Thursday, July 30, 2009


Here, in full, is the Globe piece of the latest triumph of Susan Heyes.

"Transit authorities have been ordered to cough up $600,000 now to merchant Susan Heyes, who was awarded that amount in damages for business losses caused by construction of the Canada Line outside her store on Cambie Street. The authorities had asked the B.C. Court of Appeal to stay payment of the award, pending their appeal of the B.C. Supreme Court judgment in Ms. Heyes's favour.

But Mr. Justice Edward Chiasson ruled yesterday that it would be unjust to deprive Ms. Heyes of the money while the appeal winds on. After the decision, the small-business owner, who has waged a tireless campaign for compensation, broke down in tears. "Tears of relief," she explained afterward."

How many other ways and times will this corrupt gang try to steal from this courageous woman?


The Vision-less Council is approving "laneway housing" across the board for all of Vancouver, a clear violation of the process of neighbourhood involvements that have been in place for decades.

This is typical of a naive, agenda-driven council with answers to complex problems drawn from the nearest Simpleton Box.

Following is a little taste of the issue to be added to in more detail in the coming days.

First is the Frances Bula piece in yesterday's Globe.

Then, a comment from local lawyer and former council member, Jonathan Baker:

"Laneway Housing is a bad idea whose time has come.

This scheme is driven by and for developers under the false pretense that it is green, inconspicuous and cheap. The phrase "laneway housing" is 'developer speak' redolent of hobbits and country shires. Hobbitville is not what it will be produced. Every new house will have a second house in the backyard. Off street parking will be at the expense of landscaping and trees. Streets will be jammed with parked cars. They will not be able to restrict occupancy to families, students or rental. Developers will whine to the next council that their profits are insufficient to meet their goals. This will inevitably give rise to subdivided lots. This idea was concocted by NPA politicians who, thanks to the voters are no longer among the politically living. It is after all the least green form of development because it uses the most land as opposed to apartment buildings. At least that is what the eco-density policy proclaimed.

By this mass rezoning, Council has repudiated the policy of neighborhood planning put in place in the late sixties."

Watch this space for more on this matter soon.


Let's be clear.

I am not blaming the victim.

But in the horrible case of a young girl being forced off a bus and then sexually assaulted by some Pig Person, a reasonable question can be and should be asked.

What is a 13-year old of any gender doing on a number 20 bus at 2:30 in the morning?

Maybe there is a reasonable answer.

Maybe this child had a job of some kind to help pay the family bills. Maybe the job ended at 2 a.m.

Maybe the family, if there is one, needs some serious self-examination about rules and regs and family dynamics.

Maybe I'm full of self-righteous hot air.

Maybe you had exactly the same very natural reaction to this nightmare.

The Coast Mountainn bus people have said that their drivers would normally question a young person or toddler getting on the bus very late at night.


If Evil Bastards want to do something terrible, they will no matter the good intentions of Real Citizens.

However...this might be a wake-up call for the bus drivers to be required, at the very least, to keep youngsters who board alone late at night, clearly nearby and in sight, to the degree that they can.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Yesterday morning, I walked through one of those small parks that exist in the West End that were created some years ago when the City Fathers and Mothers blocked off a few streets and added a bench or two and some plants.

This was a good initiative.

Traffic was slowed down and diverted, and lovely little places of tranquility arose in the heart of a busy urban centre.

That, of course, was then and this is now.

Yesterday, my walk through this tiny park was more like a trot or a gentle jog.


Drug addicts, of course.

Most of the apartment buildings in proximity to these former havens - which are now little Main and Hastings replicas - have signs boasting a K9 Narco Patrol, or some such. In other words, this building gets a regular sweep by sniffing German shepherds for drugs on site. Reassuring, no doubt.

The addicts now own these little parks, just as they own many streets and alleys and entire neighbourhoods.

They own these public spaces by virtue of their dirtiness, their ugliness and their made or implied threat of contamination or assault.

They are the Poster Boys for Living Crime.

How did we get here?


Unable and unwilling to ever say "no" to anyone, including and especially our own children, who must never be denied anything, we have as a community been giving out needles and heroin and methadone and crack pipe kits and anything else that would enable and give legitimacy to a life style choice that is illegitimate and destructive for all concerned.

We have asked or demanded nothing of the addicts who terrorize our land, because it isn't nice to judge other people (unless, of course, you happen to be a Judge, in which case, we all wish you would throw the Book at 'em once in a while) and we must always be seen as nice people who are never mean to anyone.

We have accepted the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, VANDU, as some sort of legitimate voice for "the oppressed," instead of recognizing for what it is - a non-group of disorganized drug freaks who want to shoot dope and rob citizens and be left alone to do what they do, because they have rights, don't you know.

What we have done with this Harm Seduction approach is caused more harm to more people than could ever have been imagined a few decades ago.

Harm especially to the addicts themselves.

1. They don't know where they stand. Is being a dope fiend a bad thing these days, or is it OK?

2. We have NO TREATMENT options for them, because, in spite of all the real evidence or real people who have cleaned up and moved on, we no longer believe in the efficacy of treatment. We actually declare in public documents sent from City Halls and other policy-making centres, that "treatment doesn't work."

Of course, the Harm to the public weal is almost uncountable now. An entire district - the DTES is a revolting to-be-avoided-at-all-costs international disgrace.

Street corners in every district throughout Great Vancouver are controlled by criminal drug addicts.

And the lovely little half-block parks in the West End?

Good luck, Bunky.



The B.C. Utilities Commission has killed Premier Campbell's plans to revise energy issues in this province.

"Green Premier's agenda hits snag as energy plan rejected

Commission says British Columbia government's initiative not in public interest"

What makes this decision so compelling is that the Preem has couched his plans in the popular wedding gown of ecology and clean energy, when in fact his plan has always been about what all his plans are about - helping Big Biz get more.

In this case, we are talking about run-of-river rights being handed on a plate to private energy producers. This being a typical Campbell Triple P, Triple Sauce, Private-Public-Partnership scam.

God, he thinks he's so clever, and like most people who are enamoured with their own cleverness, he is soooooo transparent.

"Some analysts say the ruling – which shocked the government and the stock market – indicates B.C. has been over-estimating the amount of power the province needs in order to justify the development of independent power projects.

“We have a very flawed energy plan in this province … the government cannot continue to exaggerate the need for power,” said Lori Winstanley, a spokeswoman for the professional employees' union known as COPE, which has long been critical of BC Hydro's energy plan.

For years the opposition NDP has questioned the Campbell government's energy plan, claiming independent hydro projects that harness some of the province's rivers – known as run of river projects – pose hazards to the environment, and sports fisheries."

I had the pleasure of hosting and moderating a public debate about this very issue not too many months ago. Both debaters were excellent presenters and decent people.

But it was clear to me that this was another Campbell Sell-Off, in which, under some noble disguise, resources are given to private concerns to make hay while the public purse is left in the lurch.

Hey, it worked for George W. Bush in Texas, why not for Wee Gordie in BC?

I applaud the Utilities Commission decision.

Back to the Back Room Strategy Board, Gord.


I've just been watching President Barack Obama speaking to the world about health care reform and other weighty matters.

Has there ever been such a plain-spoken leader?

I appreciate that he is a politician and a clever man. I do not think he is the Messiah.

But, man, he is a continuing pleasure to behold.

It is hard, after years and years of seeing nothing but liars and dissemblers in public life, to enjoy and find credible one who is talking directly to the heart of the matter.

He is far from perfect and he has already caused a few blips and speed bumps along the way.

But, dammit, he is good.

And he is credible.

About what other leader can this be said? Harper? Sarkozy? Campbell? Berlusconi?

Rock on, Pres. I for one am enjoying the ride.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Watch the provincial government.

And watch it closely on at least three fronts:

The Barber Shop Quartet Tax (hummmmm....are we Harmonized yet?)

The Basi-Virk Trial (Will anyone ever confess to erasing 4 years of emails at election time? Will any newspaper follow this scandal?)

and Health Care.

Especially Health Care.

The Pit Bull known as Kevin Falcon, a bird of Prey if ever there was one, is now the Minister responsible for Health Care., Lord help us.

Can you say, "Slash and burn," kids?

Now our health care priorities are being managed by the 2010 Olympics. I kid you not.

"The Vancouver Coastal Health authority pledged to cut elective surgeries during the 2010 Winter Olympics, based on the experience of other host cities that saw demand fall during the Games."

Operating rooms will close, surgeries will be reduced, as will maternity services and pediatrics.

Mr. Falcon continues to see health care as a business. Wrong model, Kev! Wake up and smell the role of government in certain essential community responsibilities, like say, just for example, to take care!

And the Olympic Premier, who never saw a shiny windbreaker he could resist, continues to place the Big Party next February above all else.

Watch these guys.

They are dangerous.


In a word...Yes.

Two new books on the subject were reviewed in this Saturday's Globe under the following headings:

"Is psychiatry a failure?

Two new books attack big pharma and lazy doctors for not doing enough to help patients. Sometimes talk, not drugs, is all a person needs"

The books are "prescriptions for the Mind" by Joel Paris and "Doctoring the Mind" by Richard Bentall, and the reviews are written by Todd Dufresne.

Oddly, at exactly the same time, a piece by Christopher Lane on the same subject called, "Bitterness, Compulsive Shopping, and Internet AddictionThe diagnostic madness of DSM-V,"

has appeared in Slate, the on-line journal.

This last was sent to me by my old buddy, Gavin Walker, the Jazz historian, Broadcaster and Player, who has managed to keep his own special brand of craziness going beautifully for a few decades now without the help of the couch or Big Pharma.


Does anybody take psychiatry seriously these days? After Woody Allen, is it possible?

Oh, yes, the occasional person, after much hounding and harassment and oversight by his or her family, is given the right mix of medicines for something real and legitimate and devastating like schizophrenia.

But all those other drugs that are pissed into our water systems making Big Pharma, along with Arms, Oil and Illegal Drugs one of the Four Big Businesses in the world?

All those children, especially young boys, who are given psychotropics which make them far worse than they ever were before their nitwit parents or teachers sent them to the good doctor?

I'm amazed that this pseudo-science still exists or that its spooky practitioners are still allowed to hang their shingles and take money.

Remember that the psychiatrist who is "treating" Mr. Li, the nice man who cut off a guy's head on a Greyhound Bus, has reported recently that Li is making "good progress."

Doesn't that just about sum up this alleged discipline?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hunker Down Kids..The Worst is Yet to Come

Oh, no.

Please, say it isn't so.

Bicycle lanes on every bridge in the province.

Badly run homeless shelters on every street corner.

Such is the future if today's political guessing game comes to life - Vision B.C.


True, the provincial NDP has gone nowhere and is going nowhere, and while Carole James may be a fine person, she clearly cannot lead the party out of the wilderness and into the honey pot of power.

True also that the provincial Liberal party under the inspired leadership of Gordon Campbell (hahaha...) has enraged at least half the voters, who unfortunately are too stupid and selfish to bother voting, thinking that kvetching over their double doubles will bring change.

But Vision B.C.?

Mr. Smiley Simplepants as Premier?


Was this the plan from the beginning?

Gregor leaves his elected position as MLA half way through his term to run for mayor, he is backed by big bucks and social engineers and terrific organizers and wins by a landslide...only to set up the NEXT BIG STEP?

I see it now.

First order of business in the new Vision-run Provincial Legislature.

Standing Order B21 - A change of name of the Province from British Columbia (So yesterday!) to...wait for it...


A hot tub in every yard.


Judge Thomas Broadwood, after listening patiently for months, often to totoal drivel and fabrications, released last week his recommendations on the use of tasers by police.

He has basically said that you cannot use these instuments "casually," that the situation must be dire and serious and involve immediate danger and threat and some action involving a fedral crime.

No bursts longer than an initial hit of five seconds.

He has also called for greater training and for agreed rules of behaviour across the spectrum of various police forces in the province.

Kash Heed, B.C.'s Solicitor-General (who I mistakenly called our A-G last week; my apologies), has told the RMP and other police forces to put Judge Braidwood's recommendations onto the street at once.

None of this will return the life of Robert DziekaƄski, but it is good news.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Now the President has invited the Professor and the Policeman to the White House for a beer.

Looks like their taking him up on it.

Meanwhile, back in Cambridge, Mass., every cop and his cousin is dismissing and dissing the Pres for his outrageous nerve at calling their fellow officer stupid.

No doubt the Republican and the Fox News screamers and radio talkers are having the best time they've ever had.


W can be sure that Dr. Gates was loud and noisy and arrogant and uncooperative when the police stopped him from breaking into his own house.

We can also be sure that the Sgt. Crowley took the usual cop stance - equally arrogant and righteous and demanding.

Neither man worked very hard at defusing a silly and ridiculous moment that could have easily ended differently.

"Please show me something that identifies you with this property, Sir."

And Obama didn't help by wandering into an already sensitive incident with the word "stupid" at the ready. Which he has admitted.

But you know what?

All of this, including Obama's off the cuff, not very wise, honesty has brought focus and attention to a central problem in American public life - racial profiling.

Both Obama and Henry Louis Gates have had the experience. As have millions of black Americans.

When I hear the police high on their righteous horses in this story, I can only feel, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."


I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe. Imagine! A difficult job, yes...

A tent walked by.

A beige stiff and starched draped tent.

Only a slit for the eyes.

A woman's eyes, I had to guess.

I do have a brain. And that brain not only offers the power of reason, it is all the repository of much stored information.

So, later, after my initial shock and horror and disgust wore off, I was able to put my book down on the table and think about how people have a right to practice their religion, I guess...

But there is no question that my gut reaction was shock and horror and disgust and a deep anger about subjecting women to the roles and rituals that define them as chattels.

It is also the right and privilege and yes, even duty, of people who immigrate to Canada to maintain their homeland virtues while adopting to what likes to think of itself as a modern democracy.

My family did just that. Coming from Russia at the turn of the last Century, we spoke English on the street, mostly Yiddish in the house, went to both public schools and synagogue and somehow straddled the old and the new, making subtle shifts and compromises of one kind or another as we went along. Canadians, but Jews. Jews and Canadians. Nowhere did we identify ourselves as "Russian-Jewish Canadians." Who knew from hyphens?

All of this has come to mind now that the mother, father and brother of a family in Kingston have been charged with the murder of three of their daughters and their "auntie," who it turns out is actually the first barren wife of the accused father.

The more you read about this case - and it is in all your newspapers and websites - and the more you realize that there is a very strong chance that this is about ancient religious beliefs and practices, the more you ask yourself about our immigration processes.

Do we really ask anything of anyone? Do we point out that killing your daughter because she is dating some drip about whom you don't approve just isn't a "go" in this neck of the woods. That no young women would get past the age of 14 if we succumbed to these sentiments and rationalized dreadful behaviour with holy writ?

I suppose people have the right to sail down Broadway on a hot summer day disguised as a drifting tent or anything else they fancy.

But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pressing Engagements

The bridge gang is about to arrive. The coffee is perking and the cards are on the table.

Tomorrow - The Rideau Canal murder case: 4 women, old world values...and Judge Braidwood's recommendations on Tasers.

Stay Tuned.

Rock On, Pres

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a black man.

He is also a renowned Harvard scholar whose writings are published in many popular and obscure journals and newspapers.

He was arrested and handcuffed last week as he tried to break into his own home in leafy old Cambridge, Mass.

President Obama said in plain English that he thought the Cambridge police "acted stupidly."

Now, this forthright declaration on prime-time TV may not have been the most judicious or clever thing a sitting President has ever done.

But it sure is one of the sweetest.

The cop couldn't have asked Professor Gates to please identify himself as the owner of the house?

Race continues to be the core paralyzing reality at the heart of the American "dream."

The President is valiantly trying to push health care reform through the reluctant, resistant, often wicked corridors of power in Washington, and this side-show will not be of any particular help.

But it is so refreshing and wonderful to hear a President say what must be said and what is on the lips of millions of black and white Americans.


The right to privacy is a concept that is central to and held dearly in most Western democracies, Canada included.

But as a ploy in a court case involving the questionable use of $1 Billion in public funds it is a cheesy cry of "Wolf!"

Such, in my opinion, is the case here in Vancouver in the Basi-Virk trial which held its last day of arguments yesterday before a recess until mid-August.

The lawyers for the defense want materials, including email exchanges, from the desk of Patrick Kinsella. Kinsella is both a central figure in this story and a phantom. He is a friend to the Premier and the head of CN Rail and he has so far managed to keep very much to himself.

The public - voters and taxpayers - have a right to know how BC Rail got sold to CN Rail and whether or not "the fix" was in.

Kinsella's lawyers may argue that the defense's request for their client's materials is some kind of "fishing expedition," but if it is, I'd like to don the pork pie hat, wading boots, safari vest with all the pockets and bring my new spinner along for the ride.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


On Sunday, April 5, 2009, I posted an item in this space called, "TRIANGULATION."

It was about the frighteningly cosy relationship between Premier Gordon Campbell, Patrick Kinsella and one David McLean. McLean is the CN Chairman and major fundraiser know...Gordon Campbell.

One of McLean's sons, whose greatest accomplishment is having a father named David, holds various important and well-paying jobs and is slated to be the next head of the Vancouver Board of Trade.

I encourage you to read my April musings and reflect on how inadequately Vancouver media is covering the most important political corruption story in this province in a very long time.

Except...except for our friend Bill Tieleman, who continues to blanket this hideous tale from stem to stern.

"If you cannot figure anything else out about the complicated Basi-Virk corruption case, understand just this -- during the May provincial election someone in the B.C. government ordered potentially critical email evidence destroyed."

Nobody does it better...

Tieleman has been sitting in on the Basi-Virk hearings and trial from the beginning.

You can also find the link to Bill's blog to the right of this posting under "Links."

Forget the fires in Kelowna and RV's parking at Jericho during That Sporting Event Next Year. Those are not the stories that should headline our dailies.

This is the one true story and if newspaper editors don't know that then their publishers should stop wondering about declining sales.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


In case you missed it, here are the first few paragraphs from this m orning's Globe:

n a ruling that places limits on the principle of cabinet confidentiality and is expected to prove pivotal in a long-running political corruption trial, Premier Gordon Campbell and his top officials have been ordered to turn over their e-mail records to the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett said Monday she wants to review the e-mails of Mr. Campbell, his chief of staff, Martyn Brown, his executive assistant, Lara Dauphinee, his deputy minister, Brenda Eaton, his former chief adviser, Ken Dobell, and several other key elected and appointed officials.

The government is also required to produce the e-mails of former finance minister Gary Collins and former deputy premier Christy Clark, both of whom left politics in 2004."

We said here the other day that Monday would be the day the rubber hits the road.


In Gary Mason's front page column, he suggests this may be the beginning of an ignoble end for Premier Gordon Campbell:

"As court rulings go, this one may be without precedent in Canada: an order for a sitting Premier and select members of his staff and cabinet to turn their e-mails over to a court."

The unpsoken whote elephant in the middle of the office in this case is the distinct possibility that

"Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk leaked information to lobbyists representing one of the companies bidding for BC Rail, it was a deliberate strategy designed to drive up the price of the asset. Not only that, it was a plan approved by cabinet, including the Premier. Additionally, others were leaking information, too, including cabinet ministers."

What is most troubling is that if the emails in question can not be found or produced, the entire case, which has already cost you and me $20 Million, could be tossed out of court, in which case everyone will run away untouched and none of the truths will ever come to light.

Hold onto your horses.

This is the political story in this neck of the woods in ages and it stinks and it will get even smellier by the day.


President Obama is doing everything he can to bring medical insurance to the 45 million Americans who have been without for far too long.

The horror show of the Republican attempts to stop this necessary and essential service is disgusting.

Unable to find enough reasonable arguments to defeat this inevitability and bereft of good debating skills, the Republicans have resorted as usual to name calling.

Ah, the good old ad hominum argument. You Putz!

It was a pleasure to see Obama say clearly and with quiet confidence, "This is not about me. It is about health care for children and families who have none."


Kudos to 24 Hours Newspaper, who yesterday featured a cover story on The Last Door, which for over 25 years now has been taking in deeply disturbed people called drug addicts and turning out clean and sober citizens.

This was no small deal. The publishing of the story. Everyone else in the media has been consistently buying and selling the Harm Seduction evil fantasy.

So how refreshing it was to see this beacon of light on a front page.

That, of course, is small potatoes to the extraordinary good work that The Last Door does day in and day out.

When you run out of things for whuch to be grateful, add these folks to your list.

Monday, July 20, 2009




Emblazon this on your forehead, Mate.

Tattoo it on your butt and your shoulders, Sally.

Record it on every device you own so that your day starts and ends with this directive.

Ask your priest or rabbi to give sermons on such.

Carve it into your skateboard, Skippy.

You are not allowed in modern urban life to walk into a cafe carrying the ubiquitous Starbucks or Blenz or Waves or anybody else's cardboard, taste-destroying cup.

First, the cardinal sin of the carry-out. Bad enough.

Don't you know that coffee, especially espresso and all its de-caf, skim-milk, caramel, choco-sprinkled variants, was meant by the gods of food and drink to be sipped slowly from a porcelain - NEVER GLASS! - cup while sitting at a table? Preferably and weather and city bylaws permitting, an outdoor table, so that, even if you are reading or engaged in actual face-to-face conversation - REMEMBER THAT? - you can observe the passing parade of humanity, or what is posing as humanity these days. (See, SOCIAL STUDIES, TWO - THEY ARE HERE AND THEY ARE AMONGST US.)

Second, and this is the point, isn't it, cafes oddly enough serve...wait for

Do you frequent The Keg? Ever walk into the Keg with your own steak? Or McDonald's with your own patty and frozen potato slices?

Then why would you walk into a shop that depends on its livelihood for selling cups of coffee with someone else's coffee in your hand? Why would you think that's perfectly O.K?

On Saturday morning, I was enjoying a late breakfast al fresco at one of my favorite neighbourhood places (The "David" crepe: bananas and walnuts.), when two otherwise reasonable looking fools - a young man and a young woman - strolled in with their Timmy's take out java in hand.

At least they sat down and ordered something to eat.

Heather, the gracious and always welcoming host, owner and chef, tells the tale of the couple who came in sat down, ordered some lunch and then had the girl leave to walk down the street to get some Starbuck's coffee to bring back. When Heather pointed out that she sold coffee (They were sitting about four feet from the large and unavoidable espresso machine.), the couple got all huffy about their rights and left.

Last week, I became speechless and apoplectic with rage watching three lovely young people come into a cafe where my son and I were having a brunch. They were bright and smart and lovely people. Except that they marched past that espresso machine with their Starbucks paper cups in hand.

There is one first-rate Italian cafe here in town where the owner - from Rome , and successful and old enough to not give a shit about political correctness - will throw out such mindless, selfish trash. I love him for this.


Let's review today's lesson, kids.

When you walk into a cafe, bring your brain and your wallet and your good graces and remember that this is a person running a small local business and he or she serves coffee. That's why it's called a coffee shop.

But, of course, I forgot.

You're the guy who brings your own sliced beef and chopped red peppers, Spanish onion and zucchini into The Mongolian Grill.


There is a new creature afoot.

He is sleek.

She is smooth.

They are magazine, air-brushed perfect.

I see them all the time. Is it just me?

They wear tight, unattractive-by-design clothes. Garish prints and checks, browns and oranges, flared collars and cuffs. That fucking rimless toque in the heat of summer.

One great movie critic said of Matt Damon in the Bourne series of movies that Damon had become "a bullet," all polished and rounded head, a body imitating materiel.

This is what these new creatures bring to mind.

By the way, they live (so far, but I am sure they are spreading ... and fast) in 600 square foot condos near the waters. Their shoes are square-toed, their tote bags and notebook cases are polished leathers and they are always, I mean always, on their cells.

They work in law, advertising, the media (whatever that is..?), government and city planning.

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was twice made into an excellent movie. In 1956 and 1978. Humans are being replaced by not-quite-humans who are being substituted while they sleep from giant pea pods grown from spores that have drifted into the atmosphere from some galaxy far, far away. "Invaders from Mars," 1953, had a similar plot line, in this case, taken from the viewpoint of a young boy.

The "new" people look like their previous selves, but they seem strangely muted and devoid of emotion or sentiment or "humanness."

In a marvelous, ethnic stereotyping moment in the second version of "Body Snatchers," a Chinese man in a Chinese laundry in Chinatown in San Fransisco, complains hysterically to a puzzled Donald Sutherland, "That not my wife! That not my wife!"

Don't we all know that feeling?


I believe these Hollywood scare stories are now visiting us in the flesh.

Watch for these modern, soul-less, perfect people. They are busy and fast and they run things or strive to run things and they work out and stay perfect or strive to stay perfect.

And they are humorless, except for the Big Laugh that comes with defeating The Other Guy.

And, oh yes...

They bring Starbucks coffee into other people's cafes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The Criminal Justice Branch of the BC Attorney-General's office has officially asked the RCMP to consider the possibility of an investigation into the famous missing e-mails.

Nice beginning for Kash Heed.

The Premier pursuades the West Vancouver Police Chief to step down from his recent appointment early so that he can run for office and be handed on a plate the AG job.

First file - check out your boss and his attachment to truth and justice! Hahaha...

On Monday, the rubber will hit the road.

Madam Justice Elizabeth Bennett will rule whether the e-mails in question are relevant to the defense in the Basi-Virk trial.

Fraud, money-laundering and breach of trust are only a few of the issues before us in this case related to the $1 Billion sale of BC Rail in 2003.

Don't even ask about the new owners, CN Rail, threatening last week to close down dozens of local stops along the way.

Community? Whazzat?

Service? Whoyakiddin'?

I didn't realize until after I had sent out yesterday's post on this little story ("OFF THE RAILS"), that my old editor at the Province newspaper, Jon Ferry had used the exact same word in his column to describe this affair: "stench." Clearly great complainers think alike.

Make no mistake about it.

This scandal has been stalled, bush-whacked, iced, red-tagged and avoided at all costs by a corrupt administration.

Let us see some real light shed on this tale. Let us hear some of the ugly truths.

The NDP opposition wasn't much of a second choice in the recent election and the Liberals did win their third kick at the cat by just barely enough votes to settle a pizza take-out dispute...BUT...

Wool over eyes continues its inexorable march ...

From Victor

Hey mensche?

Herein, my usual collection of disconnected dust bunny newsbits.


What's with Tiger? I thought the knee thing was behind him but there's
something else very wrong in my uninformed view. He's 31. It can't be
age. Can you say "Tom Watson"?

Federer, on the other hand, or either hand for that matter, proves
that body and soul can be as one in special people. I am not a tennis
fan. I was mesmerized. Gobsmacked.


Some drunk cops beat the supreme piss out of an East Indian newspaper
dealer, who was trying to help them, at 4 a.m. They plead to a lower
charge on the grounds that the lead cop had consumed 20 drinks (yes
20) and therefore could not form intent.

Word up. Any Canadian going to Warsaw or Bangalore would be well
advised not to get pissed in a bar and start wanking about how Canada
is the cradle of tolerance. Canadians tend to do that. I have cringed
in bars all over the world when the bombastic Canadian enters, braying
" I am not American, I am Canadian, the beautiful people. And by the
way, where are the hookers'? We are a silly fucking people, boasting
about what we aren't, afraid to define what we are


Nixon was fried for 18 minutes of erased tapes, which his secretary,
Rosemary Woods, said she had accidently erased. Nixon was the most
powerful man on earth, but lost his job nonetheless.

In BC, we erase two years of Cabinet emails, not 18 minutes, and the
acceptable political response is " No comment, it is before the courts".

Could Nixon have said that? No, because the Exited States of America,
as you call them, with typical Canadian hubris, are more vigilant on
prompt due process than the DumbDumb (Dominion?) of Canada , standing
for dumb media, dumb judiciary.

Last point.

Why doesn't anybody track the number of new journalist hires against
the number of journalism degrees? I have a young niece who has been
seduced into taking journalism by smarmy ad campaigns and I keep
telling her, " Go the CKNWank or the Vancouver Stunned and ask them
how many journalists they have hired for the last 5 years. She will
face the suet faces of Bill Goo or Daffyduck Braham. ( Braham, That's
a cow, right'?)

And Suetface and Cowbunga ain't moving anytime soon.

See DumbDumb above.


I really miss your media voice. There is no edge in media in this
town. There was a vid about Jim Morrison of the Doors entitled, "
Nobody gets out of her alive"

No BC journalist ever makes the Big Show. It amuses me to no end that
the ultimate recognition for BC journalists is a " Webster Award".

Jack Webster ended his career as the token crustacean on a CBC show
called Front Page Challenge. I remember watching TV in Ontario in the
70's and wondering, " Who is this fool with a Scot accent who clearly
isn't following the ball. Is this a BC intellectual?.

OK. Dust Bunnies gone.

God bless.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The Globe & Mail has already forgiven and pardoned the Premier.

In an editorial this morning, they sidestep the thorny issue of culpability, perhaps criminality, certainly obstruction of justice, by calling the wilful destruction of emails "ineptitude."


For the rest of us, let us remind ourselves what this is all about.

This government sold BC Rail to CN for $1 Billion in 2003.

In the Basi-Virk trial, which has been going on ever since, questions are being raised about corruption, privileged information, payoffs and the like.

First we learned that hosts of emails from the office of the Premier and cabinet members had been "lost" or deleted.

Now, we are told that these missing pieces of evidence in a criminal trial may have been deleted as recently as this May.

The Premier remains closed-mouthed about the entire affair. Quoting the departed Opaque One, he tells us that this all before the courts.


The stench is unbearable.

Defence lawyers are quite right to ask the BC Supreme Court to demand that the government produce these email records.

And the opposition NDP are quite right to call for a special investigation.

The stench is unbearable.

Doesn't anybody in this province care about democracy and the law?


Trials and surveys.

Such are the mark of the undecided.

May we say, "Wishy-washy?"

The New Age Mayor, who has dedicated himself to eradicating homelessness in our lifetime, has a problem.

Rich Coleman, the Provincial Housing Minister, has called Hizzoner "a rank amateur."

How it pains me to credit a BC Government Minister with anything, but in this case...

The Mayor opens two shelters "under the Granville Bridge."

Get serious. For 30 years now, "under the Granville Bridge" has meant multi-million dollar view condos, Beach walks and a short boat trip to Granville Island.

There's a coffee shop I favor in that neighbourhood. The owners and the regulars will rant and rave about the drug addicts and needles and pee and poo at the drop of a cappuccino spoon.

As they should. Who asked for this?

Of course, like the Burrard Bridge idiocy, this council doesn't even have the courage of its own wonky convictions. The Bicycle lane musical comedy is a 3 month trial. At one point something million. Nice trail.

The shelters are trials.

Surveys are being taken as we speak.

It's not bad enough that they don't know what they're doing and that they are doing the wrong things in the wrong places.

But at least believe in your own bull.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Destruction of e-mail records puts heat on B.C. Premier

British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell. John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell.

Court filing says employee was ordered to delete records that lawyers in a government corruption trial have insisted are critical to the defence of their clients.


When Kevin Falcon was appointed BC Health Minister recently, I predicted trouble with a capital "T."

Falcon is now saying that he will impose financial penalties on executives in the pubic health care system who fail to meet their financial and performance targets.

Listen to his philospohy in his own pea-brained words:

"That's how most people in the real world operate and it should be no different here."

Really, Kev?

First, this statement shows that Falcon doesn;t understand for a split second the role of government in a modern Western democracy. He also doesn't understand that governments, especially in their management of social programs, are exactly NOT like the private sector. The public governance of health care is a universe unto itself with different rules, targets and agendas.

That does not mean for a second that anything goes or that sloppiness with public funds is to be tolerated or excused.

It does mean that the model is significantly different and that outcomes and expenses need be measured in slightly different ways from say...General Motors! Hahahaha.

Which leads us to Falcon's second problem. Or better, our second problem with the Good Minister.

His role model is "the real world."

He means, we can only surmise, the real world of GM and Enron, Goldman Sachs and Bernie Madoff.


Those are the role models we want to be emulating when it comes to our care of the elderly and cancer and diabetes.



For the past several months, I have been "clocking" bicycle traffic on the Burrard Bridge.

The largest number of bikes I have ever counted, including at rush hour, is eleven. Yes, 11.

The average is six.

Now, for this, we the taxpayers have spent $1.3 Million to create the famous bike lane madness.

Yesterday, I avoided the Burrard Bridge going downtown.

Coming back several hours later, I witnessed and experienced first hand tempers boiling over at Thurlow and Pacific and at the entrance to the Bridge.

The time was 4:40 pm.

There were seven bicycles. Coubnt 'em. Seven.

Now, this action by this dedicated council may or may not be a good thing for them politically, but that is hardly the point, is it?

The point is expensive tinkering using the public purse to further partisan and ideological aims that border on fantasies.

The Mayor and his Hollyhock Happy Planet dwellers can get all their bicycle friends out in full force for the Big Foto Op, but it won't change the reality.

There is not and never has been a bicycle problem on the Burrard Bridge.

The problem remains at 12th and Cambie.