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Home August 2011
August 2011

Surely Better Than 'Men With Brooms' Among Curling Movies

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Certainly looks like it to me. Of course this also just looks like a joke, but someone actually made 'Men With Brooms', and these guys are Norwegians, a tad puckish, so it is a hard call.

Though the bar is really low, except for 'My Life So Far'. (A superb film, which I utterly recommend.)

h/t @mcewencurling

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:45

A Great Rant

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Ezra is utterly rightly appalled by the farcical 'funeral' ceremony for one political hack last weekend.

And of course Ezra is impolite enough, as I wish I had been from square one, to make his views clear.

Ezra is wonderful here, just as Stephen Lewis was totally awful. As Ezra points out, all these hacks have lived off the public teat, and never had a real job, including Lewis himself.

Of course in a week, finally, I hope, nobody will remember Jack Layton, as I hope I will not have to. As the time of politeness passes, being polite becomes harder.


DWTS Fall 2011

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It is rather funny how this show calls their participants 'Stars'. No real star could afford the time to participate so it has to be a has-been, or someone we've heard of who is not a star, or, if we are lucky, someone out of season (in a good sense).

And for me, the reason I will watch, is Hope Solo! She is in my last category, was an utter acrobat in the World Cup, only almost killed off by her own bumbling team.

Still, it is clear ABC is having a lot of trouble recruiting for this show. Chaz Bono? Nancy Grace (well, she might prove a dark horse)? But no Woz equivalent, it seems.

Still, Hope Solo is already my pick. I'll try to make sure she is not voted off in the first round.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 10:34

Adler Speaks About Layton's Mooching Philosophy

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!his is really quite good.

And as Adler points out clearly, Layton was part of the upper class and still loved his mooching. In fact I recall someone saying that it was so great nobody knew he had a PhD/ Great - it was part of slimeball attempt to appear appealing to his constituency. No not a particularly nice guy and it is good that people like Adler will will expose his deep phoninesses.

Along the way he makes Stephen Lewis look like the dissembler and liar he is.

BTW if you listen to the intro you will hear more Harper class cersus Layton utter crass.

I also think his references in a sort of indirect third person to Steven Lewis "the eulogy giver" is utterly right.  From everything I heard Lewis was just lefty appalling.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 15:46

The Second Most Romantic Movie Scene I Know

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OK Look! I would prefer it in English. Is this a copyright issue? Or maybe search incompetence?

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I lived many years near a Mennonite community and drove by many barn-raisings. This one of course is improved by the rivalry of the men over Kelly McGillis. I was never close enough to see that in real life though I bet it went on.

But it is also one of those few five-minute scenes that almost always draws tears from me. The moment at 4:30 in this when McGillis looks up is just a killer.

And Jarre's music is wonderful

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 01:11

Career Arcs

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Serious insomnia has me reflective and then, torn between Google Reader and Youtube, having headed to YouTube.

Initial thoughts took me to the Shakespeare scene from 'My Darling Clementine', but there is also a posting of the 'Barber and Church Dance' sequence as well, and I noticed one commenter has my reaction, that the short dance sequence is one of the most romantic scenes in movies.

Before I go into why I agree let me, I think, re-post Steven Spielberg's wonderful desctiption of his meeting with John Ford:

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This contains at least a couple of interesting points: one is that Spielberg from early youth wanted to be what he so successfully became. But the most entertaining is Ford's focus on the location of the horizon. Details like that and the direction of trains (really!) are things that mark his movies brilliantly. He was really quite the aesthete, though maybe it's better to say he was a guy with a superb aesthetical sense.

OK so now we proceed to the Church Dance . I suggest this approach.

Go to about 7 minutes into the cut, where the dance has begun. There is a cut to Henry Fonda and Cathy Downs at about 7:08. The next two or three seconds are just brilliant; Fonda's Earp remains rather formal, and Downs' Clementine seeme eager to engage. Where's the horizon? At the very bottom and barely to be noticed - the focus is all on these two. Cut away to the dance, with mcuh raucous pleasure, and cut back to Fonda and Downs and she is now clapping and he is clearly thinking a lot. She is initially looking at him and he stiffly forward; as her eyes move, he checks her out. Cut away and cut back and he throws his hat away and asks for a dance. She eagerly strips off her jacket and hands it to him and he drapes it very formally over an arm and they head into the dance.

Horizon stays about the same, a sort of Monument Valley-scape at the bottom.

Now to the dance floor. It's the new marshall so special things happen, and he and his woman get floor for themselves. Whereupon he has some pretty entertaining moves, though all still pretty formal; but those leg kicks he injects I did not notice from the other dancers earlier. It's way cool!.

Note that the horizon moves up when they arrive on the dance stage; moreover, sadly, the background Saguaros do not look all that real. It is now a little less about them alone in the framing and they dance, with ironic commentary as this sequence finishes.

Those shots that get those two out on the dance floor almost always make me very emotional as I so identify with Fonda's character, and his struggle to reach out to Downs, as her character so clearly telegraphs her interest. And the difficulty of his decision. Though I cannot kick out the way he did once he got out on the dance floor. Of course this is all suffused with Ford's gentle humor.

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Almost all my favorite short movie sequences are from John Ford movies. He REALLY cared. In fact if you now disobey me and watch the whole sequence you should get some pretty good laughs about haircuts and colognes (honeysuckle!) (and a lot of humor and some great photographic framing).

I do not know how carefully Ford constructed these shots; I know Fonda inserted some improvisation wrt leaning the chair back and forth as they were shooting.

But the title of the post is 'Career Arcs' and the one that jumps out to me is Cathy Downs'.

I thought she was just fantastic in that sequence and what became of her? Well, maybe what she wanted, and we cannot know now.

But damn, I wonder. And those few seconds of hers with Fonda in Ford's camera will always be wonderful to me.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 August 2011 00:53

Best Laugh of the Day

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Besides some slightly goofy stuff  I do not recall from Irene's passage though NYC in the morning on CNN all that well. It was a bit of a media or CNN bust (though I would gaze for hours at Soledad O'Brien in her hoodie and baseball hat).

But I am sure this made me laugh harder (and maybe some of it was from CNN).

Now I am not sure how much I agree totally with the point, and as someone who listened insomniacally during the night to some British or Australian philosopher about medieval philosophy, I prefer leaving the really tough arguments (what would God think if there were one and the like?) to others, but if Mother Nature were anthropomorphizable, I am not sure the problem is whether it is NICE or there is some other defect.

But I loved the line:

Folks, don’t anthropomorphize rotational fluid dynamics.

And to feminists and a bunch postmordernists, I'd add, don't anthropormize Math, or perhaps Gravity.

Amusingly, to me, I have a different position about cats and dog (wow, and dolphins, now that I have learned about conch-fishing). Once, upbraided by a friend of my wife that I was anthropormizing her dog, I pointed out to her that I was also anthropormizing her! Her response suggested a lack of amusement, but I thought it was a telling statement about our lack of respect for other species, and I still  do.

Mind you, rotational fluid dynamics are a different category.

And I think dogs and cats have only rudimentary understanding of those.  Dogs can catch Frisbees, and cats apparently not so much, but I think the difference is that cats are badasses like honey badgers and you could never explain to a cat what the point of catching a Frisbee is; after all Frisbees are rather indifferent to being tortured to death.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2011 16:14

Turow on the DSK Case

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He captures I think all the essentials and I rather like his conclusions.

He is overall positive, as I think I am on all counts, of Cyrus Vance, Jr`s management of the case.

But as a professional matter, both as a former prosecutor and current criminal defense lawyer, I give Mr. Vance passing grades. The most dubious decision he made was to bring an indictment so quickly, rather than taking more time to investigate. But even there, New York law forced his hand somewhat. Mr. Strauss-Kahn was in jail and Mr. Vance had five days either to seek an indictment or let Mr. Strauss-Kahn go. In hindsight, Mr. Vance should have tried to work out an arrangement with defense lawyers so that he could fully examine the background of the hotel maid, Nafissatou Diallo, especially since the wealthy Mr. Strauss-Kahn was bound to hire a team of investigators to exhaustively scrutinize her life.

He makes an important point that Law and Order makes at the start of every show, but is often not understood well.

The collateral damage to the career of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who resigned in disgrace from the I.M.F., was clearly unfair, but that was caused largely by his sensational arrest, which Mr. Vance had no choice about effecting. The prosecutor had received allegations, seemingly corroborated by the brief investigation at the crime scene, of a violent felony allegedly committed by a man about to fly overseas and place himself beyond the reach of any United States court. Any responsible law enforcement professional would have detained Mr. Strauss-Kahn and sought to question him and gather evidence, including DNA.

Turow recognizes the costs on all sides:

Mr. Vance deserves enormous credit for pulling the plug on a highly publicized prosecution, especially since he could foresee the political damage to himself.

And THIS I find quite an interesting point, as many L&O episodes inmclude a moment where a doubtful prosecution says `We`ll leave it to the jury`. I have always found that appalling.

And the standard that Mr. Vance and his assistants employed in deciding to dismiss the case is noteworthy and laudable. “If we do not believe her beyond a reasonable doubt,” the prosecution wrote in its motion to dismiss, referring to Ms. Diallo, “we cannot ask a jury to do so.”

Scott Turow is a great novelist, and that is how I mostly know him; but this was a very nice essay, from one lawyer who lives also off writing skills. Of course, this story is not over, but it seems to be out of the hands of the criminal law system, and from all I know, appropriately, despite my first readings.

When is his next novel out? I want to be the first put a library hold on it here!!

h/t Althouse

BTW - yes, two reputations may collapse because of this. S^&t happens.


With Layton's Ashes Presumably Disposed Of ...

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... though I am sure the execrable Ian Capstick might find ways to use Saint Jack to bother other reasonable people;

OK so I waited. I spent the afternoon today with a niece catching up on stuff and managed to spend many hours in downtown Toronto and NEVER notice any Laytonmania; this might seem odd to you but it is a simple fact.

So now some views of mine.

He was a political hack. Why does anyone think a politico is somehow to be revered; he has a career mostly defined by sucking away money from productive people and contributing to causes he likes, for obvious reasons ($$)?

I have held off on my version of this post but I think this gutsier one makes a lot more sense.

Jack Layton would have loved the media orgy going on in the wake of his death. He was a media whore. When journalists go on TV and call him Jack, that's a closeness born of hours chatting it up at every given opportunity, whether in the corridors of City Hall and foyer at Parliament or over drinks after work or at social functions were the paths of journalists and a certain type of politician cross. You cannot imagine a reporter talking about Stephen and probably not even about Bob, but to anyone with a camera or microphone, Jack was Jack. To his credit, Layton's love of the spotlight led to agree to be interviewed by unfriendly media. I was at Our Toronto Free Press in the late 1990s and I interviewed him about some youth who were squatting on private property and whose actions he was defending. I asked him about the condoms that were strewn on the floor of their trailers and tents and which some of the youth were sleeping on. He said it was very important for young people to have access to condoms, just as important as food. I sarcastically asked if the poor, dirty, malnourished teens who were illegally on other people's property could eat condoms or clean up with condoms and he huffed that "condoms are a human right." Such were Layton's priorities just 13 or 14 years ago. It takes a certain worldview to believe that condoms are as important to street youth as food and that they are, in fact, a human right.

Jack Layton manifestly tried to create the nonsense of the last week. It should not be remotely of any credit to him or his handlers. It was disgusting. I would be astonished if our current PM even allowed this sort of nonsense at his death. I hope I DO not get to find out but it is not a bad guess.

And there is a key point about this man - he has NEVER been on the side of good policies.

Canadian politics was more lively because of Layton, but his policies were atrocious. Where he successfully implemented them, they do harm. Where he pushed for them, he has changed the political landscape for the worst. Our country is worse off because of politicians like Jack Layton and those traits that are so admirable were put to work for ends that shouldn't be celebrated.

May God have mercy on his soul and may humility and honesty rain upon future discussions of Jack Layton's legacy. Charity is great at times like this, but not at the expense of truth.

There are deeper reasons why I have never really admired the guy; when I arrived in Toronto he as a councillor who seemed to be playing the game (go look at Wikipedia). The 'smears' against him do suggest a life that could be better.

The current media seem to think he should be admired for riding a bike at times..

Hey come take my picture!

My sole admiration for this guy, who I think was deeply, if misguidedly destructive, was for his energy clearly under the pressure of bad health.

But in the end he was promoting only harmful policies.

My guess is he had a charisma (which utterly escaped me - I always found him almost despicable) that will not be available to his party in the next election. And I hope they return to the wilderness they deserve with their stupid policies.

Last Updated on Sunday, 28 August 2011 15:23

The Nostril of Hurricane Irene

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One reason I quite love twitter - I can scan.

David Feherty Tweets, brilliantly (almost anything he says is good):

Heading out to the nostril of the storm. It's like the eye, but hairier.

I am not sure how much I like the image but it is a good one; I am pretty sure we will not see Irene's eye but we should see a fair bit.


Apologies - I Need to Go Away and Cry for a Bit - Dog Version

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I am indeed glad I read this bit it costs a little.

Yeah yeah I know about Grefyriars Bobby and check his statue out each time in Edinburgh.

When Tumilson's friend Scott Nichols walked to the front of the room to speak, Hawkeye followed, reports. "As Nichols prepared to memorialize his friend, Hawkeye dutifully laid down near the casket," Scott Stump writes.

But it is so nice, and not surprising really, that we can form such close relationships across species.


Christie Blatchford Needs No Help From Me!

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This stupid embarrassing week may finally end today; I deeply hope so.

I happily cited a Blatchford column, as did many others, as a great reflection of what they too thought but were reluctant to express publicly in the wake of the death of an NDP politician.

Because she and her publisher had the guts to publish what she wrote she got some reaction.

And here she responds. There is something about the left, and its recognition that it has no argument, only aspersion:

Curiously, many people, having offered savage assessments of my worth or rather lack of it, also summoned up a bewildering righteousness. As one guy said, managing to be both prim and coarse, albeit a bit funny, "I would call you a c---, but you sadly lack the required warmth and depth."

A man who said he was 84 years old ended his missive by calling me a bitch; when I replied (this was before I realized one should never reply to such notes) by noting that for an 84-year-old, his range of insults was remarkably limited, his answer back was beyond furious.

She is spot on about a 'dreadful victory':

But until recently, even the most strenuous objections or disagreements were voiced in civil fashion. What online appears to have done is give people a way out of the straitjacket of Canadian politeness. I'd never considered it that, but it's clear many did. How quickly we have gone from a people famous for apologizing to lamp posts, who say sorry when others bump into us, and how dreadful a victory.


Cheap and Gaudy

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I appreciate that Peladeau has enabled criticisms like this.

I am no major fan of Coren's religiosity, but he is spot on about the complete ridiculosity of the funeral today for Jack Layton, and its role as a substitute of religion for lefties. And Ezra is a GREAT performer.

Ezra is dead right too about this 'state' funeral; there is no state really engaged - it's a gang of NDP and lefty hacks. I have to admire Harper for his slick decision to make this a 'state' funeral in name. There is something funny about Ian Capstick getting a platform at all - he seems to me to have been around for twelve years and he still seems only twelve years old! And he seems as wise as a twelve-year-old.

I am glad it will all be over today. I am braving downtown Toronto this afternoon. No f^&ing orange on me anywhere, I promise.

Today is a national embarrassment that even such a silly country as this will recover from.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 06:56

Sara and Irene

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Poor CNN is not sure whether to try to get us to freak out totally over Hurricane Irene (or Tropical Storm Irene, or whatever it should be called) or to have some fun following Sara Sidner in the Tripoli tunnels in her golfcart and very fetching flash of midriff! (Which seems to me a deficiency in her flak jacket.)

Meanwhile CBC NN seems to take Obama seriously, likely the last news organization to do so. If you want an insult, CNN showed Napolitano and staff (FEMA staff), but know better than to bother much with POTUS.

This is proving to be a challenging summer; a few days ago I wondered what to do in a tornado watch. Now we will be probably on the fringe of a hurricane - we probably just get a lot of rain, but a LOT of rain is a pain.

There is a weird bracing dose of sense on CNN, though, as they warn us that small stones in high winds can be as dangerous as bullets descending from the sky, even shot by idiots celebrating some small triumph.

Go Sara. Don't go Irene!


Gouge Me, Please!

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Take a look at this astonishing picture in this NPR Report.

h/t Cafe Hayek where they ask what should be a rhetorical question:

All of which raises the question: when you and your neighbors are homeless, hungry, and thirsty following a natural disaster, would you prefer to rely upon the devotion to public service that allegedly motivates FEMA workers, or to rely upon the devotion to their own self-interests that undoubtedly motivates executives, workers, and suppliers of private companies such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot?

That this is not just rhetorical is a sorry reflection on how we are educated. But then, look at who thinks they are educating us.


Very Nice - Vodkapundit on Steve Jobs

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Utterly excellent.

And he remakes my key point:

From your Windows 7 all-in-one computer, to your Acer Timeline ultra-lightweight laptop, to your SanDisk MP3 player, to your Android smartphone or your Samsung tabletnone of them are made by Apple and all of them adhere to the vision of Steve Jobs.

That’s an astounding legacy, unparalleled except perhaps for Henry Ford.

Poor health is certainly what prompted Jobs to resign yesterday as CEO of Apple, Inc. Nobody knows how long he’ll have to enjoy his retirement — but he’s earned it.

In the midst of the Canadian media fawning over a political hack, it is appalling how little attention is paid to someone who made us all richer in so many ways.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 August 2011 06:35

Gaddhafi Not Totally Nuts

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Who would NOT be obsessed by Condi Rice?
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 21:25

Irene, Part 3

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CNN is scaring me.

I recall Hurricane Audrey (1957? my fondest memory of one of my grandmothers, who helped me not freak out that night).

I am just MAJOR concerned about the volume of rain. We shall see, Well, and power outages, of which I have had a ton lately


Irene, Part 2

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Chris Christie is clearing out. Now THAT scares me.


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CNN has me terrified! To quote CNN's "Chad" there is very little chance this will miss the US. Well, and we are not far enough away! But the description of NY City hazards are really scary.

Piers Morgan and The Woz

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I saw only a few minutes, and you know I am no great fan of Piers Morgan, but what a great idea to spend a lot of time with Steve Wozniak discussing Steve Jobs. I will try to watch one of the re-runs. The Woz is very refreshing, even if not dancing.

There is a certain grimness to all this discussion of Jobs, but I think it is good to celebrate what is so great about him while he is still with us. I love that I have not owned an Apple product since perhaps 1983 or so and still know what difference he made. Just a great and influential guy.


Very Bad Chevy Ad

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Chevy has agreed to sign up to make ads based on its support of the completely awful MLK statue about to be unveiled

I am appalled when I hear that

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that has produced this Eastern European style travesty.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 21:30

Pat Summit and What Part of NUTS Don't You Get?

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Tennessee Vols Women's Basketball Coach diagnosed with early onset dementia. Man, I forget stuff, and find myself testing myself constantly "What is the surname of that actor?" I do not always get the answer!

Hang in there, Pat!

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 14:02

Russ Delivers a Great Thank-you to Steve Jobs

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And it is a message I have at least implicitly (I think pretty explicitly) meant to say for how much he has enriched the lives of so many people on this planet - others pretty explicitly, me pretty implicitly since I own not a single Apple product. But I own lots of things he made a lot better by making the Apple ones that compete.

But he famously didn’t give consumers what they wanted. He imagined what they might enjoy wanting and then he gave it to them. Yes, he remade industries. But he did more than that. He changed the way we interact with information and music, the way we consume information and music, and the way we create it. It is hard to think of anyone who changed the fabric of so many lives in such a positive way. I say that as I write these words on a MacBook Pro, listening to Irish music via iTunes, my iPhone in my pocket. And of course his influence extends beyond the Apple products created under his leadership. Those products influenced the products of Apple’s competitors.

That last sentence is really hard for a lot of people to get so let me point to it. Steve Jobs made IBM's products better (I know personally), he made Microsoft's better, and he made all sorts of products from other companies better (and cheaper)!

It is easy to forget a lot of history in hindsight, thinking this was all obvious at the start. Nuck Schulz has a great column on how much failure has to enter into entrepreneurial success.

This sort of contribution is SO much greater than that of pompous politicians. And their fawning media.


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 12:31

Count on a Texan to Make me Mirthful

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h/t the always-entertaining Kathy

As I feel mostly cranky today about my Silly Little Country still. But then Texas is sort of the US, but also its own country in a way as it was for a while. And I can hardly think of anyone more characteristic of Texas' delightful contrarianism than Kinky Friedman as he endorses Rick Perry.

Yet, simply put, Rick Perry and I are incapable of resisting each other’s charm. He is not only a good sport, he is a good, kindhearted man, and he once sat in on drums with ZZ Top. A guy like that can’t be all bad. When I ran for governor of Texas as an independent in 2006, the Crips and the Bloods ganged up on me. When I lost, I drove off in a 1937 Snit, refusing to concede to Perry. Three days later Rick called to give me a gracious little pep talk, effectively talking me down from jumping off the bridge of my nose. Very few others were calling at that time, by the way. Such is the nature of winning and losing and politicians and life. You might call what Rick did an act of random kindness. Yet in my mind it made him more than a politician, more than a musician; it made him a mensch.

Friedman captures a lot here, and for me a bit of it is that whatever reservations I had about W, he was also a mensch, and I think it would be very hard to characterize the current POTUS as such. In fact as Friedman continues:

These days, of course, I would support Charlie Sheen over Obama. Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay. Obama has been perpetually behind the curve. If the issue of the day is jobs and the economy, Rick Perry is certainly the nuts-and-bolts kind of guy you want in there.

No comment.

Who remembers Friedman's slogan in his gubernatorial run in 2006? It was pretty good.

I have sure had my reservations about the current GOP field, and maybe this helps me a bit, not that I get to vote. And thank God I cannot be blaimed for the 2008 outcome!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 10:10

Jobs Steps Down

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I have almost always been against his company, and alway impressed as he won.

I do think this is a good sign.

UPDATE: I Am pretty sure I meant a not in the middle of sentence above.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2011 09:57

Tweeting Personalities, cont'd

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I follow Olivia Wilde on Twitter as well - she is 'Thirteen' (I think also Remy Hadley) on 'House MD', and very strangely gorgeous, and getting a lot of work lately.

But I think she just called her followers honey badgers, which is an excuse to post this wonder:

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I regret to report this, especially to Olivia Wilde, but I am not now, nor have ever been anything like a honey badger. But I sure hope she finds her honey badger; I half suspect she is a bit of a one herself.


If You Are Canadian

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... and watch the official TV network, you might know a bit about weather, but not much else except that a Canadian politician is still dead.

Meanwhile reporters worried about their lives in a Tripoli hotel are freed. And in tears, and because they now know they may well live past tomorrow.

Markets still bounce around, with effects on millions of lives that continue. Serious and impoirtant effects.

What an asinine weepfest this is.

Maybe my attitude about being dead (I won't care anymore) is a bit off. But it is mine.

The media is not hopeless. Canada's BNN has kept reporting market news, so thanks CTV! Cable is such a savior!

Some parts of this silly little country remain on track.


Bizarre Tweet from @laura_payton

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In re: the Layton casket arriving on Parliament Hill.

She writes:

There's something about covering grief, which by all rights should be private.Families of public figures are so understanding about it.

She almost sounds as if the Layton retinue are getting unwanted attention! This attention is not simply tolerated, but clearly (from the letter alone) craved. This is not John-John saluting, uncomprehending, in 1963.

So I agree, Laura, shed a tear for family and friends, but do not apologize for intruding.


Sarah Sidner's Outfit

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Her helmet and jacket are really cute; she should have worn that outfit in Mumbai.

And she has a very good sense of how risky all this brain-dead celebratory gunfire is.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 09:55

Tweeting Personalities

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I do not quite get tweeting yet; I feel most confident when simply re-tweeting, though I have no current philosophy of what I ought to re-tweet versus what to ignore.

But I find tweeting apparent personalities fun to compare with blogging and other revealed  personalities.

I love following Kady O'Malley, for example; I particularly liked her chipper documentation of her Halifax vacation over the last many days. Her vacation personality matches the chirpy political reporter as well. Then of course, this personality rather matches her on-air and blogging presences too.

And I have found to my astonishment (and I am not sure why) that Russell Crowe has one of the most charming tweeting presences I know, and he has always seemed a little surly in live self-presentation, though I suspect I may not have got him accurately. He is a delightful and apparently ready re-tweeter, and now charms me. It hardly hurts that I have thought him, with Johnny Depp, the greatest actors of this generation (hey, does Depp tweet? I have not seen anyone retweet him while Crowe is a guarantee).

In the opposite direction I confess to being really disappointed that a blogger I have really liked reading, Matthew Yglesias, almost seems nasty on Twitter. I cannot pinpoint it but with more than 140 words he can clearly allow himself a little more nuance than his tweeting permits.

Communication is one tricky business.


CBC Breaks to Melissa Fung in Washington DC Earthquake Zone

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And she says "It was apparently 3.7 miles deep; I am not sure what that is in Kilometres".

OK let me get this. CBC has a correspondent in Wahington DC. She would be expected by me to know our system of measurements, and realize that she was functioning in a different one in DC. It is NOT a job requirement of the CBC to routinely convert between the measurement systems for the people they send outside the country?

Oh wait it's the CBC. I should have realized.

I hope they will pay her speeding fines for when she cannot convert speed limits.


DSK IS Being Freed

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... or has been, and it does seem rightly, in the sense that a prosecution could not be sensibly pursued.

Seems I can make the same mistakes as Cy Vance, Jr.

I'm guessing the civil suit will be settled, though if DSK is in a really BAD mood, he may want to discourage this sort of stuff.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 14:05

A Memory of Some Past Political Debates

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Well, of one, in which the candidates were asked to say something nice about an opponent; I cannot recall whether the question identified the candidate opponent. I recall many things - Elizabeth May's flustered inability to produce a sincere statement of any kind.

But I do recall that Stephen Harper, in what was clearly a generally painful debate for him, produced the only answer that seemed credible to me of all the responses. He was praising Jack Layton's commitment to his beliefs (NOT remotely Harper's beliefs) and his energy. Whatever else I might post, I agreed with THAT assessment.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 August 2011 14:06

What Goes Up

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What is with it with all these bare-headed idiots shooting bullets into the air in Tripoli? Do these morons think bullets just float way? Stuff comes down. I wonder how many casualties can be accounted for that way.

I am pleased thaqt CNN's Mumbai veteran has her helmet on.

And I'm thinking her flak jacket may end up useful too among such stupid people.


Class Versus Crass, Current Canadian Edition

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PM Harper (I assume he owns this decision) decides on a state funeral for late Canadian politico, who essentially slandered him in a dying statement, crafted apparently by NDP hacks.

The letter is full of such sophistry as “We can restore our good name in the world,” as though it is a given Canada has somehow lost that, bumper-sticker slogans of the “love is better than anger” ilk and ruthlessly partisan politicking (“You decided that the way to replace Canada’s Conservative federal government with something better was by working together with progressive-minded Canadians across the country,” he said in the section meant for Quebecers).

The letter is vainglorious too.

I think class matters, and so does crass. Blatchford is right to implicitly contrast not going gentle into that good night to vainglory.

As Chretien put it with such wonderful accuracy, knowing the brand of narcissism that drove him too, Layton was a 'working politician'. Not a saint.

A silly little country is the one I have chosen.

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November 24 2010