Monday, March 23, 2009


I had a heart attack.

For those who might have been checking in on the blog and wondering where I had gone, the place was VGH.

Here's the story.

For about a week, I had been feeling the recognizable symptoms of angina - pain the in the shoulders and arms, lower jaw and teeth, shortness of breath and some tightness in the chest.

Recognizable, because I had an angioplasty procedure done at VGH in June 2005, in which a drug-infused stent was inserted to pry and keep open a blocked coronary artery.

On Friday at 6pm, I went swimming at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre. Great time to go, by the way. Very quiet.

I did my usual 500 metres, stopping at the end of each 50 metre length for a moment or two. On Friday, I couldn't help but notice a real shortness of breath and the unavoidable fact that both arms from shoulders to hands hurt and felt heavy and buzzing.

Stubbornly, I persisted, finished my routine, enjoyed a bit of a shvitz in the sauna and the whirlpool, showered, dressed and went home to a quiet dinner and evening.

I went to bed about 11:30.

At ten to one a.m., I woke up suddenly with pain in both arms.

I tried a blast of nitroglycerin, which seemed to provide short relief. I put on my heart monitor, found that my heart rate was low, but o.k. and tried another shot of nitro.

Then I thought I might try to go back to sleep. All along, the number 911 was very much on my mind.

I lasted less than four seconds of pillow time, and sat up with the full realization that calling emergency was my only choice.

Within six minutes, eight uniformed and brilliantly equipped firemen and paramedics were milling around my kitchen.

By 1:30 I was in a bed at VGH emergency ward.

Around 9 am, the doctors appeared, one of whom was my original operating surgeon, the aptly named, Dr. Saw. You can't write material like this.

The doctors confirmed that another angiogram and possibly angioplasty was in order. The "lab" or operating theatre is normally not up and running on the week end, but, they assured me, if an emergency or two appeared, they would be at work and they would piggy-back me into the rotation.

Of course, by the time I had been transferred to the Cardiac Care Unit, around noon on Saturday, two emergencies had presented themselves. I was wheeled in for action shortly after 3pm.

An hour and two new stents later, I was returned to my favorite bed in CCU 15.

I should add that before and after the procedure, there was a most welcome run of friends and family and loved ones all. Do not underestimate for a second, the huge importance of that love and support. It is everything, believe me.

I slept well and on Sunday, the doctors informed me that not only had I had a revisiting attack of angina, but I could now claim my first heart attack. A small one, sure enough, but real. Yikes!

They sent me home at 3pm.

I stood outside in the sunshine on 10th Avenue, near Willow, waiting for my daughter to pick me up.

I thought for a moment about the people who think I am cynical.

If only they knew what an unrelenting optimist I am.

"Only twenty-four hours ago," I babbled quietly to myself, "I had a heart attack. Now I am standing in sunshine. Miracle of miracles!"

Catherine came along with her beloved little pooch, "Rocky," and we went to the pharmacy and bought only $550 worth of medicines for the next year. While the pharmacist did his magic, we had a coffee and a snack.

I slept very well last night. I have no pain. I am tired and weak, but I will walk about one block today as per the post-op instructions.

I am in shock. I am a little weepy with a mix of emotions. And I am happy to be alive.

I may not blog for the next few days.

But, as we say in radioland, "Stay tuned."

As for you...stay young, eat your veggies, sing favorite songs, rarely refuse sex, and keep trying to understand The Mysteries...

Friday, March 20, 2009


Monkey see, monkey doodoo.

Now that banks and auto makers have sucked mightily from the public tit, the line-up of Big-Lipped Monsters is getting downright pushy.

Elbowing right to the front in Canada are broadcasters.

Global, CTV and the CBC are all behaving like rink enforcers in the corner shoving and biting and high sticking their way to The Big Payoff.

These people all want taxpayer bailouts.

My answer is simple.

No. No. No.

Canwest Global and CTV have consistently made fortunes by blithely ignoring any vague sense of responsibility to the country they have been fleecing. They basically are windows for American programs. The little that they have focused on local or national texture has been entirely at the end of regulatory shotguns. If they hadn't been forced to do local news or the occasional drama, they wouldn't have wasted a penny on such pain-in-the-ass hard work.

Now that times are tough, now that the sons have blown the father's gifts, now that ad revenues are migrating elsewhere, they want you and me to help out.


Get lost.

Fold your cheesy tent, boys.

Let me watch CBS is that's what I want.

You want me to watch you, give me something to watch. Otherwise go the way of Eatons.

I cannot for a moment understand how or why I should pony a penny for your bad practices.

As for the CBC, let's quote the former chair, Carole Taylor:

"...go for broadcasting that is different from what the privates do, that is not going for ratings, but is proving a service that cannot be found anywhere else."

Bang on.

The CBC is a hideously deformed monstrosity, a twisted, unworkable hybrid. It is overgrown and knows not what it wants.

It should be cut in half or to a third and it should produce and show only entirely original Canadian content.

The claim by its current executive that the audience it gets at 7:30 pm for Jeopardy carries into its 8-11 prime time is utter nonsense. If this fool actually believes that fabrication, he has no business in the business.

The remote rules, Dopey.

The minute Alex says goodbye, we are all gone.

More taxpayer money for dunces and dissemblers like this?


It should have absolutely no concern with ratings. It should be concerned only with doing good work.

What a concept!


Follow as closely as you can the proceedings in BC Supreme Court in the case of Susan Heyes and her civil action against the city, the province, the federal government, the Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority and RAV project Management Ltd.

You should stay with this story because it is important.

A small business owner's Cambie Street livelihood was not disrupted, but destroyed, by officials who lied to local merchants. The officials said the line would be build by boring underground. Of course, that's not what they did at all. They changed to cut and cover.

Most importantly, they never once considered for a second offering some kind of compensation for the financial and psychological damages they inflicted on innocent, honest, working citizens.

This case is about the heart and soul of democracy.

Heyes, who has since relocated her shop to Main Street, is courageous and feisty and determined and she should be recognized as an exemplary citizen for this action.

Of course, she has made a basic strategic error.

If only she had presented herself as a drug addict, she would have been given compensation by the carload: needles, places to shoot, housing, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists and the like.

That'll teach you to get up in the morning, shower and dress and go open the front doors of your business and try to earn a living and pay taxes.

What have we all been thinking?

Economics 101

When your personal property tax bill arrives and it sis almost 8% higher than it was last year, all you need ask is, "Am I getting 8% more in services."

But you already know the answer.

I've had the distinct displeasure of driving across the Oak Street bridge several times in recent weeks. Pothole City. 'nuff said?

A student told me yesterday that it took an hour and a half to get by bus from Westminster Highway and #3 Road to 49th and Cambie. But VANOV urges you to take transit. Hm...

Councillor Louie has proposed spending $300,000 to hire someone to save money at City Hall. Nice.

How about this, Raymond?

How about City Hall slash and burn a dozen useless offices on its rolls? How about the City stop trying to be all things to all people? How about leave Health, for example, to the province and the federal government where it belongs? How about getting out of the drug business? How about ending the personal fiefdom that exists at City Hall in Arts and Culture?

No one that I know of at City Hall has come even remotely close to tightening the City belt in the same way that everyone world-wide has had to in this economic climate.

The 8% solution is no solution at all.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Tomorrow morning I must rise and shine and leave the house at an ungodly early hour.

Hence, no blog.

See you all on Friday.




7:30...doors open at 7

Alice Mackay Room, downstairs at the Vancouver Public Library, main branch, Robson & Homer

THE LANGARA DIALOGUES - a public debate


Be there or be square.

See Jon Ferry's column in today's Province.


Wood pellets?

Are you familiar with them?

I was not, until this morning when I read a column in the Globe by Neil Reynolds.

Wood pellets look remarkably like dog food or goose droppings, but they are in fact pressed from sawdust and mill shavings and they are amazingly efficient at creating clean heat and energy.

Here in Canada, we produce huge amonuts - 1.4 million tons a year, but use almost none of it to heat our homes or create energy.

Read this piece and then ask along with me when are we going to wake up to the possibilities?


"The White Tiger" by Aravind Adiga is the best darned novel I've read in many years.

The author, born in India, educated at Columbia and Oxford, won the Man Booker Prize last year for this debut work. He lives in Mumbai.

The book is hilariously funny and stunning.

It smashes the simple-minded exoticism usually given to India by non-Indians. Gone are the saffron and rose blossoms. What takes their place is what makes this book so readable and arresting.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yes, and Selfishness

To continue the discussion on Values...

Several people have added to the dialogue the elements of selfishness and the "me" generation.

This is the only town that I am aware of that sells new automobiles that come not equipped with turn signals.

Or how else to explain the Daily Guessing Game of what is that car in front of me, approaching me, beside me about to do?

I haven't seen anyone, including the police or professional delivery drivers, use a turn signal in the last three years.

But why would you? That would mean you have some small concern about that rapidly disappearing entity called "THE OTHER PERSON."

I've reported in these pages the three occasions in which I have found infants alone in cars while their deeply concerned mothers were shopping, or in one blazing case, tanning.

To stop before a zebra cross walk to allow pedestrians to cross is to risk their lives and yours and the guy who will invariably race past you blindly on the right to fly through the crosswalk. Why would anyone stop for ANOTHER PERSON.

Why would you want to be involved with the often arduous and difficult and certainly messy task of rehabilitation of addicts and others when you can just give the suckers drugs and paraphernalia and places to get high?

Harm seduction is based on the entirely selfish notion that it's OK if someone wants to be stoned all day, because what's it got to do with me as long as they're not robbing me?

But that's exactly why it's a terrible and self-defeating public policy. Because it has everything to do with you.

It says that you welcome a city or a community that has entire sub-populations that are stoned and useless and self-hating and dying.

It says that you don't care about THE OTHER PERSON as long as she isn't breaking into your home or car.

To make matters worse, you wrap yourself in the fake cloak of "compassion," and claim that you are helping, when in fact you don't even have the faintest concept of THE OTHER PERSON.

Values. Selfishness.

The other day, my son, the actor, was working in a sound studio on a radio assignment. He and a young girl were the principal actors recording a series of commercials for an educational institution. The girl was 20 years old and, according to my son, very talented and busy.

Half-way through the morning, the producer opened his microphone in the booth and asked the young girl what the clicking noise was.

She is a professional artist being paid good money to record her voice.

The clicking noise?

She was texting.

The "me" generation in full flight.

We have long, long, long passed the point where you could reasonably hope to ask someone on their cell to be quiet in a theatre, a bus, a library, a hallway, probably a funeral parlour.

Every seven year old and his dog has a cell and everybody is jammering all day long about nothing.

Madly destroying the English language saying things like, "I'm like...and then, my mom's like..."

Parents, men and women, now walk down the street with their children, not enjoying the few scarce moments of being together and noticing the world around them and sharing their observations with their children, but jammering on their cells. The kid walks silently beside them.

When my mother died many years ago, I wrote the obit and I said, among other things, that "she loved the fine, small details of life and she loved to share them with us."

The result is that I am life-long curious about almost everything. Airplanes, marshland, textiles, Turkish poetry.

What curiosity can you develop talking your life away on a phone?

So, why has Vancouver gone so far down the rabbit hole?

Identity, values, selfishness.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Elders of Zion, the venerable and shadowy Jewish organisation that controls the international banking industry, news media, and Hollywood, has announced that it is disbanding so that members can retire to Florida and live out their golden years on the golf course.

"We had a good run," said one senior Elder, reminiscing over old photographs of world leaders in his musty, wood-paneled office at an undisclosed location. "Maybe we ran the world for just a little too long. Anyway, now it's Obama's problem."

After a humiliating year left most of its financial holdings, as well as the entire civilised world, on the verge of collapse, the organisation has re-defined its mission in terms of bridge games and making it to restaurants for the Early Bird Special.

The announcement comes after a year in which many of the Elders’ most prized institutions suffered disheartening failures. The vaunted global banking system, which lay at the heart of Jewish world domination for almost two centuries, collapsed with astonishing rapidity, requiring trillions of dollars in bailout funds. The newspaper industry, through which the Elders have controlled world opinion, is in shambles, with prominent papers declaring bankruptcy and forcing millions of readers to form their own opinions. And, in the unkindest cut, Hollywood suffered the humiliation of losing the Oscar for Best Picture to Indian film "Slumdog Millionaire".

The organization's reputation for financial probity had also taken a hit amidst rumours of billions in losses in private Kalooki games against Sheikh Hamad bin Isa of Bahrain. According to inside sources, the organization also lost close to $1 trillion with disgraced investor Bernard Madoff.

Even before this past year, though, the Elders were facing hard times as they struggled to stay relevant and attract young members. The organization has tried to project a more youthful image, setting up a Facebook page and founding a new "Hipsters of Zion" youth division, which has sponsored a number of singles nights. But youngsters haven't been interested.

"World domination just doesn't resonate with the younger generation of Jews," said Marvin Tobman, a professor of non-profit management at San Diego State University and expert on Jewish communal life. 'They want the fun of fixing the world, not the responsibility of running it."

These recent troubles have worried even some of the Elders’ sharpest critics. "I always used to complain that Jews ran the world," said Reginald Weber, author of "Zionists and Zookeepers: The Unholy Alliance." "But now, I’m starting to worry that nobody's in charge."

Values, Continued

The Facts V The Propaganda

The views expressed by the various pro drug lobbies are a distortion of the truth.

Notwithstanding research carried out by the National Treatment Agency (NTA) which clearly established that the majority of those who have developed dependence, wish to become drug free; here in the UK, the focus for the past 10 years has been on ‘harm reduction’, rather than seeking to engage users into abstinence focused recovery. The outcome of this disastrous and misguided policy has been an escalation in drug related deaths which are at their highest for 5 years, 325 of which are attributed to methadone, the flagship of the harm reductionists, together with a devastating increase in the spread of blood born disease among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) The statistics provided by the Health Protection Agency for England and Wales are as follows:

• The level of HIV infection among Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) in England and Wales is higher now than at the start of the decade.

• In London where the prevalence of HIV in IDUs is higher than elsewhere in England and Wales, 1 in 20 IDUs is infected.

• In the remainder of England and Wales HIV among IDUs has increased from approximately 1 in 400 in 2002 to around 1 in 150 in 2006.

• The prevalence of Hepatitis C among IDUs has increased from 33 percent in 2000 to 42 per cent in 2006.

• Approximately 1 in 5 IDUs has Hepatitis B infection, which extrapolates as an increase approaching 200 per cent since 1997.

The escalating increase in blood born disease has occurred despite the plethora of needle exchange facilities throughout England and Wales, and the growth of supervised drug consumption rooms

It is self evident from the foregoing that here in the UK at least, it is not the lack of harm reduction measures which is contributing to avoidable deaths and the epidemic of blood born disease being wreaked on our society, but the use of toxic psycho active substances.

It is not so called prohibition which has failed, but the encouragement by way of the tacit permission, and in many instances, the not so tacit encouraging of continued use, inherent in the harm reduction ideology, which has failed users and society so abysmally.

The supporters of Harm Reduction, under their various guises have never allowed the truth to interfere with their propaganda, or indeed their more covert agenda, to legalise drug use; the main beneficiaries of which would be the pharmaceutical industry. Such a move would be to inflict further incalculable harm on society, since it would result in a growth of use and addiction, similar, if not more widespread, to that seen in the late 1800’s when most of the drugs which are controlled today, were in fact legal.

The growth of drug use during that period was the direct result of concerted efforts by leading members of the medical profession in promoting drug use, many of whom were influenced by Sigmund Freud, who was so unethical in his dealings that he accepted separate commissions from two competeing, large pharmaceutical companies, both of whom are still in business today, to write papers extolling the benefits of that destructive substance, cocaine, not only as the ‘elixir of life’, but also as a cure for alcohol and morphine addiction. The rest as they say is history

One has to ask is it a coincidence that many of the bodies, who are pressing for an end to what they term as prohibition, receive ‘research grants’ from the pharmaceutical industry?

Source: Daily Dose; posted by Peter O'Loughlin on 13 Mar 2009 at 6:23 am

My Home Town - Continued

Further to the posting of TURNER - THE MIDNIGHT THINKER...

Yes, identity. Agreed. that is crucial.

And values.

Values are central to this discussion.

It is always risky to open the cask labelled "values," lest a hoard of bible-based, Koran-thumping, Torah-waving zealots jump on board.

But I think the changing and abandoning of certain values is at the core of what has happened to Vancouver - and the world - in the past four decades.

Here is a lift from the morning Vancouver Sun:

"Teachers complained Sunday that school principals are ordering them to never give zeros when marking class assignments, to accept late work and to allow students to rewrite tests as many times as it takes for them to get good marks."

What does that say about values?

It says that we can never say, "No," to the precious little princes and princesses known as children for fear they may no longer love us, or they may report us to higher authorities or they may run away downtown and be given money by social workers to live in hotel rooms.

It says, that in spite of spending billions of taxpayers dollars and completely disrupting the lifeblood of the city on a sports competition called the Olympics, in spite of all that, we, as a society have otherwise made competition a dirty word. Children must cooperate. They needn't compete. Everyone gets a ribbon. Everyone is a winner.


Soft-brained wish-fulfillment drivel.

Life is endlessly competitive. In the home, in the 'hood, in business, in politics, in war. Doesn't necessarily mean that is a good thing, but that's real life. Try being 15 years old and living in China and looking for your next step in education. You'll experience some real competition.

What about other values?

What about giving heroin addicts needles and places to shoot and giving crack addicts clean pipes to smoke?

What do those public policies - aided and abetted by pseudo-science and the agreement of the silence of the masses - say about our values?

Do you rally want to live with a using addict? Do you want to aid and abet misery? Because heroin addiction and crack addiction and alcohol addiction are misery. They are degrading hideous nightmares. Don't you want to see people get off the cycle?

What are your values when you want to help them stay stupid and miserable?

You think you are reducing harm?

Why? Because a criminologist hiding in a tiny cubicle in academia told you so? Because it is the official story?

But would you actually walk across the street to give a drunk a clean shot glass?


Vancouver has rightly and sadly gained a world-wide reputation as being soft on crime and soft on drugs.

You actually can still rationalize that your little weekend pot habit is cute and O.K.?

You have no understanding of the murderous trail that has put that pot into your hands?

Our courts long ago abandoned "protection of the public" as a core idea in sentencing.

Psychos, murderers, rapists are released every day on parole, mandatory parole, probation, time-served, double-time served, anything that will recognize the inalienable rights of the accused.

And the rights of the community?


It has been said often enough that we get the Shakespeare that we deserve. Or the politicians. Or the pop singers.

And perhaps we get the Vancouver that we deserve.

Gangs that can't shoot straight haven't sprung willy-nilly from the ooze without warning.

We have nurtured them by being laissez-faire, laid-back, oh-so-cool tolerant of the worst in our own behaviour.

We let our young girls dress like whores in public and we let our young boys emulate gangsters. It's cute, apparently.

A mother and a daughter shop at Costco wearing matching grey sweatpants that say something adorable like, "Ass" across their ass.

We make a point of parking in handicapped spots "just for a minute," even when there's a whole empty lot available. We are teenagers all, pathetically rebelling against the social compact.

Nobody can tell me what to do.


Every time we speak of public policy, whether it is about garbage or botany or tax rolls, we are speaking about our own values.

Vancouver might be a healthier place if we truly cared about what we really want in our lives.

Sooooo Good

Sunday, March 15, 2009


VI'S AND IASI'SDear David As the snow comes down even in Tsawwassen. You have brought back some memories. VI,S steak house was great but the place across the street from The Penthouse was IASI’S and served the best VEAL PARMISSAN one could ever eat. That was the GOLDEN TIME. Regards Bill


I found this entry fascinating. There a re many reasons for all of this change which you find somewhat regretful and express so eloquently in this blog..It is a complex issue with more factors than there are spokes on a bicycle wheel.

But this is what I thought was important about one of these spokes. Vancouver and it's citizens have gone through an identity crisis (also most other rest of the planet).. And this crisis s a response to the “Marketing” of everything.

You refer to the jazz clubs and the smiling Buddha. They no longer exist in any real terms. What does exist are trendy places that are more often and not big franchised brand names playing background music that is being marketed and likely will actually not feature any musical instruments...often just loops on a computer. This transitioned store front is often inhabited by young people who have spent more money on their Nike shoes then you would want to pay for a suit.

And it is worth it to them.

Because they are not buying the coffee, the music or the shoes. They are purchasing a phantasy identity shared by their peers lasting just a bit longer than the current advertising campaign planned for them.

All of this is exactly as socially real as a tupper ware party because that is the quality of the fabric of the social interactions dribbling into the psyche of the participants..

It started with our generation. We have morphed along with the creeping incremental ism of internalized marketing messages. The generation of our kids and there kids have know nothing else. It is no longer about who and what you are. It is about who and what you are perceived to be. You are not what you eat. You are the goods and services you consume and dispense.

Having laid this tie it to crime, murder, mayham and violence.

If you cannot find a way to perceived identity paradise by doing “good things”...
then you can get there by doing “bad things”.

In exactly the same way you don't have to work for the Province to write a blog
you don't have to work for “the mob” to be a gangster. Get some dope and sell it. Or make a game plan with your friends and you have your own little mob.

Problem that is occurring that is occurring here is the same problem that occurs in most blogs on the Internet. There isn't the benefit of editorial control or advisement. “The so called mob” was an enduring institution with a code and occasion bouts of wisdom.

Hard to survive long without a basic honesty, integrity and most definitely - loyalty

How ironic.

In my opinion a large factor of the transition in society of which you write about here is brought on by creating perceived needs based on the marketing of ideas, products, and identity. Our youthful gangsters stand at the extreme end of loyalty to that perception.

They have bought in big time.

Marketing Marketing Marketing.


Here's this morning's Province lead headline:

17 hours of violence in Lower Mainland

The article chronicles the various shootings, stabbings, punchings and maimings visited upon our eager heads this weekend.

I find myself babbling.

"Why?" I ask the kitchen floor, "are we so prone to such lousy behaviour in such a beautiful setting? You would think that the ocean and the mountains would extend a sense of calm and patience."

The floor has no answers, other than, "Hey, Mr. Philosopher, try sweeping me on occasion."

When I first came to Vancouver from Winnipeg about 45 years ago (My mother was still sending me out of the house in grey flannel shorts, which is why my nickname was "Stovepipies."), Vancouvr already had the reputation for being a wild and woolly western port town. Hookers and junkies and deals gone sour, that sort of ambiance.

There were jazz clubs and pot and lots of really bad food.

Hey, it was a barely adolescent village with a natural waterway. Sailors from Russia and India mixed it up at the Smiling Bhudda and, if they could still walk or had a buck left in their soiled jeans, they made it up town to Vy's Steak House or that Spaghetti joint across from Philiponi's Penthouse.

Yes, there was heroin on the street, but it was not more than a blip, a cottage industry, patrolled by a few violent, crazed narco-cops, who kept things in line, so to speak.

Obviously, we need a couple of those good old SFU Criminologists or Sociologists to write us the definitive explanation (and no one has done one yet) of how we went in just a few decades from mildly amusing silliness to the sheer madness that prevails today.

Honduran drug dealers plying the Trade on the steps of a community centre that wins awards for civic spirit.

17 Hours of Violence.

A neighbourhood that was once a little seedy and strange and known simply as "the corner," that is now the worst and most expensive 4 square blocks in the known modern world.

Of course, it is not just the headlines.

Daily, every day, each day, daily, you and I suffer the indifferences of so-called ordinary white, middle-class assholes who NEVER use their turn signals, who ALWAYS find the opportunity to turn LEFT in a traffic circle, who NEVER stop pedestrians in striped crosswalks, who ALWAYS speed and change lanes and pass through SCHOOL ZONES, who exemplify in every possible mean chizzly way what it means to not be a citizen.

I have no idea. Not a clue.

Greed. Entitlement. Selfishness. No civics classes in school. Absent parents. Set-em-all-free courts.

You tell me.

I'm going out for brunch. Then I'm going for a walk along the water. Then I'm going swimming.

Tonight, I'll watch the rest of the tape I made yesterday of one of the greatest movies of all time, "From here to Eternity."

I'll watch the consummate skills and artistry of Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, Ernest Borgnine. I'll cry for sure.

I love Vancouver. But, let's be honest. It is a Lorelei, signaling to us, dragging us to a watery grave.

It is like craving the raspberries that give us hives.


“We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent..."

This is the straight-faced quote from Edward M. Liddy (a relative of Gordon Liddy of Watergate infamy?), the government appointed boss at AIG.

He is speaking of the many, many hundreds of millions of dollars that AIG will be paying out in bonuses to the executives who destroyed the company.

The Company they destroyed has now received about $170 Billion in taxpayer bailout monies.

That's quite a trick.

You ruin a huge multi-national financial institution that triggers a worldwide collapse of economies and you get paid performance bonuses, while the taxpayers (teachers, nurses, ditch diggers, cable guys, posties, blackjack dealers) give you many Billions to stay afloat.

Why were none of us ever taught this strategy in Economics 104?

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The list of disappearing newspapers is becoming encyclopedic.

Halifax Daily News

San Fransisco Chronicle

Seattle P.I.

Rocky Mountain News

Christian Science Monitor

The L.A. Times and the Chicago Sun Times have filed for bankruptcy.

Lay-offs in all media, but especially daily print, are daily, commonplace and heartbreaking.

What does this mean for you and me?

Much. A great deal.

It means that there are far fewer reporters and real journalists who can dig deep in those stories that need public exposure.

I am not a reporter. Never have been.

I'm a columnist, an observer, a talk show host. I see the passing parade and hiss or applaud. My role is to express my reaction to the world and get you and me engaged in a dialogue about the issues.

I do not hang about City Hall, poking in all the dusty corners.

Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people who do exactly that and who enjoy doing that and who are darned good at that can find work.

This means that you and I are increasingly less informed. The "official story" becomes increasingly unchallenged.

Which means that you and I are swallowing more and more horse swill as the days pass.

The Globe & Mail has written a marvelous several-page piece that asks the question:

Is democracy written in disappearing ink?

The other night I was standing in the many wrap-around windows of an apartment in downtown Vancouver. I found myself focusing on the beautiful old Sun Tower building on West Pender, and, behind it, the current Vancouver Sun building at the foot of Granville Street.

I had the same reaction that I had last year when I was in the advertising offices of the Sun, on the umpteentieth floor in the sky.

"Don't they know this is going the way of the dodo bird? Shouldn't they all be looking for other work?"

The Globe article studies in detail the inroads of the Internet and the erosion of the city newspaper financial model. But it also pints out starkly the unique role of the city daily print edition -

informing the public, animating civic culture and holding government accountable?

Blog Land is full of trenchant opinions (and pure, unadulterated idiocy), but opinions have to begin with facts and information.

So far, very few on-line papers or zines have been able to match the city daily.

Almost none have become crucial partners in the city's culture, sponsoring health and arts and sports and cultural events.

I have no idea what the coming years will bring us.

But let's be honest.

98% of the blogosphere is as productive and interesting as all those millions of teenage girls on their cells saying over and over again, "So, I'm like...and my mom's like...and I'm like..."


The criminal justice system will be on hold for 10 weeks before, during and after the Gordon Games.

RCMP and other police will be too busy on security assignments to testify in local courts.

This peculiar news raises another other questions.

Will policing in general be "on hold" at the same time?

Does this make the calendar period from January 15 to March 26, 2010 a great time to commit murder, robbery, rape and other public mayhem?

The other day we pointed out in this space (DISRUPTION) the disturbing and undemocratic power now given to VANOC.

This is what I wrote:

"VANOC is now apparently the highest form of government in the land, unelected though it may be. VANOC can close streets, re-route traffic hire or buy buses by the freight load and do just about any darn thing it wants to in order to make its famous Games work."

How little I knew in the dark days of Thursday.

Now we learn that VANOC can close the court system (such as it is) and throw a major bone to all the scofflaws of the earth.


(By the way, I suddenly remember that when I posted "DISRUPTION" on Thursday a guy from a local ad agency sent me an email.

This what he said.


That kept me laughing all day.

Imagine a guy in an ad agency, whose entire life and source of income are supposed to be creativity. His family spends that fortune to send him to Quick Quip School, where he graduates with Honors, especially in the Fast Comeback category.

And what he comes up with when he disapproves of something is "Dickhead!"

Sharp, buddy.

I'm intuiting that what he didn't like was my slagging the Games. I realize that it is practically a criminal offense in this part of the gulag these days to not be in full cheerleader mufti, pom-poms afurled.

"Dickhead!" The man's a genius. No doubt the agency's Creative Director. Don't you want this guy lading the next new client pitch.)

What VANOC can also do is make it against the law for you to protest, no matter how humbly, the riotous financial and social costs of the these Gord games.

I've been thinking about standing at the corner of Georgia & Granville at noon - just before I leave for Melbourne, of course - with a placard that says,


Does any one in the room remember voting for VANOC in any public election of any kind?

This has become the greatest example of taxation without representation that I can recall.

Shut down the streets, shut down the police, shut down the courts, shut down mom-&-pop businesses. Close the schools.


Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said yesterday, "We will never recognize Israel."

That is all you need to know.


Friday, March 13, 2009


My son and I had a wicked thought over breakfast yesterday.

Elect Carole James in May and rob Gordon Campbell of his Big Wet Dream - Crying with happiness in public at the Gordo Games.

I know.

It's cruel.

But we are simple folk. We cannot help ourselves.


The Davies commission of Inquiry into the death of Frank Paul has rendered, among others, two very important recommendations.

The first is something that many of us have been hollering about for ages - a civilian office to investigate all police-related deaths.

The police investigating the police is stupid and unproductive. It must go.

The police must be answerable to the people who pay them to serve and protect.

The second recommendation calls for a civilian "sobering centre."

The police pick up a drunk for whatever reason, fine. Step One: the drunk goes to a civilian detox, where he or she is first "cared for" and the risk of dying mysteriously in the hands of hostile or indifferent people in uniform is minimized or eliminated.

Why does it take inquiries such as this to raise the obvious?

And when, if ever, can we hope to see tfese imminently sensible changes come to life?

Slowly, the screw turns

The defense team in the Basi-Virk trial have won an interesting concession from the court.

They will be allowed to subpoena the phone and email records of named MLA's.

Which I think is a good thing.

Then only question is...where is the crown on this? Wouldn't you expect the crown to ask for these kinds of evidence?

And yesterday, the name of Patrick Kinsella was uttered in this court case.

What can it all mean?


Blackmailed by a Jeep

Chrylser has resorted to blackmail.

Give us a cookie or we'll leave.

Very grown-up.

Among other concessions and hand-outs demanded, they want Canada Revenue Agency to back off on the $500,000 lien it has put on its Brampton, Ontario plant.


Obviously, these rubes have never dealt with the kindly folks at CRA before.

As one who has, let me assure you there is no madder dog in the yard than a CRA sniper on a mission.

To Chrysler Canada and its threats to move south, we offer the words of that great American folk poet, J. Joplin, who once gloriously sang, "Bye Bye Baby Bye-Bye..."

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yesterday, given a hint of the chaos that will visit this city next February, I wrote in this space that I think I'll go to Melbourne during the Olympics.

But I really had no idea just how disruptive and destructive this little party would be.

Nor, it turns out did any of the many rah-rah-rah businesses that will suffer hugely. When the Downtown Business Association - perennially the biggest civic cheerleaders about almost anything - are kvetching, you know you've got trouble right here in River City.

VANOC is now apparently the highest form of government in the land, unelected though it may be. VANOC can close streets, re-route traffic hire or buy buses by the freight load and do just about any darn thing it wants to in order to make its famous Games work.

VANOC vice-president Terry Wright said yesterday that while the message will be "There's no room for the car," it will also be "There is room for you - on transit."

Really, Terry?

Which transit system is that exactly?

Portland? London?

Because the transit system that I know right here in Vancouver is and has been for a long time an unholy mess of insufficiencies.

Anyone remember the Cambie Merchants and how they have been screwed by the Cambie Line construction, not once, but ten times over?

Well, folks, you're going to see it all over again. On Robson and Granville and Hastings and West Broadway to name just a few choice locations where businesses will suffer mightily for the 17 days of wonder and awe.

And will any of those businesses receive compensation for Gord's Interruption?

Hahahaha...take another pill.

And were any of those businesses, most of whom proudly wore their "I'm backing the Games" buttons and banners and bows, told that they would be asked for this personal pocketbook sacrifice so Gord can have an emotional moment or two? Doubt.

Then, for those of you deranged enough to brave the Sea-to-Sky so-called highway, be prepared for the stop and security check. Be prepared to prove that you are not The Mad Bomber, that you have been a tax-paying church-going nose-cleaning citizen of the province for several decades.

Several commenters on yesterdays blog item asked if they could join me on my escape to Melbourne.

I think we should charter a plane and make a whole Vancouver Escapes thing out of it.

Maybe we can get a Canada Council grant or a government bail-out.

Denial on a Cheesy Scale

Patrick Kinsella is the provincial Liberal War Horse. He raises the money, he gets out the troops and he gets Gord elected.


Now, the NDP opposition would like to know why Kinsella's company was awarded $300,000 in contracts from BC Rail, exactly at the time that Gord was selling the company off.

In an almost biblical scene, The Opaque One was asked this question in the House yesterday and 12 times he declined to answer. 12.

Gord? He let Wally hang in the wind.

Dear NDP Opposition and Dear Journalists,

Keep asking.

America, The Beautiful

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


That's it.

I'm going to Melbourne when the world comes here.

Did you see the announcement this morning?

Major traffic routes in and out of and around the downtown core will be closed during the 17 day Gordon Campbell Games next year.

And much of the downtown will be one big pedestrian mall - or should that be, maul?

If this were some civilized city, and it's not, that might be a pleasant idea. People strolling, enjoying the sense of community.

But this is Canada, and the Wild West to boot, where The Romance of the Drunken Lout continues full force.

We are a crude adolescent culture. Break me another cold one, eh?

And no, I will not be renting my house out to some nutty coke-fueled NBC cameraman or executive.

I think I'll just quietly slip outta town and come back when the hay has been lifted.


1. "They are so pretty and so cute and they talk to you and follow you around," gushed Heather Havens.

The question we have to ask, of course, is..."Heather Havens?" Is that a made-up name? Or dare I ask, a "nom de PLUME???"

Heather is talking about her favorite hens, Zilla and Cheeks, whom she keeps in her Surrey backyard.

Heather is understandably all a-cluck with delight at the motion passed by Vancouver City council last week to legalize Z & C and all their feathered cousins and uncles and aunts.

The motion by the way was made by new council member, Andrea Reimer. Is this what you ran for civic office for, Andrea?

But enough about Andrea. Let's go back to the continuing adventures of The Loneliness of Heather.

Ms. Havens said keeping chicken isn't about saving money.

"You find yourself making excuses to go out and be with them," she said. "You bring them a treat, or check for eggs, but really, they are just nice to be around."

You cannot write material like this. It shows up once or twice in a lifetime.

2. Headline:

Saskatchewan farmers battle infestation of insidious boars

You see, there is some advantage to spelling.

At first, I looked at this banner and thought, "My god, what are all those politicians doing out in the middle of the prairie in this miserable weather. I know Larry Campbell has a family farm in that neck of the woods, but how did he persuade those other "insidious bores" to come along with him?"

But then...boars...b-o-a-r-s...

Oh. That's different.

Never mind.




Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Event details

7:30 – 9:00pm Vancouver Public Library, Downown Branch, Robson & Homer

Alice Mackay Room, Downtairs

Arguing the AFFIRMATIVE: Kirk Tousaw, Barrister, & Chairman, BC Civil Liberties Association Drug Policy Committee

Kirk is barrister and social justice advocate based in Vancouver, BC. He operates his own law practice, focusing primarily on criminal and constitutional litigation, and is also an associate of Conroy & Company, Barristers and Solicitors based in Abbotsford, BC. Kirk began practicing law in 1998 in the United States and has a background in business litigation, criminal defence and social justice advocacy pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He has been a practicing member of the Law Society of British Columbia since 2005.

Academically, Kirk holds a Bachelor’s of Art in political philosophy (Michigan State University) a Juris Doctor, cum laude (Wayne State University School of Law) and a Master’s in Law (University of British Columbia Faculty of Law). Kirk has completed two years of doctoral studies at the UBC Faculty of Law and is presently awaiting the opportunity to return to his studies and obtain the degree.

Kirk and his wife Debbie are parents to three wonderful children, Kaya (age 8), Caiden (age 3) and Oaklen (age 2). Kirk is active in the community, volunteering as the Chair of the Drug Policy Committee of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and is a member of that Association’s Board of Directors. Kirk is a member of the NDP Executive of both the federal riding of Vancouver-Quadra and the provincial riding of Vancouver-Quilchena.

Kirk has written and spoken extensively on issues related to drug policy, privacy, religious freedom and criminal justice policy. In addition, Kirk has had the privilege of testifying several times before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights of the House of Commons and also before the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Arguing the NEGATIVE: Barry Joneson, Recovered Addict,

Moderator: David Berner

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


A "native healing centre" may or may not be the best thing to ever happen to rehabilitation, criminal justice and addiction in this province. But it sure can't hurt.

This is a 44-week residential treatment program that was supposed to open last fall at Centre Creek, a former youth detention camp near Chilliwack.

Let me tell you up front from 10 years of personal experience that, if well run, a 44-week residential program is exactly what so many addicted people need. Yes, it will turn people around and it will save lives.

But wait.

Enter, walking backwards and in silence, Tom Christensen, the worst Minister of Children and Families this province has ever tolerated. (The really good news is that he has announced he will not run again in May.)

So the program that was to begin last year will not open until...well...your guess is as good as mine.

But hey. What's the hurry?

Young men and women are dying and stoning and committing suicide and especially in our native communities.

Why should that move the good Minister and his UberBoss, the Olympic King, the do anything, like provide the operating dollars to start the work that will save lives?

The monies are a few million.

Olympic lunch.


What sympathies am I meant to have for grown men who ski out of bounds and die in the snow?

What stretch of Christian charity should we find for people who climb under ropes and move past sign after sign warning of the dangers?

I am small and limited.


The news from India is truly horrifying.

At least 500,000 people have lost their jobs in recent weeks and the number could approach 2 million.

To make matters worse, there are no social safety nets.

A woman who worked 8 1/2 hours a day, six days a week earned $77 a month.

That is gone and she cannot buy buy milk and bread for her children.

As grim as things may be here in Canada, do we have any sense of how fortunate we are to be here and not in so many other places?

It must be frightening and frustrating and for Indian people living in Canada to know that their friends and families and country men, women and children are facing such dire hardships.

Investment wizard, billionaire and advisor to President Obama, Warren Buffet says succinctly "the economy has fallen off a cliff."

Asia Development Bank President Haruhiko Kuroda declared "This is by far the most serious crisis to hit the world economy since the Great Depression."

Hang onto your hats. Pray. Walk without a Walkman or an mp3 and notice your world. Enjoy simple gifts and pleasures. Turn to one another.

The coming few years will present enormous challenges. Individually and collectively we will need clarity and purpose and understanding of the basics.

Monday, March 9, 2009


I've been thinking about government bail-outs of the auto manufacturers, which now, on both sides of the border, runs in the many billions of taxpayer dollars.

(I'm not sure yet what I think about similar bail-outs of banks -except for a natural disgust, of course - so perhaps more on that on another day. For the moment, I'll just add that to my list of reasons for being happy I am a Canadian and not otherwise.)

It seems very clear to me that the car companies as they are currently structured and focused are history.

The so-called Big Three have been making trashy products that not one person I know buys. The only place I ever see these products are on rental lots.

It is all well and good that the unions have made concessions and taken pay roll-backs to help these misguided corporations seize more of our money. But that is hardly the answer.

If Obama and Harper are so determined to save these industries, then why not ask for real change?

We'll bail-out your sorry butts if:

You start making electric cars today.

You make small cars like the Smart Car.

You take the plans and tool-ups for all your SUV's and turn them into nuclear waste.

Trucks will be built and sold to truckers, not re-designed as passenger vehicles and made exempt from pollution restrictions.

Every American preisdent and every American presidential candidate for ages has blathered on about the necessity for "freeing ourselves from the addiction to foreign oil supplies."


Go ahead. Free yourself.

Go electric.

Go small.

Go You-Know-What until you can come up with real valid reasons for taxpayers to shore up these doomed and completely out-of-touch businesses.


With another shooting early this morning, it is clear that Vancouver area newspapers, struggling to remake themselves in the hope of survival, will have to begin every day with a new category:


This is where rookie reporters will pay their dues and get their stripes.

The next section of the remade papers will have to be something like:


Oh My - This is Goooood

Sunday, March 8, 2009

COOPED UP - Pooped Out

It is now legal to keep chickens in your back yard in the City of Vancouver.

This is what your City Council is up to these days.

And they did it all without Kim Capri.

Can you say, "RATS!' boys and girls?

Vermin, stink, guano, foxes, coyotes, raccoons...

Sometimes you read things or hear abut them in the grocery store and you think, "No, that can't be. Who would do something that idiotic?"

So you dismiss the whole idea for a day or two and finally you go back and do the research, and, yes, they really did it.

Vancouver city council voted unanimously Thursday to change city bylaws to legalize the keeping of urban hens.

I will never run for office.

But if I was in council on the day such a nincompoop notion was raised I would squawk, "SHUT UP! GET OUT! We have serious business to do here."

This a city.

Or an approximation of one. A facsimile. We try to be a city.

In real cities, people don't even have lawns. They have parks and commons.

Chickens are for farms.

I buy my already slaughtered chicken at Safeway. After I do some things to it over a fire we like to call a stove, it's just fine thank you. Yummy.

My grandmother, who was born in Russia, bought live chickens from a farmer and killed them and prepared them in our kitchen sink.


I was very glad to leave 1950 Winnipeg behind.

Why are we revisiting a disease-ridden, plague-driven, stinky messy gulag lifestyle?

What next? Lions? Alligators?

How about a piranha tank at 12th and Cambie?

Where We've Been

Where We're Going

Hearst makes offers to Seattle staff for online-only publication

Associated Press - March 6, 2009

SEATTLE — Hearst Corp., owner of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has made offers to some staffers to participate in an online-only version of the newspaper, the P-I reported Thursday.

An unspecified number of the P-I's 181 employees received “provisional offers” Wednesday and Thursday to work for the online venture, the newspaper said in a story posted on its website.

The paper, quoting two reporters, said the job offers would be formalized if a website is approved by Hearst's senior management.

Hearst announced Jan. 9 that it was putting the P-I up for sale and said that if it couldn't find a buyer in 60 days the paper would likely close or continue to exist only online. There has been no word on a possible buyer.

Calls by The Associated Press to Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer were not immediately returned Thursday.

P-I Managing Editor David McCumber declined to comment. “I'd like this process to play itself out,” he told the AP.

He said he did not know exactly when the P-I would cease publishing its print edition.

“I don't have a sense of that,” he said Thursday. “There are a lot of moving parts, a lot of logistics, lots of things to be considered.”

Permanent layoffs won't occur any earlier than March 18, P-I Publisher Roger Oglesby informed the state Employment Security Department in a January letter.

Hearst said in its January announcement that if it does become an Internet-only operation, the P-I would have a “greatly reduced staff.”

Metro reporter Hector Castro said he received a provisional offer Thursday but declined it, saying the package wasn't good.

“They're talking about a small team of people working hard to make this a profitable venture,” Castro said, adding that he didn't know how many people were offered positions.

A number of staffers contacted by the AP declined to comment.

Sports columnist Art Thiel said Thursday he had not been contacted and that the news of a possible online venture didn't surprise him.

“They said they were thinking of online, now they're doing it,” he said.

Since 1983, the P-I has shared business operations with its cross-town rival, The Seattle Times, in a joint operating agreement.

Under the JOA, The Times handles advertising, printing and other non-news functions for the P-I, so the layoffs at the P-I would only affect newsroom staff.

The P-I has a weekday circulation of 117,000, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The P-I was founded as the Seattle Gazette in 1863. Hearst has owned the P-I since 1921, and the paper has had operating losses since 2000, including $14 million last year.

Hearst is a major media company that also owns TV stations, other newspapers and magazines including Cosmopolitan.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

MORE on the YVR MURDER by a Commentor

NRF writes:

NRF has left a new comment on your post "YVR KILLING -Waldo to the rescue?":

Martino wrote, "The RCMP is not above the law of the land..."

Well, sir, I am afraid that it is and the Dzienkanski case is illustrative. The standard cover-up strategy failed because,early on, BC Coroner's Service stated publicly that Pritchard's video could be returned to its owner. In the RCMP's disappointed words, that removed their only legal justification for keeping the original video tape. As recently demonstrated in North Vancouver, Houston and Prince George, the RCMP prefers that videos of members' actions be unavailable.

Evasion of the force's moral responsibility in this case fails only because the video tape is here for all to see. In the past, officialdom has been compliant, even helpful, to such evasion. Examine Stan Lowe's statements when he disclosed that the Crown would not lay charges in the swarming. That Crown decision was defective, made without expectation of intense scrutiny to follow. (Unhappily, their spokesman is the new BC Police Complaint's Commissioner.) Here is the Polish Embassy's reaction: “Reading the [Crown's] statement, it appears that the main reason for Mr. Dziekanski's death was his fear of flying, tiredness and lack of ability to communicate in English. Particularly disconcerting, though factually baseless, are repeated insinuations of alcohol abuse..."

Only the naive imagined that police testimony was always unimpeachable but few citizens suspected that the entire agency, including its management hierarchy, would work together to spin a self-serving story as in this case.

The RCMP fails the ethical tests put to it in recent times. Corruption and political interference are unacceptable elements of Canadian justice. Rot at the top of the RCMP has been apparent for some time. Shuffling the deck chairs is insufficient. They should be removed as a local policing agency in this region and replaced by a provincial police agency that is not managed by authorities who live 3,500 kilometers away.

YVR KILLING -Waldo to the rescue?

"Recent allegations of fraudulent statements and a planned cover-up are leading to loud calls for a new look at the December decision by the B.C. Crown counsel's office to clear the four RCMP officers involved in the tragic encounter with Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski."

Thus begins Gary Mason's latest on the YVR killing.

Several commenters have kvetched about my use of the word 'murder,''in this regard.

Murder may be a legal word with clear delineations about intentions, but it is also a good old-fashioned English word for what often happens when two or more people collide and one or more end up dead.

This is exactly such a case.

Others have kvetched that I have called the police liars in this story.

But read all the evidence and all the reporting and you must only conclude that sworn evidence given IS FALSE.

Here is Mason's column in its entirety.

Every reporter covering this story has told us the same basics. The RCMP said that certain things happened. As a result the Crown declined to press charges.

But those things the RCMP said happened, DID NOT HAPPEN.

What's the problem kvetchers?

Be concerned less with fighting with me than with police investigating themselves and what that means for the kind of community in which you live.

Now, the truly scary part of this entire disgusting incident IN WHICH AN UTTERLY INNOCENT MAN WAS KILLED BY PEOPLE WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN HELPING HIM is that the possibility of bringing charges against these disgraces lies completely in the hands of that great arbiter of justice, Wally Opaque.

Lord, spare us.


In a world of bullshit and political correctness, how refreshing it is to find one honest public servant.

There's a gang war and it's brutal, chief admits

That would be your Jim Chu.


Mark Leiren-Young is the brilliant writer who blessed me many years ago by asking me to perform his monologue, "Shylock."

That was a life-changing experience for me and I am for ever in his debt, and in the debt of the director, the late John Juliani, and the producer, Donna Wong-Juliani.

Now, Mark has done it again.

His new and first film as a writer-director opens this weekend at the Fifth Avenue here in Vancouver.

The movie is called "The Green Chain" and it is an examination of one of our most central problems here in B.C. - the future of forests and the lumber industry.

For video, tickets, background and more, go NOW to this site.

Then go straight to the Fifth Avenue and support your local - and always talented and engaging - filmmaker.

Victor on his Continuing Love Affair with Obama, The Second Coming of the Messiah

In the 14th century, when one third of Europe's population died of the
plague, the treatment of choice involved bringing the sick into
cathedrals where the monks would bleed them and preach soaring
sermons. It had no effect other than to make matters worse by
bleeding sick people.

Since Obama was elected, the stock market has lost 20 per cent of its
value. Soaring speeches have had no effect and bleeding taxpayers will
make a sick economy worse.

No speech, no matter how eloquent, will do anything to change
America's systemic problems including: unproductive workers producing
unreliable products, financial scammers at the highest level, a huge
and growing entitlement class and an economy based on mindless

The Community Organizer in Chief and the monks have much in common.


Friday, March 6, 2009


Dear Kash,

With due respect, what in the devil's name are you doing?

Until I am shown otherwise, I will continue to believe that you are a good cop and sometimes a great cop.

I don't know if you've noticed lately, Kash, but we are in dire need of good and great law enforcement people these days.

We don't need new politicians, Kash. We need good cops, effective cops, honest cops, dedicated cops. Like you.

If all this swirl is true, if in fact you are going to be running for election in May with Gordon Campbell's Liberals, all I can ask is, "Why?"

What could you possibly expect to accomplish, even if elected?

You'll get elected and Gordon will make you Attorney-G or Solicitor-G? Is that it?

I hate to be crude, money involved? Rewards of some kind, other than the vanity of public office? I would hate to think so, and until shown otherwise, I don't think so. But, as you can see, I am not very bright and I am struggling to understand why a man who can so effectively serve the public in an honorable way would turn to the Most Rotten Show in Town.

Has someone convinced you that you have a shot at being Canada's first Indo-Canadian Prime Minister? Barack did it, so you can too, the time is that what people are whispering in your ear?

Maybe so. Maybe they are right.

And that would be exciting and yes, worthwhile.

But the distance from Vancouver-Fraserview to Ottawa is many many millions of light years, fraught with monumental perils along the way. One wrong move and you're toast, Kash.

All I can see at this point is that, at a time of public fear and distrust in our constabulary and increasing crime and decreasing criminal justice, we are losing an excellent policeman and possibly gaining another bullshitting politician. Just what we don't need.

Say it isn't true.

Housing Priorities

Here is the John Doyle,British Columbia's Auditor-General:

"Government has not been successful in reducing homelessness. We found that the government does not have a comprehensive plan for addressing homelessness. Government's goals and objectives are ill-defined and it has no overall measure or target for homelessness."

But Rich Cold Man differs.


Whom are we to believe?

Finally, I see some good coming from the Big Stupid Ski Party.

Victoria, embarrassed as it should be by its complete disregard for people with whom it is not in business, is now looking at building real and new social housing. It is asking the federal government to contribute hundreds of millions to that goal.

If any of this comes to pass, the Great Vancouver Luge-In will have been worth it.