Friday, February 29, 2008


will appear in Sunday's paper.

Don't ask.

Lies and Bribes - And this is New, How?

Like many Canadians, my cynicism about political life has become so deep and thorough that the Cadman bribery story has hit me like a major yawn.

How sad is that?

Yes, by all means, investigate, probe, poke, study.

The real question is this:

What will it take for me to believe again in some basic level of honor and integrity in the entire crapheap of politics?

Darned if I know the answer.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Headline: More Americans Behind bars than ever.

Lest we think Yanquis are taking up mixology at an alarming rate, the sub-heading provides instant clarity: Report finds 1 in 100 US adults is in custody.


Paul desmond

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Latimer Gets Day Parole


$110 Million for research Instead of Action is a federal crime

The Federal government is giving something called the Mental Health Commission of Canada (GOD HELP US!!!) $110 million dollars for five research projects across the country. This will be to determine the "best treatments" for people with drug addictions and mental problems.

$110 million dollars.

For research.

Don't you get it, kids?

Nothing will be done. All the money will go to "research." Doctors and professors will win contracts. The homeless and the addicted and the ill will continue to be homeless and addicted and ill.

Imagine me agreeing with the Portland Hotel Society about anything. But this morning they pointed out that you could but a lot of housing for $110 million.

Imagine $110 million going into housing and known existing treatments.

Don't you get it?


NPA endorsing The Nutty One

Clarence Hansen is the Vancouver School Board Chair.

He's backing The Isolated One because he says that the man "has a vision for where he wants to take the city."


Who is this guy? Who elected him? What town is he living in? What year?


I nominate Mr. Hansen for the Most Out of Touch With Reality Oscar.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shirley MacLaine - I'm Still Here - Postcards From The Edge

Baaad Canada, Baaad Mexico

Something peculiar happened in the Hillary/Barak road show last night.

Both candidates were tripping over each others shoes to declare that NAFTA might be toast.

But, not because it was a bad deal or that it hurt its partners.

But, because apparently Canada and Mexico are the villains here and we must be brought into line.

It's comforting to know that even at the so-called highest levels, Americans are self-serving and self-involved.

Wake Us when it's Over Over

The Sleeper Budget.

Why only $5,000 a year in tax-free savings? Why not $10,000 0r $15,000?

More $ for students is a good thing, for Candu is not.

Torch the Torch.



Province Leaves Children at Risk

There is no department of the Provincial government that is more consistently negligent in its duties than the Ministry of Children and Families.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has once again shone a beacon on this Ministries dreadful and often deadly incompetence.

Today she highlights the difficulties for parents of an intellectually limited child to find and secure services for the child.

Read this story, and then, do what I did a few months ago - write Tom Christensen, the Minister, and demand that he resign.

The Secret Life of Hospitals

Nadeem Ismail, the health care specialist for the Fraser Institute, has published a Hospital Report Card.

Whether you like the Fraser Institute or not, I can tell you that Ismail is a good and smart man, who does thorough work.

What a triple shame, therefore, that the information in his report, which is central to good delivery of health care, is missing a few simple details - thanks to your government.

The information is this - Which hospitals are we talking about? None are named because your Provincial Minister of Health wants it that way.

Your Provincial Minister of Health is George Abbott. Send the fellow an email and tell him that you'd like to know which hospitals near you are dangerous places.

William F. Buckley dead at 82

He wrote 55 books.

He was a fixture on the American political and broadcast scene for decades, a distinctive and unique voice.

Read the NY Times bio here.

The Expert on Bullying is The Preem

To the Editor

Re: Wear Pink to fight bullying - SUN Feb 26/08

My shop on Cambie Street is wearing shocking PINK.

Will the Premier be wearing pink to live up to his promise to "stand up forthose who become targets"? Will he practice what he preaches and support allthe families along the Canada Line?

The RAV/Canada Line project was relentlessly initiated, funded and driven byGordon Campbell and the Provincial Government. It is unconscionable that thevery survival of hundreds of livelihoods are in jeopardy due to thenegligence of the project to adequately mitigate the well known impacts ofthe chosen construction method.

They have not accepted responsibility fortheir complete lack of financial support for the small businesses, andturned a blind eye to the abuse we have had to endure for the past two yearsnow.

In other words - they have been bullies.

Our hard earned tax dollars simply burst from the Provincial stash for everywhim of the Premier, including the recently announced $30 million for whathe is calling "outreach and engagement" and "communications and education"to support his spontaneous climate action plan.

Where is the support for all the small businesses?

We have been forced tosacrifice our life's work so that this pet project of the Premier's getscompleted in time for the Olympics - regardless of the consequences.Is the Premier's Pink shirt a sign of hope for justice to finally happen? Oris it just another pretty photo op - and more window dressing?

Compensation was and still is, the right thing to do.

Susan HeyesIn the RED and losing our shirts on Cambie Street604 687-0721

Monday, February 25, 2008

About the Province Column

I appreciate people asking about the inconsistent appearance of the Friday Province column.

Let me shelter behind the traditional "creative differences" defense.

The column is expected to be there this Friday, Leap Day, the 29th and then continue once every two weeks.

About the Oscars

Only two points.

When the first 79 Best Pictures flew by, a disturbing trend was clear. Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather and so on, year after year, great, unforgettable, timeless movie classics. Until a few years ago, when suddenly the Best Pictures were third rate crap. Witness last year's "The Departed."

Thus, "No Country," in which the Coen Brothers cannibalized their own best work, "Fargo," and left us with drek, takes home the prize.

Second point.

Isn't it about time to discontinue the Best Song category?

This is a prize that made great sense when Hollywood was not only making musicals, but making great musicals and when toiling under the palm trees were the likes of Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.

Every one of the nominated songs last night, as has been the case, for so many years now, was a flat dud that will not be on the charts, that no one will sing, that no one will buy. It's an embarrassment.

Families of Gangsters and Bombers

The front-page story in this morning's Sun is such a convoluted and terrifying tale you must read it yourself in its entirety.

Gangsters and terrorists apparently are best of friends, relatives or in fact the same people in this neck of the woods.

And our criminal justice system is doing What to respond to this?

Look Out! It's Tiger Time

Tiger Woods is better than ever. It's a thing to behold.

Pull up a TV set and enjoy.

Mack The Knife

Friday, February 22, 2008


The blogger will be happily indisposed Saturday and Sunday.

Enjoy your weekend.

Kick a tire, eat a tomato, enter a spelling bee..


Like you, I will watch the Oscars out of die-hard habit.

Like you, I will fidget, get more snacks, switch channels during commercials and acceptance speeches by teams of animators for Best Documentary Short Subject Dealing with World Iniquity to Which a Rich Person with a Beverly Hills Postal Code Can Attach herself, check the email in the next room and phone cousins in Latin American countries.

My measue of a Great Movie, or even a realy good one is simple. Staying power. Do I watch it again and again year after year?

Godfather I and II. Lawrence of Arabia, The Bandwagon, Funny Girl.

This year's crop is not so great.

No Country for Old Men is dreadful, pointlessly bloody rehash of the Coen Brothers' best work, Fargo. It is not even close to a good movie.

There Will be Blood is a curiosity that will be watched by seven people over the next decade.

Atonement, which won the BAFTA - British Academy Awards - last week is half a movie - the first half.

Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth is, as always, magnificent, but the movie is one of the owrst balls-ups ever made. No idea who anybody is or what they are doing or why. We turned off the DVD after 40 minutes.

The only guarantees are Javier bardem for best supporting actor and Daniel-Day Lewis for best actor, both deserved in two second rate movies.

A Chorus Line - One Singular Sensation

The race for the mayor's chair is getting busy and full of contestants and that's a good thing.

Peter Ladner, Gregor Robertson, The Nutty One, of course, Al De Genova, Raymond Louie (who will announce in days), Daffy Duck, Brigitte Bardot, Richard Branson and Ted Danson.

Quite a line-up.

The two Big Dailies posted editorials this morning agreeing with what we have been saying here for weeks. The NPA process has been anti-democratic.

What they don't say is what we have all been saying for some time now. The Nutty One must move on.

Who did I leave out?

Roger Clemens?

Your toss.

So Far, So Good

The federal goverrnment has followed through on 2 promises.

Last year they introduced the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights, and yesterday they appointed a taxpayers' ombudsman, Paul Dube, pictured right.

Both initiatives are welcome news.

What remains to be seen is if either policy has direct results in favour of ordinary people.

kd lang sings 'Bird On A Wire'

I prefer concert versions of songs like this great one of k.d. singing a Leonard Cohen classic rather than "videos" with clever shots of who-knows-what.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Yesterday, the Berner Blog went over 50,000 visits.

I realize that for some sites and blogs that's chump change. That some rack up 10 times that amount every day.

But I am thrilled that people have spent even a few moments reading or listening to these ramblings and posts and taking the time to comment over the past year.

Many thanks to you, and continued best wishes.

Blowing LOud, Blowing Long

Congratulations to the RCMP.

Appalled as most of us were with InJustice Catherine Bruce's dismissal of charges against a pot grower because the cops didn't knock loud enough or long enough to give the miscreant time to flush or burn, this time the RCMP blew their car siren before blowing down the front door.

The Vietnamese immigrant/refugees were all hiding in the atttic of their multi-million Surrey dollar home that was curiously full of illegal drugs.

Yah, I know. If only we'd get smart and legalize, blah, blah, blah.

Have another doob and call back in an hour, will ya?

Support from Hell

King George has endorsed The Nutty Mayor.

Thank you, Mr. P. You have just about guaranteed a new mayor for the city.

We trust Sam will enjoy his wonderful new appointment to the UN or the Olympics or Disneyland.

Please also note that in the NPA's brilliant polling job, they forgot to ask the question, "What do you think of the mayor's performance?"

Well, here's my polling question, "What do you think of the NPA's nomination process?

Be a Dick

Let's see what kind of a detective you can be.

What's wrong with this story?

"A dangerous sex offender has been deported to Poland after four years in detention in Canada and more than 40 immigration hearings."

Getting close?

Neil Diamond - Love On The Rocks

Rabbi Diamond at his best...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


With today's Guest Post, Victor kicks off a new tradition.

It's called "Berner's Best" and its all about your recommendations for the best tea, bread, classical music, bikes, doggie paths, men's shirts in town.

We, who shamelessly measure our lives in coffee spoons believe we should share our restaurant finds with other spooners.

The thought occurs that maybe Berner's Blog might be a place where we could post our "best" experience for the benefit of other spooners. We could call it " Berner's Best'.

My introductory submission would be a Japanese restaurant called "Applause" at 8269 Oak, in downtown Marpole.

Why do I submit this?

Let me count the ways. OK, enough poetic references already.

First, they greet you with that Japanese hello thing when you enter. You know, the loud, joyous greeting that Japanese restaurants used to offer before they went corporate.

Then the sashimi portions. Fist sized. Fresh. Marvelous.

But wonder of wonders, a solitary lunch guest can actually take a whole booth and read the paper for 20 minutes before ordering. No hectoring gaze, no tea pot rustling.

Prices are moderate.

Yeah, it's Marpole. But if I can enjoy Vivaldi in my Toyota, I can enjoy sashimi in Marpole.

Besides. parking is free on side streets and no methhead will rob your car.

Of course, the inevitable will happen. Spooners will now mob this place, quality will go down, prices will go up and some snotty maitr'D will ask if you have a reservation.

Go now.

Victor Godin

Carole's Carbon Tax

Sorry, folks.

I don't buy it.

The cost of driving my car and heating my house will rise and therefore, I am going to change lifelong habits and become a worthy citizen?

I don't think so.

At least, I don't think so about you.

I already drive a tiny, fuel-efficient and well-maintained 15-year old car, which I leave in the garage every Saturday.

But you drive 2 Ford Exploders, which you drive 9 days a week and you love it and you're not going to give it up for a 2.3 cents/litre bump.

It's true that my house is not well-insulated and that it has skylights and many windows and is just one bullrush above sleeping in the weeds.

But I'm not going to spend $20,000 to become David Suzuki's best friend.

I think this budget will result in next to NO climate change whatsoever.

I think that, like so many of Capbell's "initiatives," this is smoggy smoke and dusty mirrors.

Gravity is still accepted

In Florida, evolution has been downgraded to a theory. And this is how it will be taught in what passes for schools in the enlightened sovereign state.

But, don't worry. There is a complete separation of church and state in America and religion has little sway in public affairs.

Ella Fitzgerald sings

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Government & The Media are Buying From the Same Costume Shop

How long do politicians think they can continue to pull the wool over the people's eyes?

I guess as long as the media continues to report with a straight face the politicians' transparent bullshit.

Today's case in point.

Wally Opaque says he's launching a taser probe.

But he has barely paused for breath before he admits that he has no jurisdiction over the R.C.M.P. and that the federal government is not interested in his enquiries.

In other words, this is another study, not a policy directive.

In other words, nothing will be done.

In other words, bullshit and spin.

Last Friday, the Province reported with mysterious glee that the Preem had dropped by for morning tea and told the editorial board everything it needed to know about sentencing.

What Campbell did, in fact, was toss out a round of mindless statistics and concluded that we can't really do much because sentencing in the criminal justice system is largely a federal responsibility.

In other words, another study, no change, no action.

Only more bullshit and more spin.

These kinds of announcements (hollow) and these kinds of media reactions (shallow, unquestioning, ass-kissing) go a long way to explain the rise of internet journalism.

Ruben Gonzalez Playing Solo in the Cuban Gymnasium

With the resignation of castro, I thought a little Cuban music was in order...

The Inexorable March of War

India is both the second largest country by population in the world and one of the poorest. It has enormous new wealth and staggering poverty.

So, how to greet the news that India has just signed a deal to buy $2Billion worth of fighter planes from Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed?

Less than two years ago, Bush signed a nuclear deal with India to sell nuclear fuels and technology.

War, as we have seen over and over again, is rarely about anything "honorable." It is most often about money, deals, commerce.

One hopes as one goes along that men will find wisdom and create an approximation of peace on earth.

But, at the age of 65 and looking at the evidence, one sadly concludes that we are mad limited creatures.

War slogs on to the chime of the till.

Castro Resigns

End of a era. What next?

Read this morning's late update from the NY Times.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Behave! People are Watching!

Miro Cernetig, one of the best newspaper writers in town, has written the most peculiar column today.

The thrust of the column is in the headline. "Poisonous politics hurt Vancouver's Image at a critical juncture."

Perhaps he should worry more about substance than image.

So the mayoralty race is getting hot and messy. That's a bad thing?

That's called democracy. It's called politics.

Frankly, it's the most political fun we've had in these parts in ages.

But, Cernetig feels we should be pretty and sweet because "The world is literally turning its attention to us as the 2010 Olympics approach."

No it isn't.

Vancouver continues to be a lovely and wonderful pregnant fishing village by the sea. It barely qualifies as a city, let alone - brace yourself - a "world class city."

It's my home and I love it, but I also know what it is.

And people will be watching down hill slalom competitions and luge runs on TV.

Do you know what I remember about Sydney, Calgary and Salt Lake City from watching their Olympics?


So we should all be nice and behave because NBC will be here hiding in trucks in Squamish for 2 weeks?


What is Our Town coming to?

A self-respecting arsonist-bomber can't even get a cab to take him to Surrey!!!

Is Victoria going to do something about this?

No doubt the Mad Bomber of Boradway - a man who never met a taco he didn't want to explode - will sue the taxi company for refusing him his getaway.

No doubt the Community of Mad Bombers of Surrey (COMBS) will help launch the class action suit.
Carry on in all directions at once...

More Addictions Truths From One Who Knows

Mr. Nelson, Hold the Presses!!!

I have been ministering in the DTES of Vancouver over a 24 year period since 1984, and have been intensely fighting for more detox and recovery facilities for the past 16 years. I am broken hearted over the total disregard for those addicted persons desperately wanting to escape from here. There has always been at least a 50 person detox wait list with now only 54 detox beds for 7,000 addicts. Basically there is no EXIT ROUTE out of here, because of the lack of Government funding for this tried and true method.

I noticed that Dan Rather's upcoming episode on Vancouver's DTES will be airing this week. From the clips I saw on Global Television it appears that you have only interviewed those who are in favour of the so called Harm Reduction INSITE safe injection site. I want you to realize there exists a large, and strong network of people, groups, and organizations down here, and throughout the Province, and Canada who are not in favour of this so called Harm Reduction, and INSITE. This network is working together to stop all the misery that has been caused by the spending of millions on these misguided efforts, while detox, stabilization, and recovery have been starved for funding.

Do you realize that 80% of the addicts down here are smoking crack, and not injecting drugs. This means a huge percent of our funding is being spent on 20% of the addicts who are still injecting not entering abstinence detox in order to quit.

Our Mayor, Sam Sullivan glibly says on your production that the 'old method' doesn't work, but let me tell you he is very out of touch with what is really going on in the DTES, and is just promoting what he thinks is a cutting edge idea that he¹s hoping will become his legacy, while ignoring that such so called Harm Reduction, safe injection sites are failing in Europe, and actually causing more addiction. As well, other statistics show that levels HIV, AIDS and HEPC have increased, not decreased. (Doctor Douglas Coleman, Vancouver Sun Newspaper, Fri., Feb.15th/08)

There are thousands of people who have recovered from addiction using the tried and true detox and recovery, and 12 step method throughout British Columbia, and many are working right down here in the DTES. Pastor, Bruce Curtis of the Union Gospel Mission is a former drug addict, as are many of their counselors, as well many of the recovery and detox program counselors at The Salvation Army are also former drug addicts, and as are a great number of people living recovered lives throughout B.C.

We have been fighting this so called Harm Reduction movement for a number of years, which many feel is just a move to legalize and regulate drugs, as once an illegal substance is used within a Government funded project the first legal barrier is broken. Dr. Colin Mangham PHD, Drug Prevention Network of Canada points out that Harm Reduction is being pushed as the only Pillar of a Four Pillar plan Canadians agreed upon as our drug strategy. Al Arsenault, former Vancouver Police Officer in the DTES for 27 years, and the President of The Oddsquad Productions, which has produced award winning documentaries (New York) about the DTES has been a constant critic of INSITE calling it 'Harm Production', saying, "The rich get treatment and the poor get Harm Reduction"

.Further research would have turned up that Gillian Maxwell spokesperson for INSITE is on the Board 2020 (The legalization of drugs by 2020). If you would have checked the columnists Joey Thompson, David Berner of the Vancouver Province one of our largest newspapers, and any number of newspaper and television reporters, you would have seen how fed up we are with this INSITE Harm Reduction farce.

You will be doing the addicts of the DTES, and our city a great disfavour, if you air a program which is as slanted and imbalanced as your promos appear to be. I strongly advise if this is the case that you to balance your report in these matters, or pull it, and replace it.

I sent a letter to all levels of Government this winter spelling out this deplorable multi million dollar misuse of public funds while addicts, especially women (with only 12 designated beds) who have waited weeks to get into detox, are then, because of the lack of stabilization beds turned out back into the street (where many women were picked up and horribly massacred by mass murderer Willy Pickton), while they wait 6 weeks to 2 months more to get into a recovery program anywhere in British Columbia, all because of the money squandered on INSITE and so called Harm Reduction. By airing a program slanted towards INSITE and Harm Reduction you will be further contributing to our already deplorable lack of real recovery facilities.

Yours truly,Pastor Gloria Kieler

Living Waters Mission782 E. Hastings St. Vancouver B.C.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Important Letter From an Old Friend

Here is an unforgetttable and important letter from my old friend, Gloria Cranmer Webster.

Gloria is the first (one the first?) first nations person to go to University here in BC and graduate. She comes from the ancestral chiefs at Alert Bay. She has been an important community leader in every way, including re-patriating priceless native artifacts from collections in Europe and around the world, and bringing home the Potlach ceremony.

Read this with care:

Hi, David:

Daniel saved the issue of the Province for me that had your article about Indians.

I have a real problem with people who are professional victims, i.e., always blaming the white guys for their screwed-up lives. The whole residential school payment to ex-students is a disaster. Drunks and addicts are being give thousands of dollars for the pain and suffering experienced in residential school, so what are they doing with their money? Yesterday, we buried a guy who'd got his residential school money, and drank himself to death. A young woman here got $80,00, bought her daughter a second-hand car, herself a new refrigerator and the rest went up her nose. There are other stories like these. In the meantime, we have a band council that has spent several millions of dollars, all borrowed from the Feds,on the treaty process and tell us that once the treaty is signed, we will have self-government. Why should we wait for white people to give us that? I think about the drug problem on this reserve - the RCMP say that they can do nothing if they can't catch the dealers in the act. Everyone knows who the dealers are. Why can't our leadership practice self-government now and get rid of the dealers in a traditional way? It's no wonder that I say, "If self-government comes in my lifetime, I'm running away to Patagonia(" I don't even know where that is, except it sounds like a long way from Alert Bay. I like what a cousin has to say about the treaty process, "It's like a guy stealing your car and offering to give you back the ashtray and the hubcaps."

As for the Olympics, I hope it rains non-stop for the entire duration It's obscene the kind of money being spent to improve the highway to Whistler, while people sleep in the streets, there are not enough teachers in our schools hospitals are short-staffed, etc. The sad thing is that some tribes have been sucked in and support the Olympics, another way of dividing native people. It's like the problem of fish farms in our area - some of us are totally opposed, while others, because of what's happened to the fishing industry, find jobs on fish farms, otherwise, they'd be on welfare.It was good to read your article and know that you are alive and well, as is this olady(that's how we say it around here).



Saturday, February 16, 2008

I Bought a New Frying Pan

I bought a New Frying Pan.

This may seem like a small thing to you.

But to me, it is HUGE.

About 8 years ago, after returning from a trip to Italy, I bought an extmemly expensive Cuisinart pan for one specific purpose - to make fish for guests.

I had figured out a particular way that I wanted to prepare white fish - basa, cod - and that I wanted a special and really good pan for that task.

So I don't use that pan for any other pirpose and I never use it just to prepare a simple dinner for myself.

So...I had this drawer...

You know because you have one just like it. Admit it. A kitchen drawer in which lie about 7 useless, decaying, crumbling, burnt pans of various sizes, vintage and stages of rot.

The one pan amongst those that I did use regularly fell apart in my hands the other day.

Remember that Jerry Seinfeld once said that men use underwear until it just evaporates and floats away into the air like spores.

This is akin to the disintigrating kitchen pan phenomenon.

So...forced at last to act...I THREW OUT ALL THE F---ING OLD PANS!!!

I am so proud of myself. I feel so cleansed and relieved, I even scrubbed and cleaned the drawer.

I prepared it lovingly for my brand new pan. There it now sits. Gleaming, smiling, shining waiting for my first home dish.

You too can find this peace and satisfaction. Yoga is good, Tai Chi is excellent. Bridge, Mah Jong, photography, all good.

But empty that drawer, kids. I tell you...

The Slow, Steady March of Canadian Progress Zzzzzzzzzzz...

There is a theme in today's posting.

The theme is TIME.

Sentencing, foreign doctors, extradition of killers - in this sleepy hollow we call Canada everything takes time. Lots of time.

Sentencing: BC Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan is to be thanked and congratulated for sentencing Dennis White to 16 years in prison for shooting and killing Lee Matasi. "The unlawful taking of a life is always an attack on the community and its values."

The judge said his major considerations in this entencing were retribution, denunciation and deterrence.

How long has it been since we heard a judge extol these notions?

The Premier has pulled one of his classic spin jobs in saying that the province will look at why we appear to be the most lenient jurisdiction in the nation when it comes to sentencing. But in the next breath he adds that this is really a federal matter. in other words, he will do nothing.

The good news, however, is that this is the second major sentence handed down in one week that actually reflects the community's real values.

We can only hope that this is not a statistical fluke, but a trend away from the light-headed bull that has prevailed in out courts for far too long.

Foreign doctors: And nurses and teachers. For how many years now have I been broadcasting and writing about this disgrace? Perfectly capable, well-trained profesionals are coming here from all over the world and being denied entry into their fields of expertise. They are sorting fruit and vegetables at the local market, cleaning buildings and driving cab.

The reasons have been clear and obvious and identifiable from the beginning.

Entirely to blame are the so-called "professional" orgnaizations - the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Nurse, teachers, engineers, belly dancers...

They are all guilty of the worst obstructionism.

Now, today, the Sun editorial covers this as if it is news. They say that Premier Campbell has told these self-protecting groups to knock it off and qualify and soon as possible all those apple-picking doctors who are clearly qualified.

So far so good.

Will I live to see this change? Stay tuned. And don't hold your breath.

And by the way, where are the doctors, foreign-or-Canada-trained who are specializing in geriatrics? We have an aging population and very few new doctors are interested in the time-consuming focus on the elderly.

Extradictions: It only took about five years of legal haggling and much tax money, but we finally put a Nazi war criminal on a plane for Italy where he can face the people who have already convicted him of crimes of atrocity.

We are so nice to monsters.

Maybe next to that Nuclear Free Zone sign that we put up on Highway One some years ago, we could add one that reads, "Nice to Monsters."

Quote of the Day

"I'm finding a lot of resonance in Quadra with Liberal values."

- Joyce Murrray, twice failed candidate on the March 17th buy election...uh, byelection

What exact kind of Gobbledygook is this?

Passion- Well Done (Youtube Exclusive)

Here's a lovely original piece by a talented young unknown.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Steve on the Anglicans

Getting tired of this, David? Me too.

How I wish (and all Anglicans wish) we could just live and let live. Move on, let it go.

Up until Michael Ingham started this whole thing, that's exactly what Anglicans were doing. No Anglican was, say, walking into a United church and shutting it down because they were performing gay marriages. No gays were turned away at the door of any church. No one was protesting. There weren't even any pamphlets. Peaceful coexistence was the watchword.

But then Ingham decides, against church history and authority, that when it comes to a conflict between his opinions and church authority and even the Bible, he's right and everyone else is wrong. The whole church district must start performing a ritual against their will. Arrogant? You bet.

And he brought down the fight. He started bullyboy tactics. And most Anglican churches bowed under, but a few said, no, we should have the right to believe what the church has always believed, and not be forced by some middle-management clergy to believe something else.

And Ingham threatened, and bullied, and waged war in the media.Whatever. He can say what he likes. But then all the peace-loving, community-supporting, faithful Anglicans catch the blame, and are painted as being intolerant. When, by any standard, the intolerant, bullying one is Ingham.

A family Foto for The Ages

We are not Alone

To the Editor

Re: Paying volunteers is stupid and demeaning - SUN - Daphne Bramham

Just when we think this regime can't get any does.There seems to be money spilling out of the government pockets at the whimof the Premier, and yet there is still no financial relief for all of us -the demolished small businesses all along the RAV/Canada Line route - whohave been forced to 'volunteer' our livelihoods over the past 2 years, andwho face financial ruin as a result.The money to do the right thing is available, and instead of doing the rightthing, The Liberals have chosen to willfully ignore the plight of hundredsof small business people.This shameful neglect is an Olympic abuse of power, and demonstrates howunder valued small independant businesses and average citizens are to theLiberal master plan.

Susan Heyes3190 Cambie StreetVancouver604 687-0721

Treatment Works

This may be the best piece ever written about addictions the Vancouver Sun has ever published.

It is clear, knowledgable, hopeful and bang on.

The author is Douglas Coleman a local doctor who treats addicts.


- In spite of free needles, Hep C and HIV rates have skyrocketed.

- Addictions respond to treatments, including residential treatment, prolonged periods resident in support revoery facilities and 12-step programs.

- Absitinence is critical.

- Coercive treatment can be effective.

Of course, all of this flies in the face of the woefully misinformed, like Larry Campbell and Sam Sullivan.

He is a doctor and he works this territory. Read it and read it again.

Ignorance Rules

An indicator of how little understanding of the issue is "out there," is this headline on page A4 of this morning's Sun:

"Some people can't even make or keep appointments."

This about mentally ill and addicted people.

Wow! Amazing!

If you didn't know that about addcits and people with mental illness, you don't even know the first thing about these issues.

Everybody's got an opinion.

Few, including politicians and so-called opinion makers, have the foggiest about the basics.

No wonder things are getting worse instead of better.

More Thoughts About The Anglica Rift

Money, property, gays.

Apparently a potent mix.

Sevveral people ahve written to say what it is often said.

"I have gay friends. I sit next to them. But..."

The Lord said, the bible says...

This is tragic.

How about everybody takes a pill.

You don't have to sanction gay marriages in your parish if you don't want to. You don't have to attend the wedding.

The principle remains. Do unto others. Live and let live. Forget it. Move on. Let go.

"Guns don't kill people" Tell me another one...

People are asking the useless question, "WHY?" after sic people are shot and killed in the latest "St. Valentine's Day Massacre."

THis one took place at Northern Illinois U.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Alex Tsakumis on the NPA and Ladner in Friday's 24 Hours


By A. G. Tsakumis 'Rebel With A Clause'

With His Worst-ship's minions spinning the Mayor's mind-numbing performance at a blinding clip, trying desperately to resurrect Sir Spamalot's fortunes, out from the comforts of the NPA silo sprang one Coun. Peter Ladner, this week.

It turns out that it only recently occurred to Mr. Ladner – bright light he – that the railroading of an undemocratic nomination process by those seated at the Civic NPA's boardroom table, was unacceptable. But is this really the case?

In the last few months, I've written several times about these 'greenlight' rules that the NPA have concocted and Coun. Ladner knew full well sometime ago of the manipulation of the board by the Mayor's henchmen. But the rules chosen by the NPA Board, on further observation, are only a rubber-stamp for those who are seated as the Mayor's partisans.

Otherwise, if the current polling returns what is expected to be dismal results for Citizen Spam, he will find himself parked, with good reason, before a big red stop sign, and hardly a greenlight.

For how do you approve a candidate whose numbers are in the urinal?

On Wednesday night, the NPA meeting was an uncomfortable mess. All of NPA caucus was invited but only Coun. Ladner, commissioners Houghton, Robertson and Trustee Gregory attended. Amusing, too, that the Mayor, who you would think would be pulling for a fight, sent, instead, Stephen Rogers and Chris Bennett, his co-chairs to plead his case.

In the end, all caucus members in attendance upheld their beliefs that open contests would be best. Only Rogers and Bennett whined about switching (read: optimally righting) the process.

But in the end, no decision was made.

And wasting no time at all, Georgie Higgins, the Mayor's chief political operative was trying to publish a list of caucus members who supported the Mayor and the offside process. That must be in addition to the most recent list of reported endorsers, most of whom would be big names if this were 1985.

But how 'bout just reporting that at this point in 2005, the NPA had more than 2,500 members? Today's tally? About 800.

The silliness of the details and the players notwithstanding, the bigger picture here is unmistakable. The NPA have little leadership, if at all.

If Sam Sullivan was, as he says, "ready to take on all comers", he wouldn't cower from any fight. But like the washed-up prizefighter, whose manager must protect him, he talks tough – while hiding from legitimate opponents.

And Coun. Ladner's appropriate objections with his party are ultimately assailable by his incredibly poor execution. He's been foolishly coy with the media this week, about his clear mayoral ambitions, breeding accusations of cowardice instead of courage.

Mind, this is the same Peter Ladner who could have landed the NPA Mayoral nomination in 2005, were it not for his embracing of a bloody bike lane for the Burrard Bridge (think of the environmental impact of fumes from delayed traffic, oh, but Peter doesn't want the Port Mann twinned). The flood of emails, at the time, to the NPA from angry westsiders wanting to burn Park 'n' Ride Pete in effigy, was remarkable.

It has yet to arrive to Coun. Personal Landmine that people don't give a rat's derriere about community gardens and bike lanes, before the safety of their families and how the NPA increased their tax burden.

But it will, one day.



V.I.P. - Very Important Post

Earlier today I posted a story about the University of Kentucky removing Holocaust studies lest they offend Muslim students.

I have now learned - thanks to a good friend and regular commentor - that this is yet another urban myth.

Please go here at once and read the true story.

Steve Offers Another Perspective on Anglicans and Gays

Gotta comment on this one. And I know I'll be flamed. But there's a lot of misunderstanding, and people are misinformed. I attended the church at the center of this controversy, and followed carefully the battles that were fought.

I have gay friends, I like them, I work with them, I sit next to them, I have nothing against them, and the vast majority of people in these churches feel the same. Including the clergy. In fact, intolerance is heartily discouraged.

The Anglicans in question are not against sitting in the pew next to a gay couple (and often do). They are against being forced to perform gay marriages. Which is what was really happening here.

But that's not all there is to this issue. There are also other issues of faith where the local archbishop insisted that he was right and the Bible was wrong, and was actually locking congregations out of their churches until they caved in to his demands.

The local archbishop also was going against historic Anglican doctrine, as well as the majority of Anglicans in the world to push through his own personal brand of new theology.

This issue was about the core of our faith - the truth of the Bible, and went a long way beyond gay marriages, and was never about homophobia or a dislike for gay people.

It WAS (at least partly) about the definition and sanctity of marriage, however.

But to say that Anglicans cannot tolerate gay couples is completely misrepresenting the facts. It was never about that.

It was about a single archbishop trying to bully an entire diocese into changing their belief in the Bible. Unfortunately, he knew how to play the media, and the churches in question were naive in that respect.


The Following was written for Friday's Province but will not run because it conflicts with editorials and other pieces on the same subject.

I wrote it, so I thought someone aught to read it.

Tuesday was a big day for criminal justice in this neck of the woods.

Surrey Provincial Court Judge Ken Ball sentenced 18 year-old Enrique Quintana to 10 years in an adult prison for his part in the vicious and unprovoked hatchet attack that left Michael Levy incapacitated for life. Levy, 19, is now a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair. He requires daily care, lives on painkillers and depressants and his lungs function at 50% normal capacity. Judge Ball called the attack an act of “such brutal savagery as to be difficult to comprehend."

On the same day, Lt.- Gov. Stephen Point delivered Premier Gordon Campbell’s throne speech. Among the shopping list that included trans-fats, smoking restrictions, pharmacy refills and nurses’ roles was this gem.

“British Columbians want to understand why sentences in their province tend to be shorter than in other provinces for crimes such as homicide, theft, property crimes, fraud, impaired driving and drug possession. A comprehensive review of sentencing practices in B.C. courts will address these questions.”

No sooner were the words uttered than the knives came out.

NDP MLA Mike Farnsworth, the opposition’s public safety critic, said immediately that the government should act, not launch another study. And while thousands of us would agree with Farnsworth, he knows as well as any that “study” is usually the safe euphemism for taking no action. Doing things, after all, can draw attention.

Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital, also on Tuesday, the Hon. Gerry St. Germain rose in the Senate to speak in support of Prime Minister Harper’s Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act, which consists of five bills dealing with violent crimes, dangerous offenders, and the age of sexual consent.

Here is some of what St. Germain, a former police officer, said.

“Canadians want criminal justice reform and they want it now. Canadians are not just appalled at the extent to which our criminal justice system has eroded – they are scared, angry and fed up. Violent criminals walk the streets free. Drug dealers ply their trade without restriction. Gangsters shoot at each other in our streets. Hard core sex offenders are released from prison while still a serious threat.

Victims of crime suffer while the legal elitists who have claimed the judicial system as their own exclusive domain play an endless game of plea-bargaining, legal hair-splitting, and meaningless justification of atrociously illogical decisions.

They hide behind the unjust principles inherent in the Charter of Rights—a charter of terrible wrongs in the minds of most Canadians.”

Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Bruce declared a police search of a grow-op unconstitutional. Apparently the cops didn’t knock loud enough or long enough for the alleged crook to flush or burn the evidence.

I am a simple person. I understand the need to protect our privacies. But, like you, I also have a straightforward idea of what constitutes criminal justice.

When will the courts be so endowed with common sense?

Politiical Correctness as Pure Evil

Eisenhower in Dachau

It is a matter of history that when SupremeCommander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found thevictims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to betaken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be usheredthrough the camps and even made to bury the dead.He did this because he said in words to thiseffect: "Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses -because somewhere down the track of history some bastard will get up andsay that this never happened"

.. All that is necessary for the triumph ofevil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund BurkeIn Memorial

This week, the University of Kentucky removed TheHolocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred.

This is a frightening portent of the fear that isgripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it. It is nowmore than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, inmemory of the 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christiansand 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned,starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking theother way!Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others,claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure theworld never forgets.

Build it and They Will...Arrive

Rich Coleman's mega-plan for the Riverview property is not bad at first blush.

I have nothing against development or large development. Such initiatives can be exciting and welcome, as this one may in time prove to be.

But there are already some questionable aspects to today's announcement.

- Coquitlam Mayor Maxine Wilson knew nothing about this huge plan. Now, I appreciate that the boys in Victoria see little local mayors as non-players, but would it have hurt to involve local people?

- The announcement includes this bit of mysterioso: "Newer specialiazed mental health centres in health authorities acorss B.C." Really? Where is this?

- The former Winnilington youth detention centre is now being refitted to be a place for mentally ill and the addicted? Really? More news. Who? What? How? When? This is all so much bs.

- The Riverview plan is modelled after "Springfield" in England, where two middle-class home owners have been murdered by mental patient neighbours. This information is most helpful to the NIMBYs. What, if any possible, precations are included in Coleman's plans?

- Whose cousin gets the contract? Buildings, cement, wiring, plumbing...a very small large fortune is represented here. It will be hard to believe that open tenders will be the rule on all aspects of this scheme.

The Local Anglicans are Wrong

It is a shame that local Anglicans have voted overwhelmingly in favor of splitting with their own local authority over saame-sex blessings.

The issue of same-sex relationships/marriages/unions is so enormously minuscule it always amazes me that anyone can get their knickers in a knot over it.

Let me ask you this:

If you can't tolerate Bob and Ted sitting the pew next to you, what can you handle?

Somehow you put up with all the rude offensive people who dash through your lives on a daily basis. (Yesterday, during my BIg Walk, a pleasant-looking woman driving her little boy home from school, absolutely made the clear decision to NOT stop from a considerable distance and drive practically over me. I was close enough to pound on her passing car. I didn't.)

So if you can tolerate all the idiots in your community and you know how shaky your own marriage/relationship/union is, what's the problem with putting up with Jane and Carole?

You don't have to dance with them, break bread or drop by for tea. All you have to do is LIVE AND LET LIVE. Or, DO UNTO OTHERS.

Not new ideas.

Volunteer, My Ass

The Victoria idea to pay snivel servants to leave their desks and "volunteer" for the Olympic stag is offensive on many levels.

I should pay taxes for workers who under-achieve at the best of times so that they can hang out at Whistler and watch the luge?

Real volunteers who actually you know, like, VOLUNTEER, as in give of their time and energies, should get in line behind paid "volunteers?"

And finally, the community needs volunteers by the thousands on a daily basis for hospitals, children, education, the elderly, immigrants, physically and mentally impaired and people stuck at home for one reason or another. Every volunteer who puts time and energy into the Big Bash would dp better service by volunteering today for something substantive and real and valuable.

Quote of the Day

"It’s hard to believe you, sir. I hate to say that because you’re one of my heroes, but it’s hard to believe you."REP. ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, to Roger Clemens after his testimony before a Congressional panel.

Graceland-Paul Simon Concert in Zimbabwe

One of the great pop geniuses...Simon has said he always starts with rhythm...was he ever better than in this lovely tune?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hola, Ninos

Non blogismentis today. Sorry.

In the words of the Governator...I'll be back.


Have a good evening.


Racing with the clock, racing with the clock, racing....

Uno, The Beagle, Best in Show

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Think We Got Troubles?

For those of us burdened with thoughts of Convention Centre overruns, Port Mann Bridge doubling, Richmond Skating Oval disasters and the like, consider the plight of the modern Venetian.

Below are 2 items from a Venice newsletter I receive each week concerning the immense fiasco known as the Calatrave Bridge.

Read it. All of it. It will make you laugh and cry. Your heart will sing. You'll take yourself out for dinner.

Greetings from Venice! The titbit of the week concerns the initial results of the inspection of the fourth bridge across the Grand Canal. The name that should be given to the bridge at its dedication, an event that has been postponed so many times without setting a specific opening date, is The Incapables’ Bridge. Frankly, this appellation, which is not in accord with the tradition of naming bridges after their designers, is not as evocative as the names of other bridges, but that is the cruel reality – the project has proved to be endless and has cost citizens a fortune. To use a very Italian word that, unfortunately, is lacking in grace, the project is a true “casino” in which technical, civil, penal and, last but not least, moral responsibilities are involved. The verification of the shortcomings is a sort of triumph for the angry citizens, though they are aware that they are the only ones who, through their taxes, will pay the price for all the problems. This ugly and useless bridge, which began as a sketch on a restaurant napkin and rapidly turned into a chronicle of ineptitude, is a great shame that, evidently, also involves the people who have neither stopped it nor responded to all the well-founded criticism. Have a great week, Rosalba

NEWS - The accusations brought by the supervisory authority against the Calatrava Bridge project, its architect, the project administrators, and the company in charge of construction are reasonably serious and deal with bookkeeping and with penal and disciplinary responsibilities related to public contracts. The Municipality was served by the national regulator with a document dated 21 December which was, subsequently, sent to the General Authority of the Court of Audit before being made public.The list of problems is quite long: the building firm was not prepared, the project was not adequately defined, and the Municipality erred in approving a contract that did not provide for intervention to limit damages. Mistakes have also been cited in the architectural master plan approved by Calatrava’s office and in the Municipality’s management of the contract. Moreover, there are some deficiencies associated with Cignoni, the company in charge of construction, and the consequent cost overruns. The Municipality should have proceeded with “the compulsory rescission of the contract” back in 2004 and “work should have been completed on 16 February 2004.” Costs rose from “6.72 million to 10.7 million euros, an increase of 3.981 million that is equal to almost 59%, with the exception of the settlement reached during the course of the project.” At present, Cignoni is asking for seven million euros while the Municipality only recognises one million.Since the metal work totals 43 percent of the budget, general construction 40 percent, and specialised foundation work 17 percent, the report comments in particular on the allocation of funds to the Og3 category (streets) instead of Os18 (steel structures), making it possible for the company which offered the lowest price – Cignoni – to win the contract without being qualified to fabricate the steel components for the bridge. Such a serious mistake by the Municipality meant that a qualified firm could not be selected. Given the situation, Cignoni then assigned the foundry work to a company, Lorenzon, that could handle it competently, but Cignoni should have subcontracted the work as an employment arrangement and not identified it as purchased material, according to the contract, the inspectors say.Other problems were under-estimated and there were additional general errors, including some in Calatrava’s master plan for which he charged 475,000 euros (plus 91,800 for architectural consultancy and 67,000 for technical consultancy). All of this is in spite of what Mayor Cacciari had declared -- that the bridge was a “present” to the city. The project needed to be modified six times during construction, with an attendant increase in cost and time. Neither the expense of testing (243,000 euro) nor of the 24-hour monitoring (1 million euro per year for at least five years) had been factored into the budget. In the end, it was a project handled by a team of beginners, to say the least.

Freedom to Hate Week

Greg Felton believes that Jews are responsible for 911.

Greg Felton was fired about 9 years ago from his job as writer for The Vancouver Courier, a Canwest newspaper, owned by the Asper family, Winnipeg Jews.

Felton is obsessed with his hatred for Jews.

I know this because I worked with him for 8 months as we entered the 21st century.

He is incapable of maintaining a human conversation for longer than 4 minutes without beginning his rant against Jews.

Now, the Vancouver Public Library is giving him a stage to discuss his new book. This is the library's contribution to Freedom to Read Week.

The Library should have its head examined.

There are hate crimes and hate laws in this country. Perhaps you don't think we should have them. But for the moment, we do.

Is freedom of speech limitless?
Read Terry Glavin's editorial in this morning's Sun here.