Friday, May 04, 2007

House of Commons Official Languages Committee taking a break from the Shane Doan lynching

Just wondering

I don't know who Heidi Montag is and I've never seen her show The Hills but I would love to discuss global warming with her sometime.

Britney Spears' Kitty

Pillow Fight Toronto

A giant Toronto pillow fight is being planned for May 12. For the guys out there there should be lots of women running around in PJs. Rules and more details available here.

Pillow Fight Toronto
Location TBA @ 3:00 PM
Saturday, May 12th 2007
Rain date TBA.

Free and all ages!

BYOP (bring your own pillow)

Hockey goons are no match for political goons

Poor Hockey Canada chief Bob Nicholson, who had to endure shots from 4th string MPs - many are the political equivalent of a Tie Domi with less brains. Despite his attempt to explain that the Shane Doan controversy was no one on the Commons official languages committee that had demanded an explanation from Hockey Canada was actually listening. After he had long gone, politicians continued to trash Doan - well because votes in Quebec are more important than an innocent hockey player.

Bob Nicholson said yesterday it was not Canadian-born Shane Doan who insulted a francophone linesman in 2005 but a foreign-born player on the Phoenix Coyotes (supposedly Ladislav Nagy). I can't wait for the suit by Doan against MP Denis Coderre for defamation. I assume Nagy will make that admission if this thing goes to trial. Doan could likely add other politicians to that legal action after this week. Many were not reluctant to label him a racist in front of cameras. They whined about the linguistic balance of the team, a query that backfired given that most of the francophones invited to play for the national team turned down the opportunity for a variety of reasons.

Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe stated "When someone robs a bank he's presumed innocent until proven guilty - but I don't know many people who'd name them bank manager while the trial's still on." What trial? The incident was reviewed by the NHL and he was exonerated. The only thing I noticed was a lynching being led by Duceppe and his Bloc trouble-makers who have a mandate to disrupt English Canada at every opportunity. So where are the party leaders to defend Doan - Dion, Harper, and Layton. Hiding behind a rock.

Be sure to book all your emergencies

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ashley Olsen Likes Big Heels

...I wonder if Tom Cruise wheres the same shoes while on the set.

Too Much Information

Our Politicians Should Get Their Facts Straight

Before making accusations about racism, maybe our elected representatives should get their facts straight.

Shane Doan has repeatedly denied a linesman's claim that during a 2005 Phoenix-Montreal game he sarcastically spouted the words, "F-----g Frenchman — did a good job," at him. However, Hockey Canada chief Bob Nicholson told a Commons committee a racial slur was uttered during a 2005 NHL game but he said it was not Doan who uttered it. Doan was actually trying to calm down a furious teammate, goalie Curtis Joseph, who felt that four French-Canadian officials refereeing the game had blown a penalty call.

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said the fact the committee has meddled in the affair has made many Canadians angry.
You got that right buddy!

Jessica Biel's Butt

I get so many hits from guys searching for pictures of Jessica Biel's butt (here, here and here) that I decided to post one more. Jessica works out regularly with a trainer (of course) and here she is doing lunges.

Creepy Pervert?

I know that you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law but Ian Dean of Bowmanville is looking like he is a very creepy pedophile. He is facing child pornography charges after police searching his house discovered a teddy bear with a video camera embedded in its eyes.

The teddy bear was found when officers searched the man's house after arresting him on charges of sexual assault. Those charges stem from incidents involving two girls aged three and 11.

The camera inside the stuffed animal was also capable of being operated from some distance by wireless remote. Numerous hidden cameras were found at the man's house, including one in a device that looked like a wristwatch.

The Shane Doan Controversy

Well the controversy in the public's mind isn't about Shane Doan - it's about arrogant, out of touch politicians in Ottawa. All parties in the House of Commons supported a Bloc Québécois motion that demanded officials from Hockey Canada and Sport Canada appear before a parliamentary committee to explain the the fat asses why Doan was named captain of Canada's team at the World Hockey Championships in Moscow. Ken Dryden, who should know better is defending the decision to put Hockey Canada on the hot seat, noting the organization receives over $1 million in federal funding.

This makes me crazy in so many different ways. The fact that the other 4 parties in the House would support any Bloc motion is insane. Their mandate is to be as uncooperative with the rest of Canada as possible. So why play along with them? Furthermore, ever Canadian wants their elected representatives to be dealing with more important issues - health care waiting times, Afghanistan detainees, the environment, energy policy, etc. And for anyone who has watched the debate in the House, nothing coming out of the mouth of Shane Doan could be as offensive as the banter during Question Period.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

No Tory Majority Possible so Election Talk Fades

A Decima survey released yesterday put support for the minority Conservative government at 30%, the same level recorded by Decima in an April 25 poll. The opposition Liberals rose two points to 31%.The Conservatives, who won the January 2006 election with 36% of the popular vote, need around 40% to stand a chance of winning a majority. With no party within reach of a majority, the desire to force the public to endure another election has disappeared. Opposition parties can still bring down the government through a vote of non-confidence but they could be punished by the electorate for doing so.

An Ipsos-Reid survey last month showed that the support for the five main parties scored remains largely unchanged with the support they received in the January 2006 election. The survey says the Conservatives have 38 per cent support, up two points from the election; the Liberals are up one point to 31 per cent.

A Strategic Counsel poll conducted for CTV and The Globe around the same time showed the Conservatives at 36 per cent and the Liberals at 30 per cent.

So for a while the Conservative numbers were beginning the creep up but they have definitely stalled now. The reasons given by voters are a lack of enthusiasm for the Tory environmental plan and the torture allegations in Afghanistan.

So the speculation is that an election won't happen until this fall but most likely in the spring of 2008.

They don't build them like this anymore

When Geraldine Rowarth bought her first refrigerator, it was the modern convenience at the top of every housewife's wish list. The year was 1957 and Mrs Rowarth paid the equivalent to a month's wages for her husband Ian, a teacher.

For half a century later, her British-made Prestcold cooler is still going strong, now sitting in her daughter's farmhouse kitchen. Her daughter (in photo above) has now owned it for the past 20 years.

Just a few months ago I had to replace a 4 year old washing machine. It makes me want to cry thinking about it.

Pay Phone Rates are Also Going Up

It's been a long time since I used a pay phone - those dusty remnants from the past that can still been seen around the city, usually broken or covered in a viscous goo.

There was a time, before cell phones, MSN, and Facebook, when these machines were cleaner and used by urbanites all over Toronto. With less demand, and despite what seem to be nastier phone booths, the CRTC has decided to allow phone companies to double the traditional 25 cent fee for local calls on public pay phones. They've also increased basic phone service rates for home lines and will uncap rates for extra services like call-waiting.

Now not everyone in Toronto can afford a wireless phone. There are people who can't even afford a land-line phone. So this is really another example where we are going after the poor.

Worst Half Time Show in the History of Ever

Toronto Parking Meter Rates Going Up

The city is planning to bump up metered parking rates by $0.50/hr., an adjustment that should bring in an additional $6million for the city. I find city parking rates to be reasonable compared to rates at private lots but I'm sure the public will be very negative nonetheless.

The city already makes $35 million every year from the metered spots, but defends the hike by pointing out that this is the first increase since 1999. The most expensive rate will be $3.50/hour, which I think is pretty competitive.

Politics and Hockey

I think this is just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard:

Hockey Canada officials are being summoned by a parliamentary committee to explain their choice of Shane Doan as captain of the national team at the IIHF World Hockey Championship.

The Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP supported a Bloc Quebecois motion that demands officials from Hockey Canada and Sport Canada appear before the House of Commons' Official Languages Committee.
At issue is an alleged derogatory remark by Doan toward a French-Canadian referee during a game in 2005. Doan denies making a slur and was cleared by the NHL. Quebec politicians just won't let it go. Their justification for interfering is that Hockey Canada gets a lot of money from the government.

And politicians wonder why much of this country is disillusioned with the political process.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Israel is a Democracy

I think many people with a particular hate for Israel expected the Wingold Commission on the War in Lebanon to be a whitewash. Most states in the Middle East wouldn't have any type of inquiry. Well the report is out and not only appropriately accuses the Prime Minister and Defense Minister with incompetence but also confirms that Israel is a democratic state - although far from perfect.

Though I'm sure the vile and most unfair accusations will continue as the Palestinian propaganda machine has been quite successful in Europe and Canada.

Out of bounds ball?

Update on NJ Governor Jon Corzine

Gov. Corzine apologized to New Jersey residents as he left the hospital 18 days after being critically injured in a car crash in which he was being driven at 91 miles per hour on the Garden State Parkway while riding without his seat belt. He broke his left femur, his sternum and 11 ribs in the accident, spent more than a week on a ventilator and had three operations on his leg.

A state police spokesman, said the commander of the executive protection unit, which provides security and drivers for the governor, told him that the motorcade troopers had been instructed to adhere to posted speed limits.

My only comment is that arrogance can catch up to you in many ways. He was not in a habit of using seat belts in the past.

Suspect Turns Himself in After Relative Recognizes Photo

Yesterday Toronto police said they were counting on the surveillance camera images to help them catch Bly Markis’s killer.

Around 1 a.m. today a man turned himself in to police in the company of his lawyer. Martin Horacio De Narvaez, 21 is now charged with first-degree murder. Denarvaez made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon at Old City Hall.

Using images from five different cameras belonging to two surveillance networks, police pinpointed the final movements of the victim and suspect, who were last photographed together walking into an emergency stairwell exit. It was the third time in the past month that surveillance cameras have captured images of a suspect leading to murder charges.

A relative of a man allegedly caught on security camera near where Bly Markis was found murdered recognized the face and helped convince the suspect to turn himself in, police said Tuesday.

Lock Up

Here is a different vacation destination.

''Guests will know it's a jail. There will be bars on some windows. There will be old cellblocks exposed.'' Boston developer Richard L. Friedman, president and chief executive of Carpenter & Company, describes an example of an emerging trend in urban renovation: prison-turned-luxury-hotel. Boston's Charles Street Jail, built in 1851 and in operation until 1990, will reopen this summer as the four-star Liberty Hotel. Only 20 of the hotel's 298 rooms will be in the old jail building with its thick granite walls; however, Friedman says, a "captivating accommodations" theme will prevail throughout.

According to The New York Times, the $110 million reconstruction project, which includes an office tower, "is among the largest of a growing number of hotel conversions of abandoned jails and prisons." (The Comfort Inn in San Antonio was formerly the circa 1880's county jail. The Malmaison Oxford hotel in the UK, which opened last year, is a renovated 18th-century "correction house.") The Liberty Hotel is located in tony Beacon Hill. Inmates will have panoramic views of the Charles River and downtown Boston. Guests will walk through a former exercise area --"the yard"--to Bread and Water, an upscale restaurant. Late checkout for good behavior.
Thanks K.K.

4th Anniversay

...of completing the mission in Iraq. Way to go W.

Iranian Barbers Warned Against Western Haircuts

Iranian police have warned barbers against offering Western-style hair cuts or plucking the eyebrows of their male customers. Geez, Iranians are stuck with their unibrows now. And no spiked hair either. Barbers who do not follow these rules might be closed down for a month and even lose their permits to operate.

It came a week after police launched a crackdown against the growing numbers of young women testing the limits of the law with shorter, brighter and skimpier clothing ahead of the summer months.

Way too weird

In what I can only imagine is a lame attempt to compete with the soap opera that goes on over at ‘The View’, Ellen DeGeneres who injured her back over the weekend, is conducting her show this week lying down in a hospital bed on stage on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show.’

Thank god Regis Philbin didn't do his show from the cardiac ICU.

Toronto's Most Expensive Penthouse - $16 million

It's not New York, but $16-million is a big chunk of change for what will be Toronto's priciest penthouse pad.What do you get for that much moolah? A 9000-square foot home on top of one of the new Four Seasons Hotel development towers in Yorkville. Aside from living in trendy-but-kind-of-boring Yorkville, you also get stone floors, nickel-plated faucets, space for your live-in housekeeper (not included), and the right to say you've got one of the priciest pieces of real estate in the country.

Contrasting Murder Victims

The day after the discovery of Bly Markis was found dead in a stairwell, the trial of Daniel Sylvester was beginning for the 2005 murder of his next-door neighbour, Alicia Ross. Markis and Ross couldn't be more different.

Bly Markis, 33, fell on hard times but she was trying hard to get her life together. Markis had just finished three weeks' probation after spending time in jail on drug charges. She was living on the street and her social insurance, birth certificate and OHIP cards had all been stolen. And she died on Sunday on the street. Using images from five different cameras belonging to two surveillance networks, police have pinpointed the final movements of the victim and suspect.

Alicia Ross, 25, disappeared from her family's Bronte Rd. home Aug. 16, 2005, setting off a huge search in her neighbourhood and other parts of York Region. As opposed to Markis, Ross lived with her parents in a well-off suburban neighbourhood. The disappearance created huge media coverage. It became the largest investigation into a missing persons case in Ontario in more than 20 years. Five weeks after Ross was last seen alive, Sylvester, now 33, who then lived next door to Ross' family home, turned himself in to police.

In the end both deaths are tragic losses of young lives.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sandy Koufax Drafted by Israeli Baseball League

Jerusalem, Israel (AHN) - American baseball legend Sandy Kaufax was drafted last week to play for one of the six inaugural teams in Israel's newly-formed professional baseball league.

Kaufax, 71, was the last choice of the draft and will fill the final spot on the roster for Modi'in Miracle, which is managed by another former major league great, Art Shamsky.

Clearly, Kaufax's selection was meant as a tribute, but Shamsky indicated that if the legendary pitcher feels like taking the mound, no one is going to stop him.

"It's been 41 years between starts for him. If he's rested and ready to take the mound again, we want him on our team," Shamsky told the AP.

The Israeli league will begin play on June 24, with the teams playing a 45-game schedule.

The Kid is Still Going Strong

24-year old Edmonton Oiler Jarret Stoll is still hanging out with former Playmate, 37-year old Rachel Hunter (ex-wife of Rod Stewart). Here they are down in Palm Springs now that Stoll's hockey season is over. Looks like more fun then battling the Detroit Red Wings.

Police Release Video Shots of Another Toronto Killer

Toronto police are looking for a clean-shaven white man with a shaved head and wearing a hooded jacket and baggy jeans in connection with the slaying of a woman, 33-year-old Bly Markis, in an underground stairwell at Yonge and Bloor streets. She is Toronto's 21st homicide victim of 2007.

Police released a surveillance video of the suspect this morning. A series of surveillance camera images captured the route he took before ending up in a basement stairwell where the murder occurred. TTC cameras show the suspect entering the Yonge and Bloor station. He has the woman's purse over his left shoulder.

Kike Like Me

On the weekend I attended Hot Docs which is the Canadian International Documentary Festival - North America's largest documentary festival. I only saw one film called Kike Like Me, by Jamie Kastner. Kastner had no idea where his film would go when he began it but it became a personal journey. Kike Like Me is funny and frightening; but where it works best is its examination of bigotry and oversensitivity.

The film was prompted by his irritation when people asked a certain question: "Are you Jewish?" Why do they want to know? What difference does it make? What attitudes toward Jews lie behind such questions? So he goes on the road to answer his questions.

Kastner receives a shotgun bar mitzvah from Hassids in Brooklyn; causes a near-riot in a Parisian suburb simply by asking what people think about Jews; and has lunch at the hot dog stand at Auschwitz. He visits right-wing Republican Pat Buchanan on the delicate matter of whether this ultra-Christian politician blames Jewish pressure groups for what he sees as the blunders of U.S. foreign policy.

It's rough at times but it works very well. I understand CHUM plans to telecast it next season but insists on changing the title to Jew Like Me. Whatever.

Bay Bridge Melted

A gasoline tanker crashed and burst into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Sunday, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melted and collapsed.

Flames shot 200 feet in the air, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. Fortunately the crash took place at 4 am when there was very little traffic. No one else was injured.

Traffic is going to be a nightmare in the Bay Area for months. State transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the Bay Bridge into San Francisco each day with 75,000 vehicles using this portion of the bridge.

Raptors are on the verge of elimination....

...and Britney Spears was running around in another bizarre outfit. At least the weather was nice over the weekend.

Does Justin Trudeau have a future in politics?

Justin Trudeau, the eldest son of former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, won a first-ballot victory over two opponents to represent the multicultural riding, which had been a traditional Liberal stronghold until the 2006 election. But type of future does he have in politics?

It may be an uphill battle to win back the Papineau riding. The riding is made up of ethnic, working class voters who may not be attracted by an intellectual, political blue blood who is an outsider. In his victory speech he touched on the anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedom. I'm not too sure if this is a topic he wants to talk about too much in Quebec - the only province not to sign on to the Charter.

Although he has name recognition, he is going to be judged quite harshly because of his father. He will have to defend his father's legacy whether he wants to or not. At the same time he will have to prove he is his own man. Winning the riding will be tough and if he does make it then he will have the opportunity to show what he is capable of.