Whatever happened to…?

It’s a lazy day for me. The television is on, but I’m not paying attention to it, but rather to a pair of turkey buzzards turning circles a couple of blocks away.

A Sandals commercial intrudes and starts a train of thought. Whatever happened to Club Med? Do they still exist? Did they go out of business when hedonism became more mainstream, or did someone buy them out? Just curious, but if anyone knows, please tell me.

From there, for some reason, my mind jumped to something else that quietly vanished. Whatever happened to McDonald’s pizza? Granted it wasn’t really all that good and the bottom always seemed to be coated in some kind of grit, but when a pizza is ready in three minutes, you can’t expect perfection. Still, one day it was there and the next it was gone. Not that I can think of anybody who truly lamented its passing.

Just curious, but if you have any ideas on what happened, leave a comment.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Bring him to justice – progress report

Many, many thanks to two readers, cm and Concerned Follower, for providing me with the link to the following article which appeared in The Jamaican Observer of Monday, October 13, 2014:

Jamaican wanted in Canada on sex charges fights extradition

KINGSTON, Jamaica – A Jamaican man, who was ordered extradited last month to Canada where he’s wanted for trial on sex crimes, has taken his fight to remain in the island to the Supreme Court.

The man, George Flowers, is to appear in the Supreme Court today where he’s challenging the ruling in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court that he be extradited.

The order was made by Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece, who told Flowers that he could appeal the decision to another court within 15 days.

Should Flowers lose his battle against extradition in the Supreme Court, he has the option of taking that fight to the Court of Appeal.

Flowers, who goes by the name Mr Flowas, is wanted in Canada on several counts of  aggravated sexual assault.

He was arrested in Jamaica on June 4.

That arrest date is actually June 4, 2013.

In this case, “aggravated sexual assault” means he was HIV positive and never told any of his partners.

I’d like to say “this is it”, but I know it probably won’t be.  Should the Supreme Court uphold Madame Wolfe-Reece’s decision, as the article states, Flowers could go to the Court of Appeal.  And, in the event the Supreme Court sets aside the lower court’s ruling, I’m quite certain the Crown will appeal.  Either way, unfortunately it ain’t over yet folks.

I started the “Bring him to justice” series on August 14, 2012, a day after the Toronto Police Service issued their first Public Safety Alert on George Flowers.  I’m saddened to say that other than a brief flurry when the PSA was issued and a brief interview conducted by Global Television Toronto with one of his victims, there has been no Canadian (or even Toronto) coverage of this.  The only media coverage I’ve seen has been the above article and one other short piece in Jamaican papers.

I know it’s been a long time between postings on this matter, but I refuse to print rumour and this is the first confirmed information I’ve had since I wrote of his capture.  As more confirmed  information becomes available, I will issue updates.

Following is a copy of an email I received from the detective in charge of this case, which I feel bears repeating:

Hello Cat,

I am the officer investigating the aggravated sexual assault allegations against George Flowers.

I have stumbled upon your blog and have read what has been going on.

I appreciate you making more people aware of this investigation as we deem this situation as a major public safety risk.

My goal is to find and speak with anyone who has had sexual contact with Mr. Flowers.  They need to know that there is an active investigation and given the option of whether they would proceed with police involvement.  His non-disclosure actions are criminal whether or not a sexual encounter resulted in HIV infection. A lot of people are under the impression that if they DIDN’T contract HIV, that they have no criminal claim and that is false. The charge is for the “threat” of contracting the virus at the time of sexual contact if they were NOT advised of someone’s HIV status PRIOR to any sexual encounter.

The reason I am telling you this is because you indicated in your blog that you have spoken to other people who have been previous sexual partners of Mr. Flowers.

If you have any further information in regards to his whereabouts or anything else, I would appreciate it.  You can remain anonymous.  If you can also advise the other people who have been previous partners of Mr. Flowers of what I wrote, it would be appreciated.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call me.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Regards,

Nancy Johnston
Detective Constable #8734
Family Violence Unit
Toronto Police Service
Phone: (416)-808-5505
Email: Nancy.Johnston@torontopolice.on.ca

Note especially the bold section.

If Detective Johnston isn’t available, please speak with one of the other detectives in the unit .

Cat.

The name’s the same

Yesterday Rob Ford, Mayor of all subway-loving Torontonians, withdrew from the seemingly never-ending election campaign for personal reasons.   Earlier in the week, he was admitted to hospital where a tumour was found in his abdomen.  The results of a biopsy are expected next week.

Now, pay attention here, for there may be a quiz later.  Rob Ford, the current Mayor has withdrawn from the race for Mayor.  Current city councillor Doug Ford, Robbie’s big brother, decided to be Rob’s campaign manager rather than run for reelection in Ward 2. A nephew of Robbie, Michael Ford, was running in Ward 2. Here is where it gets complicated (or weird – your choice): Doug yesterday evening, announced his intention to run for Mayor in his brother’s place (more on this later).  Rob decided that rather than leave municipal politics all together, he will run for city councillor in Ward 2.  This was the ward he represented for 10 years before being elected Mayor.  Nephew Michael has withdrawn from the race for city council in Ward 2 and will instead run for school trustee.

Now, Doug has several problems.  First, the election is about six weeks away, so he’s getting a late start (the campaign officially began in January, hence my “never-ending” comment.  He cannot use Rob’s campaign war chest, but must raise his own money.  Neither can he use Rob’s campaign office, but must find his own.  It seems the only bright spot for Doug is that he can use Rob’s “Ford for Mayor” campaign signs.

Interviews conducted by local media seem split.  Some people – usually members of what is called “Ford Nation”,  those who have blindly followed Robbie – believe Doug will do just as good as Robbie.  Those who think believe he would be worse than this brother.

Based on what I’ve seen of City Councillor Doug Ford over the past four years, I personally think he would be just as much a disaster as Chief Magistrate of Toronto as was Rob.  Doug seems to be more of a loose cannon than was Rob.  For example, a man filed a complaint against Doug over some comments he made regarding a group home for autistic children.  Doug claimed the home had “ruined”the neighbourhood where the house was located and called all the residents “criminals”.  All of this without proof of course, as seems to be standard operating procedure for the Brothers Ford.  The man who filed the complaint is the father of an autistic child and felt Doug’s comments unfairly maligned the residents.  Doug’s response was to tell the man to go to hell.  Doug appears to shoot from the lip, often insulting reporters and the public without justification or even reason,

I sincerely hope Toronto voters come to their senses and see that four more years of having a Ford as mayor will be a disaster of the first magnitude.  But, he won’t be releasing a platform until Monday at the earliest so we’ll have to wait to see if he’ll be his own man or Rob Ford the second.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist, we need love too.

Cat.

One final thought: The biopsy on Rob’s tumour is about a week away, yet to hear Doug, he seems to think it will be cancerous.  At least that’s the impression Doug’s comments about chemotherapy would give.

I told very few people, but last December, I had to have a tumour removed from my stomach.  Nobody went around talking about chemotherapy or anything like that.  My friends and family adopted an attitude of “we’ll wait and see what the biopsy says, then deal with it.”  Wouldn’t that be a more sensible attitude for Doug as well?   Oh, silly me – I used “sensible” and the name of a Ford in the same sentence.

C.

Where’s the logic?

I haven’t been feeling well this summer and as a result have been watching a lot of television. If you’ve read my postings before, you know I take great delight in ripping into commercials. Don’t worry, that’s coming, but first, something nice to say about an ad, as well as a comment on a series I’ve been watching.

1 – I’ve recently been watching a series on AHC called “Gunslingers” about some of the better known names from the old west. So far, there have been five episodes: Billy the Kid; Jesse James: Wyatt Earp; Wild Bill Hitchcock, and John Wesley Hardin. I’ve been struck by the similarity in the way most of these men died:

Billy the Kid – shot in the back by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

Jesse James – shot in the back by one of his own men. What’s that old lyric “the dirty little coward who shot Mr Howard laid poor Jesse in his grave”?

Wild Bill Hitchcock (how did they get “Wild Bill” from “James Butler”?”) – shot in the back of the head while playing cards. This was the origin of calling aces and eights “the dead man’s hand.”

John Wesley Hardin – shot in the back of the head while enjoying a drink in a saloon.

The sole exception was Wyatt Earp, who died of natural causes in Los Angeles in 1927. Yeah, 1927- not that long ago really.

2 – Mazda Canada has been running ads for the Mazda 3. I’ll admit I don’t really see the connection, but I like the fact they are using Canadian sports icons such as James Naismith (inventor of basketball) and Christine Sinclair (Canada’s soccer goddess) and relating their accomplishments to the Mazda’s performance.

3 – Now the not so good spots.

First, Honda Canada (and I presume Honda USA as well) has been running ads for the Honda Pilot. Before I continue, let me ask you: When you come home, do you park near the house, or at the street end of the driveway? If you’re like me, you park near the house. Not the people in these Honda commercials. Right near the end of the drive. Are there mines in the drive so they can’t go any further, or do they just want to show off their vehicle to the neighbours. Where’s the logic?

Next, Buick. Again, a question for you: If you’re at a place that has valet parking, when you want you vehicle, do you just tell the valet the make of the vehicle, or do you also tell them the colour? In this commercial, the man simply says “It’s the Buick” with no mention of colour.. You arrogant SOB to think you’re the only person who can afford a Buick. Of course, the valet isn’t that bright either or he’d use the key fob before trekking the entire parking lot. Where’s the logic?

Finally, Ford. They’ve been running ads promoting some of the safety features. In this one, we see some amber lights in the lower left corner of the windshield and the driver tells us “the flashing lights just warned me an accident could be imminent”. Excuse me, but looking out the windshield would also tell you how close you are to that pickup in front of you. You don’t need flashing lights to tell you that if you’re paying attention to the road. Once more – where’s the logic?
The Ford commercial is a good example of how the auto companies are developing huge “nanny” complexes. They want us to buy their products, yet at the same time, they are installing all these devices to protect us from ourselves, such as lane change warnings. So many devices are being installed that supposedly protect the car’s occupants that people will rely on these devices and forget such things as checking rear view mirrors. To my mind, the only really beneficial gadget added recently has been the back-up camera.

Okay, I’ve ranted and I feel better.

.Remember to hug an artist, we need love too.

Cat.

I don’t believe him

Toronto mayor Rob Ford returned to office after two months in rehab, as I had predicted, the day after World Pride ended. In a press conference, at which he took no questions, we were once again treated to his “I’m so, so very sorry” speech. He’s used that speech so many times in the past he should make a recording of it and use that at press conferences. And I don’t believe it anyway.

On July second, he did an interview with CBC reporter Dwight Drummond regarding his substance abuse – the alcohol and the drugs. He admitted he’s had a long term problem with both. Some questions he declined to answer, citing instructions from his lawyer. When asked about his misogynist, homophobic and racist comments, he put the blame on his addictions. Robbie, does the phrase in vino veritas mean anything to you? That translates roughly as “in wine lies truth”.

There are two schools of thought on this. One holds that under the influence of intoxicating substances, a person may say things they normally wouldn’t express and don’t mean.

The other school holds that the intoxicant lessens or removes one’s inhibitions and thoughts they would normally keep hidden are expressed openly. In my opinion, this seems to be the case for Robbie. Why else would he have avoided the Pride celebrations every single year since he was elected. This is an event that brings millions of tourist dollars into the city, yet he is, or appears to be, so homophobic he won’t associate with it.

The argument has been put forth that people under the influence of an intoxicant shouldn’t be held responsible for what they say. Sorry, I can’t buy that. Unless those thoughts were already present in your mind, why would you suddenly formulate and spout such filth and garbage when you’re drunk or high?

But, Robbie is back at work and campaigning for the next election in October – for now. The most generous people I’ve spoken with give it a month before another drunken video turns up. Most say two weeks. And, being Robbie, he will ignore all questions about it and finally issue another “I’m so, so sorry” speech. And he will continue to ignore calls for his resignation. So it will be up to the people of Toronto to hand him his walking papers in late October.

Cat.

The timing is suspicious

As I wrote on May 1 in “It’s about time”, Toronto mayor Rob Ford has been in rehab. Today he announced he will return to work on June 30.

I find the timing of this somewhat suspicious. Keep in mind that our Robbie has never attended any event involving the LGBT community, except on one occasion he raised the rainbow flag for IDAHOT, during his term as chief magistrate. World Pride is being held in Toronto this year and coincidentally, it ends June 29. While he claims not to be homophobic, some of his recorded comments and his failure to attend any event related to Pride seem to indicate otherwise. His usual excuse for not being at Pride is that it is a family tradition that they go to the cottage the weekend of the pride parade. At least this year, he can use his time in rehab as the reason.

Toronto holds an annual Caribbean festival in early July. Robbie has never missed this festival and since he is returning on the last day of June, he will once again be able to attend (and probably make a fool of himself as usual).

Every mayor since Mel Lastman, who admitted he wasn’t sure about the parade but later said he’d had “a blast”, has taken part in the parade, riding on a float and spraying the crowds with a supersoaker. Actually, since the parade is usually on one of the hottest days of the summer, that could be considered s public service. But not Robbie. For him, jumping up along a parade route holds more appeal than riding the parade route on a float surrounded by “queers”.

Ah well, civic elections are coming up in October and if Toronto is really smart, they will kick the buffoon to the curb.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat

Nice try

My email brought me the following early this afternoon:

iTunes <iTunes@websitewelcome.com>

Identity verification required

Dear Customer ,

You have received this email because our system has noticed some unusual activity under your Apple ID account.

We have taken steps to ensure nothing can be purchased until you have confirmed your identity.

Please take a moment to confirm it using the link below.
< Click Here

Thanks,
Apple Customer Support
TM and copyright © 2014 Apple Inc. 1 Infinite Loop, MS 96-DM, Cupertino, CA 95014.

Sounds serious, doesn’t it? I can’t speak for you, but when I see something like this, one of the first things I do is check my credit card statement to see if there has indeed been any unusual activity involving the company telling me I’ve been cut off. Since I haven’t bought anything from iTunes in months, any purchases would show up immediately and I’d be on the phone to the credit card company. Nothing. The only purchase in the last week was the incense I bought yesterday.

This showed as being sent “to me”, which is quite common for gmail I’ve found. But there is a little arrow that allows you to see more information. Clicked on the arrow and found something very interesting. It wasn’t sent from iTunes or Apple. Oh no. Here’s what the detailed information showed me:

from: iTunes <iTunes@websitewelcome

to: gcathoward@
cc: iTunes@websitewelcome.com
date: 2 May 2014 12:05
subject: Your Apple ID Has Been Temporarily Restricted
mailed-by: subaru.websitewelcome

Since WordPress’s robots consider any posting with too many links to be spam and blocks your account (I had it happen last year) I’ve removed the extensions on the addresses, but they were both “.com” and I removed the balance of my address for the same reason.

I’m working on only my second coffee of the day so perhaps my brain isn’t fully functioning yet, but am I the only one who finds it suspicious that a message purportedly sent by iTunes is actually being sent by Subaru? I suspect that had I actually clicked on the link I would have provided Subaru with all kinds of information that would have resulted in all kinds of promotional information being sent to me.

Not that I have anything against Subaru. We had a new sedan back in 1983 and I loved it. And truth be told, I’d love to have a new WRX Sti, but that ain’t gonna happen. Besides, there’s something about a 70 year old woman flying around in Subaru’s nastiest offering that puts people off.

If you receive a similar email apparently from iTunes, before you do anything, check your credit card statement. And when you find there is nothing unusual, delete the email. DO NOT, under any circumstances, click on the link.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.