Saturday, December 20, 2008
- An Egyptian man is offering his 20-year-old daughter in marriage to Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad on Sunday. The daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa, said she agreed with the idea. "This is something that would honor me. It appears he is the most eligible bachelor in the Middle East. [source]
- The shoe-throwing incident has inspired an Internet game where the player hurls footwear at a moving target of the U.S. president. [source]
- Meanwhile, Arabs around the Middle East are rallying in support of the Zaidi. The Iraqi courts appear unsure what to do with him. Somehow I think he will get pardoned.
- There are still lingering questions about Zaidi's injuries. His family claim he was beatened. Some of the democratic processes introduced by the American troops. Mind you under Saddam Hussein he would already be dead.
Back in 1977 Toronto had annual percipitation total of 971 mm (about 40 inches). That was one wet year. The mark was broken on December 10 when the city reached 975 mm of total rain and snow. But it's kept snowing over the last 10 days. Yesterday's 15 mm brings Toronto ever so close to the 1,000 mm mark. A pretty soggy year.
Oh, another storm is coming tomorrow.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Mark Felt, the man better known as Deep Throat has died at the age of 95. Felt died at his home in Santa Rosa, California from congestive heart failure. Felt, the associate director of the FBI during the Watergate scandal. As the second-highest official in the FBI under longtime director J. Edgar Hoover and interim director L. Patrick Gray, Felt detested the Nixon administration's attempt to subvert the bureau's investigation into the complex of crimes and coverups known as the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.
Even if they don't survive with their dignity intact, Sabathia and Burnett go home with $240 million. Yankees dragged their new big signings out for the media yesterday. They have more money to burn.
These contracts don't seem to hurt baseball since they are breaking attendance records. Probably fans come out to watch the Yankees lose.
Hugh Hefner’s last three girlfriends were nothing less than money sucking tramps, but at least they comported themselves in public without pathetic, attention-whoring antics. These new girlfriends don’t even seem to like him very much, they just want the money they think they’re going to get and the free media attention.
Foolish old rich guy.
Kenneth Branagh has started another movement in UK to crack down on illegal downloading, because he feels that his films are not making as much money as they could because of downloading. Sure, Ken. That’s why 5 Children and It didn’t make any money.
Bristol Palin's future mother-in-law is in trouble with the law. Sherry L. Johnston was charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance. No one is saying what drugs were involved but Alaska does have a reputation.
Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father. Bristol Palin, 18, is due on Saturday. During the campaign there were constant gossip about drug use in Palin's family so now we know we has been supplying them.
UPDATE: It wasn't meth: Johnston's arrest was oxycontin-related.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
In a carefully controlled strategy reminiscent of the vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, aides to Caroline Kennedy interrupted her on Wednesday and whisked her away when she was asked what her qualifications are to be a United States senator.
In her first public appearance since letting it be known that she wants to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Kennedy emerged from a closed-door meeting with Matthew J. Driscoll, the mayor of Syracuse, where about a dozen reporters were waiting. She offered a 30-second statement saying that she would respect the process undertaken by Gov. David A. Paterson to fill the vacancy.
Then, as reporters asked why Ms. Kennedy was seeking the Senate seat and whether she was ready, she did not answer, then walked away, heading toward a waiting black sport-utility vehicle.
Well it's official - Mats Sundin is off to Vancouver. But let's be honest, he never really made the decision. It's been 256 days since he last played an NHL game. Since that time he has set numerous deadlines without making a decision. In April Mats suggested he would decide by the end of June whether he would play again. Then there was the August 1 deadline, the late August deadline, the start of training camp deadline, the end of training camp deadline, etc.
At one time there were as many as 20 teams interested in signing Sundin. His agent suggested that he had narrowed it down to two teams but there was only one - Vancouver. Sure the Sundin camp was suggesting that the choice is between the Rangers and Vancouver but unless Mats was willing to play for peanuts (something he has always refused to do) then only one team has cap space for him. Sundin never eliminated any team from consideration, they all lost interest in him. Only Mike Gillis foolishly kept cap space in the event Sundin decided to continue his hockey career. Every other general manager spent their budget elsewhere to ensure they would ice a competitive team.
History has shown that players that sit out training camp and a chunk of the start of a season struggle to regain their fitness level and skills. The game today is so much faster and physical that you just can't show up one day and say "I'm ready to play now."
If Sundin was really interested in winning a Stanley Cup, well I'm not convinced he is any closer today. The Canucks were not one player away from being a contender. But he will walk away in the spring with over $5 million for playing just over a half season of hockey. That will ease the pain of playing on another non-contender.
Scarlett Johansson is auctioning off a used tissue on eBay. During her 12/17/08 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Scarlett blamed her cold on The Spirit co-star Samuel L. Jackson, saying she caught it from him. She believed that for this reason her cold had some "value." During her appearance on The Tonight Show, she blew her nose into a tissue provided by Jay Leno.
Ummm, Scarlett couldn't you give up a pair of shoes or a hat? Come on, a dirty disgusting tissue.
Anyway the current bid is $2,151. Money doesn't buy good taste.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So far this year there have been 69 murders which is 15% fewer than 2007 (81 murders as of December 17). However, the number of shootings are up. So far this year there have been 336 shootings which is an increase of 99 or 42%. [source]
All types of crimes are down - sexual assault, car theft, burglary but not shootings. Seems we have a problem but no one has a solution.
Three year old Adolph Hitler Campbell's parents were shocked and amazed when the local grocery store refused to make a cake with their kids full name.
Walmart however came through and made the cake in time for the party. Hooray! Walmart saves the day!
Oh yes, they do have other children. JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell turns 2 in a few months and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell will be 1 in April.
Baby Hitler, this little number is just for you......
Statistically the team has not changed much. The offense is good (11th in goals scored per game) but the goaltending is not (26th in goals given up per game). The powerplay is rated 9th in the league but the penalty killers are still near the bottom of the league (28th overall). Interestingly, the team averages 32.3 shots be game which is 4th in the league but their shooting percentage is low – only 11% which is one of the worst in the league. This either suggests that they lack NHL calibre snipers or the team takes a lot of low percentage shots (we already know Jason Blake is prone to that). Considering the high number of shots taken it is a reasonable assumption that the team tends to shoot a lot whether or not there is a legitimate scoring chance.
During the past 10 games, Brian Burke and Dave Nonis have finally joined the management team with a lot of fanfare. However, their impact will not become noticeable for some time. In fact, Burke has promised no roster moves until December 27 which is 10 days longer than the mandatory 8 day period mandated by the league. Jeremy Williams has again been called up and displayed his excellent scoring touch. He has scored 3 goals on just 8 shots as well as a shootout goal last night. However, Williams has been criticized for getting too comfortable after his call ups. Let’s see if Ron Wilson can maintain Williams’ much needed hustle. Mats Stajan continues to lead the team in scoring with 25 points which puts him in a tie for 59th in the league. Their leading goal scorer is now Nik Antropov with 11 which puts him tied 42nd in the league. Rookie Luke Schenn is 10th in the league in hits even though he has missed the last 3 games. Mikhail Grabovski leads all rookies in goals (10) and is 4th in points scored (19) although he has cooled off considerable since Niklas Hagman has been out of the lineup with an injury. The big surprise is the team’s +/- leader – it’s Ian White (+4) who was a health scratch 12 games.
I must be as frustrated and embarrassed as every other voter in the City of Vaughan. For 2 years now the clowns in city hall have been fighting with each other integrity and expense audits while ignoring the needs of taxpayers.
On Monday Vaughan councillors held a news conference at which they collectively asked Mayor Linda Jackson to resign – something she defiantly said she would not do. But then they have been trying to get her to resign since she got elected 2 years ago. All supported former Mayor Michael DiBase who lost a squeaker election to Jackson. The election was quite close and went to a judicial recount.
They cited a litany of complaints against Jackson, including violations of city policy over expense claims, a court battle involving alleged election finance irregularities, and criticisms that she lacks good judgment and a work ethic. But then they aren't so clean and squeaky themselves. A key reason for the move was Jackson's response to an audit of her office expenses earlier this month. he audit found her claims were for legitimate business expenses but revealed almost $14,000 in unreceipted claims as well as claims for lavish lunches and dinners, involving alcohol, for her assistants.
It didn't help that in her campaign she made allegations of city hall corruption and then failed to push for a public inquiry after she got into office. It got worse when embittered former supporters filed complaints over her office expenses and election finances, and Jackson supporters retaliated with allegations against other members of council.
Di Biase is still facing an audit of his campaign expenses, as is Councillor Bernie DiVona.
Voters need to seriously consider throwing the whole group out.
Zero percent interest for the Federal Reserve funds rate.Wow, it shouldn't be too hard to calculate interest payments.
$1,000,000.00 x 0.00% = $0.00
So we have now reached the limits of Milton Friedman's conservative monetarism. You can't go below zero percent interest unless you actually *pay* people to take your money, and for some reason folks aren't willing to do that. It was once explained that at zero percent in a deflationary environment, people will simply stuff greenbacks under their mattresses.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It's relatively well known that I straddle the line between avid fan and stalker when it comes to Kate Winslet. Not only is she a natural beauty but an incredibly gifted actress. In fact, she is the youngest actress (33) to receive 5 Academy Award nominations.
I predict that this year she will pick up nominations 6 and 7 and win an Oscar too. If she doesn't...well I might just do something drastic. This weekend I am going to try to catch either The Reader or Revolutionary Road.
Monday, December 15, 2008
But with the deal in a state of flux, it is believed that several owners will suspend the 2009 season to find another investor or explore other financial options.
he New York Giants need another sack -- to cover a flamboyant fan who wears skimpy outfits.
Sondra Fortunato went to Giants Stadium a week ago for the Philadelphia Eagles game wearing a Santa Claus outfit, a tiara, fishnet stockings, a bathing suit bottom and high-heeled boots.
She insists nothing was showing even though she's "well-endowed." As she puts it, "You couldn't even see my underwear."
She also had a suitcase and signs reading "Go Giants" and "Have a No Guns Christmas," referring to wide receiver Plaxico Burress's shooting himself in the leg.
Fortunato says Giants security officers escorted her out, said signs weren't allowed and told her to cover up because there were children at the stadium.
The Giants maintain she was ejected because she broke stadium rules against signs and baggage.
Cleveland Browns fan Mike Meredith is a couch potato with a cause. Meredith has a motorized sofa — the "Go-Kouch" — that he usually rides around a municipal parking lot for tailgate parties before games.
But on Nov. 23, he decided to take the couch, a converted riding mower, the extra two blocks to the Browns' stadium for a game with Houston. Meredith said several police officers waved him through. One didn't, issuing him citations for driving an unregistered vehicle and having expired plates.
Meredith pleaded not guilty and will argue his case in court Tuesday. He has prepared a defense, walking the couch route and snapping pictures of every officer who gave him the go-ahead.
He could receive fines or community service in lieu of payment if he loses.
OK I admit it, this is just another lame excuse to post this picture again.
New York Rangers
Looks like Chicago is dropping out. GM Dale Tallon has indicated that the Blackhawks have been unable to move either Nikolai Khabibulin or Martin Havlat in order to create cap space for Sundin. He indicated that any potential trading partner has insisted on Chicago taking back substantial salary. The Rangers who have long been a leading contender in the Sweepstakes have only $1 million in cap space. Trading a big salary will create the same issues where the other team will be looking to move salaries back the other way. Supposedly the Rangers are looking to move several players to create enough space. However, even then it might br less than half of what the Canucks are willing to pay. If something doesn't happen this week then Sundin will be on hold until after Christmas. This Friday the NHL freezes rosters until December 27.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Only 24 per cent of Canadians knew that the Queen is head of state.
Only 59 per cent correctly described the Canadian system of government as a constitutional monarchy.
51 per cent wrongly agreed that Canadians elect the prime minister directly.
And you wonder why politicians continue to be able to mislead voters.
New York Rangers
After his numerous self-imposed deadlines have passed without a decision, will the dithering Mats Sundin actually make up his mind? Hard to believe that since the time the Maple Leafs were knocked out of the playoffs this drama has been playing itself out for 8 months. At this point you also have to question whether Sundin really has the fire to be an impact player. Then again will his Christmas deadline pass without a decision?
The first one suggests that Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have a big lead in the polls. Canada's ruling Conservatives would win a strong majority in Parliament if elections were held today, according to a poll showing the new leader of the opposition Liberals has done little to boost public support.
Canadians favour the Conservatives over the Liberals by 45 per cent to 26 per cent, an Ipsos Reid poll showed. The New Democrats (NDP) had the backing of 12 per cent.
The 19-point lead for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's party is only slightly narrower than what the Conservatives enjoyed in a Ipsos Reid poll released Dec. 5, before the Liberals replaced the unpopular Stephane Dion with Michael Ignatieff.
The other article suggests that Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff are virtually in a tie. In fact, Ignatieff tops the list of party leaders Canadians would prefer as prime minister, with 28 per cent of respondents naming him the best head of government, according to the Toronto Star/Angus Reid survey.
Harper came in at 27 per cent – a virtual tie because it's within the margin of error, but the first time the Conservative leader has polled below 30 per cent in two years.
New Democrat Leader Jack Layton was chosen by 10 per cent of respondents, while Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe and Green Leader Elizabeth May came in at 2 per cent and 3 per cent respectively. Sixteen per cent of respondents did not want any of the leaders to be prime minister and 15 per cent were unsure.