Saturday, January 29, 2011

Made in the USA


Tear gas canisters used to break up Egyptian protesters.

Father sued for feed son bacon


A former exotic dancer who's now a devout Hasidic Jew is in Cook County court fighting for sole custody of her 8-year-old son.

At the base of Elina Margolina's argument is that her ex-husband, Nelson Derbigny, violated a prior court custody order to implement Margolina's religious practices in the upbringing of their son. She says that Derbigny has refused to ensure a kosher environment.

Derbigny thinks a restrictive lifestyle hampers his son's ability to be a normal child.

"I'm Catholic," he told reporters. "I certainly want to expose him to that, but it's not a prerequisite that he grow up to be Catholic. It's a prerequisite that he grow up to be happy and healthy and make his own decisions when he's old enough."

While being questioned by Margolina's attorney, David Grund, Derbigny said he didn't know it was against the boy's religious training to feed him bacon.


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You dunk the ball not yourself

The Cheeseheads are coming Week

Did you know?

15 year old Natalie Portman performing in Cabaret



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Friday, January 28, 2011

Taco Bell responds: Here's the Beef!


Taco Bell is launching an advertising campaign Friday to fight back against a lawsuit charging its taco filling isn’t beef.

The fast-food chain is placing full-page print ads in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and other papers as well as online ads to “set the record straight”. The print ads say, in huge letters, “Thank you for suing us. Here’s the truth about our seasoned beef.” They go on to outline the meat’s ingredients.

The lawsuit, filed by the Alabama law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, doesn’t specify what percentage of the mixture is meat. But the firm’s attorney Dee Miles said the firm had the product tested and found it contained less than 35 per cent beef. The firm would not say who tested the meat or give any other specifics of the analysis.

Taco Bell says its seasoned beef contains 88 per cent USDA-inspected beef and the rest is water, spices and a mixture of oats, starch and other ingredients that contribute to the “quality of its product.” The company said it uses no extenders.

If you go to the Taco Bell website you will find the following description of what in their seasoned ground beef:

Beef, Water, Seasoning [Isolated Oat Product, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Tomato Powder, Oats (Wheat), Soy Lecithin, Sugar, Spices, Maltodextrin, Soybean Oil (Anti-dusting Agent), Garlic Powder, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Cocoa Powder (Processed With Alkali), Silicon Dioxide, Natural Flavors, Yeast, Modified Corn Starch, Natural Smoke Flavor], Salt, Sodium Phosphates. CONTAINS SOYBEAN, WHEAT

Not familiar with some of these ingredients? Well here is a description from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Isolated Oat Product: Made industrially from oats. Helps processed meat stay moist.

Soy Lecithin: Mainly used to keep oils and water from separating.

Maltodextrin: Usually used as a sweetener. Derived from starches such as corn, wheat or potatoes.

Autolyzed Yeast Extract: Flavor enhancer made from yeast that makes savory flavors more intense.

Citric Acid: Found naturally in citrus fruits. Used to give foods a sour or acidic flavor, or as a preservative.

Silicon Dioxide: Essentially, sand. Ground very fine and used in small quantities to keeps food such as powdery seasoning mixes from caking up. Packets of seasoning mixes at the grocery store often include it.

Sodium Phosphates: A common meat preservative.


Dallas is looking for a few good strippers


According to TMZ, Dallas needs more strippers. Dancing girls are in short supply for the expected demand during Super Bowl week.

John Walsh, the owner of Showtime Cabaret in Texas, spoke to TMZ, and he said that not only does he need at least 150 more beautiful booty shakers, but 60 other clubs located in the 30-mile radius around the stadium need more, too. The push is on in efforts to satisfy all the potential clients streaming in for the Big Game on Super Bowl Sunday—because football and naked women go so well together.

Early estimates place the number of strippers per capita as 30 to 1, as the city expects to host some 300,000 tourists in town for the gridiron showdown. That works out to an additional 10,000 more strippers.

Governor Rick Perry better call out the National Guard. Actually forget the National Guard, better start shuttling girls from Vegas for next weekend. Better yet, call Charlie Sheen.

The TTC doesn't want you taking pictures of bus drivers texting



The TTC is informing the public that they do not want you taking photos of vehicle operators texting. They will tell you that their only concern is around safety and want to avoid confrontations between TTC staff and passengers. They also are suggesting that photographic evidence isn't required to take disciplinary action.

A little ass protecting going on? You bet! Photographic evidence isn't absolutely necessary but it sure would help if its a passenger's word versus the word of the employee. Although vehicles are equipped with video cameras, the videos cannot be used for staff disciplinary purposes. They are used to go after passengers that break the law.

Let's face it these photos are extremely embarrassing to the TTC. It's not that the want to avoid disciplinary action against negligent workers, they just don't want it all over the Internet. Better to deal with it behind closed doors. So the public will have no clue how often this activity goes on and what action has been taken.

So people keep up the good work and make the TTC accountable. Is that too much to ask?

National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy 32nd birthday to Rosamund Pike




I wonder what Charlie Sheen is up to?


Don't bother checking Facebook for Charlie Sheen's status. TMZ will provide you with hourly updates.

Man demands police protection from sex-mad wife


A desperate Turkish man living in Germany has turned to the police for protection from his insatiable wife's constant demands for sex, authorities said on Wednesday.

The man came to his local police station in southwestern Germany on Tuesday saying that he had been sleeping on the sofa for the past four years to escape the clutches of his wife of 18 years and mother of their two children.

"Now he has decided to get a divorce and to move out... in the hope of finally getting some rest, particularly as he is anxious to arrive at work well rested," police said in a statement.

"At the moment this is impossible because he says his wife keeps coming into the living room demanding that he perform his marital duties. He asked for police help in getting some sleep at night."

I bet for a lot of guys this would be the dream relationship - hours and hours of sex. But let's be realistic, how long would it take before you were limp, blistered and burning. And what follows is the humiliation and harassment that comes with under performing. Are you sure you want that?

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This man raped show hogs


Authorities said a man who was caught having sex with show hogs will have his case presented to the Leflore County Grand Jury next month. Andrew Lee Nash, 52, was arrested on Dec. 3, 2010 after police set up surveillance cameras in the owner's stalls near U.S. Highway 82 and the Yazoo River.

Greenwood Police Chief Henry Purnell said the hogs were examined by a local veterinarian, during a routine examination, and the owner was told that four of the hogs had a vaginal infection.

"The owner of the animals knew someone was messing with his animals," said Chief Investigator Huntley Nevels. "And the veterinarian confirmed the sexual assault. So, the owner contacted police and the officers staked it out and caught him out there."

If Nash is indicted and found guilty, he faces up to 120 years in jail.

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How does Gretzky compare to stars in other eras?


It really is difficult to compare players from one era to another. The game continues to evolve including goalie equipment, stick technology, the rules, etc. So how do you compare Wayne Gretzky to the NHL's other prolific scorers?

Well the approach I took was to look at the scoring leader over the last 50 years and determine how much more dominant he was than the rest of the league by calculating the margin between the leader and the runner up to the scoring leader. So for instance in 1986-87, Gretzky had 183 points which was 69.4% more points than the next best player behind him. In fact that happened to have been Jari Kurri who likely wouldn't have scored 108 points that season had he not been on the wing with Gretzky.

Below are the top 20 scoring leaders based on percentage lead. Not surprising Gretzky takes 8 of the 9 top spots. He consistently won the scoring championship by a 40% or 50% margin when in most seasons the leader squeaks in by about 5%. By New Years, Gretzky could have taken the rest of the season off and still won the scoring championship.


Season Points % Lead
Wayne Gretzky 1986-87 183 69.4%
Wayne Gretzky 1983-84 205 62.7%
Wayne Gretzky 1982-83 196 58.1%
Wayne Gretzky 1984-85 208 54.1%
Wayne Gretzky 1985-86 215 52.2%
Wayne Gretzky 1981-82 212 44.2%
Phil Esposito 1972-73 130 25.0%
Wayne Gretzky 1990-91 163 24.4%
Wayne Gretzky 1980-81 164 21.5%
Bobby Orr 1969-70 120 21.2%
Phil Esposito 1973-74 145 18.9%
Jaromir Jagr 1998-99 127 18.7%
Mario Lemieux 1988-89 199 18.5%
Phil Esposito 1968-69 126 17.8%
Phil Esposito 1971-72 133 13.7%
Mario Lemieux 1987-88 168 12.8%
Jaromir Jagr 1997-98 102 12.1%
Mario Lemieux 1996-97 127 11.9%
Guy Lafleur 1976-77 136 11.5%
Bobby Hull 1965-66 97 11.5%




The perfect Valentine's Day gift - a copy of Barak Obama's birth certificate


Imagine: Your very own, handsomely embossed official Barack Obama birth certificate. It could soon be yours!! A bill introduced in the Hawaii state legislature would allow anyone to get a copy of the president's Hawaii birth records for just $100.

Now that Hawaii's governor, Neil Abercrombie, has officially confirmed the existence of Obama's birth records there, five Democrats have introduced the bill to "end skepticism over Obama's birthplace while raising a little money." It would change privacy laws to allow any American to get a copy of Obama's birth records, for a $100 processing fee.

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The power of social media


Just watching the events in Egypt this week, Tunisia last week and Iran last year reveal the power of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They scare the hell out of repressive regime. Prior to the Internet, police states could control the communications by taking over newspapers, radio stations and TV stations. But the Internet are not bricks and mortar establishments that can be controlled.

In Egypt, Facebook and Twitter have helped drive this week's protests. But by Thursday evening, those sites were disrupted, along with cell phone text messaging and BlackBerry Messenger services. Then the Internet went down.

In response hackers have begun to attack Egyptian government websites. The battleground is no longer limited to the streets but has spread to cyberspace.

OMG, we're running out of Internet!


The Internet is so large, and Internet use today is so widespread, that it is hard to imagine it ever reaching a limit.

But that is exactly what one Google executive said will happen within the next few weeks.

Vint Cerf, vice president of Google and one of the men who helped create the Web, told Australia's Sydney Morning Herald that it was his "fault" we were running out of Internet.

The original Internet Protocol (IP) system, IPv4, that Cerf helped create in 1977 allows for only 4.3 billion unique IP addresses, which in the last 30 years have been almost all used up.

"I thought it was an experiment and I thought that 4.3 billion would be enough to do an experiment," Cerf said in an interview.

An IP address is a unique code that every computer, website, and Web-enabled device has, and is different than a website URL.

Industry leaders like Google are now moving from that old IPv4 system to a new one, IPv6, which includes letters and digits for an almost infinite number of possible addresses.

The Internet Service Provider Hurricane Electric has started an IP-doomsday campaign, dubbed the "IPcalypse", to encourage the switch from IPv4 to IPv6.

According to its website, there are little more than 37 million IPv4 addresses left, with the countdown estimated to reach zero in nine days.

Mashable.com reported that the IPv4 and IPv6 systems can exist simultaneously during the transition, so it is unlikely that the "IPcalypse" will be any more deadly than that old foe Y2K.

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Number 99 turns 50



My poll on the NHL’s greatest all-time player is no surprise with Wayne Gretzky receiving just over 50% of the votes. You are more likely to vote for the player if you saw them play during their prime. For Wayne Gretzky you would have to be at least 35 to remember his record breaking season (1981-82). You would have to be at least 42 to remember Bobby Orr’s record breaking season (1974-75). You would have to be 64 to remember Gordie Howe’s best season (1952-53). These three players were all great and clearly the best of their generation. All three changed the way the game was played in some way. I still believe Orr was the very best and perhaps that would have been more obvious if his career hadn’t been shortened by injuries.

Orr and Howe, Gretzky has continued to be great ambassador for the NHL and the most recognizable face in the sport. Even those who don’t follow the sport in the U.S. know who he is. The fact that Gretzky’s 50th birthday is major headline news speaks to his stature within the sport. Gretzky's number 99 is only the second number ever to be retired league-wide by a major North American sports league, the other being Jackie Robinson’s number 42, which was retired by Major League Baseball in 1997.

My best memory of Gretzky was his 1981-82 season. The season before Mike Bossy scored 50 goals in his first 50 games and went on to finish with 68. I thought 50 goals in 50 games was an incredible feat. Gretzky who was known as a brilliant playmaker was never considered a sniper although he had scored over 50 goals in his first 2 seasons in the NHL. In the 1981-82 season he was determined to shoot more and in doing so obliterated several records. As all hockey fans know he scored 50 goals in just 39 games and finished the season with 92 goals. These are records that I cannot see ever being equalled. He seemed to be able to score at will.



My biggest disappointment was in 1996 when Gretzky wanted to finish his career with the Maple Leaf. Gretzky having grown up in Southern Ontario was a life-long Leaf fan and wanted to come back home. Cliff Fletcher took a contract offer to owner Steve Stavros for approval but Stavros was having some financial issues and rejected it. Gretzky finished his career with the Rangers and Leaf fans were robbed of seeing number 99 in a Leaf jersey.

Unfortunately the NHL is not utilizing their strongest asset right now. Wayne Gretzky is in self-imposed exile following the turmoil that ended his tenure as coach of the Phoenix Coyotes. Gretzky is owned a considerable sum of money through a complicated arrangement that involved more than just being a coach of the team. Sadly there were suggestions that his contract was contributing to the team’s losses and bankruptcy status. One thing Gretzky hates is controversy so he more or less has dropped out of the scene. The owners need to address this issue and make things right with their hockey icon. As they complete the sale of the Coyotes to Matthew Hulsizer, it’s time to make amends and pay him what he is owed. That would be an appropriate 50th birthday present.

National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Let's see that again

Anaheim Ducks accused of abusing Jewish player


3-year-old Jason Bailey -- a 3rd round NHL pick in 2005 -- claims from the moment the Ducks assigned him to play for an affiliate team called the Bakersfield Condors ... his coaches unleashed a "barrage of anti-Semitic, offensive and degrading verbal attacks."

In the suit, filed today in Orange County Superior Court, Bailey claims the head coach of the Condors told him "[Jews] only care about money and who's who" and that he "never wanted his son to be raised Jewish or to wear a Yarmulke."

Bailey claims the assistant head coach would get in on the Jew-bashing too -- saying things like, "Oh, I just got a friend request from a dirty Jew."

Bailey says the coaches also forced him to travel apart from the team and he was "rarely given any ice time" in games because he's Jewish.

According to the documents, filed by Bailey's lawyer Keith Fink, Bailey complained to the Ducks about the hostile work environment -- and the team reacted by instructing the coaches to pen apology letters to Bailey in which they both admitted to using hurtful language.

Bailey was eventually traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2009 -- and insists the Ducks were "happy to be rid of him."

Bailey is suing for unspecified damages.

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Woman addicted to eating couch cushions

A new TLC reality show called My Strange Addiction chronicles Americans who have strange tendencies and obsessive habits. Folks have been featured to eat toilet paper, soap, and hair. More recently, the show featured a 30 year-old Tampa woman who eats the foam out of couch cushions when she is anxious. She admits to consuming seven couches and two chairs in her lifetime. The disease is called pica, an eating disorder where a person has an appetite for non-food objects such as clay, dirt, and even laundry detergent. Many people with pica have malnutrition or are missing adequate levels of certain nutrients such as iron or zinc. Treatment involves aversion therapy from the non-food item followed by positive reinforcement when consuming healthful foods.

Sign of the day

National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

Hump Day Hottie


Anne Hathaway

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mom jailed for fraudulently sending daughters to safer school


Kelley Williams-Bolar, a 40-year-old mother of two, was convicted of a felony last week and sent to jail for 10 days. Her crime? Falsifying records so her kids could attend a safer school in the district where her father lives.

Williams-Bolar, according to the prosecution, lives in subsidized housing in Akron, Ohio, and not with her father in Copley Township—as she claimed on several official school forms when she enrolled her two daughters. The Copley schools are, it seems, better and safer than the schools in Akron.

The school district grew suspicious enough about the Williams-Bolar kids to, apparently, hire a private detective, who filmed Williams-Bolar dropping her children off at a bus stop near her parents' house. Officials confronted her. The school district superintendent, Brian Poe, says that such cases are usually resolved without going to trial.

But apparently, this was impossible with Williams-Bolar. She and her father were charged with falsifying records—and grand theft, over the $30,500 in tuition the school claims she owed for her daughters.

Williams-Bolar, a teaching assistant, is working towards a teaching degree, but her felony conviction will likely derail that. Her daughters will be attending schools in Akron. And the Copley Township schools will no longer be host to 12- and 16-year-old frauds like the Williams-Bolar sisters.

You may think this is a little heavy handed on the part of the school district. But you have to look at it from their perspective the Williams-Bolar sisters are black and the school was largely white. You need to protect the students from exposure to felons.

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Toronto's Mia Kirshner is 36

Mia in the 1996 film Exotica





In the 2006 film The Black Dahlia

THE BLACK DAHLIA: Movie Trailer. Watch more top selected videos about: Gregg Henry, Hilary Swank

What no Oscar nomination for the 7 sisters in The Fighter?


You can't help but notice the 7 big-mouthed, foul-mouthed, brawling sisters to Mark Wahlberg's Micky Ward and Christian Bale's Dicky Eklund in The Fighter. They have nicknames as colorful as their hairstyles -- Tar, Pork, Beaver -- and, in the movie as in real life, are fiercely protective of their brothers while serving as a comedic Greek chorus. They literally steal the movie.

They have very little acting experience and had hoped to land jobs as extras. But among the 3,000 people who showed up at the Lowell, Mass., casting call, they wound up with key roles in the film. How did they do it? Unlike many who showed up, they didn't look so pretty.

The second one from the left is Conan O'Brien's sister, Kate.

Woman dies during sex; boyfriend dumps body behind pizza joint


Asphyxiation turns your girlfriend on. So one day, during a particularly intense session, you wrap a hand around her throat and press hard.

She passes out, which isn't so rare. But you're angry because her bluish skin has interrupted the mood. You slam out of the apartment. An hour later, you come home to find her dead. What do you do?

David Muringer, 40, a short guy with tattoos of Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote on his shoulder, told police he freaked out. The Lake Worth felon just got of prison in December 2009 for organized fraud and cocaine possession, Florida Department of Corrections records show. He didn't want to go back to jail.

There was a "large amount" of drugs in his apartment so calling the police wasn't a good idea. Muringer kept his lover's body in his bed for two days while he tried to come up with a plan.

Eventually, he crammed the body into a cardboard barrel, sealed it with duct tape, and rolled it out to her car. Then he drove around for four hours.

Finally, he ended up in a parking lot behind Mellow Mushroom, the pizza joint in Delray Beach. He left the car, with the body of Doris Lopez, 48, of West Palm Beach inside, and took the bus home.



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Chicago car salesman fired for wearing Packers tie



A car salesman in suburban Chicago has been fired for refusing to remove a Green Bay Packers tie that he wore to work the day after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears to advance to the Super Bowl.

John Stone says he wore the Packers tie to work Monday at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn to honor his late grandmother, who was a big Green Bay fan.

The sentimental gesture did not impress his boss, Jerry Roberts.

Roberts says the dealership has done promotions involving the Bears and he was afraid the tie could alienate the team's fans and make it harder to sell cars.

Roberts adds that Stone was offered five chances to take off the tie but he refused.

I can't decide who was the bigger dickhead the asshole who fired a guy over a tie or the idiot who felt he had to take a stand over tacky neckwear. Explain how this isn't wrongful dismissal?

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National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Insomnia

Taco Bell Lawsuit: Where's the beef?


What's in a name? That's the question at the heart of a class action lawsuit Montgomery, Alabama law firm Beasley Allen filed targeting fast food giant Taco Bell. The lawsuit claims the company uses "false advertising" on its menu and in its advertisements.

WSFA 12 News contacted the Taco Bell Corporation for a response to the lawsuit. Company spokesman Rob Poetsch issued this statement::

"Taco Bell prides itself on serving high quality Mexican inspired food with great value. We're happy that the millions of customers we serve every week agree. We deny our advertising is misleading in any way and we intend to vigorously defend the suit.

"The complaint alleges that what Taco Bell calls "beef" doesn't meet the minimum requirements set by the USDA to be called "beef" or "seasoned ground beef" or anything of the kind.

"Rather than beef, these food items are actually made with a substance known as "taco meat filling," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit states that Taco Bell should refer to its product as "taco meat filling" because it contains mostly "extenders" and other non-meat substances.

What are these substances? The document lists water, "Isolated Oat Product," wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate as well as beef and seasonings.

The USDA defines "beef" as "flesh of cattle."

The definition as read in the lawsuit states "Ground beef" "shall consist of chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders."

The USDA policy book requires food labeled as "taco filling" to contain "at least 40 percent fresh meat," and the label must show the true product name.

In containers shipped to Taco Bell stores, not seen by consumers, the label reads: "Taco Meat Filling."

Beasley Allen law firm adds that what Taco Bell is marketing as beef only contains 36% meat.

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Spam email of the Month


My Dearest in christ,

My name is Mrs. Adilah Spears a nationality of Kuwait. I am married to late Mr. Emma Spears whom worked with Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died in the year Octorber 2003. We were married for twenty years with a child. He died after an illness that lasted for four weeks. Please I know this may come to you by suprise , because you did not know me, I needed your assistance that was why I write you through divine direction, it is my desire of going into relationship with you.

Before his death we were both born again Christians.When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of (Ten Million U.S.Dollars) with one of good banks here in Cote d'Ivoire Presently, this money is still with the bank. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my cancer problem,though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in.I want a person or church that will use this fund to churches,orphanages, research centres and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.

The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I have a child that will inherit this money but my son can not carryout this work only because i and my late husband decide to use some of the money to work for God and live some for our son to have a better live.Our son is just 17yearold now and been grow up in africa, he have low manterity and my husbands relatives are not Christians and I dont want my family hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers,I dont want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner.Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.

I will like you to understand that my contact to you is a divine direction from God , I don't want any of my husband family relatives to receive this money but I know that With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the new beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I live a life of a worthy Christian.Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth,Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or Christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here and Please I will like you to contact me Immediately you receive this mail so that I will instruct the Bank to ! transfer this fund into your account.

Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs. Adilah Spears and Son Johnson.

Like how can you not believe a Christian woman?

Just another day on the NY subway system



via BarstoolNY

National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Can you spot the Canadian?

Jack LaLanne: 1914 - 2011

Here he is doing his famous finger tip pushups.


People for corporate tax cuts


The NDP has set up a website call People For Corporate Tax Cuts which is intended to criticize the Liberals and Conservatives for supporting tax cuts for corporations in Ontario. It mockingly includes testimonials from ordinary Ontarians who would be happy to given up $500 so that rich CEOs would have bigger bonuses.

After all it is an election year in Ontario.


Sign of the day

Stephen Harper after 5 years


Today marks the 5 year anniversary of Stephen Harper becoming Prime Minister. It was an anniversary that at time appeared as if it would never happen. He came to power largely in response to a massive scandal by the Liberals. The Liberals have yet to recover and are buried as the Opposition Party lead by uninspiring leaders.

I am torn on Stephen Harper as a Prime Minister and I am sure many Canadians feel the same way. At times he is a tough ideologue driven to destroy the Liberal party and remove Liberal sponsored programs from the Canadian landscape. Then suddenly he can become pragmatic and ignore his Conservative roots in order to hang on to power and win a majority. Perhaps because it is more important for him to be Prime Minister than a Conservative Prime Minister.

Here are my observations regarding the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada:
  • Surviving 5 years running a minority government is quite an accomplishment and the longest uninterrupted minority in Canadian history. Some may suggest that the opposition was weak but there were a number instances where he could have lost power but managed to outwit the other guys. However, the main factor that made forming a government a reality was uniting the Right. For years the Liberals were able to exploit the divided right wing in Canadian politics.
  • One of the reasons he has able to hang onto power has been his success at avoiding large scale scandals. I think that he rightfully take the credit. He has maintained tight control of caucus and his Cabinet and everyone is on a short leash. Anyone who becomes a political liability is out the door - just ask Helena Guergis. Even the massive stimulus spending was distributed with barely a fuss.
  • I think he has largely been a disappointment to his conservative base. Government spending has grown considerably and few social conservative policies have seen the light of day. His recent changes to the census is one of but a few concessions to the base. But he isn't totally to blame. He has repeatedly been forced to soften his position on issue in order to hang onto power. Should he ever win a majority, then I would expect to see some serious shifts in policy.
  • At times Harper has been undemocratic in his bid to stay in power. He twice prorogued Parliament - shutting down democracy - for purely political reasons and to avoid Parliament.
  • He has been a strong advocate for an elected Senate but when he was unable to make any progress on reforms, he went on a flurry of partisan Senate appointment. He now has a Conservative majority in the Senate and intends on using it to oppose legislation passed by Parliament but not to his liking. The problem is that Parliament is elected while the Senate is not.
  • Harper promised more government accountability, more transparency and access to information. However, the opposite has occurred. This government has been more secretive and protective than previous governments.
  • Harper has worked hard to provide Canada with a larger role on the world stage have had mixed success. The War in Afghanistan has divided the country and highlighted a poor equipped military and weak leadership. The police state that took over downtown Toronto during the G20 Summit was nothing to be proud of and we lost our bid to win a seat on the U.N. Security Council.
  • Finance Minister Jim Flaherty kept the books balanced during the good times, applied the right amount of economic stimulus when the recession hit, and is now winding down the stimulus and moving to eliminate the deficit. But the Conservative initially opposed stimulating the economy and joined the bandwagon in response to public concern this becoming disciples of Keynesian economics.
Stephen Harper has no vision for Canada. His only vision is hanging onto power which he has been successful to date. After five years, the Conservative core of voters has neither grown or shrunk. Which means the election expected later this year will likely result in another Conservative government.

National Yoga Week at Canada, eh?

When did Mike Komisarek become a star?


The TMZ website is reporting that Mike Komisarek was involved in an incident while the Leafs were in Los Angeles earlier this month. TMZ alleges that Komisarek punched a woman in the face at an L.A. nightclub. TMZ has all these sources within the L.A.P.D. who told them that the Leaf defenseman was named in a police report filed by a woman who claims the whole thing went down after Komisarek decided to lift her up in the air at a Hollywood nightclub.

I don't know what happened, don't have an opinion and don't care. But what bothers me is the article refers to Komisarek as an "all-star" and a "defensive powerhouse". Last night the "star" had 11 shifts for 8:28 in ice time. He has a total of 1 goal and 8 assists for the season. What a powerhouse!