Monthly Archives: May 2015

Hymie Just Remember – If we get caught you’re deaf and I don’t speak English

So whadda ya think, baseball is coming back to Montreal? Of course with the stipulation that there will be a stadium built, sooner than later. Does anyone think that it will be less than five years before such a structure emerges from the ground given Montreal’s reputation for getting ‘quotes’. Look at the Champlain bridge. It’s collapsing and we just keep paying to keep it from falling in the St. Lawrence river. Have you heard when they are starting? But we digress.

Given what happened to that shmancy group known as FIFA, which by the way stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association (en francais), if Montreal wants a baseball team the entire business, from top to bottom, best be 100% transparent. Forget those little brown envelopes, money in socks, hush-hush restaurant dinners where money passes from hand to hand under the table.  Blanche, really, do you think that still happens here?

Then there’s Quebec city who hoped to get an NHL team back. Fuggedaboudit. Every time Peladeau opens his mouth to speak about his ‘country of Quebec’, every NHL owner takes another giant step back away from awarding a team to Quebec city, despite the fact that the city already built the $400 million Videotron arena. Hold on a second. Doesn’t Videotron belong to Peladeau? Zut alors.

And speaking of scandals, the FIFA soccer fiasco is about as juicy as it gets and no surprise at all. Seems many people knew that bribes had been passing from hand to hand, humongous ones at that, for decades. Some very well-heeled executives of FIFA were arrested this week, taken from their five star hotel suites. We wonder if they were allowed to put on their pants. Blanche, honestly, you’re crude. Let’s continue with the scandal at hand.

The international investigation into bribery, fraud and corruption at FIFA involved some surprising American names: The Miami chairman of a popular nationwide soccer league, and a major U.S. sportswear firm some believe could be Nike.

For more than two decades, the Justice Department said Wednesday, five “unscrupulous” U.S. and South American sports and banking executives helped funnel more than $150 million in bribes to officials atop FIFA, the multibillion-dollar goliath governing the world’s most popular sport.

The indictment also alleges bribes were paid and pocketed in connection with the sponsorship of the Brazilian national soccer team by “a major U.S. sportswear company.” Although investigators will not name the company, the indictment says the sportswear firm signed a 10-year, $160 million sponsorship deal with the Brazilian team in 1996, closely matching Nike’s clothes, shoes and equipment deal with the team that year.

All of this will come out in the wash. The best part of the whole deal is that the current president of FIFA, a dude by the name of Sepp Blatter (is that a name or what?) refuses to step down as prez and insists that FIFA must do a better job of policing itself. He must be taking some kind of laxative that went in the wrong direction.

We read an excellent article written by a weatherman. A real weatherman. Not one from CNN holding onto a pole in a hurricane. The title of his piece was The Age of Disinformation. The bottom line: Boring weather does not make the news, pay the bills or get new advertisers. Disasters, floods, tornadoes etc do even if the cause is truly natural and not from climate change or global warming. We will quote his last paragraph verbatim: “You will never hear about the low tornado count in recent years, the lack of major hurricane landfalls on U.S. coasts over the past 10 years, or the low number of wildfires this year. It doesn’t fit their story. But, never let facts get in the way of a good story…. there will ALWAYS be a heat wave, flood, wildfire, tornado, tyhpoon, cold wave, and snow storm somewhere. And, trust me, they will find them, and it will probably lead their newscasts. But, users beware…

And finally, Blanche was sent one of the best one-liners we’ve seen in many years and we thought it’s so good we should share it… Holding a grudge is like letting someone live rent-free in your head. Badda bing badda boom.

Good Shabbos
We’ll talk…

Exercise? I Thought You Said Extra Fries

After you read this little ditty, you will no doubt shake your head and realize that absolutely nothing is safe anywhere. Criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers. The IRS fessed up to this breach of security today.

How did they do it? The thieves accessed a system called “Get Transcript,” where taxpayers can get tax returns and other filings from previous years. In order to access the information, the thieves cleared a security screen that required knowledge about the taxpayer, including Social Security number, date of birth, tax filing status and street address. Thieves can also use the information to claim fraudulent tax refunds in the future.

Authorities said that whoever breached the security are not amateurs. No kidding. We know who the amateurs are.

Guess what? People who use apps to track their steps per day or how much they exercise are not exercising at all. Quel surprise. California topped the United States in minutes exercised per week at 87, well below the recommended 150 minutes. Those wrist business things don’t encourage anyone to do anything. Now, if they shot a bolt of electricity every hour or so to remind the wearer to get moving, that might help.

We also heard that the wrist bands that track your heart rate, weight, steps and how many Oreo cookies you ate, are subject to hacking. Blanche, really. Why would anyone want to know what we weigh? They wouldn’t believe it anyway. Where is that fitness fairy anyway?

We have an app on our phone called Red Alert, downloaded last year during the Israeli war.  A siren goes off every time a rocket is fired into Israel. For months it has been silent. Today it went off no less than 8 times as rockets again rained down near Ashdod and bordering towns.  We sincerely hope that Israel will retaliate quickly and forcefully.

Texas is getting absolutely devastating floods that are washing away anything in their path including homes, cars and sadly people. In searching for reasons for extreme weather we came across a few plausible answers such as climate change (who’s the genius that thought of that?), volcanic ash and El Nino to name a few. What struck us however are the totally nutball comments at the end of the article. No shortage out there Blanche.

Finally we came to one sane person who lives in that area and knows it well. He said that perhaps this is not climate change but a weather event. G-d should help the people caught up in whatever it is.

So what’s in a name? Plenty. Your name tells lots about you, like what you do for a living. There was a study done of people in different occupations. Here’s a sampling of the names and you decide if they fit:

The rancher: Boyd and Leroy. The lawyer: Sanford and Marshall. The Farmer: Elwood and Dwayne. Car salesman: Larry and Clay and finally the Rabbis: Moshe and Chaim. No shocker there. The accountant is what got us: Mitzi and Maribel. Mitzi? Last time we looked accountants were named Arnold or Bernard.

Don’t say Blanche doesn’t give you practical information. We read a long, convoluted article that stated, with much research to go with it, that it’s much better to wash our clothes in cold water than warm water. Aside from the savings on your hot water bill, your clothes will come out just as clean. Who knew?

We’ll talk…

Minnie and Morris at the Airport

Blanche, we haven’t need the barf bag in a long time. Go git it. We need it today.

Outgoing Premiers of Quebec have quietly taken care of themselves… at the public’s expense. It seems when they leave office they get paid a cool $200,000 for no less than three years to cover ‘office rental and security’.

We don’t want to render you totally apoplectic, so we’ll give you a good piece of news. The current premier is reviewing the issue and the duration of the payments.

This comes on the heels of the government crying how in debt we are and using that excuse to close a senior drop in center. Let’s bet that the $200,000 a year given to princess pauline or Jean Charest would cover that center’s budget and then some. Wait. We just thought of something. Jean Charest is not out three years and neither is the princess. So guess what? We’re paying for both of them. Now that is really nauseous.

Remember Blanche always tells you that nothing is private? That if you put something into an email you might as well broadcast it all over the world. Well, we’ll go one better.

The National Security Agency and its closest allies planned to hijack data links to Google and Samsung app stores to infect smartphones with spyware.

The top secret document was obtained from the NSA by none other than Edward Snowden and released yesterday. The truth is, it’s not so bad if you’re looking for the bad guys as they are able to infect targeted phones and grab emails, texts, web history, call records, videos, photos and other files stored on them. So if the government is targeting radicalized people who are planning something nasty, they can find out about it.

On the other hand, we are all caught up in this net and a simple call to a friend is picked up and listened to. We live in a strange world dudes.

If you have traveled lately, you know about that luggage tax grab by the airlines. We pay anywhere from $25-$75 for checked baggage. To get around that charge, many people resorted to stuffing all their belongings into a small suitcase. Vell, dat’s also over.

Beginning Monday, those ‘little’ bags are going to be weighed and measured and if they are over on either account – poof – you will be back at the check-in counter before you know what hit you. There you will both check your bag and pay the fee. Lest you think you will miss your flight, fear not – or so the airlines say.

They are creating a special pass to get you back and forth from the gate quickly. Right. Tell that to the marines. Like they’re holding the plane back because Minnie and Morris had to go back and check their bags in. Get this: you will miss your flight and have no end of aggravation. So pack less and take the right size carry-on or check your bag in, hold your nose and pay the tax.

Prime Minister Harper is coming to Montreal today to accept the prestigious and well-deserved King David Award for his support of both Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
This litte ditty was put into the online local paper and elicited some very nasty comments. We will remind those dudes that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and Jews are targeted simply for being Jewish. Harper morally gets it, speaks the truth and is not afraid of the big bad wolves out there who don’t. Including losers who write dizguzting comments online. Three cheers for Harper.

It appears that PKP is already wreaking havoc on the Quebec economy. Of course it doesn’t take much to do that. Just say that you want a country for your children and suitcases come out, for sale signs go up and cars are flocking out of Montreal. This would be such an unbelievable place to live if it weren’t for complete and total losers like the princess and now Peladeau. We gave our suggestion a long time ago. Go find an island, take all the people who only want to speak, live, eat and breathe in French and create your own country.

We’ll talk…

PS: Sunday is the holiday of Shavuot, when the Jews got the Torah at Mount Sinai over 3,360 years ago. Our Sages tell us that all the Jewish souls who were ever born were there. So on Sunday morning, go back to your roots. It takes ten minutes and your soul will be singing.

The Sound of Silence

The best thing about Pierre Karl Peladeau’s election as leader of the separatist party in Quebec is that we got to see princess pauline again – in all her glory.

It appears that Madame Marois left her garden or whatever else she was doing to attend a gala crowning PKP. One thing we can say for sure: since her departure as head of said separatist party, she has not become anymore photogenic. On the contrary, her pose in today’s paper puts her in the running for the before picture in a double chin surgery ad. Blanche, did you just say that? You’re dizguzting.

Anyway, back to the illustrious new leader. Not much to say about him, as its too early in the game. Today he behaved himself in the National Assembly. Let’s wait about two weeks, till he gets comfortable and then people start pushing his buttons. Seems he has a very short fuse. Da fun is just beginning.

Hillary Clinton is not endearing herself to the press and that’s an understatement. One of today’s headlines on Drudge: After 40,150 minutes, Hillary Clinton takes some questions from the press.

This little headline tells a very big story. Hillary is obviously not comfortable talking to the press and instead of finding someone to fix her problem, she’s hiding. Earlier today, a news reporter interrupted her scheduled sit-down with Iowans to ask if she’d field questions. Her answer: “I might. I have to ponder it. I will put it on my list for due consideration.” After that ‘consideration’, she agreed.

Can we talk? She either starts communicating or she’s going to be toast before very long. By not talking she is putting herself into the ‘do you know who I am’ category, and that’s the last place she wants to be. Remember that little talk in front of the picket fence when she announced she was running? That’s she understands the ‘little folk’. Well, one of her handlers best get to her and remind her of that little talk. For sure she’s listening to Simon and Garfunkle’s Sound of Silence.

Most likely you have never heard of the Takata corporation. Best you listen up. They are the manufacturers of faulty airbags. What’s a faulty airbag you ask? The one where the chemical that inflates the airbag can explode with too much force, blowing apart a metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Nice eh?

Today 33.8 million vehicles were recalled, breaking all recall records. In case you want to find out if you are one of these 33 or so million people, here’s the link. Good luck, we hope that your car is not on this list. Then again, maybe we should hope your car is on the list. Confusion Blanche.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/safevehicles-defectinvestigations-1412.html

A few months ago, there was a daring heist of safety deposit boxes from a London bank.
No one knows what’s in those boxes except the people who own them. We don’t have to spell out that much of the stuff is, shall we discreetly say, unknown to the government. Zut alors, they have captured nine of those involved and recovered some of the booty. Of course the problem now becomes will those who own the stuff come forward, knowing that it may expose themselves. Tricky, very tricky.

It must be a very slow news day as juice topped the list of items. It appears that someone from the Canada food guide, we would venture to say a nutritionist or dietician, just realized that juice, as in apple juice or orange juice is very high in calories and not that healthy.

Really? Quel revelation. How is it that we, who are the furthest thing from a dietician, knew this, oh, say about twenty five years ago. They just woke up and made this discovery? Working for the government is a great job. You get a gzillion perks and can obviously do very little to earn your pay if they are only discovering this now.

Edward Snowden gets around without ever leaving mother Russia. In May alone he has made video appearances so far at Princeton and in a “distinguished speakers” series at Stanford and at conferences in Norway and Australia. He is scheduled to speak by video to audiences in Italy, and also in Ecuador, where there will be a screening of “Citizenfour,” the Oscar-winning documentary about him.

His woes are not over however, as he must remain exiled in Russia with, as it stands now, a three year visitor permit. He has however, seen some victories as two weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the first N.S.A. program he disclosed, which collects the phone call records of millions of Americans, is illegal. This story is far from over.

We’ll talk…

Who is that Masked Man?

Blanche has learned a few lessons from her last post about the closing of the seniors drop in center located, last time we looked,  in the Cavendish mall in Cote St. Luc.

The first lesson is that when politician’s buttons are pushed they jump. Really high. The second is that when we write a news story that does not reflect well on them, well ladies and gents, we had to bring out Blanche’s protective helmet as the flinging of ‘how could yous’ was staggering.

The bottom line of the many emails we received: It’s not our fault. Bring out the tissues. Guess what? It’s also not Blanche’s fault. Nor is it Uncle Harry’s fault. Or Auntie Mimi’s fault.

Everyone knows the provincial government is cutting their budget like we slice and dice a cucumber. We are in debt up to our eyeballs and for that we can thank the PQ, princess pauline, the charter and of late, the brilliant Pierre Karl Peladeau who will most likely be the new leader of the separatist party tomorrow. Their insistence on being master of their own house has chased away most investors. Never mind. Writing this is like banging one’s head against a brick wall.

In today’s paper there was a nice long column about the drop-in closing. Missing from the text was the name of the person who might actually have the ear of the health Minister – the local MNA David Birnbaum.

Where is that dude anyway? Wait, maybe he thinks that if he acts like Zorro who tried to hide behind that black mask, no one will find him. Ask him yourself: David.Birnbaum.DMG@assnat.qc.ca.

There’s a new scam coming your way and you best know about it. Consumers book 480 hotel rooms per minute online. Dat’s a lotta rooms Blanche. A majority of those online bookings are done through reputable OTAs—Online Travel Agencies—such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Kayak.

Here’s the part you need to know: There are a growing number of bookings made on confusing third party websites that sound legitimate, but aren’t. These websites pop up when you’re searching for a hotel. They look may look legit but are a total scam. The images on the website  look like a brand such as a Hilton. But if you study the top of the ad, the number listed is not for the hotel, but rather for the third party website. So you may think you’re calling the hotel, but in reality, you’re not. Most likely you are calling a lowlife in Pakistan sitting in his basement in his underwear taking down all your credit information.

You can guess the rest. You get to the hotel and they have no record of your reservation or that you have paid for at least one night. The solution: Before booking on any site other than the biggies, call the hotel directly and see if the site you are on is legit. Simple as dat.

Montreal is a city with many religions but in April and May when the hockey playoffs begin, none is more intense than following the Montreal Canadiens aka the Habs. After a long, dark winter people are looking for something to cheer about. Enter the Habs. They got into the playoffs and won their first round against Ottawa. Then they had to face Tampa Bay whose number they just couldn’t get all year. They still don’t have it as Tampa won the series 4 games to 2.

What ticked us off royally was the coach Michel Therrien saying after they lost the other night that the team was ‘tired and exhausted’. Is he kidding?

These are professional athletes who get paid gzillions of dollars to get in shape and stay in shape. They were tired? What would have happened if they won and had to go to the next round? Two weeks in a spa until they rested up?

Blanche, go git dose skates and make sure dere sharpened. We gotta practice dat dere skating business. Ya never know if the Habs are gonna call.

Here we go again. Yet another drone crash landed on the White House lawn in the middle of the night. What’s up with the secret service? Do they not know that their own defense department has drones that are loaded with weapons and kill people? Sounds like the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Or if they do, are not sharing the information.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk…

See The USA in Your Chevrolet…Not

Blanche doesn’t usually begin with Canadian politics because frankly dawling, it’s a tad on the boring side. Given that, we simply could not resist commenting on Elizabeth May’s remarkably spectacular performance at the annual Press Gallery dinner in Ottawa this past Saturday night. In case you never heard of her, she is the leader of the Green Party. Yes Blanche, there are people who spend their entire lives worrying about a gnat that might get caught up in an elastic band. But we digress.

She obviously imbibed too much alcohol which is obviously environmentally friendly. While it may be good for the trees and whales, it ain’t good if you’re getting up to speak in front of a few hundred people. After rambling on way too long she did the unthinkable and dropped an ‘f’ bomb at the end of her monologue.

Of course she apologized, but the damage was done. The Green Party, for the moment at least, is, pardon the expression, the butt of many jokes social media. Suivant – next.

General Motors issued yet another recall of its cars today.
We find it very odd that people keep buying those cars despite the staggering number of recalls. Lest you think we are kidding, here’s a partial list of the 2015 recalls:

Today: 469,000 Chevrolet Malibu sedans from the 2011 and 2012 model years to being their cars in for seat belt repairs.

AIR BAG SURPRISE: The Pontiac Vibe sedan was included in a recall of more than 1 million cars including the Toyota Corolla, Toyota Corolla Matrix and Toyota Avalon, all from model years 2003 and 2004. An electrical problem may cause air bags and seat belt pretensioners to deploy inadvertently.

POWER STEERING OOPS: Nearly 70,000 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6 sedans from the 2006 and 2007 model years were recalled to fix a problem that could lead to sudden power steering loss.

And finally, our favorite: GREEN CAR EMISSIONS: About 50,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric cars from model years 2011 to 2013 were recalled to fix a problem that could cause a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Maybe they should call the Green Party to fix it.

New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio ended the Stop and Frisk law about a year ago. Since then the muggings in Central park have increased, shots were fired at a shmancy Madison Avenue jewelry store, some dude with a hammer attacked a woman in Union square and it goes on and on.

When Michael Bloomberg was the mayor, the city was safe. The stop and frisk law was enforced and whoever was contemplating doing something, shall we say not lawful, thought twice about it. Liberalism is good for the liberals. It’s not good if you’re living in Manhattan and no one is minding the store.

The geniuses who rebuilt some of Montreal’s infrastructure, specifically the L’Acadie Circle were not such geniuses after all. Really? Yes Blanche. In 2005 this circle was rebuilt to the tune of $110 million. Before it was even finished it was flooded due to a rainstorm. Since then there have been five major floods and countless smaller ones. So guess what’s happening? Bingo! Those using OPM – other people’s money – are going to fix a problem that didn’t exist before the redoing of the new highway.

Does anyone believe for half a second that the new geniuses will be better than the first ones? We didn’t think so.

Can someone please call the mayor of Cote St. Luc  who also happens to be running for the Liberal party (Hey, he’s multi-tasking, running a city and running for member of parliament. He must be very smart.) and ask him why it is necessary to close a drop-in center for seniors that has been in operation for over 20 years?

If it’s not his fault, then he should step up to the microphone and plead the case for people who are obviously caught up in La Belle Province’s money shenanigans.

How is it that they have $200 million for lights on a bridge to celebrate the city’s 350th birthday, but they can’t keep a seniors center open? Shame on all those who call themselves politicians. Ladies and Gents, time to use those little cell phones and make some noise here. You can also stick your head out the window and yell “I’m fed up and not going to take it anymore”, but that won’t help the seniors. Get on your phones and demand answers for people who can’t do it themselves.

It’s pretty dizguzting that they are picking on old people, wouldn’t you say?

We’ll talk…

Who’s That Monkey Living in the Zoo?

No shortage of elections, eh Blanche? In Alberta, the Conservative party was all but obliterated by the NDP. The pundits are saying that “the NDP’s historic breakthrough in Alberta isn’t quite on the same seismic scale as the Parti Québécois’s first victory in Quebec.” While that may be true, it’s still a huge smack in the face for Ottawa.

There was an election in Great Britain today. The exit polls show that the Conservative party, led by David Cameron, with many more seats than the pundits had predicted. Blanche however, will not comment on this as we don’t want to look like an armchair politician tonight and an idiot tomorrow. So we’ll wait and see, like everyone else, how this plays out.

A woman who went to an Ontario hospital for a shot of cortisone, which takes about 30 seconds to administer, waited an hour and a half for her 30 second appointment. The shot was supposed to be free. A few weeks later, she received an invoice for $25 for the shot. She was so incensed she sent the hospital an invoice for $122 which is what she lost for the hour and half she had to wait.

What really sent her over the edge was that she found out those administering the shots went for lunch all at the same time. Can we talk? Imagine if this were a private business, oh say like a shoe store, and at noon everyone buzzes out at the same time?

In her letter of complaint, she told the hospital that they have totally lost sight basic customer service and she’s 100% right.

Blanche, some people are very nice but need to learn some basic hygiene.
In today’s local paper there was a wonderful article about salad in a jar. A mother and daughter have teamed up and sell the salads all over the place. However, the picture in the article showed the young girl dipping her ungloved hand into veggies and dropping them into the jar. We checked out the video and lo and behold same thing. Could someone please ring them up and tell them to invest in some vinyl gloves? Fech.

Who is Pamela Geller and why did she make an event called the Draw Mohammed competition? She knew full well that she would incur the wrath of fundamentalists, terrorists and any other hothead out there in television land.

She has been banned from travel to the United Kingdom and her organization has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center as well as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. Even the Donald (Trump) doesn’t like her: “All she is doing is provoking and taunting people and this country has enough problems right now.”

What was the point of her escapade? Simple. To garner personal attention, which she did. Case closed over and out. She’s not worth writing about again.

A Japanese zoo has apologized for naming a newborn baby monkey Charlotte after the new princess. Get a life dudes. The royals don’t have the market on that name.

Best look up tomorrow. Seems an out-of-control Russian spacecraft is expected to burn up when it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere on Friday.

The spacecraft’s progress is being closely monitored as some small pieces may land somewhere on the Earth’s surface. Uh oh.

Good Shabbos,

We’ll talk

Alice? Who’s Alice?

Blanche does more than write, she also speaks. Quel surprise! On returning from a recent trip to the midwest – Missouri to be exact, she had a very interesting encounter at an airline counter at…4:00 am. Yes dearies, there are flights that depart at the dizguzting hour of 5:30 am and we were privy to be on one of those. But we digress.

The person in question was a young woman who was carrying many backpacks. Many. Plus a very large suitcase. At that hour, there are no formalities and we simply asked why she had this unusual array of luggage. “I’m going to Nepal.” We perked up. “Nepal? They just had a massive earthquake there. It’s dangerous. Where will you shower? Wash your clothing? Eat and sleep? Have a glass of water?”

Marla, a law student was unfazed by my queries. Turns out this was not her first foray to Nepal as an NGO – non-government agency person. She went on to tell me that of the many organizations that claim to collect money for the victims of disasters, there are a handful that are legit, one being the America Nepal Medical Foundation. Her job is logistical. To work with doctors without borders and find out which parts of the country need help, what kind and how much. After we landed in Chicago, the last leg of my flight, the second of hers (Chicago, Dubai, Katmandu), we bade each other farewell and exchanged email addresses. Of course Blanche will send an email, but she may only get it upon her return to the United States, in four long months. What was in those backpacks? Water. There are some really decent people in this world.

In case you were royal watching, you know that Kate and William had a baby girl and named her Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, basically covering all bases. If one was watching the bets beforehand, the name Alice was running very close to Charlotte. Here’s a surprising tidbit about who Alice was:

Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried in Jerusalem, and was recognized by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial as a “Righteous Among the Nations” and by the British government as a “Hero of the Holocaust.”

During the Nazi occupation of Greece, Alice hid a Jewish woman and two of her children from the Nazis. In October 1994, on a trip that marked the first time that a member of the British royal family had visited the State of Israel, Philip attended a ceremony honoring his mother at Yad Vashem.

Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, met with members of the Cohen family whom his mother hid in her Athens palace for 13 months during the Nazi occupation of Greece.

At the ceremony at Yad Vashem, he accepted the Righteous Among the Nations award that was bestowed posthumously upon his late mother. Beautiful story and too bad they didn’t use the name.

Under Israeli election law, Netanyahu must tell President Reuven Rivlin before midnight this Wednesday that he has managed to form a coalition, but he has until next Wednesday to actually get it sworn in by the Knesset, which allows for some wiggle room beyond the ostensible Wednesday-night deadline.

He is facing a huge issue which just materialized. There are 120 seats in the Israeli parliament. He had somewhat of a margin until Monday when Avigdor Liberman announced that he was resigning and that his six-seat-strong Yisrael Beytenu party would sit in the opposition. That basically leaves Netanyahu with a one seat margin. The plot thickens however.

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett could help Bibi’s majority but is playing hardball with him. In exchange for his seats, Bennett wants the job of foreign minister or defense minister, and the post of justice minister and another substantive ministerial post for his colleagues. You can be sure those involved are not sleeping tonight.

Michelle Obama is back. She made the talk show rounds in New York to push her Healthy Eating initiative and school exercise program. She says she planted a garden at the White House to show how easy it is for you to grow your own food. All you need is water, sunlight and fifty full-time federal employees. She also neglected to mention that a small piece of land would also be advisable, which is not quite available in places like the South Bronx. Michelle Obama has forgotten who she is and where she comes from. Feh.

Not to be obnoxious, but this beauty Michelle really takes the cake or rather takes the money honey. In February she went on a skiing vacation to Aspen Colorado with her two daughters. Of course she took Air Force One at the unsightly price of $7,712 an hour. The total cost of her transportation for two days? $57,000. And this is the same person who is telling students to grow their own food. Nauseating.

It has been 24 days – more than three weeks – since Clinton announced her bid for president, yet she still has not spoken to national media about her campaign or to address the controversies she is facing. She’s certainly off to a clinton start. Keep your cards close to your chest, reveal nothing and when someone asks you a question turn the tables on them. She’s hard to like.

No Shortage of Nudniks

Blanche close your eyes when you read this story. Some beauty by the name of Neda got hold of a temporary press pass to get into the National Assembly in Quebec city. Towards the end of the press conference – poof – off came her top and she bared her, um, breasts and proceeded to shriek something totally intelligible.

Can we talk? Is that the only way she could get people to pay attention to her cause? By taking off her clothes in front of hordes of people and yelling? Imagine if everyone else did that? Imagine what all those press people look like without their clothing? Better not to imagine.

Frankly darling, we don’t care what her cause is. Nudniks who take their tops off to make a point need counseling.

Ever go on a juice diet? How about a gluten free diet? Or perhaps carb free. Or maybe fat free. Or how about a fad diet – you know, the ones where you eat cottage cheese in the morning, an egg white for lunch and air for supper. You get the message.

Here’s a headline: Diets don’t work. Statistics have proven that about 80% of people who go on a ‘diet’ and lose weight put it all back plus 10% more. Unless of course one joins a gym. Ah, but the hitch here is that one actually has to go to the gym. Paying membership doesn’t take inches off. It’s the exercise that does.

We are making this point as we were reminded about a juice diet that we tried recently. It took exactly four days for things to hit the fan, literally. Imagine drinking a vat of kale, lettuce, beets and other veggies twice a day? A survey just released has shown that juice diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies, blood sugar problems, fatigue and other goodies. Blanche, just eat like a normal person and you’ll be able to put those clothes in the back your cupboard.

Ever hear of Airbnb? It’s a service that allows people to stay in other people’s homes when they go on vacation. Of course one pays to stay in that home, but there are no taxes and one has an entire house or apartment instead of a small hotel room. Both the homes and people renting are vetted. Or so everyone thought.

In Calgary, a couple rented out their house, ostensibly to four people. Turns out, a busload of people arrived at their house and absolutely trashed it for a few days. Our question is where were the neighbors? Didn’t they hear total insanity next door? Guess what? We’re not renting out our house, nor are we renting someone else’s house. We’ll stick to hotels and yes, get gouged once in a while. But at least we know what we’re getting.

A woman in Rhode Island came home from work to find water gushing from the ceiling. She ran upstairs to see what pipe had burst and guess what she found? A wild turkey sitting in her bathroom. The dude had come into her house via an open window and turned on the tap in her bathroom sink full force with the water running for hours.

911 didn’t really believe her story but sent the police anyway. She’s still smiling even through thousands of dollars of repairs. The moral of the story: Don’t be a tree-hugger. If you want fresh air, leave your window open a bit. Not enough for a turkey or other wild businesses to share your house.

There may be many religions in Montreal, but one of the biggest is hockey, specifically the Montreal Canadiens, aka the Habs. They are in the second round of the playoffs which is great for the economy of the city. However, they are playing Tampa Bay Lightning who have beaten them five times out of five this year. That doesn’t ogre well for the team. Tampa seems to have the Habs number and can ring their bell whenever they so choose.

We certainly don’t want to jinx our team. So those of you who sit in your special chair to watch the game, keep sitting there. Those who wear their special sweater, socks, underwear, pants or hat, keep it up. We need all the luck we can muster.