Saturday, June 30, 2007


I've been thinking about the recently announced fare hikes for Transclunk.

And I'm also thinking about everybody's favorite hobby horse these days ' "sustainability." Or is it just - Stain-ability?

So how does Malcolm Brodie, who has never ridden a bus in his life, reconcile the larger issue of trying to get more cars off the road and more riders in public transit with raising the fares?

Answer: He doesn't. Malcolm isn't much of a thinker.

Shouldn't we be LOWERING THE FARES?

No Consequences

A woman calls 911 and tells the police officer that her nephew has slashed his wrists.

The police officer doesn't take this very seriously. His partner makes dark jokes.

The ambulance arrives after ONE HOUR. The man dies.

The delaying officer is suspended for THREE DAYS without pay. Huh?

The other fool has to write an essay!!!

Are we a serious community?

Here's another exapmple of this magificent baritone bringing new life to Rogers and Hammerstein.

How to Handle a Woman

Terfel is one of the greatest voices of our generation. He is most often singing opera, but he has proven again and agin that he is a master of the Broadway show tune. Here's the Richard Burton/King's song from Camelot.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dope Fiends Shoot Dope. Now what?

The Courier reports today that the enormous scam known as The Vancouver Agreement has just spent $2Million renovating slum rooms above the Insite disaster for a program being called Onsite.

It is here that hundreds of helping social workers and other misguided fools will get addicts "involved in a withdrawal discussion."

Are you listening to the language?

Do you know how many addicts I could house and clean up on$2Million PLUS $350,00 operating costs per year?

This is how far off the mark these well-meaning, meddling destructive people are:

You don't talk to addicts about "withdrawal." You talk about football and music and children and the lawn and study and the Canucks and bridge and love and you LIVE these things during the 24-48 hours that so-called "withdrawal" takes place.

The drug withdrawal is the tiniest issue in the challenge of moving on. It's everything else.

How can you get to the everything else, when you haven't even thought about it yet?

I'm going to have to stop writing about this subject soon because what the Good People" are doing is making me crazy.

Wasting The Court's Time

Penny Paul, Brian Butters. Penny Paul, Brian Butters.

Pardon my outright discrimination, but the very names tell of the frivolousness and lack of substance in the case. So sue me.

"The case" is the one in which the women at a private golf club feel slighted that they can't go into the men's bar. They then wasted the public's time and money by seeking redress (so to speak) at the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and ultimately the Supreme Court of Canada. These are privileged rich people taking up the court's (read, yours and mine) time and tax dollars with selfish irrelevant idiocy.

The Supreme Court threw them out the door. NEXT!

Bravo. Bravissimo.

The Supreme Court said it didn't have the time or patience for this. And the Court was right.

Now, in complete contrast to this disgusting immaturity, read the story and the not one, but two, editorials in the NY Times on a Supreme Court decision yesterday in Washington that is about race and schooling and segregation and federal law vs. local law. Now, that's a serious and worthy issue.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who's On First?

The Sponsorship Scandal has netted 4 jail sentences. Three ad executives and one bureaucrat have been sent to jail and fines several million dollars. Yesterday, Jean Lafleur was given 42 months.

All the men stole public money from your pockets and mine by false billings and other deceits.

All of this happened under the watch of Jean Chretien and Paul Martin.

And yet...

Messrs. C and P will never be prosecuted...

And millions of dopey Canadians can hardly wait to anoint another Liberal government,

Paul Potts singing Opera

This is an extraordinary take. Such an entirely different sensibility form the American Idol franchise.
After seeing this, watch the finals.

White House on Call

Post 911, the Bush White House made up their own rules on "investigation," often leaving due process and the Consitution battered on the roadside.

Today, the Justice Department and Dick Cheney;s office have been on their wiretapping efforts. This, shades of Nixon story, is a must read.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Knock, Knock, Mayor Lowe-Down

Con Sumption be done about all these drug sites?

The hopelessly inadequate mayor of Victoria, Alan Lowe, wants to spend $1.2 million of Canadian Health money each year on "Consumption" drug sites for those poor, sorry-assed dope fiends.

Has he ever considered...wait for it...TREATMENT????

I'm sure there is a clinic somewhere in the world - perhaps Switzerland - that can cure him of this bad thinking and make him a better mayor.

Yes, come to think of it, now. There's one in Basel, where they give you a pill that, every time you think of giving addicts more drugs, you throw up on your Guccis.

Mission Impossible 4,000

Retiring British Prime Minister (How's that for a moniker?) Tony Blair has a new assignment.

His new title is something like "Super Dooper Peace Envoy."

His mission? End the Middle East Madness. Find peace between Israel and the Arabs.

God's speed, Tony.


The story in today's paper about the couple from the nudist colony on the Island is all well and good. But was it really necessary in a family paper to go on about erections and members?

I am in shock.

Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose

The new film, similarly titled, is a mixed blessing. In many ways, the most traditional of movie bio-pics, so much a cousin of The Jolson Story and Funny Girl, it is nevertheless powerful and moving. The performance of marion Cotillard as Piaf is quite astonishing. The music tracks are all Piaf.

Dope Pusher Docs

While every category of doctor profits handsomely and obscenely from gifts from Pharmaceutical Companies, no one can hold a candle to psychiatrists.

These ghouls are pure, straight ahead drug pushers.

Parents, exhausted and baffled by the behaviour of their children, turn to these "helpers" in desperation, only to be turned on to the Chemical Nation.

Read this piece in this morning's NY Times for some of the gorier details.
You tell me the difference between these wealthy, powerful and respected creeps and the Vancouver street pushers shown in the photo above.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Guest Blogger Enters the Apse

Hi Mensch:

I always thought God has a sense of humour. After all, if She is the epitome of all that precious, how can humour not be included? There is even a clue to my theory in the Book of Job, where God tells His/Her only joke. Job is kvetching about the flaws of this life whereby evil is rewarded with luxury while good men perish. God says to Job " Where were you when I made the world?" That's a joke, courtesy of God. In today's vernacular, She/He would have said " So, Mr. Genius, what else did I get wrong while designing the universe?"

Which leads me to the Anglican same sex debate. We have these earnest theologians debating about what God would tolerate. God must be laughing. Like any of them know?

My wish. I wish churches would shut up. The only organs that churches should talk about have 88 keys and are great for playing Bach. And the gays should quit asking. Just show up with a marriage licence and stare the Minister down. He'll cave. It's a business. They need sales to survive.

This politicization of marriage is a wrong strategy. It seems that what once was " The love that dare not speak its name" is now "The love that won't shut the fuck up". Marriage should not be approached like a Indian blockade of a railroad. It tends to reduce public support for the cause. Anyway, enough blather. My central point is that God, who created all organs( Yamaha and dangly types), only gets involved if one of us uses our organ to intentionally do harm to the innocent. In that event, I believe God pushes the down button when we die.

Other than that I believe if we can use our funny little organs to bring love, care and gentleness to another willing, knowledgeable soul, God will smile. Actually, God will laugh.

After all, as the great David Niven said when a streaker graced the Oscars; " Such a great fuss over such a little thing".

Go with God.

Le Boulavardier

Too Busy to Care

Many of us don't like living by rules imposed on high. Often, we are right.

And just as often we are ignoring the basic selfishness, greed and stupidity of man.

The Campbell government in its haste to cut through red tape - an admirable enough goal, if done judiciously, and this was not - decided in 2004 to downgrade safety regulations in the workplace to "guidelines." As if every employer has the welfare of his employees uppermost in mind when he begins each day. NOT!

The result has been tragic and predictable: deaths and injuries in the workplace, especially the forests, have climbed dramatically.

Look, we live in an adolescent culture that can't even agree to use traffic circles properly. I've seen police cars, trucks and private cars turning LEFT around traffic circles dozens of times. Here, that is. I've never see that in England or Italy.

As the Sun reported this morning, regulations are "prescriptive," guidelines are "interpretive."

Let's get these safety regs back on the books and stop allowing money hungry employers to "interpret" safety and kill our workers.

By some bizarre coincidence, this issue was dramatized by the case of a young female gas station attendant being sexually assaulted last night because the recommended new regulations have not yet been put in place.

You want to cut through the red tape, Gord? Get these regulations, old and new, on the books today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Taliban Sam

The Mayor supports the Taliban.

But he is not alone. So do the last two Mayors, Owen and Campbell.

How do I figure this? I'll tell you.

It has been clear and obvious for some time now (and reported in today's CanWest papers) that it is heroin money that buys terrorists' bullets.

Now the 3 Mayors and all the other destructive deluded fools who want to keep giving dope fiends their dope (rather than helping them quit) are saying let's keep The Heroin Trade alive. In fact, let's make it government policy.

It's the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Or, in this tragic case, The Law of Short-Sighted, Wrong-Footed Nitwits Who Wouldn't Know Real Compassion if They Fell in a Vat of It.

Patented Sam

Everything The Nutty Mayor does is coldly calculated.

Hiding behind his little boy cover story, Sullivan is the most premeditated of men.

Thus, when he claims that he was just trying to protect the phrase "ecodensity" by registering it in his own name, he is being disingenuous at best, lying at worst.

It has taken the opposition Vision party an entire week to emerge from their endless hibernation and challenge this patently self-serving action on the part of Sullivan.

It is simple and clear. if the Mayor had truly wanted to save "ecodensity" for the City, he would have sent one of his many minions to the City Manager to take care of it. Instead, he went to an outside legal firm and applied on his own behalf in his own name. Sullivan has a long history of registering patents and he knows exactly what he is doing.

Too bad the other painted faces and rubber noses at 12th and Cambie don't.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Will that be 10D?

Remember Eaton's?

Remember Woodwards?

I'm a son and grandson of retailers and it's in my blood. I'm always fascinated by stories from the street.

Here's a great one about one of the most famous shoe brands in the world - making a healthy comeback.

The Age of Migration

Immigration problems are as ubiquitous as ants. They exist worldwide.

Here is a telling article in this morning's NY Times.

As we struggle with identical issues here in Canada and in the USA, it is instructive to read about "The Age of Migration."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

RUNNING ON EMPTY - Mobile Safe sites

Do we have a "mobile" cardiac unit (other than your basic ambulance) operating in BC?

Do we have "mobile" osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, emphysema, depression, erectile dysfunction units screeching through the streets? Are they going so fast I haven;t noticed them? Do they only run at night?

I ask these questions in light of the fact that the mayor of Victoria, that bastion of Social Enlightenment, wants the federal government to approve 3 new "safe injection" sites, one of which will be "mobile."

In other words, kids, some horribly mistaken volunteers and social workers will be in a Honda minivan, dashing to help a poor, deprived addict of his right to a clean needle and a clean place to get high. What is worse is that these poor fuckers (I mean the social workers and volunteers) will actually believe that they are doing something good and useful, when, in fact, they will be killers and enablers and no different form the pushers.

How did we get so far down this dark, confused path? When did we abandon the idea of HOPE?

The Selfish, Secretive Mayor

Only those who don't truly know and understand the vengeful teenager who is known as Sam Sullivan are "puzzled" that The Nutty Mayor is trying to patent the word "ecodensity" for himself.

Sullivan holds about 50 patents for one thing or another. He has been applying for and registering patents by the score in the "disability" field for many years now.

Unlike my good friend and neighbour, Jim Foort, who has done more for prosthetics and amputees than almost anyone else alive these days, and who has NEVER taken out a patent for himself, Mayor Sam has always been all about Sam.

No mayor in living memory has operated so privately and so outside the boundaries of City Hall as Sullivan.

He is basically a new fiefdom, The County of Sam.

May we all survive it.

My New Diet

Please join me in a revolutionary new diet plan.

My friend Michael and I invented it.

It's called "FAT CREDITS."

How it works is this: I am paying a family in Pakistan to not eat for me.

One robust friend who has leaped (well, more like lumbered) onto the bandwagon, says that he is now paying 3 families in an un-named South American country to not eat for him.

Our good friend, Nelson Skalbania, is looking into the possibilities of an early stock offering.


Twenty-two years later, what do we have? What do we know?
The failure of the justice system to close this case compounds the tragedy into an ongoing disgrace and horrow show.
One can barely imagine the tortuous pain being endured by family members directly affected. But, as Canadians, outraged by this disaster and its never-ending costs, we can be justifiably sad and angry on their and our behalf.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Blah, Blah, Blah: 10 to 1

Talk Radio in America is All (to the) Right.

The numbers tell the story.

Tolerance and Offense: The Western Dilemma

Women covered from head to toe are a)an expression of religious freedom; b)an ourageous throwback to barabric days?

Read this story in today's NY Times about daily life in London and try to solve this Gordian knot.

Remember Right & Wrong?

June 21, 2007

No more crack kits for Nanaimo


NANAIMO, B.C. -- The Vancouver Island Health Authority says threats against community health nurses in Nanaimo have forced suspension of a controversial harm reduction program.
Health Authority CEO Howard Waldner says residents were harassing nurses who were handing out "safer crack kits."

Waldner says distribution of the kits has been paused while the health authority meets with municipal officials in Nanaimo.

More than 200 of the kits, which contain a crack pipe and other information, have been handed out in the Vancouver Island city, despite concern about the program raised by Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan.

He called distribution of the kits "immoral" when he learned of the program in late May.

But Waldner defended the program, saying it is a widely accepted strategy to reduce infection rates among addicts.

And what about washing the drunks' shot glasses for them? And cleaning up the children for the perverts? And hand washing the Hondas for the car thieves?

We must do everything we can to aid and abet stupidity and self-destruction.

The Nanaimo mayor is completely right when he calls the handing out of "safe" crack kits immoral. It is so sick.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pea and Shell Games

There is only one thing to remember about the disruption and loss of business along Cambie Street as a result of the Canada Line construction.

Everyone was told that the construction would be done by underground tunneling.


The cut-and-cover method, which has caused all this hardship, was brought in without announcement or provision for the small businesses that would inevitably be affected.

What callous disregard for citizens!

When I see the smiling politicians beaming at the cameras on ribbon-cutting day, I will kick the cat. If I have a cat. Which I wont. Maybe I'll kick the sofa.

Air India

Two Air India witnesses have already been assassinated. Now 2 more refuse to testify because we cannot protect them.

This case continues to be a disgrace.

Fatal Arguments

Is "I mean what I say," the same as "I say what I mean?"

If all sparrows are birds, does that mean that all birds are sparrows?

When is a raven like a writing desk?

At least two of these questions come from Alice in Wonderland. Or is it Alice through the Looking Glass?

Does "I support the troops," mean the same as "I support the war?"

Absolutely not.

But politicians of all stripes use this confusion to their temporary and specious advantage, and citizens regularly confuse the two arguments.

Of course, every Canadian can and should be proud of Canadian soldiers doing their jobs as best they can in Afghanistan. Why do we have to keep reiterating that this should go without saying?

But that doesn't in any way mean that we condone or approve of or agree with sending Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan in the first place. Nor do we think our men and women should remain there another day.

The country is a narcotic economy run by thugs and crooks and serious evil-doers.

What will a handful of sacrificing, sacrificed Canadian soldiers do there? Bother the Taliban? I think not.

To truly honour the Canadian military, bring them home for a rest. Then is need be send them to some theatre where they can actually help and win. Remember winning?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why the Greens are Going Nowhere Fast

For reasons that are as mysterious as the human mind itself, I found myself thinking this morning about how I almost ran for the Green Party several years ago.

When I say "almost," I mean one cup of coffee and one backyard meeting. Finito.

A lawyer, active in the Greens, asked a lawyer friend of mine to recommend a candidate.

The Green lawyer and I met over coffee. Of course, in this life one is usually flattered when asked to do almost anything. "Clean out the elephant pen? Wow! Thanks!"

A few nights later, I walked over to a house just 5 minutes from mine. On the back porch, amidst baying dogs and scrambling children, we future masters of the universe huddled. It took me several minutes to appreciate that this was an "interview" and that I was the "interviewee."

When "the committee" asked me about the Downtown East Side, I spoke, among other things, about "dope fiends."

And that was just about that.

The lawyer who had drafted me in the first place said, "I'm not comfortable with the way you speak about things." He was referring to my calling heroin addicts "dope fiends."

I said, "Well, dope fiends shoot dope. Drunks drink. Baby diddlers diddle babies. What's the problem?"

The problem is that the New Masters of the Universe, who will never get in office, are completely doctrinaire. You not only have to agree with them in general principle, but you have to look and walk and talk and smell like them as well.

In short, you have to BE one of them. If you are not, they are not "comfortable." (As soon as I hear someone say in a meeting that they are not "comfortable" with somethingorother, I get out my hatchet.)

I left the meeting soon thereafter, and walking back home I thought, "Well, these people drafted me because I am a Talk Show Host and I can talk my face off and I have the Gift of the Gab and I can sway audiences, but they don't like the way I talk and I should talk more like them. HUH?"

My lawyer friend who had recommended me in the first place was furious. "Who are these assholes?" etc...

I was too happy and relieved to be angry.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Everyone is Green Today

What are we to do when one of the world's biggest polluters buys full page ads to tell us how GREEN they really are?

Barf? Laugh? Cry?

GM has given itself a Gold Award for a modest program in whch they reccycle old cars. Yippee!

Has anyone noticed the gas-guzzling, polluting shit-kickers these folks turn out on a daily basis?

Boys, puleeeeze...

Your Kid's Shrink is Your Kid's Biggest Danger

This is news?

94% of child psychiatrists are creepy, evil drug pimps. Duh!

Is there someone who didn't know that kid shrinks have been licensed dope dealers for Big Pharma for years now?

Yes, there are two people: parents and the press, who keep announcing this as if nobody had ever noticed before.

The level of prescription medicines being enlisted for social and emotional problems of children as young as 3 soared in the past 2 decades, and the reason is simple - Big Pharma went on The Big Push. And all the little pea-brained, immoral, amoral Baby Shrinks bought into The Plan.

A Tale of Two Cities

From a circle of concerned and INFORMED citizens:


Today, we find that a Canadian anti-narcotics official, who was at work in Afghanistan on alternatives to poppy cultivation has been convicted of drug possession and sentenced to four years in prison. He had several dried poppy flowers and 0.6 grams of hashish (which he claims in another article was trace elements found on his clothes from working in areas rife with drug problems). (


Earlier this year, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Leask acquitted a member of the Hells Angels on a cocaine trafficking charge. Glen Jonathon Hehn was found not guilty, even though he had about 1.5 million dollars of cocaine in his locker. Leask dismissed the idea that it was Hehn's, "... he'd have had to have been out of his f. . .in' mind to store it in his own locker, all right? I mean, that's for sure he wouldn't do that. Let's not spend any time on that theory." Later, Leask apologized FOR HIS USE OF PROFANITY.

The score:

a half dozen dried poppy flowers and an aspirin-sized amount of hashish worth about $4: four years hard time in Dubai.

$1.5 million in cocaine or upwards of 20 kilos: an apology from a BC judge.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Cecilia Bartoli - Agitata da due venti

From the ridiculous (escaped murderer cons cop) to the sublime Cecilia sings Vivaldi

Smooth-talking escapee evades police

The story of escaped murderer, Richard McNair, is well told in the New Yorker magazine of Oct. 9, 2006. A complete transcript of this unbelievable AND TRUE video is included. The officer is interviewing a murdere, who has just escaped from a super-hyper-maximunm security prison.

Johnny Reb Takes the Road

And, of course, I forgot to mention the latest from Johnny Reb, the All-Canadian dufus.

All over the world, people drive through and around traffic circles without confusion.

In Vancouver, the Adolescent Community, people, truck drivers and even police (!) simply ignore the signs and the traditions and common sense and turn left because THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO DO, SO WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM EH?

Pit Bull Rules


Because we are a nation of snarling, rule-breaking, adolescent, self-absorbed pit bulls.

All of the letters to the editor in today's Sun were concerned with dogs in the city. Dogs poop, nobody cleans up, dogs off leash and so on. All of which is true, no doubt. And I always said if you want to get the lines ringing on a radio show, just say the word "dogs" and you're in business for the next 3 hours.

But "the dog problem" is merely symptomatic of a social order (if the weltshmertz in which we swim can be so described) in which nobody behaves about anything.

I walk on a certain lovely "walking path" on average once a week. (My other daily walks are usually in my neighbourhood, on sidewalks.) This path is clearly designated with ample signage as a NO BICYCLES walking path. I encounter, on average, 3 bicycles per 30 minute walk. Not bad. Only one threat to my physical safety every 10 minutes. Hey, I'm a ranger; I can handle it.

No cars in Vancouver use turn signals. I drive a 14-year old Mazda, so I'm not up on the latest models, but it has been my firm belief for many years now that cars sold in Canada do not come equipped with turn signals. Or how else to explain their non-use when that is the law?

People now walk against red lights all the time.

Cell phones and flashing cameras are standard fare at concerts, in spite of the threats by ushers that the offending toys will be confiscated. I'm not talking here about teenagers. I'm talking about 40 year old men and women.

You think the cell phone in the car is a danger and a nuisance? Haven't you noticed the latest terror?

It's the cell phone pedestrian crossing the street, not looking for an instant at the traffic he/she is stopping.

The Me Generation is alive and well. It is an unruly, self-involved unlovely petty criminal. And like the pit bull it should be put down.

But, what can you do? Eh?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Perry Como: Someone to Watch Over Me - early video

The Gershwins' greatest ballad sung by one of the sweetest and easiest voices in pop music history.

David Oistrakh plays Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto (3rd Mov.)

This is THE GREATEST recording of the Tchaikovsky D that I know of. I have 2 or 3 others, each by renowned players, none as good. I have owned a vinyl LP of this since I was 22. I love it, I love it, I love it. Did I mention I love it?

Monty Python - Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Did you hold back on toking the ganj just enough to remember the '60's?

Do you wonder how we got here? And where "here" is exactly?

Check out this marvelous little editorial in today's NY Times on the birth and death of Liberalism.

Giuliani for President...Maybe Not

“He’s making a million dollars a month with his speeches,” said Chief Riches, 55. “It’s blood money."

Not all New York firefighters are enamored with Mr. G. If you've been watching the various group gropes with Wolf, you should enoy reading this story.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Be Quiet, Joe.

A Rabbi friend of mine thinks Joe Lieberman is the cat's pajamas. The Rabbi has always been impressed by Lieberman's strict Jewish orthodoxy.

While I love the Rabbi dearly, I couldn't disagree more with him on Lieberman's value as a public policy maker.

Lieberman has waffled and wandered from opinion to opinion over the yars, changing his values with his socks.

Now he wants an American air strike against Iran.

His own party has asked him to resign. That's particularly funny, because Lieberman is an Independent, and his party is one guy.

Read the story here.

Gianni Basso Sextet with Phil Woods

The Streisand Effect

We all knew Barbra was a force to be reckoned with.

But who knew that if Streisand does a European tour, an economic wave of happiness sweeps across Manhattan?

Read the full story here.

Miles Davis - New Rhumba (1959)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Enrolment Down - Close it!

Continued kudos to Janet Steffenhagen for her ongoing coverage of education issues for The Vancouver Sun.

Her full page story on Tuesday describing the closing of more than 150 public schools in this province in recent years was a barn burner.

It continues to amaze us that we have to save pennies by dislocating children and their families with school closings, but we can find billions for vanity projects like the Olympics.

This government's priorities are clear and often distasteful.

Daniel Izzard: May 19, 1923 - June 6, 2007

We note with sadness the passing of local artist Daniel Izzard.

Mr. Izzard may not have been the world's greatest or most progressive painter, but he was damn good and he was that rare creature - a painter who made his living painting.

He was also a busy, active, committed memeber of the local community, who was always charming and gracious and ready with a good story.

We need more like him.

3 Times You Will Deny Me

"I don 't believe in ripping up agreements."

"I have never said I would tear up agreements."

"I am not tearing up agreements."

The New World

Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Lovely.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The Bloggist (blogger, blog person) will be outta commish for the next few days, back full strength Friday morning.

Enjoy a good and healthy and productive week, filled especially with love, sex, food, reading, walking and more love.

We Must Never Lose, Even if We're Losing

Two years ago, a BC Human Rights Tribunal ordered schools in the province to identify and support all children with severe learning disabilities.

Today the Ministry of Education and the North Vancouver school board are fighting this decision in court.

The original case occurred because a man pulled his son from his Grade 3 class because the school had not yet taught the boy to read. The child then went to an independent school and is now in college.

It is niggardly (Are we still allowed to use such a word?) and cheap and self-destructive of the governments to waste tax dollars contesting this decision in court.

Money for The Big Party ($2Billion) is available, but the pennies to teach kids with dyslexia is not. You are what you pay for, Mr. Campbell.

Stubborn and Stupid

Roger Federer is widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest tennis players in the history of the sport - maybe the greatest.

But yesterday, in committing 59 errors and losing the French Open once again to a gritty, determined and great Rafael Nadal, Federer proved that even the great can be stubborn and stupid.

Everyone, inlcuding Roger, knew what he had to do to win. Serve and volley, chip and charge, hit short, slice and spin, change up and surprise. Basically do what Arthur Ashe did to a heavily favored and totally flustered Jimmy Conners at Wimbledon some years back.

Now, there is no taking away from Nadal's refusal to let Federer do any of those things. BUT!

10 break chances in the first set alone missed. Over and over again, Federer came over the ball on his backhand and over and over again he simply fed the Nadal machine.

Finally, in the second set - the one he won - he started doing what he had to do. And oh look, it worked. But his forehand -one of the best shots in all of tennis - then deserted him and he hit down and into the net repeatedly.

It was not only disappointing to watch, it was maddening.

OK. He's only 25, he is great, and maybe he'll get it together next year at Paris. Meanwhile don't be amazed if Nadal takes Wimbledon.

Paul Simon - GRACELAND!!!

He says he begins the discovery of all songs with a rhythm. He's one of the great writers of our era.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Due respect...

O.K. Sopranos Fans.

The Big Bump is tonight.

That is, if you live in the USA. For the rest of us, we'll have to wait until next year for one of the local scumbag networks to run the last season or hightail it to the video store or somehow get a pirate copy. Imagine that!

In da meantime...check out the comments from the actors as they prepare for the final episode.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Streisand/Mathis - I Have A Love/One Hand, One Heart

Try to sing along with this! I have it in my car and I am often attempting this impossibility. Thank your lucky stars you're not around at the time...

The Changing Face (& Ear & Nose) of Music

Much has been made about the closing of Sam, the Record Man, on Yonge Street.

As it should, as this is clearly a sign of the times and the signalling of a passing era. Beset by iPod, the net, YouTube, Myspace, iTunes, Facebook and, even more importantly, Wal-Mart's unbeatable purchasing and discount selling power, hardly a record store known to humankind can survive. When McCartney launches his latest CD at Starbucks, you know something is afoot.

(Completely aside, have you ever seen a music man less joyful? What is this fellow's problem? He if doesn't have life by the knackers, which of us does? If you watch the PBS documentary, "The Making of Duets: Tony Bennett & Guests," you will see a laughing, smiling, joyful Jim Taylor, Elton John, Michael Buble, Diana Krall et al, and this dour, serious, CORPORATE Paul McCartney. It is passing strange, my friends.)

But I believe there is something even deeper at play here than the onslaught on new technologies and the dominance of an overpowering marketer. Even specialty record shops - classical, jazz, Latin - are having trouble surviving.

I'll tell you why.

Last year I went into the now disappeared "Magic Flute" on West 4th Avenue. This is a store I tended to avoid because it was always, in my experience, way less than magical. Often rude and snooty and unhelpful and self-involved would be closer to the truth. But last year, I went in and, unable to find what I wanted, I asked the young lady to point me to Jascha Heifetz. If you Google Heifetz, you will see him referred to at once as "The Violinist of the Century."

Of course, the young lady had no idea who of what I was talking about. Is he a composer? And so on. Can you expect to run a classical music store with employees who have never heard of Heifetz?

Beyond all of those other factors (which are very much at play), I think the deeper reason for the end of the record store as we may have known it is an abiding ignorance and self-absorption. It is yet another reflection of our adolescent culture.

Goo-goo, ga-ga.

Charter Rights vs. Politic$

The Supreme Court of Canada has reversed an earlier decision and declared that collective bargaining rights are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

But Gordon Campbell, who tore up agreements with hospital workers in 2002 - after swearing he'd never be the SOB to do such a thing - has since hired 5000 non-union sweepers and cleaners and cooks and bedpan emptiers.

What's a fellow to do?

Let us all watch closely now as the government and the unions are both being called upon to revert to what used to be known as "sweet reasonableness."

Leave us not hold our breath, lest we float to the ceiling and be asked to paint it while we're up there.

Blind Justice Poked in the Eye

Explosives, landmines, machine guns and a Nazi flag.

Those were just some of the fun toys found yesterday in a 21st floor apartment at Citygate.

The "suspect" has been released on $50,000 bail.

This is managing public safety?


Please explain to me why CNN spent the entire night on Paris Hilton.

Our interest in Ms. Hilton is less than zero.

Millions are starving, the ice is melting, lunatics abound, science is making astonishing new discoveries, music and art are being composed as we speak.

PH is news?

CNN is "the most trusted name in news?" Don't they have any respect for their own franchise?

Company - Donmar - Being Alive

You'll have to click on the thingy to see and hear this - but it's worth of sondhem's best.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Cleo Laine - Send in the Clowns

I don't know about this strange, kitchy, overstuffed hotel room setting room and dreadful clothes and ovdeeracting BUT...Cleo is one of the great jazz singers and this is a great Sondheim standard.

God, Gays & Guns

What constitutes "worthy" or "legitimate" debate in general elections?

It is (pick one) amazing? scary? laughable? disheartening? to see that Republicans and Democrats and that great arbitrator of All Things American, Wolfe Blitzer (zzzzzzz....), are all still caught in subjects most of us had long settled and abandoned.

God is your own business. Keep Him/Her/It of the hustings. If you've found Him/Her/It, be happy and be quiet.

Gay is your own business. Fred and Frank living next door to Alicia and Torvel is not the end of the human race. Start up the barbecue and be quiet. there's a worthy topic. But the Americans won't have a reasonable discussion and the politicians are terrified of the NRA, so they won't vote on any bill that might limit Ted Nugent's freedom to pack weapons of mass destruction in his Fargo. And Canadians - well, we have a 2 billion dollar mistake to figure out from our last attempt to make sense of guns.

Yet somehow, when the real issues are Health Care (In America, nobody has it; in Canada, we can't keep paying for it.) and Education and Productivity, the populace will once again be derailed by non-issues like God, gays, Abortion and whether or not Paris Hilton is or isn't in jail somewhere for something as we speak.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

banks don't want tellers...they want walls that spit money...

Here is a simple fact of life that we should remember as often as possible:


Did you ever crouch into a little, crowded, decaying shack on a side street that called itself a bank in Canada? Well no, you didn't.

So when we learn that CIBC is facing a $600 Million class-action lawsuit by employees who have consistently been working overtime and not being paid for their efforts, we holler, "HALLELUJAH!" Or something to that effect.

This culture - banks and their lowly tellers - is described as place with "a system of passive enforcement that relies on people complaining."


Right. Sue the bastards, make them pay through their CEO's noses. Pirates and brigands in blue suits all. A pox on you...

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"The Reality is Needles are not a Good Way to Use Drugs."

Who else do we know in possession of such practical wisdom?

Why only one person - the Nutty, Evil, Misguided, Sick, Disgusting Mayor.

Anyone who continues to discuss the paraphernalia or the methodology of addictions (Whiskey is harsher than gin! Transfats are worse than carbos!) has missed the bus entirely...hell, missed the highway.

There are people in this community so stupid (doctors, lawyers, mining executives) they are paying thousands of dollars to get this Terrible Man re-elected.