Monday, April 30, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:37 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:17 AM
Business Week writes about how private companies such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Carlysle Group are buying up private infrastructure such as key roads, airports and bridges (Golden Gate for $3.4 billion and Brooklyn Bridge for $3.5 billion, for example. Cities supposedly think this is a great idea because they get money they can spend on other things.
I don't understand why this is even considered.
And odds are, you'll eventually have to either regulate these things to keep prices reasonable (at which point the companies will start shorting on maintainance) or you'll have to buy them back at a huge markup.
I've posted this item today because it makes me wonder how long it will take for Mr. Campbell to try again to sell off various roads and other British Columbia infrastructures.
Posted by David Berner at 9:10 AM
Sunday, April 29, 2007
From the "National POST," comes one of their photos of the week.
"A staff cleans a sculpture during preparations for a sex culture exhibition in Kunming, southwest China's Yunnan province April 24, 2007. The exhibition begins April 25. (CHINA)"
Posted by David Berner at 9:18 AM
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:49 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:40 AM
Friday, April 27, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:02 PM
The Japanese are obsessed with robots because they are not making little Japanese. Their birthrate is far below replacement math. So we have this wonderful culture dying because they don't want to have kids. How ironic that they made an Einstein robot, a man who escaped, ....well you know.
This weary world has lost touch with fundamentals. Asians are aborting girl fetuses. Westerners are not reproducing. Africans are being devastated by AIDS.
As an aging man, who has been diagnosed with "an unpleasantness" ( forgive me, but as a boulevardier I do not discuss loathsome details) here is my advice to a world wrestling with the population question.
1. Find somebody to love.
2. No matter your sexual orientation, (S.O),there is somebody there for you.
3. If it works for your relationship, add a child to your love. Through birth or adoption. S.O. is irrelevant.
4. Most important. Be true. Subordinate the self to the family.
5. If you and yours fail in all this, you are still a family.
Even if there are just two of you who tried to have kids and failed.
Two old lovers in the same bed, warming each others' toes, please God as much as those who have been blessed with great grandchildren sitting on their knees.
HE doesn't judge us by our fertility. HE judges us by our morality.
Posted by David Berner at 8:57 PM
Posted by David Berner at 2:10 PM
Story #1. Vancouver opened its first hi-tek public washroom where the poor folks on the Downtown East Side could pee in comfort.
Story#2. The poor folks from the DTES peed in bottles last night which they intended to throw at the police working the NPA nomination meeting.
So why are we peeing away money?
Posted by David Berner at 7:35 AM
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:40 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:33 AM
Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show," seen here in Canada on The Comedy Network
(Mon-Thu, 11pm Westcoast time or whatever we're calling that this week) is the
only broadcast of which I am aware that dares to poke such huge, gaping and
hysterically funny satirical holes in the official fabrics. Whether it is Bush or
McCain or religionists or Democrats or show biz folk or himself, Stewart and his
writers just let it all hang out there. Stewart is a handsome, quirky performer
with unique style that either works for you or it doesn't.
This is a dangerous and subversive and courageous and democratic piece of
work. Mr Stewart is now rich and famous, and he deserves it all.
Nothing lasts forever and I have no idea how Mr. Stewart may re-invent
himself after this run, but it will be fun to watch and find out.
Posted by David Berner at 9:21 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:09 AM
Please note that this is a one-shot, one-take wonder. Astaire was my all-time greatest show biz hero. He had studied every known form of dance, he was tireless in his preparation, and then he went out made it look like was just making it up as he went along.
Posted by David Berner at 9:07 AM
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:08 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:59 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 5:19 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:08 AM
Posted by David Berner at 7:59 AM
Posted by David Berner at 7:51 AM
Monday, April 23, 2007
A man is on the beach naked. He is swimming and when he emerges from the water he holds his clothes in front of his ugly little manhood.
TWO COP CARS arrive.
Posted by David Berner at 8:08 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:04 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:55 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:51 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:39 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:27 AM
This is probably Streisand's best video. It was filmed at a $5,000/seat private party in her "backyard" in Malibu many years ago. I was thinking of her this morning, because I noticed that "Funny Lady" is on TV tonight. "Funny Lady" is a perfect and terrifying example of how a wonderful thing - this case the perfect "Funny Girl" - can be followed by a dreadful, dead-in-the-door thing like "Funny Lady." The charming, vulnerable, irresistable star of "Funny Girl" somehow is replaced by a brittle, bitter, all-too-clever schtickster. Exorcism2 and The Godfather 3 are even more appalling examples of how "intention" is the key to everything.
Posted by David Berner at 8:24 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:09 AM
On the other hand...here are Gobbi and Callas as Scarpia and Tosca in what must be one of the great pulp fiction terror moments eve put on a stage...It was brilliant last night, as well
Posted by David Berner at 11:08 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:11 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:02 AM
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 1:05 PM
Posted by David Berner at 10:34 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:20 AM
Friday, April 20, 2007
The stand-up comedian also doesn't understand why some people don't think his "bomb Iran" gag is the funniest they ever did hear.
Posted by David Berner at 8:12 AM
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Both stories concern City Hall.
In the first, we are teased about the possible re-alignment of taxes. Maybe businesses will be taxed less and homes a bit more. All of that is worthy of consideration. All of that is important, especially to small business owners who pay the highest tax rates in the country, and to home owners who pay a small fortune in taxes themselves.
But nowhere have I see or heard anyone ask, "What are we getting for our money?" Nobody has asked Vancouver City Hall to hold its books to the light.
The truth is that, like all good bureaucracies, Vancouver City Hall spends untold millions of total nonsense. Do you know about all the departments and all the meetings and all the discussions and all the real work that never gets done because first it has to be talked about for 6 months.
It is clear to anyone with a moment's business experience that 50% of all City Hall business could be dropped today and the only difference that would make is that we could lower the taxes for everyone.
I know of an architect who was making about $160,000 a year in private practice. That was the good news. The bad news was that he was working 26 hours a day, 9 days a week.
He smartly moved to City Hall as a Planner or some such. Now he earns exactly the same amount of money, but he works 4 days a week, leaves the office at 3 and spends quality time with his wife and young sons. Good for him.
The second story concerns the admirable efforts of the Vancouver City Police to catch those 2 assholes who beat the woman almost to death the other morning as she went to the 29th Avenue Skytrain Station. That's the good news. The Police are trying to catch the Bad Guys.
But the story not told is that the Police should be at that Skytrain Station and 10 other "hot spot" Skytrain Stations every morning and every night. But that's not going to happen in our lifetimes because City Hall doesn't want more police.
In fact, if you know anything, you would know that THE NUTTY MAYOR is on an active campaign to limit and discredit the police. The Mayor hates the Police and wants LESS of them in every way. Very soon he will announce the appointment of his new Director of The Civil City. And he expects the Chief of Police to share duties with this new WunderCat.
You want more police. You want more police in public, on the stroll, visible, obvious, present.
But you are not City Hall.
Posted by David Berner at 9:09 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:00 AM
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:29 PM
Posted by David Berner at 9:17 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:38 AM
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I was on a movie set all day today.
As we all approached the day's work, an actress asked, "What? What happened?"
Several of us explained to her about The Massacre.
You see, her dog had been sick yesterday and she didn't see or hear or read the news.
We define ourselves also by what we notice...and what we ignore.
Posted by David Berner at 9:55 PM
Posted by David Berner at 7:59 AM
Monday, April 16, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:44 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:28 AM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
The relationship between Duke and Billy Strayhorn was complex and worthy of a few PhD dissertations for sure. What is never a mystery however is the result: rich, original, unforgettable, timeless. This contribution is from a regular commentator. Many thanks, M.
Posted by David Berner at 9:07 PM
Here's just a little taste of the GENIUS of Billy Strayhorn, the gay, black writer, arranger who wrote and arranged so many of Duke Ellington's hits, including "Take the A Train."
Go the library or a good book store and read "Lush Life," the wonderful bio of Strayhorn. Without him, there was no American music.
Posted by David Berner at 11:41 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:31 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:23 AM
Finally, go to your specialty video store - Videomatica on 4th Avenue is a great one, and their website is right here in the right-hand column - and rent "A Night To Remember," made in 1958. Not anywhere near as spectacular as James Cameron's great and great, big movie, it is nevertheless just as powerful for the way all the stories told become one tragic and terrifying story.
Posted by David Berner at 9:24 AM