Tuesday, May 31, 2005


You know, if I had been an editor with one of the local newspapers in town I would have grabbed the first picture of the new Miss Universe and splashed it all over the front page.

I mean, this is a Toronto girl winning Miss Universe. In the Latin American countries winning would be big news, especially in Venezuela where it's practically a national sport, this beauty contest thing. And with all the people in town from all over the world, you would think this would be a big story, someone winning some big international title. But no. Nobody saw fit to put her on the front page, even though she's a local girl from Toronto who goes to Ryerson.

Instead you had one of these papers putting up another shot of killer Karla Homolka, soon to be released from jail, as if we haven't seen enough of her. Really nice, uplifting story. The Toronto STAR had a front page column saying the hockey lockout could be over in a few days, and really, who cares about hockey anymore.

The only paper I saw that had a photo of Miss Universe on the front page was a Chinese-language daily. Imagine, the Chinese community is more interested in this story than the English-speakers. Not even the Toronto SUN (home of the Sunshine Girls) had a front-page picture of her!

Then the media asks themselves why circulation is down at all these newspapers. Is it any wonder, when they blow a good story like this? You would have thought winning Miss Universe would be something the local media could have fun with. But I guess these newspapers here aren't interested in fun. Or in girls.


I may not be a fan of fundamentalists in politics, don't really agree with them on certain issues, but I will say this: organized religion in this country has been getting slammed a little bit too often by the likes of Gloria Galloway and the rest of these reporters. Since when has it been against the law to be a Christian in this country?

I mean, you saw it in the coverage of the election of the new Pope, all the disappointment from people who were hoping the Catholic Church would, ahem, become a little less Catholic and more secular. And you see it in the coverage of the Conservative Party. Quite frankly, I'm sick of it. I'm not all that religious either, but I'm worried that people in this country not only seem to want nothing to do with religion at all, but want to go after people who are religious and deny them their rights to freedom of worship. They're making people of faith out to be dangers to society and frankly I think that's a really warped approach for Canadians to take.

Charles Adler sums it all up in this column. And I agree with these people who say lay off Christians already! I may not agree with the fundamentalists as far as their politics is concerned, and disagree with their attempts to take their views into the political arena, but they have a right to their opinions. And some of the criticisms of Christians that you hear from people in Canada begin to border on complete intolerance. This is supposed to be a free country with freedom for everyone, not just for that one segment of the population that isn't into religion. This seems to be a populace that most definitely cannot handle life in a place like the United States, or Italy or Israel or anywhere else where you have a lot of religion.

Get with it, Canada.

Monday, May 30, 2005



They must really be taking this hard in Venezuela. I'll bet Miss Canada didn't expect this, either; these Latinos take these beauty pageants way too seriously.

I guess this makes up for the cancellation of the Stanley Cup Finals, eh?

(UPDATE: Here's a link to MSNBC with a story on Natalie Glebova's victory, which also has a picture of this gorgeous hottie.)


You may have read articles like this in the Globe and elsewhere. This one appeared in Metro. It quotes Val Meredith complaining about the nomination process in the Tory party, which is increasingly being hijacked by various special interest groups who sign up a bunch of their diehard followers and take over meetings and get their people nominated for Parliament.

More particularly the article bodyslams the Christian candidates backed by these fundamentalist groups like Focus on the Family and the right-to-life people. What happens is these people sign up all their fellow one-issue Christians to the Tory party in order to try and take the riding over. Unfortunately the other candidates are out of luck because their constituency is entirely made up of people who have no interest in politics and would rather sit at home watching TV. People seeking nominations because they want to change the system and get rid of the special interests are out of luck because the people they want to appeal to are so disgusted with politics that they'll refuse to even participate.

So the one-issue Christians show up in droves and vote at the nomination meeting, and a one-issue Christian becomes the candidate for the party. In some cases they end up winning, and the Tories end up looking like the Stockwell Day Party, hijacked by special interests. Val Meredith actually has reason to complain, because she lost her nomination (and her seat in Parliament) in just such a manner to one of these Christian-backed campaigns. That nominee ended up sitting in Parliament, so the voters in that riding had no problem with it. But the voters in Toronto and in Ontario have a problem with it. That's the problem. These Christians win the battle locally but the party loses the war nationally.

I don't know why these papers are on a crusade against the Christian fundamentalists and trashing them in print, because frankly there are a lot worse people in politics than the fundamentalists. You don't see any fundamentalists breaking too many laws, they don't want to go to hell when they die. I get the impression people are actively opposed to organized religion in this country. Not that I'm a fan of the Christian right either, but still, the Christian right isn't the only group of people hijacking riding association nomination meetings. Anyone with an organization could do it. The David Orchard anti-free-trade people did it in the old PC party and really made a mess of things for a while, getting their candidates nominated. These were one-issue people blatantly attempting to hijack the party and take it over. They failed in the end, but it shows you how easy it is for the special interest groups to hijack the system.

The same thing happens when you have these ethnic groups backing candidates from their own "ethnic" community and then packing nomination meetings in a similar manner. That's what happened to Chuck Cadman and you see how well that all worked out for the party when he ran against us and then voted against us in the Commons. Actually, the Liberal party is even more notorious for this type of activity.

And this isn't just a problem during nomination races. It's also a problem in leadership races. I know of a few campaigns that organized with heavy assistance from special interests and one-issue groups ( David Orchard again, and Stockwell Day with the fundamentalists ). And they do this riding by riding, organizing and sometimes taking them over. It's machine politics, it's disgusting.

I can tell you that the way it's set up right now makes it extremely easy for these special interest groups to hijack a riding. In the case of the fundamentalists, all these people needed to do was go to their local churches and sign everyone up, and get their people all fired up over abortion and same-sex marriage, and haul them to the vote. They'll get their people nominated, no problem. So thanks to this type of activity the Tories now have a bunch of nominated candidates who look like dinosaurs, and the image of the party takes another hit in Toronto and all over Canada. Darnet, why can't these federal Tories try and act like the provincial PCs? Then maybe they'd get elected? Sheesh.

The fundamentalists will say that such criticism is sour grapes, and if you're so opposed to this then why didn't you organize yourself and show up and vote? But frankly, it makes the Conservative Party look bad if special interests of any stripe are running the show all the time. This party is supposed to be demanding better. Well, why isn't it?

Unfortunately there's no easy solution here. What the Tories could do is try and hold primary elections like they do in the United States, but it's so unfamiliar a concept to Canada that it might fall prey to extremely low voter turnout and even more abuse. Ordinary people would still stay at home and these special interests would still be the best organized in rounding people up off the street and getting people nominated, plus you probably will have more attempts by Liberals and by Orchardite-type people to try and hijack the Tories and influence the process. The other possibility is for the party to simply appoint candidates, but frankly that's completely undemocratic.

The third option is to cut off membership sales prior to nominations being held, but that would cut off a lot of ordinary people who want to get involved in getting a candidate nominated. And it wouldn't stop the fundamentalists. They're so organized that they'd find some other way to pack the riding executive with their own people and completely control things, so the ordinary Joes get stuck on the street. See, this is why I'm still involved in the process. Someone's got to stand up to these interest groups and represent the younger people. I'm not some lunatic, I'm just an ordinary citizen trying to speak for the wing of the party that represents the people who want to chase girls, purchase fast cars and watch reality shows and sports on TV every night. If they cut off the membership sales beforehand it would be people like ME getting shafted. Some will say that's a good thing, too. Like these fundamentalists.

I don't know. Personally I would prefer it if this country changed to the American primary system at once, then you'd put a stop to these instant Tories and instant Liberals, and the nominated candidates would all be people who will have proven their ability to get elected. Then there would be no more complaints because the people would have spoken, and if some Christian-religious person got nominated, then too bad. It's democracy, they deserved to win.

Actually, the real reason I'm annoyed with the fundamentalists has nothing to do with nomination meetings and everything to do with the United States. The moral-values people are completely power-mad and getting carried away trying to regulate people's lives by cutting funds for stem-cell research and banning stuff from TV, and nobody wants that, not even down there. Now they're even going after team sports. Just the other day some nutty congressman wanted the New Jersey Devils NHL team to change its name from "Devils". But I think "Devils" is a perfect name for the team. They're in a league that's gone straight to hell, so why not call them "Devils".

Bahahahaha. This blog is all about getting laughs.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


... ran out of gas in the final laps; it was Dan Wheldon, driving for Michael Andretti (former Toronto Indy all-time champion), who actually won the Indy 500 race. But this is the IRL and not NASCAR, and therefore nobody really cares about him getting to drink some milk. In fact more people are probably watching the Coca-Cola 600, on the other channel. Wheldon sealed the deal under caution when big ChampCar bigshot Sebastien Bourdais slammed into a wall in the final laps.

Danica was lucky to finish fourth under caution with her empty gas tank; basically Team Rahal Letterman kept her car out on the race course, while everyone else was pitting, in a big gamble to try and win the race. They were way back in 9th place at the time and knew they probably had no shot otherwise. From the team's standpoint it worked out great, because they ended up getting points out of it for the rest of the IRL season because Danica led some more laps and finished so high up, both Indy 500 firsts for a female driver.

People are now going nuts saying what a big advancement this is for women's rights, but it would have been even more of an advancement if Danica's car had gas! Instead she had to spend her last laps running behind just to conserve fuel, and probably was running on fumes by the very end. (Dan Wheldon's car actually ran out of gas just a few moments after crossing the finish line.) I also hear she did modeling shoots in bikinis for FHM and MAXIM, so I don't know what these equal-rights-type people think about that. It might set the women's movement back years if she eventually wins the 500.

Maybe this will get more people watching the IRL. Just watch, all the Danica fans will come out of the woodwork now, all these women and these drooling guys. Then maybe the IRL will have some star power to compete with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Then maybe people with go back and watch real racing with the Indycars instead of the demolition derby that is NASCAR (twenty-two caution flags tonight for these slowpokes in Charlotte, all-time NASCAR record for these good ol' boys).

Saturday, May 28, 2005


It's hard to take hockey seriously when you hear stories like this: ESPN declines its $60 million option on NHL hockey next season. The NHL can say goodbye to all that cash. Way to go, Gary and Bob. Is it any wonder that this sport is a mess?

It takes some doing for any sport to get dumped from a cable network these days- presumably these networks are absolute bottomless pits for sports programming. Rumor is ESPN probably is going to negotiate a new TV deal at a low price.

It's also hard to take the hockey media seriously when they wring their hands over this story and point to it as evidence of hockey's declining popularity in the United States, and "why aren't Americans interested in hockey?". Uh, guys, if you haven't noticed, there ARE NO GAMES! It is pretty difficult for a sport to be popular if there are NO GAMES. Hockey is a sport, not a religion. Get over it, Canada.

I'm not even following the Memorial Cup, I've been tuning into soccer on the Internet. In fact, it's been all Cup games all week and there were also some Spanish League games today going on as well. And tomorrow I'll be watching auto racing all day. It's a beautiful weekend here in Hogtown and there's nobody in his right mind who'd care about hockey in this weather. Who needs it.

Actually, tomorrow is the finale for the Memorial Cup, the final big hockey game on Canadian soil this whole wretched season.

Hard to believe we've just about made it through an entire year without the National Hockey League, but we fans managed.

Friday, May 27, 2005


The good news is that the lack of Stanley Cup playoffs has cleared the CBC airwaves for plenty of good movies, including the famous The Paper Chase, featuring John Houseman as the fearsome Prof. Kingsfield.

It's a little overdramatic and over the top but every prospective law student should watch it. Then if they're smart they'd run like hell.

The depiction of law life is pretty accurate- it's a grind and you spend half your life preparing study notes and preparing for all-or-nothing exams. And then you get grilled in class by evil professors like Kingsfield. And exams are pure hell. Very pleasant existence. You're better off getting an MBA, at least you only have to endure two years of that absolute torture instead of the three years you put up with in law school.

Actually, it probably isn't as bad as depicted in the Paper Chase. There are social events where you can get completely drunk, and actually life isn't quite so dramatic for a lot of people. Even the ones who have to fight like heck to make it through ultimately are able to pass.

But sadly, yes, there are those sad cases of people going crazy from the stress- like that poor guy in the Paper Chase, Kevin, who had a terrible time in law school and dropped out, and then attempted suicide. I can imagine things like that happening. A lot of students certainly are under a ton of stress because a lot of employers refuse to let them article or write the bar exams in Canada, just because they don't like their grades. There was a big grades scandal right here in Ontario, with a lot of University of Toronto students giving law firms fake transcripts because these firms were such jerks, demanding people have good grades just to get a crummy job writing memos all day in an office. So these were people who probably worked hard but they got shafted by these professors and had their future prospects potentially fatally damaged. And these grades were meaningless anyway, these people were just going to be writing memos while the C students who got stuck in Barrie and Thunder Bay actually got to run trials and stuff. It means absolutely nothing when it comes to your ability, these grades.

The sad thing was that a lot of people needed to article on Bay Street, just so they had a chance to stay in Toronto. If they couldn't article on Bay Street in Toronto, their chances of ever having a career in Toronto would be shot, because there aren't a lot of decent options outside of corporate law for a lot of people. ( People like me got shafted because of the galling lack of opportunities to pursue training connected to public policy or to government departments like the provincial Crown. We ended up applying for corporate jobs and a lot of us wound up being rejected because we were honest about our corporate-law grades. They stunk. )

I think the whole thing stinks, nobody should have to hand over their grades just to article. If you graduate with honors, great. But it shouldn't make a difference to your career whether some jerk professors gave you crummy grades in school.

Anyway I digress. The Paper Chase is a good movie. But Lindsay Wagner is in it and all I can think about when I see her is ""The Bionic Woman". She's typecast for life.

And Kingsfield? What a jerk! That line in the movie where Hart tells Kingsfield "you are a son of a bitch, Kingsfield!" is classic. Every prospective law student should watch the Paper Chase. Like I say, be warned.


What's in the drinking water at all these TV stations these days? The BBC goes on strike, CBS News cans people, and now Toronto 1 is joining the slaughter. Everyone is getting sacked everywhere it seems.

Word is that the worst TV station in town is dumping its newscast Toronto Tonight and its entertainment show The Source, and they're laying people off including three talented people who deserve better: Ben Chin, Sarika Sehgal and Wei Chen.

Toronto 1 plans to go with lite-entertainment programming and fluff entertainment news shows like the A-List, from what I gather. So all those people covering the entertainers get off scott-free. The poor people who get the knife are the poor chumps doing the heavy lifting covering serious issues and other hard news, as usual. Life is not fair in Toronto.

As for the anchors, well, I expect to see them join some of the Toronto 1 refugees at Global TV pretty soon, that's where a lot of their people wound up- although I personally know one refugee who now works for the New VR in York Region. I don't know about Sarika Sehgal, though. She might just pack her bags for the USA after this and go for the big money.

I don't get it! Getting rid of your local newscast is a strange decision in my estimation. They may show lots of crime stories and other dreck, but they're your link to the community! I don't know how this station expects to get any ratings without a decent newscast. Everyone else in town, even the really hip stations, have a newscast pretty much out of necessity. Even OMNI has an English language newscast these days. And when you see these stations in the US that spend the 10PM or 11PM hour re-running Fresh Prince of Bel Air or something like that, it's usually a sign that the place is a cut-rate, lousy television station.

Not a good move, Toronto 1.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Is it any wonder that I'm down on the TV news business when you hear stories like this next one. There was a big bloodbath at CBS News today.

Memogate and the bloggers were the final blow for 60 Minutes II. It was cancelled by the network a couple of weeks ago. And just as I feared, the minnows are the ones getting hurt in the end.

Today they canned some 50 of the 75 staffers on the show. A few are being reassigned to 60 Minutes, some are being told they might be reassigned to other parts of CBS News. The rest are out on the street and TVNewser cites one person as saying this is one of the saddest days they've seen at CBS News.

I don't know if this person had been at CBS News during the days of the bloodbaths of the 1980s, which were well documented in Who Killed CBS by Peter Boyer, and in several autobiographies, especially the ones of Lesley Stahl and Bob Schieffer. Those were absolute slaughters. But Memogate ranks as a total disaster for CBS News. It brought low an anchor ( Dan Rather ), destroyed the producers who had to leave the network because of it, and worst of all it got the show cancelled.

Leading to this. I don't think the staff expected this total slaughter; they knew layoffs were coming but nothing like this.

As if things aren't bad enough over there, I'm reading that Les Moonves and other people are looking to entertainment people for ideas on how to spice up the CBS Evening News and my thoughts about that are summed up by the famous last words: this is sad.


I wonder if you've seen Britney Spears' new reality TV show Chaotic, on UPN.

Me neither. In fact, it's a major flop. The ratings for this show are so low that already there's word that Britney's been told the show is going to be cancelled unless the ratings improve. Britney is said to be distraught over this. But it looked to me like her show was another cheap ripoff reality show, ripping off Nick and Jessica. Boy, has her career ever taken a dive.

This is good news for the viewers, this news that Britney might be cancelled. In fact the networks are moving away from reality shows at last; they announced their lineups for the fall schedule and there are more long-form drama series and even some more sitcoms. That's good; this may mean more good writing might return to prime time television. Some of the more popular reality shows (Survivor, Apprentice, Amazing Race, America's Next Top Model etc.) are coming back, but there aren't many new ones getting a green light because the audience is running for cover. And they aren't going to bring back Fear Factor until midseason next year.

I say good riddance to reality TV shows, too many of them are littering the air like so much trash. There's one series coming soon called "Hell's Kitchen" which is set in a restaurant and has this cook trashing the people serving the dishes. That actually sounds interesting and might even be funny, for a few weeks. But I gotta say, there aren't many reality shows out there that interest me these days, too many of them rip each other off. And way too many have Rob and Amber in them.

Rob and Amber, word of advice to you, quit blighting reality TV. Go join Ken Jennings in seclusion already. You've won your million dollars,why don't you go and spend it, and let someone else win a million dollars!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Results are coming in right now. (WEST COAST SPOILER ALERT)

Check out this website that I find hilarious: votefortheworst.com- which has been urging people to vote for crappy music on American Idol. I heard that there was some campaign going by a lot of people trying desperately to get lousy singers to win. I heard that these people were responsible for keeping around one no-talent guy (Scott!) who kept on sliding by every week earlier this season, even though he sucked. They're claiming credit for keeping all kinds of crappy singers alive on the show all year and getting the good contestants booted off. I think they're doing this because they hate this show and want it ruined. Frankly, I can't help but cheer these guys on, they are dead-on correct about this overhyped piece of nonsense. And these judges have the gall to call this the best season of American Idol ever, especially after the blunder where they had to repeat a show because the phone numbers all got mixed up. And ESPECIALLY after that hatchet job by ABC implying the whole show's fixed.

Anyway they said at votefortheworst.com that you should vote for Carrie, she was the worst. And I agree with them. She was mediocre all year. Bo completely outclassed her. Carrie's no Loretta Lynn, she stinks.

Guess what, Carrie just won. Must have been all those NASCAR fans in the red states responsible for this. America must be full of country music fans. I thus declare rock and roll to be DEAD. And as for the people at votefortheworst.com, they succeeded.

It's official: American Idol sucks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


The vote on American Idol, of course.

It's between Bo Bice the rocker and Carrie Underwood the country girl, and this critic says it's the worst year for Idol ever and trashes both of these second-raters.

I agree. Carrie is a Karaoke singer who occasionally messes her lines up. And I can't stand country music. She's a cut-rate cross between Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Simpson, which is why she'll get a lot of votes. Yecch. If she wins I'll vomit.

If I had a vote I'd vote for Bo, the best singer in the competition by a mile. But by rock music standards he's not all that hot and a little embarrassing. These judges have forced him to go mainstream and sing crappy pop tunes, just to stay in the running every week, when what this guy needs to do is ditch the pop tunes and rock out. In fact, he needs to ditch this show. If you want credibility as a rocker, for gosh sakes, steer clear of American Idol! Stay away from Ryan Seacrest! By going on American Idol you enter the land of Simon Cowell and commercialized bubble-gum music! This is the land of Kelly...and Justin! This show was up against a bio-pic of Elvis on CBS one night and that movie illustrated the problem for everyone to see. Randy, Paula and Simon are really looking for the next Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey and thinking $$$$$. They aren't looking for the next Elvis, or even the next Bob Dylan for that matter. They're not even looking for the next Madonna.

And neither are all the teenage girls in the audience watching this show and phoning in. That's the problem with American Idol right there. Mediocrity rises to the top of a pile of cattle manure.

Unfortunately it's either this or the wedding of Rob and Amber on the other channel. Personally, I'd rather watch Ron and Don and the Stanley Cup playoffs, except they aren't on. Well, that's television for you these days. They need to bring the NHL back, this is Dullsville.

Monday, May 23, 2005


I don't have much to say except I spent the weekend watching sports on TV and watching Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones on TV.

The Memorial Cup is going on so all the hockey fans are tuned into that and glued to their sets, and glued to Sidney Crosby, but I really don't care. It isn't the NHL. Mind you the NHL would have been ending by now anyway, most of the Canadian teams would have been defeated.

Read that Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow had several hours of meetings last week and frankly, I think there will be a settlement soon. The NHL is under heavy pressure from advertisers who are wondering if they'll have a season or ever come back. Well, the pressure is finally on. Money talks, so now these two are talking. And I think they are close enough now on the issues to come to a settlement. They basically have to make a deal, now that the advertising people are on their case. If they lose the advertisers, well, that's their whole business up in smoke. And they have to figure out whether the NHL players will play in the Olympic Games, which is the biggest showcase the sport of hockey has in the world, period. Olympic hockey gets the highest ratings for this sport in the United States. And they also have to do something about a draft.

This NHL mess cannot go on for one more season. They have disgraced themselves and let down the fans, and frankly the fans are finding other things to do. So I predict they will be back. Besides, a lot of these NBA arenas are going to need tenants for the coming season, because it looks like those bozos are going to lock themselves right out. Unbelievable, and I thought the NBA was one of the leagues that actually had its act together. I guess not.

Anyway the official replacement for hockey here in Canada continues to be the movies. People were lined up in the streets to get into Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. See, this is what you get when people have no hockey to follow, they go nuts over Star Wars. And of course that movie set every box office weekend opening record you can think of. George Lucas is a rich man. So there you go, Canada is the land of movies.

The Stanley Cup playoffs of the film industry took place last week as well, the Cannes Film Festival, and they gave the Palme D'or to, well, neither David Cronenberg or Atom Egoyan. That's all I know, that's the only thing the press here cares about, whether a Canadian won. Instead they gave the prize to somebody from Belgium. Anyway it's been a big week for the movies.

This is the biggest week of the motor racing season, by the way as the Monaco Grand Prix was held this week and Bump Day took place at the Indy 500. Next week is the Indianapolis 500 and the big question is whether the Nextel Cup race, the Coca-Cola 600, beats it in the ratings again. The IRL is sure getting kicked by NASCAR, but the tragedy is that the IRL actually has really good racing and faster cars. I think it's a lot better than NASCAR but NASCAR has more personalities and appeals to the good ol' boys in middle America. The New York Times did some story thumbing its nose at NASCAR and treating it as some hick sport that appeals to all the rednecks in the red states and all that. They should wake up because NASCAR is taking over the world.

Personally, I am more of a fan of open-wheel racing. I prefer the Indy 500 and I like ChampCar, even though the series has had a lot of problems. I really like Formula 1. That actually is more of what I like to see, all these rich international playboy-type drivers with the fast cars and fast women, driving down the streets of Monte Carlo and hanging with the royals. I'm just not into this good ol' boy stuff that NASCAR has going.

Me, I'll still watch NASCAR, I think they've done a great job with the sport, but I happen to be a big Indianapolis fan and that Brickyard is truly the greatest venue to watch motor racing in the United States, much better than Daytona. Of course the track in Charlotte is a prestige venue for NASCAR as well and a great race in its own right. So I plan to watch BOTH races, the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, back to back. One note of interest for ChampCar fans is that Sebastien Bourdais is competing at Indy. He won at the Toronto Molson Indy last year and won the overall ChampCar title.

I hope it's a better race than the one last year, the Indy 500. Last year it almost got rained out in mid-race, and then it resumed, and then the rains came at the end of the race to cut the whole thing short. Buddy Rice ended up winning the 500 in the pouring rain under a yellow flag. Anyway, the 500 is something I'll look forward to.


I read on the Paul Wells website that there is a story in the Toronto Star about a movement afoot to dump Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservatives.

Then it mentioned the people behind it and it was David Asper, Sinclair Stevens and David Orchard. Hardy har har.

It would have been nice if this guy had mentioned that these three aren't even in the party. Isn't Sinclair Stevens a member of the Progressive Canadians? And David Orchard, didn't he oppose the merger and quit the party? I thought David Asper was a Liberal?

If these are the people in charge of the dump-Harper movement then Harper has nothing to worry about. In fact it would be the biggest argument out there for keeping Harper around, if the guys in charge of dumping him are these three people.

(I'm tempted to say "these losers" but I want to try and raise the bar around here, for a change).

Friday, May 20, 2005


Actually, his voice died. Henry Corden was the voice of Fred on the 1970s and 1980s Saturday morning series, and on the Cocoa Pebbles/Fruity Pebbles commercials up until recently. He was also Fred's singing voice on the original series. He was 85.

He was actually Fred's second voice. His original voice on the 1960s TV series was Alan Reed, a veteran voice actor who was also very prominent during the Golden Age of Radio. Reed also did Fred's voice on the Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Saturday morning show in the 1970s, and also voiced a few other cartoon characters. But his most famous role was Fred. It was interesting because when Henry Corden took over after Reed died in 1977, Fred's voice ended up sounding very different, as if Fred had throat surgery or something. It sounded not at all the same as Alan Reed.

Anyway, this is another sure sign that I'm getting old.


In my continuing attempt to catch up with happenings in the real world, here's an article by some media critic skewering Nancy Grace's "mob justice" on her show. Seems people really have it in for that woman. Her show on CNN Headline News is still on the air in spite of her prosecutorial mentality, or maybe because of it.

I'll try and post some Michael Jackson trial stuff- Larry King doesn't have to testify after all. He has nothing relevant to offer apparently. Boy, what a circus.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


The best thing about the budget vote is that it's the end of my ranting and raving about politics.
Now this blog can get back to discussing topics I normally like to write about, like The Apprentice 3.

Um, Kendra won. That's pretty much it.

Why the heck did Trump even bother to have a show? He could have hired Kendra in the first minute and saved everyone the agony. It was so obvious she was the person Trump had to hire.

At least it was an hour show and not three hours like that monstrosity last fall. But I was already into "who cares" mode and more interested in the basketball game on the other channel.

By the way, NBA talks broke off, too. The players took all their concessions off the table apparently. That league could join the NHL in lockout mode.

It's terrible to be a sports fan these days. So enjoy the NBA, while it lasts. Soon the NBA players will all be over in Europe, too.


Monte Solberg blogged from the floor of the House of Commons, can't get much closer to the action than that.

I'm disappointed but I'm also relieved- the Tories were going to be killed in Ontario. And I'm ticked that two ex-Tories propped up the Liberals. Anyway I'm glad I can get on with my life now.


Kilgour has spoken, he's opted to boot the Liberals. He will vote against the budget to "clear the air". Now it's down to Chuck Cadman. The future of the country rests on his shoulders. There are people predicting he'll topple the Liberals but somehow I'm not as confident. Anyway, CTV News is already wrong. They had said earlier this week that both these guys were going to prop Martin up. Now it looks like maybe one will. Darnet.

Carolyn Parrish apparently has been miraculously cured of whatever it was she had and will be voting to prop up the Liberal bastards.

As for surprises, I sure haven't heard of any. I think that guy is just hoping for something to happen.


Picked up this post over at the Blogging Tories site. Toronto Tory says a big surprise is coming. Possibly two big surprises and it will depend on the talking points after. What could it be? I have no clue. I can only speculate. But I have a sneaky suspicion that the budget may not be the only story today. Anyway I hope there's a surprise, a good surprise. I've had enough of some of the surprises this week.


This House of Commons is an insult to Third World countries, it seems. Canuckistan. Canaguay. El Canador. Doesn't matter what you call this pays, the government sucks.

And there's total nuttiness on Parliament Hill. Report is that Independent Liberal Carolyn Parrish has appendicitis and might not even make it. Then there was another report that she's fine. I'll tell you something, I once had appendicitis and all I will say is, it's a serious condition but you can still make it to votes with a condition like that. Just so long as she doesn't need to get wheeled into surgery right away.

And apparently real Liberal Jim Karygiannis is fine, they checked him out the other day and he didn't have a heart attack after all.

WHAT is this PARLIAMENT COMING TO? Even Warren Kinsella is sick over the Grewal affair, and says the Liberals in charge in Ottawa aren't real Liberals and says it's time for a change. Andrew Coyne is calling this possibly criminal activity and wondering where the media is- the CBC seemingly thinking sexist comments on Belinda are more important. Maybe the media should ask themselves why someone who just accepted a cabinet post in exchange for a vote switch has been put in charge of implementing the final Gomery report. This reeks of corruption.

My take on Belinda's defection: it's too bad that she left the party, but look on the bright side: at least we still have Rona Ambrose. I know I know, another sexist comment. We Tories are all pigs. Grab a sense of humor, Anne McLellan.

But really, where is the media on this issue of government corruption, and where is the opposition? Are the Tories just going to back down and wimp right out? They did say they were going to put this government out of its misery. Or does the NDP have something up their sleeve today? It is an opposition day. I fear that maybe this Parliament just doesn't have what it takes to stand up to corruption. They're just going to let this government do whatever it likes.

Well, all I will say is that the Parliament has a chance TODAY, to do SOMETHING about the CORRUPTION and the SHADY DEALS, and the CONTEMPT that this government has for the RULES and for the PEOPLE. Chuck Cadman, are you listening? And it isn't too late to change your mind either, Mr. Layton. VOTE AGAINST THESE PEOPLE, STAND UP TO THE CROOKS IN OTTAWA.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Hi folks. I just thought I'd let you know of some big news. I have been contacted by the Martin Government and I'm pleased to announce that I've accepted a Senate appointment. I'm now a Liberal.

So there will be no more Conservative rants on THE CAIRNS BLOG. Instead I plan to trash Stephen Harper and trash my former party in print. Praise Paul Martin, and praise the Budget. Woo hoo! We don't want the Tories to take over the country and help split it up with the separatists!

And, oh, by the way, the Liberals aren't corrupt after all. Ignore my previous posts, I will get around to changing them all by tomorrow morning.

The reason I've been appointed to the Senate is because the Liberals feel that it isn't enough to buy off Members of Parliament, they need to get into blogging in a big way and mold people's minds. So there it is! I'm a Liberal now, and the heck with all you Tories. Go Liberals GO!

Had you fooled for a moment, eh? Don't worry, I'm still a Conservative and I still hate the Liberals. I was only kidding.

Unlike some people in Ottawa.


The Liberals do not seem to know when to quit.

They've now offered goodies to Gurmant Grewal and Nina Grewal in an effort to get them to cross the floor. So he claims.

Lying, deceit, bribes---- all with the public's support. That's Canada for you.

What a country. Makes me sick.


You know, The Bachelor had its season finale this week (again). But what happened to Peter MacKay has to rank up there with what happened to all these people who got dumped on TV every week on that show.

I mean, what's worse, getting dumped on national television by The Bachelor/ette, or getting dumped by Belinda Stronach?

What's worse was the way she did it. She completely blindsided MacKay. She went and quit the party! And knifed MacKay and his party in the back! ON NATIONAL TELEVISION NO LESS.

No doubt MacKay is taking this hard, but he should get over it. That woman proved she was no good for him, or for anyone. I mean really: would you trust anyone who likes Bill Clinton? Think about it.

I know that people are saying MacKay is getting his just desserts because of the way he shafted David Orchard by breaking that deal he had with him- but in that case you have to remember that Orchard was holding MacKay and the PC Party hostage at that convention and had turned that whole convention into a cattle call. MacKay caved in to the pressure to make a deal with him, it was MacKay who was getting shafted by Orchard. And Orchard was shafting the party, because the party didn't want this deal and had no say in what happened.

And wait a minute, wasn't Belinda part of MacKay's campaign team at that convention? Didn't she have some role in this deal with Orchard? What was her role? And didn't she help set the merger up with the Alliance to begin with? She was the emissary and was instrumental in helping stab Orchard in the back, too.

Hmm. I see a pattern here. Stronach was one of the people who shafted Orchard, too. And now she's shafted Peter. Paul Martin, you should wipe that goofy smirk off your face, because you're next.

Besides, MacKay isn't the only one feeling jilted: Belinda jilted the voters of Newmarket-Aurora, who thought they were electing a Conservative to Parliament. And she jilted a lot of good, card-carrying, moderate Conservatives, who backed her because they thought she was honest and had integrity about her and represented a change from all the corruption in Ottawa.

Turns out she has no integrity at all and no principles, and no loyalty to the people who supported her in the first place. Our mistake- one we can easily correct by booting her from office.

Belinda will fit right in on the Liberal front bench with the rest of these power-mad people. And she'll fit right in in the private sector, where she belongs after this stunt that cheapened Canadian politics again.

Don't worry about Peter MacKay. All he needs to do is call Chris Harrison up and he'll set things all up. Peter should get a new girlfriend fast.


Read it here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Whew. I thought Thursday would be huge but I guess not now.

BC election results are in, Gordo Campbell will still be Premier, his BC Liberals won the election, with a reduced majority. Last I heard it was 46 of 79 seats. No word yet on whether they'll change the electoral system, the STV proposal is running at 57% and it needs 60% to pass. We'll see, doesn't look like it's going to make it.

As for the federal budget the Tories have caved bigtime. CTV News said on the 11PM 'cast that it looks like the two independents are gonna vote for the budget. So it looks like that is that. That completely arrogant, power-mad Martin government has been let off the hook, thanks to this incompetent Parliament, namely the independents, the NDP and that complete sellout Belinda Stronach.

I gotta hand it to Bob Fife. I thought he was smoking crack when he said the Liberals were trying to buy people off. He wasn't. Give this guy a raise, CTV, he totally nailed this story.

And in other news Newmarket-Aurora riding has called an emergency meeting for tomorrow so they can figure out what they do now. I think they may have plenty of time to find a new candidate from what I hear now. Lois Brown? Hey, maybe even Frank Klees?

I'm disappointed, and furious at the Liberals and Parliament, but there's nothing I can do about it. This is Bananada. The politicians are idiots and the people are even bigger chumps. These are the people we elected making this mess, and yet the people don't want recall, either. Chumps.

At least now the Tories are standing up against this government on a regular basis now. I hope they keep doing so. But it's probably for the best that there probably won't be an election now. Another new CTV poll has the Libs way ahead in Ontario again. Everyone in Toronto was due to get pounded. The stars just aren't aligned so we might as well accept it, for now.

Sooner or later the people are going to be fed up with the broken promises, lying and corruption. The Liberal act is wearing thin. Then the Tories will be ready.


Election coverage of the BC vote on the following sites:
News 1130

More to come.


In the wake of that turncoat traitor Belinda crossing the floor to the Liberals the Tories have come up with a new strategy re: the budget vote.

What they plan to do is support the main budget, but they plan to vote against the amendments to the budget which were the 4.6 billion in wild spending the Liberals promised to buy off the NDP. Details from CTV.

This looks like a win-win scenario to me. By voting for the main budget the Tories take away the Liberals' main arguments against the Tories respecting the Atlantic Accord and all the money promised to the cities, since the Tories will be registering their votes to pass it. And they are separating themselves from the Bloc who are opposed to everything the Liberals do anyway. The added benefit is they could maybe lure the Liberals in to try and kill the 4.6 billion dollar amendments, thus making the NDP mad and ready to vote non-confidence. Then they'll all bring down the house over corruption.

Interesting move given the day's events. They're also making Belinda look like an opportunist who was only in it for the power by doing this. Belinda claims she's leaving because of the budget, but the Tories are supporting the stuff she claims to support in the budget. So it's obvious she only quit the party because that woman has it in for Harper.

I'm also hearing rumors now that MIKE HARRIS is being lured to run against Belinda in Newmarket-Aurora. Are these rumors true?


This just in. Peter MacKay and Belinda Stronach have split up. At least that's what I heard from CFRB.



That's right. You read it right. I am not making this up, I am not kidding. Read it here. The CBC.

And Martin even put her in the cabinet as minister of human resources. Wow. I didn't think he had it in him to stoop this low.

I thought I'd seen all the craziness I thought I was going to see last week, but this takes the cake. Again, I repeat, I am not making this up. Check out Belinda's link, or what used to be Belinda's link. That tells you all you need to know.

You know what this means, of course. It means this government has one more vote to survive the confidence vote. It means the opposition needs BOTH Independents Cadman and Kilgour now. And I didn't think Paul Martin would stoop this low, to try and steal people off the opposition benches but he has. Now this government looks worse than ever.

I don't think it's a done deal that this government has assured its survival. This move is so despicable that maybe this might drive both Chuck Cadman AND David Kilgour over to vote non-confidence. This certainly throws the whole issue of an election up in the air. Maybe that's a good thing from my vantagepoint: the Tories were going to be defeated in Toronto anyway. But this move by Martin and Stronach is really bad news for the country. What a shady shady deal. As Andrew Coyne said before and I'll repeat it here: is there anybody in this country who isn't on the take?! Yecch.

This is going to drive the Tories nuts, and drive the people of Canada nuts. It's already driven the listeners on CFRB nuts: they're calling her a whore and worse.

I wouldn't quite use that language. But I've got to say today, I've lost all respect for Belinda Stronach. I used to respect her opinions but not now. She's no better than Scott Brison in my books. Anyway, hopefully Lois Brown wins the Tory nomination now and defeats her and sends her back to Magna. What a bad move by Belinda. She can forget about ever becoming Prime Minister of Canada now.

And I'll bet Peter MacKay has lost all respect for his girlfriend (?) (!) (?) as well. Well, Peter, that's it, you need to get a new girlfriend, unless you're going to cross the floor, too. I'll bet that caucus meeting fiasco when she was basically the lone wolf trying to talk sense into Harper was the last straw. I read that Harper gave her a dressing down about it, and whatever the real story was, she was isolated in the party over her stance. I'm sure she was not amused.

One thing this does is make MacKay look like the clear next leader-in-waiting for the Tory Party, in spite of that Orchard baggage- provided of course that he breaks up with Belinda. This has raised all kinds of questions about Harper's leadership ability. If we go into an election now and Harper loses, he's finished. If he even loses this budget vote he's damaged in my estimation. Harper dropped the ball with the Red Tories, bigtime.

All in all, though, Belinda never really fit in with the Tories. She had a lot of liberal views and a lot of the grassroots people just hated her. Her stance supporting same-sex marriage just killed her. I imagine the people at Free Dominion are really trashing her. But then they always did trash her. They never liked her over there.

As for me: boy it was a close call last year, but am I ever glad now that I worked for and cast my vote in the leadership race for Tony Clement, and not for this lousy woman... or for that matter, Harper. Both of them look just terrible today. This is a terrible day for the Tory party and an even worse day for Canada. But hopefully something good still will happen on Thursday to put an end to all this idiocy in Ottawa and end this worst Parliament in the history of the country.


The reaction to this bonehead move by Belinda is sweeping the blogosphere. Ben at the Tiger in Winter thought that it was a hoax when he heard about it. He also says Cadman and Kilgour, it's up to you now. Andrew Coyne says "there are no words." Adam Daifallah seems to think it's not that big a deal, it's politics. He doesn't seem too broken up about it.

Colby Cosh is positively outraged. He's livid at the refusal of the government to resign over the week of defeats last week, which bought the Liberals time to "buy off" an opposition member. "The whole point of the tradition that the confidence of the House will be tested at once, upon the government's defeat in a supply-related division, is to prevent exactly the sort of shenanigan just perpetrated." He's calling this a banana republic-style power tactic and was even hoping the Queen might save this country from this "crazed, lawless regime."

Best line of the day comes from Bob Runciman who called Belinda a "dipstick"... albeit an "attractive one". CFRB is having a field day over that one.

All I gotta say is that I'm really mad as hell and this Parliament is a disgrace, and this government is an even worse disgrace. I'm embarrassed to be a Canadian today.

Monday, May 16, 2005


I haven't posted about TV news for a little and I know this site gets a lot of hits from people interested in that sort of thing. I thought I'd mention some TV news news in this post, news about people moving around. I'll probably have no time later in the week when/if the government falls, so better get it over with.

The big news, of course, in cable news is that Rita Cosby is moving to MSNBC from Fox News. She just never could become an A-lister at that loudmouthed Fox News Channel no matter how hard she tried; she got a few big scoops but was never able to make a name for herself the way Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity did. MSNBC seems to be on the rise, or at least, they've stopped sinking. They are slowly building some stability and gaining some talent.

The other big news is that Dennis Miller was canned. Again. This time it was CNBC that gave his show the boot. This after being booted from ABC (Monday Night Football), HBO, and from Tribune Broadcasting (his syndicated TV show). All this after leaving NBC the first time. Maybe it's time for Miller to go to CBS and be fired by them, too.

As for the list of names of TV news people that I have on the side of the screen here, I have some news on two of them. One is that Jennifer Eccleston, Miss Shock and Awe of Iraq War fame, has moved again. She had moved from Fox News to NBC, but lately she's been at CNN and was seen covering all the news re: the new Pope. She still lives in Rome, I believe.

The other news is that Canadian Hanson Hosein and his wife Heather Hughes are going on a road trip. These are independent producers based in Kelowna B.C. who used to be in network TV news over in the Middle East. Well, they are going on a 52-day road trip and they're chronicling the whole thing, with something called Independent America. They are going to all these off-the-beaten-track places and travelling off the Interstates, and plan to visit all these non-Corporate America establishments and other types of places, so no McDonald's or Wal-Mart for them. They plan to update their site with blogging and videos and stuff. I'm a big fan of off-the-beaten-path America and the open road so I think I'll check it out. I've been known to travel through darkest America from time to time, except in my case I tend to wind up stopping at the Wal-Mart and McDonald's.

I don't know how they are going to make any money off of this, but it sounds like a great project, the type of thing the network news folks used to do all the time, but don't anymore. I remember Charles Kuralt used to go out on the road all the time to all these places out there outside the big city, and Harry Smith did the same sort of thing. But it's all mayhem and argument shows on the TV news channels these days, partisan types yelling at each other and all that, so I guess that you have to go to the Internet to see "on-the-road" type reporting again.

Just as you have to go on the Internet to see real political reporting again. But I digress.


It's been a memorable week with a lot of long-running and memorable TV series saying their final goodbyes. On Friday UPN bid farewell/gave the boot to Star Trek: Enterprise, which knocked Star Trek off of TV for the first time in 18 years. When you saw the final scene with the montage of the various images of the various Enterprise ships depicted on the show over the last 40 years, and the final shot of the Enterprise flying off into the stars, I literally had a lump in my throat. The Trekkies must be all in tears.

Don't worry, I predict Star Trek will be back soon. They just need a cooling off period, then maybe they'll be brought back in a movie or something.

It always seems as if every year there are one or two must-see final shows for long-running series. NYPD Blue was another one that had its farewell several weeks ago. Last year was a big year for final farewells, with Friends and Frasier going off, along with Sex and the City.

Tonight marks another ending, as the last old-school situation comedy on TV goes off the air. That's what they all say "Everybody Loves Raymond" is. But it really isn't the last sitcom on TV. What about "That 70s Show?" And "Will and Grace"?! "Joey" is also still on. There's also lots of other sitcoms on the WB and UPN and elsewhere. Maybe what they really mean to say is this was the last good sitcom on TV; everything else is either weird no-laugh-track stuff like Arrested Development or Malcolm in the Middle, or improvised stuff like Curb Your Enthusiasm. Otherwise, it's total garbage, what's on these days.

The situation comedy genre is really down in the dumps. If you really want to laugh you have to tune into the cartoons. Shows like Family Guy are all the rage these days and where the cutting-edge material is being churned out. If you're a comedy writer, you want to work for one of these cartoon shows. You do NOT want to be stuck writing crummy lines for Ashton Kutcher or Reba McIntyre or any of these no-talents who populate TV sitcoms these days. Sitcoms like "That 70s Show" and "Will and Grace" are sinking ships that will end up getting themselves cancelled next year. The ratings for both these shows are going downhill fast, and those shows are not only unfunny but increasingly boring and stupid. Those shows are DONE. Forget writing for them, your career will be in the tank.

This was a first-rate sitcom, Raymond. Ray Romano is a funny comedian and this show had a lot of laughs, and you could tell the people put an effort into this show--- unlike most of the rest of the stuff on the air today.

But despite that I must say I never really watched the show regularly. Frankly, I liked shows like Seinfeld and Frasier a lot more than this one- I'm actually a huge Seinfeld fan. I could watch those shows over and over again because of the characters. I even liked Spin City more, probably because I liked the fact that it was about politics.

But I never really tuned into Romano's show, and it seems I share this mixed opinion: here's another critic who thinks Raymond wasn't that great.


Anyway the last show is tonight and goes 90 minutes. I'm definitely tuning in. For once.


All is quiet on the Western front.

Civility has returned to Parliament Hill, for a few days it would seem, until Thursday. And then that's when the Liberals get toppled from power and all hell breaks loose.

As stated the Liberals need all three Independents in their camp in order to survive: Carolyn Parrish, David Kilgour and Chuck Cadman. The mainstream media have continually reported, erroneously, that the Liberals have two guaranteed and that Cadman is the wild card. But the truth is that in fact the Libs only have one guaranteed vote from these three: Parrish. The other two have not committed to vote for the government and have in fact voiced their displeasure about the mess on Parliament Hill. Chuck Cadman knows his constituents don't want an election, but on the other hand Parliament isn't working and that is weighing heavily on his mind. On the weekend he seemed to be leaning heavily towards voting to topple the government. Meanwhile David Kilgour has been upset with the Martin government's lack of commitment to Darfur, and even though he sided with the government on that vote last week, that was only to buy the Liberals' time to get their act together, it was no guarantee that he would vote the same way on a budget.

Read these comments and see what you think, it's the CBC, and they suggest Kilgour is going to vote these guys right out of there. By my count, that's 154-150 if that is what goes down on Thursday. And Martin would have to hand in his resignation to Adrienne.

There was also a story in the Globe with quotes from Jay Hill to the effect that the Tories would back down on further confidence motions after this week's budget vote but I think that's just a signal from Hill that this is it, all or nothing, no more games. If you want to pass judgement on confidence then you must vote against the budget. End of story. I think they're sending a message to Kilgour and Cadman that there won't be some separate "no confidence" vote a week from now, or two weeks from now. This is it, better make your mind up to get rid of these guys fast, or else the corruption and dysfunctionality continues through the fall.

There's also a new Sun/Leger poll out that has the Liberals at 43% and the Tories at 31% in Ontario, the same crummy numbers that got the Liberals 75 Ontario seats last time. But a few people have noticed that these numbers were taken before last week's infamous week of rebellion in the House of Commons, and the Liberals have been getting pounded since then. I am still a little worried about the numbers in Ontario and have been worried for quite some time about Toronto.

I am still on record as saying Toronto will be a blowout. But I think the Conservative base is much more organized than in 2004 because I'm seeing much more people at the nomination meetings. Don Valley East got a very good turnout and Beaches-East York had a much better turnout than they had any right to expect. They said it was the biggest crowd they had there in 28 years. Halton had a nomination meeting just outside Toronto, and apparently the crowd there was the biggest they had since the days when Otto Jelinek was in there. The Tories are getting big crowds on short notice all over the place at these meetings. Admittedly many of those who show up are one-issue "mad-as-hell" types, but still, the base is really motivated this time to get rid of the crooks in Ottawa.

If you're Conservative, that's a positive sign.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Well, Canada was beaten 3-0 by the Czechs in Vienna today. We are the Champions, not.

So all these hockey fans who were all worked up about the World Championships can go back in a cave now, because the hockey season is still over. I never got into the World Championships this year, even though it had all these big NHL stars for a change. It's like following the club hockey in Europe with these players. The reaction is "big deal, they're in Europe, they aren't here." Same with this.

And now that Canada's lost, hockey fans here are back to feeling cheated again. They thought they'd at least get something out of the cancellation of the season, like all the NHLers going to Europe to pound these chump foreign countries and return the title to Canada again. Instead the fans got Rick Nash and Joe Thornton scoring a lot of goals. That was about it.

Still, there were a lot of good games. As I say international hockey is where it's at for excitement generally. But this is really a tournament for the European fans, and this whole hockey season has been a European season. So it's justice that the Czechs won the whole darn thing.

Here in Canada, there's very little left in the way of activity. Toronto, as I mentioned before, is totally dead for hockey, but the Toronto Rock won the National Lacrosse League title again, 19 to 13 over Arizona the other day. So that's five titles in seven years for the Rock, and now the winter sports season really is over here because the Toronto Rock was pretty much the official replacement for the Leafs to a lot of fans here. Lacrosse is basically hockey with feet.

There isn't much else going on in the rest of Canada. In Vancouver and Montreal they have USL soccer teams to cheer for, and the Northern League baseball season is starting pretty soon. Things are pretty dead.

About the only pro hockey fans who are happy in Canada these days are the ones in Winnipeg. Yes, Winnipeg, the Hockey Capital of Canada, where the Manitoba Moose are still alive and kicking in the AHL playoffs. They toppled the Rochester Americans in Round Two and now face Chicago for the right to go to the Cup finals. This has to be the longest playoff run a team from Winnipeg has had since the WHA days in the 70s, because the Winnipeg Jets did absolutely nothing in the playoffs the entire time they were in the NHL. Those white towels those fans waved in the playoffs never did a thing for them, Edmonton always beat them.

I'll tell you right now, the fans there were really miserable when they lost their NHL team to Phoenix, but that city has ended up with the last laugh this year. They still have live pro hockey, unlike everywhere else in Canada. They are truly enjoying this hockey season and saying "up yours, NHL."

And don't worry about Phoenix, they have Steve Nash so I don't think they miss the Coyotes, either. Heard they named Wayne Gretzky head coach, but really, his team isn't playing so who really cares.

Another great place for hockey fans is London, Ontario. For those of you alumni of the U. of Western Ontario out there tuning in who remember the place, the London Knights had the greatest season in their history this season. They won just about every game they played during the regular season and last night beat Ottawa 6-2 to win the OHL title for the very first time. Their next action will be in the Memorial Cup, with the tournament to be played entirely at the John Labatt Centre in London. Ottawa will be there along with the Kelowna Rockets and Rimouski Oceanic (SIDNEY CROSBY! SIDNEY CROSBY!!! AAAAAHHHH!!!!!)

It's great the Knights finally won a championship. When I lived in London the Knights were the worst team ever, they lost just about every game and set all kinds of dubious records. And they played in an old barn, the London Ice House in the south end of town. But they also cleaned house the years I was there and they were able to turn things around pretty quickly. Now they play in a terrific arena and are the class of the league. Great job by the Knights and an inspiring story for any franchise that has a really bad losing season, you can win again.

All I have to say is that it has been a strange year, with no playoff hockey on the tube and only sporadic matchups in international hockey and junior hockey going on. It's strange that I haven't missed the NHL more than I have. Maybe it's because I've found other things to follow.

Saturday, May 14, 2005


This afternoon I was in Beaches-East York to see the Conservative nomination race between Galen Weston and Peter Conroy. The nominee got to be the candidate in a hopeless Toronto lakefront seat that usually votes NDP and where the Tories routinely run in third place. The good news was that they filled the hall for the nomination race, well over a hundred people. Last year they only had about forty or so people show up. Take that for what you will, it looks as if there are a lot of mad Conservatives out there. The base seems unusually mobilized everywhere.

Galen Weston was by far the most interesting candidate. Turns out his name is not "Galen Weston Jr." as I reported earlier (blame Free Dominion), but simply Galen Weston. And it turns out he's not related to the other, well-known, rich Galen Weston at all. Instead he was just some guy running for office with the same name. He was able to laugh and joke about the Election Prediction site referring to him as Galen "not that one" Weston. It's great he has a sense of humor about it, because, well, he got beat pretty handily by Conroy, whose previous political experience was four years on Parliament Hill working as E.A. for Tom Wappel. That's right, a Liberal. But Conroy did change parties and people were cheering him when he said he'd vote to defend traditional marriage and boost the military, so he sounded like a real Conservative to me.

After Conroy won the nomination he also offered to buy Galen Weston a beer. What a great guy, eh? All in all, I'd say the Tories' nomination meeting in Beaches-East York was a big success.

Not as successful was the nomination race in Scarborough Southwest, which I heard took five hours to complete and was a "fiasco", I was told. By all rights Heather Jewell, the 2004 candidate of record, should have won the nomination easily, but her people apparently didn't all show up, and I was told there were lots of instant Tories recruited to the meeting; her opponent won by ten votes. Well, the Tories have thrown away Scarborough Southwest, because Heather Jewell ran a good solid campaign there last time and had good name recognition. Oh, well.

I've heard that all the Conservatives' nominations should be done by the end of the weekend pretty much everywhere. Just in time for the budget.


The rebound is over; the Liberals are dropping again. And the public is finally clueing in to the mess in Ottawa and are saying "let's have an election."

Friday, May 13, 2005


As you know the Tories are picking a candidate tomorrow in Toronto's Beaches- East York riding, but the race there is usually between the Liberals and the NDP. I found this blurb on one of the websites that mentioned Marilyn Churley might run for the NDP against Maria Minna, incumbent Liberal. Churley represents Toronto-Danforth in the provincial parliament and would be considered a "star candidate" by NDP standards if she's nominated. The story here.

The two candidates vying for the Tories' nod are Peter Conroy and Galen Weston, Jr. but it doesn't matter, the winner is likely to be blown right out. The people there are total lefties and I'm actually surprised that the Liberals still hold this seat federally, because it's an NDP hotbed.


Well, Parliament adjourned again today. But it looks as if this is the end of the adjournments. The Liberals finally got around to setting a budget vote for May 19th and the NDP have agreed to sit out one of their members while Mr. Stinson gets cancer surgery. The guy planning to sit out is Ed Broadbent. I hope the NDP sticks to their word, it would be a classy move on their part. I disagree with the NDP totally, but they've shown way more class than the Liberals have.

Tomorrow I plan to be in Beaches-East York to check out another riding nomination meeting for the Tories and see a few old friends who will be there and voting. Beaches-East York is hopeless. Completely hopeless. It's always a race between the Libs and the NDP and the members who live in that riding usually go to Don Valley East and elsewhere to work on other campaigns that might actually stand a chance. But it's an interesting race down there and we'll see what happens.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I was in Don Valley East at the Conservative nomination meeting where they picked a candidate to run in the election. Turned out there were four candidates that were running and it was Eugene McDermott who ended up winning the nomination. It was pretty much his nomination after the speech he made- it won the crowd over. The other candidates in the race were Atam Uppal, Paul Perantinos and Joel Ginsberg. Also, seemed to be a big crowd in attendance there which was important for the party. Also got the impression the whole thing was wide-open. A lot of the people there looked at each other and said "who are you supporting?" "Heck, I don't know!" So it went. I think it turned on the speeches. Interesting night.

A number of other nomination races were going on the same night- Don Valley West and Willowdale were also holding meetings. Also, I was told that Tony Clement's official nomination in Parry Sound- Muskoka will be this weekend.

The mess continues in Parliament and the latest word is the NDP may offer to the Conservatives to "pair up" their members to make up for any ill MPs on the Conservative side. One of their own members might abstain and not vote, just to make it fair. Harper should consider it but should still press for an immediate confidence vote, because quite frankly the NDP can't be trusted to do a darn thing to help the Conservatives. The other story is that David Kilgour might pull his support for the Libranos, I mean Liberals, if they don't serve up enough money for Darfur, Sudan. OOPS. I guess I'm in trouble with Joe Volpe now. I was just joking people. Calm down.

These constant adjournments look bad and make the Liberals look like they've lost all control of Parliament, but now you see Martin claiming that the opposition is disrupting Parliament, and this could be getting bad for optics. Personally, I think the Conservatives and the Bloc should not adjourn the house again tomorrow. If they do this too often it's just going to give ammunition to these Liberals and give the impression that it's the Tories trying to shut down Parliament. It's shades of Newt Gingrich. So I think maybe they shouldn't adjourn tomorrow, and instead spend the day roasting the Liberals and calling for a quick non-confidence vote. Then if they want to adjourn next week they could. I just don't want these guys going overboard with the adjournments. They've proven for everyone to see that this Parliament is a mess and needs to be dissolved as soon as possible.


Seems the Liberals want to take advantage of cancer-ridden MPs now.

Darrel Stinson, Conservative MP, is scheduled for cancer surgery on Wednesday next week and will likely be too ill to attend the May 19th budget vote. Which means the Liberal budget may go through after all. Conservatives are accusing the Liberals of taking advantage of the ill health of a member but there may be nothing they can do.

Besides, the Liberals can accuse the Tories of doing the same thing. One of the Liberal MPs can't vote because, well, he's dead. The byelection to replace him is May 24th and that is expected to boost the Liberals' numbers up in the Commons.

The Tories and Bloc also adjourned Parliament again today as the hijinx continue.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


I plan to be at the Don Valley East nomination meeting tomorrow night to choose a candidate to run against Member of Parliament Yasmin Ratansi. I heard there were five candidates running for the opportunity to be defeated by her in the election. Meanwhile Pollara has a poll out that has the Liberals up 37-28. Great.

All the neighbours seem to think it's a lousy time for an election, even though this government has disgraced itself. They think it's the Tories' calling the election and hijacking Parliament when in fact it is the Liberals who are stonewalling and getting nothing done, all because they are afraid of being defeated in the Commons. So it's the usual mood in Toronto as far as I can tell.

Frankly, this is one campaign I am not looking forward to helping out on, given the mood locally. I've told party people privately that I think the Tories will get blown out in the city of Toronto, and I'm definitely not the only one who feels this way. Personally I'm worried the Tories will get roasted for cancelling the gravy train Paul Martin has planned for the greedy people of Toronto- all that money he was going to hand over to people here. This is weird. I'm acting like Belinda Stronach.

Personally I want to see the Conservatives stand their ground and make the government look as bad as possible, and get the public mad enough that they can't stand it any longer and call for the plug to be pulled. But I get the sense that the stars aren't all aligned for us to pull the plug right now, in spite of what is going on in Ottawa- not enough to help any in Toronto anyway. They would be totally aligned if the NDP pulled out of their deal with the Liberals and screamed bloody murder. Then the Liberals will be booted right out of the House of Commons and we'll have an election. But I think the Tories in Ottawa are hell-bent on an election, regardless of what the NDP does. I sure hope they know what they're doing.

I get the sense that the party in Ottawa doesn't care, they're so mad at the scandals that they have to pull the plug. I can appreciate that feeling, because I'm been that mad, too. In fact I've been mad for a long time. But now I've calmed down and have grabbed some common sense. I guess I'm just fearing the repeat of last time and that nothing will get accomplished, and then we'll have another lousy left-leaning minority government and the Tories will have to have a leadership race. And then I'll have to actually go and vote for Stronach!

Me, I am a total pessimist about Toronto. I think Capobianco has a chance in Etobicoke-Lakeshore but we have zero chance anywhere else, unless people get hot under the collar over the waste of their hard-earned dollars in Ottawa. So personally I feel working for any election campaign in Toronto will be a total waste of time and do nothing for me personally. I'm almost thinking I might not work on the local campaign. My motivation is zero. I don't want to knock on doors and get yelled at again by Liberals. Or by people who claim "they're all the same". I know full well the situation in Toronto is hopeless. Besides, I have other things I want to do.

Personally I think it's hopeless in Don Valley East. I think the whole riding association membership feels the same way, it's only the die-hard types who think it's winnable. Recently there have been some bad local losses and morale is just terrible. I think the candidate here is going to have to boost Tories' morale in the riding. The nominee will need to convince people that they have a chance here, despite what happened last time. That'll be the number one job.


Now they're voting to adjourn the House and the Liberals are voting in favor of Conservative motions to make it look like they've still got the confidence of this House!

Anyway the motion passed. Adjourned for the day. Back tomorrow for more nuttiness.

Also a good time to remind people that Jerry Springer used to be in politics and might return to it one day. Maybe he should return to politics; he'd fit right in.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


The House voted 153-150 to ask the Liberals to resign on that procedural amendment.

Tony Valeri says the thing is simply procedural and they are gonna ignore it.

Still, this is a big blow for the Liberals. And more bad news: a new CTV Strategic Counsel poll has the Tories up 31-27 and ahead in Ontario.

The NDP are also up to 20% nationally. I'm a little concerned that the NDP are getting traction and could make big gains. I'm worried we're going to wind up with a completely left-leaning House of Commons after this. the mood out there sort of reminds me of the mood in Ontario in 1990 with David Peterson. It's volatile, and there's a lot of disgust out there that polls aren't picking up, and in Toronto those voters are likely to go for the NDP because they aren't the Tories and aren't the Liberals. Plus they don't want an election either, so they're good guys, right?



Well today is the big vote where the opposition tries to pass a procedural motion calling on the government to resign. Happens at 5:45 PM EST.

The Liberals say they plan to ignore it and they will allow themselves to fall on the budget next week. They want to blame the opposition for the paralysis of Parliament and the Canadian public might buy their argument.

Canada! Sheesh. What a kangaroo Parliament.

Monday, May 09, 2005


Well, a motion from a committee calling on the government to resign is in order, so the Speaker says, and the Tories are saying they can vote on it tomorrow and bring these Liberals down! Wow, I didn't think this would happen tomorrow.

And there's BIG controversy over this because the Liberals are claiming this is NOT a confidence matter and plan to ignore it. They say it's a procedural matter. The opposition is saying it isn't a procedural matter. And that's why you have Gilles Duceppe all hot under the collar and threatening to go to the Governor-General.

You know if this government loses this vote, and then the opposition goes to Adrienne and she keeps the Libs in power in King-Byng-type fashion, then this country will really look like a banana constitutional monarchy. This is a national joke waiting to happen.

And today Benoit Corbeil was telling the Gomery inquiry all about how the Liberals were getting taxpayer money to fight the 2000 election!!!! Wow.


... you have an openly corrupt Liberal government that is being roasted daily at the Gomery inquiry by witnesses for allegedly funneling taxpayers' money into, basically, their own party's hands.

You have a Prime Minister going on national television begging to save his job, then he buys off the NDP for 4.6 billion dollars and now is busy buying off provincial premiers, again using taxpayers money.

You have a Prime Minister who is paranoid to be seen in public with veterans for fear- displaced, might I add- that his government will fall while he's at a veterans' parade.

Now these people have flipflopped on their promise to eliminate the Democratic Deficit. They have gone and cancelled Opposition Days in the House of Commons and are now threatening to ignore Non-Confidence Votes in the House of Commons when they come up!

Wow, it's really sad when your friendly neighbourhood separatists care more about democracy and the House of Commons than the sitting federalist government. What a government and what a country. We're a banana constitutional monarchy.

And you know what is really sad? That after all this, that most English Canadians will still vote for these Liberals. Poll after poll after freaking poll.

That's the thing I find scary.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


You'd think the American TV nets would find some actual news to cover this week, but I guess things are slow.

On Wednesday ABC News did their hatchet job on American Idol and Paula Abdul, and then on Friday 20/20 sent Elizabeth Vargas over to interview the cast of Lost.

On Sunday 60 Minutes, who already have had big interviews with Jane Fonda and Goldie Hawn, are going to go Hollywood again and interview the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond.

So this is the new era of network news coverage in the USA. No wonder people are tuning into cable if this is the best these people can do. Actually I read an article somewhere that said these magazine shows are getting killed in the ratings. They used to be all over the schedule and were absolutely untouchable. Now they have to fight for every viewer and they're showing non-news stories like this, and of course these shows have had lots of management and other problems (Memogate etc).

So instead of doing hard-hitting stuff that could get them sued, they're doing gloried promos of their own network shows. This type of fluff stuff drives the traditionalists totally up the wall. Not good times for network news in the USA, folks.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I REALLY MISS the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

Having said that, I am determined not to get down about it. I am too angry at the people who run the sport of hockey to get down about it. But still, life in Canada is dull.

It's the passion for the sport that I miss: the fans watching the TVs in the windows, wearing their Maple Leaf jerseys and waving their Leaf flags on their cars during the playoffs. You'd have people in sports bars sitting in rapt attention watching Don Cherry say his piece on TV during the playoffs. You'd have fans sitting in the stands at the Dome watching the Blue Jays and suddenly cheering over some goal scored in the playoffs. You'd have fans calling the CBC in protest because their playoff game got interrupted for election coverage.

And Chris Cuthbert would be calling play-by-play from one weird location or another: one year he was calling a 5-OT game from Pittsburgh. Noticed he got a great new job: he'll be the main guy for CFL games on TSN. Don't expect him to do an NHL game ever again, though, because they seem to be gone forever.

And I miss it. It's really the passion for the game that I miss. I suspect you have to go to some soccer-mad populace to find an equivalent situation, although the baseball fans in the Northeast US come pretty close. I know Chelsea fans were going nuts in London last week when their team won the Premiership. Dunno how they feel now that Liverpool beat them in the Champions League. But still, the fans there are nuts. At least there's still a sport they can follow, unlike here.

The hockey season in Toronto is pretty much done like dinner. In addition to the NHL season being torched, all the local teams in all the rest of the leagues have been eliminated pretty early. The Hamilton Bulldogs lasted exactly four games in the AHL playoffs and the St. John's Baby Leafs, who were scheduled to play games 6 and 7 of their series with Manitoba at the Air Canada Centre, didn't even make it that far, getting eliminated in game 5. And the local OHL teams all got eliminated ridiculously early, even the ones who had good seasons. So it's been total hell for hockey fans in Toronto. Me, I stopped caring a long time ago.

I fill my nights these days watching NBA playoffs and baseball games. And while there've been some good NBA games this playoff year, it is definitely not the same.

It's a beautiful spring night and you'd expect me on the porch right now, tuned in to a hockey game on my tiny sports TV. Instead, I'm tuning in to a New York Yankees game from channel 51 from Buffalo. Pretty darned good replacement. In fact, it's amazing how many people in town have suddenly become interested in baseball again. You tune in to the sports stations around here and that's what they want to talk about. Mind you, Canada's playing hockey in the World Championships right now but really, do I care about that? So we might win the world championship. Big deal. Hockey in the afternoon doesn't cut it with me. Not the same.

I've also been watching more junk reality TV to fill the nights. I fell out of my chair last night watching The Apprentice. There was some guy who had some sort of cameo role on last night's show by the name of David Pekush, and I fell out of my chair because I think I went to school with him, years ago in far-off boondock SASKATOON! We weren't in the same grade, but I was in the same grade as his younger brother. How the heck he wound up in New York City I don't know. I'm pretty sure it was him.

Small world. And then during the commercial breaks Global TV runs their entertainment updates and it was Pooja Handa doing the entertainment updates! I know her, too, from Rogers TV days. I guess Cheryl Hickey was off to the Caribbean or somewhere, trying to save people's marriages on Last Chance for Romance.

Of course a few days ago I was at Peter Kent's mad-as-hell media event in St. Paul's. This is weird. My whole life is just a big TV show these days.

Oakland now leads the Yankees. 3-1. All of Steinbrenner's money down the drain, again.

Thursday, May 05, 2005



Still another hundred-plus seats to go.

It's almost 4AM in the UK and all I have to say is that their election nights are just like American ones, you can stay up all night following the results. It's ridiculous.

Tony Blair did give his speech already at the Labour Club so that's all done.

Also in local political news, Free Dominion says that John Capobianco took the nomination in Etobicoke-Lakeshore so that's the answer right there to which riding I plan to be in during the election. New poll came out giving the Liberals and Conservatives the exact same crummy numbers as last time. So this might turn into the same crummy result as last time.

UPDATE: Citytv is reporting Capobianco beat Morley Kells 229 to 181.


I've been watching the election results from the BBC streamed over the Web, and they're saying that the Labour spread may not be as big as forecast earlier. The Tories were able to get big swings their way in their #70 target seat in London and actually won the riding. If the trend continues Labour is going to get hammered.

Here in Canada the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Conservative nomination meeting is going on as I speak and I expect the voting is under way. I will let you know as soon as I find out who won that nomination.


LIB DEM 4492
LABOUR 17982

So Labour holds with the Lib Dems getting about a thousand votes more than last time for what it's worth.

They now say the Conservatives are looking at a seat count of 209. Dismal.


The polls have closed across the United Kingdom and the race is on to see which constituency is the first to give official results. Sunderland South usually wins the trophy for that, we'll see.

The BBC have projected a 66-seat majority for Labour based on their exit polls, but the exit polls were wrong before (1992- predicted a minority government and then the Tories went on to win a majority). As it stands now Labour could well end up with less of a winning margin than the last two times, but Tony Blair will still have enough for a good working majority.

(@#$%!!!! Oops. Pardon my language.)


Well, here we go with British election coverage once again, so here's the links to the web pages of some of the people covering this thing:

BBC Election Home Page - coverage begins at 9:55PM in the UK, that's 4:55 EST.
Sky News
The Times
The Telegraph
The Guardian

That's it for now for me. Back later with my thoughts on results, this is likely to be similar to what you saw with the American election, me popping in and out talking about the results.


... since Paul Martin got the finger pointed at him by Chuck Guite. Here's the story...Paul Martin defending himself again.

And then there was Joe Volpe having a cow over a cover of the Western Standard, then he turned around and accused the Tories of being the KKK, and then he didn't apologize.

Maybe he should apologize. This whole Parliament needs to apologize to the people of Canada.
I wasn't going to talk any more about politics but I felt I needed to mention the Guite stuff. For more read Andrew Coyne and the usual people who are on a crusade over this stuff.


In other news, it looks like The Politix Group website is still up and running after all. It must have just been down for a day or two. So ignore my ill-informed comments the other day speculating that they were out of business. I checked their job listings and yes, they are still posting plenty of jobs in Republican-dominated Washington D.C. I should actually post a link to my articles that I've written for them, somewhere.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Just want to remind you, and myself, that we'll have BRITISH ELECTION coverage tomorrow right here.

As for Canadian politics, the four leaders all decided to call a halt to their bickering and are going to VE Day anniversary celebrations after all. So in that spirit I plan to make this a Canadian Politics-free zone the next few days, until they come back. Then it'll be back to the usual posting about Ottawa. But I will mention the results of the nomination fights happening tomorrow night. That's the one thing I will mention.

Other than that, though, I owe it to myself to cool off the interest in Canuck politics for a few days since nothing significant is likely to happen re: the toppling of the government. Besides, there are other things I have planned for the next few days- like recovering from whatever bug has been slowing me down the last several days. I think I'm beating it, whatever it is, a cold or something.

Tonight is a big night for AMERICAN IDOL: Scott just got the boot. Meanwhile ABC News is doing a big hatchet job on Paula Abdul tonight, alleging the show is rigged. I don't care, I'd rather watch STACKED with Pam.

That's exactly what I need more of in my life, a few laughs.