Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prostitution and Harper - Two Words You Never Thought You Would Hear in the Same Sentence

And of course, the other two words that you never thought you would hear in the same sentence, Marijuana and Harper. (to be exact: "Do I seem like I smoke marijuana?")

Canadian politics continues to be a hoot!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Naturally, J.J. Cale, by Drew Christie, New York Times....ENJOY

This was posted on the New York Times web page on Monday. It's about J.J. Cale, who passed away this summer, and speculates on why he personally never became a star even though so much of his music, as recorded by Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings, Poco, Kansas, Dr. Hook, Lynryd Skynard, and others, became big hits for those artists. (see more complete list below, the quality of the artists will blow you away!)
It's only three and a half minutes long, and, I think you will like it.


Here's a list of J.J. Cale songs recorded by other artists, as compiled by Wikipedia:

Brad Absher: "The Sensitive Kind" 
Tom Barman (dEUS): "Magnolia" & "After Midnight 
The Allman Brothers Band: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Chet Atkins: "After Midnight" 
The Band: "Crazy Mama" 
The Barcodes: "Don't Go To Strangers" 
Bob Wilber Quintet: "After Midnight" 
Clarence Gatemouth Brown: "Don't Cry Sister" 
Captain Beefheart: "Same Old Blues" 
Larry Carlton: "Crazy Mama" 
Johnny Cash: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Eric Clapton: "After Midnight", "Cocaine" (on Slowhand), "I'll Make Love To You Anytime", "Travelin' Light", "Tulsa Time" 
David Allen Coe: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Randy Crawford: "Cajun Moon" 
Daddy's Favorite: "Let Me Do It To You" 
Deep Purple: "Magnolia" 
Dr. Feelgood: "No Time" 
Dr. Hook: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Jose Feliciano: "Magnolia" 
Bryan Ferry: "Same Old Blues" 
Waylon Jennings: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Kansas: "Bringing It Back" 
Lynyrd Skynyrd: "Bringing It Back", "Call Me The Breeze", "Same Old Blues" 
John Mayall: "The Sensitive Kind" 
Sergio Mendes: "After Midnight" 
Maria Muldaur: "Cajun Moon" 
Nazareth: "Cocaine" 
Brother Phelps:"Anyway the Wind Blows" 
Poco: "Cajun Moon", "Magnolia" 
Toni Prince: "Like You Used To" 
Redbone: "Crazy Mama" 
Johnny Rivers: "Crazy Mama", "Don't Go To Strangers" 
Santana: "The Sensitive Kind" 
Merl Saunders with Jerry Garcia: "After Midnight" 
Seldom Scene: "After Midnight" 
Chris Smither: "Magnolia" 
Spiritualized: "Call Me The Breeze" 
Pat Travers: "Magnolia" 
Widespread Panic: "Ride Me High" (on "Live in the Classic City"), "Travelin' Light" 
Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings: "Anyway The Wind Blows"

Friday, December 13, 2013

Does Daniel Dale Have A Case Against Rob Ford?

Up until this morning, I thought there was no case. While I am not a lawyer, I have a reasonable amount of familiarity with defamation, either libel or slander, as in the business world, rivals often say untrue things about their competition.

Nevertheless, I have always been told that the final element of a case against someone who potentially slandered or libeled you is that you were damaged by the defamation. That is where I thought Daniel Day had a problem. I do not think that he has been damaged by Rob Ford's remarks.

However, for some reason, probably procrastination, I just googled slander, and here is what the Canadian Bar Association had to say.

"What is libel?
Libel is the type of defamation with a permanent record, like a newspaper, a letter, a website posting, an email, a picture, or a radio or TV broadcast. If you can prove that someone libeled you, and that person does not have a good defence (see the section on defences below), then a court will presume that you suffered damages and award you money to pay for your damaged reputation. But going to Supreme Court is expensive and even if you win, you may not get as much as it costs you to sue. In deciding on damages, the Court will consider your position in the community. For example, if you are a professional, damages may be higher."

As the Guardian of the Emerald City Gates once said: "Well, that's a horse of a different color". And, I think it is, and here is why.

Rob Ford, on Zoomer Television in December, 2013, states that he saw Daniel Day peering into his back yard taking pictures of his property, and, Rob has kids, so, Daniel must be a perve.
However, that peering/picture thing is a previous allegation made by Ford in May, 2012.

Do to the seriousness of the allegations, the incident was thoroughly investigated by the Toronto Police. And, Daniel Dale was completely exonerated of having done any of the things that Ford claims he did.

Now, Ford is the Mayor of Toronto (YIKES, you actually elected this guy), and there is no way that he was unaware of the police findings. Nevertheless, over a year later, he repeats the same already proven false accusations on television.

I do think that Daniel Dale has a case.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Reader Poll: Which one of these guys would you prefer your kids not to be near? (answer: FORD NOT DALE)

Well, Mayor Moronic has done it again. This time, he suggested that we shouldn't allow our kids to be anywhere near Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale.
So, here are the facts, you decide:
1. Which one of these guys has admitted to smoking crack cocaine? FORD NOT DALE
2. Which one of these guys has admitted to drinking and driving? FORD NOT DALE
3. Which one of these guys has been caught on tape discussing illegal activities with persons know to the police? FORD NOT DALE
4. Which one of these guys was caught on video in a complete rage, cursing and threatening the life of an unknown victim? FORD NOT DALE
5. Which one of these guys has been singled out as a disappointment by the Chief of Police? FORD NOT DALE.
6. Which one of these guys has refused to talk to police about an ongoing investigation? FORD NOT DALE.
7. Which one of these guys is the laughing stock of U.S. TV? FORD NOT DALE
8. Which one should go into rehab soon? FORD NOT DALE
9. Which one of these guys has repeatedly lied to us over the past year, and has admitted to everything that he previously denied? FORD NOT DALE
10. Which one of these guys was accused of "grabbing the backside" of 2010 mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson? FORD NOT DALE
11. Which one of these guys pleaded no-contest to a drinking and driving charge in Florida? FORD NOT DALE.
12. Which one of these guys was told by Deputy mayor Norm Kelly that his remarks were "beyond the pale" and should apologize? FORD NOT DALE

And, so, my vote for which one of these guys would I prefer that my kids were not allowed to be near is FORD NOT DALE?

How about you?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rob Ford: My Comedy Turned Into Reality

While reading The Toronto Star this morning, I came across this article about the Rob Ford tour, similar to what I described in my blog The Visit Toronto and Party Like Rob Ford blog . From my blog to Toronto's reality.

Add caption

And, who can forget my wonderful banjo playing and singing of The Ode To Mayor Rob Ford , which was copied two days later by Daughtry on the Jimmy Kimmel Live Show.

Granted, Daughtry's version is much better, his singing is better, and so is his guitar playing. And, he might even have more hair than I do under that cap (hum, maybe not). Nevertheless, I now anoint myself The Official Idea Factory for the Rob Ford Comedy Show! Anyone needing help with their late night comedy show, please call me for help at 1-000-GET-ROB-FORD-COMEDY-NOW

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is that recyclable?

Before the days of recycling and compost collection, what did I do with my time? In Mississauga, we have three different types of waste that we put on the curb, paper/cans recyclables, organics, and waste. And, during the summer, we add a fourth, yard waste.
Yearly, we get a new BOOKLET explaining to us what goes where, and there is also a webpage or two or three dedicated to the topic, and then, there is also the 3-1-1 hotline which will put you in front of a very nice person who will tell you what goes where.
So, tonight, The Beauty was cleaning the fridge (note: that's what empty nester do frequently), and, she told me to dispose of a whip cream can. So I wondered aloud, "is that recyclable?". Of course, we did not know, and, it is night time and I didn't want to disturb my 311 personal assistant, and so, I thought of google.  
And, of course, google knows, and this time, google knows with a youtube video:

And so, I followed Mr. Hallsted's video and here are my results:

Now I know what my next career option might be if this investigative reporting blogging gig doesn't work out. I'm going to be a GARBAGE PICKUP CONSULTANT.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Visit Toronto and Party Like Rob Ford Tour

Another exclusive!!!
My sources tell me that the City of Toronto is in the process of putting together a marketing campaign to encourage tourists to visit Toronto with the new Visit Toronto and Party Like Rob Ford tour. The idea came from the City of Santa Barbara who have a similar tour that allows tourists to follow the path that the two buddies took in the movie Sideways.

Similar to that self guided tour, the Toronto tour will consist of 5 major points of interest with different attractions for the tourists.

The tour begins at the now Infamous Crack House where you can have your picture taken with a life size cardboard picture of Mayor Ford and his buddies. In this case a cut out head for you to pose alongside the Mayor.
That's me and Rob. Buds.

Next, the tour takes you to The Taste of The Danforth where you are provided with all the beer you can drink and you get to walk around in a drunken stupor with your fellow tourists.
I'm excited just writing about it.
Next stop is a charity fund raiser where you and your fellow tourists get to walk around and behave badly participating in lewd exchanges and ass grabbing, just like Mayor Rob.
The City is sparing no expenses to make this the best tourist attraction ever, and the next exhibit is being developed with the people from Disney. It's a take off on Mr. Toads Wild Ride and the working title is Mayor Ford's Drunken Drive.
The next stop uses the Practice of Primal Scream Therapy to allow the tourists to experience rants such as the one of the Mayor caught on video recently.
If you're interested in viewing the video, it can be found at
Finally, the tour at City Hall where each tourist is introduced to their own escort who has already spent time with the Mayor, and the escorts demonstrate what they and the Mayor do and drink together.

This one is going to be a winner, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ode to Mayor Rob Ford

And now, for your listening pleasure(note:ear plugs recommended)

He’s a drug store crack smoking man
He’s the head of the gangster clan
When winters come rollin' around,
He’ll be lucky to be Mayor of the town.
Well he don’t like the press we all know,
He tells us each week on his radio show,
He calls them all maggots, and spits in their face,

He wonders why we think that he’s a disgrace.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Why Lou Reed Is Important Even Though He Didn't Sell a Ton of Records

Here's how my morning began. I walked into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee, and I turned on the radio only to hear that Lou Reed had died. Then, the radio station began playing "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side", and The Beauty walked into the kitchen and said, "hey, they're playing your theme song". Yup. I loved and loved and still love that song.
But that wasn't the start for Lou Reed. By now, there are dozens of really good posts about why Lou Reed's band The Velvet Underground were so instrumental in redefining rock and roll as not just about being loved/ losing love/ never having know love, but about everything in life, including the seedier side.
The Velvet Underground played the clubs in New York in the East Village when I was of the age to go clubbing. They were unique, and as my contribution to the many tributes to Lou Reed, let me point out what he started.
Without The Velvet Underground breaking the Glass Love Ceiling,
could David Peel ever have written "Happy Mother's Day, Happy Father's Day, I am your son, I am a runaway"
Could John Lennon ever have written "Mother you had me, but I never had you"?
Could The Ramones ever have written a song about XMAS Eve called "I Wanna Be Sedated"?
Could The Sex Pistols have written a song about Abortion?

Could Nirvana have written anything?

Of course the answer is yes. Rock and Roll was ready to move away from the music themes of Sinatra's generation. And, it was Lou Reed and his Velvet Underground who were there to pioneer the future.
Well done Lou and thanks for the theme song.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau: Ask Me If I Care That They Are Being Denied Due Process?

I get it, Prime Minister Harper demanding that the 3 expense padding cheats should be kicked out of the Senate is an affront to our justice system where you are innocent until proven guilty.
True, however, each has agreed to pay back monies that the accounting audit said they claimed incorrectly, and so, isn't that an admission of guilt.
Besides, it's our money they were trying to defraud us of. Kicking them out of the Senate, denying them a life long pension so they aren't rewarded for being admitted cheats sounds like a nice way for me to get some of my money back.
So, do I care about Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau, NO, NO, NO.
The thing that is so disturbing is that everyone knows that they aren't the only 3 cheats. The fact that Duffy had to ask if his claiming his home residence as a fishing cottage that he visited less than 1 week a year could be considered his primary residence shows how when he was a young and naive Senator, he couldn't even believe what a set of dishonest rules Senators lived by when it came to declaring their expenses.
Does Wallen have a case saying that she didn't book flights to home but had to stop over in Toronto for a day or two or three because a direct flight to Saskatoon or Regina would have gotten her into the airport, with still a 2 1/2 hour drive to home way too late in the evening. I've traveled for business all my career. Here's a simple solution, SLEEP AT AN AIRPORT HOTEL and drive home the next morning. Look at the math. A ticket from Ottawa to Toronto, one way, with 2 weeks advance notice is approximately $467 for executive class. A night in Toronto at a downtown hotel is approximately $300. A one way ticket to Saskatoon or Regina is $1,000. So, to get home from Ottawa with a stop over in Toronto costs the taxpayer approximately $1,800. On the other hand a ticket from Ottawa to Saskatoon or Regina, with a stay over at the airport $1,200 because the airfare from Ottawa to Regina is approximately the same as the airfare from Toronto to Regina, and the hotel for the evening is approximately $100 cheaper. In round trip dollars, Senator Wallin overcharged the taxpayer by $1,200 ($600 times 2) every time she went home.
Least we forget Senator Brazeau. The audit committee found that he overstated his expenses by $48,745.
It seems to me that when we the taxpayers agreed to reward certain worthy people of a lifetime job, with pension, we did it because we considered them to be among our finest citizens. These three are a bunch of petty cheats. Not a trait that is worthy of a Senator of Canada.
We don't need a court of law to kick them out of the Senate. Courts of law send people to prison. We just want them out of our taxpayer Senate. And, we want our other Senators on the taxpayer dime to do what is right. Get rid of the bums, and I suspect, as the digging continues, which I hope it does, there will be many more bums to get rid of.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Five Things U.S. and Canadian Politics Have in Common

In her latest book, Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country, dual citizen Diane Francis, who resides in Canada and is the editor-at-large for the National Post and the former Editor of the Financial Post, makes the argument that Canada and the U.S. must form some sort of partnership, be it a European Union or something stronger to withstand the attack on North American resources by both the Chinese and the Russians.

While I am only about 10% finished with the book (according to my eReader, to me, the statistics about how both countries are selling off our farm land to the highest bidder, or any bidder, and the exponential decline in North American owned agricultural land, is frightening.

Of course, there are many things that separate Canada from the U.S. and make talks of a merger seem impossible, for instance:

good Canadian Beer vs. Water Infused U.S. Beer,
good U.S. football vs. 3 down, last team to have the ball always wins, Canadian football,

Montreal smoked meat vs. what? Nothing,

N.Y. or Chicago Pizza vs. 30 minutes or less.

However, I want to focus on what we have in common, that is, silly politics. So, here are the 5 things that U.S. and Canadian Politics Have in Common:
1. No opposition to choose from when we go to the polls

The Americans federally have a 'normal' far left leaning leader (by U.S. standards), President, while the opposition party (two parties in one), have schizophrenic leaders who are one thing before gaining the leadership and quite a different person after gaining the leadership (ex. Romney on health care and women's rights issue).

In Canada, federally, we have a 'normal' far right leaning (by Canadian standards) Conservative Prime Minister, and  the opposition which consists of:
 a not-yet-ready-for prime time, pretty face, with a well respected last name,
a party which only got so many seats because the Liberal for the second election in a row gave the country a leader who couldn't lead,
a party which doesn't want to be part of Canada,
and, a party, to quote from Diane Francis, "that wants to turn Canada into a National Park".

2. Minority Anti-Government Party
In the U.S., while they still haven't come to terms with it, I have, there are 3 parties, the Democrats, the Republican, and the Tea Party. The Tea Party controls over 10% of the House (49 members out of 435 Representatives), and in the Senate, 5% control (5 members out of 100) . The Democrats and Republicans believe in a federal government, the Tea Party believes in the elimination of government, or at least, taking away the majority of its spending power, leaving it a shell of a government.
In Canada, we have the Bloc Quebecois. In their prime, 1993 election, the Bloc represented 13.5% of the parliament (54 seats out of 295). And, in their prime, they were the minority party. That means that they were the "loyal" opposition, and it was their job to represent the contrary view to the government of the day. It worked just fine, because, as a minority party, they still couldn't hold anyone at ransom. I would argue that this is exactly the same truth that the Republican Party finds itself in. If Speaker John Boehner had treated the Tea Party as a minority view inside the caucus, none of the current shutdown mess would be happening. There is definitely bi-partisan support between the remaining Republican and Democrats to keep the government running, while still respecting the view of the 10% Tea Party. And, yet, this isn't happening. Wake Up America, the rest of the world needs you to act responsibly.

3. No leadership with the ability to lead

One of the problems in the U.S. is the President himself. As Harry Truman famously said "the buck stops here", and yet, Obama doesn't seem to know how to make the current government structure work. I cannot believe that there is no way for the Democrats and Republicans to work together. The Democrats say it's the Republicans, and the Republicans say its the Democrats. I don't buy either. I

think it's both.
In Canada, our Prime Minister finally has a majority government, after 5 years of his minority rule. And yet, he continues to move forward in starts and fits. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is that his majority still only represents 40% of the electorate, and so, like President Obama, he is more concerned with doing the things that will help keep his party in power, rather than doing the things that define leadership.

4. Both governments are currently shut down
In the U.S., the government is shutdown because no one can work together to pass a budget. In Canada, Prime Minister Harper has told the parliament not to return to work after their summer recess. They still aren't working, and won't be invited back to work until October 16. In the U.S. they call it a shut down, in Canada, we call it a prorogued parliament. Why do we pay these guys?

5. If you leave one Party in power long enough, the corruption becomes public knowledge
Sadly, my contention is that all governments are corrupt. However, we the public don't see it until that government has been in power long enough for the corruption to rise to the surface. In Canada, we have multiple appointments to the
Senate, by the Harper government, stealing our money either through an inability to add, or a conscience effort. The courts will soon tell us which one. And, did I mention the Conservative Party slush fund to pay off ???? before the scandal becomes public? Really, really, really!
In the U.S., we have a government illegally spying on us and targeting specific taxpayer groups.
In both cases, the party doing the misbehaving stands an excellent chance to win re-election, which goes back to my point number 1, the opposition in both the U.S. and Canada is so weak as to not give the taxpayers any choice but to re-elect those corrupt expletives! 

Alas, in both countries, it seems that the devil you know is still better than the devil you don't know.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister: "We Love Israel, Our Translator Is To Blame If It Says Otherwise On The Ayatollah's Website"

This morning, on This Week With George Stephenopoulos, the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif explained to George that of course there was a holocaust, and of course, Hitler was a bad bad man. Welcome to the new Iran.
However, then, George went on to ask him to explain why on the Ayatollah's website, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamanei is quoted as referring to the holocaust as 'the myth of the massacre of the Jews". Where upon, wait for it, it's good, Zarif says, that's not what he said, it's a translation problem. It's tough to translate Persian into English and get it right. It's like the movie Lost in Translation. Really. REALLY.
What you don't see in the article published on the shows' website at is the next question that George asked, "will the translation be changed?"...and the answer, with a big Cheshire Cat grin on his face, "I'll talk to him". (start watching the video at around the time 14:20).
So now for some more breaking news. EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER SAID, that is, if you don't think it's funny or disagree with it, is incorrect. IT'S A TRANSLATION PROBLEM. My native tongue, backslang, you know,
English -'Hello there, how are you?' 
Backslang -'Ellohay heretay, owhay reaay ouyay?'
is to blame. What I meant to say in English was either brilliantly thought out and provocatively stated, or very very funny.
Thank you Zarif for getting me out of years of bad blogging.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Smartphones Shown to Combat Dementia

Every week we hear about another study that claims this or that combats dementia. To name a few, there's hot chocolate, playing puzzle games, learning a new language, and on it goes. I am excited to announce that by observing me, my team of crack reporters now adds the Smartphone to that list of Dementia fighting remedies.
Let me explain. When I got my new smartphone, it came with an app called Clock.

This is the greatest. It has the ability to set multiple alarms, with repeat functions, and with conditions,

And, each alarm can have its own specific alarm, or song.

Now that you understand how it works, here are some examples of how I use my Smartphone Clock app...

To Wake Up

Brush My Teeth

Walk the Dog

(editors note: I just learned that Rufus is Carla Thomas' father, wow!)

Time for Work

Meet the Grandkids After School

Work is Over

Time for Bed 

And then, there's the conditional alarm

(editors note: Parenthood TV show running joke)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Should the U.S. Go It Alone In Syria?

While watching This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday, September 1, Tavis Smiley very eloquently reminded us that just days before President Obama said that the U.S. must strike Syria, the world was celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King's, "I Have a Dream" speech, and celebrating the success of his non-violent equality movement. Now, as Mr. Smiley points out, we are dishonouring Dr. King by  asserting that violence is the only course of action. George Stephanopoulos retorted that while non-violent movements can work in a civilized society that recognizes behavioral norms, he didn't think it would work in Syria.

I'm undecided.

What I am decided about is that regardless of the atrocities committed by the Assad regime, the U.S. should not go it alone. If the rest of the world doesn't want to participate, the U.S. should not take it upon itself to be the policeman of the world.

As more food for thought, here are some non-violent protests that achieved success:
1. Gandhi's Independence Movement
2. Martin Luther King's Equal Rights Movement
3. Flower Power Anti-Vietnam War Movement
4. Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience Movement
5. Women's Suffrage Movement
6. United Auto Workers "Flint Sit-In"
7. Tiananmin Square Protester (ongoing)

In Memphis, Tennessee, on the sight of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was gunned down now stands The National Civil Rights Museum dedicated to his honour and the honour of nonviolent protest movement. It is a very moving tour that takes you through the motel and ends up in the room where Dr. King was staying when he was gunned down. Go see it, it's special.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Other Things That Harper Should Prorogue Besides Parliament

Once again, Prime Minister Harper has prorogued parliament. This time he is skipping the legislature being in session for the month of September so that, according to him, he can prepare a Speech from the Throne outlining the governments agenda for the rest of its mandate.

To make sure that my voice is heard within the agenda, I have made of list of the various things that I think the Prime Minister should also consider proroguing, either forever, or at least until the end of his term in office.

Prorogue the Senate, FOREVER, while at the same time passing a law that will also prorogue their pay until they are called back into session.

Prorogue Members of Parliament's pay on those days that the parliament is supposed to be in session, but has been prorogued.

Prorogue Unfair and Unbalanced News.

Prorogue Birthers!

Prorogue intelligent people who sprout party talking points rather than engaging their brains to listen to and evaluate the nonsense that is coming out of their mouths.

Prorogue the Federal Liberal Party from continuing to choose the wrong leader.

Prorogue the Ontario Conservative Party from continuing to back the wrong leader.

Prorogue money grabbing Hollywood Studios from releasing movies that are just junk and ruin what was once a good franchise

Prorogue the re-writing of history to make devils into good people

Prorogue fighting in the Middle East and I will vote for you FOREVER