The National Anthem “Debate”

            There’s probably nothing left to be said about this clumsy fiasco, but I have the faint hope that it may eventually result in national anthems no longer being played before sporting events. It’s long past the time for this largely irrelevant ritual to be abandoned. Even at the Olympics only the anthems of gold medal winners are played.

            The reason I used quotation marks in the heading is that a genuine debate consists of articulate, opposing arguments about a clearly-defined contention. This ongoing media-driven babble doesn’t come close to qualifying.


            Has there ever been a more aptly-named funeral director than Sonny Coffin, former director at the Hennessey-Cutcliffe funeral home in Charlottetown, PEI?

            Is there a word more overused by athletes than “compete?” Isn’t that what they get paid to do?

            Or a word more overused by sportscasters than “athleticism?” Isn’t it athletes that they’re talking about?

            Sticking with sportscasters, no one ever loses their status as a first round draft pick so why do sportscasters persist in applying the term “former” to them?          

A Useless Bell Telephone Service

            Even though we’re registered on the so-called “no calls” list, we still get pestered by phony credit card calls, purported Air Canada calls, a couple of real estate companies, duct cleaners galore, and other annoying telemarketers. I had Bell add their call-block feature to our bundle, for which I was proudly informed there would be no charge. But every attempt to block one of these numbers has been denied by a recorded Bell message stating that the particular number is not eligible to be blocked. No wonder it’s free.


            Last week I wrote about Toronto Maple Leaf super fan Mike Wilson’s memorabilia collection. Shortly before he died, Frank Selke Jr. told me that he heard there was an equally fanatic Montreal Canadiens fan in PEI with a similar collection of Habs stuff. I’m wondering if any of my PEI followers know of him.

Edwin or Kendrys

            Like most other Blue Jay fans I was very disappointed when Shapiro and Atkins opted to sign Kendrys Morales rather than re-sign Edwin Encarnacion.  Even though there are two games left, it’s clear that Edwin has had a much better season. Here are their stats:

                                               Avg.     HR     RBI     OBP

            Encarnacion                .261      38       107      .381

            Morales                       .250     28        85      .308    

Comparing Trudeau And Harper

            Now that he’s been in power for almost two years, some performance comparisons between Prime Minister Trudeau and his predecessor, Stephen Harper, are in order.

           Trudeau is comfortable in public and relishes being the centre of attention; Harper was usually aloof and seemingly uncomfortable in such situations.

           Harper understood why many people didn’t agree with him, or like him, and accepted that as part of the job. Trudeau, on the other hand, can’t seem to understand why anyone would ever disagree with him and gets petulant when they do. The thought that someone could dislike him has very likely never entered his mind.

           Although Harper at times seemed to have scant regard for parliament, Trudeau, like his father before him, consistently demonstrates that he has no respect for it whatsoever.

           Harper was very effective during Question Period and would meet tough questions head-on. Trudeau seems completely incapable of thinking on his feet or speaking extemporaneously. In these circumstances his every utterance is laced with pauses and peppered with “uhs,” and “ums.” Harper usually made Question Period interesting, but Trudeau just boringly stumbles through his repetitive and evasive talking points.

           Harper, always wary of unintended consequences, was leery of sweeping, all-encompassing, over-reaching promises. Trudeau, though, can’t seem to resist them. Take for example his unequivocal statement that the last election would be the final one under the first-past-the-post system, and also his tweet that all refugees were unequivocally welcome to come to Canada.

           Harper seemed to think that turning to the government for help should be a last resort, while Trudeau thinks it’s the first thing everyone should do. Harper sometimes based decisions on what he felt people wanted, but Trudeau bases his decisions on what he thinks people should want.

(An aside here: Every time I criticize a Liberal politician I lose some followers. Given Justin Trudeau`s amazing popularity, I expect a virtual exodus this week.)