Entries by Peter Worthington from 06/2012

Liam Neeson Isn't Tough for Facing CGI Wolves

| Posted 06.03.2012 | Canada

The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, is one of the worst films I've ever seen. Worse still is its depiction of wolves. The late Ron Lawrence, who lived with wolves, understood them and wrote books about them would have had apoplexy.

And the Charles Taylor Prize for Crimes Against Humanity Goes To...

| Posted 06.04.2012 | Canada

Charles Taylor is the first tyrant to be tried, convicted and sentenced. Some even think that Taylor's fate may worry Syria's Bashar al-Assad, and perhaps persuade him to ease off on killing his people. But Assad continues to rampage against his people; it's clear there's no interest in direct action against homicidal leaders.

Guns Don't Kill People -- Bad Policing Does

| Posted 06.05.2012 | Canada

Depending on who you listen to, last weekend's shooting spree at Toronto's Eaton Centre was a sign of gun violence getting out of control, or an isolated "incident" in North America's safest large city. But the fact of the matter is there have been 134 shootings this year, and Toronto police still refuse to help the public by profiling the criminals.

Just Because You Got Captured, Doesn't Mean You Should Get Paid

| Posted 06.07.2012 | Canada Politics

The UN Committee Against Torture and Terrorism is blaming Canada, and seeks compensation for three Muslim Canadians who were held and allegedly tortured in Syria. If you become a Canadian citizen from a country that does the sort of things Syria and Iran do, beware about visiting for weddings or holidays. If you take a chance, knowing full well what can happen, then it's your responsibility, not Canada's.

If Rob Ford Wants to Find the Gravy, He Should Follow Scott Walker's Recipe

| Posted 06.07.2012 | Canada

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker inherited a $30 billion debt in 2010 and has since reduced it to a $150 surplus. If Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is really looking to cut back on his city's debt, he should take out a page from Walker's book and cut the bonuses that city managers receive for simply turning up for work.

Globe's Reaction to Jan Wong Depression Put Journalism in a Sad Place

| Posted 06.10.2012 | Canada

Jan Wong was one of Canada's ace reporters. She won readers and admirers for the Globe and Mail. Then suddenly, a couple of years ago, she vanished from the pages of her paper. Why? Because she suffered from depression, and management refused to acknowledge the fact; they thought she was just being lazy. One has some sympathy with the Globe's misunderstanding, but it's come at the cost of the thinning of the ranks of honest frontline journalism.

My Dog And I Pooh-Pooh Your Bag Ban

| Posted 06.12.2012 | Canada Politics

I found plastic bags enormously useful to have around -- not only for garbage at home, but also when walking the dog. How can plastic bags be banned? Who do those councilors think they are? Who'll police the ban? Surely not our cops. The plastic bag fiasco stands as another example of those in charge trying to improve on an issue, and going too far into an area they know little about, having done no research.

The Queen Gave me Medals, But no Cufflinks

| Posted 06.12.2012 | Canada Living

I had written irreverently about a drunken Haida Indian in the Queen Charlotte's stealing the show by staggering and weaving on the red carpet, much to the amusement of Prince Philip who nudged the Queen to take note. The article was not appreciated. I think I became the first Royal Tour media honcho not to get a set of cufflinks in gratitude for loyal press leadership. I apparently set a poor example.

Why I'm Glad the British PM Left His Daughter at a Pub

| Posted 06.13.2012 | Canada Politics

It's kind of reassuring to think of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his wife, having a family outing with the kids and forgetting their daughter Nancy in a pub. It is sort of mindful of the days when heads of state could mingle safely with the people, and without the constant need for high-alert security.

Blue Jays Are Too Comfortable With 50/50

| Posted 06.14.2012 | Canada Living

This is a good team with considerable potential that is not being tapped. The management is arguably the best in baseball, the players excel at every position, and they are exciting to watch -- but frustrating. What's puzzling to us fans is when the Jays are three or four games above .500 they go into a dive and lose three or four. Their comfort zone is .500. Maybe they'll come alive July. If not, another .500 season beckons -- if they're lucky.

Canada Has No Place in Syria's Not-So-Civil War

| Posted 06.15.2012 | Canada Politics

Now that the UN has finally acknowledged that Syria is in a "full blown civil war," it's even more reason why we of the Western alliance should stay out of it. Harsh as it may seem, intervention would be a mistake. If we (meaning Western democracies) entered the fray, it'll be war by proxy and wouldn't curb bloodshed, but spread it.

The USADA Must be High if They Think Armstrong is on Drugs

| Posted 06.18.2012 | Canada

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is seeking to strip Lance Armstrong of his cycling awards, and ban him from triathlon competitions on the grounds that the world's greatest cyclist has been taking performance-enhancing drugs. Only problem is they don't have a single shred of proof, and Armstrong has been tested 500 times. So on what basis can they possibly accuse him of cheating?

Bob Rae's the Only Good (and Experienced) Apple In the Bunch

| Posted 06.19.2012 | Canada Politics

When he took the interim job, Bob Rae pledged that he wouldn't run. So who's likely to be chosen liberal leader? It's a sorry field when Justin Trudeau seems the choice of many -- a callow fellow who many claim has charisma -- as if that's a substitute for wisdom and judgment. In fact, looking over the field of Liberal hopefuls, the only one with apparent substance of leadership is... Bob Rae.

An (Unproven) Lack of Integrity Doesn't Affect Batting Averages

| Posted 06.20.2012 | Canada

Withholding the honour to Barry Bonds is petty beyond belief -- except that it's happening. The Hall of Fame guys are so damned sanctimonious and dogmatic that it curdles belief. Criteria for entry into the Hall should only be a player's record in the game, none of this drivel about "integrity" that the MLB is judging without proof.

So Army Execs Deserve Bonuses and Veterans Don't?

| Posted 06.21.2012 | Canada

Though the Department of National Defence is cutting 1,000 jobs for austerity, some 157 employees will be sharing $2 million in bonuses. The whole bonus tradition in both public service and the private sector should cease. None of us has any control over what the private sector does, but government employees get enough perks as it is without extra money for doing the job they are paid for.

The Arab Spring Hasn't Saved Egypt, But Maybe a Militant Candidate Will

| Posted 06.22.2012 | Canada

Even after the Arab Spring, it is too early to tell what Egypt's fate will be. But if there's one thing to be said, it's that military intervention in the form of Ahmed Shafik winning the election might actually save the country. The other presidential option is the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, a ruthless organization which supported the Nazis, and seeks to suppress democracy in the Middle East.

Julian Assange Fools the World Again

| Posted 06.26.2012 | Canada

If further evidence was necessary to prove that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a man of limited and flexible ethics, well, the guy himself has provided it. Instead of returning to his place of overnight confinement as decreed in his bail agreement, Assange sought refuge in London's Ecuadorian embassy and applied for political asylum.

For Canadians, the Korean War was an Adventure

| Posted 06.26.2012 | Canada

This week, sixty-two years ago, was the start of the Korean War. It was a chance for Canadians who were too young for World War II to experience what others had endured in wartime; it was an adventure. The mixture of veterans and rookies proved to be a more effective force than many expected, and Canadians who were there now recognize how worthwhile their contribution was.

Why Didn't the Elliot Lake Rescue Workers Do Their Jobs?

| Posted 06.27.2012 | Canada

Barely 48 hours after the collapse, rescue efforts were called off -- until Premier Dalton McGuinty intervened and locals vehemently protested. Good lord! Don't the Emergency Measures people know that rescuers are supposed to risk their lives to save others?

Getting Mail From South Korea? You Might See This Ottawa Man on the Stamp

| Posted 06.28.2012 | Canada

As far as anyone knows, such a thing has never happened before. As part of its 62nd anniversary ceremonies marking the start of the Korean war, the Republic of Korea has issued a special stamp commemorating Maj. Robert Campbell Lane of Ottawa, whose 100th birthday is this week. Maj. Lane is now believed to the the oldest veteran of that war -- American, British or Canadian.

Mulcair and Harper's Quebec Tug-of-War

| Posted 06.29.2012 | Canada Politics

According to Thomas Mulcair, the recently crowned federal NDP leader, the fact that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would consult former Tory prime minister Brian Mulroney about Quebec, proves how little he understands that province. Really? Or is this Mulcair just shaking in his boots because this is a plot by Harper to regain support in Quebec?

It's Their Revolution, They'll Cry If They Want To

| Posted 06.30.2012 | Canada

Pragmatically, there is no need for outside intervention when it comes to Syria. Yes, a lot of people are being killed, but perhaps more would be killed if outside forces were used to despose Assad. And unlike conventional war, a revolution is a personal thing for those involved. When outsiders participate, the dynamics change. And revolutions never turn out the way those who lead them expect, or even intend.