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UFC Star Thiago Alves — I’M AN AMERICAN NOW … Officially!

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

The next time UFC badass Thiago Alves steps in the octogon, he’ll bleed RED, WHITE & BLUE … ’cause he just officially became an American citizen!!The 31-year-old Brazilian-born fighter broke the news this week … saying, “It’s official. I…

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Baird Congratulates Tunisians on Free and Peaceful Presidential Election

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

“Today, the people of Tunisia participated in a well-organized, credible and peaceful election, and for the first time in their history exercised their democratic right to freely choose the country’s next president.”

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General

Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) – Access to Military Family Support Program (MFSP)

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) – Access to Military Family Support Program (MFSP)

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General

Mental Health Research

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

Mental Health Research

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General

Ricky Skaggs — Gay Country Singers Welcomed … ‘We’re All Sinners’

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Country star Ricky Skaggs has a fascinating take on the gay country singers coming out … they are welcomed and accepted in the country world, because, “We’re all sinners.”Our photog ran into Skaggs in Nashville, so he asked about country singe…

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General

wmtc: what i’m reading: swamplandia! by karen russell

Posted November 23, 2014 by laura k

Swamplandia! caught me by surprise. At first, Karen Russell’s debut novel seemed like a quirky family story, a strange and somewhat sad tale told with great wit and humour.

Then it deepened, became (possibly) supernatural – or is that just the fantasy of a troubled girl? Then it quickened, and became suspenseful, and dangerous, and a bit heartbreaking. Step by strange step, I was hooked. Swamplandia! is not an easy book to describe, but more importantly, it’s not an easy book to put down.

The Bigtree family lives in Swamplandia!, an old-fashioned roadside-attraction theme park deep in the Florida (Read more…)

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General

Mental Health First Aid

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

The Government of Canada is investing $970K* over six years, and $150K ongoing annually, to develop and implement a Canadian Veteran-specific version of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training across the country for Veterans and their families.

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General

Enhancement of the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

Enhancement of the Operational Stress Injury Social Support program

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General

The Disaffected Lib: It’s Called “Blowback”

Posted November 23, 2014 by The Mound of Sound

Our confused, incoherent, even knee-jerk response to ISIS appears to be backfiring on us, at least in Syria.  There, it’s reported, US air strikes are driving anti-Assad groups – outfits we’ve supported like the Free Syrian Army – into the arms of ISIS. 

US air strikes in Syria are encouraging anti-regime fighters to forge alliances with or even defect to Islamic State (Isis), according to a series of interviews conducted by the Guardian.Fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Islamic military groups are joining forces with Isis, which has gained control of swaths of Syria and Iraq (Read more…)

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General

Veterans Affairs Canada’s Operational Stress Injury Clinics

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

Specialized services and support for Veterans and their families

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Climate Change

The Disaffected Lib: Deniers Pretend to be Skeptics. They’re Not.

Posted November 23, 2014 by The Mound of Sound

A lot of climate change deniers present themselves as skeptics.  There’s a huge difference that is often overlooked.

A denialist is someone who says, “No, the Earth is flat and that’s all there is to it.”  A skeptic, however, is someone who has done a bit of homework.  A skeptic goes through the process of testing a hypothesis against the evidence.

Earlier this year, physicist David Robert Grimes, offered this in The Guardian: The nay-sayers insist loudly that they’re “climate sceptics”, but this is a calculated misnomer – scientific scepticism is the method of investigating whether a particular (Read more…)

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Books

The Machine Stops

Posted November 23, 2014 by James Bow

Maybe it’s kismet, but as I write The Curator of Forgotten Things, I’ve been encountering more and more references to E.M. Forster’s Edwardian science fiction novella, The Machine Stops. This story, written in 1909 (and in the public domain; the…

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General

Now on Blu-Ray, ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′ reminds us that we all get older

Posted November 23, 2014 by David Voigt, Movies Examiner

While it is a rare occurrence, every once in a while, the sequel outshines the original. “How To Train Your Dragon 2″ manages to build upon the charm of the original and tell and relevant and meaningful…

How To Train Your Dragon 2

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Activism

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Posted November 23, 2014 by Greg Fingas

This and that for your Sunday reading.

 – Lynn Stuart Parramore writes about our increasingly traumatic social and political culture, along with the response which can help to overcome it: A 2012 study of hospital patients in Atlanta’s inner-city communities showed that rates of post-traumatic stress are now on par with those of veterans returning from war zones. At least 1 out of 3 surveyed said they had experienced stress responses like flashbacks, persistent fear, a sense of alienation, and aggressive behavior. All across the country, in Detroit, New Orleans, and in what historian Louis Ferleger describes as economic “ (Read more…)

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General

Feds to spend $200M more on military mental health programs

Posted November 23, 2014 by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—The federal government has announced $200 million over six years to support mental health needs of military members, veterans, and their families.

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces also announced Sunday that an additional $16.7 million in ongoing funds will be available to support forces members, veterans, and their families.

The government says some of the money will fund completely digitizing the health records of all serving personnel, investing in brain imaging technology, and extending access to Military Family Resource Centres.

It also says there will be additional investments in research aimed at finding better treatments and faster recoveries for serving members and veterans with mental health conditions.

The announcement says the Canadian Forces will hire additional staff to help educate serving members and their families in managing their reactions to stress, and recognizing mental duress.

The announcement comes just days after veterans learned that the federal department responsible for their care and benefits was unable to spend upwards of $1.1 billion of its budget over seven years.

Like other departments unable to spend their appropriation within the budget year, Veterans Affairs was required to return its unspent funds to the treasury.

The Royal Canadian Legion wrote Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino on Thursday, demanding a detailed accounting of which programs had lapsed funding and why.

The figures put before Parliament show the veterans department handed back a relatively small percentage of its budget in 2005-06, but shortly after the Conservatives were elected the figure spiked to 8.2 per cent of allocation.

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General

Government of Canada takes action to strengthen mental health support for Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Veterans and their families

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

The Honourable Julian Fantino, M.P. forVaughanand Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Fallsand Minister of National Defence, today announced new and expanded mental health initiatives for Veteran…

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General

Suicide bomber kills at least 45, wounds dozens, at Afghan volleyball match, officials say

Posted November 23, 2014 by Associated Press - The Associated Press

KABUL—A suicide bomber attacked a volleyball tournament in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 45 people, officials said.

Dozens more were wounded when the bomber, who was on foot and mingling with the crowd, detonated his explosives, said Mokhis Afgha, the spokesman for the governor of Paktika province.

He said the attack happened during an inter-district volleyball tournament attended by large crowed in Yahyakhail district late Sunday afternoon.

“There were too many people gathered in the one place to watch the game. Dozens of others are wounded and we have reports that many of them are in critical condition,” Afghan said.

“We need urgent help from the central government because we might need to transfer wounded people to Kabul for treatment,” he added.

Paktika, bordering Pakistan, is one of Afghanistan’s most volatile regions, where a Taliban-led insurgency is waging an intensifying war against the government in Kabul.

Sunday’s attack is one of the deadliest so far this year, a time when attacks are escalating alongside a contentious election and the inauguration of President Ashraf Ghani in September.

Afghanistan’s parliament approved agreements Sunday with the U.S. and NATO allowing international troops to remain in the country past the end of this year.

Ghani’s first act after becoming president was to sign the agreements, which are bitterly opposed by the Taliban and other insurgent groups.

U.S. President Barack Obama wants all U.S. troops to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2016, as his presidency draws to an end.

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General

We Don’t Need No Stinking Giant Fans

Posted November 23, 2014 by kate@smalldeadanimals.com

American Interest; A Portland-based wind energy company is appealing to a U.S. district court to stop the Department of the Interior from releasing information about birds killed by wind turbines that would, the suit claims, cause “irreparable harm” to…

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General

Miley Cyrus — It’s My Party … I’ll Dress Crazy If I Want Too!

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Looks like Miley Cyrus’ attempt to mature her fashion style and possibly even morphe into a Kennedy was short lived … because Saturday night in Hollywood she returned to her OG.Miley hit up Penthouse for her 22nd birthday celebration with new …

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General

‘Saturday Night Live’ — Hey Cosby, ‘Pull Your Damn Pants Up!”

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Bill Cosby’s preaching about black men not taking responsibility for their lives just got thrown back in his face, courtesy of “Saturday Night Live” star Michael Che.The Weekend Update anchor took Cosby to task during Saturday’s show, calling…

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General

Robin Thicke — Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? A Young, Hot Model!

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Robin Thicke is banging a hot model who’s either 19 or 20 … and the reason we know is that she took pics of herself in a bed … that we found out belongs to Robin!April Love Geary has been seen with Robin over the last few…

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General

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: magnetic hoverboard, cardboard robots and a Toyota Prius camper

Posted November 23, 2014 by Inhabitat

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

The Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off last week, and Inhabitat was on the scene to bring you a first look…

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General

Marion Barry, former Washington, D.C. mayor notorious for crack incident, dead at 78

Posted November 23, 2014 by Anonymous

WASHINGTON—Divisive and flamboyant, maddening and beloved, Marion Barry outshone every politician in the 40-year history of District of Columbia self-rule. But for many, his legacy was not defined by the accomplishments and failures of his four terms as mayor and long service on the D.C. Council.

Instead, Barry will be remembered for a single night in a downtown Washington hotel room and the grainy video that showed him lighting a crack pipe in the company of a much-younger woman. When FBI agents burst in, he referred to her with an expletive. She “set me up,” Barry said.

Barry died Sunday at 78. His family said in statement that Barry died shortly after midnight at the United Medical Center, after having been released from Howard University Hospital on Saturday. No cause of death was given, but his spokeswoman LaToya Foster said he collapsed outside his home.

Speaking at a 4 a.m. press conference at United Medical Center, the city’s mayor-elect Muriel Bowser called Barry an “inspiration to so many people and a fighter for people.”

“Mr. Barry, I can say this, lived up until the minute the way he wanted to live,” said Bowser, who had served with Barry on the D.C. Council.

The year was 1990, and crack cocaine had exploded in the district, turning it into the nation’s murder capital. In his third term, the man known as the “Mayor for Life” became a symbol of a foundering city.

Federal authorities had been investigating him for years for his alleged ties to drug suspects, and while he denied using drugs, his late-night partying was taking a toll on his job performance.

The arrest and subsequent conviction — a jury deadlocked on most counts, convicting him of a single count of drug possession — was a turning point for Barry. He had been elected to his first term as mayor in 1978 with broad support from across the city. With his good looks, charisma and background in the civil rights movement, he was embraced the dynamic leader the city’s young government needed. The Washington Post endorsed him in each of his first three mayoral runs, although the 1986 endorsement was unenthusiastic.

Barry’s six-month term in federal prison was hardly the end of his political career. But it forever changed how it was perceived. To some, he was a pariah and an embarrassment. But to many district residents, particularly lower-income blacks, he was still a hero, someone unfairly persecuted for personal failures.

Barry returned to the D.C. Council in 1992, representing the poorest of the city’s eight wards. Two years later, he won his fourth and final term as mayor. The electorate was starkly divided along racial lines, and Barry advised those who had not supported his candidacy to “get over it.”

“Marion Barry changed America with his unmitigated gall to stand up in the ashes of where he had fallen and come back to win,” poet Maya Angelou said in 1999.

Barry’s triumph, though, was short-lived. In 1995, with the city flirting with bankruptcy from years of bloated, unaccountable government, much of it under Barry, Congress stripped him of much of his power and installed a financial control board. Barry held authority over little more than the city’s parks, libraries and community-access cable TV station. He decided against seeking a fifth term.

Barry spent a few years working as a municipal bond consultant, but he couldn’t stay away from politics. In 2004, he returned to the council, again representing Ward 8, where he remained beloved. Many constituents still referred to him as “Mayor Barry,” and he was re-elected in 2008 and 2012.

Barry was born March 6, 1936, to Marion and Mattie Barry, in the small Mississippi delta town of Itta Bena, and was raised in Memphis, Tenn., after the death of his father, a sharecropper.

While an undergraduate at LeMoyne College (now LeMoyne-Owen College), Barry picked up the nickname “Shep” in reference to Soviet propagandist Dmitri Shepilov for his ardent support of the civil rights movement. Barry began using Shepilov as his middle name.

Barry did graduate work in chemistry at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., earning a master’s degree. He left school short of a doctorate to work in the civil rights movement.

His political rise began in 1960, when he became the first national chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, which sent young people into the South to register black voters and became known as one of the most militant civil rights groups of that era.

Barry’s work with the committee brought him to Washington, where he became immersed in local issues, joining boycotts of the bus system and leading rallies in support of the city’s fledgling home rule efforts.

In 1970, The Post wrote: “Four years ago widely considered a young Black Power Militant with almost no constituency, (Barry) has become a man who is listened to — if not fully accepted — on all sides.”

Barry’s activism propelled him into local politics, first as a member of the Board of Education and then in 1974 as a member of the first elected city council organized under home rule legislation.

In 1977, he was wounded by a shotgun blast in the Hanafi Muslim takeover of D.C.’s city hall. A young reporter was killed. The shooting was credited with strengthening him politically.

In 1978, he defeated incumbent Mayor Walter Washington — the city’s first home rule mayor — in the Democratic primary and went on to easily win the general election.

Barry’s early years in office were marked by improvement in many city services and a dramatic expansion of the government payroll, creating a thriving black middle class in the nation’s capital. Barry established a summer jobs program that gave many young people their first work experience and earned him political capital.

In his second term, the district’s finances were rockier, and some of his appointees were caught up in corruption scandals.

The city’s drug-fuelled decline mirrored Barry’s battles with his personal demons, leading to the infamous hotel room arrest on Jan. 19, 1990. The video of Barry was widely distributed to the media and made him infamous worldwide.

A few months after his arrest, longtime civil rights advocate and educator Roger Wilkins, a past supporter, wrote in The Post: “Marion Barry used the elders and lied to the young. He has manipulated thousands of others with his cynical use of charges of racism to defend his malodorous personal failures.”

Even after his comeback, controversy continued to dog Barry. Several times after his 1990 arrest, Barry sought treatment or counselling for problems with prescription medications or other substances. In 2002, he made an attempt to seek an at-large seat on the D.C. Council but abandoned his bid amid allegations of renewed illegal drug use.

In 2006, Barry was given three years of probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanour charges for failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004. As part of a plea bargain, he agreed to file future federal and local tax returns annually, a promise prosecutors later said he had failed to keep.

In 2010, he was censured by the council and stripped of his committee assignments for steering a government contract to a former girlfriend. The council censured him again in 2013 for accepting cash gifts from city contractors.

Barry played the role of elder statesman in his later years on the council, but he sometimes exasperated his colleagues with his wavering attention at meetings and frequent, rambling references to his tenure as mayor.

He suffered numerous health problems over the years. In addition to kidney failure, he survived prostate cancer, undergoing surgery in 1995 and a follow-up procedure in 2000. In late 2011, he underwent minor surgery on his urinary tract. In early 2014, he spent several weeks in hospitals and a rehabilitation centre battling infections and related complications.

In a statement Sunday, current Mayor Vincent C. Gray expressed deep sadness after learning about Barry’s death. Gray spoke with Barry’s wife, Cora Masters Barry, late Saturday and shared his condolences and sympathies with her. The couple was long estranged but never divorced.

“Marion was not just a colleague but also was a friend with whom I shared many fond moments about governing the city,” Gray said. “He loved the District of Columbia and so many Washingtonians loved him.”

Mayor Gray said that he would work with Barry’s family and the Council to plan official ceremonies “worthy of a true statesman of the District of Columbia.”

Barry was married four times and is survived by his wife, Cora, and one son, Marion Christopher Barry.

Associated Press reporter Jessica Gresko contributed to this report.

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General

Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s Fearless Tax Warrior

Posted November 23, 2014 by Lorne

That intrepid capeless crusader for core Conservative concepts, Finance Minister ‘Uncle’ Joe Oliver, has found yet another weapon in his utility pouch to save us from the implacable clutches of taxation. Rather than rely on a bureaucracy that may be rife with ‘fifth columnists, Oliver has decided to outsource fiscal analysis to those most acquainted with the scourge of taxation, lobby groups!

Our man’s courage in the face of sneering opposition is a wonder to behold: Finance Minister Joe Oliver says the government approved a $550-million tax credit for small business without conducting any internal analysis to find out how (Read more…)

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General

Northern Reflections: Nowhere Man

Posted November 23, 2014 by Owen Gray

                                                http://www.musicstack.com/

Yesterday, I wrote that Stephen Harper’s refusal to deal with Kathleen Wynne could have significant electoral consequences. Martin Regg Cohn writes that those consequences are being felt now with the alliance which Wynne has established with Quebec premier Philippe Couillard:

There’s a reason the Quebec-Ontario summit turned into a meeting of minds and ministers: Kathleen Wynne and Philippe Couillard are simpatico both in style and substance. Beyond the good will, there are good works on offer: Ontario and Quebec signed an unprecedented deal to swap 500 megawatts of electricity during peak periods by way (Read more…)

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General

Government of Canada takes action to support mental health needs of military members, veterans, and their families

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are taking action to improve the mental health of CAF members and their families.

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General

Using AWD on Canadian roads in winter

To the illustration: A is understeer or pushing, B is loose or oversteer. Unless the situation is overcome by added traction from the other axle (front or rear) or superior driving skill, the car will follow the arrow in a…

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General

Scandal-plagued former mayor Marion Barry dies

Posted November 23, 2014 by Anonymous

Former Washington mayor Marion Barry dies

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Federal Politics

Babel-on-the-Bay: Sometimes, you cannot choose your friends.

Posted November 23, 2014 by Peter Lowry

A casual observation made in a commentary the other day about the difficulties of having Americans as neighbours and friends evoked some questions. It comes down to the fact that Canadians have little choice. You might think we Canadians get kicked around now but just think of what it would be like if Americans actively disliked us?

You could never drive to Florida in the winter again. Imagine every state along the way getting a piece of you. From new state taxes just for us to special speed traps, you would be too poor to stay long in Florida if (Read more…)

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General

Minister Yelich Concludes Participation in Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan

Posted November 23, 2014 by Canada News Centre - National News

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today participated in a discussion on human rights, justice and political participation during the Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan.

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General

Democracy Under Fire: Electioneering on our Dime?

Posted November 23, 2014 by Rural

We all know that we are inundated with TV advertisements promoting the Harper “government” in thev egis of telling citizens about their “plan” or some other “program” non of which actualy tell the watcher anything that will help them actually access said programs. Does anyone actually go to that web page they promote? We now know how much they intend to spend (or more accurately how much they will admit to) and it is over $60 MILLION allotted thus far. This includes $10 million to advertise its annual “economic action plan,” $8 million to promote its “better jobs” program, $5 (Read more…)

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General

Marion Barry … Crack Mayor Dead … Dies at 78

Posted November 23, 2014 by TMZ Staff

Former Washington D.C. Marion Barry — who became nationally famous after an epic cocaine bust that did not derail his career — died Sunday morning at 78.Barry served 4 terms as Mayor, but his defining moment for most people is what he did in a…

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General

Dead Wild Roses: Demons of Sickness – Or, Watch the Religious Say Highly Ironic Things Whilst Pushing Their Mumbojumbo

Posted November 23, 2014 by The Arbourist

Discern4 has been quiet as of late, but in this comeback video he illustrates how he still has God-bothering chops of the very first order.

 

Filed under: Religion Tagged: Bilking The Blinkered, Faith Healing, Religion, The One True Religion

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General

castAR team ships out first pair of AR glasses, more to follow soon

Posted November 23, 2014 by Mariella Moon

The castAR team has just shipped its first pair of augmented reality glasses, a year after it raised $1 million on Kickstarter. This headset, developed by a group headed by ex-Valve engineers Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, features active shutter…

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General

Shelly Glover and the New Con Assault on the CBC

Posted November 23, 2014 by Simon

I have to admit that when I heard that the Con Heritage Minister Shelly Glover was warning the CBC to boost its ratings, or ELSE, I thought of her former profession.

And of what some bloated foreign fascist, who may or may not have been Hermann Goring once said:

“When I hear the word culture I feel like reaching for my revolver.” 
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General

Montreal Simon: Shelly Glover and the New Con Assault on the CBC

Posted November 23, 2014 by Simon

I have to admit that when I heard that the Con Heritage Minister Shelly Glover was warning the CBC to boost its ratings, or ELSE, I thought of her former profession.And of what some bloated foreign fascist, who may or may not have been Hermann Goring once said:”When I hear the word culture I feel like reaching for my revolver.” Read more »

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General

Charges pending after head-on crash sent two to hospital

Posted November 23, 2014 by Anonymous

Charges pending in head-on crash

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General

Holodomor and Other Anniversaries

Posted November 23, 2014 by The Blog Fodder

Friday, November 21st, marked the first anniversary of EuroMaidan, the dignity revolution.

Yesterday, Saturday 22nd, was the 51st anniversary of the assassination of JFK. It was also the 10th anniversary of the Orange Revolution that overturne…

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