Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bits and pieces of Canada

  • More on the Homolka-Teale entity: Many, many column inches today from Christie Blatchford in the Globe, who only last week told us in another lengthy column that people were sick of the subject. And some handwriting analysis thrown in: seems that the shape of Karla's letters indicates criminal tendencies, secretiveness, weak will and low self-esteem. Funny. I have no training in the subject, nor in phrenology or astrology, but I could have told you the same thing by reading her tea-leaves or casting hexagrams. Paul Martin's handwriting, I can inform you after careful study, reveals indecisiveness coupled with ambition. And Blatchford's exemplifies that of an extroverted sensationalist with acute spasms of faux-moralizing.

  • The price of an apostrophe: $786, at last count. Seems that the language cops in West Quebec acted on a complaint that Bob Rice, a plumber, has referred to his business as "Bob's." The money was a combination fine and bailiff fee. "Chez Bob" would presumably have worked, or even "Bob," which came within a whisker of replacing "Northwest Territories" a few years back.

    Ah, but there may be more here than meets the eye: the Office de la langue francaise denies all knowledge of the ticket. Stay tuned.

  • "Safe predictions on a slow news day" department: "Military jails child porn collector: Conviction, six-month sentence likely to end air officer's career" [Ottawa Citizen]. If I don't make it as a handwriting expert, maybe I can get a job as a seer.

  • Deserting a sinking ship? Seems that Harper's senior advisors are taking flight. Is this a case of bad advice being punished, or intractable material to work with? In any case, off go Geoff Norquay (communications director) and Yaroslav Baran (strategic communications manager), and very possibly Chief-of-Staff Phil Murphy in the near future. Watch for another Harper makeover. Speculation is warmly invited.

  • UnCanadian: Pierre Trudeau's son, Sacha, is taking on security certificates. Good on him. These measures, under which people can be, and are, held for years in Canadian prisons without charge, trial or access to evidence, are intolerable. When asked why he was going to bat for Hassan Almrei, Trudeau replied, "For my country." Ah, at last: a patriotism I can relate to. It won't get me waving a flag tomorrow, but it does make me just a little prouder.

  • Meanwhile, in another part of the forest: "Animal with mad cow disease was born in Texas." Another take on the same subject: "BSE Positive Cow was Completely American." And my favourite: "Spain joins Canada in gay marriage."

    Have a fine Canada Day weekend, everyone.


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