Something tells me that the next European conflict will be blamed on the Eurovision contest. A multinational American Idol, pitting pop-singers from across the continent against each other in a made-for-TV drama, this year’s edition saw a minor upset as the Azerbaijani contestant, Farid Mammadov, came in second. Russia’s Dina Garipova, meanwhile, finished fifth—and Der Kommissar’s none too pleased.
As Reuters reports, “Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that 10 points were ‘stolen’ from Russia’s contestant in the weekend final of the annual musical extravaganza, who received no points from Azerbaijan – a result Azeri officials said was an error.” No word as to whether the Azeri admission came before or after ex-KGB strongman Putin paid them a visit. In any case, Reuters notes that “Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Russia said President Ilham Aliyev had ordered authorities to find out what happened and suggested the votes had been lost during a tally in Germany.” Oh sure, blame it on the Germans…
Suffice to say, this singing spectacle is serious business. Foreign Minister Lavrov also reportedly said the nations agreed to “coordinate joint efforts to make sure this outrageous action does not go unanswered.” There will be blood! Just hopefully not on the streets of Moscow. As one Twitter user pointed out (translated by Reuters), “Half the country’s in poverty and we’re talking about stolen votes. #lolwut”
Then again, had Garipova received those 10 additional points, her neighbourhood might have been allocated enough bread for a week, so y’know, this was a pretty impactful performance.
Apparently, the federal government seems to have misplaced 3.1-billion dollars. An Auditor General’s report reveals that only $9.8-billion out of $12.9-billion allocated towards fighting terror can be traced, while the remainder appears to have vanished into thin air. Because when the Government of Canada starts mismanaging funds like a remote reservation, one can’t help but notice the irony:
(Then again, I’m sure that Vic Toews is paying his babysitter to look after things, so we’re all saved!!!)
The George W. Bush Presidential Library opened today to much fanfare in Dallas, with five former presidents in attendance, including Dubya himself. But what would the man need a library for—aside from his “Baba O’Reily” record and a projector screening his cameo appearance in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay? Readers of The Guardian offer a few more suggestions:
On a related note, one can only assume that the library cafeteria serves freedom fries…
Although the president’s daughters are a little too young to get inked, Barack Obama is laying down the law when it comes to tattoos. As he told the Today show, “What we’ve said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decided you’re going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we’ll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo,’” Obama said. Can you say most-viewed YouTube video ever!?
As The Telegraph points out, with tattoos on “36 percent of 18 to 25 year-olds in the United States, the president appears to have grown concerned that his daughters, Malia 14, and Sasha, 11, may follow the growing trend. By contrast, just 11 per cent of the Obamas’ 50-64 age group admit to having a tattoo. ” Funny, I could’ve sworn sailors made up a larger percentage of the population in those days…
Mind you, Obama becoming the first tattooed president could appeal to a certain number of his constituents—aside from his kids. And besides, there are other trendy ways for him to embarrass the First Children of the United States. The Today Show reports that “Obama also confirmed rumors of going Gangnam Style during his second inauguration,” although the president told the NBC program “Fortunately, we destroyed all the tapes.” That said, I’m sure the Secret Service are simply saving them till Sasha’s wedding day…
In an ultimate twist of public-sector irony, a report revealed that Shirish Chotalia, former chairperson of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, constantly violated the rights of her own employees. As the Ottawa Citzen reports, “According to evidence and witness testimony, Chotalia ordered staff to spy on an employee at work and report his or her movements and actions to her. She repeatedly tried to fire an employee without justifiable reason and retaliated against employees who did not accept her wishes or defended others against her verbal abuse.” She even forced her employees to stay put during the deadly Ottawa earthquake of 2010 so that she could be sworn in. Talk about a tyrant!
But where do you go for help when your human-rights-violating boss is in charge of the human-rights court? As it turns out, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner himself had to turn the case over to a deputy because of his own previous “professional interactions” with the supposed Stalin of the CHRT. But the findings in the Chotalia case determined that her conduct “was the most egregious he has encountered in his two-and-a-half years as commissioner,” according to the Citizen. Here’s what else the Citizen reported on the report:
Chotalia, who was appointed to the post on Nov. 2, 2009, harassed and abused eight CHRT employees, as well as several appointed tribunal members.
During meetings, she behaved in a way that was “belittling and humiliating” toward individuals, often raising personal health issues or unjustifiably blaming them for errors.
On more than one occasion, her public humiliations reduced her targets to tears.
Chotalia often made unreasonable requests, such as working outside regular hours and being available around the clock by BlackBerry without additional pay.
In one case, she required an employee to carry a set of keys to the office around their neck, even though the person complained that this caused discomfort and pain.
She also asked people to come to work when they were on sick leave and to work while on holidays.
Chotalia spoke about not trusting her employees and frequently accused some of stealing items from her, such as documents or binders, when she was unable to locate them.
She also often made “unrealistic requests” to her human resources service provider, such as wanting to de-unionize CHRT employees. And this one’s my favourite:
Many witnesses confirmed that she told them there was a conspiracy against her. She reportedly told one person “I was chosen by a Conservative government, I am a brown woman from Alberta and the unions want to remove me.”
Now, who knew that unions were racist—against people from Alberta!? Alas, if the findings of this 2011-2012 investigation are only just now coming to light, it’s because the accused never took the stand in her defence before leaving her 256K-a-year position nearly a year ago. No word as to whether she’s been offered a similar role with the Government of China.
Kathy Dunderdale, the unpopular premier of Newfoundland, shut down her Twitter account last night due to “a report that showed she happened to be following an X-rated account that featured pornographic videos,” according to the CBC. Gee, wouldn’t it be easier just to unfollow someone?
That being said, it seems Dunderdale isn’t particularly tech-savvy. As per the CBC, she said “she had not used her Twitter account for a lengthy period, and had no knowledge that she followed the account.” She also seems to have no knowledge that you don’t hafta follow-back everyone who follows you. That being said… there are Newfoundland-based porn sites!? No, I don’t wanna know where that cod has been!
Not that there’s anything wrong with watching a little porn, but this move seems sorta hypocritical considering that an opposition MHA (as they call them on The Rock) was kicked out of the house for belonging to a Facebook group called “Kathy Dunderdale Must Go!” I can only imagine the stiff penalty deposed NDPer Gerry Rogers would face if it was revealed he was also in a group called “Kathy Dunderdale’s Going to Come!”
Hansen, the grammatically-challenged New Hampshire State Representative, was forced to apologize today for an email in which he wrote “What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s of course.” That statement still sounds creepy when you don’t take it out of context, by the way. But what really got people’s backs up is the Amherst Republican personifying the female gender by its lady parts.
As the local blogger who broke the story wrote, “I’m pretty sure that when the Titanic was sinking, the captain’s instructions were ‘women and children first,’ not ‘vagina’s and children first.’ That the representative chose to describe women as ‘vagina’s’ is certainly an affront to half the population. That he failed to properly pluralize the word adds insult to idiocy.” And to make matters worse, the state governor and all four of its representatives in Washington D.C. are female. “I think it offends and takes us away from the important task of making sure we debate with civility,” Governor Maggie Hassan told ABC News.
Rep. Hansen, in his defense, stated that he’s a big Alice Cooper fan. (He also might be having tacos for dinner… get it?) “My point in the choice of words was twofold: One was shock content and the other was to try to get into the mind of the perpetrator,” Hansen told The Telegraph of Nashua. Funny, it sounds more like he’s trying to get into her pants…
Tragic news out of Boston, where an Iraqi-style bombing at the Boston Marathon has left several injured and unconfirmed dead. The terrorists even seem to have taken down the Boston Herald’s website, as their service is unavailable as I type this. That being said, it only took a couple minutes for commenters to start blaming the President of the United States for the cowardly attack. Because this never would have happened if Mitt Romney was in charge, right? *snicker*
And here I thought Massachusetts was a Democratic state…
The Canadian Press is reporting that an overwhelming majority of unionized LCBO workers—a whopping 95 per cent, in fact—have voted to strike, should contract talks break down. While a labour disruption has yet to actually occur, this clear statement of discontent surely doesn’t bode well for winos across the province of Ontario. Perhaps the provincial government could follow Toronto’s lead, and declare the LCBO an essential service like the TTC?
Then again, even with the strike vote, there’s no guarantee we’ll see any job action. The CP reports that according to the LCBO’s CEO, “OPSEU had a strike mandate twice before during previous collective bargaining in 2005 and 2009. On each occasion, a new contract was successfully reached without a strike.” Furthermore, OPSEU president Smokey Thomas admits that they’re just blowing smoke, noting the union no plans to strike—but adding the vote “should send a pretty powerful message to LCBO management that their own employees are profoundly dissatisfied with the pace of negotiations.” Well hey, better late than never, right?
That said, if you thought it was chaotic when the subway shuts down for a couple days, can you imagine what Toronto would do if all the liquor stores were closed!? Man, there’d be massive crowds in front of The Beer Store—what with those lineups running out the door!