Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:28 AM
Then we found Bergman.
Fog and shadows and lust and murder and friendship and talismen set in a cold, intimidating black and white landscape.
Eleven movies with Max Van Sydow and how many with Liv Ullman?
The Washington Post has "the rest of the story."
Posted by David Berner at 8:20 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:14 AM
My son was a huge fan of Tom Snyder...Snyder was a marvelous broadcaster. There is no place in broadcast for the likes of Snyder today.
Posted by David Berner at 8:08 AM
Monday, July 30, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:20 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:13 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:03 AM
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:05 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:38 AM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
"Finally, Sir, have you no sense of decency?"
That's the line that in time stopped Senator Joe.
What will stop you from airing a Jihadist, anti-Semitic hate-monger and then rationalizing your mistake.
If it happens on your watch, then you are the one responsible.
Posted by David Berner at 10:12 AM
Friday, July 27, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:17 AM
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:28 AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 8:37 AM
Posted by David Berner at 8:12 AM
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:43 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:31 AM
Monday, July 23, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 1:06 PM
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Thank you for your comment.
I think it is an enormous stretch of the imagination to fear that a city garbage strike will lead to your home invasion by a totalitarian police force.
More importantly, at the heart of your argument is the admirable American love of liberty and the individual. So many Presidents, including the present dissembler, have made fools of the electorate by imposing bigger and more extensive government on them, while preaching Ermersonian ideals.
While I am largely sympathetic to those views, and in many an instant will still side with them, there is no question in my mind that government has an important role to play.Yes, it more often than not plays badly and makes us yearn again for the dictum "that government which governs least, governs best."
However, cities and sovereign states and provinces and countries do need policy and management.In the course of caring for the sewers and the fires and the public order, governments will employ workers. Yes, it is a sign of our unwillingness to care for ourselves that government is now the biggest employer in Canada, and no doubt the least effecient.
But, here we are. Postal workers, garbage collectors, park rangers and so on.
Now, all of these people deserve some reasonable kick at the cat. That is, within the range of their abilities and opportunities, they aught to be able to afgord some of the many extraordinary comforts of the current age.
The politicians and their managers can. Vancouver City Hall, for example is overrun with people we've never heard of who have been earning in a excess of $100,000 a year for many years.
(My own personal belief is that, if many of those were fired, the garbage men would do just fine, thank you, and so would you and I.)
So...strike on, I say. I will not be voting for ANY of the current City Council come next election. I may fear stinky garbage, but I don't expect the Boys in Blue to drop by, arms drawn, for breakfast.
Posted by David Berner at 9:26 AM
Hi David-- I would like to disagree with you on your stance regarding the City workers strike. I am opposed to the very idea of "public sector unions' and I would like to tell you why.
If the workers in a company in the private sector elect to go on strike (say, Air Canada) the situation is quite different. If they reach a settlement that either raises the cost of travel on AC or results in a lower level of service, I can choose not to fly with them. If enough people make a similar decision, the company will fail and then both Robert Milton and his employees will be looking for work. In other words 1/ I, as an individual, can reject any settlement and 2/ any agreement must ultimately fly in the marketplace.
In the case of the public sector there are no similar checks and balances. If the city workers and the politicians reach a settlement I, as a homeowner, have no choice but to go along with it.
But let's assume I choose not to. Suppose I refuse to pay the additional taxes that the settlement requires. I will receive a series of polite (then increasingly threatening) letters from first the City--and subsequently from the legal system--telling me that I MUST pay these new taxes. If I continue to refuse then men with guns on their hips (policemen) will come to my home and tell me that I must either pay up or leave my home. If I protest and say "This is my home and I want you to get out of here" they will tell me that I must leave and will attempt to physically remove me. But suppose I am foolish enough to continue to resist them? At some point, these nice men with guns on their hips will draw their guns. If I should continue to resist even then, they may well use these guns (effectively bringing the matter--and perhaps my life--to a close.)
So, unlike the Air Canada example, the contract that public sector unions negotiate with the City is, in the last instance, extracted by the use of deadly force. I offer this for your consideration.
Posted by David Berner at 9:23 AM
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:56 AM
Posted by David Berner at 11:01 AM
Friday, July 20, 2007
Mr. Ahmad runs a seminary and bookstore in Lahore, Pakistan, and his writings foresee the "global domination of Islam," compare Jews to "parasites," describe the Holocaust as "divine punishment" and predict the "total extermination" of Jews.
According to Mr. Jamal's wife, Mr. Ahmad was her husband's teacher and mentor.
In his book Lessons From History, he writes that the revival of Islam will begin in Pakistan, because it is the only country that "has the potential for standing up against the nefarious designs of the global power-brokers and to resist the rising tides of the Jewish/Zionist hegemony."
Islam will come to rule in four stages, he claims: the Ultimate World War in the Middle East, the appearance of the anti-Christ, the extermination of the Jews and the "domination of Islam, over the entire globe."
Posted by David Berner at 4:11 PM
Posted by David Berner at 10:50 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:40 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:18 AM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 3:32 PM
Posted by David Berner at 8:18 AM
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:35 AM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 12:14 PM
Posted by David Berner at 12:02 PM
Posted by David Berner at 11:50 AM
Monday, July 16, 2007
When I read your blog last week in which you speculated on the possibility that the school teacher's husband was the killer, I really hoped you were wrong. I knew that you, of all people, would never make a narrow-minded judgement based on culture. At the same time, I feared you were right. It appears my fears and yours were justified.
You know David, this country has been dithering with changing the oath of allegiance. How Canadian is that? That the fundamental statement of what it means to enjoy this citizenship should be stalled in the bureaucracy. Thomas Jefferson must smile.
Let me propose that everybody who becomes a Canadian citizen be required to affirm the following, in their language, out loud, with their hand on their heart ( forehead, rib cage, rectum, armpit, balls) whatever is sacred in their culture. If they refuse to do this out loud, taped, played back in their language, then their application should be delayed. Here goes:
I hereby ask to be a Canadian. I make this request in my language. I am asking because it is an honour.
I agree that there is no religion that deserves to rule the world. I will respect all religions as a Canadian.
I agree that every adult should be able to take a life partner of their choice without interference by family, religion or culture.
I agree that all men and women are equal .
I agree that children should not be exploited or abused for political or religious purposes.
I agree that I will not use political connections in my former country to influence Canadian politics.
I agree that I should cherish and protect the land, air and waters of Canada so that future generations will inherit the beautiful country that accepts me today.
Well David, we would never ask that. Why? Because dickwad journalists would say " Ah, but every Canadian doesn't subscribe to these notions. Who fucking cares? Let's start.? I, for one, would stand on any corner in Canada ,in a cruel winter storm, and swear my convictions to these truths. And I have cancer. So would you. Let's start a movement.
How much better is that compared to affirming my citizenship before an ex CBC hack Governor General who represents an incoming King with less common sense than my toilet plunger?
Let's try this?
Let's put the oath out there.
Geez, we sure can do better than rooms full of Somalians (fill in the culture of your choice), lip-synching a meaningless pledge to the dronings of an old, flatulent, snoring, politically appointed immigration judge.
Before I leave this room called Canada, before I die, is it to much to ask that the next guest respects the furniture I collected over these past 300 years? There was once a 200 year waiting list for my room. But in the last 25 years, I let him jump the line . Now he can take my room with false ID and laugh at my 300 year old chairs.
About my Canadian furniture, my history. I realize that perhaps it does not fit his living space. But I hope that maybe before he dumps it, he will savour it and learn something about it before he tosses it in the dump.
Posted by David Berner at 10:03 PM
They paid the price for stepping up
Two men lost faith in justice system after beatings by rowdies
Matthew Little, The Province
Published: Sunday, July 15, 2007
Eugene Evers and Pawan Singla have more than their 16 stitches in common.
They're also both family men who stepped forward to ask troublemakers in their neighbourhood to be quiet, were attacked for their trouble -- and left with so little respect for the justice system that they say they'll never stick their necks out again.
Evers says his experience was so horrific that he now suggests jokingly that people don blinders and earmuffs when things go bad around them. "Observe and report. That's really all you can do," he says.
But that's not what Pawan Singla did in Chilliwack in late June. After enduring months of what he describes as profanity and fighting at a flophouse next door, he asked visitors to the house not to swear in front of his kids -- and was viciously beaten in response.
Evers's own attack, a year ago next month, was less bloody, but left him with permanent brain damage. He is only now returning to work after nearly a year of recovery.
On his street, he says, youths would keep neighbours up at night with their drag racing. The parking lot across the street was also a hangout for rowdy youth: a place to fight, do drugs and have sex, he says.
In August 2006, Evers decided to do something about it. With a cordless phone in hand and a 911 operator on the line, he stepped outside. This is how the conversation was recorded:
911: "Vancouver police emergency."
Evers: "I have these two young people in cars and they are threatening me . . ."
911: "Where are you, sir?"
Evers: "They are racing around my neighbourhood. Partial plate is three, seven . . ."
The recording then catches an unidentified voice in the background cursing, and a scream from Evers's wife. He'd been struck in the head with a golf club and lay bleeding on the ground.
The man on trial for that assault has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for multiple assaults and a break-and-enter -- and a long list of acquittals or stays of charges where no guilty verdict could be achieved.
Sitting in his mother's home for an interview, Evers looks to be doing well, but his measured words are an indication of the lasting effects of his brain injury. "Words still come slower," he explains.
He says he's not counting on the courts for justice -- which he says he has faith will come in the long run from God.
The system, he says, "is not about justice. It's about the law, and the law is tilted so radically in favour of the criminals. What else can innocent people do?
"They call it the justice system, but where is the justice?"
Similar cases in which citizens intervened have ended in tragedy.
Squamish lawyer Bob McIntosh was kicked to death in 1997 when he checked in on a noisy New Year's Eve house party. It took five years for his attacker to be sentenced.
In 2004, Richmond gas station employee Kevin Venn was beaten beyond recognition after he intervened to help a woman being assaulted by her then-boyfriend. His attacker got just 18 months.
Evers figures it's time to build a couple of big jails and start putting criminals away instead of leaving them out on the street.
He lives next door to a home police describe as a flophouse. Neighbours say it's a drug house and have assembled a petition asking city council to deal with it.
In late June, Singla says, he stepped outside to ask some of the flophouse visitors not to swear when his children were outside. Soon afterwards, he was dragged across the street and beaten till he couldn't stand. His undershirt was drenched in blood after rocks were thrown at his head.
He says there were witnesses to his attack and that he provided police with pictures of his assailants, but officers told him there wasn't much to go on, he says.
"I guess the Canadian criminal system is meant more for criminals than to protect the general public," says Singla, who thinks police seemed more sympathetic to his assailants than to his plight.
"They [police] were talking more about fairness for the attackers . . . Not a single time was he talking about fairness to me," he says.
Chilliwack RCMP say they are doing what they can, trying to build a case that will stick.
Singla still sees his attackers next door regularly. He says his whole family lives in fear and life will never be the same. His son and niece worry about going outside where "bad guys" will hurt them, he says.
"Everything is changed," he told The Province. "It's crazy. It's sick."
Everything is different for Evers as well, he says. Throughout an interview, he speaks slowly, often mixing up his sentences a bit or pausing to look for words.
He says he paid a high price for trying to bring some peace to the neighbourhood -- and advises others against stepping forward.
His advice to those running the justice system are direct: "Time to treat criminals like criminals."
Vancouver police Const. Howard Chow has some advice of his own.
"You have to use your common sense when you approach any situation," he says, adding it may be appropriate at times to approach people you're having trouble with, but not if they may be mentally ill, violent or using drugs or alcohol.
"Those are times when you should call the police," Chow says.
Posted by David Berner at 10:00 PM
Posted by David Berner at 9:41 AM
Posted by David Berner at 9:37 AM
"Border search violated accused smuggler's rights, judge rules
Catherine Rolfsen, CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, July 16, 2007
In a ruling that cuts to the heart of how Canadian border guards do their jobs, a Provincial Court judge has ruled that the rights of a man charged with smuggling 50 kilograms of cocaine into the country were violated when he was searched at the border. Justice Ellen Gordon ruled Friday that border officers - who routinely question travellers and search their vehicles - violated three sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when they interrogated Ajitpal Singh Sekhon and dismantled the truck he was driving without a search warrant.The ruling means the drugs seized must be excluded from the evidence against Sekhon.Federal prosecutors have already filed an appeal.According to Gordon's reasons for judgment, Sekhon, a Canadian citizen, tried to enter Canada via the Aldergrove border crossing on Jan. 25, 2005. The border guard decided Sekhon was suspiciously tense and sent him to be questioned in the customs office, where he was locked inside while another inspector searched the truck. With the help of a drug-sniffing dog, the ruling says, guards found a false compartment below the truck bed, at which point Sekhon was informed that he would be detained and that he had the right to legal counsel. However, Gordon concluded that Sekhon had been detained from the moment he was locked inside the office, violating sections 9 and 10 of the Charter, which prohibit arbitrary detention and guarantee the right to a lawyer. Gordon's judgment says inspectors eventually dismantled the vehicle to find 50 bricks of cocaine. But the most important part of the ruling is Gordon's conclusion that guards violated section 8 of the Charter - freedom from unreasonable search or seizure - since they never applied for a search warrant.The Crown lawyer pointed out that the Customs Act routinely allows such searches without a warrant based on reasonable grounds for suspicion.The two border inspectors involved said they had never applied for - or even conceived of applying for - a search warrant in their careers. But the judge wrote that officers followed a "lucky hunch," not reasonable suspicions, in launching their search. But she said the key to the ruling was that the customs act includes provisions for a search warrant, and there was no reason they couldn't have applied for one. "In such circumstances it was incumbent upon the investigators to seek the judicial authorization of a search warrant. They did not," Gordon wrote.Sekhar's lawyer Lawrence Myers said the ruling is ground-breaking. "It's the first decision that I'm aware of that defines individual rights in conjunction with the Customs Act since 9/11," Myers said.If Gordon's decision is upheld by a senior court, it could serve as a precedent for how border searches are carried out. Myers said he doesn't think it's an unreasonable impediment to require border guards to obtain a search warrant before searching a vehicle."
Posted by David Berner at 9:15 AM
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:16 AM
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:26 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:21 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:14 AM
Friday, July 13, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:33 AM