Committed to an afternoon of mindless football watching, I was instead jolted back into reality by the horror story from just below the border.
A man walks into a coffee shop and shoots and kills four police officers.
You can find the story and late-minute updates on all your news sources on the web.
Here is the morning version from the New York Times.
I'm not sure why, but I have found this news so disturbing.
If you followed CNN at all throughout the day, yesterday was an almost typical madhouse in the USA in terms of killings, shootings and mayhem.
Family shootings, random shootings, gang shoot-outs and so on.
But the idea of some mad fool walking into a cafe and executing four police officers is particularly frightening and offensive.
Much of America is obsessed with the "right" to carry guns.
And most of America is armed.
Almost anyone can stroll into any gun shop and arm up.
Anyone can go online and buy automatic repeating deadly assault weapons. There are hundreds of websites selling killing machines at bargain prices.
I just Googled "AK-47" and this is what I got:
(Results 1 - 10 of about 1,780,000 for ak-47 for sale. (0.23 seconds)
The Winchester Varmint - albeit not an Uzi or better - is on sale for $499 with telescope.
Now, please, do not write in and use that tired old mistaken piece of shit that passes for folk wisdom - "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."
It is the ubiquitous AVAILABLITY of guns that allows people to kill people, using, oddly enough, GUNS.
Did you hear me say outlaw all private guns?
No, you didn't.
But certainly a sane society can figure out how not to sell war machines at the corner grocery.
The picture of that colossal idiot and dreadful actor, Charlton Heston, holding his rifle over his head and yelling at his NRA convention, "Not over my dead body," continues to haunt me.
What might Mr. Heston have to offer the families of these four slain police officers?
Oh, I get it.
They died so that we can have the right to run around shopping malls with guns and kill officers who are defending our right to run around shopping malls and kill officers...
My visits to the USA have become less and less frequent over the years.
I pray they can find a way to become a more civil society.
But I doubt it.
Not when there is so much money and there are so many votes involved in the making and selling of killing machinery.
OTTAWA — From Saturday's Globe and Mail Published on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009 12:00AM EST Last updated on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009 3:11AM EST
Adman Gilles-André Gosselin had the gall at the time of the sponsorship program to frequently charge taxpayers for more than 24 hours of work in a single day.
The move was part of a systematic attempt to squeeze every penny out of federal contracts, even if it meant making up timesheets and fake invoices.
For his crimes against taxpayers, whom he defrauded of $655,000, a sobbing Mr. Gosselin was sent to a federal prison yesterday to serve a sentence of two years plus a day.
His lawyer said Mr. Gosselin, 62, is bankrupt and suffers from depression, heart problems and sleep apnea.
Madam Justice Lise Maisonneuve took those factors into account, but she insisted on a jail sentence, saying the one-time journalist was educated and well aware that he was committing fraud as president of his advertising firm from 1997 to 2000.
Mr. Gosselin said little during the 11/2-hour hearing, except to plead guilty at the start and to express remorse at the end.
"I'm sorry, I apologize," he said in tears, unable to add anything else.
Mr. Gosselin's firm, Gosselin Strategic Communications, was a major player in the sponsorship program, overseeing federal visibility at 500 events that received government funding.
He made $4-million from 1997 to 2000, but his remuneration was obtained in part through the submission of 81 fake invoices to Public Works Canada.
The court heard yesterday that Mr. Gosselin had instructed his staff to overcharge the government to maximize his company's revenues.