Friday, January 26, 2018

This Was the Day It Was

It was an interesting sort of day in our sad old world. 

Some of us focused on Davos and the visual display of the Trump effect. That started with the 'vertical insertion'  of Hair Furor, on the third of four helicopters.  They didn't pop flares on the way in, there was probably a lot of surveillance on  that part of the Alps yesterday.  Trump met with the leaders of European Industry who introduced themselves and spoke briefly about what their corporation was doing for America. Some of the names like 'Nestle', Trump recognized - he asked about their candy bars and was informed they were now into coffee,  infant nutrition, water and more lucrative fields.  He politely congratulated each on on their accomplishments after their 30 seconds of thumbnail sketching. Trump closed the audience by inviting them all to do more in America. He should have asked them if they had homes there. I'd  bet most of them do.

Day two he gave his address to the 'Davosians'.  Basically he said America was up for anything - so long as it was an American idea. The world was invited to follow, but only if American rules were followed. 'Open for business' in America means you're getting a tax cut, 'open for business' anywhere else means no government involvement. Trump said nothing new. At home the state Department did, announcing a new round of sanctions against individual Russians. Trump announced that the DACA problem was going to be solved and WH spokespeople said that legislation would be forthcoming this week -  'breaks' for some young 'dreamers' who might not be sent back.

Another focus of attention was the enclave of Afrin in Syria which was taken under attack be Turkish forces in an effort to extend its buffer zone in, and influence on Syrian. Although the Turks were well positioned on three sides and had moved the whole Army it seemed into position , the only indication they were serious came in the form of some pretty spectacular bombardment. The military advance, mostly, it seemed, by 'free Syrians' allied with the Turks - seemed spotty and tentative and more about eating rations than fighting. The Turks announced killing hundreds of Kurds, while the Kurds claimed they were killing hundreds of 'gangsters'. It would appear that the Turks weren't suffering much at  all beside the ammunition expenditure. So far the eastern Kurds have done little to help their brothers. The Syrians, having been asked to intervene by the Kurds,  were holding out for a restoration of Afrin to the Motherland. That wasn't forthcoming. The Americans have managed to stay out of it, and to keep their Kurds out of it. But they may have to clamp down on Free Syrians who see this as an opportunity to get back at Assad.

It will be interesting to see if the Eastern Kurds will remain uninvolved,  as a loss in the West is every bit a loss to them. They might inconvenience the Turks at home or along the border or, with Assad's not looking,  travel west to reinforce Afrin from government territory.

The third focus of interest was on England where some cretin politician hit the headlines saying the Russians had threatened to kill hundreds of thousands of Brits by a nuclear attack on the water and gas works or infiltrating the electrical system. This came after yesterdays military harrrumph that there wasn't enough in the national mess fund to battle the 'feckin Russians' at all. The furor rose and was drowned out, in the tabloid media, by even more startling news that a pack ( a herd?  a giggle? ) of baboons had escaped the zoo there and were 'marauding' the city of Paris. As well as that, there was another tale spread about a EURO riot over a sale of Nutella. Hopefully most Brits could 'hoik it' home, to find the Russians had not yet eliminated all the utilities and hopefully find that any French baboons in the area had missed the Nutella in the larder..

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Trumping America

I got a look at a new documentary (October 2017) called 'Trumping America"  that tries to explain to the dense just WTF happened last year? A year after a stunning defeat somebody has been  taking look and blaming 'false news' and Russian hacking for electing Donald Trump.

 I think they're starting from a stupid premise,  for Trump is not the first candidate to lie his way into the Oval Orifice, that has been the case since the days of Jimmy Carter who did it too - but recanted and wasn't re-elected.

In doing so, whatever opposition there is to Trump perpetuates the mistake in thinking they can run a sow's ear, spouting platitudes for a party plank and expect to awaken to find their candidate 'kicking-off' the Inaugural Ball. Donald Trump won an election that surprised him as much as anybody else because the opposition was complacent, spent enough to ransom a continent and thought that there were enough people who believed their brand of 'shinola' to outvote the those who were absorbing the other variety of 'shinola'. There weren't  ... or at least they were not distributed in the best ways to knock Trump out. He won by a thin edge in a couple of places that statistically should have gone to Clinton, The electoral college confirmed that and,  as the idiots,  say "3 million voters were disenfranchised". They should relocate before the next election.

But back to the documentary.

It was a unique campaign from the primaries on through. Trump was a wild man in a field of evident mediocrities.  I can't think of one, viable Republican Candidate without a crippling wen or blight. And while Trump had his foibles, galore, none of the others could top him in either his nasty schoolboy disposition or the self-assuredness that he 'owned' the podium.  On the distaff side there was only one opponent facing Hilary Clinton and. whether this is false news or not I cannot say, the Democratic party torpedoed him ... and a Party Chairperson resigned when that news broke.

As the documentary laments,  the election,  from that point on,  was a series of disclosures some obviously false, some true and of the closet-skeleton variety and some that were made remarkable by who made them and the time they chose to do it.

Hilary Clinton entered the campaign partly on her acumen as a former Presidential spouse but more so on her career as the US Secretary of State - the top dog in the Obama first term cabinet. Along with that came a couple of blunders and a moderate scandal. The blunders arose from the Arab Spring, the take-down of Libya and the killing of the US ambassador to that place. The scandal came from an obvious, but she claims entirely innocent, 'mishandling' of some top secret communications on her private unsecured at-home 'server'.  When she tossed her tiara into the ring, the FBI was looking into some of those things.

 Who slung the first mud was probably Trump - who ran on a campaign that Clinton was inherently crooked and that, looking at a few things that happened ,with her as SecState:  people 'getting things' and subsequently  making donations to the Clinton Foundation  - made Trump proclaim that Hillary belonged in jail, not in the white House. In rebuttle he was chastened (if that's possible) by charges that he donated other people's money and claimed his Foundation did it, that he overspent Foundation funds to decorate, often with portraits of himself, the Trump 'empire'. He was accused of dirty-mouthing the ladies when a recorded tour bus conversation as aired. Trump responded by inviting to a debate, a number of women who had charged Mr. Clinton with sexual abuse.  They sat, silent, in camera range, as Trump absolved himself of sexism and reminded the audience that greater men had sinned more obviously.  That must have really pissed the Clintons  - Bill looked like a furious deer caught in the headlights.

There were leaks afterward attributed to 'the Russians' working to elect their man - Trump. For most of the leaks damaged Hilary. The ' torpedo Bernie;  campaign was the first one.  There was another even more significant appearance on Wikileaks of the contents of John Podesta's (Clinton's campaign  manager) Democratic Party computer hard drive.  this one contained a number of emails illustrating that John or his brother (Washington Power Lobbyists) had some distinctly weird friends who liked to have parties where celebrities feasted on body-shaped and sized cakes - eating them from the crotch outward. One of their artistic friends involved public nudity with what they claimed were menstrual blood 'wall-happenings'.  Trump couldn't have manufactured more damning material.  More of this virtually nailed Clinton's political coffin shut when somebody, with expertise in the field, posted some of Podesta's stuff that he claimed was in code used by pedophiles to describe what they were up to, with kids, to each other. He claimed that Podesta and some Democratic Party supporters were running a 'sex club' for perverts out of a Washington Pizza Joint. 

That might not have done Hilary in ( although she was beginning to show public signs of being all-in, health wise)  had there not been another email embarrassment coming, this time from the direction of her personal secretary Huma Abedin.  Huma was married at the time to Jeffrey Wiener the infamous 'wanna see my pecker' e-mailer. He had been caught, again, , early in the campaign,  sending pictures of his junk to young girls. As part of their investigation, the NYPD had sequestered his computer. (Wiener's laptop) Along with the penile implants on his hard drive,  the cops announced that they had found a number of State Department and other documents belonging to the former Secretary of State. He had those, Wiener told the police,  because his wife did not have a printer and wanted him to make hard copies for her. He had simply forgotten to erase them. 

That stimulated Trump to renew the cry to "throw her in jail" He swore, as part of his plank, that he would see her in court.  A week before the vote, the FBI announced they could find no evidence of malfeasance against Clinton, but the damage was already done.

One of the 'deth' cakes at a Podesta related event

 By way of counterblast, someone in the Democratic Party organization contracted an ex-agent of British MI6 to investigate Trump's ties to the Russians.

The first revelation involved Trump's Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, with the Russians via the ex-pro-Russian President of Ukraine Mr, Yanukovich. Manafort lobbied for Ukraine in Washington but Yanukovich was unseated during the Maidan revolution and had run away to Russia. Manafort resigned, but an investigation was commenced hoping to connect Trump via Manafort , to Putin. Nothing has come of that so far, although Manafort is currently before the court on other charges.

The second part of the Englishman's investigation raised what he claimed was evidence that Trump, while he was in Moscow trying to land a hotel deal and organize a beauty pageant, had hired a number of Russian hookers to micturate on a bed, in a hotel Presidential suite that had been occupied by the Obama's on a State visit. Trump was reported to have watched and recorded the desecration.  That 'dossier' was, reportedly,  revealed privately by the head of the CIA John Brennan to President Obama and Trump at a White Hose meeting designed to investigate the possibility that Putin had his own recordings  tape and could blackmail the new President.

Things did not stop,  as questionable private internet security firm (Crowdstrike)  discovered what it claimed were 'Russian hackers' attempts to interfere with voting machines in Illinois (well before the election) and the hallmarks of those hackers in the files transmitted from Democratic HQ to Wikileaks.  This firm would proceed to be the sole source for the famous '13 Agencies Reports' into Russian hacking of the election. An investigation into which is, still, on-going.  The firm was also awarded over $100 million in government internet security contracts before Obama left office.

While the documentary would hardly touch on much of this in an other than 'would you believe this?' approach, it seems like a massively incredible excuse for failing to do an election properly. If Democrats still believe this, going into the mid terms, they will lose again. If they don't change, then 'the New York Peach' is virtually guaranteed another 4 years in the White House.

But according to the new documentary, all of this has been 'bosh and hooey'!  For the anti-Trumpites have discovered how he really dunnit. Well, not actually 'he' as much as the 'alt-right election machine',  powered by multi-zillionaire genius Robert Mercer,  his daughter, his Foundation, Breitbart News, Steve Bannon and a number of interrelated entities - including a British marketing research firm with an innovative way of scanning and sorting personal information data. 

What these folk did, aside from organizing and focusing the Trump campaign,  was to gather wads of personal data by purchasing that from Social Media sites.  The data was collated and scanned using numeric algorithms to determine who was likely to vote Trump and what could be fed to them to solidify that choice. The Trump Campaign also focused on States that Trump could win but which had been longshots for Republicans before, They made sure Trump paid attention to them.  While Clinton focused on the 'big win' states. Trump focused on winning Electoral College votes from the 'fringe' states.  The upshot of the election as a close-run popular vote with Clinton winning an unimpressive majority scattered all over the place. Trump however won enough states to give him the Electoral College votes he needed for an inauguration.

What's missing now is the hue and cry that Putin dunnit that has taken up two plus years of investigative time and cost billions. The election wasn't hacked,  it was played by the Stock Market  winners and finessed like a card sharp's game of  Acey Deucy.

The sad part, perhaps, is that Trump, ever the ingrate, seems to have cast his 'winning team' to the curb and bought into the Biffelbergers of the military/industrial/intelligence community. They'll eat his asshole for brunch.

Monday, January 15, 2018

America Goes to the Movies: 2017

'Tis the Awards season again and America gears-up for its annual tribute to what used to be called the 'land of celluloid' and now might be considered the 'land of cellulite' - at least among the unbuffed or interjected. The Golden Globe Awards presage the up-coming Oscars in a lighter 'more fun' approach to 'giving'. This year no less than others. The Emceeing was brilliantly wicked, even lacking Ricky Gervase, and the night was an upscale accolade to film and the women who make it all plausible.

Newly-buffed Mariah et alii

This year, you see, saw the coming-together of a number of tectonic 'issues' that had arisen in the 'ennertainment whirled' - Harvey Weinstein and  the 'second-class economic status'  automatically afforded to females by an industry predicated on the  old Yiddish notion that 'he has a fambly to feed'. As well as that,  there is the constant struggle of the 'bud' of  gender expression,  yearning to 'break free' and blossom, and polly ticks -  Trumpites and anti-Trumpites.  This year everyone, except a couple of 'real weird-ohs', wore black - with a variety of bows, badges, bangles, dangles  and pins to represent their particular sides of  'the struggle'.  A glittering night it was.

The Issues

The star of the evening and potential candidate for the next President of the United States was Oprah Winfrey! Whether she planned that or not, Trump might want to hire her speech writer.  For had she been in the Oral Office, and calling for another crusade into Central Asia, the mall-trotters would have abandoned their shopping carts and decamped to the nearest outdoor/Army surplus/gunshop/ outfitter to equip themselves, at their own expense, and, probably, even buy the tickets to 'deploy' themselves.  Oprah could move the housing market with a word - for the 'unable' to apply for a house, and bankers to give them a wobbly mortgage (not that they aren't already doing that, again, with automobiles). Had she actually said something about it, recruiting sargeants might not have been able to down a single coffee last week. Oprah - hush mouth now - might even be able to raise the dead - but don't say I said that.  She made me want to be my best me - imagine her effect on Putin,  or Kim!

But although the evening was about the movie industry and its art, I'm thinking that the 'black' thing was more in the way of a camouflage for the best year of wasted investment in film since the invention of the kinetoscope. The movies 'honored' by the press awards were some real stinkeroos. Three of the top nominees - 'Lady Bird', 'The Florida Project' and 'Three Billboards Outside somewhere in Missouri'  must have been written/directed by graduates of a film school where 'happy endings', or any other sort of endings weren't on the syllabus. They remind of someone who, in the middle of a screw (good, bad or indifferent)  gets up and goes out .... forever.  They made me feel like eating the bottom out of my popcorn container in search of whatever I missed. Personally I think they were intended to be 'internet theft bait' and they accidentally made it into a couple of film festivals. Maybe the  best of the year's crop:  'The Post', 'Thank you For Your Service' and even the paean to the real military '12 Strong' are to be considered next year.

That would leave something to really look forward to.   Perhaps, rather than reprising 'black' - not a happy color in most cultures - the Oscars could shift to mourning purples, violets and mauves - with flash of chartreuse in there, to represent the dawn of a new day - when the 'casting couch' reverts to being a contractual arrangement as it should have been - rather than another dreary porn set - for everyone , all along.

Hawaii's Big Skeer

Saturday morning last , or at least 28 minutes of it, must have been a real 'doozie' for those Hawaiians, and tourists,  who weren't sleeping through it.  Some lummox at Civil Defense HQ  accidentally toggled the switch  that posts the alert for incoming rocket strikes - assuming there are a variety of such alerts.  All of a sudden individual cell phones received the 'automated message'. If you were messaging the family, back on the mainland, over a vacation breakfast, they had a few minutes to wish you hadn't done that Hawaiian get-away.  TV programs were interrupted with a red 'warning bar' scrolling across the screen indicating ICBM, imminent and take cover - a British premier league soccer game - was one I noticed. The warnings triggered 'somebodies' else to toggle local air raid sirens (which had, we are told, recently been part of the high-intensity 'training' going on - the NORK's threat to civilization, eh?). So a cacophony of sound (I was going to say not heard since the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor, but they've 'upgraded' the sound to a sort of eerie, alien 'warbling' - that none save a sound engineer, or Darby O'Gill,   has ever heard) added to the already heightened tensions.  Road traffic took a turn for the worse as people pulled-off to the side as instructed, and abandoned their cars, while others bolted for home or the office. One fellow even tossed his toddler into a storm drain for protection.

It only took Civil Defence 28 minutes - in consultation with every other attack detection and warning agency on 'erth', the four branches of the armed forces in the Pacific, National Security HQ and, no doubt, the White House - to determine that one, there was no incoming attack and two, someone had blundered. I guess the notion of just turning things off isn't in the 'play book'.

Which all leads one to believe that the CD warning system might be tied into something automatic with the 'manual override' that caused the problem. And that 'the human element' doesn't have immediate access to real-time awareness of an actual threat situation.  Next time a faulty chip or sensor could trigger a warning and nobody might 'know' for more than an hour - although  real incoming missiles from eastern Asia would have a flight time of between 13 and 20 minutes - so the loud 'bangs' interspersed with the alien noises and the pandemonium might 'prove' something. A blinding white flash or two, would shut everything to fuck up.

The White House took until later on Saturday to comment.  Thank goodness the President might have been 'occupied' - taking a Trump dump,  or entertaining some overpaid, over-injected "golf  tournament diversion" and didn't make one of those crucial  '2 pm decisions'.  I'm pretty sure somebody important was asking if the Norks, or the Chinese or the Russians,  might not have 'stealth ICBMs? And shouldn't we let off a few just to be careful?   I visualize Pence and the Prosyliterians poring over 'the Big Board' down in the war bunker.

There's possibly a book, or two, in this one.

The Trump dump emoji

                    Mia Khalifa - last weeks 'meme' for Islamic 'wummin' and golf diverter

What ever happened away from the news is starting to take on the aspects of human nature at its best and worst.  Honeymooning couples celebrated their last few minutes together with a glass of wine and render expressions of eternal love. Others used the opportunity to do some crime. One fellow stiffed his young child into a manhole to help him, or her,  survive. Others made tearful calls home , bidding farewell - courtesy of our interconnected whirled.  I'm pretty sure more than a couple hit their knees to 'get right' with 'God'  or simply bent over, quietly,  to kiss their ass good-bye.

 To-day it's looking like the 'book' would be a revised CD manual, for the only thing America sees going wrong is that this was 'only' a false alarm. the notion of it actually being a real alarm is discounted as - well - not very 'American',  or not very 'well-prepared to survive'.   After some clear-eyed thinking, 'upping the CD 'game' is being touted as the panacea.

Atomic war is still very much 'on the table'.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Best P'leece Force

As the 'big stick' of Canada's National Police forces hangs up his 'Sam Brown and six gun'  (and takes the spurs home for bedroom' gymnasties')  - we get one final dose of his incredible BS.  This one at an investigation into another tragedy that transpired on his watch.

They didn't need no 'military grade' firearms.

While 'Pat' may be somewhat sincere in his belief that a police force shouldn't be 'militarized', he has either been 'living a lie' or dwelling in La-La Land since he 'joined up' with Canada's singular quasi-military police outfit. These guys have actually gone to wars before, as policemen,  some of the Staff at HQ actually sport a 'gong' for 'serving' in Afghanistan. Maybe if 'Pat' had one of those, he might be more 'realistic'.  Removing the 'old boys',  officers' mess-mentality, from the redcoats was something he was supposed to be doing - so there could be some 'continuity', or something, there.

What's surprising is that someone who has made noises about 'under-resourcing' and 'government parsimony' when it comes to 'the Force' , before, wouldn't be at the head of the army-surplus line when it came to them giving away free CadPat 'battle rattle' and light-armored AFVs. A C-4 in every patrol car would have been a bonus - they were/are 'standard issue', along with a (riot) shotgun,  in many 'ordinary' police force cruisers. - some of them carried 'up front' for rapid deployment -  American style.

In a very recent development the Dudley's have 'doo-wronged' again.  That ended the trial of an accused killer of 6.  Although the trial judge has sealed his ruling in vacating the charges against the accused, the action came after defense lawyers presented evidence in court that had been 'overlooked' when preparing the Crown's case. Where did they get that you might ask? Well 'from the RCMP' comes the rejoinder. 'Mirabile dictu',  it had been included in a 'package of information' given to the defense team. A mass murderer walked because somebody 'fudged the data' - by accident of course, like every other similar accident before. They will show up to testify accurately about your speeding ticket or DUI - no misinstructing the Crown there.

Needless to say Vancouver's Sikh population  - another case the Doowrights blew - is 'up in arms' and accusing somebody of collusion. It ain't collusion - although the accused killer has some of the earmarks of a 'skin head'.   But it is incompetence, again, just like always. If the new 'Barge Pole' hasn't been appointed already - and I haven't read that someone has - I guess the 'black eye ' here, has to fall directly onto the Force. There is nobody commanding who wants to fall on their ceremonial sword.

As always Tronna's force is a gift that keeps on giving too.

News came out that the case of a Drug Squad cop,  who died 'on the job' a year or so back, involved him dying of an overdose of illegal fentanyl. The expired trooper was a 'secret doper', too.  I'm wondering what qualifies somebody for work on a drug squad?  While identifying 'stoners' may not be a prerequisite,  it IS one of those things that anybody with a few firing synapses learns 'on the job' - for self-preservation, if nothing else. I'd be wondering how it came to pass,  that the deceased had a drug 'problem' that remained unremarked by  the singular body of people, in the city, who might reasonably, be expected to notice those things - the guys he worked with. Nobody's asking, so deep in mourning have they been, I'd guess. Nor wondering 'if a relatively, young, 'unjaded' officer had such a drug problem, might there not be other 'problems' like his on the force?  Being stoned, like being drunk,  on duty may make you a jolly good fellow ( Until recently, might get you into serious counselling.) but how does it improve job performance?

The ink had barely dried on that news story  before Toronto's finest had their feelings hurt when somebody at the Human Rights Commission started a campaign to reevaluate the force's 'growth' in racial equality when making 'routine patrol stops' - formerly known as the 'carding' program for gathering HumInt.  Police spokespeople were shocked , and the union leader outraged as usual, that an 'issue', addressed years ago (years ago!)  was being 'dragged out' for an airing in a despicable attempt to make the best pleece' service in, almost the whole world, look bad! Again!!

Related story: another murdered female body has been recovered in the Toronto 'downtown core'. The first one was noticed  two years ago and finally identified very recently. The second is a woman reported missing by her family a week or so back. The body was found in what is described as "Toronto's gay district" - not that there's anything wrong with that.  So was the first one.  Obviously, in the absence of any more corpses, there is no connection.

The service has even  got lotsa 'darkies' on the force now.  One of them is THE BOSS - although he's been on sick leave recently! Some of them are still, Orangemen - so that's progress!

In another late-breaker,  the city was rocked last week when news broke on Friday morning that an 11 year old girl , on her way to school, had been accosted by 'Edward Scissorhands' , twice, on which occasions he cut her hijab. By 10:30 am  the little gal was telling her story on the local and national news at a press conference - surrounded by family and 'community mentors' and a representative of the TPS.  By Monday morning - after a weekend marked by litany of apologies and ruminations and 'that IS NOT who we ares', the same TPS was announcing that, 'after an investigation' they had determined the girl "had been lying". That, of course, engendered a swelling tide of the  'that IS who we ares'  to start howling about them all being liars and how they shouldn't have hijabs anyway and a bunch of 'hey! those apologies were just like letting jihadis back into the country and giving them millions of taxpayer dollars, etc. 

The story is still unfolding for, now, the little girl isn't (shouldn't have been) allowed on TV. That the 'community mentors' at the school need their heads read and, perhaps, the notion of police 'tweeting' news of the assault, twice, before they investigated, may have caused the 'press scrum' that was 'organized'. I think the 'she's lying' thing will need looked at too, for, so far, there is no public indication that she has admitted to that,  or recanted her initial story, I would hope the TPS know that but have not made it public.

What Kind of Dope Am I?

The IOC has labored and Dicky Pound and the 'Royal Canucks' have taken a stand. The IOC 'hearts' Russian athletes, they abhor the Russian medal-producing system that fills them full of performance enhancing drugs and then hides the 'facts' from honest people. Russia is officially banned from the 2018 Olympics in Korea, but individual Russian athletes - who have shown themselves to be 'dope free' - may participate as 'independents',  under the Olympic banner. I hope the only Russians who would do that are the ones who can't make the US team. For this all started in America.

After the Sochi Olympics,  a pair of Russian athletes defected to the USA. On arrival they  told the story of how Russian competitors - maybe even them - were doped to provide their very best performances at the Olympics. Shortly thereafter, the man who headed the Russian anti-doping program defected, too, and with him came 'chapter and verse' on who was doped and how they did it and even more particularly, how they avoided getting caught. That involved holes drilled in walls and urine samples slipped into the testing labs in the dead of night by NKVD secret agents.  I'm thinking that if any of that doping moved a fifth place loser into silver or gold contention it was an effort well spent. For along with the dope there was also the small matter of beating the best in the world.

I'm pretty sure that, among the best in the world,  taking something to ameliorate a problem, or even to ensure an untroubled or pain free effort - 'using' is  not something they pass-up lightly. I think many of them dope, it's just that anti-doping is so fool-receptive that few of them get caught.

Canada 's singular doper, Big Ben Jonson,  probably wasn't smart enough to appreciate that the 'vitamins' the team doctor as infecting him with, weren't. But he won the gold and PO’ed the US champ - who started  the rumours,  later borne out in substance,  that Benny had been custom-doped to 'excel' on his big day. His doctor confessed, Ben was banned,  lost his gold and lucrative series of commercial contracts. After that Canada learned a lesson;  no Canucks have been caught doping since. (One (Gold Medal-winning) snowboarder was accused of being under the influence of 'pot' - no particular performance-enhancer  - but he said he might have inhaled it 'accidentally' while visiting 'toking' friends. Although the rumours are out there about the good stuff.  Let’s face it Olympic athletics are a career for those into it - training is what they do and perfecting ‘the instrument’ might require some medication. If it’s the kind of stuff that would get them banned, they're careful about it or, better still, they get a medical dispensation to 'test dirty'. Let's face it,  no 'national hope' is going to be tested when they’re dirty - unless they're Russian, or citizens of Lower Slobbovia.

Let the games begin. We'll see.