It’s Thanksgiving in the USA (thank goodness)!

Hey, folks, something to cheer about, finally! It is Thanksgiving in the USA! Hopefully, now we will finally get a brief respite from these never ending stories about crazy President Trump and American politics, or about sexual harassment scandals (I guess Charlie Rose was the latest to get whacked) and related nonsense. I understand even the LA Kings mascot is now in trouble for groping. It really is a gong show there right now.

Maybe, hopefully, we might also get a respite from the recent flood of news about deaths of famous people. Hopefully, no one famous chokes on their Thanksgiving turkey today. That would surely ruin the day for us all.

The only stories I want to see for these next four days are stories about football and about Black Friday deals. That’s it!


Lots of deaths to report: David Cassidy, Charles Manson etc. etc.

What a last few days for deaths of well-known people. Here is a brief rundown:

First, notorious mass murderer Charles Manson. Dead.

AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young. Dead.

Della Reese from Touched by an Angel. Dead.

And just today, David Cassidy of Partridge Family fame. Even though this was widely expected, I feel the same way about this death as the day Gary Coleman died: my childhood has died today.

So I’m sad about David Cassidy, and these other deaths, but I’m not sad one bit about Charles Manson. His big mouth from jail has finally shut up at last. It’s the “down” escalator for him.

That’s all.

Update: Mel Tillis is also dead.

Tweet tweet tweet! Spent the weekend working; occasionally watched important sporting events (CFL, NASCAR, etc.)

I have no life at the moment and therefore I have no time to post, so instead here are Retweets of important happenings from the weekend, starting with the ‘Riders

And then NASCAR

Finally, news about the box office egg laid this opening weekend by Justice League.

That is all.

Now the latest Justice League – Rotten Tomatoes update

Al Franken learns the hard way: don’t mess with Leeann Tweeden

To be honest, I’m really trying to move on from the sexual harassment hysteria that has gripped the US media lately, but it’s hard. There are just too many stories.

What started with Hollywood has now found its way to US politics. First, there is all this Roy Moore news that threatens to sink his entire Alabama Senate campaign. Now there is the big story today that Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed and groped a woman without her consent.

Turns out the accuser was my girl, Leeann Tweeden, former host of Poker After Dark!

So if she’s accusing Franken of this stuff, it must be true, right? What’s more, there was even photo evidence!

Anyway, Franken has apologized. Also, Leeann happens to be buddies with Sean Hannity so he had a field day with this.

Latest Hollywood outrage: Rotten Tomatoes is holding back the Tomatometer score for Justice League!

There has been a lot of controversy out of Hollywood lately. The latest scandal/outrage, one which is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, is that film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is holding back on reporting the Tomatometer score for Justice League.

The word is they want to hold off reporting until Thursday, after they reveal the score on their Facebook Live streaming show See It/Skip It.

The conspiracy theorists aren’t convinced; they think this is all a plot by Warner Brothers, who own a stake of the company that owns Rotten Tomatoes, to keep the world from knowing how bad their Justice League movie really is until after everyone’s already paid for their weekend tickets. (The movie rolls out Friday.) Because if the world knew how bad this movie’s Tomatometer score was, the fans might not pay money to see it!

As it turns out, the Rotten Tomatoes score was leaked earlier today by accident on their Flixster app and surprise, surprise, it’s not that good: it’s 48 percent! Rotten!

So this latest DC Extended Universe effort is not off to a good start; still, it will probably make a ton of money anyway because everyone is in love with Wonder Woman, who is in the cast.

From what we are seeing, critical consensus seems to be that director Zack Snyder is the one responsible for making a hash of this movie, but the end product is still better than Batman v. Superman.

Thor: Ragnarok now up to $650 million worldwide!

Italy is eliminated from the World Cup! Unbelievable!!!

It seems like the qualifying for the World Cup 2018 is going to end up being more exciting than the Cup! Unbelievable result today in qualifying action:

So with this result, Italy is out of the World Cup for the first time since 1958, and Gigi Buffon’s international career comes to an inglorious, tearful end.

And you thought it was humiliating for the USA when they were eliminated?! Those folks in USA soccer can feel less bad about their own misery, now that four-time-champion Italy is out. Those players must all feel like crawling under a rock.

I wonder how the Azzurri fans in Toronto must feel! Every four years, Toronto’s Little Italy district goes nuts cheering for Italy in the World Cup. Their bars and restaurants would always be packed during World Cup Games, and then the fans would take to the streets to wave the country’s flags after they win.

But with the Italy team sitting at home while the other soccer powers are playing in Russia, what is it going to be like in Toronto in the summer of 2018? Totally dead, that is what I imagine it will be.

Roundup of the latest political coverage by yours truly

So, folks, I thought I would share some political news stories that I have covered over the past little while. You know, I sometimes forget that I cover politics for a living; last night I tuned in to the Virginia and New Jersey election coverage (both smashing victories for Democrats) and was going “gee, I wish I were covering politics for a living!”

Well, I am!! Just this weekend, in fact, I was reporting on a political convention. The governing Saskatchewan Party held their policy convention in Saskatoon and I was there for the farewell tribute to Premier Brad Wall, which included a special appearance by none other than commentator Rex Murphy, as well as the debate involving the five candidates running for the party leadership to replace him.

What’s more, the Prime Minister has just called a federal by-election for my area and I have been frantically tracking down any information I can find on nomination races and other stuff going on. Bottom line is, I’m proud of this political coverage and hopefully it’s getting an audience somewhere.

Here are some of my political stories from the past few days.

First, my coverage of the SaskParty convention.

Second, my coverage of the by-election in Battlefords-Lloydminster.

Third, my profile of Conservative nomination candidate Richard Andrew Nelson.

Fourth, my profile of another Conservative nomination candidate Ken Finlayson. Although, I guess, he’s not a nomination candidate anymore because the party is now refusing to let him run. That news just broke today.

Back to provincial politics for a moment. This fall, I have been doing interviews of all the various leadership candidates as they have campaigned for support in the region. Here are my profiles of SaskParty hopefuls Scott Moe, Gord Wyant, Alanna Koch and Ken Cheveldayoff. Also, the NDP is also holding a leadership race; those candidates are welcome to talk to us any time.

Finally, and just for fun, here is my story on the elevation of Herb Cox to Cabinet last week, as well as my John Cairns Leg Watch column focusing on the Question Period answers by our two local area cabinet ministers in response to what is being thrown at them by the NDP opposition.

This weekend, the federal Conservatives will be voting to select their candidate to run in the by-election, so I am going to be covering that. Also this Saturday, I am scheduled to cover Remembrance Day ceremonies as well as a provincial championship high school football game. Hopefully, I won’t freeze to death covering the contest.

In other political happenings — can you believe tonight is the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump being elected President?

It’s a sad day in sports. RIP Roy Halladay.

It’s a terrible day for all Toronto Blue Jays fans. For that matter, it’s also a terrible day for Philadelphia Phillies fans, and fans of all of baseball. Legendary pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in a plane crash off the coast of Florida today at age 40.

To give you an idea of how big a story this is in frozen Canada right now, the sports networks have all interrupted their usual hockey coverage scheduled for this hour, and are providing nonstop coverage of Halladay’s death. It’s almost as if the prime minister has died. Well, that’s what Halladay meant to the team — he was basically prime minister of the Blue Jays, for years. He carried the team on his back. He also pitched that post-season no-hitter for the Phillies. And now he is gone.

Here is some of the reaction on Twitter to this news today. RIP Roy Halladay.

National anthem update: Vin Scully swears off the NFL

Welcome to yet another “National Anthem Update” on this latest NFL Sunday. As it turns out, people are still mad about all this kneeling before the anthem going on. The latest to voice his disgust: the beloved legendary retired LA Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully.

Scully declared he will never watch an NFL game again because of all the disrespect shown to all the armed forces with this anthem nonsense. Well, this is easy for him to say, since he is retired and therefore does not have to worry about losing his job for telling it like it is. Scully also would probably prefer to watch baseball over football anyway.

But it shows you how rankled people still are about the issue. As an aside — does anyone else notice that you are not hearing nearly as many negative comments directed at baseball lately? Maybe it is because Major League Baseball and their players (who come from all over the world) have done far less to tick off the fans than the NFL lately.

More USA mayhem: at least 26 dead in church shooting in Texas

Last word on the Astros’ World Series, and more NFL woes

The 2017 World Series is over and it turned out to be a great one, going the full seven games. Actually, when you think of it, it was great for only one team: the Houston Astros. It seemed like all the great moments broke in their favour when it really counted, during those close game two and game five late-inning situations. As for the LA Dodgers, they suffered too many pitching meltdowns at the worst times, with Yu Darvish wilting under the seventh game pressure to give up five runs in the first two innings. I had just come out from a reporting assignment when I turned on the car radio and learned the Astros were already up 5-0. The game was pretty much over right away.

So, a team that was this decade’s version of the ‘62 Mets only a few short years ago has made it all the way to the top, and they truly did build it from the ground up. (Toronto Blue Jays, let this be a lesson to you.) This Sports Illustrated cover from 2014 called it, with George Springer ending up as series MVP with all his home runs.

Anyway, the major league baseball season is over, and as far as I am concerned it should be over, because in my part of the world this whole place is cold and covered in snow! When that is the weather outdoors, you know it is time to move on to the winter sports.

This World Series ended up getting big ratings across the board, with TV ratings in both LA and Houston through the roof. This follows the epic 2016 World Series won by the Chicago Cubs, which also went seven full games and dominated the ratings.

Moreover, that crazy Sunday night 13-12 game on FOX that went 5.5 hours clobbered Sunday Night Football on NBC. You know, it wasn’t that long ago that it was the NFL beating Major League Baseball in the TV ratings, and everyone was writing the stories about baseball’s lack of popularity and so on. Needless to say, these good World Series TV ratings are great news for baseball. As one commentator on the Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN) had said, you don’t want to see baseball go the way of boxing or horse racing.

And it’s more bad news for the NFL, which continues to suffer from lousy ratings and empty seats all over America, in particular in baseball-mad Los Angeles. But it is also going on in places where the NFL is supposedly popular.

All this kneeling-during-the-anthem political protest nonsense continues to plague the reputation of the league with sports fans. Now I notice even advertiser Papa John’s is complaining about it and claiming their pizza sales are down because of this controversy! That prompted their arch-rivals Pizza Hut to counter, saying the controversy hasn’t impacted them. So take that, Papa John’s. (Actually, I think maybe they wanted to stir up some free publicity for themselves by saying this.)

But there is no doubt the ratings are down, and there are now stories that networks like ESPN might pull out of their expensive NFL contracts. There are stories circulating about how Thursday Night Football is diluting the overall ratings. And the rumors are on that the owners, led by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, might dump Roger Goodell as commissioner.

To which my response is: good! Let’s see what a new commissioner is capable of, because there has been a litany of problems under Goodell’s watch: concussions and franchise free agency among them. Anthem protests are the least of the issues.

Another sad day in the world: terror truck attack in New York

Here we go again. This bad news takes all the fun away from Halloween.

Hollywood flops again! Suburbicon crashes to $2.8 mil weekend!

It has not been a stellar fall, or for that matter year, for Hollywood at the box office. Come to think of it, it’s been a bad year for them in every way imaginable, not just at the box office, but what happened to Suburbicon this weekend kind of is the exclamation point to all of what is happening.

Directed by George Clooney and with screenwriting from the usually-good Ethan and Joel Coen, and starring Matt Damon, Suburbicon crashed to a $2.8 million domestic weekend opening to be one of Paramount’s biggest flops of all time. Bad reviews and bad word of mouth all contributed. Of course, it is amusing to see the reaction at Breitbart who are enjoying seeing that big liberal Clooney go down the drain at the box office, not to mention the rest of Hollywood.

No doubt, fatigue with liberal politics has got to be another big factor contributing to this overall, effing box office debacle. Any time you see the name George Clooney associated with any production out of Hollywood these days, and you automatically think “politics”. At which point, most ordinary moviegoers run to the exits. But beyond Clooney’s involvement, I think the real problem is that going to the cinema to watch this movie simply did not look to most people like it would be the best use of roughly two hours of your life.

Is there any good news left for Hollywood?

Yes: November is two days away. Things ought to pick up at the box office this month, surely (Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, etc.).

Paul Manafort among the Mueller indictments today

Like I said, it was not a fun day to be President. Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indicted, George Papadopoulos pleads guilty as the first charges come in the Russia investigation.

Pres. Donald Trump had better not fire special counsel Robert Mueller now, or he’ll be in a big heap of trouble.

It sure has been a bad day to be President.

Catalonia declares independence, and more News from Nowhere

Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Saturday, and for once the leading story has nothing to do with the Upset States of America. Instead, it has to do with the Upset State of Catalonia.

Yes, after weeks of drama, Catalonia voted yesterday to declare independence from Spain in a parliamentary vote, and now all of Spain and the EU is in an uproar.

The Spanish government has since dissolved the Catalonian parliament and sacked the separatist leader there, and taken over control by stripping the region of autonomy. All in all, this is not looking good for Spain. Frankly, the Spanish government have looked like thugs in the way they have treated Catalonia and tried to smother dissent there, with their propensity to send in the troops and so on.

This has some big implications for me personally because of (a) implications for the like-minded nationalists in Scotland, and (b) implications for the like-minded nationalists in Quebec! To me, what is going on in Catalonia looks like a dress-rehearsal for what could happen in both those places if they ever tried to pull a stunt like this and tried to declare independence. As for the EU, they say they are against Catalonian independence. Anyway, there is a lot about this story that I need to brush up on.

So that’s what is going on in Europe. Back here in North America, Pres. Donald Trump’s administration is in trouble again. Their release of the JFK assassination documents is being upstaged by news that a federal grand jury has approved Robert Mueller’s first charges in the Russia probe.

In other news, the sexual-harassment hysteria that has swept the United States in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations continues. Others are caught up in the fallout: over 300 women have accused Hollywood screenwriter/director James Toback of one awful thing after another.

And there are more revelations about political reporter Mark Halperin and his awful behaviour. Now, Ken Baker of E! is being accused, too.

Is there any good news out there at all? I guess not, because ESPN is going to have layoffs. Again.

“Aaargh!” You know, at one point in time ESPN was a place a lot of us guys in the media business aspired to be at one day. We all thought it was a “dream job”! Unfortunately, the dream is dead for all of us. It’s sad.

That’s about it. I think I am going to tune in to college football now, which inevitably means one thing: tuning into ESPN feeds whether I want to or not.

Taylor Field — R.I.P.

Today is a sad day in Saskatchewan for all football fans.

This is the day the main grandstand of Taylor Field comes down in a controlled demolition. The wrecking ball has already been applied to most of the rest of the stadium, so it has already been a slow and sad goodbye. What’s left of the west grandstand is already pretty much dismantled anyway. Still, this marks a major moment; this day basically marks the end of the stadium. This is the same grandstand where I saw my first Roughriders game in 1983, and for that matter, my last one last year.

A viewing area is being set up nearby to allow people to view the spectacle in Regina live. Maybe Gainer the Gopher will be there.

I notice CBC Saskatchewan will have live coverage of this today on Facebook: the demolition of the grandstand is meant to happen at 1 pm Central time. That’s 12 pm for our audience in the Pacific time zone. (Update, 12:53 pm – I notice News Talk CJME radio is now live-streaming.)

I personally don’t think this particular demolition will be nearly as exciting as the demolition/implosions of Texas Stadium or the Kingdome, or of any famous Las Vegas hotels recently (ie. the Riviera). Still, but it is bound to be no less an emotional moment for all CFL fans who’ve loved the Saskatchewan Roughriders over the years.

Later tonight, the Riders take on Montreal at “new Mosaic Stadium” in the return to Saskatchewan of legendary former Riders QB Darian Durant.


Update, November 21: as good as the Taylor Field takedown was, it has nothing on the implosion of the Georgia Dome.

Upset States news: Democrats hand one to Trump, and Bush 41 in trouble 

Here is a very brief “Upset States” update for this week, and the reason it will be brief is because I am literally sick and tired of reading about all the nonsense that goes on down there in that miserable country.

First, the Democrats and in particular the Hillary Clinton crowd have handed a win to the Trump gang with news that this Trump dossier business with Russia was all cooked up and funded by them. What a disgrace; it’s dirty Clinton politics as usual. No wonder the Trump people are mad. The Democrats look really bad over this report.

As for Pres. Donald Trump, this bad news for his opponents comes not a moment too soon because a few GOPers are quitting on him. The latest is Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who is leaving politics because he is fed up with Trump’s policies and political style. 

And of course, there is no end to all this sexual harassment piling-on in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, with the accusations now flying everywhere at literally everyone. The latest to be accused: none other than wheelchair-bound former Pres. George Bush. (!) (?)

Also, Megyn Kelly was busy this week trashing Bill O’Reilly.

I don’t feel like writing any more on this. Now, time to watch the World Series.

UPDATE: Oh, man. Mark Halperin now in a heap of trouble for sexual harassment.

Hey, disgruntled NFL fans: there’s always auto racing on Sundays!

So, the story out of the NFL is there are still lots of fans who are disgusted with all the politicking going on, with no end in sight to this national anthem nonsense, and they are sick of the lousy play and refusing to fill the seats at stadiums. 

Hey, you fans, here is an idea for Sunday afternoons: why not watch auto racing instead? Today at Austin, Texas was the United States Grand Prix on the Formula 1 circuit. Heck, even the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders were there! And so was Bill Clinton! The race was won by Lewis Hamilton who now has a huge lead for the drivers championship, and it clinches the constructors title for Mercedes

I guess the real news for the day was that Max Verstappen was denied a podium finish after he was assessed a five second penalty for gaining an advantage by leaving the track. He ended up being kicked out of the room where the podium finishers had assembled; how humiliating is that?! Anyway, he and his team are mad as hell. There is never a dull moment in F1. Next race: Mexico.

The other big race today was the NASCAR playoff elimination race in Kansas that was won by Martin Truex Jr., but not before there was a huge car wreck that took out 14 cars from the field on lap 198, finishing off the Cup hopes of Matt Kenneth. Seems that in the aftermath Kenseth had to go into the pits for repairs, and it turned out one too many crew members came over the wall to work on his car, so he ended up violating some NASCAR rule and was disqualified. What a way to go out. I guess the other big news was that Kyle Larson was eliminated from the Cup due to an engine failure, which is a surprise after the big season he had.

I guess my point is that fans don’t have to be beholden to the NFL on Sundays. Yes, there are other options, and good ones. Boogity Boogity Boogity!

Happening now: tornado warnings in Oklahoma. In October.

I cannot believe this, I am watching a live feed from Oklahoma City TV right now of coverage of a tornado on the ground in Oklahoma. In October. Not May, not June — October

What a bad year this has been for weather on this side of the world, folks!!

UPDATE: An F1 tornado hit Riverwind Casino in Norman on the same night the Beach Boys were playing there, and KFOR TV showed the tornado touching down live on the air. Wild stuff.

Box office: Geostorm a disaster, plus the last word on Harvey Weinstein

I have been so busy the last couple of weeks that I didn’t get around to posting box office or even movie news like I normally do. 

I guess the biggest news is still the fallout from all this Harvey Weinstein sex harassment/ sex assault scandal. It seems like every day there is a new story where some actress comes out with some new accusation/revelation about Weinstein. (Sean Young was the latest one the other day.) And of course the piling-on is on, with a lot of other people getting caught up in this scandal just for making jokes about it: ie. James Corden, Al Michaels, etc. 

Weinstein has since been kicked out of the Academy and is now in sex rehab. From the reports, that hasn’t gone too well, either. 

Personally, I haven’t had a lot to say about this scandal because there really isn’t any more that I could add that has not already been said by other people. I guess my surprise is that Weinstein was able to get away with his behaviour for as long as he did, because the bad stories about Weinstein have been out there for a long, long time — and not just with these sex allegations. It’s also been his tyrannical way of running his business and treating people in general, all of which has been widely reported and written about for years.

I think what it really comes down to is the fact that he had the power and everyone was afraid of him — afraid that if they stood up to Weinstein and his behaviour, that their movie projects would be killed and their career hopes ruined. Plus, I also think a lot of rank-and-file people in the movie industry felt powerless to change the situation, so they put up with his nonsense regardless of how they really felt about it.

Now, I think a lot of folks in Hollywood have finally reached the point in their lives where they feel they’ve got nothing to lose anymore by speaking out against Weinstein in the press, and so that is why you are seeing what you are seeing now. Anyway, good riddance, Harvey Weinstein. I find it fitting that this whole Weinstein implosion happened the same weekend that the top movie at the box office was a horror flick called Happy Death Day. $26 million cool ones last weekend.

The story for this weekend at the box office is that it looks like it will be another big flop weekend. The latest bomb is Geostorm, a bad-looking weather disaster movie starring Gerard Butler about what happens in the future when the systems designed to control the climate all go haywire. This kind of looks to me like something right out of Roland Emmerich’s lousy The Day After Tomorrow, which was another weather disaster movie. That flick was terrible, and this effort looks similar to that. Bottom line is that Deadline Hollywood is reporting this movie is going to get clobbered. The expectation is this will rake in only about $13 million this weekend after costing over a hundred million to make. 

I notice Breitbart is having fun blasting this movie for its left-leaning propaganda storyline. The real problem for Geostorm that it is a victim of poor timing. Who knew that this flick would be scheduled for release immediately after a whole series of terrible real-world natural disasters? Earthquakes! Hurricanes! Floods! Moreover, the real-life damage was truly extensive. This is yet one more instance where real life is unfortunately far more harrowing an experience than any disaster movie.

George W. Bush socks it to Trump and everyone else with a pro-democracy speech

So, folks, ex-President George W. Bush gave his big speech today about the current state of democracy in the USA and around the world. Boy, did he have a lot to say about the white supremacists, and about trade, and about the policies of a certain Leader of the Free World who shall remain nameless.

After hearing his speech you have to admit this: for all the abuse Bush took during his time in the White House, with people ridiculing him and so on, he sure sounded today like far more of a statesman than the current joker in there now.

Update: Ex-Pres. Barack Obama also gave a speech in which he, too, sounded like a statesman compared to the imposter in office now. 

Hurricane news: Ophelia takes a trip to Ireland today

Hi, folks. I’m at home flipping channels between NASCAR and the NFL

Sorry for the lack of posts here about Harvey Weinstein’s implosion, or about Pres. Donald Trump and the Iran nuclear deal. I’ve been too busy the last several days on assignment. Now that my stories are filed I am watching sports on TV, including NASCAR from Talladega, as well as the NFL. The big story today is from the Green Bay-Minnesota game where the news is that quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone and is gone for the entire season. Yikes. Ouch.

Also, I’m trying not to care about the whole NFL national anthem controversy that has Americans so riled up. More later.

The last word on the USA crashing out of World Cup qualifying

Unfortunately for me, I was on assignment last night and therefore missed all the excitement and freaking-out that went on when the USA dropped their World Cup qualifying game to Trinidad and Tobago 2-1, which combined with other results eliminates them from next year’s Russia 2018. 

Make no mistake about it, sitting at home for the 2018 World Cup is a total disaster for soccer in the United States. This sport is still trying to go mainstream in the USA up against football, baseball and basketball. And the biggest platform it has in the USA is the national team’s appearances in the World Cup.

Without a USA squad playing at all in the Cup finals, which they have qualified for every year from 1990 on, who down there is going to tune in? This is a total disaster for FOX Sports, who are stuck with the rights to next year’s tourney. The business for US sports bars hoping to show 2018 World Cup matches to packed establishments, as usual, is up in smoke. This is a total meltdown on many levels, and anyone who says it doesn’t matter whether the USA is in or out needs to get their heads out of the sand. 

For the national team to not make it is a total humiliation, especially given that they play in CONCACAF which is chock full of unimpressive soccer nations. So for them to fail to get out of CONCACAF is akin to an NHL team failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, it really is that bad. Now, everyone is calling for everyone to be fired, from Bruce Arena on down. Soccer analyst Taylor Twellman went on an epic rant about it last night on ESPN. This rant is surely the most entertaining thing to be shown on ESPN in a long, long time — way better than all this latest Jemele Hill nonsense.

But you know, a lot of favorites are not going to the Cup in Russia: the Netherlands is one of the nations sitting home, too. I notice my ancestral homeland Scotland didn’t make it either. The fact is it’s tough to make it past qualifying and into the World Cup. 

Heck, ask soccer fans here in Canada. We’re used to this.

This is it! Opening night for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights! #VegasStrong

Well, folks, this is a big night for Las Vegas sports fans, as they finally become a major league city with the first regular season home game of the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at T-Mobile Arena.

Granted, it will also be a night to try and start healing after the mayhem of last week. There are a lot of #VegasStrong signs that will line the boards during the game tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. Hopefully, the Knights will give Vegas fans a chance to forget about things for a couple of hours at least. 

It sounds like all of Las Vegas is excited for this game tonight, just based on what I have seen on the live news streams from the Las Vegas TV stations. This is the lead story on all these newscasts there. The good news is people in Las Vegas will actually see the team play on TV tonight, now that Cox Cable has agreed to carry the channel showing their games. Unfortunately, I am going to miss the opening faceoff on TV here in frozen Canada in order to, you guessed it, cover another council meeting.

Movie news: Harvey Weinstein departs, and Blade Runner 2049 underperforms

Here is my movie box office update, focusing on Blade Runner 2049, although I guess the real news from Hollywood is that Harvey Weinstein was removed from The Weinstein Company over sexual harassment allegations. 

I suppose I am not surprised it has now come to this, because there have been endless reports for years about how tyrannical Weinstein was. I guess the other controversy that erupted was that Republicans were accusing Democratic supporters of trying to protect and save Weinstein, pointing in particular to big feminist attorney Lisa Bloom who briefly represented him. They were calling her a hypocrite for doing this. The bottom line, though, is the company’s board has fired Weinstein and may go so far as to take his name off of the company. Anyway, that’s that for him. 

To the main news from the weekend box office, the story is that Blade Runner 2049 has done worse than expected. Yes, it finished in first place, but the weekend domestic gross is only $31.5 million — way short of expectations, although the international opening grosses are going to be $50 mil. Honestly, I don’t get it, yet again, because the original Blade Runner was considered a classic! I thought there would be far more enthusiasm for this effort than what it turned out to be. Then again, what has gone on at the box office has confounded experts all year.

National anthem update: VP Pence walks out after anthem protests in Indy!

It’s Sunday again, and you know what that means, America. Yes, it’s time for yet more national anthem protests in the National Football League.  

This time, however, the happenings on the sidelines were upstaged by Vice-President Mike Pence. He was in the audience in Indianapolis where the Colts were planning a salute to their retired legend Peyton Manning

But then came the anthem, and a bunch of San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem, and Pence took the opportunity to get up, and leave.

The left-leaning political people promptly lost their minds on Twitter and called this move a deliberate political act by the Vice-President. Well, of course it is, but let’s face facts: Pence is simply keeping up with the players on the sidelines.

The Veep has free speech rights, too, you know — although I guess he was also following orders. 

Aren’t you fed up yet with all this “politics” nonsense? As for me, I didn’t tune in; I tuned in NASCAR instead. Good choice.

Nate threatens Gulf Coast. Aren’t you fed up yet with hurricanes?!

Well, another weekend, another hurricane. This time, it is Nate threatening havoc. The story here.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of hurricanes and sick of the bad news.

And I should say a brief word about the ongoing mess in Puerto Rico. I know the anti-Trump piling on has been going nonstop, but if you want some real honest reporting about that situation instead of this usual partisan nonsense, here is what Geraldo Rivera had to say. 

Latest numbers on the Las Vegas tragedy

So, the latest is 59 people have died, 527 injured. 

I have had a hard time processing all of this today. Right now, I feel like crawling under a rock, or sticking some DVDs in the DVD player, just to get away from all the bad news. 

Below, some Twitter tweets.

Nightmare in Las Vegas

I didn’t find out until I woke up this morning all the horrific details of what happened last night at a music festival in Las Vegas, where a shooter opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay and killed upwards of 50 people and injured over 400. Story here. Also, live coverage here.

Tom Cruise and American Made LOSES at the box office!

I’m stunned, folks. The new Tom Cruise movie American Made, with its CIA and drug smuggling storylines, finished with a domestic haul of $16.85 million and lost out to the horror flick IT, which is back on top of the box office with a haul of over $17 million, projected to finish just ahead of Kingsman: The Golden Circle. 

(Update– Monday: Actually, based on today’s figures it looks like the Kingsman sequel pulled out a No. 1 finish after all.)

This ranks among Cruise’s worst opening weekends of all time. Moreover, according to that Deadline: Hollywood article I linked to, only nine percent of people under age 25 bought tickets to see Tom Cruise in this movie. 

Needless to say, some major finger-pointing is now on about this effort, and how badly it has done with Cruise in the lead role. But quite honestly, I don’t get it! This looks like a movie I would actually want to see. Moreover, it is doing very well at Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 87 percent! Yet, audiences rejected it anyway, at least in the domestic market.

I guess all the news stories that ran this summer about how influential Rotten Tomatoes is in convincing people to go to the movies were a bunch of “fake news”, then. Anyway, that’s that.

ICYMI: O.J. Simpson now a free man

So, with everyone focusing on all the latest Donald Trump controversies, O.J. Simpson was able to be released today from Lovelock prison in Nevada in the middle of the night with little fanfare and no media mob. A big change from when he was released in 1995 after he was acquitted of murder charges.

Also, I guess he is not moving back to Florida since it’s obvious Florida wants nothing to do with this guy. No, instead, it looks like our friend O.J. will be residing in my so-called “winter home”. Las Vegas.

Now, the latest national anthem update for this NFL Sunday

Well, here we go again, another weekend of national anthem protests around the National Football League. I understand before their game in London, the Saints opted to take a knee and then all stand up, in an attempt to appease everyone. What a joke.

Meanwhile, conservatives and most football fans remain outraged, and the reason is simple: people are fed up with politics invading the National Football League. It’s no longer even about the message these bend-on-a-knee people are trying to send, because no one cares anymore. Fans have simply had enough, period!

Sports are supposed to be something you turn to in order to escape from all the rest of the BS that is your miserable life. It is especially supposed to be an escape from politics! But now, as is the case in the entertainment world for years, there is no escape.

People have had enough of politics invading the NFL, and invading ESPN, and invading every portion of their lives in America. And Pres. Donald Trump has clearly touched a nerve with all his Tweeting on the issue. He knows this is a winner for him, and a good distraction from all the rest of the problems and ongoing fights engulfing his administration (the latest one being Puerto Rico).

I notice big NFL fan Rush Limbaugh is so turned off that he’s going out and playing golf now on Sundays. To which I say: good for him, he’ll get some good exercise.

Terror incident in Edmonton last night

So, folks, the city I was in a few weeks ago for UFC 215 had an interesting situation last night: namely a lone-wolf terrorist attack. This happened not too far from Commonwealth Stadium where the Edmonton Eskimos happened to be playing football, laying an egg against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled NFL coverage.

Ain’t It Cool News in full implosion mode as we speak

Been reading The Wrap about the full-on implosion happening this week at pioneering film-geek website Ain’t It Cool News. 

It seems site founder Harry Knowles (seen above) has stepped down in disgrace over sexual assault allegations he is facing. Meanwhile, two of their top writers, Eric Vespe (“Quint”) and Steve Prokopy (“Capone”) have disgustedly quit because they want nothing whatsoever to do with this. Well, if Quint and Capone are out of there, then so am I. Done.

Honestly, this looks like another Jian Ghomeshi type of situation (the disgraced CBC host who also left over sexual harassment allegations). It also could be the end of the site as we know it. 

The best thing about it, frankly, were the witty comment sections that ran below all the movie reviews and news. But now it sounds like those are being taken down, too, because of vitriol from readers over Knowles and his conduct. 

It’s too bad Ain’t It Cool News is in total chaos, because it was a good site for a long time, but things definitely sound messed up at the top.

Fun is dead in America. RIP Hugh Hefner

Well, it is a sad day: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has died at age 91. And I think a lot of the fun about America has died, too, right along with him. 

You have to admit, though — he shook things up down there. And that is all I will say on this topic, because if I say any more I will surely be in big trouble.

I’m going to post here some of the Twitter reactions from people about this news — I guess these are all from women who posed in the magazine. Also, suffice it to say, you can surely tell the difference between the uptight people and the non-uptight ones on Twitter, just based on their reactions to Hef.

‘Upset States’ update: Bill O’Reilly was killing it on Hannity last night

Welcome to what surely will become a regular feature at the blog from now on: updates on the regular craziness that passes for life down in the “Upset States of America”. 

First, Bill O’Reilly, hawking his new U.S. history book Killing England, was killing it on Hannity last night on Fox News. I guess it was his first time back on there since he was booted off the air in scandal and controversy a while ago. Both he and Sean Hannity were on a tear, going after Media Matters and the left-leaning Media, calling them left-wing totalitarians, and of course the National Football League for this anthem/flag nonsense. A sample of some of what they had to say is here.

Meanwhile, I notice their ex-colleague Megyn Kelly is on the air mornings on NBC now, and she is taking a radically different approach to what Fox News and CNN is doing, and for that matter, all the rest of the current Zeitgeist. She is now trying to do a politics-free show free of all the political nonsense. And by extension, free of Trump. That’s good!

You would think there would be a market for this more light-hearted approach. Unfortunately for Megyn, and viewers, her Hollywood guests are having none of it. 

Finally, they are clearly upset in Alabama, where GOP voters just nominated the bat-crazy, anti-establishment Judge Roy Moore for the Senate. For examples of how lunatic this guy is, read this.

That is that for that.