Monday, March 31, 2008

The sun is out

Words fail me.

Not beause I'm choked or stoked.

Because I found nothing in the news of particular interest.

It happens.

Have a day. Tell a bad joke. Eat a peach. Wear your pantlegs rolled.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Alex T. Brings New Urgency to the High Holidays


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

I spent part of the Easter weekend reviewing recent news stories that peaked my interest. I typically go through eight papers per day, dutifully clipping items of intrigue—usually ones I find compelling or enjoyable. Then again, I always find something that contributes to my decades-long battle with acid-reflux.

My summation is that we are becoming progressively detached from reality and common sense. If an alien landed on our not-as-green orb tomorrow, a perusal of the papers would provide him or her (it?) with a veritable cornucopia of rank insanity.

To the south, in the Excited States of Amnesia, you’d think that if you were a Governor/Lt. Governor/Mayor, the prerequisite to such lofty swivels is to have engaged in enough cocaine usage and extra-marital rompfesting to make a Vegas hooker blush. The revelations of stupefying hypocrisy by the Lt. Governor of New York, his predecessor, the Mayor of Detroit and the previous Governor of New Jersey (and his wife and limo driver!) were astounding, if not treacherously hysterical. Drugs, threesomes gone wrong (how the hell does that happen?), and assistants as hookers: All that’s missing is the porno twang soundtrack as background to this chaos on the couch. Through it all, not a word about healthcare, pension plans, taxes or schools.

God bless America, indeed.

Even Pierre Elliot Obama and Hickory ‘Pinocchio’ Clinton can’t get it together. He’s explaining how his preacher and life-long friend thinks that AIDS was created by the “white” U.S. government to “hold down the n---gers”, and she repeatedly recalls being shot at in Bosnia, a decade or so ago, by sniper-fire no less, that after a thorough review of video footage appears to be a figment of her forever enhanced imagination (yes, I’m being kind).

Makes you wonder how the Bosnian insurgents had such bad aim, even in her own dreams.

Hillary as President? Bill back in the ‘hood? They’d have to refit the revolving door to the Lincoln bedroom and reinstall condom machines in the White House bathrooms.

Meanwhile, in Tibet, the barbaric Chinese government continues to savagely pummel the gallant freedom fighters. A boycott of the Beijing Games? Absolutely. It’s high time the Chinese govt were made to pay for their disgraceful oppression of Tibetans. But wait, VANOC’s John Not-For-Long believes a boycott would serve “ purpose other than to penalize athletes who serve as the best role models…” Ever heard of Marion Jones or Ben Johnson, Johnny? Help wipe doping from sports and then you can make that claim. Fools.

Speaking of fools, back here at home, what the devil has happened to the teaching profession? The same BCTF that agreed to standardized testing, now wants it banished because the justified criticisms of their profession, often graduating functional illiterates, is intolerable. Could it be that the most militant, backward union in this Province is more concerned about what standardized tests reveal about teachers? Expediency instead of education. Lovely.

And, never to be off our radar, the Vancouver Mayoral race plods along: Al DivaNova just can’t shake the Vaudeville act, Raymond thinks the (already divided) Asian vote will be enough; Gregor’s back in the Legislature; Sir Shamalot, with no promise left behind, is now the friend of churches too, since his campaign caravan continues to lose traction en route to his Waterloo. And…Peter the Great (who may win the nomination in spite of himself), always fishing in traditional NPA territory, reportedly went to a local gay leather-bar looking to sign members..

I can just see it now…Capt. Vancouver’s statue in crotchless, leather pants and a feather boa.

I think during Passover, I’ll just rent a bunch of movies.

Today's Province Column

Moms who leave babies alone a sign of sad times

David Berner
The Province
Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Me Generation rules.

I parked the car in a Vancouver Safeway lot a few days ago.

Walking toward the store, I saw a baby sitting in her car seat in the back of a car -- alone.
The front, passenger-side window was lowered.
Anyone could open the door.

No parent in sight.

The "mother" came out of the store. She was 35ish, attractive, beautifully dressed in casual sports clothes . . . Mrs. Nike Reebok Lululemon.

"Excuse me, ma'am, do you think that leaving your child unattended in a car is really a good idea?"

She smiled benignly at me. Clearly I am a lunatic.

"I was about to call the police," I said.

She smiled again, even more warmly.

"Well, you do what you think you have to do."

She was so kind to me in my distress. She got into her Beemer and put it in reverse.

"Perhaps you could think about this today," I said.

She smiled and drove off.

This woman was happy, truly happy. Nothing I could have said or done would have upset her perfectly coiffed equilibrium.

I went across the street into a fruit-and-vegetable store, bought some broccoli and tomatoes, paid for them and turned to leave, forgetting the vegetables.

I thought of that British couple who had their four-year-old kidnapped last May. The McCanns were vacationing in Portugal and they left Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings alone in a rented condo while they went out for dinner.

Later, I was in a shop on West 4th Avenue. I paid for my purchase and asked the two young saleswomen their assessment of Mrs. Nike Reebok Lululemon.

They freaked. They would never leave their child alone in a car for one second. No running in just for a minute.

Someone asked why I didn't call 911.

Well, last year, much the same thing happened on West 10th Avenue. An infant was alone in a van, with the sliding door open and no sign anywhere of a parent. And I did immediately call the police.

Before the police arrived, the "mother" emerged from a tanning spa with a fashion mag in her hands.

I asked her if this was her car and child. She said they were. I told her the police were on their way. She thought I was a public nuisance. She laughed at me.

When the police arrived, one officer stood by me. The other stood with the mother and the two of them, the mother and the police officer, laughed a lot.

I asked them what was so impossibly funny.

Apparently, there is something inherently hilarious about irresponsible, senseless parents who are born to shop and tan and dine out . . . and the crazy old folk who accuse them of reckless child abandonment.

Watch for the new ABC reality show, based on this growing trend, called Lose Your Kid, Find a Grumpy Old Man.

The early returns from the focus groups say it's a smash hit.

© The Vancouver Province 2008

Oh, Say Can You See?

Last night I saw something amazing...and horrifying on television.

I mean besides Yoko Ono. (See below, next post.)

Apparently, a world court wanted to overturn the right of the state of Texas to execute people found guilty of capital crimes.

That motion, which, if I understood this properly, was actually supported by President Bush (???), was defeated.

Thus, Texas maintains its right to execute prisoners on death row. They have more than anyone.

That wasn't the amazing or horrifying part. That was just the news.

The creepiness was Lou Dobbs and a reporter both crowing that "This is a great day for Texas and for the United States of America," because it means that nobody can tell the sovereign state of Texas what it can or cannot do.

Now, I understand that sentiment.

I can even appreciate that sentiment.

I don't like some Silver Spooned Kennedy heir coming here and telling us how to manage our forests...even if the sonovabitch may have a point. Nobody likes being told how to run their own ship. Fair enough. Got it.

But, "this is a great day for the sovereign state of Texas and for the United States of America" because they have the right to kill people who kill people??????

Now that's progressive and thoughtful.

Break out the bubbly. Civilized killing is still a go.

Yoko Major Bono

On the other hand...Yoko Ono.

Caught just a moment - because that was all I could bear - of this shrieking harridan, this howling shrew, screeching into a microphone, while The Who and her entranced tragic husband, John Lennon, played dutifully on.

Maybe she was a wonderful woman and wife, perhaps she's the greatest mom in the world. I have no idea.

But what was she ever doing presenting herself to the world as an artist?

Help! I need somebody! Not just anybody...

100 Years of Bette Davis and David Lean

Yes, it is now a Betty Davis centennial.

Of course, it is also a David Lean centennial. If, like me, your all-time favorite movie, remains "Lawrence of Arabia," then you will rush to your local magazine shop and buy last week's New Yorker, or just click here for the great Anthony Lane piece.

Meanwhile, back at Bette Davis, hands down the greatest film actress and star of all time (10 Oscar nominations)...try this excellent NY Times piece by Terrence Rafferty in this morning's on-line edition. Then go to Videomatica and rent one of the greatest movies of all time, "All About Eve," and watch star power at its hottest.

Answer to The Threatened

An anonymous commenter has reacted to my small posting about the price of rice doubling with a mind-numbing racially charged statement:

"Rice is expensive? That may be so, but we need to keep our mad system of immigration rollin, rollin, rollin to ensure food scarcity and the destruction of our culture!"

I almost rejected this comment because of its inherent ugliness.

Is out immigration process a thing of beauty to behold?

No, far from it. In so many ways it is a mess.

But this is a country of immigrants and the world has never been more in flux. People are shifting homes from country to country in the millions daily. Thank the airplane, among other things for that. Why do people move? For the same reason that dogs lick themselves - because they can.

Does any of this mean "the destruction of our culture?"

What exactly is "our culture?"

Here in the Western provinces, we are an immature, adolescent society that cannot have a drink without misbehaving, that cannot and will not obey traffic rules or courtesies and that screams bloody murder when the government proposes spending a pathetic $50Million on a better civic art gallery.

This is a culture that must be guarded at all costs?

Oh, wait a mean white culture, anglo culture, non-yellow culture, is that it?

To me, one of the best things about Vancouver, one of the most hopeful things (after the mountains and the sea and the trees, because not much that man has wrought is very impressive) is the now regular sight of mixed-race couples.

Every day we see couples - straight and gay - who are Chinese/Irish, Jewish/Sikh, black/Ukrainian and so on. Some years ago, I attended three weddings in one summer in which all three grooms were Chinese and all three brides were Italian. Bellisima!

And their babies are beautiful.

My mother (May she rest in peace.) said many years ago, "David, the future of the human race is slightly chocolate. "

It is difficult for all concerned - those who have been in one place for generations and those recently arrived - to find accommodation. But find it we must.

My family were immigrants. I am a first generation Canadian.

If you think that our immigration system is destroying our culture, you should try Germany or the Netherlands these days. You'd just love it. Or London, where there are now as many mosques as churches.

Good luck, brother.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Earth Day...Puleeeese!

I will have almost every light on in the house, not to mention both microwaves, the oven, the stove, the washer and dryer, the 3 complete sound systems, the TV and DVD, the computer, the blender, the juicer and if I had any sex toys they'd be revved as well...all in my own private counter-celebration called Dave's World Electricity Day, to mark the modern miracle that dragged us away screaming from FUCKING CANDLES!!!

I Have Nothing to Hide

O.K. We'll see about that.

Or will we?

BC's Top Cop has resigned his position while the very police for whom he was responsible continue their investigation into his dealings while mayor of Chilliwack.

John Les has done what he had no other choice to do.


This investigation has been underway since last summer.

Wally Opaque didn't know?

Nobody knew?

Can you say, "Tip of the Iceberg, boys and girls?"

Remember that Les(s) is always more.

Saving $600,000 by Killing an Invaluable Cultural Reality is Detestable

Silencing orchestra is cultural vandalism

Saturday, March 29, 2008
Re: CBC Radio Orchestra axed, Westcoast News, March 28

In attempting to disband one of the finest orchestras on this continent, the CBC has shown its disregard for its own country's cultural legacy. CBC managers are abandoning their responsibility to the people whose best interests they are supposed to serve. I call on the CBC to reverse this reprehensible decision immediately.

I have had the honour of performing as piano soloist with more than 100 different orchestras throughout the world. I happily rank the CBC Radio Orchestra among the top five, in the company of the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and the New Japan Philharmonic. The entire nation can be rightly proud of this incredible orchestra which is led by one of today's finest young conductors.

This decision by the CBC amounts to an act of cultural vandalism on a national scale. Imagine the Vancouver Art Gallery stripping its walls of Lawren Harris and Emily Carr because big-eye pictures of animals and clowns sell better. Imagine our libraries tossing out Alice Munro and Margaret Atwood because they are sometimes tough reading and lining their shelves with Harlequin romance novels that attract more readers.

Beginning this Sunday afternoon with a solo recital in Vancouver, I will make a public statement of protest at every Canadian musical engagement in which I appear -- solo, chamber and with orchestra. I call upon my fellow musicians in Canada to do the same.

It is a sad day when artists have to stand up to defend their contributions against the very institutions which were founded to foster cultural understanding, emotional connection and pride in the Canadian character.

Sara Davis Buechner
Concert pianist
Assistant Professor of Music,
University of British Columbia

Did you Need That Tree, Sir?

I have written in this space before that the Muqueam/UBC Golf Course deal was done entirely in back rooms without consultation of any kind between Premier Gordon Campbell and Musqueam chief Ernie Campbell.

Today, the Sun reports that Metro politicians raw screaming about a new provincial law that allows Victoria to seize land - particularly Pacific Spirit park - without compensation.

It's amazing how so-called democratic governments can subvert the very principles they vow to uphold and champion when no one is looking.

The Food Wars

The Food Wars have begun.

But the local press has told us nothing.

Rice has doubled in cost in recent months and food riots have percolated in dozens of countries world-wide.

This is an alarming story and you should be aware if it.

Here is the NY Times coverage.

ELVIS - Watch this entire fascinating, strange's like a capsule comment on the glories and absurditites of Show Biz

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Folly of the CBC, Part II, From "Mo"

I've just had a 'phone conversation with my kids' violin teacher who has been a member of the CBC Orchestra for 30 years. She is devastated and somewhat in shock. She expressed what a real privilege it has been to be part of such an exciting, wonderful venue with world-class (really, and not just repeated as PR) musicians and conductors. And, with the stroke of a pen, 70 years has been erased by inept bureaucrats.

Their conductor was told about this decision before Christmas and was expected to inform the members two days prior to Christmas, which he wouldn't do. He has been living with this knowledge since that time. The concert master, in tears, spoke of the orchestra as a jewel.

Like telemarketers, the two people from CBC were completely "on message" yesterday and would not, or could not, directly answer questions that deviated from their script.

The money that these wonderful musicians are paid is a pittance and the money ($600K?) that will be "saved" is small potatoes compared to what the orchestra provides. This decision will have a domino effect -- the orchestra also plays with, for instance, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Cantata Singers, etc. something which will no longer be possible once it is disbanded.

Many in the music community (Bramwell Tovy for instance) packed the lobby of the closed meeting last night to show their support for the orchestra. We can only hope that there will be a ground swell of support and this decision will be reversed, although this is probably unlikely.

CBC Knows Not What it Does

The CBC is a corrupt organization.

Worse is that is hidden within folds upon folds of unfathomable bureaucracy.

That doesn't mean that it should be disbanded and sold to corporate broadcasters.

Far from it.

The CBC, which still continues in small fits and starts, to provide first rate programming that will never be available in the profit model, has an important role to play.

Unfortunately, it is almost a secret cabal. It thrashes about from leadership to leadership, spending huge amounts of money recklessly and changing content at whim.

The shutting down of the CBC Orchestra is a loathsome act, and completely unnecessary. The costs are minimal and the rewards are immense.

We need MORE orchestras, not less. And the CBC Orchestra in particular has a deserved international reputation.

This latest act by CBC brass is as obscene as the March snow that is falling outside my window.

Do the Crime...

The judge, sentencing Iron Bar Man, to 5 1/5 years, must have read my blog the other day. He said it was a miracle that the fool didn't kill any of the 5 women he attacked.

Indeed. 5'll get ya 10...which is more like what this pathetic man deserved.

Silk Purses

$11 Million tax dollars for a spruced up Granville Maul, er...Mall?

Very nice.

And tell me, with wall to wall beer halls how is this "make-over" going to change the skiddy frontier town reality to something approaching civilization?


I'll believe it when I see it.
The foto, by the way, was apparently taken on the day when all the drunks and drug addicts were making their weekly court appearances.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Whose Sleeping in My Bed?


How Enron Worked the PresidentAre You Ready?How Enron Worked the President!(This is an interesting bit of information that you don't hear much about.)

1. Enron's chairman did meet with the president and the vice president in the Oval Office.?

2. Enron gave $420,000 to the president's party over three years.

3. It donated $100,000 to the president's inauguration festivities.

4. The Enron chairman stayed at the White House 11 times!

5. The corporation had access to the administration at its highest level a nd even enlisted the Commerce and State Departments to grease deals for it.

6. The taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank subsidized Enron for more than $600 million in just one transaction.Scandalous!!

BUT...the president under whom all this happened?WASN'T?George W. Bush.SURPRISE!

It was President Bill Clinton! No surprise! And do you think Hillary didn't know? Pass this on so the whole Country will know. The Media Won't!ARE WE REALLY READY FOR MRS. CLINTON?

Sorry Won't Cut it, Baby

Gordon Campbell made me do it.

Or so the perp's wife would have us believe.

A man bashes women on the head with metal pipes and steals their purses. Curiously, most of his victims are Asian women. Most end up in hospital with serious injury, not to mention life-long trauma.

Now, he pleads that he is so sorry and that he was a poor crack addict.

O.K. We can listen to all that.

Then his wife gets up on the stand and tells the court that "He's an amazing father, an amazing husband," she testified, saying he was "absolutely devastated" when he lost his hospital job in 2004. She blamed Premier Gordon Campbell and his government for bringing in legislation allowing health employers to lay off union members.

"I've never seen a grown man cry in bed," she said. "He was very proud of that job."

So, let me see if I've got this right...

Gordon Campbell, undistracted from his job as Premier, came down to the Joyce Street Skytrain Station every week or so and put a crowbar in this asshole's hand and instructed, "You go, Boy, and crack some skull for us today!"

Probably not.

Ten years in prison will be a gift for this man.

And if one of these victim's had died?

Kudos to Dr. Larry

Congratulations to Dr. Larry Goldenberg, who for years now has been known for his pioneering work in prostate and cancer issues at VGH.

He is now set to create a mens' health centre, also at VGH, that will focus of the myriad gender-specific issues that challenge men, especially as we age.

Age and death are inevitable, but enlightened health care happens because one person makes the unusual effort to make things better.

McCain and Cheney target Iran

Excellent video discussion today about Iran, Israel and the US on The Real News.

Why is much of this not given serious coverage and examination by CNN, among others?

Watch this piece here.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Abraham Martin and John-Dion 1969

From a friend...

rod stewart - have i told you lately(unlugged)

Freedom's Just Another Word

We are a sleepy self-satisfied nation.

Democracy without vigilance is soon a memory.

Today we have three separate stories that remind us of these themes:

1. The National Post is asking the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that demanded that the paper reveal its sources in a story. The rights of newspapers are enshrined in the famous and often annoying Charter. In this case, the Charter is bang on. We can only hope that the Supreme Court will hear this appeal and then reverse the previous dangerous conclusion.

2. The RCMP's information provided about its use of tasers is heavily edited. Why? To protect whom? I am first protected by knowledge and information. I don't want to learn that the police have secrets they need to hide. Transparency is everything in this case.

3. The Victoria police chief has been on payed suspension of duties for almost 6 months now. Why? No one will tell us.

When the Top Cop is under a cloud of suspicion, shouldn't I know what this is about? Where is the great Wally Opaque on this matter? Cutting more ribbons?

When these three stories are strung together, an unhappy scenario begins to emerge.

I ask my usual question:

What gulag are we living in exactly?

Headlines we can live without

"Cigarette Company Paid for Lung Cancer Study By GARDINER HARRISThe revelation that a researcher’s study was underwritten by a tobacco company has caused an appearance of bias."

You think?

But I was Just Gone for a Minute

To the commenter who asked, "Why didn't you call 911?"

Because last year when exactly the same thing happened on West 1oth Avenue (An infant in a van with the sliding door open and no sign anywhere of a parent...) and I immediately called the police, here's what happened.

Before the police arrived about 10 minutes later, the "mother" emerged from a tanning spa with a fashion mag in her hands. I asked her if this was her car and child. She said they were. I told her the police were on their way. She thought I was a public nuisance. She laughed at me.

When the police arrived, one officer stood by me. The other stood with the "mother," and the two of them - the "mother" and the police officer laughed a lot.

I asked them what was so impossibly funny.

A month before this incident, a friend who used to own a plant store down the street had precisely the identical experience - baby in car, no parent, police, much amusement...

Apparently there is something inherently hilarious about irresponsible senseless parents who are born to shop and tan and the crazy lunatic old men who accuse them of reckless child abandonment.

Watch for the new ABC reality show based on this growing trend called "Lose Your Kid, Find a Grumpy Old Man." The early returns from the focus groups say it's a smash run-away winner.

Grandma with Legs

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

From a Friend...


It happened again.

Yesterday, I parked the car in the Safeway lot.

As I was walking toward the store, I saw a baby, under 2 years, sitting in her car seat in the back of an expensive late model car - alone.

The front passenger side window was lowered. Lowered enough for me or anyone else to open the door.

I saw no parent.

I turned to a woman who was standing not far away and asked her opinion of this situation.

"Is it just me? Am I completely crazy?" Like that.

She agreed that this was not looking good.

The "mother" came out of the store.

Thirty-five-ish, attractive, beautifully dressed in casual sports clothes.

"Excuse me, Ma'am, do you think that leaving your child unattended in a car is really a good idea?"

She smiled benignly at me. Clearly I am a lunatic.

"I was about one second away from calling the police." Last year, in a similar situation, I did call the police.

She smiled again, even more warmly.

"Well, you do what you think you have to do."

She was so kind to me in my distress.

She got into the car and put it in reverse.

"Perhaps you could think about this today."

She smiled and drove off.

I ask what I asked several months ago when I wrote about the talking couple in the movie house.

Why is she happy?

Because, believe me, she is happy. Nothing I could have said or done would have upset her perfectly coiffed equilibrium.

I went across the street into a fruit and vegetable store, bought some broccoli and tomatoes, paid for them, and turned to leave, forgetting the vegetables.

Half an hour later, I was in a shop on Fourth Avenue. I paid for my purchase and asked the two young women the same question I asked the first lady in the Safeway parking lot.

"Is it just me, or...?"

They freaked. Thank G-d. They would never leave their child alone in a car for one second. No running in just for a minute bullshit.

I thought of that British couple who went for a quiet intimate dinner in Portugal (Spain?), leaving their daughters alone in a rented condo.

Has the "Me Society" peaked? Is it all about MY shopping needs and MY dinner needs?

And dare we speak up without being branded a public menace?

Rod Stewart

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ode to a Quiet Day

I've read three newspapers this morning and looked at several on-line sites as well, and you know what I found of interest?

Nothing, nyet, gournischt, zilch, bupkes, de nada, niente, goose eggs...


Let's just be grateful for a quiet day.

Spring has sprung,

Da grass is riz.

I wonder where da boidies is.

Da boid is on da wing.

Dat's absoid.

Da wing is on da boid.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Jasper, the wizard who manages my website, has added 10 old fotos from my ridiculous, but very fun, acting career.

You can find them at:, Acting Gallries #1 & 2.
The top is Harry Da Horse in "Guys and Dolls," the other is Conrad Birdie in "Bye Bye Birdie."

And in the red corner...

A wonderful argument had broken out in a post made here yesterday about one of my all time favorite groups, the BC Teachers' Federation.

The comments are worth price of admission alone.

Bula Blogged and it feels good...


I've been Bula Blogged...

Sun City Hall Cover Lady has written a very funny piece on her blog about how I might or might not run for city council in November.

Demonstrating my relentless solipsism, I added a comment on her blog and added her blog to my list in the right hand column.

Ain't life just a big cyber party?

Big Pharma Outdoes Itself

Big Pharma continues its steady march up the ladder of infamy.

The latest story involves a company that only charges $300,000 a year for its product. Nice.

This in spite of the fact that "the federal government did much of the scientific work that led to development of the drug and provided contract money that got the company started."

The gruesome story is here.

Trane & Johnny Hartman

Cheney & Iran - God Save Us

This frightening little piece from The Real News includes a video of Mr. Evil, Dick "I Never Met a man or Woman I couldn't Sneer at" Cheney telling us about how he and bush are going to save the world.

The story is headlined, "Dick Cheney tour sparks Iran war rumors," and you can read and watch it here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Attentione, Amici

Please note along the right hand column that I have added a new link today titled: "Samantha Speaks: The Vancouver Manifesto."

For a quick look, go here now:

She is an interesting writer with a distinct point of view.


We Don't Want to Help the Homeless

Here are the things wrong with the front page story in the Sun today on the cost of homelessness:

1. Who didn't know that the millions we spend on useless social programs could have been spent on housing? Well...lots of people I suppose...

2. How much did the study cost that is the basis of this report? And why not put that into housing instead of into the pockets of academics?

3. This tragedy lies mostly at the feet of our feral government..uh, federal government, who began about 30 years ago to no longer fund social housing. CMHC used to do this and then thanks largely to Liberal regimes, they stopped. Just as they stopped funding the military and cut back health care dollars from 50% to 18%.

The Crimes Of "Helpers"

The needle exchange in Victoria will not be allowed to move into a St. John's Ambulance building on Pandora Street. Parent at a nearby elementary school quite rightly screamed bloody murder and the ignorant, unthinking civic authorities had to back down

That's the good news.

Now, the bad.

Undaunted, the authorities will make the Victoria needle exchange mobile.

That's right.

Coming soon to a neighbourhood very, very close to you will be a travelling troop train and side show circus called the needle exchange.


Are you familiar with the Mobile Arthritis Unit? The Mobile Cancer Truck?

No, you are not. Because they do not exist.

But we will spend your tax dollars serving up needles to addicts.

And let's look at what that brings.

The very same report tells us "users have been loitering outside the Cormorant Street location in large groups, leaving dirty syringes, blood and human waste."

In case, you think human waste means envelopes or file, it means pee and poo.

Do you understand that the mayor of Victoria and AIDS Vancouver Island in their superior wisdom were preparing to bring this loveliness to a site near a junior school. And now that they have been deterred from so doing by righteous public outcry, they will instead bring it on wheels to ALL neighbourhoods?

This is what happens when you sit at home and watch The Biggest Loser instead of being involved.

Terrible Realization

I have a truly horrible thought.

I am now almost certain that Mayor Sam Sullivan will be re-elected.

As inappropriate or against the common good as that inevitability may be, it now seems unavoidable.

The mayor has the biggest possible advantage: His every utterance is front page material.

He can play out one insincere notion after another, every second or third day until November, and each of these pronouncements will get attention.

And each time his face is shown in the press with the title attached - Mayor - the thoughtless, sentimental average stupid voter will be passively impressed.

Whatever else I may think of Peter Ladner, Gregor Robertson, Raymond Louie, Allan De Genova or whomever else may throw his or her hat into the ring, not one of them has at his disposal the free publicity machine that is availed the incumbent. Not one of them has to date created an impression that is in any way bigger than Sullivan's.

Says Who?

How brave, courageous and bold of Fazil Mihlar to write a column today defending and protecting banks.

Yes, that's what banks need is an apologist.

Increasingly, the editorial pages of our daily papers across the nation support, reinforce and cheer the status quo.

A most peculiar position for the free press.

We are Not Alone in our Continuing Distaste for the BCTF

Whom does boycott benefit? Certainly not students

Saturday, March 22, 2008
Re: BCTF vows to fight standardized tests with job action, March 18
I am the parent of a Grade 12 student who will attend an American university in September. Almost every university to which our daughter applied requested a ranking report on her school, Lord Byng secondary. It took some explaining on my part as to why British Columbia does not produce such a report. Fortunately, the Fraser Institute's report on Lord Byng was acceptable.
It is critical for students who seek post-secondary education outside of Canada to have access to a performance report on their secondary school. A performance/ranking report is just one of many things U.S. admissions departments list as required documentation. It was embarrassing to advise American universities that our province does not produce a report that is so common down south.
I am very disappointed in the BCTF's position and wonder whom the boycott truly benefits -- certainly not students.
© The Vancouver Sun 2008

When Your Government is Illegal

Handi-Dart has taken on new meaning.

Now, the accent is clearly on DART.

On Tuesday morning at about 10:15, I was heading towards a traffic circle at 8th and Highbury.

In front of me was a Translink Handi-Dart, a vehicle with the express purpose of serving the handicapped.

All over the world, drivers drive around traffic circles (in most countries to the right, in a few to the left). I have never seen anywhere except here in this frontier immature country, idiots drive the wrong way around these round-abouts.

I have seen police cars, private cars, city engineering trucks and so on blithely ignore the law and the safety of all and turn quickly to the left. I see these illegal activities almost daily.

On Tuesday, a Handi-Dart turned on his left turn signal and DART to the left, instead of driving around the circle as we are required by law to do.

The circle of juvenile illegality is now complete.

We can expect little that is reasonable now in public life.

Obama's Speech - Attention Must be Paid

What Makes Vancouver Special

Playing tennis at Stanley Park yesterday, we had to stop several times to marvel at the cranes nesting in the trees by the courts.

At one point, we counted over 50 birds and nests.

Every few minutes one of these beautful birds would fly over with yet another twig.

More Waikiki Thoughts - This from RCMP John Buis

I liked the blog you put up yesterday regarding the comparisons between Honolulu and Vancouver. Kellie and I have been in Honolulu (Waikiki) since Sunday evening and will be here for a total of two weeks. We have definitely noticed a big differences here with Vancouver particularly with the few street people we have seen (they do not not harass the visitors) and the reduced \"fear of crime\" when walking the streets during the day or night.Without more information I cannot give you specific reasons why Waikiki appears safer than Vancouver, however, I do know there is a a large military presence in Waikiki at Fort DeRussey There are three hotels for military personnel and their families on leave with uniformed armed military Shore Patrol present in and around the hotels. There is also a very noticeable police presence in Waikiki with many marked police cars and bicycle patrols on the streets. The police station on the beach in the heart of the hotel district provides visitors place to talk to the police if necessary and deters/keeps the street people off the beach and away from the tourists.I am sure there is more to it than these obvious signs but it would be interesting to find out more about court sentencing statistics and alcohol and drug recovery programs and if any exist. I am going to go back to the pool for a while and try not to think about crime reduction until I return to my office on April 1, 2008

We have seen the Future - and it is SCARRRYYYY

John McCain, who could be the next American president, was in Israel yesterday.

He referred to the Jewish holiday, Purim, as "their version of Halloween here.”
And why is that relentless light hog, Joe Lieberman trailing along behind him?
Lieberman, a longtime Democrat and failed presidential and vice-presidential candidate, is now the Connecticut senator listed as an "independant Democrat."
What does shadowing McCain make him?
A whore.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Crime is Nice. We're Canadjun, eh?

Metro Vancouver has moved in one swell foop - or is that, one fell swoop? - from being The Wild West Show to being Crime Central West.

11 mob hits in less than 3 months.


But, as that great American philosopher, Alfred E. Newman, would have it, "What me, worry?"

Heck no.

We've got Wally Opaque to keep us calm.

Gosh and golly, I just feel like I've had a cup of warm milk and a cookie.

Thanks Wally, and how's The Beav?

Paul Scofield 1922-2008

Considered one of the greatest actors of his time, Scofield is justifiably remembered for his indelible performance as Sir Thomas Moore in "A Man for All Seasons." He won the Best Actor Oscar for that role.

Read the NY Times obit here.

Carmen & Only Carmen

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Robert's Tale of Two Cities

Fellow blogger, Robert Werner, has written a terrific piece about the difference between Vancouver and Honolulu.

It's an eye-opener and I urge you to give it a read:


Think you're not rich or fortunate or blessed today?

Try this on for size.

One in five human beings does not have access to fresh drinking water.

Think again.

Give thanks.

And think about the future.

For all of us.

Not all things are Equal


When Raymond Louie announced his mayoralty chase on Sunday, the Sun printed a very small article on a back page with a tiny black and white picture of the Vision councillor.

Today, Alan de Genova gets half a page, huge headlines and a quarter page full color foto.

Vas geipt?

ICBC - Chop Shop

It's a little more than disconcerting to learn that the government agency responsible for cars and what we do with them is selling rebuilt wrecks without disclosing the car's history.

What's the difference between ICBC and you average garden variety crook?

Answer: it's a government agency and apparently immune from the law and prosecution.

That's reassuring, isn't it?

Non, Je ne Regrette Rien

Non, Je ne Regrette Rien

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


To The Editor

Racketeering? Conflict of interest? Secretive government meetings? Episode
of the Soprano's?
Nope - it's a new series called "The Gordfather".

TransLink decides where the transit routes and stations go, and the zoning
is changed to maximize their density/profit, regardless of the consequences
to the community. They decide on the method of construction with impunity.
They decide when to purchase the property with this secret knowledge,
without any pesky competition. They even choose who will win their favour to
build on this land and share the spoils.

And the public that is impacted and pays for all this - that's us - does not
have a say in anything. As a matter of fact, Kevin Falcon has made it clear
even to the Municipal Mayors that if you don't honour the TransLink family,
you and your communities will be dead to him.

Small businesses that get in the way don't stand a chance of survival.
You just couldn't make this stuff up.

Good thing they have a Vice President of SNC Lavalin on the Board to advise
them, and a director of Canada Line to assist with how to get away with
offering no compensation! And what a bonus that Shato Holdings has very
close ties every whichway to the Gordfather. Makes it so much easier to have
White Spots in every station, and residential towers over all their
restaurants. Sweet.

I think the people of BC have just been kissed off.

Susan Heyes
Standing up for Democracy (against all odds)
604 687-0721

Liza & Joel on MOney, Money, Money

Translink- The new Condo King

The story about Translink becoming a Billion dollar landowner, covered by the front page and by Pete McMartin in today's Sun, is an interesting and important issue.

But it seems to me that a few good questions have not been asked.

Yes, it's a good thing that the system can generate money and stop bleeding homeowners who drive and never get on a bus or train.

Yes, it's a good thing that someone will develop communities and hubs of activity - commercial, residential and recreational - around skytrain stations.

But the Big Question of who, who, who gets to do all this has not been sufficiently explored.

The very last paragraph on the front page story is found on page 2. It tells us that the first 3P deal is imminent, maybe as close as a few months away.


So to whom has Translink's new government appointed, arms-length board been talking?

Peter Wall? David Podmore? The Hell's Angels?

As always, the key to such stories is FOLLOW THE MONEY.

But the public cannot follow what is being obscured.

The Musqueam deal was back-room brokered between two Campbells - Ernie, the aboriginal chief and Gordon, the Premier.

How much of these million-dollar development deals will be back-room brokered between the Great Control Freak Premier and favored developers?

Will new and growing developers have opportunities? Will small companies stand a chance?

Will we ever know, or, much as usual, will we sit back like compliant Canadian sheep and watch the city grow around our 50 inch plasma escape machines?