Saturday, June 04, 2005


The Great Pumpkin has tagged me!
Now I am IT!
It's time to reveal the deeply hidden library of books in the household, etc., etc., etc.

Number of books I own: I tend not to count 'em, but it's probably a couple of hundred, between the den and the basement. (Throw in the kids' books and the number doubles.)
Last book I bought: "Shakey" (the Neil Young biography)
Last book I read: "Let Us Speak of Many Things" (Wm. F. Buckley Jr. collected speeches)
Five books that mean a lot to me: (in no particular order)
* "I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962" by the late Lewis Grizzard - the columnist for the Atlanta newspapers wrote with a sparkling wit and a feeling that much of liberalism had passed him by. Also, "Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel Too Good Myself" by Grizzard is also a classic about the aging of a boomer.
* "The Closing of the American Mind" by Allan Bloom - a tome of how un-liberal "liberal" thought is.
* "The New Elite" by David Lebedoff - probably out of print, but if you can find it, read it. It's a dead-on guide to the way the elites of US and Canada operate.
* "The Unmaking of a Mayor" by Wm. F. Buckley Jr. - If you want a primer on contemporary conservative thought, with uproarious wit and dead-on analysis, read this.
* "You Told Me Go To Hell, So I Did" (the working title of the book I'm working on right now)

I, however, am going to hold off for a day or two before tagging the next batch of unsuspecting victims.

Why the RCMP won't investigate ADSCAM

A report today shows why the Liberals have nothing to fear from the RCMP in the Adscam affair...
From Canoe via Canadian Press:
OTTAWA (CP) - The RCMP did not pursue more than a third of the money-laundering tips passed on by Canada's financial sleuthing agency, largely because the force lacked the manpower, says a newly released report.
The Mounties did not open investigations on 45 files turned over to them by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, better known as Fintrac, says the document.
The agency was established in 2000 to gather financial intelligence from banks and other institutions on potential money-laundering schemes. After careful analysis, Fintrac forwards information on the most suspicious transactions to the RCMP and other police forces.
An internal Fintrac report, obtained under the Access to Information Act, found the Mounties did not chase 45 of the 131 high-quality tips the agency had produced to the end of 2003. Virtually all of the cases not pursued were suspected schemes in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, where the national police force places most of its proceeds-of-crime investigators.
And about three-quarters of the abandoned tips were not investigated simply because the RCMP had "limited resources."
"There is no shortage of evidence against these individuals committing crime, just a shortage of investigators to bring all the criminals to justice," says the 31-page report from 2004.
The findings suggest the extent of money-laundering in Canada, most of which stems from drug-trafficking, far exceeds the ability of the RCMP to investigate.

"He does not like Americans"

The subject of this post is not Howard Dean, or Osama Loonie Bin Laden, or even Paulie Librano.
This story is about a teenager in the Philadelphia suburbs who wanted to blow up his high school, a fellow who "does not like Americans."
This comes from the Doylestown (Pa.) Intelligencer:

Classmates of Travis W. Biehn - the 17-year-old Central Bucks East junior being held for collecting bomb-making materials and threatening to blow up his high school - say he liked to pull pranks and get attention. They never thought he'd be accused of such serious crimes.
Both school officials and classmates described the teen as bright, funny and computer savvy.
"He was not an angry kid or anything," said Johnathan Buell, a classmate. "A lot of people liked him, but he was an attention hound."
Many students were familiar with Biehn and his pranks, several said. "He was just one of those goofy kids ... a class clown," said Amanda Teeter, a CB East junior.
While officials said they did not know what prompted the student to allegedly make the bomb threat or gather the potassium nitrate, canisters and fuses in his bedroom, Bucks County District Attorney Diane Gibbons said he seemed to have anti-American sentiments.
"He does not like Americans," she said during a press conference Friday afternoon at the Bucks County Courthouse. "He'd prefer to be in Canada."
Biehn and his family are Canadian citizens, Gibbons said. They have been in the United States since 1999 on a permanent visa. Gibbons said Biehn could be deported if convicted of threatening to blow up the school and accumulating bomb-making materials.
She characterized both the teen and his parents, Brant and Annette Biehn, as "uncooperative." During the search of the home Thursday, Gibbons said the mother was "verbally interfering with police." She said the parents also instructed the son not to cooperate and someone videotaped the search of the home by police.

Hmmm... do we have some Librano sympathizers sent here to infiltrate us?

Should we send them all packing back to Libranoland?

Oil-for-food + Mob-buster = new hockey league? (UPDATED)


At first, it looked interesting... Talk of a new hockey league should the National Hockey League fail to reach agreement with its players, as reported in the Toronto Red Star.
If the National Hockey League and its players' union fail to reach an agreement on a new contract this summer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and a leading Canadian diplomat may help the game's stars engineer a return to the ice.
The NHL lockout enters its ninth month today and both sides have said talks are progressing toward ending the stalemate. Yet in recent weeks, the players' association, in concert with at least one prominent hockey agent, has considered a plan to start a rival league to the NHL.
Tentatively called the International Hockey Association, the league would rely on Giuliani's New York consulting company to help raise as much as $5 billion (U.S.) in seed money for the upstart league, according to a 71-page business plan reviewed by the Toronto Star and circulated to prospective Wall Street investors including Goldman Sachs & Co. and Allen & Co.
Rudy Giuliani, we know. The Mob-busting former federal prosecutor whose leadership as Mayor of New York City during 9-11 made him a respected national figure.
But who is this "leading Canadian diplomat"?
Former Power Corp. president Maurice Strong, the Undersecretary General to the United Nations and an adviser on relations with North Korea, is involved with the group as an international consultant, according to its business plan.
Maurice Strong, eh?
The same Maurice Strong who is described by his sycophants as "the father of the Kyoto Protocol" (better known as The Protocol of the Elders of Power Corp.), a real envirofascist of the first order and one-world fanatic. Witness this quote from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit:
"The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security."
That's not all about Mr. Strong. See an earlier post on this site for more info on his shadowy influence on the Oil-For-Food scandal.
If Rudy Giuliani wants to run for president on the Republican ticket in 2008, I suggest he get the hell away from Maurice Strong as soon as possible.

UPDATED: Bill at Strong World updates that the deal is dead. Well done, Bill.

Memo to moonbats

Listen up, Canada. Or maybe it's grow up, Canada.
Canada's ambassador to the U.S. took the smug attitudes north of the border for a good tearing Friday night. As the
Canadian Press reports:

OTTAWA (CP) - Frank McKenna, Canada's tough-talking ambassador to the U.S., has some advice for Canadians dealing with their powerful neighbours to the south - stop being smug and take the chip off your shoulders.
Americans are offended when Canadians attack them and endlessly moralize about what they should be doing differently, he said Friday.
"In short, a self-righteousness that isn't very flattering," McKenna told The Canadian Press annual dinner, a gathering of journalists and power-brokers.

Now, there are a lot of fine folks I've met north of the border. We don't always agree on everything, but we do have a lot in common. Most of the folks I've met don't share the attitude McKenna describes. (The trolls, though, certainly do.)
Oh, by the way, does anyone have a Carolyn Parrish doll I can stomp?

Friday, June 03, 2005

One word... (UPDATED)

SHOUTOUT: I wrote this before I paid my regular visit to Ed at Maple Leaf Blog. Our views are based on the same theme. Pay him a visit.
If there has been one thread in all of the material I've read about Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin Jr. in the past several months, it is one word.
Webster's has this to say about the word micromanage... manage or control very closely, as by making decisions about even the smallest details, often so as to be regarded as acting inefficiently or counterproductively.
Now that says a lot, doesn't it?
It certainly fits with the kind of actions that earned Mr. Martin Jr. the nickname "Mr. Dithers."
It also certainly fits in with the idea that Mr. Martin Jr. knew and knows a LOT more about the various and sundry scandals that are dogging his Librano government.
Look at the patterns here for a moment, if you will.
Two years ago, several key members of the Martin Jr. government either weren't in the Parliament or weren't in the Librano Party.
Tony Valeri? A Liberal, but put up against Martin foe Sheila Copps.
Uddal Dosangh? A failed New Democrat premier in British Columbia.
Scott Brison? A PC who didn't get a top slot when the PC and Reform parties merged to form the Conservative Party of Canada.
The Honorable B.S.? Not even in politics two years ago, but preparing to run for the new Conservative Party leadership post.
Valeri is the Librano leader in the House; Dosangh, Brison and B.S. hold major portfolios.
None owes loyalty to the Librano Party so much as they owe loyalty to Paul Martin Jr.
No doubt there are many others who owe their loyalty first to Martin Jr., then to the Librano Party.
But you notice the pattern -- there are rewards for joining Team Martin Jr., rewards that exceed those who have been loyal to the party for much longer than the interlopers.
That pattern adds credibility to the allegations that Dosangh and Martin Jr.'s own chief of staff discussed -- in a circular way, of course -- trading non-votes for favours with two Parliament members from B.C.
You all know about THE TAPES right now.
And, yes, there are some questions about editing.
But is anyone specifically saying that the key parts of the recordings -- the ones implicating the Martin Jr. ally and key aide -- have been edited in a way as to discredit the "gentlemen"?
Not to my knowledge.
They can't rebut the specifics. They can dance, they can prance, they can dodge, they can weave -- but they can't rebut the specifics.
I've been around politicians enough to know "the code." The transcripts are pretty clear -- the code was out there, and the Martin Jr. allies weren't even trying to hide the fact that they were speaking code-speak.
Micromanaging would indicate that Mr. Martin Jr. knew every last thing that was going on with the Grewal situation. It's a pattern well-established with the "recruitment" of Mr. Brison and The Honorable B.S. and the unsuccessful attempt to recruit Mr. Mark of Manitoba.
What is the pattern? Buy off your opponents.
If a dumb Americano can figure this out, why can't so many Canadians?
The Martin Jr. government is morally and ethically bankrupt.
It makes the Nixon administration of the 1970s look like a cadre of Mother Teresa clones.
Draw your own conclusions.

UPDATE: 4 June, 7:00 PM. Ed at Maple Leaf Blog has nailed it again. I'll defer to him.

15 minutes on the phone

Canadian Prime Minister Paulie Librano says he spent 15 minutes on the phone Thursday with U.S. President George Dubya Bush to discuss the Devils Lake project.
That's the project that has some of our Manitoban friends in a snit. (For more details, visit and do a site search on "Devils Lake".)
Well, our crack research team has acquired a tape of the conversation. They turned it over to our crack translation team in order to convert Librano and Dubya-ese into English.
Here is the transcript:
"White House."
"Yes, this is the Prime Minister of Canada. Is the President available?"
"Hold on, please, Mr. Librano, sir."
(Muzak begins to play the theme from "The Godfather.")
Inside the White House:
"Mr. President."
"Yes, dear."
"There's a gentleman with a funny accent claiming to be the Prime Minister of Canada on the phone. He says he'll put a horsehead inside the visitor's center at Niagara Falls if you don't talk to him."
"Oh, that lying toady. Tell him I'll be right there; I'm in a meeting on Iraq right now. Should be just another minute.... Laura, I told those girls that they should stick to beer if they've got to drink at all!"
(Muzak continues to play as Librano holds the line. The secretary breaks in.)
"Give him just a minute, Mr. Librano."
"Well, all right. I have to attend to a purchase of a very important Parliamentarian. I'll be here, though."
(Muzak plays a very watered down version of "Tell the Truth" by Derek and the Dominos, followed by the first four minutes of "In-a-gadda-da-vida" by Iron Butterfly. Finally, the President picks up the line. Thirteen minutes have passed since the phone first rang.)
"Paulie, how are ya? Need some more of that good Texas bar-b-q?"
"Later, yes. Right now, though, we've got a problem."
"Yeah, I heard about that Gruel guy."
"That's no problem. The problem is Devils Lake."
"Why's a lake in North Dakota bugging you, Paulie?"
"They want to divert the water into the Red River, which flows into Canada."
"So you get more water. What's the problem?"
"Some of our people think it's going to be polluted."
"North Dakota? Polluted? C'mon, Paulie. They haven't even heard of pollution up there yet, never mind know how to do it."
"So you won't be petitioning to block it?"
"When you turn over all the Oil-For-Food stuff, we'll think about it."
"What about the softwood and the BSE and all the other stuff."
"Paulie, I told you. Oil-For-Food and missile defense or fugetaboudit. That's the deal. Kapish?"
"Oh. See you later, then."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Riddle time

Let's do a riddle...

What do they call a gathering of 1,000 liberals (Libranos or Democrats, or a smattering of both, with some NDPs thrown in for good measure)?

I await your responses.

A Yankee Tory? (UPDATED)

I decided to put the Blogging Tories blogroll on the sidebar. Whether they'll take a Yank remains to be seen. In a way, I don't care, since the BTs are generally philosophically compatible with what I'm doing here. It would be nice, but not fatal to the cause...
Now if I could just get IE for Macintosh to deal with Blogger the way my home PC does...

UPDATE 12:12 AM 3 June 05 - I am in the BT Blogroll. Thanks. It's muchly appreciated. And Free Canada!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Winners & losers

Jonah Goldberg always offers interesting views on the world in his various writings. His latest offering in the June 6 print version of National Review is a classic.

A Coalition of Losers
Conservatives are patriotic, God-loving, and cheery. Liberals are meddlesome, secular kill-joys.
Hey, don't take my word for it – I've got data to back me. The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
[a classic left-lib outfit] has released a big new report saying essentially just that.

Near the end of the piece, he chimes in with this piece of wonderful analysis...

One doesn't want to be too harsh here, but in a completely non-judgemental, non-moralistic sense, one party is for losers, the other for winners.

Guess which one is which?

SHOUTOUT to Regular Ron for his blog on the Dems' loss of the middle class, part of the inspiration for this piece.

John D'Amico, R.I.P. -- why? (UPDATED)

John D'Amico, the Hockey Hall of Fame linesman who worked for 25 years in the NHL, died late Sunday. He was 67.
D'Amico suffered from a particularly potent form of leukemia. Yet, in the midst of it all, his treatment program was interrupted -- because the hospital where he was receiving the treatment couldn't handle bringing him in in a timely fashion.
"I don't want to be a crusader here but I had to wait 28 days for a bed," D'Amico, whose experimental — and critical — drug therapy to battle his disease, acute myleoblastic leukemia, at Princess Margaret Hospital was interrupted by the delay, told the Toronto Star in an interview published on May 14.
"I just want people to know that the lack of funding for hospitals is wrong. Where do all the cutbacks stop and when does the government start helping people?" he wondered, weakly, before leaning back on his pillow, exhausted, two days ago. "The government has to hire more nurses, more people to help. It's just not right the way it is now."
Dr. Mark Minden is head of the leukemia program at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, where D'Amico was receiving the experimental treatment. Minden says the hospital gets approximately 250 new patients annually, which adds to the daily heart-wrenching decisions he and other doctors must make about who moves up the waiting list — and who doesn't. Minden told the Star that at Princess Margaret, there are 29 of a possible 49 beds open for leukemia patients, who require a large expert support staff because "people get really sick from the treatments." Those vacant 20 beds can't be opened without more nurses, doctors, technicians and other specialized staffers, Minden said.
However, provincial health minister George Smitherman disagrees with complaints about staffing.
When the Ontario Hospital Association warned the provincial Liberals [earlier in May] that hospitals would have to cut services and up to 4,000 jobs to live within a funding increase of $600 million this year, Smitherman scoffed at the notion, saying the OHA has "a real tendency to cry wolf."
But D'Amico told Star reporter Mary Ormsby he is one of the many front-line casualties in the financial warring between hospitals and government.
"I have no beef with this hospital, everyone here has been great,'' he said. "My beef is with the system."
D'Amico's journey through that contentious system began three years ago when he was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder called aplastic anemia. Then worse news hit: last Oct. 23, D'Amico was told he had AML.
The former NHL supervisor of officials and his wife, Dorothy, started trekking from their Mississauga home to Princess Margaret for twice weekly platelet boosts at the outpatient transfusion clinic. By March, he was admitted to the hospital for his first round of chemotherapy.
Close to the tentative date for his second session to begin in April, D'Amico spent 12 days in Mount Sinai with AML complications and could not be transferred to Princess Margaret. When released, he had to wait another 16 days before starting his second round of chemotherapy — making it a total of 28 days of postponed treatment.
"Don't make me a martyr in this," D'Amico warns in a voice not much stronger than a whisper. "If I'd gotten my second (drug) session on time, I don't know if I'd be any better. But the point is it didn't happen and we'll never know."
Are there other John D'Amico's out there?
What does this say about the vaunted Canadian medicare system?
And what does this say about George Smitherman?
Answers sought, please.

UPDATE: The wonderful Habamus Rodentum has a really intense look at medical incompetence in Ontario. Check it out, Ontarians, if you can stomach it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The great tape

So much has been written and said about THE TAPE. All I will say is this:

What the MSM believes to be a thin Grewal of much ado about nothing is really a prime stock chowder of infinite tastes of corruption.
Much of Ontario will devour it. They have acquired a taste for it, even though its taste is more like the end product of our digestive system.
All we can hope is that the Libranos find themselves up the defecatory estuary without visible means of locomotion.

On Judy Rebick and the "cartoon"

"Intellectuals prove the purity of their political sentiment by the foulness of their productions." - Dr. Theodore Dalrymple in his book "Our Culture, What's Left of It".

Do I really have to say anything more?

More on stem cells

Christine Flowers is an attorney in Philadelphia and a pretty good writer in her own write. She gets a column now and again in the Philly Daily News that is worth reading. Today's topic -- the stem cell research debate.

SCIENTISTS are heroic people.
Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium and revolutionized the way that illnesses are diagnosed and treated. Louis Pasteur developed the vaccine that eliminated the scourge of rabies, a death sentence in the 19th century. Jonas Salk delivered us from the braces and iron lungs of polio, and removed the fear from parents' eyes.
Scientists are, in a way, instruments of the divine, exploring the intricacies of what can be seen and quantified in order to improve that which can't: the essence of life. But so many of them would reject that description, afraid to acknowledge any obligation to a higher authority, whether it be God, secular morality or ethics.
That tension between science and faith underlies many of the controversies of recent days. First among them is the battle over stem-cell research, guaranteed to become more bitter as Congress and President Bush butt heads on federal funding and ethical limitations. The debate is commonly framed as one between those who seek to alleviate suffering (the good guys) and those who, in the name of a rigid and twisted sense of morality, oppose experimentation on "pre-human" matter (the bad guys). Of course, the truth is somewhere in between those extremes, but the truth doesn't make for juicy sound bites.
Some scientists seem anxious to explore this brave new world of possibility, particularly since it holds great promise for curing debilitating diseases. But I have the suspicion that they would welcome any opportunity to push the envelope and journey into the unknown, even if the prospect for a social benefit was slim.
These are the Indiana Joneses of research, daredevils who chafe at limits and venerate experiment for experiment's sake.
This, in a strange sense, is their religion, and discovery is their god. Who cares that some things should be left untouched, cloaked in darkness to protect us from our baser instincts? Unfortunately, on those occasions where science was allowed to develop outside ethical constraints, we saw the tragic results: Josef Mengele and his human guinea pigs, Margaret Sanger and her belief in sterilizing the poor and uneducated, the Tuskegee residents who, without their knowledge, had their syphilis left untreated.
Interestingly, it has always been the most defenseless or marginalized in society who have been the target of these experiments in "progress."
Other scientists have been able to convince themselves that, regardless of the ethical problems their choices might present, the ends justify the means. They recognize that experimenting on animals is regrettable, especially if the animal suffers. But, they say, if the agony of those subjects yields a cure for cancer, it is a necessary evil. These are the people who do a cost-benefit analysis, and always accept the cost.
Still other scientists, the ones who think that knowledge is only as good as the purpose for which it is employed, realize that just because we can do something doesn't mean that we should actually do it. They flinch at the pain and suffering of innocents. But they are also aware that some things should never be done even if the results will yield immense benefits. These are the ones who would look at whatever medical advances might have been obtained through the Nazi experiments and recoil in horror at the thought of using them. They know that a poisoned tree yields rotten fruit.
I'm not saying that embryonic stem-cell research is comparable to Mengele's experiments. The mere thought is ridiculous. The Nazi doctor twisted the Hippocratic oath beyond recognition, doing harm for the greater glory of an evil empire.
There is no question that research on stem cells from embryos is done for a noble purpose, and it's difficult to see these day-old vessels of life as human. But we must ask: When does life, even in its most basic and rudimentary form, gain protection?
As the battle over late-term abortion has taught us, life risks destruction even at the moment of birth. So how can we expect people to care about an infinitesimal fragment of humanity?
The answer is we must expect them to care. Simply saying that an embryo has no moral weight is the easy way out of a complicated situation. We must make sure that scientists are limited in their race to the finish line, and that they are cautioned against, ironically, playing God.
Brilliant men and women of conscience are our last defense against a juggernaut of amoral experiments. You can forgive senators for political pandering. It is the scientists who must say: This far, but no farther, into the darkness.
If you like what she had to say, e-mail Chris at

Warning: This post isn't polite

This arrived in my e-mail today...

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Why do I think this isn't quite on the level?
P.S. I have a few ribaldities that I will share privately. Some visitors to this site may be offended by how ribald I am prepared to get with this one.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Getting a little carried away

My ISP has a running news ticker that operates when I'm online. Across the screen just flashed a story about someone who wants to see the name of the hated New Jersey Devils changed.
The Associated Press report quotes New Jersey state Assemblyman Craig Stanley.
"This is an age where symbolism is very important," said Stanley, a Baptist deacon whose resolution to rename the team is to be introduced in the Assembly next month. A new name would be chosen in a statewide competition.
Stanley's legislative district includes parts of Newark, where the Devils are scheduled to move into a $310 million, 18,000-seat downtown arena in September 2007, from the Meadowlands sports complex in East Rutherford.
"I've always cringed when people say they're going to see the Devils," said Stanley. "The merchandise, the paraphernalia is based on the actual demonic devil. Personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me."

But the name didn't come from the great Satan, as Weird N.J. - a guide to some of the state's more offbeat tourist attractions, notes, according to the AP:
The mythical Jersey Devil - with bat-like wings, a forked tail and oversized claws - was said to terrorize Pine Barrens dwellers in the 18th-century after being born the 13th child to poor South Jerseyans and morphing into a dinosaur-like beast.
Bottom line, with all due respect to Mr Stanley: I want to be able to continue to hate the Devils.

Does this make sense?

Here in the US of A, we're having a big debate over embryonic stem cell research.
President Bush is dead-set against expanding it. A lot of other folks are for it.
A bizarre thought just crossed my mind.
In the US of A, abortions are down, according to a lot of stuff I've read lately. So the multi-million dollar industry isn't as healthy as it once was, you have to deduce.
And wouldn't the product of the abortion industry be a possible source of the kind of cells that researchers would be looking for?
Hmmmm... either I've just had a serious moonbat moment or I'm on to something here. I don't know quite what that is, though.

Looking for help

In the past week, I put StatCounter on the blog here. It's fascinating.
The point of this is: I've gotten visits from PEI. To that person or persons: My grandmother orr, who died 20 years ago in June at age 93, corresponded regularly with a distant relative, a cousin (possibly first, but not likely) on PEI - possible name of Robbins or Clelland. If you know of anyone by those names or who have those names on their family tree, please e-mail me or have that person(s) do so. It would be muchly appreciated.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

What do marriage vows include?

Painting is not one of my favourite things to do... especially on a holiday weekend when the Better Half, Dog and Dolly are at the New Jersey shore.
But that is exactly how I have spent much of this day, with breaks for church, dinner (Nardone Bros. pizza from the old stomping grounds) and this visit to the blogosphere.
We've lived in our current abode for just about five years now, and we hadn't painted the bathroom yet. So Better Half decides it's time to paint the bathroom.
"I'll do it," she says. "You'll just have to take care of the high stuff."
Well, guess who's doing it. Call it another case of the Honeydew Syndrome.
I'm just wondering about this whole painting thing, to be honest with you.
Did I miss something in the vows? Did Father John slip something in on me while I wasn't paying strict attention, something like "Do you promise to paint whenever your wife wants you to paint?" ???
Or do husbands carry some sort of sign visible only to wives that reads "Will Paint For Sex"?
I don't know.
So I get the first coat on the bathroom walls done, go to church, go to the store for my Nardone Bros. pizza and some stuff for the rest of the week, get home, put some mulch on the flower bed down by the mailbox at the bottom of our driveway, and pop the pizza into the oven when the phone rings.
"How you doing?"
"Well, I'm just having my pizza now."
"Well, we had Thanksgiving today."
"Yeah, turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, corn on the cob, the whole works."
Our friend whose mother and aunt own the house where we stay on our annual beach pilgrimage must have gone all out.
They're having turkey.
I'm painting. The dogs, Jasper the wonder barker and Maguire the lovable lug, are chomping down on dog food mixed with tortilla chips.
What's wrong with this picture?
Well, I gotta go. Time to put the second coat on the dark-coloured wall, then do some laundry.

Chiraqi's bad day

PARIS, Hilton (AP) — French voters rejected the European Union’s first constitution today, a stinging repudiation of President Jacques Chiraqi’s leadership and the ambitious, decades-long effort to further unite the Continent.
Chiraqi, the Saddam Hussein-Power Corp. stooge who urged voters to approve the charter, announced the result in a brief, televised address. He said the process of ratifying the treaty would continue in other EU countries.
“It is your sovereign decision, and I take note,” Chiraqi said. “Make no mistake, France’s decision inevitably creates a difficult context for the defense of our interests in Europe.”
With 92 per cent of votes counted, the treaty was rejected by 56.14 per cent of voters, the Interior Ministry said. It was supported by 43.86 per cent.
Chiraqi's duplicitous double-dealing, plus the overall attitude of the French in general, has earned the nation that gave the world overly-sauced food, overpriced and overrated wines, and Oil-For-Food even lower standing among its European neighbours.
Typically, the French refuse to accept what arrogant, overbearing monsters they are.
But now after the publication of a survey of their neighbours' opinions of them at least they no longer have any excuse for not knowing how unpopular they are.
"Why the French are the worst company on the planet," a wry take on France by two of its citizens, dredges up all the usual evidence against them. They are crazy drivers, strangers to customer service, obsessed by sex and food and devoid of a sense of humour.
But it doesn't stop there, boasting a breakdown, nation by nation, of what in the French irritates them.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless".
However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.
For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants". Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".
But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.
"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."
Also being credited for the defeat was John Paul Wojciechowicz II, a plumber from Lodz, Poland. A distant relative of the detective featured on the U.S. television series "Barney Miller," Wojciechowicz's willingness to work at wages less than the extortionary rates charged by French loo fixers was also a factor, experts on nothing said.
"He has repeatedly been described as the walking widget of savage capitalism, willing to work for wages low enough to take away French jobs and eventually destroy France's extensive system of social services," said Jean-Paul Cabernet Sauvignon de Champagne, a noted consumer of copious quantities of adult beverages. "No one has ever met him and it's not even certain if he exists. But if the No wins Sunday night, it will be his fault."
"The Polish plumber is the enemy," declared Gilles Oteen, who works part-time as a headless horseman.
Treaty opponents chanting “We won!” gathered at Paris’ Place de la Bastille, a symbol of rebellion where angry crowds in 1789 stormed the Bastille prison and sparked the French Revolution, the single largest head-removal operation in world history. Cars blared their horns and “No” campaigners thrust their arms into the air. Some of them even managed to retain their arms, firing them into statues of Chiraqi.
“This is a great victory,” said Fabrice Savel, 38, from the working class suburb of Aubervilliers. He was distributing posters that read: “No to a free-market Europe.”
EU leaders in Brussels, Belgium, vowed to continue their effort to have the constitution approved.
All 25 EU members must ratify the text for it to take effect as planned by Nov. 1, 2006. Nine already have done so: Austria, Hungary, Italy, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
The Dutch vote Wednesday, with polls showing opposition to the constitution there running at about 60 per cent. On Friday, the constitution’s main architect, former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, said countries that reject the treaty will be told to vote again or face the kind of sanctions that could allow the French to have their very own scandal.
The country's corrupt politicians, led by the power-made Chiraqi, were a primary architect of European unity.
“There is no more constitution,” leading opponent Philippe de Villiers said. “It is necessary to reconstruct Europe on other foundations that don’t currently exist.”
De Villiers called on Chiraqi to resign — something the French leader had said he would not do — and called for parliament to be dissolved.
“Tonight we face a major political crisis,” he said.
Extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who campaigned vigorously for the constitution’s defeat, also called for Chiraqi’s resignation.
Chiraqi “wanted to gamble … and he has lost,” Le Pen said, alluding to Chiraqi’s decision not to submit the charter to sure approval by parliament. The EU constitution can be adopted either by a referendum or a country’s legislature.
Backers said the constitution, which European leaders signed in October, would streamline EU operations and decision-making, and make the bloc more oppressive to its 450 million citizens. The text would give the EU a president and foreign minister so it could speak with one voice in world affairs.
Opponents feared it would strip countries of sovereignty and trigger an influx of cheap labour just as powers such as France and Germany struggle to contain double-digit unemployment.
Left-wing opponents argued that the treaty would not protect France’s cherished social protections and public services, and would open the door to unfettered capitalism and trample on workers’ rights.
Some said the treaty did not go far enough toward making the EU more democratic, including by not giving enough powers to the European Parliament.
Chiraqi had waged an all-out campaign to persuade nearly 42 million sharply divided voters to approve the charter. But the electorate was in rebellious mood, with unemployment running at 10 per cent and wide unease about the direction Europe is taking.
Chiraqi and European leaders repeatedly warned that the treaty, a carefully calibrated compromise between EU members that took more than two years to put together, cannot be renegotiated.
Treaty opponents dismissed that argument, saying renegotiation was possible — especially if a country with France’s influence rejects it.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw called for a “period of reflection” after the vote.
“The result raises profound questions for all of us about the future direction of Europe,” Straw said in London.
The rejection could kill any hopes Chiraqi may have had for a third term. His approval ratings have plunged to 39 per cent in recent weeks, and there was widespread speculation a “No” vote would prompt him to fire unpopular Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.
Chiraqi said in his televised address he would announce “my decisions concerning the government and its priorities” in the coming days, after consultations with Canadian prime minister Paulie Librano, whose party has declared that it will ignore any no-confidence votes taken in Canada's parliament.
Still, the most pungent sign of discontent came from a newspaper editor in France.
"France is a very sick country," says Patrick Sabatier, deputy editor-in-chief of Libération newspaper.

This report to our faithful readers is based on dispatches from Associated Press, The Toronto Red Star and The Telegraph, with a shoutout to the wonderful American Princess.