And now ... Quick Hits

With friends like these: The Rev. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, at a Detroit conference attended by 14,000 this weekend, said he regretted the deaths of Qassim Soleimani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader, and “my other brother” former Libyan dictator Muamar Gaddafi. – 2/24/20

Irony: The University of Windsor Black Law Students Association has accused the university's law school, perhaps the most liberal law school in Canada with its Access to Justice philosophy, of not doing enough to combat "systemic" racism. - 2/16/20

Nice pay if you can get it: A lawsuit is challenging a whopping pay increase for Kevin Kenneally, former deputy chief financial officer of Detroit’s pension funds, who had his pay increased from $166,855 to $285,000 by working as an independent contractor. A previous dispute over his pay threatened fund payments under the Grand Bargain, which saw the destitute city emerge from bankruptcy. - 2/2/20

Eat, drink and be merry: For a trip to the G20 summit in Japan last year the Prime Minister’s Office and worthy guests consumed 57 bottles of wine and $95,000 worth of food. - 1/31/20 ________________________________________________________________

The hissing of summer lawns: With apology to Joni Mitchell’s album of the same name, the City of Windsor has a two-member crew: one to push a lawn mower, the other to walk in front to make sure no endangered Butler’s garter snake is injured. – 8/10/18

Mother of all misnamed: In mythology the Phoenix is a bird that rises from the ashes, but the federal government’s Phoenix payroll system has essentially crashed and burned, with wildly skewed civil servant pay cheques, now costing more than $400 million and the addition of 1100 staff to fix. – 7/30/18

Self-loathing: A survey found that central office staff of the Detroit Public Schools, even more than the general public, would not recommend their schools as a place to study. 63 per cent disapproved vs. 50 per cent of teachers and 40 per cent of families. – 6/14/18

Have some sympathy: Lawyer Laura Joy asked the court to impose a lighter sentence for Kenneth Sparks, saying he’s “very sorry,” has a dozen grandchildren and wants to “enjoy his golden years.” Sparks, a career criminal, was convicted of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon – stabbing one woman and hitting another woman in the head with a pipe. – 5/18/18

Poor choice of words: Anitra Escoto, a Lakeshore resident who this week spoke against a proposed cemetery on a former golf course along her street, said why change the current neighbourhood, which is "so calm and peaceful.” – 9/5/18

Jumping the gun: No one knows why a man drove a rented van into a crowd of people in north end Toronto Monday. But the city’s mayor, John Tory, seems to think there’s a specific reason. Why else did he describe his city as “being inclusive” and “accepting and understanding?” - 4/24/18

Double standard: Ford CEO Jim Hackett told a Michigan business audience that “women tell the truth” more than men when it comes to apprehension over driverless cars. Imagine the hullabaloo if he had said the opposite? – 10/11/17

What took them so long? The feds finally got around to designating Windsor a foreign trade zone - the eighth such region - despite the fact we have one quarter of all trade between Canada and the US.- 1/8/17

How to offend locals: In launching a new cross-border advertising campaign BIA rep Greg Plante called Windsor “a great suburb of Detroit.”– 18/7/17

Space age People Mover: Detroit mayoral candidate Coleman Young Jr. is proposing two-person pod SkyTran that uses electromagnetic power for personal rapid transit. – 12/7/17

No sense of humour: Authorities in St. Marys were not impressed after an Animal House type prank where students sent four piglets scurrying through school halls and assembly, eliciting criticism for “bullying” the animals. – 4/7/17

Canada’s safety net fails: Upset to pay for hospital parking local citizen Larry Robert says: “Health care is free by the government, but it’s not free to park.” -24/6/17

Land of the absurd: Ontario will spend $45 billion to save ratepayers $24 billion on electricity bills, watchdog says. - 25/5/17

Commie to capitalist: Andy Warhol’s image of Chairman Mao, deceased leader of the great Chinese poverty-stricken oppressed masses, recently sold for US$12.6 million. – 7/4/17

Only in Ottawa: The Liberal government is considering eliminating House of Commons' sittings on Fridays so as to be "family-friendly" for MPs with kids. - 22/3/17

What took so long? The litigious Ambassador Bridge company has filed suit against it carrying hazmat, regulations that have existed for decades. – 23/2/17

Irony: University of California, Berkeley, home of the 1960's Free Speech Movement (FSM), this week cancelled a speech by high profile right-wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, amidst violent riots against the speaker. – 3/2/17



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Noted and filed

Feb. 2/20: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Michigan conservative think tank, raised the specter of Ontario’s “disastrous” green energy program as a warning to Michigan taxpayers. Last year state utility Consumers Energy and state regulators approved a 20-year energy plan. This will close all coal-powered plants, halt contracts for half of natural gas energy purchases and all nuclear energy purchases. The plan then links the cost and reliability of Michigan’s energy supply to a “massive, six gigawatt, buildout of solar power”…..But the institute says that utilities “typically overvalue renewables while misrepresenting the lower operating costs of existing fossil and nuclear facilities,” as much as two to three times less…..The Center then points to Ontario, which has phased out coal and more than a decade ago launched the Green Energy Act, which mandated expanded use of renewable energy……”The result? Ontario now has the fastest growing electricity costs in Canada and among the highest rates in North America. Furthermore, subsequent research showed that the shutdown of coal plants raised electricity rates in the province but provided few environmental benefits. Indeed, one analysis found that, had the province simply continued with retrofitting coal plants, it could have achieved similar environmental benefits at one-tenth the cost of the green energy programs.”