Monday, October 22, 2007

Victor Straddles the Cultures and finds VANOC Pathetic

Hey Mensch:

I was watching the Olympic television special last night, a joint celebratory production between VANOC and Beijing Olympic organizers staged in Vancouver. As it happened , I was watching it with Chinese friends. Here were some of the groaners.

1.Absurd Comparisons:

John Furlong, in his insipid style, said Vancouver and Beijing were kindred spirits because they are both ( ready for this) "emerging cities.' My guests were astonished.

Earth to Furlong. Beijing is not emerging. It is a dazzling city of 14 million people that has been around for 3000 years. Vancouver is neither dazzling nor a city. It is a town of 600,000 with a nice view that is emerging from being Canada's largest lumber town.

2. The Drum Competition.

Five precision Chinese drummers performed a synchronized session on ancient drums complete with acrobatic flourishes. One First Nation drummer banged a single drum with monotonous repetition.

Earth to First Nations. Before 2010, practice. A lot. Your drum show is rather bleak by comparison.

3. Dodging the Multicultural Bullet.

Mercifully, the Vancouver contingent did not not trot out the usual contingent of "multicultural performers" which usually consists of young people in unrecognizable costumes, running aimlessly around stage to the strains of a tuneless composition. We would have looked ridiculous because the Chinese show included several splendid acts by Chinese minorities.

Earth to Canadian Multicultural Braggarts. China has over 50 cultural minorities. They all have distinct identities. They are not hyphenated. They have not moved to China in the last 100 years or so. Don't try to play the multicultural card with the Chinese. They'll laugh.

4. The Entertainment Gap.

The Chinese brought in household name entertainers from the Mainland and Taiwan. Thousands of Chinese guests in the audience, as well as my guests, sang along with these familiar songs. Canada's entertainers were a couple of unknowns including a bimbo sporting a crotch level dress and trucker tattoos who felt obliged to tell the audience that the olympics were "about peace." Yeah dude.

Earth to Booking Folks:
Go for quality and dignity.


Canada Line Devastation Exposed in Hard Numbers

This is the CFIB report on Construction Destruction along the Canada Line.
Irrefutable statistics of loss and hardship that point to immediate action to compensate the businesses.


As you may recall, you participated in a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) on the impact that the Canada Line Construction is having on your business. Ninety-two businesses completed the survey from all along the Line.
We have released the results of the survey on Monday October 22nd. Here are some of the highlights:
- The average business owner has been at the current location for 11 years and has 6 employees.
- 74 per cent of businesses have seen a sales decrease. The average business along the Line is reporting a loss of $111,927.57.
- 37 per cent of businesses have had to downsize staff of an average of 2.8 employees.
- 74 per cent of businesses have depended on loyal customers to stay open, while 33 per cent have had to take our loans.
- Only 28 per cent expect the Canada Line to be beneficial to their business, while 46 aren’t sure and 26 per cent say it won’t benefit their business.
- 73 per cent of businesses are unsatisfied with consultations with businesses prior to the construction, and 84 per cent are dissatisfied with current support for businesses.
- 88 per cent of businesses say that a property tax rebate would be helpful or somewhat helpful for them to survive the construction.
The full report is available at:

We are expecting that the media will be looking for small businesses to tell their story. If you are willing for the media to contact you, please let us know and we will pass along your contact information accordingly.
Thank you very much for having taken the time to help us better understand the impact that the Canada Line is having on your business and help us make recommendations that reflect your perspective and experience.

Heather TilleyPolicy Analyst, BC

The Corruption$ of the Iraq War in the Billion$

NY Times writer, Frank Rich, has written a very comprehensive and damning piece about the depth of American corruption in the Iraq war. I spoken on this site often about this isse, but Mr. Rich nails it.

A regular commentator has suggested the piece. The devil is in the details.

When Will My $20 Book Cost $20?

It's not often I will agree with an agent of the Government.

But when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says that he would like to see retailers reflect the strength of the Canadian dollar in their pricing, of course, I'm cheering him on.

I am still waiting for a paperback book that costs $17.50 US to stop costing $23.95 CAN.

Waiting, but not holding my breath.

Happy Talk, Keep Talking Happy Talk

You'll forgive my dark and morbid sense of humor, but I thought this morning's report that having happy thoughts doesn't cure cancer was long overdue.

Of course, when we are faced with mortality -as we actually are every day, if we want to think about it - the idea that I can will myself or yoga myself into good health is no doubt comforting.

But cancer is cancer and cancer could clearly care less about the mood I'm in or which sack cloth and ashes or summer hat I choose.

On the other hand, there is no question that meditation, hypnosis, group support, flowers, walks, swimming and especially companionship, love and friendship can make our leaving of this world less painful, anxious and miserable. Happy really is better.

So do not dismiss all the happy therapies. They are invaluable; they just won't keep you around any longer.

Norah Jones Live Dont Know Why