You Can Tell When Jon Cornish Is At Mosaic Stadium

Any other time, I’d be happy for Jon Cornish. He’s a Canadian football player who’s really good at his job, is free with his money when it comes to charities, and is willing to take a stand against homophobia (especially since his mother, an Anglican priest — wonder if Malcolm French knows this – has come out of the closet).

But he and the Calgary Stampeders are playing the Roughriders tonight, and since the eastsiders got to him during a match last season … here’s The Waterboys with their testimonial to Jon Cornish.

An Open Letter To The Saskatchewan Roughriders

  1. Was Dwight Anderson really, really relaying defensive signals when he was called on the two objectionable conduct penalties in Saturday’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos?
  2. If this was true, why was Dwight Anderson relaying the Roughriders’ defensive signals to the Eskimos’ bench?
  3. Does Dwight Anderson live in a parallel universe, in which his post-penalization tirade, lasting for a good ten minutes before he calmed down, doesn’t exist?
  4. Would you make the effort to defend Anderson had the score been 24-22 instead of 31-1 for Saskatchewan at the time?
  5. You have a code of conduct, right? Right? Just wondering.

You Serve Your Master Well, Mark Elford

Since the days of Diefenbaker, the Conservative Party in Saskatchewan has produced a near inexhaustible supply of flat-earthers, mugwumps, fighting clowns and the type who think The Flintstones is a documentary. We should note that Mark Elford, chair of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, has apparently begun his campaign to have Stephen Harper appoint him to the Senate by calling two of Canada’s foremost literary icons ‘crackpots.’

Because that tactic works so well for the Ford family in Toronto.

God, I’m so ashamed to be from Saskatchewan

Craig Ferguson Is Coming To Regina? CRAIG FERGUSON IS COMING TO REGINA!!!

Craig Ferguson, according to one of his fan sites, will be doing a tour of western Canada this October, and he’s booked to play the Casino Regina Show Lounge on Friday, October 18. Casino Regina has nothing up on its web site yet.

I wonder if these women will be getting tickets.

You Think The Snake Just Dreams Up The Poison In His Head

Calgary-based grumpaloo white guy/talk show host Dave Rutherford has spent the last two decades on Alberta’s Corus radio stations, flinging verbal poo at people he doesn’t like, which, generally, has been people not as white, as male, as rich or as grouchy as he is. And it made a few bucks for advertisers in Alberta, and was a big enough platform for the guy, possessing no other apparent qualifications than just bitching into a microphone, to consider running for mayor against incumbent Naheed Nenshi.

The problem is, however, that when you fling the same, ill-researched, inflammatory, and unfair invective against your bosses … well, things have this way of going wrong. And people took this guy seriously? Looks as if the joke is now on Rutherford … and the people who were once his listeners.

Somebody Else’s Celebration In Rider Nation: A Look Back At the 2013 Saskatchewan Roughrider Season That Was

After two games where the players don’t get paid but the home teams charge full price for tickets anyway, the 2013 Canadian Football League season starts in earnest next week. What have we learned from the exhibition pre-season?

First of all, we won’t need an 18-game season to know who’s going to make the playoffs: the only thing left to decide is in what order they’ll appear. The Edmonton Eskimos didn’t look that good on offence even before their starting quarterback was lost for the year (their defense didn’t look that bad in their last pre-season game against the B.C. Lions, however). And between some strange personnel decisions, bad judgement calls, and just a bad team all around, this year’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers may challenge the Saskatchewan Roughriders of 1959, the Roughriders of 1999, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of 2003 as the worst team in the CFL’s history.

(The Saskatchewan Roughriders won only one game in the 1959 season, as did the 2003 Ti-Cats (who played two more games in the regular season). The ’59 Riders should get the nod because their sole victory, if I recall correctly, was negated because the Riders violated some CFL personal rules on signing a player for that game. But most consider the 1999 Roughriders as the worst team in the CFL’s history – racked with internal dissension, QB Reggie Slack’s chemical addiction, and just the most unimaginative, incompetent, and disinterested play Canadian football has ever seen. That team was so bad, it could have meant the end of the franchise: when, just after Thanksgiving, Alan Ford resigned as general manager – or was fired in order to boost sales of the Friends of the Riders lottery, depending on who’s telling the story – the Riders’ board of directors had a near-impossible time to find anyone else who wanted the GM position – even Ron Lancaster said he wasn’t interested. And the Riders’ brass were so out of touch with the rest of the CFL’s operation that when they finally got around to interviewing the best scout in the CFL at the time (and boy did the Riders need help in scouting), Lions’ assistant GM Roy Shivers, team chairman Bob Ellard didn’t know who Shivers was – and Shivers was probably the only black guy walking through Regina International Airport.)

Take Thursday’s game in Guelph, for example. (The Ti-Cats’s former home, Ivor Wynne Stadium, was demolished at the end of last season, and will be replaced with a new 25K or so seat football stadium that’s to open in time for the 2015 Pan American Games, which will have events spread willy-nilly throughout the Greater Toronto Authority. Hamilton is supposed to host soccer games. In the meantime, the Ti-Cats will call the University of Guelph`s Alumni Stadium home. It has a seating capacity of about 13K, so expect a lot of western Canadian CFL fans – who know nothing about the challenges of marketing in southern Ontario – to complain about how communities don’t support their teams.)

The Bombers took only 40 players and left most of their veterans at home – a stupid to the point of smack-you-upside-the-farking-head move that means the first team will take longer to get into game shape and the team will have the momentum to China Syndrome. Maybe we should start a betting pool as to when the Bombers fire their head coach and GM. If prairie dog had one, I’d say they won’t make Labour Day. But it won’t matter too much as the entire psychology of the organization has to be fumigated – I mean, this is a football team whose new stadium was built with an outdoor press box. In Winnipeg. Earmuff and Armpit City. At the University of Manitoba Institute for Mosquito-Breeding Studies. (You’re from Winnipeg, aren’t you, Whitworth?)

But we’re supposed to be talking about the Roughriders here. Right.

Secondly, we’ve learned that the Roughriders of 2013 are suspiciously like the Roughriders of 1976 (it’s still too painful to bring up those memories, so I should warn you before you click on that YouTube page). I know of at least three stories of television sets that died unnatural deaths after Tony Gabriel’s reception (one by shotgun blast, two by beer bottles) and my parent’s RCA would have been next had they not sat on me for not only the last 25 seconds of the 1976 Grey Cup but also the post-game show. But the Riders’ folly came not when Ted Dushinski blew the coverage and let Gabriel come off the line unscathed but back about two years ago, when the Roughriders decided to go all in on a bunch of veterans who didn’t have much gas in the tank. Had the Riders elected to prune the deadweight instead of gambling on a Grey Cup appearance in 1976 (and many of the old guard wheezed their way into the 1977 roster), they, with some fortuitous drafting, would have finished the decade with some respectability. Instead, the Riders never made the playoffs for 12 years.

The current incarnation of of the Riders seem to have done the same thing. In the off-season, the Riders signed a lot of free agents – Dwight Edwards, Rickey Foley, Rey Williams, John Chick, Geroy Simon – but in the first half of Thursday’s game, they were pretty much anonymous. Which, in Edwards’ case, is fine. It meant the Stampeders weren’t throwing in his direction (Williams and Chick also did all right in their time). But the Roughriders paid Big Bucks for a lot of these older more experienced players, and in many cases, it looks as though instead of getting the players of old, they got old players.

The worst part is that it didn’t have to be this way – if the Riders had a good general manager. Which, in my opinion, they don’t. Brendan Taman, given the keys to the executive washroom, the liquor cabinet, and the right to sign players, brought in the CFL All-Star Team from 2008. Time has caught up to most of those players. It happens to everyone, but a good general manager in the CFL relies a lot more on scouting, bringing in younger (and cheaper) players thank playing ‘fantasy football’ with the players of yesteryear.

The major problem the Riders are going to have this season will be on the offensive line (starter Patrick Neufeld is on the nine-game injured list and in the two exhibition games the o-line looked very weak), the defensive secondary (teams will be able to convert second and very long as long as Richie Hall call the shots) and special teams (which, from the looks of Chris Milo’s kicking, don’t appear to be very special at all). The loudmouth schnooks on CKRM’s post-game call in show will instead blame everything on Darian Durant, apparently forgetting that no quarterback can do much when he’s spending more time running for his life and/or flat on his back than all of the last three years of Georges St. Pierre’s opponents combined.

With the Riders being as close to the CFL salary cap as damn is to swearing, it’s likely that some of these guys (such as Simon, who has apparently gone from being Superman to The Invisible Man) will start the season on the nine-game injury list (where the player’s salary doesn’t come under the team salary cap) or will be cut outright (if a CFL team cuts a veteran before Labour Day, the club isn’t on the hook for the player’s salary under the spending cap).

But what makes me me think most about 1976 is the Roughriders’ apparent inattention to long-term scouting. A team doesn’t replace a Ron Lancaster, a George Reed, or a Bill Baker – but you have to find the best players that are available, both in free agency and in the Canadian and U.S. college system, and set them up for success. The 1976 Roughriders instead gambled and lost everything on a last-chance bid on a Grey Cup, and with the championship game in Regina (the event is even subtitled ‘Celebration in Rider Nation’) there’ll be a lot of pressure on Taman and assistant GM Jeremy O’Day to deliver Right Expletive Now. As Calgary and British Columbia run away with the CFL West, watch for the Riders to make some risky, short term trades – picks in the Canadian draft, negotiation lsit players, that sort of thing – to bring in bigger names from other teams in trades. But I don’t think it’s going to work. When it’s Labour Day and the players from a sub-.500 Rider team talking about ‘the season starts now,’ you’ll know its over.

PREDICTION: Riders finish with an 8-10 record, third in the CFL West. B.C. defeats Hamilton for the Grey Cup.

Pamela Wallin Is About As Saskatchewan As The Boyd Gang

Remember last February, when Pamela Wallin first got into trouble for representing Saskatchewan in the Senate while not actually, you know, living in Saskatchewan?

Here’s what she said then.

“My home is Saskatchewan, and I just don’t think there’s much dispute about that whole issue.”

And Brad Wall did his best Tammy Wynette impersonation.

Here’s what was really going on. According to a Toronto company for which she once sat on its board of directors, Wallin lived in Toronto for the past seven years.

For the past seven years, however, Gluskin Sheff has listed her residence as Toronto. That occurred in seven separate annual corporate filings that were each approved by the board on which Wallin sat, the CBC’s James Cudmore reports.

She also continued to sit on this and other corporate boards of directors, making over $1 million while working (I guess that’s what the kids in the PMO’s office call it) in the Senate. Isn’t that a conflict of interest? Could have fooled me.

Wallin shouldn’t resign from the Senate. She should be fired. Preferably from the Big Bertha field gun the Kaiser’s army used to shell Paris from 80 miles away in the First World War. The only debate on corruption within the HarperCons is not how bad it is: it’s why we gave power to Stephen Harper, who thinks people such as Wallin are the best he can surround himself with.

(Oh yeah, here’s the story of The Boyd Gang).

Who Lost The Memorial Cup? Not the Portland Winterhawks. Just WHL Fans In Smaller Cities

It’s pretty clear that Canada’s sports-writing fraternity are mostly the type of people who would never be at risk of committing sociology. So it should be no surprise that none have picked up on what Damien Cox wrote about in the Toronto Star (when the Star wasn’t filled with stories about the mayor’s succession of freakouts). But Cox wrote a reference file when you open the Leader-Post’s sports section in, say, three to five years from now and read something like “Prince Albert Raiders/Swift Current Broncos Franchise Moves to Vancouver, Washington/Eugene, Oregon/Sacramento.”

Of all the words and air time that were devoted to the recent Memorial Cup in Saskatoon, Cox was the only one who talked about the elephant in the major junior hockey room: the widening gap between small and large markets. The Portland Winterhawks got stiffly fined (at least in major junior hockey terms) and sanctioned for bypassing some of the Western Hockey League’s rules regarding recruiting players at the beginning of the season, though the circumstances which led to the fines and sanctions remained murky. The issue was a three day wonder in the sports section, and by the time of the Memorial Cup, nobody seemed to care.

The real problem, for the WHL, is that the Winterhawks are owned by a guy with deep pockets, much deeper than the smaller market teams can compete. And while the Bantam draft is supposed to even out that playing field – giving the weakest teams the ability to draft the better players to stock their clubs – many of the upcoming hockey players – especially if they’re from the United States – are threatening to go the NCAA route where they will (a) have an opportunity to get a full university scholarship, and (b) have some decision as to where they will go, rather than being told where to go. (Cox’s story also notes a couple of junior hockey players who refused to report to the teams that drafted them, instead holding out for trades to the teams they would rather play for and using the NCAA as a bargaining chip).

If the Canadian Hockey Association really did want to make a system where cheaters didn’t prosper, it would have had to devise a system where the Winterhawks would have forfeited the revenue they earned though their playoff run and Memorial Cup appearance. Fining the club $200,000 won’t count for much in a season (and playing at the Rose Garden, which is an NHL-sized arena) where they can make millions in revenue from a long playoff drive. The CHL didn’t, for whatever reason.

This means that the new economics of junior hockey means big bucks are going to be needed in order to keep kids in their programs, for payments made legally as well as under the table. Teams in smaller markets can’t generate that kind of revenue . And there’s little that can be done (at least within the CHA guidelines) that can make P.A. Or Swift Current, or even Moose Jaw, appealing to a kid (and his parents) who has his (their) heart set on playing in a larger community.  And soon, if the kids won’t go to the club, the clubs will have to go to the kids.

Meanwhile In Toronto, (gives up)

Last week Rob Ford’s chief of staff was fired by the mayor. Today, the mayor’s press secretary and deputy press secretary have also tendered their resignations. Ford has put a football coach in his office as a ‘special assistant.’ And the mayor’s office is also questioned about a dead drug dealer.

A lot of stuff going on for someone who says a video of him smoking crack doesn’t exist and his brother wasn’t a drug dealer.

I think this is how the Rob Ford Era at Toronto City Hall will end.

The Difference Between ‘Political Spin’ And ‘Alternate Universe’

With all due respect to Saskboy, the result of the Labrador by-election wasn’t newsworthy in itself. Incumbent governments traditionally fare poorly in by-elections, and the riding in question is a traditional Liberal stronghold, going to the Conservatives twice – in 1968 and 2010. If the Liberals didn’t win a traditionally Liberal riding, that would have been news. So, I was about to say something along the lines of “… nice, kids, call me when a Liberal wins in Alberta,” when …

(Conservative incumbent Peter) Penashue said he is not sure which issues cost him the job, although he blamed CBC News reports on his spending for having “defined me very negatively.” He was referring to a series of CBC News reports on his campaign spending since last summer.

“I tried to change that but the damage had already been done. I could say, you know there was that issue, that issue. People make up their minds and people make up their choices.”

Oh, really?

Gee, Peter, why single out the CBC when every other news organization in Newfoundland and Labrador was saying the same thing?

And here’s a head scratcher … the Liberals LOST the by-election, says Harper’s spokesperson.

“As we know, majority governments do not usually win byelections. In fact, Liberals have won the riding of Labrador in every election in history except for two, so we are not surprised with these results,” Fred DeLorey, the party’s director of communications said in a statement.

“What is surprising is the collapse of the Liberal support during this byelection. When this byelection was called the Liberals had a 43-point lead in the polls,” DeLory wrote.

“Since electing Justin Trudeau as leader and having him personally campaign there, they have dropped 20 points in Labrador. That’s a significant drop in only a few weeks,” he said.

“Labradorians were able to see firsthand how Justin Trudeau is in over his head.”

Christ on a crutch, Comical Ali’s got a job with Harper!

It’s not so much that the Cons lost the riding, but it’s their reaction to such a loss which indicates that Canada’s going to be in for at least two more ugly years of federal politics. Instead of learning anything from the loss, the Cons have doubled down on the stupid and mean, as if they have no other setting on the program which gives them the ability to impersonate human emotions.

Canada. Governed by 12-year-old schoolyard bullies who are in over their heads.

Rosie’s Six In The A.M. Features A Whole Lot Of Hashtags For Some Reason

1 #BOSTON It’s pretty clear by now that the numbnut(s) who killed three and maimed nearly 200 with the IEDs at the Boston Marathon finish line weren’t as sophisticated at, say’s Al Qaida’s attack on London’s transit system in 2005. Had this been a sophisticated terrorist operation, the bomb blasts would have been set off around the time when the first runners crossed the finish line (thereby attracting the international sports media) instead of around the four-hour mark (around the time when the dedicated amateur joggers finish, which is the time when a lot of the reporters and camera crews leave the scene and are busy filing their stories about the winners). As well, there would probably have been blasts along more areas of the route, in the MTA (Boston’s subway system) and in the area of Massachusetts General Hospital, where most of the wounded were treated.

As well, the time around Patriots’ Day is a time for the American milita movement to get active. The ATF attack on the Branch Davidian compound was on April 19th: Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building was also on an April 19th. (Until the late 1960s, Maine and Massatchusettes celebrated Patriots’ Day on April 19th, the anniversary of the first battle in the American Revolutionary War in Lexington and Concord. Now, the two states celebrate the public holiday on the monday nearest April 19th.) But that’s not going to stop a lot of American politicians and mouthbreathers on the talk radio claiming it was those Arabs doing that again. Such as The New York Post.

And Stephen Harper says there’s a right way and a wrong way to mourn those deaths in Boston, and his is, of course, the only right way. Geez Louise, I swear he’s now telling his followers that when he dies, he’ll be back in three days.

And it was a bad day for CNN. I don’t think CNN has good days any more. And The New York Post, just go away. Please.

2 #CDNPOL (1) Speaking of out of control Conservative MPs with God complexes, Edmonton-area MP Peter Goldring is using the ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ defense in his drunk driving trial. Because it works so well for Kevil Lowe, I suppose.

3 #CDNPOL (2) Reading about Saskatoon-Acute State of Paranoia MP Maurice Vellacott’s tirade against the electoral boundaries commission makes me very scared for the future of democracy in Canada. If he loses his riding in the next election or if the Cons lose the next election, Vellacott and other Saskatchewan Cons will blame the commission for jury rigging the ridings into Liberal or NDP strongholds instead of accepting the judgement of voters.

4 #REATEAH Rosie’s second-favourite alt-weekly, The Coast contrasts the overkill Halifax RCMP have used in busting people allegedly possessing and/or cultivating marijuana with the apparent lack of effort they made in investigating the Parsons case. It’s a very damning article, and if the RCMP had any shame or wren’t too busy playing dress-up or teaching horses how to dance, they should be embarrassed to be a member of such a police force. It’s a sad note when people (such as the late girl’s father) now, apparently, have more faith in the investigating powers of Anonymous than of the RCMP. But it doesn’t make sense for a police force whose members sexually harass its own female members to investigate sexual assaults.

5 #BCPOL The election campaign is under way in British Columbia, which means that Tom Hawthorne (one of the best writer/reporters that the University of British Columbia student newspaper has ever produced) and Tom Barrett now have a running series of stories about the history of weirdness in Left Coast politics. Honestly, it started early, when the man who became B.C.’s first premier changed his name from Bill Smith to Amour de Cosmos (Lover of the Universe).

6 #BOYCOTTRBC BC labour unions are pressuring the Royal Bank of Canada to change their attitude towards the foreign workers program. But since RBC is Too Big To Fail, they’re probably not going to do it.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN In 1990 I was watching the Junos on TV when this woman, who was wide as she was tall, sauntered onto the stage and unleashed a voice and a song that froze me in my tracks. About halfway through the song, about three dozen men in lighted miners helmets walked through the hall, singing the chorus as they strode to the stage. Frankly, I couldn’t think of a more moving sight in the history of Canadian music, as Rita MacNeil and The Men of the Deeps moved like ghosts, telling of a hard and dangerous life that we, in our affluence, had chosen to ignore.

MacNeil died on April 16th from post-surgical complications. She was 68. As her Toronto Star obituary illustrates, she was a working-class hero in a Springsteen mold – worked a bunch of menial jobs while trying to get established as a performer, was under observation (see: spying) by the RCMP for the radical idea of equal pay for work of equal value for women, and she became a godmother for the Nova Scotia music scene.

I’m sorry to say that my search on YouTube has failed to come up with that video. The only video I could find of Ms. MacNeil’s performance of that song was from a 2009 performance, and her voice was shot. So, we’ll make do with a fan video of her most famous (and moving) song, Working Man.

Rosie’s Top Six For January 101st, 2013 Features Bad Country Music, Oil In Your Drinking Water, Sulu, And A Tribute To Margaret Thatcher, Who Has Been In Hell For 48 Hours And Already Ordered The Closure Of 24 Blast Furnaces

6-in-the-morning1 YEAH, BUT THE OIL INDUSTRY DOES SO MUCH FOR SASKATCHEWAN that having some oil in our drinking water … what’s a few drops between friends, eh? Signed, Joe Oliver.

2 RCMP DROP THE BALL, AGAIN Let’s be honest: a police force whose members think sexually harassing women is standard operating procedure isn’t exactly the group of investigators that would do a good job in investigating an alleged rape. And if someone like Rehteah Parsons gets caught in that, well, so what? A few tours of the Musical Rider should make everybody feel better. That’s why people such as author/onetime Liberal Party of Canada strategist Warren Kinsella now have more faith in the investigative powers of Anonymous than of the RCMP.

3 COMPARED TO THIS, ‘EBONY & IVORY’ IS LANGSTON HUGHES My vision of Hell would be to be trapped in a pickup truck for hours on end listening to nothing but a country music radio station. And I know most country music fans are dim enough to think that Brad Paisley’s ‘Accidental Racist’ song is a good idea. A short note to Brad Paisley: if you don’t want to be a laughingstock, remember these three things: The Confederacy was based on the assumption that white men could own black men as slaves, the Confederacy lost the Civil War, and the world is a better place for it except in the minds of a relatively few white supremacists. What’s so difficult about that? I don’t see any Germans claiming the swastika is a cultural icon …

4 OKAY, MARTIN O’NEIL MAY NOT HAVE BEEN THE ANSWER, BUT THIS … Then again there’s a certain soccer coach in England who’s a fan of the late Il Duce. That should make Remembrance Day a little awkward.

5 BOOK THE RECORDING STUDIO, SHE’S GOING TO HAVE ANOTHER HIT RECORD Taylor Swift isn’t dating Sidney Crosby, but if they did here’s what the breakup song would sound like.

6 THIS IS WHY WE’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO HAVE NICE THINGS You know how people say that building a fancy new stadium is going to drive a whole bunch of money into the city? Well, here’s what Marlins Park in Miami looks like a year after it opened — with a supposed attendance of 13,000. And to think the city and county have another 35 years to pay for it.

YOUR MUSICAL MONET OF ZEN Somebody told me that The Wolf’s morning man/John Gormley-in-training Michael Ball railed on a couple of days ago about the disgrace of Margaret Thatcher not getting a state funeral. If she was so beloved, Ballsy, then why has this song made rocketed into the British Top 10 pop music chart the week she died? From the movie The Wizard of Oz, here’s Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead …

Rosie’s Six In The A.M. Features An Outraged Stephen Colbert, Collapsing Journalism (in More Ways Than One) And A Guy On a Buffalo

6-in-the-morning1 BENGOUGH? BENGOUGH. It’s cattle and Conservative country, where the townsfolk traditionally run people like me out of their sight. But the Gateway Music Festival has attracted Steve Earle and Corb Lund, for starters … holy moly, it appears they have a pretty good lineup.

2 LET IT SNOW (NOT) … I don’t think I’ll be singing that song to my former bosses in Melville, after the former home of Community Publishing (Prairie Dog used to get printed there long ago, but the printing presses shut down in 2008 and most of the printing now gets done in Estevan). The weight of this year’s snow pack caved in the roof yesterday.

3 NATURE OF THE BUSINESS Let’s face it, Melville isn’t the only place where the roof is falling in on the newspaper industry. The Boston Globe’s publisher recently told a conference that his newspaper used to make from $160 to $180 million on classified advertising alone. That’s gone, and thanks to Internet sites such as, it ain’t comin’ back.

4 IN OTHER NEWS, MY MOTHER-IN-LAW WONDERS WHERE I GOT THE BLING FOR BUYING HAIR CARE PRODUCTS AT DOLLAR TREE The author of the book Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, won the Internet a couple of days ago when he wrote in GQ that in order to deal with his sexual dysfunction, he went out and bought clothes. A lot of clothes. A lot of very, very strange clothes unless he’s trying to a second career as a bouncer at a leather bar … “eighty-one leather jackets, seventy-five pairs of boots, forty-one pairs of leather pants, thirty-two pairs of haute couture jeans, ten evening jackets, and 115 pairs of leather gloves.” Buzz is in rehab now, for a mild bipolar disorder. (You mean, somebody can work in journalism and make enough money to afford all that? Who knew?)

5 SAD NEWS I attended the University of Regina in the early 1980s, and shared a Logic 100 class with about 100 others, including Ron Lancaster Jr. The son of Ron Lancaster, and a pretty good CFL coach in his own right, passed away yesterday in his Hamilton apartment at the age of 50.

6 DEFENSE OF GAY MARRIAGE ACT Stephen Colbert launches a freakout after Papa Bear (Bill O’Rielly) goes to play for the other team. In other news, the lawsuits regarding the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 9 (and how the Supreme Court is probably going to throw them both out) is succinctly and entertainingly explained here. And for the bigots in the crowd … were these quotes made by people opposed to gay marriage or those opposed to inter-racial marriage? And could you tell the difference?
HE’S MAKING IT UP AS HE GOES ALONG Let me get this straight. Brad Wall cuts the Saskatchewan Film and Video Tax Credit, saying that it’s propping up an economically unsustainable industry. Then he tells everybody opposing the decision — even the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce — to go pound sand. Then he says the government has studies that show it’s unsustainable. The studies don’t appear to exist, because his government never asked for studies about the film/video tax credit: they only asked for spin doctors to rationalize that decision AFTER the government made the decision. Christ on a crutch, if Wall was any denser we could use him as a sandbag.

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART ONE: The greatest song in the world …

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN PART TWO: In honour of the Saskatchewan film industry, here’s R.E.M. covering Richard Thompson.

The Greatest Thing To Happen To The Twitterverse Since #TellVicEverything

On March 7, Stephen Harper asked the Twitterverse to supply him with questions when he talks with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who’s currently commanding the International Space Station.

It’s not going well.

Here’s some of my favourites …

“Do you agree that all science is a hoax unless it furthers the projects of Big Oil?”

“Anything to say before I slash your funding?”

“Why do you hate science so much, Stephen? Were you bullied by nerds?”

“From space, can you tell where Senator Mike Duffy lives?”

“The next time you fly over Venezuela, Harper wants you to give it the finger.”

“Who’s the evil guy with bad grey hair: Harper or KHHHAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN?

“What do you think about the Minister of Science in Canada being a creationist who doesn’t even have a university degree?”


In Honour Of Stompin’ Tom Connors, Rosie Encourages Everybody To Stamp Their Heels Through A Sheet Of Plywood While Reading This Six In The Morning

Six!1 MAY STOMPIN’ TOM GO TO HEAVEN, AND MAY THAT HEAVEN BARE A RESEMBLANCE TO A SUDBURY SATURDAY NIGHT When I was growing up, Stompin’ Tom Connors was like Johnny Cash –- someone we could easily mock without understanding where he came from, without understanding we were mocking a part of ourselves. But he sang about regular, working people, something that’s lost in the age of Beliebers. Here’s his final message to his fans, here’s a cool Huffington Post article about how an immigrant learned about the real Canada through Stompin’ Tom’s work, here’s a link to what I think is his best song – written for the CBC in 1972 for a television show (Mothercorp won’t let me embed its videos) and well … read on.

2 PICKING A FIGHT ON THE WAY TO A VENEZUELAN FUNERAL Stephen Harper should learn some manners before it’s too late.

3 NOBODY LIKES STEVIE, EVERYBODY HATES STEVIE, HIS POLITICAL CAREER IS GOING TO THE GARDEN TO EAT WORMS When The Great Pollster comes to rank Stephen Harper, let it be said that every major newspaper in Canada save the Toronto Star endorsed this jerk in the last election. The news is not just that it’s a three-way race: the news is that the Cons are in free-fall everywhere except Alberta and Saskatchewan and the Liberals, with no leader and no money, are nearly tied with the ruling party.

4 MERCY FOR ME, NOT FOR THEE It’s interesting to watch Tom Flanagan try to rewrite history, in this case, trying to explain away his statements that people watching child porn should get treatment, not jail, after he once said that people who watch child porn shouldn’t get persecuted by the state. See, the whole point of the Calgary School is that they think people should be free to do what they want, no matter who they hurt –- whether it’s the economy, the environment or, in this case, child porn. So what if someone’s life or someone’s civilization gets destroyed? They have a need to be satisfied.

(BTW, the guy who did the video of Flanagan spouting off about this is an activist with Idle No More — a sign that they may have gone from a talking circle to a real and true force that has the means to oppose Harper, rather than just resort to theatrics.)

5 MAYBE THE REGINA CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOARD WANTS THEM TO DO THE LINDY HOP INSTEAD I’ve been out of the loop for a while, so I don’t understand what the Harlem Shake is, let alone what would cause it to freak out a principal of a Catholic high school. (I’m sure the college of cardinals electing a new pope will get right on it.) But Riffel’s student council president got fired by the principal after telling a reporter why he didn’t understand why the principal banned it. Dean Wormer would have been proud. I wonder if Scott Woloshin is any relation to Kelly Woloshin, who was the Carillon’s sports editor in the early 1980s …

6 PIT THE POOR MALE PORN STAR I feel sorry for James Deen. How would he have known that appearing in a movie with Lindsey Lohan would have been a bad career move?

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN Any other time, I would have instead used this photo I found on Twitter of Olivia Newton John and Billy Bragg together. (According to Olivia’s feed they sang a duet on something called The One Show recently. It’s the late show on BBC One, naturally). But the death of a Canadian icon calls for something else.

[James Brotheridge here. I think Rosie’s video got lost somewhere along the way. In place of whatever he had in mind, here’s another tribute to Stompin’ Tom, courtesy of Prairie Dog writer Mason Pitzel’s Facebook page.]

Rosie’s Top Six Features A Harper Confidante Supporting Child Porn, Dennis Rodman As A Diplomat, And A Remote Control Papacy

Six!1 WHISTLING PAST THE GRIDIRON GRAVEYARD? It’s interesting to read Rob Vanstone’s column about how the CFL has recovered from its constant operating fiascoes of yesteryear. But with the Toronto Blue Jays stocking up for a deep playoff run this year and the possibility that the Argos may not be allowed to play at the Rogers Centre in the near future, this may be merely the calm before the CFL’s next storm.

2 MAYBE THIS IS THE REAL REASON WHY VIC TOEWS WITHDREW THE INTERNET SURVEILLANCE BILL Tom Flanagan, fashion consultant to the Toronto IKEA monkey and a senior member of Stephen Harper’s brain trust, expressed support for watching child pornography during a public forum at the University of Lethbridge, and says he has been long on the list of the Man Boy Love Association. There seems to be an incredible amount of media self-censorship when it comes to Harper’s people saying and doing strange and stupid things, which makes this Winnipeg Free Press article very timely.

3 POPE BY REMOTE CONTROL American blogger Andrew Sullivan notes that when Pope Benedict leaves office, he’ll share the same secretary with the incoming Pope. Which means, probably, that Benedict will be still running the Roman Catholic Church … he just won’t be the public face of it.

4 YEAH, THIS WILL END WELL Dennis Rodman was, arguably, the most mentally unstable person to ever play in the NBA. He’s now leading a diplomatic delegation to North Korea. If William Gibson or Mel Brooks – or William Gibson and Mel Brooks together – thought this up, they’d be laughed out of the office.

5 EVEN THE JABONIES NOTICE In the last two elections, Linda McMahon, aka Mrs. Vince McMahon, spent big, big bucks to run as a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. She lost. Now, it turns out that even wrestling fans have had enough of the Tea Party’s antics.

6 RICK MERCER RULES, BUT YOU PROBABLY ALREADY KNOW THAT It’ll be kind of hard to beat The Stupidest Thing Ever Said video …

YOUR MUSICAL MOMENT OF ZEN The Jam, with That’s Entertainment.