Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bad timing for glad tidings

McGuinty Fiberals holding fundraising "celebration" on anniversary of Montreal Massacre

Well, I guess this is par for the course for a Premier whose advisers make misogynistic comments about female MPPs. Below is the graphic and text from an e-mail I received from the Ontario Liberal Party.

Also, their graphics people can't seem to spell "holiday."

Join us for the
Ontario Liberal Party
Holiday Celebration!

Celebrate the holiday season with fellow Liberals, including caucus members, Party President Gord Phaneuf and the Premier, at the 2007 Ontario Liberal Party Holiday Celebration.

This year's celebration takes place Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Intercontinental Hotel 225 Front Street West, in Toronto.

Tickets are $75 each or $750 for a table of ten.

To find out more, please call 416-961-3800 or 1-800-268-7250 or

You can click here for a form and fax it to 416-323-9425. Tickets are limited, so hurry.

Have a happy holiday season and a tremendous 2008!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Kindly resume sorting your recyclables

Halifax rejects Celine Dion, and vice versa

I’m a Celine Dion fan. I admit it. I went to Las Vegas solely for the purpose of seeing her show (and didn’t gamble a dime). I bought a program, a mug, and a keychain.

Of course, I am well aware that some people don’t like Dion’s music and/or her. They find her saccharine, bombastic, irritating, etc. They find her husband creepy. Whatever. It doesn’t bother me that other people don’t like her.

Frankly, it irritates me that Bill Clinton seems to come to Toronto every six months or so to speak at some event (for a fee in the neighbourhood of $100,000, I hear). Clinton is a narcissist who embodies everything that is wrong with his generation, plus he bombed my relatives in Serbia. So I really don’t have time for the guy.

But if a ballroom full of fools wants to pay $500 or $1,000 to have Bill Clinton look down their wives’ dresses, I really don’t care. So why should a few reporters in Halifax care whether people want to see a Celine Dion concert?

Celine Dion has never encountered such a negative reaction to a proposed concert as she did from Halifax, her husband-manager has told a Montreal journalist.

In response to a question from La Presse reporter Alain De Repentigny about the cancelled show on the Halifax Common, Rene Angelil said in French: If we’re not welcome in Halifax, we won’t go.

“Si nous ne sommes pas les bienvenus à Halifax, on n’ira pas,” Angelil said in the article posted Sunday on the Cyberpresse website.

This contradicts promoter Gillett Entertainment Group, which said the concert was cancelled Friday because the venue was not suited to the show’s elaborate production needs.

Gillett couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday, but the promoter confirmed to a Halifax newspaper last week that Dion will play a free show on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City for its 400th anniversary celebration Aug. 22, the day before she was scheduled to play on the Common.

Angelil saw negative stories about Dion’s Halifax concert from two different journalists, he said.

“I asked him, ‘Well, maybe two journalists expressed their opinions; it doesn’t mean that the people wouldn’t go and see her sing,’” Repentigny said.

“He said, ‘If it sparks controversy there, if it’s a problem, we won’t go.’”
--Halifax Daily News, today

“Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse. He tells America how it’s gonna be.”

Mike Huckabee has launched his first campaign ad, which premiered on yesterday’s “Fox News Sunday.” It is inspired by the Chuck Norris facts” that have been around for a few years now, and features the man himself.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

British Legion bars wounded soldiers from Remembrance Day parade

Government policy does not permit serving soldiers to march

From The Guardian:

Serving soldiers horrifically injured in the Iraq and Afghan conflicts have been refused permission to join today’s main Remembrance Day parade, prompting angry accusations that the government is ‘ashamed’ to have them seen in public.

Jamie Cooper, 19, the youngest Briton seriously injured in Basra, had hoped to join the march past at the Cenotaph in Whitehall. He is one of a number of young soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan the Royal British Legion had wanted to include in Britain’s centrepiece remembrance ceremony.

But last week, the head of the Legion contacted Jamie’s father, Phillip, to say that government rules for participating in the parade stipulated that only veterans, not ‘serving soldiers’, could take part. Last year 1,500 civilians were among the 9,500 allowed by the government to participate in the official march past. ‘I am absolutely outraged,’ Cooper said. ‘I would not have made an issue of it. But Jamie, who is thankfully recovering well from his latest major operation, said to me: “Dad, do you remember how we always used to go to Remembrance Day when I was younger? Do you think we could go this year?” He feels strongly about it, because he has lost friends on the battlefield and wants to pay tribute to them.’

It is also understood that several soldiers currently recuperating from serious injuries at Headley Court, the military rehabilitation centre near Epsom in Surrey, had wanted to attend, but were also not able to join the official parade.

Cooper said that when he raised the possibility with the Legion, the veterans’ organisation was very supportive and initially suggested that he join the main ceremony at the Cenotaph.

But Peter Cleminson, chairman of the Legion, later phoned ‘apologetically’. Cooper added: ‘He said that he wished he could have arranged for Jamie to take part, as well as some of the others who are recuperating at Headley Court. But he said that the government is in charge of the parade guidelines, and the policy is that no serving soldiers can participate.

The Royal British Legion is running an Honour the Covenant campaign to improve support for British soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. It said that Jamie Cooper had been offered, as an alternative, a vantage point to watch the march past on a specially raised viewing platform.

‘Participation in the march past is subject to ticketing in order to maintain the dignity of the event and keep numbers within the bounds of safety,’ a spokesman said.