In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 9: Jason does Alberta

As expected, Jason Kenney easily won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta at a convention in Calgary on Saturday, with about 75% of the vote. Kenney was a steamroller who flattened his two remaining challengers, an inconspicuous MLA named Richard Starke, and an even less conspicuous guy named Byron Nelson. The other ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 47: Tarnish on the golden boy

Is the shine coming off the golden boy? Justin Trudeau is under the gun these days for what appear to be, if not lapses in ethics, at least some questionable activities. The Liberals have stretched the fundraising rules to the breaking point, engaging in cash-for-access fundraisers where well-heeled folks get to hobnob with government ministers ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 37: Judging the judges

This week, an Alberta judge found Travis Vader guilty in the deaths of elderly couple Lyle and Marie McCann. Queen’s Bench Justice Denny Thomas found Vader guilty of second degree murder, despite the facts that no trace of the McCann’s has ever been found, no weapon was found, and the evidence was entirely circumstantial. Oh, ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 35:Why politicians shouldn’t make ‘jokes’

Oh, my. Will politicians never learn? Of course not. This week’s political miscue was by Brian Jean, leader of the Wildrose Party. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Fort McMurray, Jean said he would continue to “beat the drum” for elder care in Fort McMurray. A sucker for word play, apparently, he didn’t stop ...

mark a rayner: The Infographic Explained

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 29: Donald Trump’s Lying Circus

OK, let’s recap the week at the Republican National Convention. Be prepared, this makes for depressing reading. The week began with Antonio Sabato, a former underwear model, little known actor, and failed Dancing with the Stars competitor, addressing the convention. Why Antonio Sabato, no one is sure why. But after his speech, he told ABC ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 26: Oiler fans say, ‘What the Hall?’

It’s summer here in the Great Green North, the brief respite from the snow and cold and ceaseless hockey talk. Or at least that’s supposed to be the way it goes. While there are no reports of winter weather, hockey news just never goes away. This week, the obsessive fan base of the Edmonton Oilers ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 22: Muhammad Ali, when boxing mattered

The death on Friday of Muhammad Ali, described by the New York Times as a “titan of boxing and the 20th century” reminded me of a time when boxing mattered. Greatest sports photo ever.  There was a time, before Ali and for a while after he retired, when boxing was one of the premiere sports ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 3: The slow death of the daily newspaper

And so, the era of competitive newspapers in Canada has come to an end. This week, the wretched Postmedia group consolidated the newsrooms in four cities where they own both papers, including Edmonton. The Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun — once bitter foes whose rivalry benefited Edmonton — are now together in one newsroom, ...

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 2: Caution, bad news ahead

Hoo-boy, what a bad news week for Alberta, and Canada. Oil continued its slide, falling to below $30 a barrel. The Canadian dollar continued its slide, falling to below 70 cents US. If it weren’t for the fact that Mexico already has the peso, we’d be calling the loonie the peso of North America. Thanks ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Well, I did it. And I’m sure you’re thrilled. When I started writing this blog, I vowed to write a weekly review of events as I saw them. I did it mostly as a personal challenge, a way to instil a little discipline in my undisciplined life, and to boost my memory of the events ...

In This Corner: Why I’ll be last in line for the new Star Wars movie

You may or may not have heard this, but a new Star Wars movie comes out this week. It seems like its kind of a big deal, just a little less anticipated than the second coming of Christ (Jesus Christ II: The Rapturing, coming soon to a planet near you). Typically when a much anticipated ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 47: Farmers raising hell; this week’s gun atrocity

I have to say I am greatly enjoying watching the NDP government squirm over Bill 6, their farm safety bill. The bill would force farms to apply the same safety regulations that apply in other industries, something that is commonplace across the country. I don’t disagree with this at all; in fact, I think it ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 43: ‘Trudeau II: The son also rises’ makes its debut; pipeline politics

It’s now official — Prime Minister Trudeau. For those of us of a certain age, that has a familiar ring. Now, I’m not a naturally optimistic person. I see myself as more of a realist. However, I’m strangely optimistic about our new government. Maybe it’s just the residual joy of ridding the country of Stephen ...

In This Corner: The supplement conundrum

As an OMIT (Old Man in Training is an acronym I just now made up. I think it’s pretty cool, but then, I’m an Old Man in Training), I am increasingly concerned about my health. Overall, I’m pretty healthy, at least I think so. My health care plan is quite simple: if I never go ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap. Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 41: World notices Canada, enjoy it while you can.

Canadians, forever the neglected middle child in the family of nations, are always weirdly excited when the world pays us any attention. So worldwide reaction to the election of Justin Trudeau got media play this week, as the world is briefly paying attention to Canada in a way not seen since, well, Pierre Trudeau. And ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 41: World notices Canada, enjoy it while you can.

Canadians, forever the neglected middle child in the family of nations, are always weirdly excited when the world pays us any attention. So worldwide reaction to the election of Justin Trudeau got media play this week, as the world is briefly paying attention to Canada in a way not seen since, well, Pierre Trudeau. And ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 35: Refugees keep coming; Liz sets employment record

The European refugee crisis continued unabated this week, and the numbers are staggering. For example, Germany has announced that it will accept 500,000 refugees. Every year. For several years. Germany is a big country, with 81 million people, but a half-million refugees every year for several years is an awful lot of people, particularly if ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 35: Refugees keep coming; Liz sets employment record

The European refugee crisis continued unabated this week, and the numbers are staggering. For example, Germany has announced that it will accept 500,000 refugees. Every year. For several years. Germany is a big country, with 81 million people, but a half-million refugees every year for several years is an awful lot of people, particularly if ...

In This Corner: The Pain Campaign, week 4: Nothing happens, so I make some stuff up

The interminable Canadian election campaign  is now one-month old. In the pre-Harper days, the election would have been over by now, and we would all be celebrating the end of the Harper horror show (let us pray). But thanks to Harper’s shameless manipulation of the system, the campaign has barely begun, and I am deeply ...

mark a rayner: Fahrenheit 1600

The Amazon servers take even more heating… Alltop is hot for the funny. Cartoon via Hungry for Knowledge.

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Ask General Kang: How can I get more respect?

It depends on how much respect you’re looking for, really. I mean, if you just want your friends, family and neighbours to respect you then it should be pretty easy. From what I can see, your smaller primate groupings here … Continue reading →

In This Corner: Everything I’ve taught my sons: a Father’s Day tribute to me

Hey, everybody, it’s Father’s Day! I feel I have to remind you, my minimal readership, of this fact. Father’s Day has always been the distant, definitely poorer relative of Mother’s Day. I don’t know who created Father’s Day (the tie makers’ cartel is a good bet), but I’m guessing it came several years after the ...

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Salathial Turgid, Hanging Judge

The O’Reilly Boys finally caught up with Old Judge Turgid at the Annual Pecos River Ride and Chili Jamboree. Salathial had hung their older brother Seamus “The Tinkle” O’Reilly just the year before and they were plum angry. But Old … Continue reading →