Saturday, November 04, 2006

Kinky for Governor

I love eccentric candidates who run for office. A real winner is Kinky Friedman who is running as an Independent for governor in Texas. Kinky is an off-colour Jewish comedian, a mystery writer, an animal advocate and former front man of the satirical country band Kinky Friedman & the Texas Jewboys. He wants to de-wussify Texas. He is a serious contender although not expected to win. The other night he even appeared on David Letterman. And if Jesse Ventura can become a governor then why not Kinky?

His policy positions are equally wacky. If elected, Mr. Friedman will appoint his friend and supporter Willie Nelson the state's energy czar because he champions biodiesel. He is a proponent of "Slots for Tots" (legalizing casino gambling to fund education).

As for the Mexican migrant dilemma, he has suggested giving five Mexican generals US$1-million each to patrol a section of the border. Every time an illegal immigrant sneaks into the United States, US$5,000 would be deducted from the responsible general's trust fund.

He has some great quotes:

  • I just want Texas to be No. 1 in something other than executions, toll roads and property taxes.
  • I'm not pro-life, and I'm not pro-choice. I'm pro-football.
  • I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us
  • I grieve that NASCAR people never go to the lesbians' tea-houses, and the lesbians never go to NASCAR.
  • I don't eat tamales in the barrio and then go to a black church and eat fried chicken and then go have a bagel with a Jew. I treat all people the same. If you ain't Texan, I ain't got time for you.
  • Moses and Jesus are big figures in this church that's in my heart. Both of them are good Jewish boys, and they both got in a little trouble with the government. Jesus would be enjoying this campaign very much.
  • Politics is the only field in which the more experience you have, the worse you get. And I think musicians can better run this state than politicians. And, hell, beauticians can better run the state than politicians.
  • The two major parties blew $100 million in the last governor's race to elect a candidate to a job that pays $100,000 a year. And for all that money spent, less than 30% of us bothered to show up at the polls.

Sigh...when will it end?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Joe Volpe: Man of Integrity?

So what drives a man like Joe Volpe? An MP for 18 years, characterised as a backroom boy, no chance of winning the leadership race. I think for some politician, the hunger for power takes over for a desire to serve the public. My sense is that Joe Volpe is in the power trap. Perhaps that explains some of the indiscretions that have plagued his campaign. Let's take a look at some of them:
  • Barry Sherman, CEO of Apotex donated $5,400 (the legal limit) to his campaign, but so did Sherman's wife and four children. Apotex president Jack Kay, his wife and two children all donated $5,400 as well. So did another Apotex executive and four of his children. The donors were as young as 11.
  • Volpe was fined $20,000 (later reduced to $1,000) by the Liberal Party for violating membership rules. Officials in the Montreal riding of Papineau had complained that a substantial number of new members recruited by his campaign had not paid their own membership fees or signed their membership forms. All clearly against party rules. Why the reduction in fine. Well Volpe's campaign did not pay for the memberships but rather his volunteers paid out of their own pocket.
  • Earlier it was discovered that the Volpe campaign had signed on dead people to memberships. I would like to know how he got those members to sign their forms. I think what gave it way was so sharp guy realized that Pierre Trudeau and Lester Pearson were not new members.
  • More recently he has been accused of using taxpayer money to fund his campaign. A non-profit charity rounded up clients to work for Volpe and their were paid by the charity. Only after complaints and media attention did Volpe's team indicated that the plan had always been to reimburse the charity.
  • As criticism mounted, the race card was used. He was being targeted because he was an Italian-Canadian.

He is really an embarrassment to the Liberal Party which is trying to distance itself from the Sponsorship Scandal as well as the war between Chretien and Martin that divided the party for far too many years. But why would he care. Dropping out of the race wouldn't help Joe Volpe one bit.

How comforting

As reported in the NY Times

U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer

Last March, the federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war. The Bush administration did so under pressure from Congressional Republicans who had said they hoped to “leverage the Internet” to find new evidence of the prewar dangers posed by Saddam Hussein.

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

A Republican fantasy

British takeover

A Message from John Cleese (of Monty Python) to the citizens of the United States of America :

"In light of your failure to elect a competent President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories excepting Kansas, which she does not fancy. Your new prime minister, Tony Blair, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how incorrectly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and' neighbour. Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters, and the suffix 'ize' will be replaced by thesuffix 'ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up the word "vocabulary").

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will re-learn your original national anthem,God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent. Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol which you have been calling gasoline-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby, (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Look up the word "nancies" in the OED, it does not refer to the wife of a former president.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 21% of you are aware that there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 PM with proper cups, never mugs,with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in season.

"Thank you for your co-operation"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Portable campaign headquarters?

Holocaust Education Week

Showed up for the opening night program for Toronto Holocaust Education Week where Bob Rae was the keynote speaker. It was quite an interesting presentation on how Germany went from the rule of law to using the law as an instrument of oppression. Individual rights became secondary in importance to upholding community standards which were defined by the Nazi dictatorship. The Nuremberg Laws set new standards for the German community with respect to ethnic purity. German society went through a process of defining race, classification of individuals by race, separating out those who did not meet racial standards (which also involved removing rights and oppression), and finally elimination.

As he spoke I noted how appropriate he was as a speaker on this topic besides his commitment to democracy. One of his grandfathers was Jewish. According to Nazi laws that was enough to classify Bob Rae as a Jew. Of course I don't think anyone today would consider him to be Jewish.

Is there room in that big mouth for another foot?

John Kerry started a firestorm with Republicans when he flubbed a joke directed at President Bush. Study hard and stay in college or you'll end up "stuck in Iraq" he told students at Pasadena City College. He allegedly meant to direct the insult at the President but instead insulted the intelligence of those serving in Iraq. Of course Republicans jumped all over him. A number of Democrats cancelled Kerry appearances for this week. Just a lot of politicking in an election that has been dominated my mudslinging. Don't know if below is actually from Iraq or another staged thing but it's cute.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Shut Up and Sing

I'm not a country music fan or a fan of the Dixie Chicks. But the doc they've done looks real interesting and I may see it despite the fact that they are starting to get on my nerves.

Now the lead Chick exercised her right to express her views by knocking President Bush in public. But how smart is that when their fan base is the American heartland which is also Bush's base. These people don't react well to liberal entertainers who shoot off their mouth. So many of them also exercised their right to express their views by not buying the Chicks' music. I believe in free speech too but it has to be used wisely. How long would I have my job if I mouthed off to people. The Chicks took a hit but survived and their latest CD went platinum. So now that the doc is out, they are appearing everywhere on TV to tell their story - Larry King, Oprah, etc. I just can't seem to feel sorry for them. They really should just shut up and sing.

Today Toronto, Tomorrow the World

Toronto mayoral candidate Scott Yee is 23 years old with a grade 3 education. Back in 2005 he ran for mayor of Vancouver. Had a strong campaign and finished with 608 votes. Scott isn't content with running Toronto though. This boy is ambitious. He plans to run for President of Earth in 2010. Good luck Scott!

I'm confused, Thornhill or Petah Tikvah?

Don't you love dealing with insurance companies

Another sicko

Toronto police have charged a contractor with installing a hidden camera in a west-end home which he was hired to renovate. Officers believe others may have been victimized by the peeping tom.

There are too many creepy people running around.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Family Affair, Part II

So I see Richmond Hill Ward 5 Councillor Elio Di Iorio has some company in this year's municipal elections, His wife Sandra Di Iorio is running for Councillor in Ward 6. More political franchising at work here. Consistent with franchises they are sharing signs which explains why they don't identify first names or the precise Ward being contested. I noticed they are even sharing campaign slogans....sustainable Richmond Hill what ever that means.

One giant step backwards for women

This is a direct quote out of Hansard....

Ms. Helena Guergis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, once again I would remind hon. members that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is a gentleman and has always treated me and other female colleagues in this House with the utmost respect. He is a man who was raised by a single mother and who has a number of sisters.

Again I would point out, Mr. Speaker, that we on this side of the House respect your ruling. You were very clear when you said that there was nothing in the recording and nothing in Hansard to indicate that the Minister of Foreign Affairs said anything of the sort.

I do want to point out again, Mr. Speaker, that we respect your integrity and we do not question your integrity on this side of the House.

So instead of standing up for women MPs are are constantly be subjected to sexist comments in the House of Commons, Helena decides she should be defending Peter MacKay. Her defense of poor Peter is so lame she had to have written it herself. So Peter knows how to treat women because he had sisters. I bet she stayed half the night writing that. I wonder if they let the former 1992 Miss Huronia wear her tiara in the House? OK. I feel better after that rant.

I know I've seen that face before

That was some wind yesterday

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fringe Toronto mayoral candidate nabbed in drug bust

A Toronto mayoral candidate who leads a self-professed church where marijuana is considered a holy sacrament has been arrested in a drug bust.

Officers raided a Queen Street East building in the Beaches Thursday where they say hundreds of so-called church members were able to buy drugs and smoking paraphernalia.

Peter Styrsky, 49, has been charged with trafficking and running a grow operation. His wife and 21 others also face charges.


Who says Bush doesn't learn from his mistakes

President Bush when he first got into office.
President Bush today.

Stay the Course

Communications 101