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web posted July 24, 2000

Ted Nugent backs Canadian Alliance

The Canadian Alliance Party has a raunchy, radical new hero in graying right-wing rocker Ted Nugent.

Nugent, 52, was in Winnipeg on July 16 speaking to a rally of about 300 supportive hunters, conservationists and lobbyists against gun legislation.

Taking the stage like a TV evangelist at a religious revival meeting, an animated Nugent thundered fire and brimstone on Canadians who voted for the federal Liberals who introduced gun registration in Bill C-68.

New Alliance Leader Stockwell Day has vowed to repeal Bill C-68 if he ever becomes prime minister.

In tones that sounded like Moses delivering the Ten Commandments, Nugent urged the predominantly male crowd, some wearing T-shirts with pro-gun slogans, to buy Alliance memberships.

"Shame on you if you spend your money on a pack of cigarettes after leaving here instead of getting involved. And shame on you again if you spend your money on booze. Invest in freedom, join the Canadian Alliance," he shouted while pointing at the crowd.

Nugent was the opening act for the rock band KISS last night at the arena. A group called Hunters for Conservation had invited him to speak earlier at the rally at a city hotel because of his well-publicized stand against gun control in Canada and the U.S.

Nugent challenged the crowd at the rally to raise their hands high if they believed animals have rights. Not a single hand was raised.

"Animals have rights, animals have rights to garlic, butter and cooking on both sides," Nugent quipped.

After three attempts to wrap up his hour-long sermon, Nugent lashed out at the media and animal rights groups for giving hunters a bad image.

"Stop buying tobacco, booze, and those damn stupid videos. Get your family away from the video games and back into nature. Why not start a youth archery range? The reality is, the other side doesn't give a rat's butt about the facts."

Theron to star in Ayn Rand film

Charlize Theron will star in an upcoming adaptation of a novella by philosopher-writer Ayn Rand, The Hollywood Reporter reported on July 17.

Theron will co-star with "I Dream Of Africa's" Vincent Perez in "The Husband I Bought," which would be the first Rand novel to come to the silver screen since 1949's "The Fountainhead."

"The Husband I Bought," which is to begin shooting in London in September, tells the story of a wealthy woman married to a successful architect, whose life comes unravelled when one of his buildings collapses. Further conflict comes when another woman moves in and takes over her husband's life and career, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rand is the author of "The Fountainhead," "Atlas Shrugged" and "Anthem," books that dealt with characters struggling to assert their individualism against the tyranny and mediocrity of the majority.

King Vidor's production of "The Fountainhead" starred Gary Cooper as idealistic architect Howard Roark, and Patricia Neal as Dominique.

House fails to pass Internet gambling ban, new vote expected

A House effort to ban many forms of gambling on the Internet won a majority of the vote on July 17 but failed to get the two-thirds majority required for passage.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, said he expects it to be returned to the floor soon under rules that require a simple majority for passage.

By a vote of 245 to 159, a majority of members in the House backed the bill supported by an unusual coalition of Christian groups, Las Vegas casino owners, convenience store operators, and major sports leagues.

Supporters needed 270 votes for passage.

The bill targets the more than 700 gaming sites on the Internet that generate over $1 billion in bets annually. After a hard-fought lobbying effort, three sports that encourage betting won exemptions -- horse racing, dog racing and Jai Alai, a game similar to handball that is popular in Latin America. These sports would be exempted from the proposed legislation because they have long used phone lines to carry out parimutuel betting, in which gambling is conducted from a remote location.

Outlawed would be the growing number of Web sites that offer casino style games, betting on college and pro sports, and ticket sales from state-run lotteries.

Some supporters of on-line gaming want to legalize and regulate "cyber casinos." They say the House bill will force Web site operators and their profits to take their businesses overseas.

Opponents of Internet gambling have various reasons for disliking it: Church groups oppose betting on moral grounds; Nevada hotel owners worry about losing visitors to their expensive casinos; convenience stores don't want lottery ticket customers to buy their tickets from home; and sports leagues generally oppose betting altogether.

"In states like Nevada, the gaming industry is well regulated, and its activities are tightly monitored. However, allowing gambling to be allowed on the Internet would open the floodgates for corruption, abuse and fraud," said Rep. James A. Gibbons, R-Nevada, during floor debate.

The bill encourages Internet service providers to block gambling sites but does not "require" them to do so. It imposes penalties on those who operate illegal gaming sites but not on those who use them.

A similar bill passed the Senate late last year, but because of concerns over the exemptions the Justice Department may recommend President Clinton veto the bill.

Chretien in no rush to give Day shot at House of Commons

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien won't be rushed in granting the new conservative Canadian Alliance leader his wish for a quick B.C. byelection.

Chretien even refused to promise he'd call a byelection in time for Stockwell Day to win the Okanagan-Coquihalla seat before September.

That means Day could be left out of the Commons when Parliament resumes for the fall session.

"We'll see," Chretien said July 18 in Vancouver when pressed on the issue. "The first priority is to consult the people of the riding. I want to hear what they have to say."

Chretien declined to put a timeline on the consultation, but said the polling of Liberals has already started in the interior B.C. riding.

Chretien has six months to call the byelection, but traditionally the prime minister calls for a quick byelection so a new opposition leader can gain a Commons seat quickly.

Chretien himself was extended that courtesy after winning his party's leadership in 1990.

Alliance MP Jim Hart stepped down July 17 to ensure Day would have a seat in the Commons before the Commons fall session.

Gingrich says Clinton should not be indicted

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Clinton should not be indicted after he leaves office.

"No. We don't want to go down the path that destroyed the Roman republic," Gingrich said in a taped interviewed broadcast July 18 on NBC's "Today."

"I can't imagine how it would help America to get in the habit of indicting former politicians," the Georgia Republican said.

Independent Counsel Robert Ray has said the investigation of Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair is continuing and that a judgment will be rendered "when the president leaves office."

Gingrich said of Clinton: "He'll go down in history with the record he has. I think it's a tragic record that could have been far more brilliant because he's personally a much more brilliant person that he was able to achieve."

The ex-speaker, who retired after Republicans lost much of their House majority in the 1998 election, said the Senate was right to acquit Clinton "and the House was right to impeach him."

"It was clear that the country had reached the conclusion that while it (Clinton's testimony in the Lewinsky case) was an offense and they were offended, it was not legitimate to deprive him of the office he had won in 1996."

Willis throws support to Bush

It's official, Bruce Willis is a die-hard Republican.

The New York Daily News reported that Willis told a Big Apple news program that he'll fly in the face of Hollywood's overwhelming love affair with Democratic vice-president Al Gore and support GOP candidate George W. Bush.

"If you guys vote for Al Gore, you're out of your minds," Willis told NY1 News, according to the Daily News.

Willis, who called Gore a "knucklehead," said he's off the Democratic bandwagon because of "just the lying and the mendacity of the last eight years of the regime that Al Gore was part and parcel of.

"I mean, there is only so much lying the American people will take before they go, 'Uh, this doesn't seem like a good idea.' You have to look at what he does and what he stands for."

Willis also said he'd like to see George W. select his brother, Jeb, as a running mate.

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