It has been a crazy and bizarre several days of craziness and gaffes to report on for this edition of News from Nowhere. First, we had the infamous Kendall Jenner “protest” ad for Pepsi. Then we had this United Airlines overbooking nonsense. As if that wasn’t enough stupidity, yesterday White House press secretary Sean Spicer commits a White House gaffe of epic proportions. In making his case about how evil Syria’s Assad is, he tells the press corp that even the evil Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons“.
Uh, well, what about those gas chambers Hitler had? Anyway, Spicer has egg all over himself over this. I notice Dan Rather weighed in on it and said “a bar, already set low, continues to drop.” I simply think this is another example of Spicer being in over his head, looking like a rank amateur. It’s not the first time for him, either.
You know, it’s incompetent stuff like this that continues to drag down the Donald Trump presidency, one that I keep on comparing to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. But this no longer only describes Pres. Trump — it describes his whole team at the White House, with all these stories about infighting there. The dysfunction is obvious to everyone. Seriously, Trump needs to do something he did so well on reality TV for years, and that’s fire people.
Trump himself is, at least, showing a few signs that he might finally be getting the hang of how to do this “presidency” job of his. Last week, Trump actually seemed to be presidential, very “Jekyll-ish”, by making a widely-hailed presidential decision to bomb the heck out of Syria for the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on their own people. The United States was finally showing them who was boss and standing up to these rogue regimes, they said. Now granted, people like Sen. Rand Paul were complaining about Congress not being consulted, but still, most people agreed that Assad had it coming.
The problem is the Russians are reacting badly to all this as they continue to be all-in with this lousy Assad regime. They were raising the prospect of war over this attack, and quite honestly, I’m really worried. I worry one more incident in Syria could be the spark that ignites World War III.
Just today, with his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson over in Russia to attempt diplomacy, Pres. Trump was saying relations with Russia could be at an all-time low. Given the four decades of Cold War that went on, this is saying a lot. Let me add this: if the Russians can’t get along with Trump, of all people, then there’s no hope of them getting along with the Americans, period.
On a cheerier topic, let’s talk about North Korea, who have been threatening nuclear war in the wake of this Syria bombing.
Apparently, this half-crazed Kim Jong-Un character has planned some “big event” for tomorrow, which is speculated to be a nuclear test. (Update – Friday: the “big event” turned out to be the opening of a new street! What a joke.)
Meanwhile, the US and the Chinese have been talking and trying to figure out what to do about this maniacal regime.
While all this is happening, we have attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt on Palm Sunday, no less, and Piers Morgan cannot believe this is not major news.
Also this week: a bomb explosion on the team bus of Borussia Dortmund prior to their UEFA Champions League game with Monaco. One player was injured; the match was postponed.
I mean really, the world has gone mad! You cannot even tune in the sports without being reminded.
In other sports news, the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are on. There better not be any bomb scares there.
As for Canada’s other favorite sport, the CFL, commissioner Jeffrey Orridge is walking the plank.
Other craziness: you may have seen the last of Bill O’Reilly, who is on vacation from Fox News this week amid rumors he might not be back over sexual harassment allegations.
Sad news for viewers of David Letterman’s show: his mom died.
Box office news: another winning weekend for The Boss Baby, swamping Smurfs 3.
That is all I can stand, for now. I think I will spend the rest of tonight watching live South Korean all-news TV, just for the heck of it.
Welcome to News from Nowhere during what has been a tumultuous week in politics in the USA, as the goofy Republicans wilted under the political pressure and withdrew their health care bill to replace Obamacare. So, Obamacare gets to stay, for now.
This is being seen as a big defeat for Pres. Donald Trump and for Capitol Hill Republicans. Their big majority in the House and Senate has amounted to absolutely nothing in coming up with a suitable replacement health care plan that could get passed, and the finger pointing for who is to blame is now on! What a joke. Still, some Republicans are smiling, with Sen. Rand Paul declaring victory in defeating “Obamacare-lite”.
Other news from the week: legendary TV game show producer Chuck Barris who brought you The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game but is best known as host of the Gong Show, has, according to Salon, been “gonged at last”. He’s dead, age 87.
It was a scary situation Saturday on the Las Vegas strip as a shooter killed one person on a bus and injured another – for no apparent reason, says police.
In other news concerning Las Vegas, it looks like the NFL will approve the Raiders’ move to their city on Monday.
Finally, the Writers Guild of America could soon walk out on strike.
As for me, I think I’ve written about enough for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere and the big news from the weekend is that 2017 is proving to be another big year of celebrity deaths. The latest is musical legend Chuck Berry, who basically invented rock and roll in the Fifties with hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode. When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in Cleveland, Berry was the first inductee.
Now, he’s dead, age 90. It almost feels like rock and roll, too, has died right along with him.
And that is not the only big loss from the weekend: we also got word that journalist Jimmy Breslin, too, is dead. Age 88.
What else is going on? Well, there was James Comey testifying today about how the FBI was investigating collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians.
Also, the trial of an ex-MMA fighter called “War Machine” has ended, and the jury handed him 29 out of 34 possible convictions for his role in assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
In political news from western Canada — namely Alberta — Jason Kenney has won the leadership of the PCs and is now moving full steam ahead on his main platform: uniting the province’s right into one party.
In other important news, Tom Brady’s missing jersey from Super Bowl LI has been recovered.
I notice that the list of the world’s happiest countries is out and Norway is Number One — it always seems like Norway is always at or near the top of surveys like this, for some reason.
Quite honestly, I question this list’s credibility. For instance, it ranked Finland in the top five, but that makes no sense at all because everyone knows the Finnish are notorious for being absolutely miserable. Even 60 Minutes did a piece years ago on how melancholy they are. So this list is completely suspect.
Also conspicuous by their absence from this list: Latin American and Caribbean countries. You would think there would be at least three or four but only Costa Rica made this list, even though the weather is sunny and a lot of people move to Latin America and the Caribbean to escape their depressing, awful lives in the “Uptight States of America”.
Speaking of Latin America, the PokerStars Championship from Panama is playing to a winner tonight. Updates here. See, life in Central America can actually be pretty good. Proves my point.
That is it from here for tonight.
This was a vote closely watched out of fear that the latest EU-hating, right-nationalist Islamophobe, Geert Wilders, might take power.
Fortunately, all that talk in the media about his ascension to power in the Netherlands just proved to be more “fake news,” because he LOST. Instead, incumbent PM Mark Rutte is set to retain power. Anyway, good.
In other election news I notice the Francois Fillon presidential campaign in France continues to circle the drain as he is now placed under formal investigation over the Penelopegate fake jobs scandal. As an aside, what a gong show that presidential race has become, it seems like all the major contenders are tainted by one accusation or another.
In the wake of the British parliament’s backing of Brexit, now I see First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants yet another Scottish independence referendum. Oh, great, this is exactly what the UK needs right now. Another referendum! Good grief.
On to the USA:
- The latest news involving President Trump is Rachel Maddow’s big scoop about his taxes from 2005. Ho, hum. So Trump is a millionaire who paid a lot of money in taxes. Not much to see here.
- Other news, there was an uproar over Trump’s removal of 46 US attorneys with one in particular, Preet Bharara, being fired after he refused to resign. Of course, this sucks for the people involved, but again there is nothing new about this sort of activity; it happens all the time when a new party takes over the White House. The only reason this is controversial now is because Trump is doing it, so now everyone’s automatically offended.
- Regarding Trump’s claims of wiretapping at Trump Tower, the House Intel committee says it finds no evidence of it.
- Then, of course, you have this revised travel ban that has ended up blocked in court again.
- Also, WikiLeaks leaked a lot of CIA secrets last week and I agree with Bill O’Reilly on this one: whoever did this are traitors who ought to be tried for treason.
On top of all this nonsense is North Korea. The world is justifiably freaking out over their missile tests, and now the US is so concerned about Kim Jong Un that they’re building up near the Korean Peninsula. Quite honestly, I am getting really worried about this. We are used to this rogue regime in North Korea being an absolute nuisance, but now this state is starting to be a danger to the whole wide world.
Meanwhile, down in South Korea, and after months of fighting the decision, the impeachment of their President Park Geun-hye finally was upheld in the Constitutional Court. So she’s officially done.
She finally was forced to vacate the Presidential palace, and left a bunch of her dogs behind. A new President must now be elected within 60 days. Exciting times in Korea.
I guess that’s it for today.
Welcome to News from Nowhere, where we once again try to link you with the “real” news going on in the world, not this “fake news” nonsense of other websites and outlets.
The cold hard truth is that we are now into the fourth day of the reign of U.S. President Donald Trump, and it is exactly what I think everyone expected it to be. Those of you who thought the circus had permanently left town with news that Ringling Bros.-Barnum and Bailey was closing up shop were sadly mistaken. The big top has clearly packed up and permanently moved to a new locale in Washington D.C., namely the White House, and the ringmaster is the new leader of the free world — as evidenced by his inauguration on Friday.
First, there was Trump’s speech, which really was a take-no-prisoners, rock’em sock’em address in which he took on all comers. He was saying this wasn’t a transition from one party to another, but from the Establishment to the people! Trump stood up there and ripped to shreds the policies of the people he replaced, with Barack Obama sitting there listening to it all! It really was a throw-down-the-gauntlet moment.
This address was seen in person in D.C. by fewer people than Obama’s past inaugurations. That was evident simply by watching the TV coverage of the crowds, yet Trump’s folks were going around spinning otherwise. Sean Spicer, the new Trump press secretary, slammed the media for their coverage and claimed this was actually the most watched inauguration ever!
Of course, the press then paraded out all their mounds of evidence (D.C. Metro numbers, video footage, etc.) to show that Spicer was, of course, embarrassingly dead wrong.
On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway doubled down on the hyper-partisanship by going on NBC’s Meet the Press, where she was talking about how the press secretary presented “alternative facts“. Interviewer Chuck Todd couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and frankly, neither could I.
It is plain to see the new Trump administration is on a mission, as Spicer stated Saturday, to hold the press accountable. Think about it. Instead of the media holding the government to account, which is the usual way of doing things in a free society, the Trump administration is pledging to hold the media to account.
The last time I checked, this is how governments normally act in tinpot dictatorships. They are really good at holding the media to account by bossing them around and censoring them, and they are also good at presenting “alternative facts.” This used to be called “propaganda” back in the old Cold War days.
As for the opponents of President Trump, there is clearly no shortage of them. The transition to Trump’s new law-and-order regime has not stopped any of the mayhem in the streets that were a hallmark of American life during the latter part of the Obama administration.
It’s basically the same as usual. First, there were the riots in D.C. by Trump opponents on the day of the inauguration, with lots of arrests. Then, on Saturday, you had the women holding protest marches in Washington and all over North America.
Big marches, lots of people, lots of passion, well-organized, better Metro ridership than the Trump inauguration the previous day, etc. etc. Yet it also makes you wonder: where was all this passion and energy during the election, when Hillary Clinton really needed it?
The mainstream media gave all of these protests big airplay, but that plays into the Trump arguments about how the media is simply out to undermine his presidency.
Keep in mind: the protesters lost the election. A big reason why they lost is because the “silent majority” are sick of all of them and all their protests! It doesn’t matter what the issue is that they are promoting or whether it is worthwhile or not. They want these professional protesters to go home, at long last, but it looks like the “culture wars” are here to stay whether the silent majority likes it or not.
By Monday, the trade wars had begun, too. Trump signed the order to withdraw from TPP and to renegotiate NAFTA as well! And of course, Trump has been in his usual feuds all week with folks like Rep. John Lewis, and with designer Tom Ford, and other people.
We are only four days in, and this is just the start! There is still almost four more years of this nonsense left to go! Four very long years.
Other news:George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush have both been in the hospital, but both seem to be getting better.
There is apparently a lot of sex in this latest season of The Bachelor, and people are offended!
It is going to be New England and Atlanta in the Super Bowl after two more blowout playoff games on the weekend! This NFL postseason really has lacked excitement for the most part.
Uh, that’s it for now. Hopefully, this will also be the end of the Trump coverage for a while, here, too, because I am getting sick of writing about his antics.
Welcome to 2017 here at News from Nowhere, which has started on a down note for me personally as I am at home sick, likely struggling to recover from the same ailment as Queen Elizabeth II and many other people. I am now on antibiotics and drinking lots of tea and juice, and hopefully I’ll be better soon.
Anyway, everyone is trashing 2016 as a lousy year because of all the terrible things that happened and all the people that died, etc., and it ended on a predictable wrong note as technical problems ruined Mariah Carey’s lip-synch performance on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.
Carey’s people promptly blamed Dick Clark Productions and accused people of “sabotage.” Dick Clark Productions fired right back and said there was no sabotage.
Anyway, this whole thing is a mess. Jenny McCarthy had something to say about it here.
As bad as it was for Mariah Carey, others had it far worse on New Year’s Night. It was a far worse scene in Turkey where an ISIS terrorist attack at an Istanbul nightclub killed 39 people. What an awful start to 2017 — or awful end to 2016, one or the other.
Other news from the weekend: the pilot of a Sunwing flight destined to fly to Cancun from Calgary has been arrested after being found drunk in the cockpit!!
This was quite a strange story to say the least. Of course, this got my attention because I had flown this same airline to Cancun back in November! Yikes.
Donald Trump isn’t even President yet, but already he’s fulfilling his pledges to “Make America Great Again” by going after automakers and threatening them with tariffs so they will stay in the USA. The latest “great” news: Ford is cancelling its plans to go to Mexico, will instead expand in Michigan. But Trump is not done — he is now going after GM on Twitter over their foreign-made cars.
In TV news, Megyn Kelly has made it official, she has announced she is quitting Fox News and going to NBC News.
In other TV news, the new NBC Boston station is now up and running, forcing former NBC affiliate WHDH, aka “7News”, into life as an independent.
This switch has been felt as well by cable systems throughout Canada relying on Boston for the NBC feed, including in frozen Saskatchewan. So we, too, now get our NBC feed from this new “NBC Boston” station now.
My former home base, Toronto, is just not the same place it was when I used to be there. Too many favourite places there have closed. The latest iconic store gone forever: Honest Ed’s.
Speaking of Toronto, they held an NHL outdoor game there on Jan. 1.
Finally, anyone else notice that the attendance has been crummy at a lot of these World Juniors hockey games in Toronto and Montreal? I think the real reason people aren’t buying tickets is simply because the tickets cost way, way too much. Seriously, all these sports think fans are a bottomless pit of money. That is why these events aren’t selling out.
That is about all I can hack tonight.
Aaargh, I want to go back to Mexico! It is bitterly cold here at this edition of News from Nowhere — not just here, but across North America! To blame is the polar vortex which is hovering over much of Canada and bringing Arctic air down to the south. It makes it an early winter for everyone (winter has technically not started yet, believe it or not).
How bad is it? So bad that BC is now meant to get colder than normal weather well into January. Folks in the lower mainland are having a difficult time dealing with all the cold and snow.
To folks in Vancouver, I simply say: welcome to life in Canada.
On to other news. I notice President-elect Donald Trump has been busy doing his victory tour of places across America. I get the impression he likes doing these rallies — for the heck of it! Also, the other day he was at the Army-Navy game, won by Army for the first time after 15 years. The final score was 21-17.
In between, Trump has been putting together his cabinet and the rumors are Rex Tillerson may be named Secretary of State.
Also, I notice Trump had something to say about the CIA’s claims that Russia was involved in influencing the election. He’s calling these claims ridiculous. The Democrats are all up in arms and want an investigation, but honestly I think this is yet more evidence that these folks on the left are still in total denial about the election results and how people really feel about the state of the country.
In other “yet more evidence” news, Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s effort to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania has been an embarrassing flop so far.
Finally, everyone is up in arms about Trump retaining executive producer credit on The Apprentice and claiming this is a conflict of interest. Folks, Trump isn’t going to be doing a darn thing for this show, he is simply retaining credit as co-creator of the production and earning royalties! This is just plain business, as Arnold Schwarzenegger says. And Trump was defending himself on that point on the talk shows today. Anyway, enough about President-elect Trump.
Speaking of Trump, his style of political rally has made its way up to Canada. The big political story up here was about a anti-carbon tax rally in Alberta where the crowd started yelling “lock her up!” in regards to Premier Rachel Notley.
And people across Canada vented outrage at this behaviour, but one politician who actually thought these chants were okay was Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost. He was saying these people were not being listened to, and was saying you should take them seriously but don’t take them literally.
Anyway, bottom line is that Trump-style politics is here. Be ready for it, Great White North.
French presidential election news: an independent candidate has entered the race. He is Emmanuel Macron, former French economy minister, but the thinking is that all his candidacy will do is bleed votes from Manuel Valls (likely Socialist nominee) and split the left, and produce the Conservative-Nationalist runoff that everyone is predicting will happen anyway.
In other opinions, the Guardian is raising the alarm that France is somehow about to elect Marine Le Pen as President. This won’t happen, folks. It’s gonna be Francois Fillon, folks, trust me. The French electorate isn’t as crazy as people think they are.
On to Sports from Nowhere, and “nowhere” is right when it comes to Toronto and their sports title hopes for 2016.
It was a dismal night at the MLS Cup final in Toronto, where Toronto FC dominated the play all game, incredibly holding the Seattle Sounders to no shots on goal, but they just couldn’t beat goaltender Stefan Frei.
So the predictable happened: after it ended 0-0, Toronto FC lost on penalty kicks 5-4. It figures.
All in all, a game like that won’t win converts to the sport of soccer across Canada, with all the choppy play and injuries, the no-scoring, and of course the way it ended. That was no classic. The UEFA Champions League this is not.
And in other sports news from Toronto on Saturday night, UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre ended with Max Holloway winning the interim featherweight title in the third round beating Anthony Pettis. In all, it was surely a far more enjoyable evening for Toronto’s fight fans than for soccer fans at BMO Field. The results are here.
I’ve run out of things to say, so that is all for now.
Welcome to a sad edition of News from Nowhere. The sad news is all about the story of former NFLer Joe McKnight who was shot to death in an apparent “road rage” incident in Terrytown, Louisiana.
But while this story is getting a lot of play in the USA, it has local implications because McKnight was a current member of the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders. So folks up here are as surprised and bewildered by what we are hearing about what is going on down there in Louisiana — particularly these stories about Louisiana’s “stand your ground” laws, and how the shooter was questioned by police and released.
Anyway, I linked to a bunch of stories from New Orleans, simply to show the local folks up here in frozen Canada how much airplay this news is getting in the ‘States. People there are quite upset about this.
In other upsetting sports news, the public memorial was today for the Chapecoense soccer team, and after tuning in a little of it online on YouTube today, I had to turn it off. It was simply unbearable to watch as a sports fan.
I ended up thinking of the teams I root for and how I’d feel if this sort of tragedy happened to any of them. Then I remembered that, in fact, this did happen before to one of my teams: in 1956, four Saskatchewan Roughriders all-stars were killed in a plane crash in BC after appearing in the All-Star Game. This was not on this scale of what happened to this Brazilian squad, but bad enough. Heck, just losing one player to death is bad enough.
Anyway, that was what happened today. On a happier note, Toronto FC won their two-game with Montreal in extra time, so they play Seattle next Saturday at home for the MLS Cup. Who knows what the weather will be like.
Other good sports news: I am happy to report that the recent end of both the NASCAR and Formula 1 auto racing seasons has freed up my time to watch plenty of football and soccer games on TV.
Last week marked the end of the F1 season, and it turned out to be the last race for a lot of people. It really is the Year of the retirements in F1, when you think of it. That race in Abu Dhabi was the last for Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, and now we are also getting word that the newly crowned champion Nico Rosberg is also quitting, at age 31.
Apparently he wants to spend more time with his young family, which is fine. Before you start criticizing Rosberg’s decision, keep in mind auto racing is a dangerous sport where drivers get killed! So I don’t blame Rosberg, really. He’s quitting while he’s still ahead.
Enough about sports. Some news items to pass along —
- Tomorrow there is a big referendum in Italy to change the constitution and alter the electoral system to give the winning party bonus seats in the Parliament. The idea is to bring an end to all the instability from all these minority governments Italy has had. But it sounds like voters may vote “no” to it and deal another blow to the “Establishment” and the EU, and in the process sink the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
- Quite honestly, if I were in Italy I’d be voting against this, too. This “bonus seats” plan really sounds ridiculous; it gives the sitting government way too much power. They also want to scrap direct elections to the Senate! I think people will be voting no for these reasons alone; it really has nothing to do with what they think of the EU! But these pundits want to make more of this vote than what it is.
- The other vote tomorrow is the re-run of the botched Austrian presidential election, and it could result in a victory by far-right Norbert Hofer. If that does happen, it will be a huge story and will have everyone in liberal democracies across Europe shaking in their boots — not to mention financial-markets people.
- In other news, people are freaking out this week because US President-elect Donald Trump took a phone call from the president of Taiwan.
- I guess Cuba’s Fidel Castro is finally having his state funeral tomorrow. I had thought he already had a funeral this week, but I guess that event on Tuesday in the Plaza de la Revolution in Havana was more of a public memorial – one of several. Anyway, the real, and final, funeral goes tomorrow in Santiago de Cuba.
Finally, I have been watching the Boston TV news on my local cable system and they were covering this huge 10-alarm fire in Cambridge, where a few buildings were affected and at least one of them totally collapsed! The Boston TV stations were having fun covering that one today. Reminds me of a few big fires I’ve covered in my time.
And that’s that about that.
Oh, what the heck, I might as well talk about Donald Trump. Heck, everyone else is. In fact, I find it fascinating that Trump’s legendarily oversized mouth managed to upstage an entire massive fearsome hurricane in the news cycle yesterday.
What is worse, this was Trump’s big mouth from 2005 coming back to haunt him, with lewd “hot mic” remarks to Billy Bush, then of Access Hollywood, about trying to “f—” a married woman, and of grabbing women by the “p—y”, and so on. And it was all caught on tape!
Now, it’s been reported the married woman Trump was referring to was none other than Nancy O’Dell. Yikes.
Anyway, Trump has issued an apology — rare for him, I know. This is the latest embarrassment forcing Republicans to run for cover this election cycle. Many GOPers are distancing themselves and some are either revoking their endorsements or even calling on Trump to step down as the candidate.
All this is nothing new, this sort of thing has gone on all campaign long. What’s new is that it hasn’t stopped yet! In fact, it shows no sign of stopping, ever! The fact that these big “bozo eruptions” just keep on happening on a consistent basis — every couple of weeks or so, by my estimate — is surely Trump’s downfall. All this does is remind people on the fence about what a gong show the Presidency would become if Trump got in.
I guess there’s another Presidential debate tomorrow, but I’m rapidly losing interest in this race now — I’m simply fed up with all the mudslinging. I don’t know if I’m in the mood to see Hillary Clinton run laps around the hopeless Trump yet again in a debate.
In fact, I think the big debate is up against the Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers Game 3 of the playoffs. Well, that settles that. I’m definitely watching the Blue Jays, and hopefully they will beat up on the Rangers again and advance to the ALCS.
As for Hurricane Matthew, I tuned in the coverage yesterday as the storm skirted the north coasts of Florida. Today, it made landfall in South Carolina, and it sounds as if the place is in store for lots of flooding.
I think I now know why the weather and media folks in the USA were freaking out about people not taking hurricane warnings seriously. It’s because of the likes of Matt Drudge, who sent out tweets claiming government officials were exaggerating the storm’s impact!! And of course, this talk simply encourages people to disbelieve all the officials and weather forecasters, when the fact is they need to pay attention to them, for once.
Folks, this storm is terrible, and if you don’t believe me, believe the reports out of Haiti where the death toll could be over 800 people.
That’s enough from me for today.
I am assigned to cover an awards ceremony tonight — missing out on a lot of the other news going on. Such as Matthew.
This Category 4 hurricane slammed into Haiti this morning and caused a lot of flooding. Now it is threatening Florida where watches have now been issued for the east coast of the state near Miami.
I was watching the Miami TV news stations online today and they were doing the usual freaking out that they do whenever a hurricane is threatening. There is also real worry for other parts of the USA by later this week, so I plan to keep on following this story as it unfolds.
In other news, I am going to be missing the Tim Kaine-Mike Pence vice-presidential debate tonight.
That is too bad because it should surely be a bloodbath as Pence tries to undo the damage Donald Trump did with his lousy performance in last week’s presidential debate, followed by his rantings and ramblings about Alicia Machado, his taxes, and all that. Trump needs to cool off.
Another thing I will be missing: the Toronto Blue Jays-Baltimore Orioles baseball wild-card game. Which is just as well, because watching it would only raise my blood pressure.
I’m also going to be missing another contest involving a Toronto professional sports team, with far less at stake: tonight’s Maple Leafs-Ottawa Senators pre-season NHL game, from Saskatoon.
The one thing I missed this morning was Julian Assange’s big WikiLeaks announcement, which is just as well because it turned out to be nothing. But there could still be more revelations to come.
The other story from earlier this week was the robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris. That’s right, Kim was robbed in a big heist in which she was tied up and the robbers made off with $11 millions in jewellery. A lot of people can’t believe it and think this was yet another one of those Kardashian publicity stunts. Anyway, here is a link to the Us story on what we know so far.
That will have to be all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere, and we all wake up on this NFL Sunday to the story about the explosion in the Chelsea area of New York City last night that injured 29 people. The officials are calling this an intentional act.
So the United States is back to being in chaos. As I have said before, every time these mayhem stories hit the news I’m convinced it means more votes for Donald Trump, because this sure as heck doesn’t look good for Hillary Clinton or her buddy Barack Obama, or anyone else in power now. Mr. Trump, a.k.a. “Mr. Law-and-Order”, doesn’t even need to lift a finger or to say something. Whenever something terrible happens in the USA, it hits the news, and the news cycle ends up talking about Trump’s main issues whether the “liberal media” wants to or not.
As for the rest of this week in politics: everyone was still going on and on talking about Hillary’s health after her very public collapse on 9/11. Also, Trump took time to release his medical records on the Dr. Oz show, and the usual people who are too into politics are complaining this wasn’t enough, either — that he’s hiding something. I’m sorry, but Trump wasn’t the one who collapsed in public and had pneumonia this week.
Beyond that, though, I think this is getting to be a big sideshow. It’s time for everyone to chill out about the health of the candidates and get on with talking about some real issues again, but nobody seems to want to do that. I notice another controversy that people are mad about is that Trump had finally conceded Obama was born in the USA, after years of publicly questioning his citizenship and his eligibility to be President. It’s this focus on the non-issues, the sideshows and the other distractions that are the real reason people are sick of this race and sick of these two candidates. You just want to turn these cable news channels right off.
With that rant done, I should say Trump has finally shown some discipline and has had another relatively good week of staying out of trouble (mostly). Now the polls have this race neck and neck which nobody thought was possible a few weeks ago. Indeed, the Democrats have reason to be nervous.
On to the third parties now, and there are table scraps of good news to report about the Libertarian campaign of the Gary Johnson-William Weld ticket. Some newspapers have finally noticed that someone else other than Trump and Clinton is running for President, and they like what they see. In fact the New Hampshire Union Leader did something they hadn’t done in something like 100 years — they refused to endorse the top of the Republican ticket and endorsed Johnson-Weld instead.
The bad news for Johnson is that the polls still have him way, way under 15 percent, and because he doesn’t meet that completely arbitrary polling threshold, he is being refused a chance to be on the stage in the presidential debates.
Which, of course, is an affront to democracy, but it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened this election year in the Undemocratic, I mean United States of America. Maybe it’s Johnson who should be the one going around saying this election is rigged, instead of Trump.
That’s all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Sunday. Obviously, this is a sad and solemn day, marking the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It has been felt even during these NFL Sunday games, with pre-game ceremonies at these various locations. I notice former President George W.Bush was at the pre-game ceremony at the Dallas-Giants game in Texas.
As well, I guess everyone was also watching to see if any more players were going to do the Colin Kaepernick thing and refuse to stand, take a knee or otherwise protest during the national anthems. It sounds like a lot of that did indeed happen. People cared more about the pre-games today than the actual games!
It was an active last few days of the presidential race. Today, of course, people paused for 9/11 ceremonies, but Hillary Clinton had to leave early from one of them — prompting the usual people to point out all her health problems again. The breaking news now from Fox News is that it’s pneumonia.
Network TV news interrupted their programming to report on this story. Anyway, this business of Mrs. Clinton’s health is surely not going to go away as a story any time soon after this.
As for the rest of the week — the big news from the campaign was probably that Commander-in-Chief forum on NBC hosted by Matt Lauer, in which Clinton and Donald Trump appeared. It sounds like the biggest loser was Lauer. A lot of people blasted him for his lousy hosting job — though I really think most of the criticism is coming from pro-Hillary people. I think they think he was too hard on her, and too soft on Trump. It looks like sour grapes to me.
It was also a particularly bad week for third-party Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who went on Morning Joe and failed to recognize “Aleppo” (the city in Syria that is the current hot spot for all the problems in the civil war there) when asked about it by Mike Barnicle. Johnson later said he thought it was an acronym they were referring to.
In any event, people are now saying Johnson’s answer “disqualifies him from the Presidency”. Good grief, people, isn’t there anyone left on this November ballot qualified to be President?
All I hope is that these candidates know where North Korea is on a map, because this latest nuclear test of theirs frightens me far more than the already scary stuff already going on in Syria.
Still with the US presidential race, Hillary went on the attack the other day against Trump’s own supporters, calling half of them a “basket of deplorables“. She called them racist, sexist, xenophobic, the works. Wow. It is one thing to hurl insults at your opponent, but at a whole group of voters? That is surely not going to look good with the people.
Hillary looks like the presidential candidate in full “implosion” mode right now. Meanwhile, Trump is the one lying low for the moment, as he looks all too happy to let Hillary self-destruct on the stump. He was in St. Louis for the Phyllis Schlafly funeral this weekend, and got a warm reception there. For Trump, it’s been another decent week.
Of course, what would this blog be without beauty pageant news!
I’m sorry folks, I like the ladies. This is a big reminder to myself to tune in the Miss America pageant tonight on ABC from Atlantic City. This pageant is making news because one of the contestants, Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty, is a lesbian who might become the first out lesbian to become Miss America. Needless to say the mainstream media is quite excited for this prospect. But I’ve read many of these “expert predictions” online and they don’t seem to give Miss Missouri much of a chance. We shall see.
This pageant is up against NFL football tonight, though, so I don’t expect too many guys will be tuning in. Heck, being the big football fan that I am, I might even forget to tune in — that’s why I’m reminding myself that Miss America is on tonight. Anyway, the Miss America Pageant is a unique piece of Americana worth tuning in for. You never know what might happen on live television; they could announce the wrong winner or something.
In other sports besides the NFL, the men’s final for the US Open tennis is today.
Finally, after last night’s Richmond race the field is set for the Chase. What — you really thought I would get through a whole blog post on the happenings of the week without mentioning NASCAR? I had to mention it.
That’s all for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Friday afternoon prior to the Labor Day/Labour Day weekend. Let me tell you, this is one weekend in particular in which I am literally crawling to the finish line again — although even the finish line will have to wait, because I have a work assignment tomorrow.
There is a variety of news this week and one of them is Hermine which indeed hit the north Gulf Coast of Florida as a Cat. 1 hurricane and is now a tropical storm. Here’s an update on what it did from Fox News.
Also, read the comments beneath it because apparently there were lots of people unimpressed by this storm’s impact, with “LOL”-type comments directed at the “lamestream” media.
The other story is Hurricane Lester which could have an impact on Hawaii. Or maybe not. Anyway, hurricane season is on and things are active.
The American presidential race is still going on but I don’t think I’m going to talk much about it today. I’m actually quite fed up with all this talk about putting up “walls” to keep the immigrants out of the USA.
As it turns out, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson says he is also fed up and wrote up his piece about the issue for CNN.
To which I say “right on.” In my eyes Johnson looks like the only one in this race talking sense on the whole immigration issue, but unfortunately common sense seems to have left the station down there in the “Upset States of America” — and many other countries for that matter (ie. Brexit).
Other politics news: moderators for the presidential/vice presidential debates have been selected and for whatever reason I’ve been reading lots of whining articles by political-correct people lately as to “why is it only white males who are chosen as debate moderators?”
Except, for these upcoming debates, one of the moderators is black (Lester Holt) and two of them are female (Martha Raddatz, Elaine Quijano)!
The lone white male is in fact Chris Wallace of Fox News. So, by my count, that’s only one of four. (Sorry, folks — no Megyn Kelly for these debates.)
Speaking of Fox News, I notice New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman is still going after Roger Ailes in print, with this latest piece on his downfall running this week.
In space-travel news it was not a good week, as a SpaceX rocket blew right up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, taking out a Facebook satellite that would have launched along with it.
It is a sad time in the entertainment world. I have not had a chance yet to note the death of Gene Wilder, star of many Mel Brooks movies including The Producers, and who starred opposite Richard Pryor in movies like Stir Crazy — a movie that I thought was funny as heck. His talent will be missed.
In sports the US Open tennis is on. As well, US college football is on but I’m already mad because none of the Canadian all-sports channels bothered to show one game of it Thursday, and I see nothing on the schedule tonight (although I guess TSN will be showing that Boston College-Georgia Tech game in Dublin, Ireland tomorrow, among others.)
Doesn’t anyone in this country watch football anymore? This is outrageous. Maybe I need to immigrate to the ‘States.
(But if I am going to move to the ‘States, I’d better get on with it right now — before the election.)
Finally, the NFL pre-season is now over and the biggest story to emerge from it all was the antics of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the national anthems.
Last week, he refused to stand for the anthem — on principle, in protest of the treatment of black people in the country. Then this week in San Diego, on Armed Forces Night no less, he protested again, but this time opted to kneel down during the anthem along with another player.
I don’t know what to make of this, but the USA is a free country with freedom of speech written right there in the U.S. Constitution, so that means Kaepernick gets to do what he does, even though people may not like it and think it’s unpatriotic.
By the way, Kaepernick has had a lousy training camp and there are rumors he may be cut by the 49ers for his lousy play AND for his national anthem theatrics. So he might soon have to look for another team with pressing QB needs. Maybe the Vikings will take him.
I don’t have a lot to say in News from Nowhere. Just two items:
First, Donald Trump gave a very tough foreign policy speech today in Youngstown in which he proposed turning all of the USA’s attention towards defeating Radical Islamic Terrorism. And for once, Trump didn’t look or sound half-crazy like he usually does.
The other news is the violence that erupted on the weekend in Milwaukee after another police shooting of an African-American, and the rioting that erupted afterwards sounded really bad — so scary, in fact, that reporters felt particular unsafe and even pulled out of there. Milwaukee sure ain’t the land of Happy Days or Laverne and Shirley any more, is it?
That is all for tonight.
Welcome to News from Nowhere and to day two of the Democratic National Convention. It looks to me as if normalcy has been restored — as much as you are going to get, anyway. It sounds like the Bernie supporters might at least be trying to get with the program now, unlike some of these #NeverTrump people last week.
The first night had the usual pro-Hillary speeches we have come to expect, as well as the usual Trump-bashing. Hilites are above from ABC News.
Speaking of ABC News— that network is in deep doo-dah today with fans of the ABC show The Bachelorette. It turned out that Bernie’s speech (in which he endorsed Hillary) ended up going over time, which meant that The Bachelorette show did not get started on time in several markets in the Pacific time zone! Oh, the horrors.
Anyway, for Bachelorette fans who want to know what happened on the show, here it is.
Tonight, Hillary will be officially nominated in the roll call vote and her hilarious husband Bill will be speaking, too. Makes me almost wish I PVRed The Bachelorette. Just kidding; actually, I never watch that show anyway.
Finally, while still on politics, here is a link to a pessimistic Huff Post article from a very depressed-sounding film director Michael Moore on why he thinks Trump will win. Frankly, he makes a lot of good points, particularly about the mood in these rust-belt states.
So that is the news on goings on in Philadelphia, now here is more in the News from Nowhere.
- The big news in business is that Verizon is taking over Yahoo!. The former tech giant was acquired for a puny $5 billion — a far cry from what it was worth before.
- We have more news about deadly massacres going on in the world. The latest was in Japan where 19 people were killed by a knife wielding lunatic.
- In box office news, the winner at the domestic box office this weekend ($59 mil) was Star Trek Beyond. But over in China the winner was Jackie Chan in Skiptrace ($60 mil.)
- In Olympics news, the IOC chickened out and decided not to kick out the entire Russian team from the Olympics in Rio. Instead, 37 of the athletes are being banned. Strangely enough, I actually feel this was the right decision — a lot of innocent people would have been impacted if the whole country was banned.
- Zika is still running amuck. Not only is it amuck in Brazil, but now you way want to reconsider your vacation plans for the Dominican Republic.
- And in local news, there was a huge oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River that has impacted the water supply for a number of communities in Saskatchewan including North Battleford and Prince Albert. A big headache for officials to say the least.
That is it for the moment.
This pre-GOP convention News from Nowhere will be relatively short tonight for a lot of reasons — one of them being I’m tired and want to go to bed.
But I followed the news today about more police shootings in the USA, this time in Baton Rouge where three police officers were killed today and three injured.
I really don’t feel like saying any more about it, mainly because I want to heed President Obama’s advice and help bring the temperature down in the USA. Tensions are just too high there and all this media coverage is simply fanning the flames and making things worse.
And speaking of tensions, there is mounting concern about the Republican National Convention which starts tomorrow. It would surprise no one if violence erupts in the streets of Cleveland. I’m convinced every troublemaker in the USA will want to be there to make trouble in order to get noticed by all the media. All these folks who were down in Ferguson will be there, guaranteed.
The other big international story was that the coup failed in Turkey and now the President is rounding up all the plotters.
Finally, sports news about Henrik Stenson’s near-perfect British Open.
Welcome to this latest effort of News from Nowhere, and I am going to try and cut down on news from Dallas, Texas to focus on the rest of what is going on in the world. The key word is “try”. Unfortunately, it just ain’t happening. We are still hearing a lot of talk from the “Black Lives Matter” people about the shootings of black people by police. To counter that, we are now getting the pro-police people who are saying “Blue Lives Matter”.
My only concern is that it seems to me that Americans are once again being encouraged to take sides with this sort of talk — with the “black”, or the “blue”. I gotta say it again — “don’t any lives matter?” All lives ought to count for something, that is my view.
And the protests go on. Just last night, I was watching the news live streams and I noticed there was a big Black Lives Matter protest up in Minnesota that blocked one of the freeways, and the police had to use tear gas to break it up.
Up here in frozen Canada, people are looking at what is going on in the ‘States with disbelief. People here are thinking America is coming apart at the seams. It reminds people of what went on in 1968, with all of that year’s violence! Meanwhile, President Barack Obama gave his big statement in Warsaw and he was saying this is nothing like that, that America is not as divided as some suggest. Well, you could have fooled me. In my opinion, something has got to be done to calm this situation once and for all — otherwise, we will have another 1968 on our hands before long.
On to other news now from what is surely the “Upset States of America”. The latest to be upset: Gretchen Carlson, who has filed a big sexual harassment lawsuit against former employer Roger Ailes after being fired by Fox News!
This has brought out the hit pieces in the press with more accusations levelled against Ailes and the predictable comparisons to Bill Cosby. Meanwhile, you are also seeing a perhaps surprising number of Fox News women – Maria Bartiromo, Greta Van Susteren, Kimberly Guilfoyle – backing Ailes. You know what I think? I think the TV news business sucks, that’s what I think. As for these accusations, we’ll see what transpires.
Other news: the political conventions in the USA are later this month and the hot speculation is all about vice-presidential running mates. We have heard the rumors about who Donald Trump might pick — Newt Gingrich, Joni Ernst etc. — but the latest name being floated out there is retired Army general Michael Flynn, who, quite frankly, I’d never heard of before this week.
The problem is Flynn just went on ABC’s This Week and confirmed he was pro-choice! Well, this would not be a pick that would promote GOP party unity, with all the pro-lifers in the party. Flynn may be out of the running as of right now.
Meanwhile the Democrats have been writing their platform and it really is taking a leftward direction to appease the Bernie Sanders people who are still mad that he is not the nominee. As for presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, her search for a running mate is reportedly down to five people.
That brought out the outrage from people – mainly Trump and Sanders supporters – all saying “crooked Hillary” was getting let off the hook, again. Now we hear the State Department has reopened its probe of the Clinton emails. Methinks this is far from over.
In Australian election news, the Labor opposition has finally conceded defeat.
In trial news from South Africa, I notice Oscar Pistorius got sentenced to six years for murder this week. (Six years?!)
Here is the latest Brexit whining, I mean news: a piece in the Guardian by someone who feels the Brexit vote makes his British passport a “badge of shame”.
This guy sounds like he’s ashamed to be British to begin with. I’m not a Brexit fan either, as everyone knows by now, but come on — this talk is nonsense.
Also, I notice a new pro-Europe newspaper has started up to speak for “the 48 percent”. Good.
As for the referendum, the British government says the result ought to be respected. They have rejected a petition to toss the referendum result out.
Still with the U.K., the Conservative leadership is going to a second ballot and it looks as if the next PM will be a woman. So you can add Michael Gove to the scrap heap, now, of post-Brexit political losers in the UK. The scrap heap pile is getting to be quite large.
That is it for now – now, time to watch Euro2016.
Welcome to this edition of News from Nowhere. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this will end up being another one of those “the world is going to heck” type of posts, especially after what happened at an Orlando nightclub last night.
Someone went in there and opened fire, killing at least 50 people in the worst mass shooting in American history. Another 53 were injured.
It happened at a gay nightclub so a lot of people are calling this a hate crime. Worst of all, it sounds like this gunman had pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Obviously, this news has ruined the morning and put me in a particularly foul mood for watching the Canadian Grand Prix race on TV. Live local TV coverage of the shooting here. I understand President Barack Obama will be speaking on this, soon.
This tragedy happens soon after The Voice singer Christina Grimmie was murdered after a concert held in — you guessed it — Orlando.
So it’s sad times in central Florida. Scary times. And now, an update — news from southern California that someone has been arrested with possible explosives who was going to the LA gay pride parade there today!
In all, this is a good time to stay away from the good old USA with all of its shootings and mayhem.
In other news, it looks like my citizenship in the European Union could be heading straight into the trashcan thanks to my fellow citizens in the U.K., as polls put the Brexit in the lead heading to the June 23 referendum.
I don’t know what to make of this. On the one hand, I get why the pro-Brexit people want out. The EU has way too much power over the UK’s affairs as it is, and what’s more, Europe has proved itself monumentally incompetent in dealing with any number of issues, whether it is terrorists in France and Belgium, migrants flooding their other borders, or any number of these financial crises afflicting any number of their member states.
Why would the British want to be part of that? So I understand why there’s frustration. I get it. But still, man, what’s going to happen to the trade relationships with the rest of Europe if this happens? And what about British citizens who have to work in other parts of Europe because they can’t get similar good jobs at home? Will they all lose their work privileges and have to go home, then? That’s really the issue I’m most concerned with. That, and the possibility that the breakup of Europe will send the world economy into another tailspin. Anyway, I don’t like where this is going.
I ran into this item while looking for news on the Brexit referendum: “Why MP sex scandals no longer shock.” I guess someone else got in trouble over there, again, but nobody cares like they did with Christine Keeler and the Profumo scandal years ago.
It looks like the lyrics to O Canada are going to be changed to become gender-neutral. That raises another issue: could other lyrics get changed? Could the word “God” be removed from the lyrics, too?
In Cuba news, six American carriers have been approved to fly to the island nation.
In sports media news, Bill Simmons has let loose on his departure from ESPN and on what he’s doing now for HBO.
And since I particularly have MMA on the brain this week, here is an item I found about the rise of the ONE Championship which has quietly become the biggest promotion in Asia.
That is all I feel like talking about. Now, back to watching depressing mass-shooting news coverage on TV.
The top story of this edition of News from Nowhere is the uproar in the House of Commons yesterday.
Seriously, I cannot believe what I am reading about this: a scuffle actually broke out in the Commons in which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went over and ended up actually elbowing NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau.
This is exactly the sort of WWE-style mayhem that Donald Trump political rallies have become famous for.
And in fact, there was a huge controversy down there in the USA when a Breitbart reporter got shoved by Trump’s campaign manager. This is that incident involving Michelle Fields who ended up quitting Breitbart in a huff after what happened. It’s also happening with the Democrats as well. Just this past weekend in Nevada, Bernie Sanders supporters caused a big ruckus at their Democratic state convention there, too.
Obviously, folks here in Canada need to be far less snooty about how well-behaved and dignified we are with our politics compared to the USA, because obviously we are getting as bad as they are. We had something similar happening yesterday in Ottawa, except this took place not in some convention hall, but in the House of Commons. And the guy who was elbowing people wasn’t some underling, it wasn’t some overzealous campaign supporter. It was the Prime Minister of Canada.
You think maybe Stephen Harper wasn’t so bad after all? This would never have happened if he was still in charge.
Anyway, it’s fair to say we have never seen this before in Canada — at least, not outside of a hockey arena or wrestling ring. And the bloom is definitely off the Justin Trudeau rose now. He’s had his honeymoon period with the public with his rock-star treatment and people wanting to take “selfies” with him and all that, but this incident puts a screeching halt to all his momentum.
In other political news, there will be no prosecution of Senator Pamela Wallin. I guess that entire Senate expenses scandal was much ado about nothing, then? What a waste of time that all turned out to be. Anyway, enough about these jokers in Ottawa.
On to other news in the world and as usual, the world news is bad.
An EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo carrying 66 people has apparently gone down, and the worry is this could be terrorism, again.
If that doesn’t put you off the idea of flying, this surely will: insane lineups for security at Chicago airports.
Hours of waiting, people missing their connecting flights; it really is a disgrace. A video went viral about the lineup at Midway airport there and it gives you an idea of what it is like for frustrated travellers. It doesn’t sound like flying to and from the Windy City is going to be much fun this summer. Time to cross Chicago off the list of potential summer destinations.
And Venezuela is absolutely going to hell. Food shortages, economic chaos, a state of emergency imposed — it really is a mess down there that I need to follow more than I have lately.
Big news from TV news today: Canadian TV journalist and 60 Minutes star Morley Safer, just days after his retirement tribute was shown on TV, is dead, age 84.
Also, I mention this only because my brother worked on The New Addams Family with him, but actor Michael Roberds who played Uncle Fester on the TV show has died.
I guess I will end this edition with news from Qatar, and if you think it’s bad for women to get around various places in the Middle East with all the restrictions put on them, you should also know it is also getting really bad for single guys.
I am not making this up, folks: Qatar has put into place restrictions which bans bachelors from certain parks, malls and other places on certain days of the week. Only for families, they say.
Really?! Really!? I guess I’m not going to Qatar, then. Really, who makes the rules over there?
That is it! I now have four full days off to relax and hopefully forget about the news business for at least a little while. Happy Victoria Day long weekend, all you Canadians!
There has been a lot of breaking news on this day of News from Nowhere, so let’s get on with it.
First, the bad news. Prince has died. Age 57.
Yes, another musical legend has left us in what is turning into a really bad year of musical legends leaving us (David Bowie, Merle Haggard, etc.). And yet again, this is another one of these musicians from my time growing up in the Eighties who has died. I have almost the same reaction to this as to the death of Michael Jackson.
The two main things I will remember Prince for is (a) he ditched his name and wanted to be known by some weird symbol for a time (and was referred during that period as “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince”), and (b) ahem, he always seemed to be surrounded by women. In particular, among the amazing talented women he was associated with were Vanity (RIP) and Carmen Electra.
There had been stories this week that Prince was not well, there was that incident in which a plane had to make an emergency landing because he was so ill, and he had to be taken to a hospital? Apparently he was battling the flu for weeks. But no one expected this news. Anyway, RIP Prince.
On to happier news — happy for one person, at least. Here in Canada, the big decision came today in the trial against Mike Duffy, and he totally walked — beating 31 charges in total. This is yet another total defeat and total humiliation for prosecutors in Ontario, far worse than what happened with Ghomeshi.
So Duffy gets to go home free. I have no idea what to make of the entire Senate expenses scandal now, based on this. I guess we were all wrong about Duffy and about the Senate. He must be a good guy after all, having worked so hard on behalf of the people of Canada.
So why did everyone raise so much heck about Duffy’s expenses and about his PEI residency qualifications in the first place, then, if what he did wasn’t criminal (according to this judge’s ruling)? One word sums it up: Politics. This was all about getting rid of Harper, nothing more. And as everyone has noticed and has pointed out already, media interest in the Duffy trial went straight downhill right after Justin Trudeau won the election. Anyway, this is definitely the end of this story.
In other news from Canada, this country is going to pot. Legalization coming.
In the USA this week came the big announcement that Harriet Tubman is the woman chosen to go on the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson. This is all in the name of progress, and too bad for Andrew Jackson.
Of course, here in Canada we are way more progressive than these Americans. We’ve had women on our currency for years — namely, Queen Elizabeth II, who is now age 90.
Finally, the world is freaking out over the recent deadly earthquakes in Japan and in Ecuador, and people are worrying this could soon mean earthquakes in other places — such as the Pacific Northwest! Aargh!
With that, I will call it a day.
(Pictured: a photo I took of Tom Mulcair in Saskatoon for the News-Optimist when the provincial NDP were choosing a leader in 2013.)
I bring you News from Nowhere today on what has been a tumultuous weekend for the federal New Democrats in Canada.
They held their national convention in Edmonton and earlier today delegates voted 52 to 48 percent for a leadership convention. That means Tom Mulcair is going to be done as leader, though he says he will stay on until his replacement is chosen (the convention could be held anytime in the next two years).
This is nothing short of a stunning result and a total repudiation of Mulcair’s leadership. But it is also not surprising given how badly the NDP did in last fall’s election. Honestly, Mulcair should have stepped down long before this convention, then he could have had a graceful exit and spared himself this humiliation. But no, he decided to stay on. Well, he won’t be able to now.
In another stunner, the convention also endorsed a motion to study their controversial hard-left LEAP Manifesto at the riding level, which is pretty much seen as a victory for the LEAP Manifesto supporters. That manifesto endorses moving away from fossil fuels, among other things, which is something nobody in the oil or energy industry in the West is going to endorse. Few people in Saskatchewan or Alberta are going to like this. Good luck on keeping seats in either province, now, NDP.
In other news, the vote to adjourn the convention carried unanimously, which is not surprising because the delegates likely could not wait to get out of there. It’s hard to imagine any of them coming out of Edmonton enthusiastic or excited about the party or its prospects. What an implosion that was, folks, that was on display there.
May I add that this has been a rough time for the NDP lately. They just got blown out again in Saskatchewan’s election and they look like they will be violently hurled from power in Manitoba, by Brian Pallister and the Tories, next week. All in all, it is no fun to be an NDP supporter today. The NDP comes out of Edmonton looking ready for a long dry spell in the political wilderness in Canada, and the big winners from this weekend? The federal Liberals. Obviously.
So that’s that for federal political news. On to other news, now:
The big news story of the week was about the leak of the Panama Papers which exposed all the people stuffing their money in offshore trusts to avoid paying taxes! That has caused a big brouhaha and the political fallout has been immense.
Just this week the prime minister of Iceland stepped aside over funds he had stashed in these offshore trusts. As well, it was revealed UK Prime Minister David Cameron had holdings in his father’s offshore fund as well, and the calls were on for him to resign, too. He won’t, but it has been a bad week for him regardless, politically. I would say he is far from out of the woods.
In other news Belgium authorities say they have IDed the “man in the hat” spotted with suicide bombers at the Brussels airport.
In other Europe news, the EU may soon require visas for Canadians and Americans, which is just going to be more needless bureaucracy the world doesn’t need.
I notice Bruce Springsteen cancelled a concert in North Carolina over their controversial LGBT laws.
Also, I find this funny but Bill O’Reilly recently had a vacation in Cuba. He went on the “Factor” to talk about it and he made it sound like it was a lousy trip, the service at his “five star” hotel was substandard and he didn’t get fresh towels. My guess is O’Reilly won’t be going back to Cuba again on vacation any time soon.
I think that’s it — now, time to watch Masters golf coverage.
Welcome to what will be a fairly short News from Nowhere — although honestly it is going to seem more like “Bad News Roundup” given the bad news going on in the world.
First of all, this Easter saw a horrific terror attack in a public park in Lahore, Pakistan in which some 70 people were killed. It just never ends, anywhere in the world.
Then just today, in Washington D.C. at the visitor center at the Capitol, a suspect pulled a gun and was shot by police. That put the White House in lockdown for a time.
In Toronto, the mourning is on for former Mayor Rob Ford who lies in repose at City Hall.
In supermodel news Janice Dickinson has announced she has breast cancer.
Ahem. Remember how President Barack Obama was trying to open doors to Cuba? Seems Fidel Castro has some thoughts of his own, and none too complimentary, either.
In other news, the governor of Georgia is vetoing a controversial “religious liberty” bill.
Other US politics news: Democrats held their “Western Saturday” contests on the weekend and Bernie Sanders is not going away. He swept Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. But Sanders is still way behind Hillary Clinton in delegates.
On that happy note, I think I’d better call it quits.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Monday “Leap Day”. I guess everyone is still settling down after the big Oscar telecast last night.
As I had threatened, I didn’t bother to watch most of the first part of the show — instead, I followed much of the reaction on Twitter. A far better way to follow this borefest, in my opinion, though I did tune in to the last hour on TV. It sounds like this was actually the most watchable Oscar show in years, believe it or not, mainly because host Chris Rock took everyone down a notch and put an end to the usual self-congratulation we have come to expect from the Academy. When he called Hollywood “sorority racist,” he nailed it exactly.
Also, the entire night was helped by some big surprises, as Spotlight took Best Picture and Sylvester Stallone failed to win Best Supporting Actor to the shock of everyone. So in general, it was probably a more interesting show than usual, even though it went on way too long. Again.
In other news — we are on the eve of Super Tuesday, the slate of primaries impacting a large number of states and with a large number of delegates at stake. Based simply on what happened Saturday in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton should pretty much have the Democratic nomination all wrapped up as of tomorrow. Bernie Sanders really is sinking fast, and the South clearly has no use for him.
As for the Republicans, it looks like a near sweep is possible for Donald Trump, with Texas likely a holdout for Ted Cruz. And the endorsements have been rolling in for Trump. Among the latest endorsing him: David Duke of the KKK!
Well, that has proved to be yet another farce. Trump’s clumsy attempt to disavow Duke’s dubious endorsement has proven to be yet another controversy for his circus act of a campaign.
It’s stuff like this that would usually sink other people. It’s this sort of thing that makes it mind-boggling that Trump is actually ahead with voters. Yet it is also pretty obvious why Trump is winning. Nobody is speaking up for the blue collar workers in American politics anymore, and most definitely, not in the Republican Party! These blue-collar folks are being hit and socked by plant closures and jobs being shipped abroad. The trade deficit issue is real, and so is homeland security and ISIS. But the only GOP candidate even bothering to really give lip service to their issues is Trump, even though his general approach is just plain nuts.
Many commentators are already talking about how American politics is undergoing a realignment, with the old left-right divide giving way to some sort of populists-versus-the elites dynamic which Trump is capitalizing on. Peggy Noonan wrote something for the Wall Street Journal about it called Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected. Also, Laura Ingraham wrote a piece about how the traditional Republican leaders have for years ignored what the Republican voters really wanted.
All in all, it sounds as if the pundits have gotten a very early start on the analysis of Super Tuesday. The results are not even in yet! Anyway, we should be in for an interesting night tomorrow.
TSN TradeCentre was a bust! Very little happened at the NHL trade deadline today, so we were reduced to seeing Martin Biron firing T-shirt cannons at Jennifer Hedger. Surely, an all time low for TradeCentre.
In other NHL news, people north of the border are already starting to freak out of the prospect that no Canadian teams will make it to the NHL playoffs, and what this shocking turn of events will mean for NHL rights holder Rogers. (Answer: it means more people will tune in to “Rogers Blue Jays Baseball” instead, come April.)
In other sports, last week was the first Entry Draft for something called the Global Poker League, and you can read more about it here. Basically, it’s poker turned into a team sport, with a number of franchises all around the world.
People are touting this concept as something that will spark the next “Poker Boom,” but to me the whole idea sounds crazy. I watched some of this GPL Entry Draft on Twitch last week, and the selections by some of these “franchises” were insane. I’ve literally never heard of many of these people. And also, from what I read at least one big name, Antonio Esfandiari, unexpectedly decided to opt out of the whole thing entirely! In any event, we shall see how this concept all turns out. At the very least, these “games” will prove ready filler programming on sports TV channels — particularly in Canada with none of their NHL teams in the playoffs.
News from TV news! Gord Martineau retired today as anchor of Citytv Toronto! This all happened rather suddenly. So another name from my time living in Toronto has departed the scene.
And George Kennedy missed out on being in the “In Memoriam” segment of the Oscar show by one day. The former Airport and Naked Gun actor died today.
That is it for now.
Welcome to this edition of News from Nowhere where we count down the hours to the poll closing on Saturday in South Carolina (for the Republicans) and Nevada (for the Democrats).
Polls show Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary in Nevada. On the GOP side, as usual it is Donald Trump with an enormous lead, even though I notice there is a new NBC News poll out suggesting the national lead belongs to Ted Cruz(!).
Meanwhile, the story of today on the Republican side is that Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Marco Rubio, much to the shock of the Jeb Bush campaign who thought Haley would endorse him! This, my friends, is a staggering blow to the Bush sinking ship. I gotta say, if Bush doesn’t put in a decent showing against Rubio in South Carolina, this could very well be it for him. His own supporters seem to getting especially nervous about what is going on in the race nationally, with the Donald still winning despite all his lunatic ranting and raving. Another Bush loss, and they all could bail out on him.
As for Hillary Clinton, she is clearly getting more and more desperate. I notice she recently rolled out Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright to try and shame their fellow women into voting for Clinton.
I guess coming up with compelling and exciting policies for Americans to get behind is too much for the Hillary campaign. Maybe she should try that instead.
So that whole race goes on. I notice there are a couple of GOP town halls going tonight. I think I’ll watch hockey, instead.
In other news:
The Grammys were a glitch-fest, highlighted by Taylor Swift taking Kanye West down a notch.
In magazine news, the new, redesigned, safe-for-work Playboy magazine is out and it is terrible! Not only is the nudity gone but worse yet, they also got rid of the cartoons!
In fact Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner has spoken out about the changes at Playboy and has denounced the current management, basically saying “what the hell are they doing!?” Good on Cooper for telling it like it is.
In other magazine news, Sports Illustrated will have three different covers on their swimsuit issue and one of them is Ronda Rousey, who this week went on Ellen to say that she almost committed suicide after her UFC title loss to Holly Holm.
I dunno. Honestly, I think the public is really getting sick of Ronda Rousey. Not only is she in SI, but she was on Saturday Night Live as well. All this publicity for a woman who no longer has the title! People are tired of her hype, and if she doesn’t get back to training soon instead of doing all this other stuff she’s doing, she’ll stay the non-champ.
As for the rest of sports, the reality of the NFL off-season has hit us all. This weekend, breaking the monotony is the Daytona 500.
But if you want your offseason NFL fix, I notice the American sports talk hosts are still ranting about how Cam Newton blew off the press and sulked off in that Super Bowl post-game press conference after losing to the Broncos. I guess these folks on the radio don’t know what else to talk about.
That is all I feel like talking about for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Tuesday, and as usual I am once again watching the live continuing coverage of the US presidential campaign on my iPad. This is my life, folks, this is what passes for entertainment in my household at the moment.
As I write this, I am watching a live feed of Donald Trump campaigning in Ames, Iowa. I guess the big news is he is getting a big endorsement from none other than Sarah Palin herself tonight. So the ultimate “rogue” candidate for Vice-President is endorsing this year’s “rogue.” Makes sense to me.
I will say this about Trump: I may not agree with his policies and his rhetoric, he really is the “intolerance” candidate as I said before, but I agree with some of what he is saying — like whenever he says “America is going to hell.”
And you know what? He’s right! Just look at what is going on down there with their politics! It’s all this hate-mongering. Of course, you also have people shooting at each other, there, too. America is really a mess. So yeah, Trump’s right, but it is his proposed “solutions” that leave me shaking my head in disbelief.
Anyway, here is the News from Nowhere.
First, there is the news about President Obama and Iran. I guess Republicans consider this bad news and proof the world is going to hell.
It is not just America going to hell. Tennis is going to hell. The sport is embroiled in a match-fixing scandal. This is bad, bad news.
The Academy Awards are going to hell. Their nominations came out and the acting nominations are lily-white, as usual. No wonder African American folks are upset and boycotting — they are underrepresented both in the nominations and in the movie business in general. They have every right to be mad.
The Canadian economy is going to hell. The dollar is sinking and the oil industry is a mess, and people are out of work everywhere. Opposition leader Rona Ambrose is begging and pleading for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do something about the situation. Also, the Conservative leadership vote is officially set for next May and Kevin O’Leary is thinking of running.
And terrorism in Burkina Faso has claimed the lives of Canadians — six of them.
Canadian journalism is going to hell. But this is nothing new. Just today, Postmedia cut 90 newspaper jobs by merging newsrooms in four cities. Good luck trying to gain more readers with a decision like that. The “race towards mediocrity” continues for the media business in Canada, thanks to all these layoffs. And all of us notice that the quality of the finished product is really suffering.
This is the type of news which makes people still in journalism in Canada want to quit the business, or better yet, leave the country. Maybe it’s time to move to China and cover the economic problems there. Come to think of it, maybe not.
In other journalism news, Al Jazeera America is shutting down. Honestly, though, few Americans were watching.
It is a bad time for music. Glenn Frey of the Eagles is dead. This follows on the heels of news that another big legend, David Bowie, is dead. And Celine Dion lost both her husband Rene Angelil and her brother Daniel within days. Wow. Tragedy.
I guess I haven’t been on the media bandwagon about El Chapo getting recaptured or about the interview Sean Penn did with him for Rolling Stone which helped landed him back in captivity in the first place. Anyway, this has been a huge story.
Also, I haven’t seen Making a Murderer on Netflix so I can’t comment on the recent controversy about whether the filmmakers left stuff out in their account of accused killer Steven Avery. For the record, Nancy Grace is convinced this guy is guilty, but a lot of viewers of this show seem to disagree.
Finally, I should point out this past weekend was a cold and miserable one here on Canada’s prairies with wind chills below minus 40! It’s been terrible!
Is there any good news out there? Just this — Canadian Mike Watson won the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event.
Happy dead of winter, folks. That is all.
Welcome to News from Nowhere for this Wednesday, and if it seems like I have been miserable here lately, well, wouldn’t you be? In my case, I am coming off a relaxing month of December in which I was able to get a number of days off. Believe me, I needed it.
Now here it is, January, and I am back to covering the news in this frozen and desolate place Saskatchewan. And the news has been depressing beyond belief.
Among the main stories around here this week: a drunk driving crash north of Saskatoon in which a whole family was wiped out.
Obviously, this story has really started this week on a down note for everyone. So if I have been coming across as cranky and miserable here lately, I think this explains it. Well, that, and my vacation being over.
Other major stories in the news:
Canada didn’t do so well at the World Juniors this year in Finland.
A fed up President Barack Obama has announced executive action on guns.
Our friends in North Korea are once again doing their part to make the world a better and more stable place by testing a hydrogen bomb. Thanks for nothing, guys.
Here at home, the winter weather is still unusually mild for this time of year, as this monster El Niño continues to rage on.
More uplifting news now. The new Baywatch movie continues to take shape and gorgeous model Kelly Rohrbach has been cast as CJ Parker, the legendary role Pamela Anderson made famous in her red swimsuit on TV. And honestly it is an absolute no-win situation for anyone else taking that role on, simply because the previous actress was such a legendary sex symbol of the 90s era. (Sorry, Kelly, but you’re no Pam Anderson.)
In UFC 195 Robbie Lawler decisioned Carlos Condit in what was an epic welterweight title fight.
And here is a story I found interesting — it is about which states are getting the biggest influx of people. It turns out Oregon topped the list of states people were moving to.
Which is interesting, because by coincidence I know someone here in the city who left her local TV job here to move to — surprise, surprise — Oregon.
Their list of top 10 states really didn’t surprise me much — the Pacific Northwest, the Carolinas and sunbelt places like Florida and Texas were all bound to be there.
As for the states people were moving out of, it was mainly the usual suspects in the Northeast again — New Jersey, New York, etc. etc. All these states with the high taxes and the big regulations, and the big costs of living. New York City may seem like an exciting place, but there are far better places to live in the USA with lower taxes and much better weather.
I don’t have my mind on the news much at all at the moment, I am sort of focused on other things, but I do have a few updates to share today.
First, the San Bernardino mass-murder shooting is looking worse by the day. Now it is being reported that the female attacker had pledged herself to ISIS.
In South Africa, their appeals court has convicted Oscar Pistorius of murder.
In sports Ross Atkins is the new Blue Jays GM.
In entertainment, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots is dead.
I suppose I could also mention the Pirelli calendar, but everyone else has mentioned it already anyway.
That is it for now.
Just wanted to get this News from Nowhere post out of the way with all the news I really care about in the world today.
First, the big Fox Business GOP debate goes tonight. Hence, this picture of an elephant with stars on it. This event ought to be make or break for the usual people (ie. Jeb Bush). Hope this debate goes better than that other debate did on the other business channel.
Second, the belief is it was a bomb that caused that Russian airliner to go down in Egypt.
Third, this is a big time for news about Russia. The latest thing that this country is in trouble over is their doping of athletes for the Olympics.
In poker, the WSOP Main Event is now down to three people: Joe McKeehen, Neil Blumenfield and Josh Beckley. Cards in the air tonight at 6pm Pacific time in Las Vegas. Live updates here.
(Update: McKeehen won. He collects a cool $7.7 million dollars for his effort.)
And in junior hockey news, the Flint Firebirds have embarrassed not just themselves but also the entire OHL and CHL. The entire team quit the other day, because the team owner fired the entire coaching staff because his son didn’t get enough ice time!
This is the sort of meddling worthy of a Pee Wee or Atom level hockey team, but this is supposed to be the OHL!! Embarrassing.
I guess the situation there is resolved now, but not before delivering a big black eye to junior hockey, something it doesn’t need.
That’s it for me, later tonight I head off to the Civic Centre for the Battlefords versus Melfort in the SJHL.
Welcome to an Election Eve edition of News from Nowhere. Yes, like most people I am glad the election is coming to a close tomorrow, because finally I might be able to relax a little afterwards.
It increasingly looks like Canada could be in store for a change in government tomorrow with Justin Trudeau and the Liberals ahead in most of the major polls. Of course, election polls have become increasingly unreliable as the folks in the UK found out, and as folks in Israel also found out during their election.
But I do believe there is an undercurrent out there. All these latest Liberal TV ads seem to be doing a number of the Conservatives. The latest one featuring Hazel McCallion was particularly funny. “Stephen, do I look scared to you?”
Beyond that, voters just seem fed up with Stephen Harper and the Tories, and it’s all because of their style of government. It seems like people think this government is all about “politics” and “partisanship”, and about getting every political advantage for themselves over their opponents.
What boggles my mind is that this Conservative government has a pretty good record on a lot of things. They have kept taxes low, have finally balanced the books and done a far better job in managing the economy than any other Western democracy did during this Great Recession. And they’ve taken principled stands against ISIS, and against the Russians on the Ukraine.
People ought to be hailing the Tories as heroes! But they aren’t, and as I said before, it’s because people don’t like Harper’s style and don’t like the way the Conservatives play politics. And of course, there’s the Senate and what has gone on there. Still, it boggles the mind that Trudeau is promising to run deficits and that people now say they support that, after spending years harping on Harper over deficits.
Also, a lot of newspaper endorsements seem to be endorsing the Tories, but I question whether they will sway voters at all, because all those newspaper endorsements did nothing to save Jim Prentice in Alberta’s election this year.
Anyway, that is my read on the situation. I am convinced we are going to get “Prime Minister Trudeau” on Monday — at least a minority government, maybe a majority if the NDP freefall gets to be any worse than it is. But we’ll see.
Here is my last local election story before the vote. I’ll be busy Monday night with election coverage but I might post something at this blog when I get a chance to.
Also, might I add there seems to be a new political party running in the election called “the CBC”. Lots of lawn signs popping up that say they support the CBC.
Other news from the world:
Most of the news this week is from the Unfun States of America, which continues its war on fun at a fast clip.
Just this week, Nevada announced a ban on unlicensed Daily Fantasy Sports sites in their state – FanDuel, DraftKings etc. – and you won’t guess why. The reason? Because they consider these to be gambling sites.
Folks, you read it right. Nevada is cracking down on gambling.
Honestly, this makes absolutely no sense. The world keeps getting stranger.
In other strange news, here’s more on the fallout from that wacky decision by Playboy this week to drop the nudity in their magazine. It continues to provoke reaction. Former Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy, a woman not known for being bashful, declared this week she would be willing to do the last nude pictorial in Playboy ever.
However, McCarthy won’t be the last in any event, because many of Playboy’s international editions are not going along with this move. Among the editions who say they are keeping the nudity are Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico.
Mexico?! Time to go there, clearly, as there is no fun to be had anymore in the Uptight States of America.
Lost in the shuffle is news that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive. Of course, Clarke is not known for being bashful, either, appearing on that notoriously scantily-clad HBO show.
In other magazine news, it sounds like Maxim is having problems, they are doing a redesign again and have cut their base rate. Clearly, desperation moves such as putting guys on the cover aren’t working over there.
They’ve apparently gone back to doing covers with gorgeous women such as the stylish and sexy Lea Seydoux. That’s more like it.
Speaking of desperate times, here’s another story about another iconic American brand: McDonald’s. Lots of worry from the franchisees about the brand being in “terminal decline” and this being the “end of days”. And so on.
That’s funny — everyone I talk to around here doesn’t believe McDonald’s is in trouble for one second, because they are everywhere.
But Woolworth’s used to be everywhere, too. So if it could happen to Woolworth’s it could happen to anyone, including McDonald’s.
I do think there are probably too many McDonald’s. Also, the general perception in the USA is that their food is just too unhealthy, and that has caught up to them. They need to do something different, for sure. The way America is going, the edict from head office could come soon to eliminate all hamburgers from the menu! Bye bye, Big Mac.
I’m joking, I think.
In other USA news, everyone is wondering whether or not Joe Biden is ever going to make a decision on whether to run for President. That decision could come soon. Or not.
And the sad news of the week was about former NBA player Lamar Odom who was found unconscious and was in a coma, but now seems to be improving.
That is it for the moment.
Welcome again to News from Nowhere, and we are back to business again as fall approaches and work picks up.
It looks like I will be on double-duty soon. Just like with all those “interim” folks in charge of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, I expect I will once again be taking on the “interim” Sports Reporter tag later this month at the paper.
Which is fine, since in my duties as a political reporter nothing has been happening here, even with a full-blown federal election on.
Such is life in this safe Conservative seat, although if the current poll numbers are true, things could yet change. I could be covering local rallies for Thomas Mulcair or Justin Trudeau in no time if the bad Tory numbers get any worse.
The campaign for Stephen Harper has been getting no traction at all lately. The latest political problem for him: dealing with the migrant crisis overseas. And this was just after all that Mike Duffy trial nonsense in August. Now there’s word the Tories have kicked out a couple of candidates in Toronto.
Still, around here nothing much is happening yet. I also did up a bit of a riding profile for Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, over to the east, which doesn’t seem to have much of a race going on there either, at the moment. All in all, I feel rather disconnected from this entire election.
On a related note I recently stumbled over a piece from a few weeks ago by Norah O’Donnell of CBS News about how she got her job at Roll Call years ago, and this other piece about a former Capitol Hill staffer who recently got a job at CNN, and it all made me sort of wish I was covering politics for a living. Except, I already cover politics for a living!
The real problem is I need to be around more interesting and newsworthy political folks — like Donald Trump. It’s never boring with him.
While on the same topic, there is going to be a sixth Democratic contender in their Presidential race.
So it’s now up to 23 Democratic and Republican contenders for President, and this isn’t even counting Joe Biden yet. And there is still 14 more months of campaigning ahead of us before the election. This, folks, is really ridiculous. Seriously, who else wants to be President?!
(Update: Ahem. John McAfee says he is running for President.)
Other news, and to be honest there is not much that I feel like linking to today:
The Toronto International Film Festival begins this week! Here is a look back at 40 years!
The first “Late Show” for Stephen Colbert on CBS is tonight.
The schedule is out today for the 2016 season of the National Lacrosse League. Go Rush!
And on the weekend, the Roughriders actually won a game.
That’s all I feel like posting for now.
Just going to briefly wrap up some of the highlights from a heavy week of news here, and then I plan to take the rest of this summer day off.
You’ve probably heard, ahem, about the nuclear deal with Iran.
And the book was thrown at James Holmes, who now goes to the death penalty phase.
Meanwhile, more carnage in the USA as five service personnel were killed in Chattanooga in a shooting rampage on Thursday.
Here in wildfire-afflicted Saskatchewan, things finally seem to be getting a little better. Some northern communities have had their evacuation orders lifted to allow people to at least begin to go home. But the wildfire problem is flaring up in other places, including California just a couple of days ago.
Finally, this was the weekend of Ant-Man at the box office.
That’s it for now, now back to watching the NASCAR race.
This will be another short News from Nowhere as I listen to the Roughriders fans and commentators whine about the lousy defence in a 42-40 defeat to Toronto in 2OT.
Well, the No side won in Greece, which means no bailout deal. I fully expect the markets and the Euro to tank and for Greece to be booted out of Europe, shortly.
In USA political news, not much to report except the Hillary Clinton campaign is hostile to the press.
Closer to home, we’ve contended with wildfires, thick smoke throughout the province, and evacuations in northern Saskatchewan. Now the situation is so dangerous that the armed forces are being sent in to help. As an aside, I’ve been on the daily conference calls with officials dealing with the situation during much of this past week and expect to do more of that this coming week.
In sports, the Women’s World Cup final is on in Vancouver and it’s already 4-0 USA over Japan, and the game has barely started! (Update: it’s now 4-1.)
The biggest story of the week, according to my Facebook friends at least, was that Maria is retiring from Sesame Street.
And today is Day 1 of the WSOP Main Event in Las Vegas.
That’s all for the moment.
Welcome to another News from Nowhere for this Easter weekend – and it’s fitting, because it has been a whole week of religion in the news, thanks to Indiana.
In fact, it’s not just Indiana — I notice the folks in Arkansas joined in the fun. Actually, though, it looks like this story will go away soon because the governors in both Arkansas and Indiana ordered changes this week to their religious freedom legislation in order to quell some of the criticism about how gays and lesbians’ rights were being violated. So hopefully things will calm down, and not a moment too soon, because this is getting to be a farce.
As for Indiana, I must say I am unimpressed by the activities of both sides in this debate. The initial law sparked a needless culture war, so that didn’t impress me, but on the other hand there was the story about Memories Pizza, that small town pizza place that was almost hounded out of business after the owners appeared on a news report on TV saying they wouldn’t cater a gay wedding due to their religious beliefs.
What ended up happening was their lives got upended by the public-shaming crowd, and they were forced to close down this week. But then came the backlash to the backlash as outraged right-wing talk show host Dana Loesch spearheaded a GoFundMe campaign that as of today raised over $800,000 for this embattled pizza joint. This proves one thing: never count out the ability of religious people to organize and donate money in the Upset States of America.
A former J-school colleague of mine was actually so offended by the fact that so much money was raised for this pizza joint that he launched his own satirical GoFundMe counter-campaign of his own in protest. I thought that was funny, but as I said, I’m offended at everyone involved in this needless and stupid culture war that erupted in Indiana. As for these folks on the left, they look as intolerant as folks on the right. They could have quietly decided to not give this pizza place any of their patronage and taught them a lesson that way, but these ultra-politically-correct public shamers, in their zeal to run somebody completely out of business, went too far and managed to achieve the impossible by turning these pizza place proprietors into sympathetic figures. So, instead of going out of business, these folks are going to be $800,000 richer. Go figure. That’s the “Uptight States” for you.
It’s kind of been a rough week for the U.S. conservatives, when you think of it. The big Iran nuclear deal is done, and a lot of conservatives are mad about it, and Israel is mad about it, and President Obama and his people are hailing it as historic and so on. Personally, I don’t know what to think, and I really don’t trust Iran at all. But if this deal will keep Iran in line for a little while, fine, because the alternative — World War III — is far worse.
As for the world’s other troublemakers, they were hard at work this week in Kenya. Sad situation.
In news from Canada, the big Mike Duffy trial on fraud charges is set to begin this coming week, and while many media monkeys are playing this up as potentially the Trial of the Century, I notice Paul Wells in Macleans has a different take and says this trial coverage is going to be boring.
In other news from Ottawa the federal budget date is set for April 21.
In the wake of Alberta’s budget, polls in Alberta are too close to call. It doesn’t surprise me, you aren’t going to have too many Albertans thrilled with a deficit budget with tax increases. You wouldn’t think Premier Jim Prentice would go for an early election in this political climate, but he probably will. I hope he knows what he is doing. Oh, and I should point out these same polls predicted last year that Wildrose was going to win the election. I don’t believe any polls out of Alberta these days.
It has been a big tornado week already for the storm chasers following warnings Thursday in Kansas and Missouri and again today in Tennessee. Our local Saskatchewan storm chasers Greg Johnson and the Tornado Hunters have already been on the road and live streaming — look for them on CMT Canada for more of their series later this year.
In other news the prosecution rested its case following an eventful week in the Aaron Hernandez murder trial.
In sports, the Final Four is on, Major League Baseball is officially back Sunday, and Aussie Rules Football season is also back.
Finally, to end things on a lighter note, it was a humiliating week for a model on the Price is Right show as she unwittingly revealed the winning price of a car to the contestant in a pricing game, thereby giving away the car! That was embarrassing.
And that’s all for the moment.
Welcome to News from Nowhere where we look at the important news making headlines over the last few days.
I guess the big story right now is in Indiana and the kerfuffle over their stupid, unnecessary “religious freedom” law — which people say will just give businesses the freedom to discriminate against gay and lesbian people and kick them out of restaurants, hotels, housing, jobs, you name it.
I don’t understand why there is a need for “religious freedom” legislation when freedom of religion is already enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, but beyond that, it’s the capitalist pig in me that is scratching my head over this.
As I have said before, I do not understand the motivation behind denying business to people who are fully willing to pay for whatever it is you are selling. Isn’t the point of being in business to make money? From everyone?!
Anyway, Indiana is taking a massive PR hit over this, and there have been calls to strip Indianapolis of the Final Four. I think it’s too late for that, but then again, I don’t think it’s fair for the dedicated basketball fans of Indiana to be penalized for the mistakes of their elected officials. But on the other hand, you say, it’s the people of Indiana who elected these fools to begin with, so they have to take the blame.
It sounds like people at the top might be ready to backtrack on the legislation, or at least bring in amendments. Hopefully common sense will prevail, but this nonsense in Indiana is a really good example of the Upset States of America in action.
In other news from the past several days:
Italy’s highest court has cleared Amanda Knox.
Ellen Pao’s gender-discrimination case against a venture capital firm didn’t go her way.
The Aaron Hernandez trial goes on. Robert Kraft was on the stand today.
From the weekend, it was a scary hard landing for Air Canada passengers in Halifax.
The founding father of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew was laid to rest.
The host of the Daily Show was announced and he is South African comic Trevor Noah. Unfortunately for him, the politically-correct Twitterati uptights have struck again by earthing up some of his old Tweets and declaring him sexist and racist. Comedy Central, though, is standing by him.
This same week, new host James Corden has his first Late Late Show.
And in tech news, Google Maps has introduced a new gaming feature on its online maps, in which you are able to play Pac-Man video games on maps of city streets.
This new feature is being launched just in time for April Fool’s Day. Ha ha ha. Beware of the jokers tomorrow, folks.
This week’s News from Nowhere goes around the world to bring you the big news people care about — and apparently people care about Jeremy Clarkson.
The politically-incorrect star of the BBC show Top Gear in Britain was suspended after some sort of dust-up/punch-up incident involving a BBC producer! He is meant to go before the BBC to say his piece in some sort of inquiry.
Well, the fans have spoken. An online petition to bring Clarkson back is approaching a million signatures. Honestly, I don’t see how BBC doesn’t bring him back in the end, unless their priorities are totally misplaced — Top Gear is their biggest show and Clarkson is basically the entire reason for that. And besides, the BBC has a lot bigger and more pressing problems than Jeremy Clarkson to begin with. Anyway, this is the biggest story in the world right now, apparently.
The other big news in the world is the Israeli election happening March 17 and all the stories flying about Benjamin Netanyahu’s possible defeat.
Polls indicate the centre-left “Zionist Union” led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni have pulled ahead. We shall see if this lead holds up in two days. I find Israeli politics really fascinating because, among other things, they really get into it down there in Israel. As well, the political implications for the rest of the world are enormous. So we’ll see what happens there Tuesday.
In the roundup of “bad news” from around the world, a cyclone has levelled Vanuatu.
In other news, two cops were shot in Ferguson, Missouri this week, and frankly I am sad but not surprised. It was inevitable something like this would happen, given the chaos and the general anti-police sentiment that has been allowed to fester down there. And people can go on and criticize the police in Ferguson all they want, but violence is no way to respond. It just ensures even more violence will happen.
Justice news now, and I can now tell you what will be the big trial for trial watchers in the USA now that Jodi Arias is kaput: it will be this Robert Durst nonsense.
Durst is the real-estate heir who is the subject of that HBO series running right now called The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. This is the same guy whose wife and a couple of other people he knew were mysteriously killed.
Anyway, Durst has just been arrested in New Orleans on an LA murder probe warrant, in connection to the killing of Susan Berman in California years ago. Speculation is this HBO series and his appearance in it may have been what did him in. We shall see.
I’m not really all that interested in the Hillary Clinton email flap, so I will move on now to the sports.
Formula 1 is back!!! I stayed up late to tune into the Australian Grand Prix race from Melbourne.
I suppose the other big thing people down under care about right now is the results for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
I guess the big thing for folks in the USA right now is basketball and finding out which bubble teams make it into the NCAA tournament. Honestly, though, I am getting tired of this cliche-ridden tournament and all the catch-phrases with this talk of teams going to “the dance” and “Sweet Sixteen” and all that. Guys, you are not covering some high school prom night, this is a college basketball tournament!
And in Canada we have Ron MacLean in Regina today for Rogers Hometown Hockey.
Finally in entertainment it was a big opening weekend at the box office for Cinderella, as I could tell when I was at the movie theatre over the weekend, because they were pushing one Cinderella promo after another down our throats during the pre-show.
That is it for now, and now back to watching sports on TV for me.
It is a holiday where I am, so I am spending it inside, writing up this News from Nowhere for Monday.
In fact this has been a much-welcomed four-days off for me this long weekend, and believe me, I needed every single one of them in order to get over my latest cold. What is going on with all these viruses going around, folks?! And I even had the flu shot, too. Oh, well.
Other news — terrorist shootings in Denmark. What is this world coming to, folks?
In TV news, last night was the special marking 40 years of Saturday Night Live.
Other entertainment news: as you know by now 50 Shades of Grey is a big hit, having earned for the weekend 81.7 million.
In other news, ratings for NBC Nightly News have gone in the sink with the suspension of Brian Williams.
I should add that I filed a piece for the paper on the whole Williams scandal — for no other reason than to fill space in the paper, really — but now I’m questioning whether I was too hard on him. It seems there is a lot of piling on by the media which I’m not entirely comfortable with, but also a lot of piling on about the media, too, which I am even less comfortable about.
Speaking of piling on — I was alerted to this piece in the New York Times Magazine about how Twitter destroyed someone’s life.
Basically it’s all about the “shaming” and mob mentality that has taken over Twitter. I was listening to John Gormley’s show on the radio, and he had mentioned this New York Times Magazine piece and was saying the bloom was off the rose when it came to Twitter, and was predicting the end of Twitter in its current form. He’s got a point! People are turned off by the mob rule, mean-spiritedness, and general idiocy that has taken over Twitter and social media in general. Something has to give.
And looking at my Twitter feed right now, I notice singer Lesley Gore has died. Breaking news.
Other passings of note include Gary Owens, of Laugh-In and cartoon fame (Space Ghost etc.).
Also gone: legendary KTLA reporter Stan Chambers. Age 91.
The weekend was pretty slow from a sports standpoint but NASCAR is back!! (And so are the fights!) I notice a few drivers (in particular Clint Bowyer) are up in arms over the Daytona 500’s crazy new group-qualifying system.
Finally, this talk about “Las Vegas in the NHL” looks like it could be coming true. The drive for season tickets for a potential franchise is on and they are already halfway to their goal. Personally, I hope they do make it, because the lack of major league sports is definitely a big gaping hole for Vegas.
If they do hit their ticket goal, that ought to shut up all these ignorant Canadians who have repeatedly trashed Las Vegas and its interest in hockey. Anyway, if Las Vegas wants any sort of major league franchise the NHL is their only hope now, since Major League Soccer has said no to them.
Looking at the next few days — I have meetings to attend Tuesday night, and then I cover a hockey game Wednesday. So I had better enjoy the rest of the day, because I will be back to having no life again tomorrow. That’s all for now.
The only interruption to that has been yet another Bill Belichick press conference today on Deflategate, which I tuned into. This is proving to be a big distraction for the team’s Super Bowl efforts.
I gotta say, Belichick looked supremely ticked off at this presser today. He looked ready to punch a sportswriter out. He absolutely insisted they followed the rules 100 percent. Anyway, I know even less about footballs than Belichick does now, so I don’t know what is going to happen with this NFL investigation. There may be fines and the like, but these sports pundits and talk show hosts are going to continue to have a field day with this, forever. Anyway, that is that, and now on to the rest of the news.
The big story of this week is that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died and his half-brother Salman has replaced him as the new King. The burial has already taken place and the mourning is under way. I spent time watching the Arab news channels from the Middle East after the news broke, and they have been showing lots of live non-stop coverage of people walking around in mourning at Mecca.
Other news of the week– the world’s leaders have been in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum. Story here.
Also this week, the US diplomats were busy negotiating with Cuba on reopening formal relations.
And here is a big surprise — apparently Cuba’s government fully intends to remain Communist.
In American politics, there was a big summit meeting in Utah between potential presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush. Apparently, nothing of interest happened.
And Disneyland has the measles. Worse, it’s spreading.
It must have been a slow news week in England, because the story there was that the Sun newspaper had caved to their critics and ended the topless Page 3 girls in the paper.
The feminists, politicians, and British media declared victory and called this a turning point for society, and went on about how no one was interested in Page 3 anymore — although I notice not everyone agreed.
Then on Thursday the Sun brought the Page 3 girls back. So much for that.
In hockey, the World Cup of Hockey has been announced for 2016, and unfortunately the format looks like a joke.
Among the eight teams involved will be a so-called “Team Europe”, plus an all-star under-23 team. Guys, get it right! If you want to hold a World Cup, fine, but make it a real World Cup and not some glorified all-star contest like what you’re doing this weekend!
While on the topic of hockey, a hockey-themed costume won raves for Miss Canada at the Miss Universe Pageant this week! Story here. Could this be the year Canada brings back another Miss Universe title? The pageant goes tomorrow night in Doral, Florida on NBC.
That is about it for this week. Back to watching the rest of the boring sporting events on TV for me.
Welcome to a long overdue News from Nowhere. Now that the World Series is over I can finally turn to the real important news going on in the world.
Now that the election in Toronto is over, the media in Canada are head first into the Jian Ghomeshi scandal.
Things have really unravelled for the former CBC radio host, in a big way. Ever since that Facebook post surfaced with Ghomeshi defending himself, the floodgates have opened: at least nine women have now gone to the press accusing Ghomeshi of all kinds of violent sexual relations, sexual harassment and other activity, and allegations are flying this was non-consensual. Now, some of those women have finally gone to the police.
Suddenly, that “hasty” decision by the CBC last week to get rid of him doesn’t look like so dumb a move after all, does it?
Not only does the CBC want nothing more to do with him, but everyone from his crisis-management firm to his speaking-tour agency has dumped him, and his ex-bandmates at Moxy Fruvous are distancing themselves.
So everyone is dumping Ghomeshi all at once, but don’t worry — I’m sure there’s some criminal defence lawyer out there who will take him.
So much has happened on the Ghomeshi front that it has drowned out what is left of the stories from the Toronto mayor’s race that is now over.
As for outgoing Mayor Rob Ford, his cancer tumor has not shrunk and he will soon begin round three of chemo. Not good news. All in all, a sad end to his Mayoralty.
As for brother Doug, the Ontario PC rumors continue. Surely, the Ontario PC rank and file knows that making Doug their leader is a sure-fire ticket to third-party status, and they won’t put him in. But that probably won’t stop him from running and from getting a lot of votes anyway.
And in a last item from Doug’s mayors bid, the supporters clearly have taken defeat hard, with one video going viral with a woman comparing Doug’s defeat to ISIS coming to Toronto. That story here. Also, Jimmy Kimmel mentioned it on his show. Anyway, enough of ISIS and enough of the Fords.
There was other political news. Alberta had four byelections on Monday and the governing PCs won all of them, including electing new Premier Jim Prentice.
And if you haven’t had enough elections for one week, next Tuesday is also Election Day in the USA in their off-year elections, so that should be interesting. We’re hearing all kinds of rumors of a potential GOP takeover of the Senate, as well as all sorts of rumors of incumbents in trouble. According to this piece from Fox News a lot of governors are in some electoral trouble.
Other news: the big story yesterday was that Virgin Galactic spacecraft crash that has really set back Virgin’s space ambitions.
The CEO of Apple announced he is gay.
In Canada, Mountie killer Justin Bourque got 75 years.
Also this week Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was laid to rest.
Do you remember Terry Keenan, the business reporter who used to be on CNNfn, CNBC and Fox News? Sadly, she died last week.
And some bad news about hockey legend Gordie Howe, who suffered a stroke this past week.
In sports, San Francisco is toasting its world champ Giants.
Meanwhile, Kansas City has had a really bad week – not only did the Royals lose in Game 7, but their MLS Cup champions Sporting KC lost, too.
And Austin, Texas hosts the US Grand Prix this weekend. Despite rumors of boycotts, the race should go ahead, which is good because it’s one of the few F1 races this season which will be on at a reasonable hour in North America (and oh, by the way, the clocks change throughout much of the continent tomorrow.)
I guess I could add the usual Ebola stories we have come to expect, but I’d rather tune in to college football, so that will have to be it for now.
Welcome to News from Nowhere again on a day I ought to simply spend goofing right off, since I have to go back to work tomorrow. But there is simply too much news in the world that cannot be ignored.
As it turned out, I managed to get through my vacation in one piece. One fellow, though, was not so lucky — Bill O’Reilly, who cut his vacation short to go back into the Fox News studio and deliver this epic rant on Ferguson. He went after people, calling Al Sharpton a “charlatan” and blasting MSNBC for paying his salary.
All in all, things seem to be calming down in Ferguson now, and that’s good because it was getting to be a pointless circus of media people and Tweeters, and social media people posting videos of themselves and so on. There seemed to be a lot of grandstanding going on by these reporters, and in fact a lot of the troublemakers and protesters there were actually not from Ferguson at all — they were from out of town and even out of state. I wouldn’t blame the locals for wanting all these people out of there. Anyway, things look a lot calmer now.
I wish I could say the same about the rest of the world.
First, here is the latest on ISIS.
And here is the latest on the situation in Gaza.
And the latest on the situation with Russia and Ukraine.
And on the situation with that volcano in Iceland.
And on that tropical storm in the Bahamas that just formed.
Oh, and I almost forgot about Ebola. (What a world we live in, folks.)
This just in: there has been an earthquake in California! Magnitude 6.0. The Napa Valley got the brunt of it. Bad news.
In sports, the Little League World Series wraps up today.
The big and long-rumoured NBA Kevin Love deal that sends him to Cleveland Cavaliers and sends Canadian Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota, among others, is finally done. The details here.
That is all for now, I want to enjoy what is left of my time off today.
Welcome to News from Nowhere and as you can probably guess, the big news this week is all about the bloodbath at the New York Times and its aftermath. The Times canned its executive editor Jill Abramson last week over alleged issues with her management of the newsroom.
That was followed up by reports alleging sexism and claiming she had been underpaid. That prompted an angry pushback from Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and more reports from people on the outside and inside, claiming sexism had very little to do with the firing.
Anyway, while what actually went down is in dispute, there is one thing that is not — the New York Times is a gong show. They come out of this looking really bad, like a bunch of folks who have no class. I think everyone with the New York Times should cut out the office politicking and try putting out a newspaper product that people actually want to read — something they really should do a better job at, because their current paper is boring as all heck. Anyway, that is my rant about that.
You can tell life is dull when the top story on the weekend is the chaos at the New York Times, but there was some other news this weekend and here it is now.
The election results are in and it is an absolute majority for Narendra Modi in India.
Also in international news, martial law has been declared in Thailand.
Godzilla is a hit!! The big monster raked in over $93 million at the domestic box office.
In Southern California, the fires are still on around San Diego but some progress has been made.
Playboy has named its 2014 Playmate of the Year and it is Kennedy Summers, Miss December 2013, who just so happens to be an impressive med student. As her grand prize Miss Summers gets $100,000 and a lease on a MINI John Cooper Works Roadster. Sweet.
The Cannes Film Festival is on and the movie that kicked the whole thing off, Grace of Monaco, is already being laughed right out of the festival.
We are down to the final four in the Stanley Cup and the Montreal Canadiens are one of them, which means we have been hearing it ad nauseum from their insufferable fans. Well, those fans got cut down a notch after a 7-2 opening game drubbing by New York, and now they learn that goaltender Carey Price is out for the rest of the series, with a knee injury.
The other series is Chicago-LA, and with the Kings advancing past the Anaheim Ducks that is it for the great career of Teemu Selanne.
Also, last week’s loss by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Rangers means that is it for the job of GM Ray Shero, who was fired late last week.
In more hockey news, the Yorkton Terriers of the SJHL won the RBC Cup in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.
In the NBA, the LA Clippers have been eliminated, and soon their owner Donald Sterling will be as well.
And finally, California Chrome will be going for the Triple Crown.
There you go — as the NY Times would say, all the news that fits! See you next time.