Where were you 40 years ago?

Pres. Trump does it again; marks a new low with yet another gong show of a news conference

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of Pres. Donald Trump and his whole gong show re: Charlottesville. He is not up to the job of uniting Americans during crisis situations or showing the least bit of moral leadership, and today was yet another example. Anyway, enough of him.

Wonder Woman to win the summer box office, now over $400 million!

Here is an update on what has been happening at the box office. I guess I should update people on the latest news about Wonder Woman

News is that Wonder Woman is now on track to win the domestic box office for the summer months, overtaking Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with a haul now estimated at over $400 million. It also is a record haul for a movie with a female director (Patty Jenkins).

In related news, Wonder Woman cleaned up at the Teen Choice Awards yesterday, with Gal Gadot winning  for Choice Action Movie Actress.

In other box office, Annabelle: Creation won the weekend with a haul of $35 million.

And there is some news from the set of Deadpool 2. The movie starring Ryan Reynolds has been shooting in Vancouver and there was a lot of local excitement about it last week, with lots of TV news coverage about it and so on. Unfortunately, the news is all bad today because a stunt woman has been killed in an on-set motorcycle crash.

That’s all for today.

Today’s Charlottesville mayhem is the latest bad news out of the U.S.A.

My vacation was ruined again when I went on Twitter and saw the news of all the carnage in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a rally full of these disgraceful white supremacists and other Alt-Right idiots turned violent when a maniac plowed a car into a group of people who were opposing what was going on. 

Here is some of the Twitter reaction to what went on, below.

This all happened on the same day the news broke that former NHL coach/executive Bryan Murray died

I don’t feel like posting any more tonight. My mood is pretty similar to that of reporter David Akin, who is also trying to be on vacation. His post is a reminder that as bad as the news is today, things could be a lot worse.

Big news from SK: Premier Brad Wall announces he will be stepping down

I may be out of province at the moment, but even here in the Okanagan I was able to follow the live streaming continuing coverage on CKOM radio of Premier Brad Wall’s announcement that he is retiring, effective when a new leader of the Saskatchewan Party is chosen.

This news comes the same week that the Saskatchewan Party marked the 20th anniversary of its founding, when four Liberal and four PC MLAs left their parties to form the new entity. The party didn’t take power, however, until after Wall became leader. 

Honest reaction: this is the end of an era — a great era of life in Saskatchewan. No doubt, Wall will go down as one of the province’s great Premiers, and as one of the most skilled politicians the province has produced, right up there with names such as Diefenbaker, Douglas and the like. Unlike so many other big-name politicians in this province, who’ve seen their careers end in defeat, Wall is getting out while still on top. Good for him. 

And now a leadership race is on, but don’t ask me who the next Premier is going to be. This race looks wide open.

North Korea is now threatening Guam!

Oh, darn it. Now the news is North Korea is threatening to strike the US territory of Guam, according to an announcement from the state-run news agency. 

This news comes after U.S. Pres. Donald Trump’sfire and fury” talk in response to North Korea. I guess this means I’m tuning in to South Korea all-news channels tonight to watch their news anchors freak out again.

I’m trying to be on vacation, but it’s really hard to stay away from the news.

Tulsa, Oklahoma still cleaning up after the weekend’s tornado

I am currently tuning in the coverage online from Tulsa of the aftermath of a tornado that struck overnight on the weekend in the city. It sounds like a lot of businesses, including food joints like TGI Fridays and Whataburger, got hit hard. It sounds like multiple tornadoes hit, including an F-2. Worse yet, it happened at night when most people were sleeping, so many people didn’t expect this.

It’s really unusual for this sort of thing to happen in the month of August in that part of the world. Usually it is around May when the massive tornadoes happen there and all the storm-chasers are descending, and August is known more for hurricane activity than tornadoes. But I suppose it can happen any time. Of course, my own home province was hit by tornadoes last month, but those steered clear of the major cities. Ones in Oklahoma tend to hit the populated areas — ask the residents of Moore, OK about their experiences in particular.

I can’t imagine life in a place like Oklahoma, which every year is threatened by tornadoes hitting populated areas. Wildfires are far easier to deal with, in my opinion.

Box office: a little under $20 mil domestic for The Dark Tower

Here is the weekend box office news with word that The Dark Tower finished in first place with a relatively modest $19.5 million domestic haul, edging out two-time defending weekend champ Dunkirk. Meanwhile, Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow continues her trend of making great movies that nevertheless aren’t big box office winners at the movie theatres as Detroit, set in the ’67 riot year, finished with $7.25 million. 

Hey, it’s now August. Nobody should be surprised by these sorts of numbers.

The Roughriders are awful! Everyone in SK wants to fire Chris Jones!

Yesterday, I tuned in the Saskatchewan Roughriders inept 30-15 loss to the BC Lions while dining on ribs at the Chances Kelowna casino lounge. Despite the location, the place was filled, absolutely jam packed, with expatriate Riders fans. But they had very little to cheer about all game until backup QB Brandon Bridge fired a couple of nothing touchdowns in the final minutes. 

Honestly, this whole game was a disgrace. Riders QB Kevin Glenn was terrible with his turnovers, and the offence was dull and predictable and did absolutely nothing until the game meant nothing. The only player who seemed to still be giving an A effort was Duron Carter. Everyone else mailed it in for their big CFL paycheques, paid for in full by Riders ticket holders.

The Riders are now two full games back of the final playoff spot, and have started off this critical five-game stretch of games against Western opponents by laying a big, fat, green egg. 

This team has proven it can beat the mediocre and bad teams, like Hamilton or Toronto, but they are also rapidly proving they aren’t in the same class as the good teams in this league. By the time these five games against BC, Edmonton and Winnipeg are over, this Riders squad will be so far out of the playoff race that I’ll have no further reason to watch the remainder of this lousy season — even with the changes the league has made this week to cut down on the amount of coaches’ challenges in the games. The only drama left will be figuring out who will be fired at the end of the season. 

I’ve given coach and GM Chris Jones the benefit of the doubt to this point, but honestly, I’m ready to join the chorus of people in Saskatchewan who think he should go — him and a few other people in the Roughriders organization. Sustained success? Ha! Sustained losing is more like it.

That’s my rant! And now, back to my vacation here in the smoke zone.

California bar exam might become “easier” (!) (?)

Read this story that they are thinking of making it easier for potential attorneys to pass the California bar exam. 

Based on the tone of the coverage, you would think what California is considering doing is “lowering their standards” to allow more of the “loser” lawyers in. 

Becoming more reasonable is more like it!! It seems the real problem in California is not that the bar exam is particularly a more difficult test than the ones elsewhere; it’s that they set an unreasonably high pass score for people to clear, way worse than almost all the rest of the ‘States. 

Honestly, I don’t see what the deal is with California’s bar examiners; it’s not as if the law there is particularly harder to understand as opposed to the rest of the United States. It’s not as if their laws are even all that different. And yet, it’s so much more difficult to pass the California bar! Someone who flunks in California could put in the exact same effort in most other states and pass on the first try, and they’re able to practise law. Yet California feels this “macho” need to have a ridiculous “get-tough” bar exam that flunks so many people for no good reason. 

The only rationale I can think for having such an unreasonable bar exam is to keep out potential competition for the practitioners already there! But any aspiring lawyer already knows there’s lots of better places to be than California, because their taxes are through the roof. Really, the tax rates alone would be enough to drive most lawyers to Texas or Arizona instead — that, and the wildfires. Anyway, I don’t get it. 

Maybe common sense is finally prevailing in the Golden State with their bar exams; then again, common sense is not something you particularly associate with the legal profession and how it operates.

UFC: Jones wins, Bisping vs. St-Pierre back on, and more news from the week

Well, I was hoping to post this UFC news update earlier in the week, when the real news was all happening. Now, I’m posting it on the same night as a Fight Night 114 card from Mexico City. Anyway, updates on that are here.

Frankly, all the real news happened last week in UFC 214, when Jon Jones KOed Daniel Cormier in round 3 to win back the light heavyweight title. Jones is now saying he wants to be a better champion than he was previously, when he was suspended due to drug use. I hope so.

And we hear the Michael Bisping-Georges St-Pierre bout is back on. It was on, then it was off again, and now finally it’s a go in New York this fall at Madison Square Garden.

Meanwhile, we’ve been getting news about who will be on the card for UFC 215 in Edmonton this September. The main card includes Demetrious Johnson versus Ray Borg and the co-main is Amanda Nunes versus Valentina Shevchenko. But of course, everyone is unimpressed with this second matchup because these two were supposed to be the main event at UFC 213 in which Nunes mysteriously chickened out of appearing in, dropping due to illness (supposedly). So nobody really trusts Nunes to actually show up. We’ll see; if Nunes skips out on a fight again, boy, will the Edmonton fans all be mad.

It sounds like the UFC fight in Edmonton is selling lots of tickets locally, but pay-per-views might be a different story. The main issue is it’s competing for attention right now against this overhyped circus act that is the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor boxing match on Aug. 26. That is where the real interest is among fans, but I dunno why we all care because it’s still a joke. The latest news from that is that McGregor’s sparring partner has quit, apparently disgusted with the buildup to the bout.

That’s all; now back to watching the Mexico fights.

Hello from beautiful, smoked-out British Columbia

Hi, folks, I am on location in British Columbia reporting from our blog’s “West Coast bureau”, where I have been attempting to be on vacation for the past number of days. As you may have heard, this whole province is on fire! We have been getting no end of smoke here in the Okanagan region, including just this morning when you walked out the front door and couldn’t see the mountains again because of the haze, and couldn’t breathe because of the smoke in the air. This whole place is stinking hot and smells like firewood.  

The blazes are mainly happening elsewhere in the province, but even this region hasn’t escaped it; a fire broke out on Knox Mountain in Kelowna a few days ago that was quickly doused, which is believed to be arson.

The reports are that this is the worst wildfire situation in BC in almost 60 years. I believe it. And the bad news is the state of emergency here has been extended. I hope things improve soon in the province, because it is hard to breathe here in this situation.

Trump strikes again: immigration reforms announced

President Donald Trump today introduced his plan for a merit-based immigration system. That is the good news. The bad news is he also wants to lower the number of legal immigrants coming into the USA. All in all, this is not impressive, and it is sure to be another tough sell with a Congress that is having no end of trouble with one Trump policy after another. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina had his comments on Twitter that pretty much sums up what we can expect, and that is yet another fight between Trump and “the Swamp”. Don’t expect Trump’s immigration proposals to go through in one piece, folks.

Trump White House tossing people at a rapid rate, and more News from Nowhere

Welcome to News from Nowhere for what is a hot Tuesday night where I am at the moment. Obviously, I have a lot of catching up to do here, because it seems like every day brings some new drama, some new piece of chaos, involving the White House of Pres. Donald Trump

On Friday it was the departure of Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff, to be replaced by John Kelly. Then on Monday, it was the end of director of communications Anthony Scaramucci after just 10 days, following a profanity-laced tirade in an interview with a reporter. 

Now, I guess the latest thing people are mad over are these reports that Pres. Trump weighed in on his son’s misleading statement to the press about Russian interference in the election. Anyway, it is still chaos there in D.C., but as far as I can see all the chaos mainly has to do with the White House staffing and the President’s political enemies in the “Swamp”, I mean Congress. It does not have much to do with his actual policies at the moment — which are getting no traction anyway, mainly because the White House is gripped with self-inflicted paralysis. 

Anyhow, maybe this guy Kelly will impose some order and get the Trump agenda back on track. But this really is a soap opera – not a “reality show”, a “soap opera”, because there has been way too much “drama”. There have been too many “leaks” and too little “governing” getting done.

The governing had better start getting accomplished, because the world is looking to the USA for leadership right now in dealing with North Korea. A few days ago, Kim Jong-Un’s absolutely crazed regime fired another missile, this one capable of hitting the continental USA, and everyone is freaking out that North Korea’s lunatic antics will trigger World War III. And of course, too many world leaders and governments are sitting on the sidelines doing nothing. Something has to be done to stop this maniacal regime, right now, because they are a danger to all civilization. 

Then you have Venezuela, a place formerly known for oil and for winning beauty contests around the world, but which now is rapidly descending into third-world chaos and economic and political ruin. The hard-left Nicolas Maduro regime held their sham referendum on the weekend designed to turn that democratic country into a total one-party dictatorship (ie. Cuba). Now, the place has erupted in deadly violence, and the USA is imposing sanctions. Etc. Etc. What a mess. 

And once again, the question is: where is the rest of the world here? Sitting at home, for the most part, again. 

  • Other news of note: CBC’s The National will have four people fronting its revamped newscast this fall to replace Peter Mansbridge. Believe me, folks, the CBC needs at least that many people to explain the insanity going on elsewhere in the world to Canadians. 
  • Also going on: it seems Calvin Ayre recently settled his outstanding criminal charges against him in the USA for operating his Bodog online gambling empire. Ayre is interesting because he is from, get this, near Lloydminster, Saskatchewan! He has gone on from that to a life living large in the gambling business in the Caribbean, but you never hear about him in Saskatchewan. I guess the locals don’t consider Ayre to be one of them. Anyway, with this settlement Ayre can finally show his face on American soil again. 
  • In sports, good news for LA, they are getting the Olympics– in 2028
  • Finally, I notice the Tampa Bay region was socked by Tropical Storm Emily, a storm that served as a good reminder to folks in Florida that, hey, it’s Hurricane Season now and you need to be prepared. Yes, no major Cat.3 or above hurricane has made landfall there in the USA in some 4300 or so days, but it came really close with Matthew, and Sandy made a mess before that, and it would not surprise me if this is the year the luck finally runs out. Heck, luck seems to be running out on several fronts at the moment.

That is all I feel like doing. A reminder to myself to post soon about (a) the BC forest fire/smoke situation, and (b) the UFC, as there has been some news that Bisping vs. St.-Pierre is back on. More later.

Box office: The Emoji Movie is a pile of ____! $25.6 mil for an 8% Rotten Tomatoes movie!

We are now almost done with July and with “summer blockbuster season”, and you can tell because the lousy movies are now showing up to blight the cinemas now.

This weekend was a box office battle between Dunkirk and The Emoji Movie and it was Dunkirk that ended up first, for the second weekend running, by roughly $28.1 mil to $25.6 mil. 

It’s incredible The Emoji Movie did so well given how appalling the reviews were — so much so that entire articles are being written about why this piece of junk did as much business as it did. By all rights it should have done no better than $10 or $15 million, based on the reaction to it.

In fact, a few days ago this awful flick was running at zero percent at Rotten Tomatoes. But I guess a few idiot movie critics were desperate to get themselves quoted in ads for this movie, so they gave it positive reviews and it’s now up to eight percent

Honestly, this is the type of movie that you could tell would be awful just looking at the trailers. My guess is that the people who made it must have thought “you know what? Hollywood got away with making The Lego Movie, and it even got positive reviews, so we couldn’t do any worse with The Emoji Movie!” Uh, right.

In the meantime, I can’t believe this total pile of ____ actually did better than Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde, which ran fourth with an approx. $18.5 million haul. That is sad, ladies and gentlemen. Not enough North American moviegoers have taste, clearly.

June Foray, voice of Rocky, Natasha, Granny and countless cartoon voices, dead at 99

Oh, darn it. It seems fitting that the moment I go on summer vacation is when I get the news that legendary cartoon voice actress June Foray has died, age 99

I have fond memories of spending countless summer afternoons and Saturday mornings tuned in to various Jay Ward and Warner Bros. cartoons, all featuring Foray’s voice. And you know, as a kid I was ridiculed by my classmates in school for liking Rocky and Bullwinkle, but in the long run it turned out I was the one with the good taste. These cartoons are now considered classics, and Foray was pretty much the star of those shows.

Foray was the top female cartoon voice artist of all time, that is pretty much accepted. She was the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, and also did lots of work for Warner Bros., starring as Granny in the Tweety and Sylvester cartoons, and as Witch Hazel opposite Bugs Bunny. And those were just the most famous roles — she voiced a ton of characters over the years including ones you may not expect, like Cindy Lou Who in the cartoon version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

My generation definitely had it better than this one when it came to cartoons, that is for sure. Anyway, RIP June Foray.

NASCAR Pinty’s Series is on tonight in Saskatoon!

Hi, folks, it’s another big day for sports in the “306”. On the heels of the big soccer friendly in Regina, this evening we have the traditional midweek NASCAR Pinty’s Series race in Saskatoon, the Velocity Prairie Thunder. Or should I say “races,” because that’s what it is tonight: two 100-lap races instead of the 250-lap single race they had run there previously. 

Honestly, I don’t think I like this new format; they’re basically splitting the race in two and giving us less racing from these NASCAR pros on the track. In between, they will have some race nobody cares about involving these Super Late Models. I’m not interested in that, I want to see NASCAR.

There are a few big names racing tonight: Alex Tagliani, Andrew RangerD.J. Kennington (who raced at Daytona), L.P Dumoulin and defending Pinty’s Series and Saskatoon champion Cayden Lapcevich, to name a few. The live NASCAR Home Tracks updates of all the action from Wyant Group Raceway can be had here.

Dunkirk leads the way this weekend, topping $50 million

The summer movie season is showing signs of winding down soon as Dunkirk debuted this weekend to $50.5 million at the domestic office, good for top spot.

This Christopher Nolan effort has been getting rave reviews for the most part, however, and is being touted as even a potential Oscar contender. So I expect it will do good business for a while, especially since there isn’t going to be a ton of major competition over the coming weeks. 

But this movie has not escaped the usual politically-correct controversy: some idiotic, widely-ridiculed review ran in USA Today in which a movie critic said this movie had (a) not enough women, and (b) not enough people of color!

Aaargh! Could someone tell this critic that this was World War II, and that these were Brits who were being evacuated? As well as the French, and the Belgians, and even Canadians, among others? Anyone who has any knowledge at all of World War II knows that during that particular time there were no women in combat roles — lots of them were instead drilling rivets into fighter planes and doing other such jobs — and few people of color. At least, not in that part of the world. This wasn’t the Pacific, this was Europe, for $&@! sakes, man! World War II!

My advice to these uptight Americans is: if you are bent on seeing women or minorities in a war movie, watch something about the Vietnam War or some other conflict more to your liking, because clearly Dunkirk is not for you. Honestly, folks, what a joke. What a farce.

In other box office news, Girls Trip hauled in $30.4 million while director Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and supermodel Cara Delevingne, crashed to $17 million. 

That’s all.

PC-Wildrose merger and WSOP Main Event final table highlights Tweets from Nowhere

I don’t feel like doing a News from Nowhere today. I’ve been way too busy working this weekend, so here are some of the Tweets I’ve posted or re-Tweeted over the last 24 hours:

And finally, I didn’t tune in to any of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ 27-10 loss to the Calgary Stampeders yesterday, which is just as well.

That is all for the moment.

Valencia-Cosmos update

I am currently tuned in to audio feed of the Valencia-Cosmos game online and following what is going on with the match updates on the Cosmos website. I guess the audio is not in Spanish after all, but Valencian. No wonder I can’t comprehend it, then.

Honestly, folks, it sounds like the Sask. fans are sitting on their hands there – no singing or chanting, nothing. Just polite clapping. I’m surprised, because Sask. fans are infamous for being loud and rowdy.

Based on what I see on Twitter of the stadium “pitch”, I am not impressed! There are lines all over the field! Now you know, Regina, why Toronto FC fans were whining so loudly when the Toronto Argos moved in as co-tenants at BMO Field. Those soccer fans there were deathly afraid there would be football lines all over the field, just like what you are seeing at Mosaic Stadium today! And it really does ruin the look of the soccer pitch. Couldn’t they have figured out something beforehand to get rid of the lines for this game? Heck, they figured out how to do it in Toronto. 

(Update: on further inspection it looks like they did try and paint over the lines. But they did a lousy job, you can still see all the lines all over the field.)

It is great to see this “beautiful game” in Regina, but it looks like Saskatchewan still has work to do to get the hang of this strange “soccer” sport yet.

Life in Sask.: Soccer takes over Mosaic Stadium, Regina

Welcome to an increasingly rare “Life in Saskatchewan” post. Obviously, the big story today is supposed to be “Soccer Day in Saskatchewan” as Valencia CF takes on New York Cosmos in an “international friendly” at the new Mosaic Stadium. 

I wonder whether there is any real excitement out there for this game. Seriously, all the usual-suspect radio stations were ignoring this contest all week (even though over 15,000 people will likely be there) in favor of their usual nonstop overkill reporting of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who take on Calgary Stampeders later tonight on the road. 

Meanwhile, up here in the Battlefords, all the interest is in the Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame inductions event happening tonight (which I am covering). So a lot of SK folks aren’t paying attention to this soccer game, even though it is apparently the very first international friendly ever played in Saskatchewan. Which tells you all you need to know about how off the beaten track Saskatchewan is as a major soccer venue.

The other thing is that there is a lot of talk out there about this new “Canadian Premier League” that could be starting up after the 2018 World Cup. There is a group interested in putting a pro franchise in Saskatchewan, a group that includes Lee Genier, former president of the lacrosse Saskatchewan Rush. But when these guys appeared on CKRM the other day, a lot of the questions were “how can you expect to compete against the Riders?” You get the picture.

Now, I love the CFL like everyone else in Sask., but I also like a range of sports. Personally, I’d like to see the other big-time sports make their way to Saskatchewan, so I’d be all for this “Canadian Premier League” setting up a team in the province. But they really ought to put it in Saskatoon, simply to avoid the ‘Riders.

Anyway, back to this Valencia CF-NY Cosmos game. SB Nation has this piece previewing the game. You can also go to the Valencia website and see their stuff here and here about their trip to Regina. Also, they have lots of videos of the team coming to Regina. Great stuff. 

The game’s audio is also being streamed live on the Valencia CF website. Don’t worry, you unilingual English-speakers; you’ll still be able to understand what’s going on, particularly when somebody scores a goal. “Gooooooooooooooal!”

Also, you’ll be amused by the announcers’ pronunciations of Canada, and Regina. “Re-gee-na!”

Now, back to the “real news”: Sean Spicer quits as Trump’s WH press secretary 

So, it was interesting seeing all this hand-wringing in the press about the O.J. Simpson parole hearing coverage yesterday. People were declaring it “fake news” and were positively alarmed that it was upstaging the “more important” news going on — in particular, all this daily nonsense surrounding President Donald Trump and the White House, most of which makes O.J. look like “serious” news in comparison.

What these folks failed to realize is O.J. was always going to be a one-day story. You have all the other 364 days of the year to focus on Trump, today being one of them.

And what happened today is that long-embattled White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned, after new Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci was hired. The story here from “failing” “fake news” CNN.

Deja vu: O.J. Simpson goes free, again!

Yes, I tuned into this whole “parole hearing of the century” coverage earlier today in which a panel in Carson City unanimously granted O.J. Simpson his parole from Lovelock, Nevada prison.

It is almost like this was the “last stand for the media” in covering this Simpson story today, they really did go hog wild on this, with live coverage everywhere. They even had a guy from the AP briefing reporters outside the jail on what happened! The media will surely also go hog wild covering his release this October, as well. 

Anyway, the next stop for O.J. after he leaves Lovelock is Florida, where he will no doubt field multiple offers from TV news organizations for exclusive interviews. Why do I get this feeling that O.J. will end up doing his first interview with Megyn Kelly?

The news tonight is that John McCain has a brain tumor

The big news broke earlier tonight that Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. He had surgery earlier this week for what was said to be a blood clot discovered during a routine checkup, but it sounds like they also found cancer with it. It appears the cancer was taken out and McCain is out of immediate danger, but this is an aggressive cancer with a low survival rate. It sounds grim. 

Also, the political implications of this are huge — the GOP cannot afford to lose John McCain in the Senate. Not that anyone down there in D.C. really cares about that at the moment, they are all praying for his health. Anyway, this is not good news; I just thought I would pass it along.

O.J. Simpson set for “Parole Hearing of the Century” on Thursday

The big hearing on whether to grant parole to O.J. Simpson for his armed robbery antics gets under way tomorrow in Carson City, Nevada. 

Already, the media hype for this is through the roof, and this is going to be televised on multiple networks and news channels, including on ESPN. People are calling it the “Parole Hearing of the Century.” 

Except, this has to do with his armed robbery-kidnapping convictions in Nevada. This has nothing to do with the murder case in California that captured the public’s attention and for which Simpson was infamously acquitted. No, this is about the boring sequel that was set in Las Vegas, albeit one with a better ending,

Count me as one of the cynical people who thinks the parole board will set O.J. free come October; he’ll be in jail nine years by then, which is a long time for this sort of crime. Others like Gregg Jarrett think the parole board ought to let O.J. rot in prison. And maybe he should, because there is no guarantee that “the Juice” will stay out of trouble. Heck, look what transpired when that jury in southern California allowed him to go free.

But the thing is: these killings in California that Simpson was accused of have no bearing on this parole decision. And the jails in Nevada are overcrowded anyway, so I think Kato Kaelin is right: the Juice will probably be set loose. So brace yourselves for the worst, all you O.J. haters out there.

Controversy over Trump Jr., health bill fiasco, and wildfires dominate News from Nowhere

Welcome again to News from Nowhere. The big fiery controversy over the last week has been Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous meeting with the Russians.

Honestly, I have not been paying too much attention. It still looks like a big fishing expedition by President Donald Trump’s opponents about collusion with Russia over the election. Moreover, I was preoccupied with covering Canadian politics last week. 

I covered the New Democrats leadership debate and interviewed candidates Niki Ashton and Guy Caron, both of whom campaigned in my area, and had no time for any of this usual Trump nonsense we have come to expect on an almost minute-by-minute basis out of the USA.

Now, I understand the repeal of Obamacare is on hold again, after Sen. John McCain fell ill and after a couple more senators pulled their support. Anyway, this is more misery for a miserable White House.

Other news: Venezuela is a mess. The opposition held this big plebiscite against the Maduro regime in that crumbling country, opposing the government plans to scrap the Assembly and rewrite the Constitution. Now the Trump administration is threatening sanctions. What a state of affairs there.

Here is an update on the BC wildfires that are still burning and blanketing western Canada with no end of smoke

In other news from the “Left Coast”, their new NDP government has been sworn in.

Also, here is the latest on that near-miss by that Air Canada flight at San Francisco last week.

In sports news, Friday marked the last of those four Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor “world tour” events in London, promoting their upcoming boxing match. The prevailing impression I got was that people were finally tired of them.

In TV news, Game of Thrones is back and has shattered HBO’s ratings records.

In other TV news, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota has quit Twitter

Finally for now, here are the Emmy nominations.

That’s all for the moment.

Movies: Apes reign supreme, Martin Landau dies, and Charlize Theron sexes it up in Atomic Blonde

I have a lot of movie news I want to get to today: 

First, it was a big weekend for cinematic chimpanzees as War for the Planet of the Apes won the domestic weekend box office at $56 million, beating Spider-Man: Homecoming which fell all the way to $45 million. I guess “franchise fatigue” didn’t show up last week for this latest re-booted Spider-Man movie, but it sure did this weekend with a 61 percent drop. Also, while it was a decent showing for the Apes, it was still lower than the $72 mil opening for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

In another astute observation that any chimpanzee can figure out, CNBC reports superheroes are single-handedly saving the box office. (Note: it appears Wonder Woman may win the entire summer box office race now.)

Personally, I don’t think I am all that enthusiastic about the Apes. What I like are the spy movies, and I’m definitely interested in this Atomic Blonde movie starring Charlize Theron, who is being billed in the trailers as the “female James Bond”. (I thought Blake Lively was supposed to be the next “female James Bond“; whatever.)

This Atomic Blonde movie is going to be hot stuff, apparently. Charlize has a big sex scene in the movie in which she makes out with another woman, and Charlize was quoted as saying “I just loved it.

Well, well, well. Atomic Blonde rolls out July 28th.

In other actress news, I read this piece in TMZ about the movie Quentin Tarantino wants to do about the Manson murders, in which the sister of Sharon Tate said she prefers to see Margot Robbie cast in that role instead of Jennifer Lawrence, saying Lawrence isn’t “pretty” enough. 

Well, that statement got the usual uptight people upset, yet again, but the cold hard truth is she’s right! The hard reality is that anyone playing Sharon Tate is going to have a tough act to follow in any event because, let’s face it, the real live Sharon was absolutely, incredibly gorgeous. She really was/is a timeless beauty — and taken way too soon.

Anyway, I think Margot Robbie is about as good as you’re going to get to play Sharon Tate, because she is gorgeous. That’s my vote, and too bad Jennifer Lawrence.

Finally, I don’t know about you but I was quite despondent to hear the news that Martin Landau had died this weekend.

Of course, he had appeared on Mission: Impossible and Space: 1999, but he also saw his career revive years later when he appeared in movies like Ed Wood, playing the legendary Bela Lugosi. That’s probably my favorite Landau role of them all. Later, he was in Entourage playing producer Bob Ryan.

That’s all for the moment.

WSOP Main Event playing down to the final table tonight

This is it! The $10,000 World Series of Poker Main Event is playing down tonight to a final table, we presume, at the Rio in Las Vegas. It is down to 18 players as I speak; the last nine survivors will then reconvene for the final table which happens, uh, later this week on Thursday and Friday, and not in November as was the case previously. Updates here.

As an aside, it has been totally frustrating trying to follow this freaking WSOP all freaking summer! First of all, instead of the WSOP providing free livestreams on their site for the fans as they did in the past, they consigned it to PokerGo which expects people to pay $10/month for their feed. No way am I paying for that waste of money, I’ll watch the non-WSOP poker feeds on Twitch instead! Second of all, I am mad at TSN because instead of showing the two hours of ESPN’s WSOP coverage that was scheduled for Saturday, they instead showed the same Wimbledon tennis match on four of their five channels. Canadian poker fans who had waited all year to watch the World Series of Poker Main Event on TV ended up with a grand total of 18 minutes of WSOP action on Saturday on TSN! 

So, once again, I’m furious at Canadian sports-television programming decisions, and mad at Canada for having to live here and put up with second-rate TV options, etc., etc. Even the Mexicans have it better than us, folks! There, that is my rant about that, now back to watching the WSOP coverage on TSN. At least they’re showing some of tonight’s coverage!

Update (Tuesday): the final table is now set!

Evacuation order has just been issued for Williams Lake, BC 

Mayweather and McGregor keep it classy in Brooklyn. Not!! 

I had nothing better to do this evening (All-Star Break still on, etc.) so I tuned in the latest Floyd “Money” Mayweather- Conor McGregor world tour/circus act from Brooklyn. 

Folks, what a gong show. First, I guess everyone showed up late. Then, Conor was using all this foul language (ie. “s@ck my d!ck”, etc.) and then was hurling racial insults by saying he was “half black from the belly button down”, and gyrating up there on stage. Really, he was awful. Meanwhile Floyd was going around saying Conor was a “b!tch” and a “quitter”, and he showered Conor with dollar bills.

As for the fans in Brooklyn, it was yet another boo-fest, but this time they focused their booing mainly on these guys in the suits who went up there and were giving their boring statements about the fight. What a waste of time that was. Instead, everyone wanted to hear the trash-talking from Conor and Floyd, which turned out to be not worth waiting for, anyway. 

The commentators were of course hyping this up and saying how interest in this fight was “insane”, but I’m beginning to wonder if it is us, the fight fans, who are the insane ones for following this and supporting this absolute nonsense. Boxing used to be a dignified sport, to some extent anyway, but this display in New York was so beneath even the WWE’s low standards that I almost feel like apologizing to the WWE. 

The bad news is that these two fools have one more of these to go, in London. Or maybe this is good news to you, because this is surely entertaining, all right. In a bad sort of way.

A dull day in sports is livened by today’s Mayweather-McGregor hypefest

Folks, it is the baseball All-Star Break, traditionally one of the deadest weeks in the world of sports. So unless you are a Wimbledon tennis fan, the biggest news today was the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Conor McGregor world tour press conference in Toronto for their upcoming boxing match, a bizarre affair in which Conor carried Floyd’s bags while Floyd carried around an Irish flag.

From what little I tuned into, it sounds like the fans there were mainly cheering McGregor and booing Mayweather. Anyway, the sooner all this fight hype ends and the fight itself begins, the better.

BC is being ravaged by wildfires: 14,000 evacuated

The big story on the west coast, and frankly throughout much of Canada, is the rapidly escalating forest fire situation across British Columbia. The number of fires has escalated and more places are seeing evacuation orders, including 100 Mile House. Williams Lake is particularly a hard-hit area. In total, 14,000 residents have been forced to flee, with reports of 220 fires. I understand the western U.S. States are also getting hit hard by fires at the moment.

Of course, my family is in Kelowna, BC, and while they aren’t living in the impacted areas of these particular blazes, nevertheless there was a big fire that levelled a condo build there on the weekend. Yikes!

Here are some of the Tweets that I re-Tweeted about the situation over the last few days:

All in all, this is not a good situation. What is worse is that I’m meant to be in BC next month for what is supposed to be a vacation. 

Hopefully, that is still what it will be: a vacation, and not yet another news story that I will be in the middle of.

Spider-Man: Homecoming. Domestic box office: $117 million bucks!

Here are the reports from Deadline: Hollywood about the winning weekend for Spider-Man: Homecoming, the latest “reboot” of the Spider-Man movie series, which opened to a massive $117 million domestic for Sony plus another $140 million internationally

Obviously, “franchise fatigue” is certainly not impacting Marvel in any way, shape or form this summer, based on these latest numbers.

Marilyn Monroe’s dress was in Luseland, Saskatchewan today!

The big, exciting news in Saskatchewan today was a dress. I am not kidding. In small-town Luseland today, they were showing off the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore on the famous night when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy way back in 1962. 

The dress ended up being put up for auction last year, and now it belongs to Jim Pattison who owns it at a price tag of $4.8 million. Today, they had the dress on display at the Luseland community hall for free for the local folks to see there.

Given some of the media coverage you would have thought it was Marilyn herself who was in Luseland today. Personally, I would have been far more excited if it was her there, actually, since I’m a Marilyn fan of long standing. I would have been waiting in line for hours for an autograph. Alas, it’s simply not to be.

Interesting stuff.

My movie column, about how tired everyone is of all the sequels this summer, is now up!

Heat wave in so. Cal.! 120 degrees coming to Coachella Valley!

It’s summer, and as someone used to being frozen stiff during the extreme pit of winter, I am amused at all the stories of boiling hot weather in these places in the southwest USA that normally are pleasant the whole rest of the year. 

According to this report the heat wave hitting Southern California is going to ramp up by Friday and likely break records. Temps are to hit 120 in the Coachella Valley! 

You know, right now where I am, a lot of people consider our weather here to be “hot”. They ain’t seen nothing yet.

July 4th ruined by North Korea test-launching of an ICBM

Happy 4th of July, all of you Americans. So, do you still think President Donald Trump is nuts? Clearly, it looks to me like he is simply trying to keep up with the world’s other leaders in that department. 

Leaders like the guy currently in charge of North Korea, whose country just successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching American soil. Namely, Alaska.

I am looking at all this news and feeling powerless about this whole situation. This character Kim Jong-Un is out of control.

By the way, I spent late last night watching live news coverage from South Korean all-news TV, just for fun. While I understood next to nothing of what they said, I did understand the graphic on screen that read “ICBM”. Even with the impossible language barrier, I could tell just from watching the feed that South Koreans are freaking out over this latest threat. My question is: why isn’t the rest of the world?

Fox Sports in turmoil: Jamie Horowitz fired, writers out the door etc.

It is bad times at Fox Sports. Today, they fired their head man Jamie Horowitz over apparent sexual harassment allegations. It also looks like Horowitz has hired a lawyer and is preparing for a big fight over this. This latest news is just a week after Fox Sports canned 20 of their writers as they turned their website into one that is video-only content.

This latest whacking of writers is what I care about the most, because it come on the heels of the other well-publicized bloodbaths at ESPN and elsewhere. Quite honestly, I don’t like this move by Fox Sports at all, and I don’t like what’s going on at ESPN, but my opinions as a consumer never seem to matter. I notice Clay Travis of Outkick the Coverage did a huge screed in which he analyzed whether this is the death of sportswriting as we know it. Travis basically lays the blame on the business model of getting ad clicks, saying it’s a broken business

So, where the heck are the fans expected to get the latest scoops, now, on what trades are happening? From thin air? I guess the teams and leagues have their own writers who can supply this information on their websites, but in my mind a lot of their content is less about sports news and more about “propaganda”. 

It seems to me there is still a big demand for “insider” information (as the recent NHL and NBA free agency coverage has proved) from these sports media outlets. Instead, we are getting “debate shows” with hosts arguing the merits of LeBron James every week. We’re seeing the likes of Skip Bayless being shoved down peoples’ throats — who, by the way, was a prime Fox hire by Horowitz, along with fellow bigmouths Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock

As far as I can tell, there is overwhelming fan sentiment against seeing any more of Bayless, or Stephen A. Smith or any of their ilk! Yet these sports media organizations somehow believe this is what will make them money! In fact, ESPN is getting totally roasted today for foisting Stephen A. on the fight fans during their boxing coverage the other night.

Something’s out of whack, all right, when fans are being prevented from getting the content they actually want! That is all.

Maria Menounos leaves E! News due to a brain tumor 

Once again, it’s mostly all about that maniac Trump in News from Nowhere

Welcome to News from Nowhere on what is the Canada 150th holiday weekend here at our base of operations, and so I am trying desperately to take a break from the news for a few short days. Unfortunately, the news is not taking a break from me.

President Donald Trump made the news this week, which surely must be a big surprise to everyone. You know, this ought to have been a great week for the President. His big “travel ban” was reinstated, sort of, by the Supreme Court. Moreover, all these “Russia election collusion” allegations against him are coming up very short on evidence. The credibility of the entire media took a colossal hit after word that three CNN staffers resigned over an online story about Russia ties that was retracted.

So, yeah, it turned out to be a big “I told you so” week for the Trump administration.

But then Trump goes right ahead on Twitter and blows it by getting into a feud with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and his future wife Mika Brzezinski on Twitter again! Trump doesn’t know when to quit!

See, this is the real problem with the Trump administration: no class. And also, a lack of humility. If Trump had simply displayed a little more class and, actually, far more humility, things wouldn’t be such a gong show down there in D.C. and Trump might actually be able to get on with most of his agenda. But he simply insists on enraging people, no matter what. This is what the real problem is here, not Russia or any of that. 

Now I understand he’s sent out another Tweet this morning about CNN. Something to do with wrestling, I guess. Seriously, Trump needs to leave Twitter immediately, this is beyond embarrassing now. 

In other media news from the week, Greta Van Susteren has left MSNBC after only a few months of her new show. The word on the street – or, more precisely, from the White House – is it’s because she didn’t want to join in the Trump-bashing on her new network.

Other news from TV: Canada held its 150th anniversary celebrations this weekend and the big one in Ottawa was covered by the CBC, with Peter Mansbridge hosting for the final time in his last on-air appearance before his big retirement. 

Speaking of milestones: Pam Anderson turned 50 on July 1!

Let’s see, other news:

Oh, there was another huge cyberattack this week, with Ukraine particularly hard-hit. This is getting to be a real nuisance.

In sports news from Canada, Edmonton Oilers’ enforcer from their Cup-winning days, Dave Semenko, has died.

It was a big weekend in Canadian Football as the Saskatchewan Roughriders held their home opener at their new stadium. Unfortunately, they also found a way to lose in OT to Winnipeg, 43-40.

While that game was happening, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. found a way to win a crash-fest of a Coke Zero 400 race down in Daytona.

And in a big freaking boxing upset, Manny Pacquiao was decisioned by Jeff Horn to lose the WBO welterweight title! Unbelievable.

There was movement in the NBA this week with Paul George going from Indiana to the OKC Thunder. 

Meanwhile, Blake Griffin is staying with the Clippers.

And I notice TSN had their NHL free agent frenzy coverage, as usual.

Finally, the box office report: $75 million for Despicable Me 3 whose numbers came in below expectations, as the storyline of this summer — the lack of enthusiasm for the usual sequels and retreads — continues yet again. 

That is all I feel like posting today. Now, back to the holiday goofing off for yours truly.