Saturday, April 24, 2010

When "reasonable suspicion" = skin color

Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration into law on Friday. Its aim is to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.

That might be fine, except that, as one Hispanic said, "The police will not be targeting Canadians."

This is about Mexicans.

And the new law gives local police the power, based basically on their gut instincts, to stop anyone and ask for their papers.

The Governor has insisted that there will be no racial profiling.


What these folks have done is given President Obama, who will be fighting this legislation tooth and nail, every Hispanic vote in the country. If he missed a few, first time out, he needn't worry now. This is a very big very early Christmas present from the Republicans.

I will not be rushing down to Scottsdale soon.

If I want to go back in time, I will read a history book.

Am I Seeing Straight?

Many people, especially seniors, cannot afford glasses or visits to the optometrist.

That's why you have been able to buy ready-mades off the revolving shelf at your local drug store for years now.

Nevertheless, there is still something mighty peculiar when that arbiter of all things healthy, Kevin Falcon, Not M.D., decides to open up the glasses and contact lenses market to online shoppers and shippers.

Does this not impress as just the good minister's weekly announcement about deregulation and private plans and free enterprise principles in the wonderful world of health care?

It's strange.

This latest maneuver may or may not be a good one, but Falcon is so consistent that I have become unable to swallow anything he chooses to out dish.

Get Serious

I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.

And I predicted it.

Sure enough, right as rain, the Globe has a front page story and two full pages of coverage on how MOST Sikhs are really wonderful, peaceful law-abiding citizens and it's only "that handful" of meanies and scallywags who are causing all the trouble.

This is apparently necessary because of a) the on-going death threats to Ujjal Dosanjh and b) the lovely fights that broke out recently in two Ontario Sikh temples.

Of course, police had to be called.

In the little dust up at the Brampton house of worship, machetes. hammers and axes made sudden miraculous appearances.

That's machetes, hammers and axes.

Of course.

We always go to temple armed to the teeth.

I've got an idea.

Instead of rushing to assure us that everything's alright, everything's fine and "the majority are shamed by the brutality of the few," how about that majority of peace-loving Canadian citizens get their hysterical "few" to stop with the death threats and harvesting and woodworking tools taken to the place of quiet contemplation and meditation?

How about the majority make it very clear to "the few" that their heinous behaviour is both unwelcome and illegal and that it will not be tolerated?


The scientific world is all agog because many new life forms and species have been found in Borneo, including a lungless frog.

Big deal.

Those wildlife researchers should come to Canada.

We have two heartless premiers.

The one in B.C. doesn't care about children or old people and the one in Ontario has also lost his balls.

Gene Lees

What the video post below doesn't say it that the lyrics for "Waltz for Debby" were written by Canadian Jazz Great, Gene Lees, who has passed away at the age of 82.

"In her own small world,
Captivated by dolls and clowns and a Prince and big purple bear,
Lives my favorite girl,
Unaware of the worried frowns that her weary parents all wear..."

I have a particular fondness for this song.

Whenever I am walking or driving to a speaking engagement or performance gig of any kind, part of my warm-up routine includes singing this piece. When I do, always think of my beautiful daughter, Catherine.

Tony Bennett recorded the tune with Bill Evans and it is way beyond great.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Gene on the radio a few thousand years ago and he was, in addition to being a fount of jazz lore & info, a lovely and charming guy.

When he wasn't being the editor of "Down Beat," or writing books about jazz greats, or a thousand and one other tasks, Lees wrote the English lyrics for a few little pieces, like Jobim's "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars."

We've lost a good one.