Friday, August 31, 2007

Thanks for the Hits!

A landmark! A milestone!

Today, the Berner Monologues passed the 20,000 mark in numbers of visits.


Thanks, and let's have more...

Best wishes to all!

Gordon Campbell's Legacy

Isn't it fun about how you think of something or dream of it in the early morning just before waking and then you get up, put the tea on, pick up the paper and there, right there, on page 3, is what you were thinking or dreaming of?

Such was the case this morning with me and Gordon Campbell.

For no reason that I can fathom, I'd been thinking about Campbell's legacy and how we might be viewed by history. Clearly, old age and prostrate problems are keeping me from more "productive" thoughts.

I was thinking that Campbell will be seen as a guy who played to his strengths; not a bad thing. Money, business, physical projects have thrived and that can only contribute to the common weal.

But children, day care, health, education have received short shrift under Campbell's reign or been ignored utterly.

So sure enough, on page 3, there was Campbell opening a new bridge near Golden.

A very Gordo moment.

I cannot recall similar foto ops around any of the "humanistic" issues that occupy many of our thoughts. Maybe drug addiction, care for the elderly and the like don't take that well to the camera.

Or maybe the Premier is a pretty good manager with a not very warm heart.

Some will argue that the job description doesn't include "must have warm heart."

Leadership, I would argue, must be both strong and compassionate. Tilts in either direction are usually disastrous. But a balance between the two is what we all strive for in our own lives, and what we must always look for in our leaders.

How Many babies is Too many?

Daphne Bramham continues her excellent on-going series of pieces on Polygamy and the so-called Bountiful Community in today's Sun.

But, I had the weirdest thought.

There are 2 photographs of a man named Winston Blackmore. Under each foto, we are told Blackmore has more than 20 wives and...catch this...115 children.

115 children.

Alright. I confess it. My first horrible thought was, "This guy should be put down!"

On more sober reflection...This guy should be put down.

Shouldn't bringing 115 children into the world peopled with homeless, orphaned and poverty-imprisoned children be a major offense?

Isn't there something inherently unwholesome and downright strange about making that many babies?

O.K. I'm small minded. I can't get my pea brain around this concept.

But someone should put this lunatic out to pasture.
Oh, by the way...the foto herein is one of the few monents in Winston's life in which he has been known to wear clothes.

Itsy-Bitsy Spider? FUGETABOUTIT!

For those who like their tales well woven, check out this morning's little gem from the NY Times about the new world in a Dallas public park. It's spooky, it's creepy and it's for real.....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Murder Capital Gets The Bush Treatment

Bush put on his baby blue working shirt and stood near a bridge in New Orleans yesterday to tell us all what a wonderful job everyone was doing with the disaster.

He spent the first five minutes of his magic act praising Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who just happens to be the senior Republican.

Five minutes of political hornswaggle to the people of a devastated region, who are suffering mightily and looking for relief.

This is yet the latest example of why he will go down in the books as the Worst President Ever.

His middle name should be Not-A-Clue, taken from the Mayans, to mean Gormless.

Shirley Strikes Out


The article tells us that the highly effective, deeply committed Shirley Bond ("The name is Bond. Shirley Bond." I see Reese Witherspoon in the role.) will cut away at the junk foods and increase physical activity. Like running for the exits.

This is all very nice, isn't it?

The only problem is that B.C. schools abandoned recess, physical ed and sports programs in a huge way about 20 years ago and it will take not a few million but many millions of dollars to get all of that back up to speed. Of course, new gymnasia and the like, but more importantly, hundreds of new teachers.

And guess what? Shirley isn't about to spend that kind of money. Not with Gordon at the helm.

Her "aggressive new strategy" is hogwash, a drop in a polluted ocean, a smoke and mirrors job.

Did she make this announcement from the PNE?

Senator Larry Craig Arrest Renactment

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Guest Blogger - Former Airline Flight Attendant, Pam

I can tell you exactly what is lacking on airplanes.

We were never given any supplies such as bathroom spray, disinfectant or proper hand soap. We started carrying our own supplies! If we had a major problem in a lav we would simply lock it off. The company never provided the crew with access to a lav so we often had to wait in line with passengers and deal with the aftermath of people who had never seen or used a western toilet!

The medipac is on every aircraft but needs to be signed by a medical doctor before it is unlocked. People do not realize how little we can do when a medical emergency occurs.

Also, aircraft have to be one of the most filthiest public places and I could not handle it when I saw people go in the lavs with bare feet!

I should write a book!!!!! I have seen rats and cockroaches on airplanes!!!!!! They no longer change the headrest covers and on many flights the blankets are re-cycled. Believe it or not there have been passengers seen blowing their nose in a blanket. Have I really grossed you out now??????!!!!!!

Immigration Helping Killers

Paul Cheema was a destructive, sick time bomb from the word go.

We've chronicled before his history of violence towards women and towards himself.

But for a moment, let's remember that he was ordered deported while serving a 42-month prison sentence.

Of course, the all-knowing, all-seeing, ever-compassionate completely out-to-lunch Immigration and Refugee Board reversed that deportation order because "he had strong family support in B.C."

Why doesn't the family of Shemina Hirji, the wife that he murdered a few days after their wedding, why don't they sue the Immigration and Refugee Board for gross negligence of their duties?

Don Corleone had the hearty support of his family. The Board doesn't go to the movies?

Don't get Sick on an Airplane

It is instructive to watch the mandarins gather the chuck wagons in a circle.

Dr. Alan Drummond wrote an article in 2002 called "On a wing and a prayer: medical emergencies on board commercial aircraft." Drummond called supplies and equipment woefully inadequate. Of course, his article and his offer to help airlines ramp up have been widely ignored.

Now that exactly such inadequacies were revealed in a recent trans-Atlantic flight, every hired flak for every department including birds has rushed to the defense of the airlines and the industry.

When will these sob's stop defending the indefensible and get on the path to improvement?

It's All In Your Head, Madam

Imagine how surprised I was to learn that "Doctors dismiss patients' concerns." NOT!

The article in today's Sun speaks mostly of the rotten side effects of statin drugs (Lipitor, Zocar)taken to lower cholesterol in heart patients.

I have had, let's see, a cardiologist, a G.P. and a stress test technician all tell me, in response to my complaints of muscle pain and other side effects, that I am "a very sensitive person with a vivid imagination."

While that reading of my lovely personality may bear some truth, it is amazing how they are all reading from the same script.

Does Big Pharma provide these crib notes along with the free samples and the golf excursions to the Caribbean?

Crooks and Liars » Craig’s Bathroom Bust Statement: “I am Not Gay!”

Crooks and Liars » Craig’s Bathroom Bust Statement: “I am Not Gay!”

Anti-Gay Senator Sex Hunting in Men's Washroom

God bless Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho.

Three times an elected Senator, first a Congressman, the Good Senator has an impeccable voting record consistently against any gay-friendly initiatives. Equal rights, adoptions, marriage, you name it, he's agin' it.

Then, oops, surpriserama, Larry is busted by an undercover cop for soliciting sex in a men's bathroom.

Only Larry David of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm could write stuff like this, and he didn't.

Read the sorry plight of the Republicans and other washroom scandals here.
Better yet, watch the above-linked video for the Good senator's full statement on CNN, which he begins with, "Thank you for coming out today." Clearly he is not sensitive to IRONY.
This will now rank alongside Clinton's, "I did not have sex with that woman," (Imagine how bad that made the millions of us who thought we had been the grateful recipienrts of oral sex to learn that nothing had happened!) and Nixon's "I am not a crook."

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Year of Living Similarly - Movie Remakes

Has some enterprising Wilshire Blvd. genius already pitched remakes of Gone With the Wind and The Godfather?

No doubt.

Than why be amazed that the great American actor and movie star, Keanu Reeves, will star in a remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still?

Michael Rennie will be replaced by Keanu Reeves. Someone will replace Oscar-winning director, Robert Wise, (The somebody in this case happens to be Scott Derrickson, who made the execrable "The Exorcism of Emily Rose," in which I had a small role as a lawyer.) someone else will replace Oscar-winning actress, Patricia Neal, and someone else again will replace Sam Jaffe as the Einstein look-alike.

We're not sure who will play Gort the Robot.

The 1951 classic is one of the greatest sci-flicks of all-time. It's one of those movies that you find yourself irresistibly watching on average once a year, say, in February, when you have a cold and you're lying on the couch and it comes on and saves you from Oprah and Court TV.

It also contains one of the all-time favorite trivia questions:

What did Patrica Neal have to say to Gort to keep him/it from destroying mankind?

Now, we will have to ask what could we say to the executives to save us from Keanu?

Similarly, Jodie Foster stars in a movie about to be released momentarily called "The Brave One."

Ignorant people everywhere are comparing this to Foster's role in Taxi Driver and to the movie itself. But this is clearly a remake of the Charles Bronson thriller, Death Wish."

Made in 1974 by director Michael Winner, Death Wish included the best acting Bronson ever gave. he plays a liberal New York architect, whose wife and daughter are brutally attacked and raped in their own apartment. His wife (Hope Lange) dies and his daughter is forever confined to a mental hospital.

Bronson goes out onto the street and shoots bad guys at random.

The movie made peace-loving liberals scream with their own surprised delight. It became a cultural phenomenon at the time.

It also became a franchise, as several follow-ups were made, but none could hold a candle to the original, which was terrifying and gripping.

Jodie Foster is truly a great actor and her remake will probably be worth seeing.

As for Keanu...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Victor Goes to the Heart of the Wedding Tragedy

The heart breaks to learn that 6 innocent people, walking down a dark country road, at midnight, are killed by an old man in a pickup truck.

As insensitive as this might be, could we take a moment to visit this multicultural moment?

The driver.

He is a 71 year old Sikh. He had just finished his shift at 11 pm ,in an undefined agricultural business.

Hello? 71 years old. Driving a 30 year old pickup truck over dark country roads. After work? At 11 pm?

The victims.

They were walking along a dark country road, at 11 pm engaged in an age old Punjabi tradition. Walking in the dark from house to house to herald a new marriage.


You can do that between villages in the Punjab.

You can't do that in the fastest growing city in Canada, ( Surrey).

Nobody prepares these unfortunate people to come to Canada. The only validation is to get on a bus once they arrive, and vote Liberal, as directed by their (priest, Iman etc.).

Immigration in Canada is the new slavery. Here is the charter.

In return for a mindless block vote, we will open a consulate in your primitive village. We will entice people here for no better purpose than to surrender their names to a political leadership race they do not understand. Once they arrive, they can pick blueberries until summoned to a nomination meeting. Then they can crowd into a mini-van and die.

Isn't Canada wonderful?

Roving Correspondent, Elizabeth James, with Another News Flash


CALL TO ACTION - Tuesday August 28th - 11 to Noon - Cambie at 18th

"Cambie Village supports compensation to Musqueam Band, and further claims
its own permanent loss of revenue due to Canada Line construction through
its business lands in Cambie Village"

The traditional shopping grounds of the Cambie Village have had their access denied by the RAV/Canada Line Canyon running right through their village. In many announcements by the project, the members were assured that the project would go forward in a very different and much less damaging way. Villagers were told that disruption to their livelihoods would be short term, and that the impacts of this construction to their way of life would be mitigated.

"Not so", says Village member, Don Watters who represents 22 families.

"Access has been denied, and this has resulted in a permanent loss of revenue for many in the Cambie Village who have been forced to move, or who have lost everything already as a result of the negligence and misrepresentation from the project. Their prosperity as well as their property has been expropriated."

Cambie Village member Susan Heyes says "This was a plentiful shopping area for years. I have seen my numbers increasing ever since I moved here. Now, with no consultation, we feel that the project has not negotiated in good faith. With this radical change in the project, the shoppers have dwindled to the point where our way of life here is no longer sustainable."

Village elders are calling on the government to immediately adopt a Seattle-style treaty which clearly compensates Seattle members for hardship and loss related to a similar government project through their lands.

The Cambie Village Community will be holding a "CALL TO ACTION" - Tuesday, August 28th - 11AM to NOON on the corner of Cambie at 18th Ave (west side).

Come out and show your support for justice and compensation for all community members.


These two stories just in:

1) Michael Vick, Dog Drowner and Dog Executioner, has found Jesus.

Praise the Lord and pass the jumper cables.

Former Atlanta mayor, and friend of Martin Luther King, Jr. has become Michael's personal guide.

2) Corrupt, completely political, and utterly ineffectual Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, has resigned.

His boss, President George Bush, has said that the honorable Mr. Gonzales was "dragged through the mud for political reasons."

Remember what Will Shakespeare had to say about honorable men (Julius Caesar.)

Kill 6 People. Go Home. This is the Law?

It is quite clear to me that I don't understand the law.

A man runs down and kills 6 people. he injures 17 others. I don't even understand the laws of physics in this case. How did he do that?

In any event, he did. And the police have let him go and are not sure if they will press charges.

They say drugs and alcohol were not involved, but speeding was.

Isn't speeding against the law? Isn't killing 6 people against the law?

Changing the Law is Simple & Stupid & Ill-Advised

A UBC law student has written a terrific editorial on the Sun's Op Ed page this morning.

She not only argues that prostitution laws are not the problem - prostitution is the problem - but she provides compelling evidence that legalizing drugs and prostitution in other jurisdictions (Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden) has only increased illegal activities.

Everybody is always looking for that Big Simple Sweeping Act that will change everything. Legalize Drugs. Legalize prostitution.

These are always the worst of armchair quarterbacking and wishful thinking. These are ideas not worthy of the name, lazy and uninformed.

The devil is in the details.

First, understand the mechanics of addictions. Then, realize that health and sanity come through hard work.

From the Mouths of Babes

With rare exception, actors should never be asked their opinion about things that really matter.

Case in point: American movie actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has discovered, through her meticulous research for a new movie, that...wait for it, it's a revelation, a shocker...that there is (gasp) racism in America!

No! Come On!

Maggie says she was stunned by this revelation. Or maybe she is just stunned.

Well, thank out lucky stars and stripes, we've got Maggie to keep us informed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


A word of explanation.

The blogger went to Victoria Friday morning.

He took his laptop. But he forgot (along with his razor) to bring the electric chord for the laptop.

The battery was low and the laptop went into permanent hibernation, recovering only when the umbilical was restored last night.

Hence, no Saturday posts.

We will endeavour to remember to take the chord next time and to solve the problem of the low battery.

Test the Teachers

A teacher in Victoria refuses to give her garde 3 kids a reading test.

One little dear was in tears "of anxiety" and the teacher has now been emotionally blackmailed into her new stand.

Does she have children? Has she ever seen a kid cry?

She is not alone.

Many of our public school teachers don't want to give their kids tests. Why would they? The kids might do poorly and that might reflect of what sloppy, ineffectual teachers they are.

Now, I realize that I am an old, grumbling relic that thinks all things from "my day" were better. (Not really but I thought I'd position myself that way just for fun.) But WE took test day in and day out all throughout school and our big noses didn't fall off and we've all managed to live a life.

Adults are put to the test every day in real life.

We live in an adolescent culture that worships and is afraid of children.

How does that lead to teaching?

Missing in Space

Scientists have found a hole in space a billion light years wide (or long or thick or whichever way you happen to be endlessly tumbling at the time) where every known thing - stars, dust, socks, flatware - is missing.

This void is called...wait for it...

City Hall.

Different Stokes for Different Folks

The Musqueam get compensation from Canada Line, but the 50 out-of-business Cambie merchants do not?

Can you say, "Political correctness," boys and girls? Can you say, "cultural blackmail?"

It should be written into law that public projects compensate at market value citizens whose homes or livelihoods are disrupted or destroyed by the new initiative.

The Canada Line is getting a Free Ride.

Poverty Group Out to Cheap Lunch

Anything calling itself the Anti-Poverty Committee should be admirable at once, even before it springs into action.

But the Vancouver version of the APC has repeatedly proven itself to be out-of-line thugs.

Anybody who reads this blog will be well aware of my animosity towards and distaste for our current excuse of a mayor.

But when the APC dumps garbage and fake poo on the mayor's personal doorstep, I say, "Basta! Enough! Stand down, you rogues. You are defeating your own avowed purposes."

Now one of the spokesperson for APC is a fellow named Thomas Malenfant. Did he make this up? Is this a nom de guerre?

His name literally means Tommy Bad Boy.

Is this one of life's naming curiosities, wherein Jack Teller ends up working in a bank and Dick Dangler becomes a porn star?

Or did little out-of-control Tommy Bad Boy take on this moniker as n oh-so-clever cover for his mischief?

Dying for Dope - This is an "honorable" Canadian Mission?

The NY Times reports that the Taliban have set new records in their lucrative poppy crops.

For this, Canadian soldiers, ill-equipped, are dying on foreign soil?

And if you're always on the lookout, as I am, for tell-tale signs of government (in)efficiencies, you'll love this: The U.S> is spending $600 Million a year in counter-narcotics programs in Afghanistan! Even their own ambassador says it's not working. No kidding, boss!

Honoring soldiers and "supporting our troops" is one thing. Agreeing with suicide missions is another entirely.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Children & Families Ministry a Sham and a Disgrace

Yet another investigation of the deaths of children in government "care" has been announced.

And that's fine.

But it brings our attention once again to the plain and simple fact that, while we are awash in new buildings, new highways, new luge tracks and athletes' villages and new money, the Children & Families Ministry of the provincial government has been a horror show for many years now.

One charming, ineffectual boob after another has done nothing with this file and the Premier has done less.

Victor Rants on The Drug Pimps

Like you, (though without your experience) I am so concerned about the vacuous "official/think" that underpins Vancouver's drug crisis.

Mr. and Mrs. Kerrisdale actually believe that there is something out there called treatment. Who can blame them? Our media stars have promulgated that myth, thanks to the uncritical assessment of our last three mayors.," Huey, Drunkee and Loser".

Most astonishing to me is the hilarious notion that we can clean the DTES before the Olympics.

Check history.

When Alexander the Great crossed Iran and Afghanistan, 300 years before Christ, his army was followed by whores and bootleggers. His written records speak to his frustration about this. (See your local library once the pickets stand down).

The point is, from the ancient days, the parasites of human kind have followed the rich trekkers, be they soldiers, crusaders ,pilgrims or tourists.

And, no matter what Silly Sam thinks, the parasites are already planning their trek to Vancouver.

Somewhere in Nebraska, a meth addict is scrawling this message, with a rusty nail, on the side of a dumpster. " Vancouver 2010, Be There, Beg. Rob. Hassle"

Shortest chapter in the New Testament. Two words. "Jesus wept". Yeah, if He saw this nonsense, He would. So would Moses, Allah and Buddha.

Le boulevardier

How to Lose & Win at the Same Time - Government Job

In most jobs, if you are so incompetent and irresponsible to have people stealing regularly under your watch, you walk the plank. Kersplash!

But, not, of course, when you work for a government in Canada.

"Irregularities" at BC Lotto led to the inevitable firing of President Vic Poleschuk. But don't shed too many tears for Vic. He leaves with a $750,000 severance package.

Sort of like winning the Lotto.

Rare, great Doc TV

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, CNN broadcast 6 hours of powerful documentary television.

The series, which will be repeated this weekend, and which I encourage you to see, is called "God's Warriors." The narration and interviews are by Christiane Amanpour, CNN's leading foreign correspondent, who travelled the world to assemble this report.

Tuesday, we met God's Warriors - The Jews. Wednesday, Islam and last night, Christians. Frankly, I don't know who was more frightening.

Three enormous and powerful groups, each of whom believes utterly in the truths it has found in one Good Book (Torah, Koran, New Testament), each detesting the other, each armed to the teeth and marching according to God's will.

I am a Jew, and I found all three episodes equally difficult to watch.

Aside from the huge questions of survival, the last question that remained for me was this:

Can we live a moral life without a Good Book?

I believe we can, but it is challenging and heretical to most of the world.

The Softer, Kinder USA

It's good to know we're not alone.

No, I'm not talking about another remake of "Body Snatchers."

I'm talking about our feel-good criminal injustice system.

Normally, we think of The Excited States as a hang 'em high, lock 'em all up mentality.

But, here' s an unusual story from Hamerica, in which we learn that an assassin will be released from prison.
The man is Arthur Bremer. He shot and paralyzed George Wallace. He had originally planned to kill Nixon.
While not many of us were fans of Wallace or Nixon, few of us approve of Mr. Bremer's choices for protest.

So, he did 35 what?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

More Doctors Detest Insite than Support it - Report That

24 Hours reported yesterday that 134 "prominent" Canadian doctors support Insite, the so-called safe injection whorehouse. They claim that all of the evidence indicates that Insite has "contributed to reduced rate of HIV infection and overdose and an increase in treatment referrals."

Many of these scholars are U of Toronto eggheads who have never seen Vancouver, a drug addict or Insite.

The simple facts are these:

These so-called statistics are cooked and weighted and completely false and unreliable.

For every doctor who supports Insite, I can show you 3 who hate it.

What treatment? How can there be treatment referrals, when there is no treatment available? To what is anyone being referred?

You cannot discuss treatment with someone who is high. This is Rule One of The Low Life.

Why are these stories reported without question? Bad, sloppy, indifferent, lazy non-journalism. that's why.

Up in Smoke

The trouble with conventions - besides the bad hotel bar booze, the lousy chicken plates and the hookers - is that delegates get antsy and start proposing all manner of nutty resolutions.

No greater example than some emerging from the current gathering of the Canadian Medical Ass-Ociation. The good doctors, perceptibly out of touch with most realities, have now proposed, among other dillies, that the government should pass a law banning smoking in cars that are carrying children.


And how, exactly, you might ask these impractical practitioners, will this be enforced?

No banning smoking in cars, which would be difficult enough to enact and enforce, but ban smoking in cars with children.

How about banning smoking in cars with left-handed people or women wearing Chanel #5?

And what exactly are these docs smoking between learned symposia?

Sam Sullivan - Impressario

Meetings that last more than an hour are rarely productive.

Meetings that last 4 and and half hours are never productive.

What business is it of the Mayor of Vancouver where an opera star sings?

Why would this fool spend 4 and a half hours in a meeting to determine where the lovely lady might sing?

How about spending an hour or two ending the strike, and then - presto, change-o - the Orpheum will again be available for her concert?

Totally out of control.

The Laws Have Been Abandoned by the Lawmakers. No Wonder parents Jay Walk with their Children in Tow

The ongoing melodrama of Palayzed Refugee Man is sickening.

No doubt some enterprising TV executive has optioned it for a reality series.

People from Brandon to Gananoque will be able to phone in their votes on whether this illegal, lying fake immigrant should 1) be sent back to India tonight, 2) go back to his favorite pew or carpet in a rural mosque, or 3) be given the Order of Canada for Perseverance, Multiculturalism and Sheer Bafflegab.

High Culture

Opera has gone to the dopes.

Check out this story about substance abuse in Pavarotti Land, brought to our attention by our friend and commentor, Martin.

Who knew that life among the Verdi's could be so rough?

Islam in Europe

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

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

Now here is the BEST player of this piece ever...The Heifetz was the first movement, this is the last movement.

More So Called Research - No Action, As Usual

The Centre for Addiction & Mental Health in Toronto has come up with another in their long string of astonishing pieces of research.

Apparently (gasp, pause, roll eyes), Vancouver has more dope fiends and falling down drunks than, say, Saskatoon or Brandon or Peggy's Cove.


This is what the Centre does with its many millions of annul tax dollars. It has never knowingly helped an addict quit or a drunk get sober.

But it does have several big buildings in the downtown core and a big, big, important staff and it does numbers real well.

And newspapers, instead of telling these thieves to jump off a bridge, keep printing their scratchings as if they mean something.

Jascha Heifetz plays Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto: 1st mov.

Now, on the other hand, this is one of my All-Time favorite pieces of music. I've had the vinyl LP of David Oistrach playing this for almost 40 years now. Take your shoes off, lean back...

To the Moon, Alice!

A Canadian mission to Mars?


Here are my first recommendations:

The Nutty Mayor

The GVRD/Metro

Richmond City Council

That Woman who heads the Green Party

Half the judges in the land

Jascha Heifetz plays Paganini Caprice No. 24

The Magic Flute on West 4th Avenue has been closed for many months now. I was not surprised when it went tits up. IThe last time I was there I asked the clerk to help me find some Jascha Heifetz. She didn't know who I was talking about.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Vick is the Tip of the Iceberg

Here are some of the questions not being asked about Michael Vick:

Was Vick a deaf mute?

Did he never speak/brag/chortle/boast/rag about his dog exploits to the entire roster of the Atlanta Falcons?

Did no other human person know about this for an awfully long time?

Did any other football players bet or participate in Vick's dreadful, hateful animal tortures?

This is the umpteenth story in recent weeks that has left dozens of questions unanswered because they have been unasked. The NBA referee scandal is another example.

What has happened to journalism?

Laziness is now an industry.

Selling Your Farm

The Federal government is selling some of its expensive properties. Vancouver's Sinclair Centre has been sold to Larco Investments, for example.

On the face of it, no harm, no foul.

Why should governments own properties?

The only problem is that, in this case at least, the Public Service Alliance called for an appraisal of all the buildings involved in this recent sale. Result? An appraisal of $2.3 Billion.

But the 8 properties in question were sold for $1.64 Billion, which has resulted, according to PSAC, in a gift of $630 Million payed by taxpayers.

This story is on page D9.

Will there be an investigation? An inquiry? A question raised in the House? An editorial somewhere across the Great Expanse?


Robbing the Handicapped

How low can you go?

Lower than Michael Vick, apparently.

A guy who works for the provincial office responsible for the finances and legal affairs of children and mentally incapable adults has stolen money from his clients.

The office itself is now saying that it will be more scrutinous with its work.

Mentally icapable adults? Oh, yes, this is, after all, a government offfice.

Fat Chance

Obesity virus?


Monday, August 20, 2007

Day for Night

Stockwell Day has ordered a stay of deportation for the paralyzed refugee claimant who should have been reurned to India today.

The man entered Canada falsely and illegally and, his medical condition being irrelevant, he should have been removed.

But Mr. Day has fallen sway to ethnic blackmail. Afraid that he might lose the Indo-Canadian vote in the next election, Day capitulated to the well-organized cries of the local community, which will not even consider the merits of the case, only its color.

Shame on the lot - them and him.

The Age of Rude and Stupid

We live in a society of sociopaths and incompetents. It's not a great combo.

Yesterday, we met both components within minutes of each other.

We were walking across a street controlled by traffic lights. A woman was turning left into our path. Not a teen-age screwball, not some hopped up gangsta. A 50-ish well groomed white matron in an expensive late model sedan. As we were about 3/4 of the way across the street and the woman showed now sign of slowing down, we held up our hands to indicate that it would be polite, judicious and the legal thing to do to stop and let pedestrians cross in a marked crosswalk.

But you can see the punchline coming.

Of, course, adopting her best icy stare, she drove around us.

The guy on the bicycle, who was stationed on the corner and observing all of this, said, "Do you believe that?

This morning, I read in the sports section about the final in the women's section of the Rogers Cup tennis tournament that took place yesterday in Toronto. (Of course, Henin won.) The recap reads, "They shouted during serves, used their flash to take pictures and failed to turn off their cell phones."

We live in a society over-run with adolescent sociopaths. Everything is me and if you're not in my movie, you don't really exist.

Now, the incompetents.

A few minutes after the traffic incident, we discovered a real estate Open House. The huge, old house has been completely re-furbished and now offered three apartments for sale. The Basement (!) is being offered for only $600,000. Someone will pay that to live in a basement.

Behind the old house is a new coach house, built to match the main building.

We went into the hallway and told the sales lady that we weren't going to walk through, but perhaps she could give us the specs sheet. She did. Asking $938,000. I asked how many bedrooms. Two upstairs.

"So, there is a bathroom upstairs and one down here on the main?"

This is the good part.

The sales lady sort of staggered backwards into the living room area, turning her neck one way and then the other, in some kind of mild panic.

"Uh, well, um, let's see..."

The, relieved she spotted something behind me.

"Oh! Yes, there's a powder room just behind you there."

I must have looked at her funny, because she immediately added, "Ha, I'm just getting my bearings here."

So, let me see if I understand this situation in all its glory.

Someone is selling a Million Dollar ticket item and doesn't have the good sense and basic sales skills to case the joint first and have a basic product knowledge of how many bathrooms there are, let alone the fine points of materials, construction, mechanics, maintenance and taxes???

Our second class country is rapidly becoming Third World.

As everyone is relentlessly obsessed with their text messaging and cell-phoning and emailing and DVD and plasma TV and all the other mindless, self-contained amusements, we are forgetting how to behave, how to care for one another and how to do our jobs.

Is it still safe to move to the far corner of the forest?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Other Side of the Story

Meanwhile, activists have continued their protests about climate change staging rallies at Heathrow Airport.

Hysteria or righteous indignation?

Nasa Revises Global Warming Data

Thanks to our good friend, Jonathan Baker, we bring your attention to this story, in which NASA officials admit making errors in their published calculations about global warming.

Now, whether or not this correction punches a hole in the entire Global Warming Crisis movement (industry?) remains to be seen.

Our Almost Twin - Ireland

In terms of population, aging and immigration, Ireland is a fascinating near brother of Canada. Perhaps its greatest advantage, however, is how compact it is geographically, compared to our immense sea-to-sea sprawl.

Read how Ireland is dealing with its challenges here.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Garbage Strike is All Show Biz - Just Ask the PR Flaks who are Running the City's "Story"

With thanks to friend and commentor, Martino, we advise you to read all about the Wilcox Group, a major PR firm who are "managing" the City's version and the GVRD's version of the current labour disputes.
This is your tax money.

City Hall Strikes Out

Sam, the All-Knowing, All-Seeing, All-Fixing, is going to re-write church history.

In one swell foop, he will instruct all the Houses of God flying all their various flags what their true roles are in life.

To begin with, he has now advised from On High, that religious buildings (whatever those are...structures made of sinew that can feel your pain?) are simply and only places to worship.

God forbid you should feed or clothe or house a poor person. To do that, he Hath Decreed, one church, cathedral, mosque, synagogue or revival tent would need take out a "social-service-use" permit.

Which mean that to continue doing what these institutions have been doing since time immemorial, they would be subject to the whims and insensitivities of some effing brain dead bureaucrat clerk typist.

This, with unblinking irony, he calls The Civil City.

This is one sick puppy.

City Hall Strikes Again

A half page ad in the Vancouver Sun does not come cheap.

Who paid for this ego-massage?

Why, you and I did, of course.

Who wrote it? A hired PR flak, of course.

"Fair. Balanced. Affordable."


Just get back to the bargaining table and conclude your business. Don't spend my money telling me what a good guy you are. I don't buy it and neither does anybody else.

Movie "Dolly" Should be Put in the Vaults

The film version of "Hello Dolly" is an execrable piece of work.

Using all of the same techniques that made her so warm and charming and winning in "Funny Girl," Barbra Streisand is cold and imperious, distant and a kind of ego-monster in "Dolly." The exact same thing happened to her in "Funny Lady," in which her delightful Fanny Brice was replaced by a shrill, cynical harridan.

The amazing thing about "Funny Girl" was that Streisand really was Fanny Brice. It's amazing to think that anyone else was ever considered for the role when it first appeared on Broadway. I've seen film footage of Brice recently and it's hard to tell where she ends and Streisand begins.

In "Dolly," all of the sparkle and lightheadedness that Carol Channing brought to the role, the droll off-handedness that Pearl Bailey offered are missing in action with Streisand.

Maybe it was the combination of Gene Kelly directing and her acting, maybe they hated each other, who is to know?

Michael Crawford, who later in life, was entirely resurrected as The Phantom of the Opera, is flat weird. He looks a good 20 years younger than Marianne McAndrew, who was terribly mis-cast as Irene Malloy. Tommy Tune looks like he's going to spit at any moment. Only Danny Lockin as Barnaby Tucker gets and hold our eye with his vigorous, gifted dancing and broad smile.

The worst moment of all - the most monstrous - the appearance of Louis Armstrong. Instead of simply letting this great, brilliant, one-of-a-kind performer do his thing (What more could we ask for?), Kelly and Streisand have her "scatting" and shadowing his every move and note. He hasn't a beat alone on camera during the number.

There is, however, one actor in this movie. His name is Walter Mathhau. He plays Horace Vandergelder and he's wonderful.

Streisand won a deserved Oscar for "Funny Girl," her first movie. The simple truth is that she was never better.

Next time, "Hello Dolly" comes on TV, go out for a walk. You'll feel better.

Friday, August 17, 2007


The courts have left us all far behind.

The average Canadian is baffled, confused and enraged.

Newspapers across the country could easily feature a daily page called "COURT INSANITY FOR TODAY." It would fill the page.

Today's best comes from Montreal.

A man beats his girlfriend to death. He pleads guilty and gets 7 years. Not bad enough? Oh, it gets better.

He gets out, applies for a teaching job and, of course, forgets to write down his criminal, violent, murderous past. Ooops.

The school board soon learns of asshole's indiscretions and fires him.

Court to the rescue!

Under the Quebec Charter of Rights & Freedoms, you cannot withhold employment if a person's crimes have no immediate reflection on their employment.

In this case, psychiatrists - the evil bain of all court proceedings - agreed that the poor boy had suffered a "blackout" or brief and rare "psychotic break" when he murdered his girlfriend.

Please, please, please hold these nutty bastards liable and responsible when this maniac kills a female student who disagrees with him about the locus of a point always moving equidistant from the centre.

And please, please, please encourage the school board to take this to the highest court.

And, if you are the parent of a child at this school refuse to let your child attend class until this sick man-child is removed.

Enabling Mother Whines About Drunk Daughter to Transit

I was a cab driver in my early 20's.

I don't remember ever turning down a dog, although I had many passengers who qualified.

I do remember, however, refusing many a drunk.

Not all, because for a late shift driver, drunks are just part of the gorgeous panoply. But, a very, very scary drunk or a belligerent drunk or a disgustingly amorous drunk...well, get another ride, sister.

So imagine my amusement that a mother of a drunk 18-year old girl is transferring all her inadequacies and all her sick, enabling behaviour to blaming a bus driver in Victoria for refusing her stupid daughter on board his public transportation the other night.

I am completely in sympathy with the bus driver.

Nobody asked Princess Brain Dead to kill a quart of whiskey with her very best friend. Nobody asked her to not have cab fare to get home. Nobody needs her drunkenness on a public transport.

The driver was protecting the safety and convenience of his other passengers and he should be awarded a citation.

The mother should get into counselling at the first opportunity.