Friday, November 26, 2010

Typical Of The Big Guy.

Prince Edward Island is currently in the middle of a debate about allowing Sunday shopping all year round.  Opposition leader Olive Crane launched a private members' bill calling for ending restrictions that prohibit Sunday opening between Christmas and Victoria Day.  After appearing on a local TV show Monday Crane slipped on the set of the program and hurt her ankle.  During debate on Thursday transportation minister Ron Mackinley implied the accident might be a punishment from God.  If so that would be so typical of the Supreme Being.  He's always doing stuff like punishing people for minor changes he doesn't like and making the face of the Virgin Mary appear in oil spots in parking lots.  Yet he never seems to do worthwhile things like making the entire leadershp of North Korea drop dead for that mess they caused this week. 

Of course if you believe certain religions Olive Crane is doing the right thing.  After all they don't believe that Sunday is a godly day, but Saturday, or Friday.  Perhaps Mr. Mackinley better watch himself in case they're right and good ole arbitrary God decides to punish him for opposing Sunday opening.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Money For Gullibility.

I justr saw an ad on Spike for a proposed class action lawsuit against ExtenZe, a "male enhancement" product.  So someone wants to launch a class action suit on hehalf of a bunch of insecure guys who were clueless enough to believe a pill will make their penis bigger.  I wonder how many people will willingly admit they don't think their penis is big enough?

Unfortunately our society is overly obsessed with penis size as an indicator of manliness, sexually or otherwise.  Just consider how common it is to insult someone by claiming their negative behaviours are overcompensation for having a small penis.  Ironically if you ask women with actual experience of a partner with a penis of above average size many of them will note that it is often uncomfortable to deal with.

Status Quo.

As is often the case when something significant happens with the royals the announcement of the upcoming wedding of William Windsor and Kate Middleton has launched another round of debate and hand wringing about the role of the nonarchy in Canada.  Do Canadians like the monarchy?  Will William's marriage increase support for the monarchy in Canada?  And most importantly, do Canadians want to keep the monarchy, or see it replaced by some other system?

The reality is that no matter what your opinion is don't go holding your breath waiting for the current system to change.  To replace the monarchy would require reopening the Canadian Constitution, and that is not going to happen anytime soon.  No one wants to open that Pandora's box.  Doing so would reopen the problematic question of Quebec's refusal to ratifiy the document in 1982, although that hasn't stopped them from using things like the Notwithstanding Clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Then there would be those who would want to alter the Charter.  And the question of what kind of Senate to have, or whether we'd want one at all.  And the question of what would replace the monarchy.  And on and on.  It will probably take at least another generation before anyone is willing to even seriously think about trying to amend it again.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Missed.

Flipping around the dial this morning I came across a show that surprised me on Spike.  It's Conceal and Carry School, a handgun shooting show.  Given the controvsrsial nature of gun control in the US I'm surprised to see a reality style show about people learning to combat shoot.  Of course the fact that I've never seen an ad on Spike for the show may be telling.  They themselves may be a bit leery about the show getting too much attention and causing problems.  On the other hand they do have a webpage where you can watch full episodes.  Other channels have featured shows about weaponry but they're generally of a "Here's a so and so, watch it blow stuff up!" sort,  not "Here's private citizens learning how to shoot in a self defense scenario."  It also strikes me as a very American show.  And it's probably a better fit for Spike's "We're the macho network." subtext than it would be elsewhere.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Is He Really Gone?

The Wednesday night murder of Nicolo Rizzuto in Montreal has prompted a lot of talk that the Rizzuto Mafia "family" is finished.  It's a reasonable assumption given that his son Vito, the reputed boss of the Rizzuto organisation, is currently serving a 10 year sentence in US jail.  The elder Rizzuto's murder caps off more than a year of murders of Rizzuto members, including his grandson Nick Jr. last fall.  But the fate of one major player remains unknown, that of Paolo Renda.  Renda, Vito's brother in law and reputed consigliere, was apparently kidnapped in May of this year, his car being found with the windows open and the keys in the ignition.  The presumption is of course that he too was murdered.  But I couldn't help but wonder tonight if that was the case.  Could it be that Renda is alive and well living under an assumed name as part of some sort of deal with the authorties to provide information, thereby avoiding prosecution?  Modern Mafiosi have a penchant for squealing their heads off when things get too tough.  For that matter maybe Renda disappeared himself, figuring a life in hiding was a preferable alternative to taking a bullet from whichever group of enemies has been targetting the Rizzutos.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Scraping The Barrel.

Controversy is swirling around a leaked Michael Jackson single, with some of his family claiming the vocals on the cut aren't actually  him.  Whatever the case it made me think of the posthumous albums of Jimi Hendrix.  After his death a lot of material would be dredged up and released.  Probably most notorious amongst Hendrix fans are the albums put together by Alan Douglas, which included considerable overdubbing on unfinished tracks.  Then there was the rerelease of material Hendrix recorded while an R&B sideman with Little Richard and the obscure Curtis Knight amongst others.  Is a similar fate in store for Jackson?  Unlike Hendrix Jackson wasn't the kind of artist who would jam with anyone and end up being recorded as a result, nor did he have the kind of sideman period Hendrix did.  On the other hand there is likely a lot of demo material and tracks rejected as too weak for release in the Sony and Jackson family archives, and as anyone who keeps an eye on cheap CDs knows a lot of artists have oddball compilations in their discography put together from material of questionable provinence and ownership. 

Friday, November 05, 2010



When I heard a report this morning about a young Chinese man who managed to get on a plane in Hong Kong disguised as an old man my thoughts soon drifted to the Death Merchant.  The Death Merchant, aka Richard Camellion, was the title character of a series of pulp action adventure novels written in the '70s and '80s by the late Joseph Rosenberger.  One of Camellion's regularly used skills was his incredible ability to create disguises, and he frequenly disguised himself as an elderly man.  Fortunately this real world disguise artist apparently only wanted to get out of Hong Kong undetected by the local authorities, not go on to kill a whole bunch of people.   Somehow I doubt this guy has ever heard of the Death Merchant, but you never know.  Weirder things have happened.

Afternoon addenda:  I decided to add a Death Merchant cover to make this post a bit more spiffy.  The book in question, The Psionics War, takes place partially in Canada, with Canadian troops aiding the Death Merchant against Soviets trying to kidnap an American scientist.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Will He Or Won't He?

Listening to the coverage of yesterday's US election a thought came to mind, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who had it.  Could Stepehn Harper decide to call an election soon to cash in on the current right wing swing in the US?  If so he'd do well to think twice.  Canada isn't the US, and our political landscape is quite different.  He's not going to be able to exploit the anti-incumbent attitude found south of the border given that his party is the current ruling bloc, tenuous as it may be at times.  He's in Barack Obama's place in Canada at the moment, not Sarah Palin's.

As for the Tea Party supported crowd now they'll actually have to do something.  It's easy to sling around slogans and digs during an election, it's quite another thing to actually get to work within the legislature and get things done.  And how long can you claim to be a "Washington outsider" when you're in office without looking silly?  Given the disparate beliefs of the Tea Party and their favoured candidates conflict amongst them may soon blunt the movement.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vote, Americans.

You've an election going on today, so get out there and vote.  If you don't you're defacto voting for whoever wins whether you like them or not.  Apparently in some places you can vote "None of the above," so you can't claim there's no one to vote for if you live in one of them.

Monday, November 01, 2010

When I Rule The World 3

No more hyphenated names.  At best they sound pretentious, at worst horribly clashing.  If you don't want to take your husband's name when you get married keep your maiden name.  Or why not start a new family name for both of you?