A summer like no other....

Welcome back!

I spent a beautiful weekend in sunny Prince Edward Island where they are still excited about the visit last week of Reege and Kelly. Seems they couldn't say enough wonderful things about 'The Gentle Island'. I've got to say the seafood was fantastic! [By the way, I squeezed in a golf game in before I went to the Island, and managed to score a 90!] I didn't say I SHOT a 90......

What can you say about a summer in which most of the airtime is taken up by stars behaving badly. No, wait! It's always taken up by that! With the 'tabloidization' of mainstream media in full swing, what do we expect? 

So thankfully we have the streaming audio clips from Mel Gibson in a rage. [Don't bet on him managing an Alec Baldwin recovery. After all, Alec just screamed at his daughter and called her names.] If Mel only did that to his ex, that would be entirely recoverable. However, he used racial epithets and one thing Hollywood won't put up with is anything that smacks of racism. 

Lindsay Lohan? Sad. Enough said.

Lord Black has Left the Big House.....
Let's turn now to more interesting turns of events. Conrad Black is free, with still legal actions and millions of dollars in legal fees ahead of him. The schadenfreude about him is somewhat sickening, don't you think? Although Martha Stewart went through that and recovered, it will be interesting to see if Lord Black can recover. I tend to think he will. He'll get a book deal and be on the lecture circuit real fast as he has big bills to pay and it looks like he didn't have the $2 million bail to put up, so a friend had to do it. However, humility can go a long way in recovery. I truly wish him well and I hope that he is able to turn some of his prodigious talents to prison reform, as it is desperately needed - on both sides of the border.

The RCMP closes Files on Helena Geurgis and Rahim Jaffer 
That, of course, was entirely predictable and we're not even sure what the allegations are. Of course the Conservatives don't want her back and they immediately made that clear. 
Although I did get a kick out of this comment from the NDP's Pat Martin:
“It appears that the Prime Minister overreacted based on the flimsiest of evidence,” NDP MP Pat Martin said. Say, isn't that Pat's modus operandi???? 

Mainstream Media Change the Obama Label
The mainstream media [MSM] are changing their label on President Obama, have you noticed? They're now introducing him on the news as "the increasing unpopular President". Ouch!

Then there's always Sarah Palin....
.... to round out a strange week.....Sarah 'refudiates'  reports about the Tea Party...defends  it in her blog. Some things never change right? Well we're off for some relaxation time (with some work in the middle of it all for three days). First to stratford, then to Southwestern Ontario, then on to Martha's Vineyard. Definitely some theatre, then some golf, some reading and relaxation. How about you?

Have a good summer and stay safe! We'll catch up in later in August. Maybe it won't be so crazy by then??? Nah...of course it will!

Until next time...


Summertime and the living is uh...easy?

Welcome back!
It's been longer than usual between postings but life has been crazily busy - with trips to Vancouver, Philadelphia, Niagara-on-the-Lake, seminars and yes...a few rounds of glorious golf thrown!!! Queen Elizabeth has just completed her tour of Canada and we had an opportunity to see her up close at the unveiling of a fantastic statue of Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. You know, she's a pretty amazing lady - along with Prince Philip. Hard to believe that they have spent 60 years doing what they do, and make it look like they haven't done it all a million times before. Now that's an accomplishment!

Much has been happening in the world, with communications mishaps heading the list.

BP Gets its Act Together....Finally
After 85 days and 184 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf, along with 572 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline oiled, BP has finally capped the well. It is a temporary fix, but it's sure a relief while they await the final drilling of the relief wells. They finally have a credible spokesperson - the COO of BP, Doug Suttles, who has successfully stepped in for Tony Hayward, the CEO - the man with a knack for stepping in every cow pie in the meadow. Suttles managed expectations on the announcement very well by cautioning that it's "a great sight, but not a cause for celebration." At least he didn't add, "I just want my life back"!
BP COO manages expectations

G20 Riots and the Police
Now that the smoke has cleared and the accusations of police brutality (combined with allegations of police under-reaction on the first day and over-reaction on the second), a certain perspective is required.
The police seemed to be unaware of the anarchist tactics known as 'Black Bloc' which has been a key part of the destruction at the Seattle WTO meeting in 1999, Vancouver Olympics.
Black Bloc Tactics at the G20

The Black Bloc were all masked and dressed in black - after which they shed and melt into the crowds of legitimate protestors - are bent on real destruction, yet the police stood by and let them do their rampaging, burning police cars and smashing store windows. Why? From what I've seen, that is the police modus operandi. They adopted that tactic back in 2006 when President Bush visited Ottawa. Does it work? Uh, no actually! Clearly the Toronto cops realized it and responded to the huge public outcry on Saturday by rounding up law-abiding protestors and journalists on Sunday. I realize those were tough tactics but considering what had occurred on Saturday, it was somewhat understandable.

Then a few days later we discovered that Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Ontario government had secretly introduced Regulation 223 that enabled the police to confront citizens near the security perimeter. It turns out that Chief Bill Blair and his force were confused about the specific meaning of the obscurely written regulation! What is one to think? You've got to hand it to the Chief, though, he admitted it in a straight-forward way and let the chips fall where they may. It was awkward to admit but it was the right thing to do.

The final capper on the whole G20 is the comment from Dalton McGuinty that he doesn't want any more G20 leaders meeting in Toronto due to the 'psychological scarring' of the populace:
Dalton McGuinty waves the white flag
If I were one of those Black Bloc anarchists, I would be be cheering wildly in victory!

Barack Obama and Wall Street
After massive public anger over Washington's bail out of financial institutions in 2008, President Obama has tried to position himself and his Administration as part of the solution and not part of the problem the passage yesterday of the Financial Reform Bill by the Senate (with only three Republican votes - including Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts) giving the President an opportunity to turn the corner on public anger. The still-to-be written regulations will ultimately determine if the cure is worse than the disease. The betting has to be that the public will get behind more regulations as a solution. In the meantime, how he communicates the vision and benefits of that legislation will be critical to his Administration's recovery in public opinion in the months leading up to the mid-term elections.

And finally....
Looking forward to playing a round this afternoon, then watching the British Open 'on the telly' this weekend - while visiting beautiful P.E.I. Almost heaven? You betcha!