Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Joke Of The day: A Message From The Queen To The American People

For those of you who mightn't have seen this: a little more humour, that both sides of the political fence can enjoy. And I don't even have to get used to Rule number 2. Have a deadline today, so will be back to the more serious musings tomorrow.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect: (You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as "colour", "favour", "labour" and 0"neighbour." Likewise, you will learn to spell "doughnut" without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up "vocabulary").

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let M*crosoft know on your behalf. The M*crosoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter "u" and the elimination of -ize.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

8. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.

9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).

16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Joke of the day: Who's behind that burqa?

Who knows if this is staged or for real, but.... what can one say. I suppose they still have to worry about red-eye.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Liberal or Libertarian, Conservative or Centrist? Take The World's Smallest Political Quiz And Find Out

Wondering where you stand politically, here's a quick, very short quiz on both personal and economic issues that might just surprise you. It doesn't tell you which of the 2008 presidential candidates you should vote for, but it does determine where in the political spectrum you happen to fit. My Dad, an avowed Democrat, discovered he's actually a conservative. Much to his consternation.

Run by Libertarians, Advocates for Self -Government also has a list of Libertarian celebrities, which I found rather interesting. I had assumed some of them were Republicans.

It also lists the differences between Liberals, Conservatives, Libertarians and Statists:

Right (Conservative) Conservatives tend to favor economic freedom, but frequently support laws to restrict personal behavior that violates "traditional values." They oppose excessive government control of business, while endorsing government action to defend morality and the traditional family structure. Conservatives usually support a strong military, oppose bureaucracy and high taxes, favor a free-market economy, and endorse strong law enforcement.

Left (Liberal) Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant government control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded "safety net"to help the disadvantaged, and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles.

Libertarian Libertarians support maximum liberty in both personal and economic matters. They advocate a much smaller government; one that is limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence. Libertarians tend to embrace individual responsibility, oppose government bureaucracy and taxes, promote private charity,
tolerate diverse lifestyles, support the free market, and defend civil liberties.

Statist (Big Government) Statists want government to have a great deal of power over the economy and individual behavior. They frequently doubt whether economic liberty and individual freedom are practical options in today's world. Statists tend to distrust the free market, support high taxes and centralized planning of the economy, oppose diverse lifestyles, and question the importance of civil liberties.

Click here for the test.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama 'Aint Got No Sense Of Humour

What attracts me to a person is their sense of humour, particularly their ability to laugh at their own foibles. Self-deprecation is one of the most endearing and charming qualities a man/woman can have, especially those in positions of authority or celebrity. It makes one feel they are somehow a tad more human, more accessible, a little more like you and me.

Love him or hate him, George W Bush has that quality. Over the past 8 years, he has never balked at the plethora of disparaging comments, cartoons and lampoons thrown his way, and there have been many. He's even poked fun at himself, on occasion.

As we all know, celebrity invites scrutiny, and if you live in a democracy (as we do, at this point in time) you have to expect that along with the glory and praise there will be criticism, and if you can't take the heat then you need to get the heck out and find some other means of employment. Everyone in the public eye is potential fodder for comedians and late night talk show host banter, particularly those in the political arena, and the presumptive presidential candidates of our 2 major parties, McCain and Obama, are no exception. Barry Obama is proving to us, and the rest of the world, that the man has no sense of humour, whatsoever. The above cartoon in The New Yorker categorically proves that he can't take a joke. And the irony of it all- it was directed at the far right, not Obama himself. And, have we heard squat from McCain regarding the Rolling Stone cartoon above? Nope.

Do we really want a President who is so thin-skinned he can't handle a joke, or discern whether it's even directed at him to begin with? Are we going to be censored because our Commander In Chief is so insecure he can't tolerate criticism in any form?

Lighten up Barack! If you happen to get elected, you're either going to have to suffer the indignities of being made fun of, as most presidents have in the past, or go down in history as the man who forced censorship on a free country.
Hopefully it won't come to that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HBO'S "China's Stolen Children": The Bad Karma Of China's One-Child Policy

"As you sow, so shall you reap". Some call it Karma, but whatever you choose to call it there are consequences for our actions, whether we like it or not. It's a law of nature, and we have no control over the results. Negative actions elicit negative re-actions. It applies not only to individuals but to nations as well, and we can witness this happening in many countries including Burma, Zimbabwe and China where the people, sadly, are often the ones to suffer the consequences of their government's actions, or inaction, in the case of Burma.

I just watched a compelling HBO documentary entitled "China's Stolen Children", which sheds light on the dark side of their one-child policy. After 3 decades of enforcing the planned birth policy, things have turned ugly, particularly for the poor in China. Instituted in 1979 by Deng Xiaoping to control the threat of a projected population explosion which would have taxed the economic resources of the communist country, the Chinese government implemented a birth control policy that effectively paved the way for forced abortions and sterilizations, and human trafficking. The latter is what the documentary focuses on.

What happens when you force couples to give birth to just one child, or face a huge fine that most can ill afford? They resort to either aborting or selling their children. According to the British Society For The Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)
It has been calculated that between 1971 and 1985 alone there were some 100 million coercive birth-control "operations" in China, including forced sterilisations and forced abortions (Dr John Aird, Slaughter of the Innocents, AEI Press, 1991). In 1983 a massive campaign of compulsory birth control surgeries was carried out, which reportedly produced 14 million abortions, 21 million sterilisations and 18 million IUD insertions. This campaign was directed by the then minister-in-charge of the State Family Planning Commission (SFPC), Qian Xinzhong.
And what happens when the cultural preference is for male children? Although female infanticide occurred prior to the creation of the People's Republic of China, and prior to establishing the one-child policy, after almost 3 decades of selective birthing (i.e. let's abort this baby girl, because we want a boy) there is a dearth of marriageable women. And what happens when there aren't enough women to marry? You create a need, and human traffickers have now taken to kidnapping young women to be sold as brides.

"China's Stolen Children", which was filmed undercover, shares the heart-breaking stories of various people who have come face to face with what happens when a government chooses to enforce a policy that goes against nature. One young couple had their 5 year-old son Chen Jie kidnapped while in the care of his grandmother. Hiring a detective, who dedicates his time to tracking down stolen children, they have yet to find the boy, and the likelihood is very slim. We witness a daring rescue of a young kidnapped teen, by Detective Zhu, but success is rare, and Zhu talks about giving it all up. They also follow the exploits of a trafficker, who sold his own son, who brokers deals between mothers and potential buyers. One couple, who are not old enough to marry (women must be 20 and men 22), decide to sell their newborn baby girl because they do not have the money to pay the requisite fine, and children born out of wedlock have no identity or rights. And although buyers prefer male babies, there are those who will settle for a female. In some cases, they will opt for a girl to raise as a wife for their son.

Although it was only intended as a short term remedy, the Chinese government plans to continue with the one-child policy until at least 2012, and seems more intent on keeping the problem of human trafficking quiet, according to Detective Zhu, than helping to stop the illegal practice. And so more children will be stolen or aborted.

It is estimated that by the end of this decade, 40 to 60 million girls will have been abandoned or aborted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

IEPlus 1.5- A Must Have Internet Explorer Add-On For Crashes

Have you ever been in the middle of researching something on-line, you have all these web pages up and running, and suddenly Internet Explorer crashes? I can't tell you how often that's happened to me, and the amount of time I have wasted tracking down the web pages I had been referring to. It actually happened tonight, so I thought I'd share something I discovered and have been using for a while. And no, I am not getting paid for sharing this info with you.

There is an amazing add-on called IE Plus 1.5 (from Shendoo) that you can download that will actually re-load all your web pages (or just the one's you want) when Internet Explorer crashes. It does some other cool stuff, though you could torture me and I couldn't tell you specifically what, but the great thing is that it is free! You will still have to sign in again to blogger and yahoo, but that's just a minor inconvenience.

I love this and think you will too.

You can download it from here.

It's saved my royal you know what many times.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

While Israel Mourns, Palestinians And Lebanese Celebrate: Regev, Goldwasser and Kuntar And The Dangerous Precedent of Prisoner Swaps

Something is drastically wrong with the following picture.

The lifeless bodies of 2 kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, unceremoniously traded for 5, very much alive, PLF terrorists, one of whom mercilessly murdered an innocent 4 year old child.

In 1979, Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese teen and member of Abu Abbas's Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), stormed an apartment building with fellow terrorists in search of Israelis to kill, and made off with Danny Haran and his 4 year old daughter Einat. Shooting and then drowning Danny in the ocean, in front of his little one so it would be the last thing she remembered, Kuntar then proceeded to beat and smash Einat's head against a rock with the butt of his rifle until she was dead. The mother Smadar, her 2 year old daughter Yael and a neighbour were able to hide, but in an effort to keep the terrorists from discovering their hiding place, Smadar inadvertently smothered her child to death. In prison for life, for the murders of Einat, Danny and several others, unrepentant Kuntar now has his freedom, and has even vowed to return to jihad upon his release, which no doubt he will. In a letter to Hezbollah head, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Kuntar wrote

"My dear and respectable master and commander, Peace be with you and with our shahids (martyrs). I give you my promise and oath that my only place will be in the fighting front soaked with the sweat of your giving and with the blood of the shahids, the dearest people, and that I will continue your way until we reach a full victory. I send my best wishes and promise of renewed loyalty to you, sir, and to all the Jihad fighters."
And while Israel mourns their 2 fallen heroes, the Palestinians, Hezbollah (which brokered the deal) and others celebrate and salute the 5 living and some 200 dead terrorists as heroes and martyrs. Palestinian Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, sent congratulations and blessings to Kuntar and his family. The Palestinian Authority media has also been awash with praise and congratulatory messages for Kuntar et al and their families.

Excuse me while I wretch.

Regev and Goldwasser were alive when captured in 2006; one would expect, in a civilized world, that they would still be alive, but what should we expect from a people who glorify death more than life and who would love nothing more than to have that region devoid of all Israelis. So while Hezbollah murdered the 2 captured soldiers (so much for the rules of engagement and the Geneva Convention), Kuntar was allowed to marry, although he eventually divorced the woman, and received a degree in social and political science.

Excuse me while I wretch.

And, although I mourn with the families of Goldwasser and Regev, what has this exchange accomplished other than the ability to bury their sons with dignity and respect, if the bodies are even theirs? Sadly, nothing! It simply proves to the Arab world that all they have to do is capture some Israeli soldiers (and civilians next?), and they will have the leverage to broker the release of even more terrorists from Israeli prisons. And it seems to matter not whether the soldiers are alive or dead, so they have nothing to lose if they kill them.

So, now we have 5 more terrorists back on the streets, ready, willing and able to carry on their jihad. This has set a dangerous precedent, that Israel might never recover from.

Rest in peace Eldad and Ehud.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Getting Hosed By Opec- Video by

This is a great video by the Zucker Brothers. A very clever depiction of how we are being royally hosed by the Saudis and OPEC. We MUST start drilling in this country if we want to survive!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

On Closings, Critics and Crushes

Well, the end is near, we've only 4 more left, with our final show a Sunday matinee, and then the car gets packed and I head home on Monday. As exhausting, and physically and emotionally draining as this one has been, I will truly miss it. Perhaps it's because it was such a short run, after all our hard work, or perhaps it's because women don't often get the chance to perform such challenging, and fulfilling roles. Those roles are a rare find, so we cherish the ones that we can savour, and miss them when we are done. This production will rank as one of 2 highlights of my career. The sets, lights and music were inspiring, and I think the audiences were treated to something very special, and through their laughter and their tears I hope they were somehow inspired.

I was very blessed to have received, across the board, some lovely reviews. In fact, as some of you might remember, there's a critic in a neighbouring city that happens to review here, as well, that has hated everything I have done in that "other city". I was mortified when I heard he was there at opening night. I warned the director, producer and anyone else who would listen, not to expect any praise for my work. I even bet someone a soda that it would not be positive. I lost the bet, and it turns out it was one of those embarrassingly good reviews that look as if you had paid the critic to write it. He raved about me, which just proves what a joke the art of criticism is. I graduated from "bad" to "adequate" to "brilliant" all in the span of a year. Well, they say if you believe the good ones you have to believe the bad ones as well. But good reviews are always nice because they, hopefully, bring the audiences in, and you always wish that for the theatre.

This was probably one of the nicest experiences I've had in a long time. The housing was incredible, the stage manager and crew were wonderful, always looking out for me, and the director and producer were fabulous. I even wound up having a crush on someone, and although it never turned into anything, it was fun to look forward to seeing him, whenever that occurred. On opening night he gave me this beautiful wire flower made of stones which he had a friend of his make for me. I'm still trying to figure out why he would give me the flower if he wasn't interested, but I've never understood men, and that's a whole other post.

The only minus was not being able to spend any time enjoying the environs. The play has just been too all consuming, but that's okay. I feel I am leaving with something quite wonderful to remember.

So, I will be back to blogging, as usual as of next week.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

It's All About The Math: Not Voting For McCain Is A Vote For Obama

I'm going to try and make this simple for those of you who somehow foolishly believe that a vote for a 3rd party candidate or a no vote is NOT a vote for Obama.

It's all very logical, my friends, it's called MATHEMATICS.

Let's simplify it for you: this country has a 2 party system, at this point in our history. That might change, some time in the future, but I sincerely doubt it. A 3rd party candidate has as much a chance in hell of winning the U. S. Presidency, today, as Hugo Chavez becoming a capitalist and declaring his undying love for George W. Bush. It will never happen. Sorry. So, given that, there are only 2 party candidates (the Democratic and Republican) vying for the top dog position that have any hope of winning this election in November. The only 2 viable candidates to choose from are Barrack "Hussein" Obama and John Sidney McCain, III.

If there are only 2 VIABLE candidates, there will be votes destined for Obama and votes destined for McCain. ANY vote NOT for McCain is a vote for Obama and this is why:

Say you have 20 voters- 10 are registered Democrats, and 10 are registered Republicans. The 10 Democrats decide to support Obama, because well, he's a Democrat and they are party loyalists. Obama gets those 10 votes! Now we have the Republicans, some of whom are pissing and moaning about how McCain isn't conservative enough for them, so 2 of those decide, hmmm, we're just going to punish the dang 'ol Republican Party and vote for Bob Barr (or Chuck Baldwin). 1 decides to not vote at all. 1 is an Obamacon, who has been duped into believing all of Obama's lying campaign rhetoric, and decides to vote for Obama. So McCain gets only 6 votes, and Obama wins.

Those 4 non-McCain votes got Obama elected, how is that not a vote for Obama!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Birthday, America!

On July 4, 1776 independence from Britain was declared for the 13 colonies. Thomas Jefferson penned one of the most memorable phrases:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

Years later, President Abraham Lincoln, in his Gettysburg Address proclaimed:

"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

There are many who believe there are still inequalities in this great country of ours, and there are, to a certain extent, but if one tries hard enough one can overcome any obstacle, regardless of the colour of one's skin or one's gender. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are great examples of that. With hard work and diligence one can achieve whatever one wishes to achieve. One can be anything one wants to be. Only in a democracy can that occur, and thank God we live in a democracy. We are the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, and that does not come easily. Many are jealous of us and wish us ill, but we will prevail because at the heart of this great country is its people, and we the people are, at our core, generous and good hearted.

Happy 4th of July, my friends!

God Bless you and this country!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A No Vote Or A Barr Vote Equals An Obama Vote- Incognito Officially Endorses McCain

Although I have been away from blogging for about a month, preoccupied with other issues, I was fully aware of the bitter fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama up until la Hillary finally tabled her presidential bid. You have to admit, she did put up a valiant fight, kicking and screaming to the bitter end. Frankly, I did not think she would let go of that bone so easily, but, no doubt, that devious little mind of hers has ulterior motives, the least of which is becoming Obama's running mate, and with her sight set on 2012. This from the same woman who claimed she and Republican nominee John McCain were better equipped to lead this country. Obama would be an idiot to choose her, considering that comment would inevitably come back to bite them both in their proverbial butts.

So, with Clinton safely out of the picture, the putative Democratic candidate is Barack "Hussein" Obama, the most leftist-leaning senator in our government. A man with major radical-left ties, and virtually no experience outside of his 4 year term as State Senator Illinois (1997-2004), and his current tenure as Junior Senator from Illinois (2005-present). And how much of that time has been occupied with campaigning for his presidential candidacy?

Regardless, of what you might think of John McCain, and many in the Republican Party find fault with him including yours truly, BUT, there is NO way I would trust Obama to lead this country during these extremely trying times.

So, I am officially endorsing John McCain for President because the alternative is unthinkable.

And, for those of you who think that voting for Bob Barr, or not voting at all is the best course of action, remember those votes, or lack thereof, are votes for Obama. And if he happens to win, and this great country is led to ruin, you will have only yourselves to blame, along with all those other lemmings duped by his messianic message of change. No complaints allowed, but at least I won't have that burden on my conscience, and I will complain loud and hard.

Vote McCain!