesn't start 'til March 27 of next year. Also they are re doing the turf at BMO Stadium, going from artificial turf to green, green grass.


1464...Ottawa Xmas Cheer

There are a number of places one can spread the joy of the season, one of the best and warmest places to be on Christmas Day is the Ugly Club/Carleton Tavern, 227 Armstrong across from the Parkdale Market in the Hintonburg [Northwest] end of town.

The Saikaley Family are putting on their 9th annual Christmas In Hintonburg dinner. The feedings start at 11 and run through 3 in the afternoon. As best I can recall I have been there every year, both as a volunteer and an eater.

I am not the only person of repute at the dinner; Yasir Naqvi, the MPP for Ottawa Centre will be there as will Senator Jim Munson, both great Liberals. Richard Patten, the former MPP for the OC makes an appearance as does Richard Mahoney, former candidate for the riding. Brian Doyle, an esteemed and award winning author will be there and ex city pol Shawn Little is usually in the house. Plus the old Jayhawk himself, number 76 of the Ottawa Roughriders, back in the '60s when they won, Jay Roberts, will be dishing out vittles. And, of course, moi, wearing my Christmas sombrero, green with red trim.

If you want to donate to the dinner, food, especially frozen veggies, are needed as are new gifts for adults and teens and kiddies and pets. Just drop them off to the Carleton Tavern anytime this week.

Plus, iffen you wanna come, please do so.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

1463...Maybe Boxers Should Wear Helmets

Or at least go to school.

Bernard Hopkins, the former middleweight champ, upon hearing that fellow American Roy Jones Junior was knocked out in Oz by Danny Green, explained to Sports Illustrated why he has never fought in Australia: "Everybody knows what happens when you go over to Europe, and that is why I would never go over there."

Yeah, sure.


1462...Tiger Woods Buys A House

For John Gribbins.

Who is dat you say? Mr. Gribbins is the author of the page turner Get A Grip On Physics. According to the December 14th edition of Sports Illustrated the book was the 396,224 best seller on the Amazon sales chart; the day after it appeared in a photo of the inside of Tiger Wood's ride it zoomed to 2268 on the list.

It is an ill wind that blows no good.


1461...Our Next Prime Minister Speaks

Michael Ignatieff was quoted by David Akin in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen as showing the right stuff, the stuff that is going to make him one of the greatest leaders our Canada has ever had.

Mikey I was quoted at saying "If I'm prime minister, I'm going to be looking at the unemployment numbers first and deficit second..."

People first. That is why he will be such a great PM.


1460...Methinks The Senators Are In Trouble

Not the ones in Ottawa but the ones in suburban Ottawa, Kanata to be precise.

The paper of record here in your Capital, the Ottawa Citizen, ran a front page piece on the Sens and how they are sh*tting the bed when it comes to attendance and gate revenue this season and number three in the thirty team league in giving away tickets.

Ticket revenues, and this is a league that is the most dependent of the major sports on ticket sales, are down over 22 per cent, also third in the league.

CEO Cyril Leeder spun this way and then that way in the Ottawa Citizen story but the bottom line is the bottom line and the bottom line doesn't look too good.

Giving away tickets is, in my view, one of the biggest contributing factors to the demise of both the CFL Renegades and the National Lacrosse League teams this town has had. Once you charge nothing for the product it is hard to charge something.


1459...Chad Ochocinco Pays Homage To A Friend

Referencing Post 1449...NFL = No Fun League And No Respect Too, it seems that NFL commish Roger Goodell and his henchmen got to the wide receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson.

Mr. Johnson who is now Mr. Ochocinco, vowed to get rid of number 85, his current number, and wear number 15, in honour of his close friend and teammate Chris Henry who died tragically this week.

Did not happen.

Nonetheless when Mr. Ochocinco scored in the first half of today's game in San diego against the Chargers he took a knee, looked skyward with one hand on his heart and seemed to cry after a quiet celebration.


1458...And Then There Was One

Undefeated NFL team that is.

The New Orleans Saints cameback last night but it was too little, too late and they were beat 24-17 by the Dallas Cowboys.

The only undefeated team left in the NFL are the Peyton Mannings.


1457...Stephen Harper Does Not Make Cut

For TIME Magazine's 2009 Person of the Year.

Neither did Jack Layton.

"That person is Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Because of his monumental influence on the world’s most important economy, Bernanke has been named TIME magazine’s 2009 Person of the Year."

May be next year guys.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

1456...What, Someone Is Still Using VHS?

Apparently, yes is the answer to that question.

The Toronto Sun reports that the last user of VHS, that is an ancient way of taping and watching TV and porn, left in North America is a schoolteacher in Richmond Hill, a northern suburb of the centre of the universe. He is a grade six health teacher at Beverley Acres Public School. Ooops, correct that, he was a grade six health teacher at Beverley Acres Public School.

The man's name is Stefano Eudoxie-Wojedubokowski and York Region District School Board spokesman Ross Virgo confirmed his, uh, error, yesterday. What Mr. Super Long Name did about three weeks ago was inadvertently show 30-plus students pornography that he had taped over with an educational video about the H1N1 virus. Apparently the bit that the kiddies saw was two naked men engaged in a sex act that starts with "blow" and ends with "job".

Hey, he was doing them a favour, after all, the H1N1 thing is boring but, as tic has told me, porn is never boring.

Of course, due to the super strong union that teachers have, Mr. Eudoxie-Wojedubokowski was not fired but merely transferred to Crosby Heights Public School where he can continue to weave his educational magic.

Yet another reason to send your kids to Catholic schools.


1455...Superman Lives In Ottawa

Sadly it is not our Ottawa it is their Ottawa, Ottawa, Kansas to be precise.

ABC News reports that 32 year old Nick Harris of the town 50 miles southwest of Kansas City says he saw a vehicle back out of a driveway and over Ashlyn Hough, who is only 8. He says he doesn't know how he managed to lift the Mercury sedan off the child. But he did and she is fine.

Superman lives in Ottawa.


1454...When You Are Pissed Off It Doesn't Matter

How old you are. 10, 20, 30, 98. Doesn't matter.

Eric Tucker of the Associated Press has a heartwarming Christmas story about a 98 year old nursing home resident, Laura Lundquist of Dartmouth, Mass., "...who has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge that alleges she strangled her 100-year-old nursing home roommate after making the victim's life 'a living hell' because she thought the woman was 'taking over the room.' " Miss Lundquist was a bit of a psychic coz she always told her 100 year old victim, Elizabeth Barrow that she would out live her.

The nursing home said that the roommates acted like sisters and said "I love you" before turning in each night.

Sure they did.


1453...My Welsh Reporter Checks In

My Welsh reporter, mentor and blog influence, James Bowie of Cardiff University in beautiful Wales, blogs at Bowie's Blog and he put out a year end top ten list which I have cut and pasted below:

Friday, December 18, 2009

Top Ten Most Irritating Columnists of 2009

Recommend this post As Promised!


10. Stevie Cameron

The Author of "On the Take" and "Blue Trust," this should have been her year. With Brian Mulroney testifying about his dealings with German arms dealer Karlheinz Schreiber before Parliament and a commission of inquiry, one would expect to hear from his greatest detractor. Stevie's blog, however, was silent between April 4th 2008 and August 26th 2009, never commenting on the testimony of the former Prime Minister.

It is reasonable to conclude that Ms. Cameron was silent for fear of defamation litigation, but in this great political show, one of the most important players was absent.

9. Ian Robinson :

This minor columnist from the tabloid Sun's Calgary paper took sexism to a new level this year by saying that woman's political bent is given by her shoes. It sparked outrage, as it should have.

Biased journalism sells better than unbiased journalism, but in an attempt to be sensational this aspiring Glenn Beck went too far. His column "Right-wing women rock: Looking at the shoes tells a lot about a female's political persuasion" would be deserving of more criticism only if the author was noteworthy.

8. Anyone who wrote about Michael Jackson, Miley Cyrus, or Tiger Woods:

Political columnists of the world! Come on! Keep your eye on the ball. I realize you think you're being funny, but your pop culture references give your sagacious proclamations the shelf life of lettuce.

7. Jane Taber:

"Like, OK, so here's the deal. I've, like, got these totally awesome loafers that go wicked with my hot pink shirt. It's, like, so hot. Like, for real. "

This is not the stuff of political commentary. Not only do my friends in the OLO dress better than you do, Jane, but they have the class not to comment on your appearance.

You, Ms. Taber, with your personal comments about fashion, have forfeited your right to ever complain about the level of political discourse in this country.

6. John Ivison:

When you predict the [sic] Apocapse of the Liberal Party every week, but it never comes, my eyes start to glaze over, and I yawn over your column.

5. Angelo Persichilli :

Someone I usually like, Persichilli let us down this year by reporting two or three Liberal MP's drinking in a downtown Ottawa hotel as news. There was no revolt, as he suggested, and he got no sources for the record. This was the worst attempt at sensationalism I've seen since the last time I read Steve Janke's blog.

4. Susan Delacourt:

Another columnist I regularly enjoy, she is the author of "Juggernaut," one of my favourite books on Prime Minister Martin. This year, however, she wrongly predicted a group defection of Liberal MP's to the Conservative Party.

Yeah we're still waiting on that...

3. Kady O'Malley:

She's just so talented, well connected, and hard working. I am irritated that more writers don't show her gumption. In her commentary is that rare and elusive Ottawa thing, actual reporting. Unlike those who merely spout off polling numbers and waxing about what they mean for the person who is losing, O'Malley can regularly be found in committee, or conducting an interview.

Kady even goes so far as to contact individuals for comment when they are the subject of her work. This is a little known journalistic convention called "following up." It takes work, rather than the presumed brilliance of an egghead "pundit," who can interpret polls and current events with their crystal ball rather than with facts.

So she irritates me. She irritates me because there's only one Kady, and not twelve.

2. Christie Blatchford:

When Ms. Blatchford wrote that Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin had only been outside the wire in Afghanistan a few times, she was calling him a coward. She did it in an attempt to discredit him after he testified before a Commons committee, in an attempt to refute the possibility that the Canadian government knew in 2006 that it had handed prisoners to the Afghan government who were subsequently tortured.

I don't know what war Ms. Blatchford was blooded in, but it upsets me to see the honourable service of a man in a war zone questioned by someone only looking to sell newspapers.

1. Colby Cosh:

This year's most offensive rage inspiring column on the topic of austerity makes him 2009's worst journalistic offender. Railing against young people everywhere, he wrote "Why is it the young, most egregiously, who romanticize poverty, cultural backwardness and unspoiled nature?"

After I read this column, twice, I wrote about 1 000 words in a blog post so angry in its tone I decided it unfit to publish. Cosh's ageist prejudice drove me into wild anger. One wonders if he were writing about women, seniors, or an ethnic minority if his vapid generalizations would be tolerated.

According to Cosh, because of my age I am an unknowing hippy who "probably had new Nikes every six months." Also I "regard sound money, good jobs, and the benefits of the consumer society as unstated axioms, (I) have no sense that these things must perpetually be fought for."

Perhaps Cosh was borrowing the voice of Red from "That 70's Show" to denounce an entire generation in an attempt to be funny. In the future, I think, students of journalism will look at columns like this in the context of historically accepted prejudices. Once upon a time in Canada, they railed against the youth in the same way they used to rail against women's' suffrage and ethnic minority rights.


Friday, December 18, 2009

1452...Death By Remote Control

Paul Harvey and Gloria Laguna, a late 40's married professional couple, were having a wee fight over money in their Euston, central London home.

As one is want to do in a heated argument things are thrown about. Mr. Harvey fired a TV remote control at the Missus, hit her in the neck and she fell down. Dead.

BBC News reports that he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March and just this week was given three years in jail for his malfeasance.


1451...Recession Hits Santa Claus

From Corey Dietz's column:

(The following is from a press release received from radio station K-ELF at the North Pole.)

K-ELF Announces Budget Cuts Because of Ongoing Recession

(North Pole) - Today, K-ELF radio, the official radio station of Santa Claus and his workshop, announced a staff cutback due to increasing costs. The ongoing recession has decreased the amount of jingle from coins, forcing K-ELF General Manager, Shorty Stumpkins, to layoff some air-staff.

"Programming will still be maintained, but, not all air-shifts will be live," Stumpkins announced to the press.

Stumpkins said famed morning man, Don Imsmall, would still be doing his show but most of the remaining hours would be voice-tracked by freelance leprechauns living in Dublin, Ireland.

"It's all about cost efficiency," mused Stumpkins. I know the leprechauns can't maintain the local flavor of the former indigenous North Pole on-air elves but it's just a trade-off we're going to have to live with right now."

Stumpkins would not comment on whether he thought the regular North Pole listeners would immediately realize the staff had suddenly developed an Irish brogue.

Besides the cuts in staff, K-ELF also announced that the station would probably have to reduce the caliber of prizes offered during the station's annual Stocking Surprise promotion. Stumpkins said instead of CDs, gift certificates, and concert tickets, coal had been considered as a last resort but was nixed due to concerns by local environmental activists.

"We're being backed into a corner," said Stumpkins. "I mean, what are we supposed to do when we can't even put coal in someone's stocking without being vilified as eco-unfriendly?"

K-ELF says it will work through its current problems. There has been no official comment from Santa Claus but word is Santa's Workshop is now opting to listen to SIRIUS XM Satellite's holiday channels instead of its local radio station.


1450...The Happiest State In The Union

Hurricanes, crime, and poverty notwithstanding, the happiest state in the nation is Louisiana. The drive thru booze stands cannot hurt.

Time Magazine reports that the sunniest states are the happiest states in the nation are
Louisiana, Hawaii and Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used data collected over four years from over a million people that included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives.

Rounding out the happy five are Tennessee and Arizona. Bringing up the bottom, number five oh is New York State.


1449...NFL = No Fun League And No Respect Too

The wideout formerly known as Chad Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, lost his best friend and Cincy Bengals teammate Chris Henry in a domestic accident yesterday. For more details check out Post 1442...Chris Henry Passes.

Mr. Ochocinco, who normally wears number 85, wore Mr. Henry's 15 jersey in practice yesterday and intends to honour his late friend by wearing it in Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers in SoCal.

Here is where the wicket gets sticky. According to TSN, the NFL has told Mr. Ochocinco that he cannot change uni numbers and that he will be fined heavily if he does so. Mr. Ochocinco, who is quite the iconoclast, says he will wear the number no matter what.



Thursday, December 17, 2009

1448...December 18th Birthdays

In less than 90 minutes, Ottawa time, it will be December the 18th.

The holy trinity of cool has December 18th as their birthday.

For starters, the love of my life, Italian minister Mara Carfagna, a woman whom Maxim magazine says is the hottest politician of all time, turns 34.

Keith Richards, Rolling Stones guitarist and the soul of the band, turns not dead.

Finally the most important person in my world, my mom, turns i-better-not-say.


1447...Proud To Be A Liberal

Yasir Naqvi, personal friend of mine and Liberal MPP for Ottawa Centre, dropped this note in my box:


As you know, the Legislative Assembly adjourned last Thursday, ending a very busy legislative session!

Here in Ottawa, I have been hard at work to ensure that Ottawa Centre continues to be a safe, healthy and green community to live, work and raise a family in. Over the last few months, we have:

  • Invested over $25 million to create 345 new affordable housing units here in Ottawa Centre;
  • Moved ahead with full-day learning for our 4 and 5 year-olds beginning this fall;
  • Opened the new Regional Cancer Centre at the Ottawa Hospital; and
  • Began implementing the Green Energy Act, paving the way for renewable energy co-ops in our community.

At Queen’s Park, we passed 15 Bills this past session. Here is a highlight of what we have accomplished:

Bill 168, Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act (Violence and Harassment in the Workplace), 2009
Improves the occupational health and safety of workers by improving protections against workplace harassment and violence.

Bill 177, Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act, 2009
Amends the Education Act to make increasing student achievement the number one priority for local school boards.

Bill 179, Regulated Health Professions Statute Law Amendment Act, 2009
Increases access to health care by giving nurse practitioners, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other medical professionals the freedom to provide a wider range of health services.

Bill 185, Environmental Protection Amendment Act (Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading), 2009
Gives the government the authority to set up a greenhouse gas emissions trading system within Ontario.

Bill 201, Public Sector Expenses Review Act, 2009
Gives the Integrity Commissioner the legal authority to review senior management expense claims made within Ontario’s 22 largest agencies and take appropriate action should irregularities be discovered.

Bill 203, Interprovincial Policing Act, 2009
Makes it easier to investigate crime that occurs across jurisdictions in Canada and enhance coordinated investigations.

Bill 210, Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act (Live-in Caregivers and Others), 2009
Provides added protection to foreign nationals who are live-in caregivers by providing them with greater access to information about their rights, while providing Ministry of Labour inspectors with greater authority to conduct proactive investigations.

Most importantly, we have passed Bill 218, the Ontario Tax Plan for More Jobs and Growth Act, 2009. This Act increases business investment, creates new jobs and raises incomes by providing individuals, families and businesses with more than $15 billion in tax cuts over three years.

Beginning January 1, your personal income tax rate will drop to 5.05%, resulting in an average income tax cut savings of 10% for most Ontarians. This is on top of the tax savings you will receive through the enhanced Ontario Child Benefit and the new Ontario Sales Tax Credit. When you factor in all of these savings, a single person making $35,000 will save $280; a single parent with one child making the same amount would save $702. For pensioners with incomes of $20,000, our seniors are now saving $170 a year.

These are important savings that will help families and individuals buy a home, save for the future, or perhaps go to school. It is money that is being reinvested where it is needed most: directly with Ontarians.

For more information about our tax changes, or any legislation that was recently passed, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. May 2010 bring you peace, health and happiness.

Take care,


Yasir Naqvi MPP, Ottawa Centre
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Revenue


1446...Proud To Be Canuckistanian V.2

I found a Sunday Star on the bus today, last Sunday's Toronto Star so that was a bit of a bonus and in it was a great story about some proactive nuns in Sault Ste. Marie.

They are the Sisters of St. Joseph, when I was a kid they were called "Penguin Nuns" coz that is what they dressed like, penguins. They also were uber tough/violent; the principal at my school could have taken out Muhammad Ali if she was allowed to use her yard stick. Anyhow, they have hired Terry O'Reilly, the host of CBC Radio's The Age of Persuasion, for its ad campaign that will begin early next year.

The nun population is both aging and dropping. In 1988 there were 24,000 nuns in Canada; 2004 only 18,000.

"...the ads, which will consist of radio spots and notices on buses, will not get into details about the nuns' vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience."

That, my friends, is called spin.


1445...Proud To Be Canuckistanian

Sure, it is minus a thousand, my car won't start and the little hairs in my nose are frozen but I am still proud to be a Canadian. reports why I am so proud this day: "A private Canadian company says it will plant 1,176 trees to offset the carbon emitted by Air Force One when it carries President Barack Obama to Copenhagen for the international climate conference. President Obama will travel 3,979 miles to Denmark on Friday, Dec. 18, and Air Force One will emit an estimated 196 tons of carbon on that trip, said LimeGreen Earth, Inc., in a news release."

I am starting to tear up.


1444...More Tiger Woods Stuff

The Boston Globe this morning posits that golf viewership and participation will decline due to the absence of the game's biggest and most recognizable star.

Like, doh.

Thank you Captain Obvious.

The writer of the article, Jenn Ableson, indicates that "Woods is credited with almost single-handedly attracting more minority fans, youths, and casual supporters to the greens, significantly increasing prize money for golf, and drawing the largest television audiences in golf history. Nielsen Co. data show that Woods’s absence from tournaments in 2008 cut network TV ratings almost in half."

“ 'Golf needs Tiger Woods more than Tiger Woods needs golf, ' ’’ said sports marketer Marc Ganis."

True, that.


1443...Good News For Tiger Woods

Associated Press has just named the golfer as their athlete of the decade.

No news on how he did in the balloting for husband of the decade.

Or father of the decade.


1442...Chris Henry Passes

The brilliant yet troubled 26 year old Cincinnati Bengals receiver, a third round choice out of West Virginia, has died.

The man, who was once referred to as a " man crime wave..." by a judge sentencing him in Ohio court, "...died after a fall from the bed of a pickup during a fight with his fiancée, police said Thursday." CNN reports he died at 6 26 this morning, EST, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Shortly before noon Wednesday, Henry's fiancée tried to drive off during a 'domestic situation,' only to have Henry jump into the bed of the truck, police said. 'The domestic situation continued between the operator and Mr. Henry,' according to a police statement. Henry 'came out of the back of the vehicle' about half a mile from the house, it said."

Prayers all around.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

1441...What Would U Do If You Won The Lottery?

Local 10 Miami reports that Arnim Ramdass won a share of $19 million in a June 2007 lottery jackpot and kept it from his wife, Donna Campbell.

He then left his wife, stopped making payments on the house and Tuesday night Local 10 was there when Ms. Campbell was evicted.

Ms. Campbell wants to divorce Mr. Ramdass, file suit for her half of the money and serve him with papers, but her husband is nowhere to be found.


1440...Peter Worthington Opines

In this morning's Kingston Whig-Standard, a fine name for a fine newspaper, may be the coolest name in the country for a bird cage liner, Peter Worthington opined what I said yesterday, but more eloquently.

Copenhagen has been a waste of time.

He quotes Florida prisoner Conrad Black who summed up the conference from his cell over looking the handball courts at the Coleman Correctional Complex thus:

"Copenhagen is the epitome of modern submitting; a long session, a huge cast earnestly discussing what there is no chance of agreeing (to), to reach compromises everyone will then ignore, promising to avoid doing what all decry and then will continue to do, suspecting that it is not really damaging anyway. The conference will be an utter fiasco, since there is no real evidence that carbon emissions have anything to do with global warming, which is not, in fact, occurring at all. Only the countries that mistakenly expect to receive compensation for their impoverished inability to generate carbon emissions, or for the falsely pledged reduction of them, will pay any attention to the pious frauds the posturing busybodies of Copenhagen may claim to agree to implement."

But what do you really mean Mr. Black?

On the other hand, I do have a couple of friends over there and they have told me that Tuborg tastes better in Copenhagen and the women are sublime. So, not a total waste.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

1439...Poverty Part III

Tomorrow morning on 93.1 CKCU, six sharp, I will have Rob Eady from the Shepherds of Good Hope which is a local Ottawa charity, drop in, soup kitchen kind of place that does a lot of great things.

But they need your support.

Plain and simple.

Mr. Eady will be explaining what is going on on the mean streets of Ottawa. Stop laughing. It is friggin' cold here all the time and, sure, no one gets murdered here and hardly anyone gets stabbed but beaucoup de folks freeze themselves to death every year.

Tune in and get in the giving spirit on 93.1 CKCU.


1438...Speaking Of Poverty---Times Are Tough

At least in the big city of Ottawa.

Tough as in the what 24Hours ran on their front page this morning. The free firestarter had a sad headline: The Christmas Exchange needs 150 000 . 00 dollars to avoid turning families away this year.

Executive director Marilyn Matheson, who joined me on 93.1 CKCU in November, says that for the first time in the decade she has been running the Christmas Exchange they may have to turn people away.

If you want to step up to the plate with a dollar or twenty, please go to and make a pledge. Or you may call them, during business hours of course, at 613 226 6434.


1437...Being Poor Will Make You Fat

See, I told you I wasn't lazy. I is jus' poor.

"The economic downturn is busting wallets and bursting waistlines as consumers shift their eating habits to help their budgets...And those who have jobs are working longer hours, forgoing exercise and searching for foods that are economical and convienent..."

This was in a McClatchy-Tribune report that also coined the phrase "recession fat" which can lead to stuff like diabetes.

Plus, let's face it, I can supersize it for 79 cents or have a whole sub for a buck more than half a sub and the big pop is 29 cents more and and and.



Cribbed from the Globe and Mail who cribbed it from Rebecca Coffey, a nice Irish girl I am sure, who writes for Discover magazine, this is all about sweeteners but all about scientists with a bit of a deathwish.

Both saccharin and aspartame were discovered when lab workers doing research that had nothing to do with sweetening decided to put a bit of the compounds in their mouths and liked what they tasted.

Better/scarier story about the discovery of sucralose, brand name Splenda. The scientists working on that chemical concoction were trying to create a bug killer. An assistant, a scientist, bear that in mind, was told to test the compound. He heard the word taste. When he didn't die, they packaged it as a sweetener.


1435...Was It Just Me Or Did Canada Look Like

Sh*t in Copenhagen?


1434...Pirate Radio MIX 91.9 Finally Dies

But the 14 year old running the station says he expects to be licensed and on the air in a few weeks.

You know what, that wouldn't be a bad thing.

The strongest pop culture in the world is the land of open skies, the United States and even little towns have tons of local TV and local radio and everybody is making piles of money.

The kid is on to something.


Monday, December 14, 2009

1433...More Amusing Stats

Manitoba is an anomaly.

Cut and paste number from Angus Reid has much better news for our Canada.

Conservative Lead Narrows as Liberals Bounce Back

Published on Dec 14 - 2009

Grit and NDP supporters are open to establishing a formal agreement to form a coalition government, if the opportunity arises.

The governing Conservative Party is still leading in Canada, but the Liberal Party has gained support, according to the Canadian Political Pulse, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion in partnership with the Toronto Star.

The online survey of a representative national sample of 1,000 adults also shows that some Liberal and New Democratic Party (NDP) voters express varying levels of support to three scenarios geared at creating a “unite the left” movement in Canada.

Voting Intention

Across the country, 36 per cent of decided voters (-2 since mid-November) would cast a ballot for the Conservative candidate in their riding if a new federal election took place today.

The Liberals have clearly made gains and now stand at 29 per cent (+6), above the proportion of the vote that the party received in the October 2008 federal election.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) is third with 16 per cent (-1), followed by the Bloc Québécois with 11 per cent (=), and the Green Party with six per cent (-4).

Regional Breakdowns

In a trend that was consistent throughout the year, a majority of decided voters in Alberta (55%) and Manitoba and Saskatchewan (54%) voice support for the Tories. In British Columbia, the governing party remains on top (42%), with the NDP (26%) barely ahead of the Liberals (23%).

In Ontario, 41 per cent of decided voters would vote for the Conservatives, but the Liberals (34%) have narrowed the gap from 14 points in mid-November to seven points this time around. In Quebec, the Bloc is steady at the top (42%) but the Liberals (25%) are now leading the Tories (17%).


Stephen Harper’s approval rating is 32 per cent (-2), while NDP leader Jack Layton gained five points since mid-November and is at 29 per cent. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff gained three points (15%), but remains well behind his two main rivals.


Ignatieff’s momentum score, while better than last month’s, is still the worst of all three party leaders at -33 (7% of Canadians report an improvement in their opinion of the Liberal leader over the past month, while 40% say their views have worsened). Layton improved from -10 in mid-November to -6 this month. Harper had the toughest month, going from -9 to -24.

The Economy

Almost half of Canadians (49%, -4) are satisfied with the reaction of the federal government to the economic crisis, while 44 per cent (+6) are dissatisfied. Quebec is the only region where a majority of respondents (57%) disapprove of the way the federal government has dealt with the crisis.

Two-in-five Canadians (43%) either completely or moderately trust Harper to do the right thing to help the economy recover, while 27 per cent feel the same way about Ignatieff. The Liberal leader gained six points on this particular indicator. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, is trusted by 46 per cent of Canadians, although 28 per cent are undecided.

“Unite the Left”

Six years ago, Canada’s main right-leaning parties—the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives—achieved a full merger and became the Conservative Party. This month, respondents were provided with three options that deal with the possibility of the Liberals and the NDP working together.

One third of Canadians (33%) support a full merger between the Liberals and the NDP. This idea is backed by 50 per cent of Liberal voters and 50 per cent of NDP supporters.

A slightly larger proportion of Canadians (35%) would welcome an agreement between the Liberals and NDP to only run candidates from one of the two parties in ridings where vote splitting occurs. This idea is supported by 55 per cent of Liberal voters and 51 per cent of NDP supporters.

Still, the most popular plan is a formal agreement between the two parties to share power in a coalition government, if the opportunity arises. Two-in-five Canadians (42%) support this notion, including 64 per cent of Liberal voters and 70 per cent of NDP supporters.

The formal agreement towards a coalition government is also popular with Bloc Québécois voters (54%) but is rejected by a majority of Green voters (51%) and Conservative voters (76%).


This edition of the Canadian Political Pulse shows a bounce in Liberal support, suggesting that the party may have hit rock bottom last month. The Conservatives remain well ahead nationally, but their double-digit lead in Ontario has dwindled. The NDP and the Bloc are steady, and the Greens have lost a few points.

Stephen Harper closes the year with a higher approval rating than his main rival, Michael Ignatieff, but Jack Layton was the biggest winner on momentum this time around.

The three proposals to establish a “unite the left” movement are attractive to some Grit and NDP voters, but it is the idea of formal agreement towards a coalition that holds the highest level of support.

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)


1432...Unamusing Little Stat

Mia Rabson has an unamusing stat in today's Winnipeg Free Press: the Tories have hit 50 per cent in the province of a million lakes and a lot of moose and stabbings.

The Stephen Harpers are super strong right across the board in Manitoba.