Thursday, January 27, 2011


It seems Stephen Harper's central plank in getting a majority is fear.
He and his CONservative party have played the 'be scared, very scared!' card for a long time, while using it as a whip for both his followers and the not-so-nimble opposition.
His plan to imprison more Canadians -- and not just the unreported criminals of unreported crimes! -- has raised some interesting concerns from the Congregations of Christian Churches across Canada.
Using facts and actual studies, as opposed to Harper's lies and intestinal self-interests, the Church Council on Justice and Corrections are asking Harper to reconsider his expensive, both fiscally and socially, plan to ramp up jail times for non-violent offences:

“We are trying to educate the public and the people in our churches about this,” said Lorraine Berzins, co-ordinator of analysis for the CCJC, who worked in Canada’s federal penitentiaries for 14 years. “It goes so much against all the evidence about what keeps communities safe, and it does so much harm, and they are going to spend so much money, that it’s really surprising that there isn’t more opposition.”

Sunday, January 23, 2011


... who was once one of the top leading men in Hollywood.
I'm an easy touch for classic films and their stars.
Although Glenn Ford passed away in 2006, failing health and a decision to retire in seclusion meant the Quebec City-born actor had long fallen off the radar of most filmgoers.
If you consider yourself a serious film fan, titles like Gilda, 3:10 to Yuma, Blackboard Jungle, The Big Heat, The Fastest Gun Alive, Pocketful of Miracles, The Sheepman, The Courtship of Eddie's Father and Experiment in Terror, to name just a few of his 107 film and TV credits, will stir a memory or two.
After nearly 10 years in the making, son Peter Ford will be releasing a biography on his father that is expected to straighten out some of the publicity-mill myths that were repeated as fact for many years. Glenn Ford's story starts as the only son of a railway employee (his mother escaped a burning building days before his birth), the family's migration to southern California, and his rise to starring in movies alongside Bette Davis, Fredric March, buddy William Holden and favourite leading lady Rita Hayworth. Married to Hollywood sweetheart Eleanor Powell, who at the time was a star who's film credits dwarfed those of her husband, Ford's career caught fire after returning from a stint in the U.S. Marines on the back of film noir masterpiece Gilda. From that point on, he was among Hollywood's top-10 male stars for nearly 20 years, and remained a 'name' on any film that attracted attention right into the 1980s.
One of his briefest cameos was a touching performance in Richard Donner's Superman, where he played Pa Kent.
Will the book correct stories about Ford's war record, his romances, and tidbits like being related to John A. Macdonald? All I can say is, from a dinner I had with the author and his-then collaborator Christopher Nickens in 2004, separating fiction from fact was a main goal. Even if some of the more 'glorious' pieces of publicity were subtracted from Ford's bio, it still promised to be very enticing for a film fan like myself. Here's hoping.
I've already ordered my copy, which is due out later this spring.

Friday, January 21, 2011


... or just more broken promises from the man who wasn't, Stephen Harper.
Apparently, people who believe the CONservatives were earnest about getting things done for Canadians on the fighting crime front were just as duped as those who bought the 'economic stewardship' from the faux economist who in mid-2008 said "if we were going to have some kind of big crash or recession, we probably would have had it by now."
On the 'make sure there are more police officers on the streets' front, it's been one dodge after another. When Harper isn't sending his attack dogs to call police chiefs "a cult" for saying the long gun registry was a useful tool in fighting crime, he's cancelling the 'high priority' crime bills so he can recalibrate the national anthem.
Who said he had to pay for that promise -- after paying for all the partisan 10-percenters, the secret focus groups, the larger cabinet, and keeping his psychic dresser in crystal balls?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Stephen Harper is considered by many to be a genius. Sure, an evil genius by many, but smarter than the average bear by most.
Very few people have come out and described him as compassionate and reasoned. If there is no political gain for doing something, he'd just as soon wait, growl, snap his whip at his underlings, and let silence reign.
Another piece of evidence to that theory was the government of Canada's decision to ban six phthalates this week, chemical additives to soft plastic toys that have been considered by many nations for a long time to be a hazard to children.
Harper has been Prime Minister since January of 2006.
The European Union has had phthalates banned since 1999. The U.S. banned them two years ago. Being no friend of science nor scientific evidence, Harper has held onto the decision to follow suit for at least two years -- if we're to assume that his boast on 'waiting for the US to set policy', as in the environment, military and softwood lumber precedents.
He's trotted out this 'action' at a time when the heat and headlines are beginning to put him and his inactive government under some scrutiny. Harper's track record of getting legislation through the House and into the books has been abysmal, no small part due to his unwillingness to cooperate with his rivals in a minority parliament, and his addiction to prorogation. Lester Pearson's government showed us what kind of action could be done under similar circumstances.
This is not the first time that some 'important issue' was held back until a more beneficial release date -- that 'red tape commission' is the most recent joke he's thrown at Canadians. His penchant for only acting when it serves his party and person has become a black hole on our governance.
Time to remove the spot.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


... So the men who brought us Zero-percent down, 40-year mortgages is now prepared to run through the theatre lobby with his hair afire?
"Ottawa to tighten mortgage rules" so says G&M.
Did someone just clue the economic clueless duo that Canadian taxpayers are on the hook if CMHC's floor falls? What's another concrete belief for Harper if he can't blow it up and do a 180-degree turn, right?
I'm not disagreeing with the latest move, however the experts I've been reading have been clamouring for this for nearly two years now. It is to laugh when the plagarist and faux economist starts nagging Canadians about their debt-load, and to see the so-called leader then open the taps to build gazebos and fake lakes and weekly focus groups on how to demonize the opposition.
Now that we're at the top of the rollercoaster, I dare say it's a fool who expects it to stop to let him off.
Stephen Harper and Jim Flaherty, making it up as they go along...

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Is this what happens when the leaders of one partisan political group fire up their supporters into hatred?
I'm sending my prayers for the victims, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The early stories suggest it was an opponent of Obama's health care program that entered a shopping centre in Tucson, killing six including a nine-year-old girl, and injured a dozen others.
Should I hold my breath for FOX News' talking heads to apologize for leading in stirring up the debate with their lies and fearmongering, or just rely upon them to attempt to turn this tragedy on its head and turn it into more fuel?
Here in Canada, there are plenty who are expecting hatred and irrational anger to lead them to the promised land. That one of their staple tenets is against gun control doesn't help in the feeling that this could happen here, too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Meet the new guy, same as the old guy. In other words, Peter Kent will get to put his 'anchorman' skills to the test as Stephen Harper's newest carny player, er environment minister. Will it be the door to Kent's assension to corporate windfall, or as a role in the bobblehead choir, or lead him to the higher calling of being Harper's pit bull in training?
Just don't expect anything but rote reading of the action of others, how that's good/bad and Canada will follow it's own/the US decision someday soon.