Sunday, January 13, 2008

IMDb Video: Vantage Point

IMDb Video: Vantage Point

Feminism Stops at the Border - The Israeli Border

Feminism has its limits.

Here's the headline from Friday's edition of America's oldest Jewish newspaper, The Forward:

"Pro-Israel Ad Rejected by Ms. Magazine"
Ms. mag, by the way, bills itself as "more than a magazine - a movement."
Is that a set-up for some bad humour, or what?

Read the story here.

Cambie De-Construction Drove a Hole Through Democracy

What follows below is a letter from Susan Heyes, outraged Cambie Street merchant, to the Sun's Vaughn Palmer after his column yesterday on Campbell's lead in the polls:

Hi Vaughn

The validity of polls in BC are no different than the poll results that wereproclaimed in IOWA. Out by a country mile once the disengaged masses get outto vote. Further to this, as one observer put it "the very voting systemitself is tainted. Both pre-election and exit polls in New Hampshire hadObama ahead of Clinton by the same margin as his Iowa win. Diebold held thecasting vote in that state, as they and their similarly neocon-owned sistercompany ESS will accross most of the country in November".No one asked the many here who no longer have a land line what they think ofthe current climate of political arrogance. The twenty somethings are wakingup from their studies and stupor - and what is happening in the states isinfecting the attitudes up here. Hopefully, momentum will keep growing andmore people will take a stand for what is right, and show their support forthose who choose to do the right thing.

I have had first hand experience with just how hard this is to do, when theodds are so stacked against us. It is little wonder I keep hearing suchcynicism and despair from the merchants and have had a collective shrug fromthe powers that be. The bullies seem to be getting a free pass. Well, enoughis enough.

You left out the Cambie Crisis in your long list of political malfeasance.

Province of BC small business friendly? HA! This is a perfect example ofDisaster Capitalism at a local level. This abuse of power will stick, and Iwill do everything I can to see that it does.

I have worked hard to build up my previously successful life's work, and nowwith my recent year end tally, I've lost half a million dollars since late2005, and risk having to sell my home. My Lease is up in November, rightaround when I'll be taking this case to court. LOUDLY.

The hardship was preventable and is on-going - many stores losses have morethan doubled since the CFIB did its report at the end of the summer. Theripple effect with staff and suppliers has changed the lives of hundreds ifnot thousands of people. The refusal of financial help is despicable. Thearea will be compromised for years to come with steady demolition, and thediscussion of the Broadway line will fan these flames.It is a tragic state of affairs that the unconsciounable behaviour of ourelected officials is considered in any way acceptable according to thesepolls. It is not. The 'divide and conquer' strategy worked for the longesttime - especially on Cambie with the business association - but not anymore. The climate is to unite, not to divide. With any luck, and we sure ashell need it, CHANGE will be the mantra here as well.



Al-Qaeda plotted to kill the Queen

From, the Australian web news service, comes this alarming story.


David Berner

The Province

Friday, January 11, 2008

B.C. Finance Minister Carole Taylor will not run for the mayor's chair in Vancouver. So who will save us from Sam Sullivan?

Sullivan has adopted a curious attitude in office. It goes something like this: You folks at city hall, you're all fine people, so carry on and take care of the fort, I have more important things to do.

Sullivan has raised a lot of private money, and has surrounded himself with cardinals by the score. In particular, federal Conservative Party hacks whisper in his ear night and day.

What Sullivan has shown consistently is a great unwillingness to be concerned with the normal affairs of business at 12th and Cambie.

During the garbage strike, it was common knowledge that it was impossible for ordinary citizens to get anything done that required city attention.

Work of any kind had ground to a standstill.
Long after that mismanaged affair was settled, developers with multimillion dollar projects were kept waiting for hours on meetings that never took place.

So who wants to take up the challenge of fighting a man who has boasted that he likes to get his opponent down and then step on his throat?

Who is capable?

COPE Coun. David Cadman or NPA Coun. Peter Ladner?

Neither man has the power base in politics, business or the community.

The NPA's Suzanne Anton?

Too much of a lightweight.

Vision and COPE, the two parties in opposition to the ruling NPA, have strangled one another by their petty infighting. So who?

Gregor Robertson is a name that keeps bubbling to the surface as a possible mayoralty candidate.

Robertson, the founder of Happy Planet Juice, is the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. He is young, handsome and accomplished not just in business, but in a fashionably green business.

Can he waltz into the job the way a Carole Taylor might have?

Hardly. He is bright, but not well polished.

I moderated a panel recently, and Robertson, a keynote speaker, sat next to me. There were too many hums and haws, too many broad generalizations for a generation swimming in the information age. Today's electorate demand specifics.

That doesn't mean that Robertson cannot grow into the challenge, if he chooses to more fully acquaint himself with the issues. If he fine-tunes his presentation skills and if he can find the support to build a groundswell, he might become a formidable candidate.

Elections can be curious adventures, especially in the fanciful city of Vancouver. Perhaps before November, another golden contender will emerge.

What is certain is that we don't need a red-nosed clown or an egocentric feudal lord, plotting in dark corners.

We want a mayor who understands the mechanics of city hall, the role of governance and the pleasure of being an ambassador for the people and its institutions.

Hospital Failure Kills Child

The cover story in this morning's Province is a shocker.

A baby has died of pneumonia after a visit to Surrey Hospital, in which the examining doctor DID NO EXAMINATION.

There are so many things wrong with this nightmare.

The child was checked in a 3:30pm and didn't see a Dr. until 5:30pm.

The so-called physician did no examination of the child's chest, lungs, throat or ears.

It is not the nurse's job to do a physical exam, only to take vital signs. Why? Why not? When will we start allowing nurses to do these kinds of simple procedures that might free doctors up?

It is common folk wisdom that one of the most dangerous places on earth is a hospital.

This is not only a tragedy. It is sickening. Read the story here.

The Skies Aren't Big Enough

A Victoria area man gets increasingly drunk on a flight to Miami. He slaps a woman on her ass and then gets into a fight with two male flight attendants.

The plane drops out of the sky, pausing at Denver, just long enough for this idiot to be handcuffed. He's in jail, and may be remain there for a good long time. I'm sure that becoming some drug dealer's roomie and bitch will enlighten him.

Air travel has become as appealing as root canal dentistry and CRA audits.

ON a recent flight to San Francisco, I paid the extra $29US for a "United Plus" seat. Meaning my knees were not in the grasp-yourself Yoga position.

Nevertheless, the ADHD jumping jacks kid sitting next to me sniffled for 2 hours and 20 minutes. His highly unusual laptop was no doubt a secret NASA issue and he is, I'm sure, on covert missions as we speak.

On the flight heading to California, the guy sitting next to me coughed 10 times, loudly in my ear, before take-off. In the first half hour of actual flight, he coughed another 20 times.

The stewardess, whose ass I did not slap, gave me a "United Plus" seat for no additional charge.

So what? I was holed up with a cold for the next week. Thanks, Mr. Cougher.

We stand in endless lines to check in, to go through customs, to take off our shoes, to have our water bottles chucked. All to combat terrorists.

And then you get on a plane, and a drunk terrorizes everyone?

No. This is high treason. Plane travel has become bad enough without turning it into a Prince George blues bar.

Keep Russel Petrie, formerly of Cobble Hill, in a Denver lockup indefinitely, or at least until he is willing to buy a car from that pigeon-toed Broncos quarterback who now owns every dealership in Colorado.

Huckabee, My New Hero

Mike Huckabee, evangelical, Southern Baptist minister, Governor of Arkansas, hater of homos and abortions, has accidentally become my new hero.

Look at the the way this morning's NY Times describes his current "unintended consequences":

"Mike Huckabee’s candidacy threatens to divide the leaders of the conservative Christian movement and their base."


Captain Simple may do what so many of us has been yearning for - he may accidentally accomplish a separation of church and state. He may destroy the very base from which he operates.

Good on him.

Read the comedy here.