Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Techo-Geek, Part 4,398,222

Once again I 've recorded about 4 minutes and managed to upload only 2...

What I was saying about comments was...

MOSTLY, your comments are quite wonderful and well told and full of good information and excellent stories and I really appreciate very much your input.

Best wishes...

Cheers!

Ciao Baby


I'm leaving on a jet plane.

Venice, Sicily...Carnivale, Corleone...

I won't be posting on this blog again until March 3d.

But...

If you feel so inclined, check in occasionally to my other bog site,

http://laughingintheisles.blogspot.com/

which I last used during my '09 trip to Edinburgh and Dublin.

I'll endevour to get some good fotos of the masks and costumes in the Piazza, and the hillsides and Greek ruins in Sicilia.

A tough assignment, I realize, but...

Be well, Tutti!

True Crime


Cosy Cave Lane.

Respected and admired Air Force Colonel charges with multiple murders of young women.

This is the stuff of old Law and Order episodes.

Will Ben Stone come out of his drunken retirement to prosecute?

Forgive me, for this is no laughing matter to the families of these victims.

The story is horrifying and fascinating and too much like a movie.

No doubt some enterprising HBO executive has already bought the rights.

Round the Bend


Iran is fronted by a madman.

It is run by fundamentalist religious clerics.

It is increasing its nuclear stronghold.

And claiming that this is in the interests of medicine.

Read the latest from the NY Times and then pray or go jogging and try to forget that there are rogue nations on this earth that pose a clear and present danger to humankind.

(The "other guy" is American Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.)

The IOC - Such a Happy Little Group


This was forwarded this morning from a friend on Hornby Island, where people read the news very early each day. Thanks, Gary.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Convicted ex-Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee was
reinstated Sunday as a full member of the International Olympic Committee, a
boost for South Korea's bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.

Lee's rights were restored by the IOC executive board, although the IOC also
gave him a public reprimand for tarnishing the Olympic movement and banned him
from serving on any IOC commissions for five years.

Lee voluntarily gave up his IOC rights after being indicted in 2008 in a
financial and tax evasion case. The South Korean government pardoned Lee last
year, clearing the way for his return to the IOC.

Lee is now free to attend IOC sessions, take part in IOC votes and help South
Korea's latest campaign to host the Winter Games.

The South Korean government has said Lee will be a key figure in the bid from
Pyeongchang, which is competing for the 2018 Games along with Munich and
Annecy, France.

Pyeongchang is bidding for the third straight time after defeats for the 2010
and 2014 Games, which went to Vancouver and Sochi, Russia. The IOC will choose
the 2018 host in 2011.

With Lee's reinstatement, South Korea has two IOC members. The other is Moon
Dae-sung.

"We are delighted to hear the news," said Park Yang-chun, chairman of the
Korean Olympic Committee's international relations commission. "We are very
pleased to hear of his reinstatement."

Park said it was too early to determine Lee's exact role in the Pyeongchang bid.

"One way or another he will join our bid," he said. "There is nothing official
yet. Mr. Lee will decide."

Lee's reinstatement follows the pattern of previous IOC ethics cases. French
member Guy Drut was provisionally suspended in 2005 after being convicted in a
party-financing trial. He was reinstated by the IOC a year later after being
pardoned by then French President Jacques Chirac.

Lee stepped down in April 2008 after 20 years at the helm of the Samsung Group
after being indicted in connection with losses at a Samsung affiliate and for
tax evasion. He later was fined and sentenced to a suspended three-year prison
term.

In Sunday's ruling, the IOC ethics commission said Lee's conduct "has tarnished
the reputation of the Olympic movement" and violated the IOC's ethical
principles.

The IOC issued him with a "reprimand" and a five-year suspension from sitting
on any commissions.

Asked how the committee could bring back a member who had been convicted of
criminal charges, IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: "He has received two of the
three strongest sanctions the IOC can give."

The strongest sanction is expulsion.

Monday, February 8, 2010

That Covers It

There are No happy Hookers


Prostitution is on the upswing for The Games.

Lorna Dueck has written a first-rate column in the Globe today.

The article does not share the popular view.

"The vast majority of the girls I know who have exited prostitution have told of being drawn into the sex trade by coercion and controlled by violence."

This is a quote from a Toronto youth worker.

That understanding is in complete opposition to the one held by former Vancouver Mayors Sam Sullivan and Larry Campbell and any number of "official experts" on the subject.

These fools talk about "sex workers" and try to place the practice in the comfort zone of a legitimate industry.

Sullivan goes further.

He wants to give young women hard core narcotics to keep them "happy."

There is ugliness amongst us - and sometimes it is smiling and elected and privileged.

DIY Writ Large


The citizens of Colorado Springs, all 380,000 of them, have agreed that their city - just a hike down the road from Denver, doesn't really need or want government...or its questionable services.

In true American libertarian style they have decided to go it alone.

That includes parks, trash, lawns, dogs, you name it.

Outrageous! Madness! You say.

Or is it a sign of things to come and a warning to the idiots who mismanage governments everywhere at all levels - which, roughly means all of them?

This Curiosity Just Arrived


For Immediate Release

February 8, 2010

Vancouver Taxi business “dead” just days before Olympics
Drivers unsure of how they will survive the next 2 months

Vancouver, BC – A combination of factors associated with the Winter Olympic Games have resulted in the slowest period for the taxi industry in the past 15 years, says Amrik Mahil, President of Black Top and Checker Cabs.

“I have never seen it like this, and I am very worried about the lingering effects from two months of this kind of business climate” said Mahil. “While everyone thought that we would have too few cabs for the Olympics, the reality of the situation in this final week before the Games tells a vastly different story.”

There are dozens of temporary licenses that have been issued for the duration of the Games. Taxi operators in the GVRD who cannot usually operate within the City of Vancouver are now able to deploy up to 35% of their fleet to pick up passengers at Olympic sites or anywhere else in the city. The Olympic transportation plan and associated road closures make using taxis within the city to get to and from Olympic events very inconvenient (no right lane stopping, meaning the amount of cab stands is severely reduced during the Games). Finally, the economy is still soft, making cab fares an expense that many individuals and companies have cut back on.

With fixed costs ranging between 80-$120 per shift, many cab drivers are having trouble breaking even. In fact, many drivers are now contemplating a departure from the industry because of an inability to make ends meet.

The long-term health of the taxi industry in Vancouver is now at risk, according to Mahil.

“We would not be able to withstand a mass exodus of drivers from our company, and yet we cannot even guarantee these individuals a consistent income over the coming months” said Mahil. “VANOC and the Passenger Transportation Board have grossly overestimated the need for taxis during the Games, and now we are all paying the price.”

Black Top is Vancouver’s second largest taxi company with 197 vehicles and over 50 years of service within the city.
Media contact:
Amrik Mahil
President – Black Top and Checker Cabs
(604) 614-3777

Merry Men


As part of TCM’s Oscar month, “The Adventures of Robin Hood played the other night and I was able to catch and to enjoy immensely the last half hour or so.


This 1938 movie starred Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains.


I’ll give you a hint.


Rathbone played neither Maid Marian nor Friar Tuck.


What made the movie so much fun was Flynn’s cheeky charm and Olivia’s ethereal beauty.


There was a full and necessary slate of sword fighting and arrows falling we know not where, but the over-all take by director Michael Curtiz was lightness and feather touch.


This is, after all, a kind of fairy tale.


But that is all about to change, children.


Any moment now the new Ridley Scott/Russell Crowe monstrosity, “Robin Hood”, will overwhelm your neighbourhood screens.


Crowe was born to play “brute.”


He specializes in brute force.


Crowe and Scott were the pair who brought you “Gladiator.”


Do you remember anything from this movie? I don’t.


Here’s what the new “Robin Hood” will offer.


Heads hacked in two by axes.


Severed arteries exposed by missing limbs spurting blood in your face.


The intensity and mystery and neuroses of Cate Blanchett.


I can’t wait till this team tackles Sir Galahad.



Then Snow White with Roman Polanski playing all seven dwarfs.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Debasement


A man is kicking a woman in the stomach.

Repeatedly.

On television.

If you saw this, wouldn't you be outraged, furious, spurred to action?

Soon you are on the phone and on the Internet registering your loud and justified complaint about violence towards women.

And you would be right.

But wait.

Every day, you can see exactly this TV advertisement.

Except that a woman is kicking a man in the stomach.

She also punches him several times.

She is oh so funny and he is the Dope.

Ho ho ho.

Isn't that amusing.

That piece of male debasement is the work of a clever and irresponsible ad executive and his/her "creative team," who want to attract women to their client's product or service.

I believe the client in this case is BMO, the Bank of Montreal.

This dreadful unnecessary and socially destructive piece of trash is part of a long tradition in TV programming and advertising, both of which are aimed at the "female consumer."

Because that's what you are, ladies, in the warped minds of advertisers and their clients - consumers.

You USE stuff.

In this oft-repeated scenario, the woman always wins.

She is smarter, stronger, more clever, more resourceful.

The hubby is a colossal nitwit, a loser, an incompetent, who clearly could not function without his far superior partner to drag his sorry ass through life.

And this running sore of a theme helps children and families HOW?

If a man kicked a woman in the stomach in an ad on prime time television, it would be front page news and talk show fodder for weeks.

But having a woman kick a man in the stomach is apparently just funny.

No.

It is not funny.

It is sick.

Boys and girls need and want fathers they can respect and admire.

Women and men need to respect one another.

Ridicule is not the way.

Squirming and Cheering


Pete McMartin, the Sun columnist, wrote an excellent piece yesterday.

The headline pretty much catches the gist of the article:
"Why I loathe the Olympics and why I hope they succeed"

I think he has captured the mix of emotions that many are feeling.

Enlighten Me, Please


Does any one truly understand the "Missionaries Charged with Kidnapping" story?

Because I don't.

Are these people simply stupid or naive, scooping up 33 children and trying to rush them out of Haiti?

Are the deliberately posing as naive?

Are they, in fact, evil maniacs?

I really have no idea.

They keep telling any one who will listen - or bring them bread and water - that this is all simply a misunderstanding and a case of some innocently missing paper work.

It's possible...but...

Please explain your take on this peculiar circumstance.

Opinions not Wanted in Games Canada


An American reporter, who doesn't like The Games, has been turned back and not allowed into Canada by Canadian customs.

We have no information that this man is dangerous or violent or disruptive in any way.

But he does have an opinion.

Shame on him.

Can't he just buckle down and sing, "I believe?"

Victor is Mercerless


Not a week goes by without a half-page foto of Officially Annointed Comedian of Canada, Rick Mercer, being thrown out of a plane or some such running in full-color in every newspaper in Canada. And this costs the taxpayer how much? Our friend, Victor, has even found Mercer in his Shark's Fin Soup!


Last night we sat in a Chinese restaurant, surrounded by Chinese
patrons, eating glorious spicy fish while watching Rick Mercer on a
54 inch screen , mercifully with no sound. Surreal .

As virtually the only white person in the place, sitting among a
couple of hundred taxpaying Chinese Canadians who were ignoring the
mugging dork on the TV, I asked myself " Why do we have this guy"? I
also wondered what he is paid, how big is the budget that takes him
around the country and how large is his obscenely bloated CBC staff?

We have an Auditor General, a Governor General but do we need a
Comedian General? Paid for by taxpayers? Didn't syphilitic kings in
ancient times hire a court fool out of the public purse for the same
purpose? Aren't we beyond that?

I realize that I am out of sync with those Canadians who think his
painfully contrived skits, camera-hogging juvenility and gratuitous
anti-Americanism are are uproariously funny. But if he's that good,
why can't he get a sponsor to fund his efforts?

Then again, I am out of sync with all those Canadians who think that
the mere possession of a Newfoundland accent, applied to the most
puerile skits, is high comedy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

VANOC on the Buses





An elderly woman is seated on a city transit bus the other day.

She has her groceries on the seat beside her.

The bus is half empty.

Let me repeat.

The bus is half empty.

A young woman with VANOC marked all over her perfect self gets on, heads straight to the seated woman, and declares, "I want to sit there."

Not, "Excuse me, ma-am, but may I sit in that seat? Could you move those parcels please..." and anything like this.

And why there?

The bus is half empty.

Did I mention that?

The rude, privileged demand is hardly out of her mouth than the entire remaining passengers begin angrily and loudly chanting, "OFF VANOC! OFF VANOC! OFF VANOC!"

My friend, Donna, who told me this story yesterday, sees this incident as a clear and strong evidence of how so many Vancouverites are feeling about the arrogance of the VANOC Class.

I told her about a first year University professor I had about a thousand years ago, who came into class one bright winter morning and wrote in huge letters across the entire width of the blackboard, "CREDIT IS A SACRED TRUST."

He told us he had just seen this obscenity on a billboard in downtown Winnipeg.

He then ranted for an hour about the abuse of language, about putting spin on usury to make it holy.

This is how both Donna and I feel about "I believe."

Exactly what is it that Donald Sutherland and Bill Goo and all those other stooges believe?

I believe in God?

I believe in the divine right of Vancouver to host the Games?

I believe in free tickets? Little Upchuck? Red Mitties?

Pure shmarm.

Show me an athlete skiing or skating. Don't spend the entire budget to do it. Don't shut down social, health and education programs to pay for it. Don't declare yourself a "world class city." Don't raise Groupthink to Orwellian proportions.

Show me an athlete.

Keep it simple.

A Desparate Man


And detestable, as well.

Iggy Pop, languishing right there at the very bottom of all the polls, in an act of sheer hysteria has raised the spectre of an abortion discussion.

This is supposed to be the new conscience of the nation?

What cynicism.

What over-calculated drama queen idiocy.

What ever happened to the presentation of policy?

Next!

Sweating it Out


I have a new radio talk show on the way.

It's called "Sauna Talk."

Which is a bit misleading because all of the conversation and interviews actually take place in the whirlpool at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre on Beach Avenue.

The inspiration came yesterday.

Five men of various shapes and sizes were shvitzing at the far end of the giant tub.

Each one looked and sounded dumber than the last.

But, boy, did they know everything about everything!

Gordon Campbell, George Bush, Afghanistan, Obama, interest rates, mortgages, property assessments, Drew Brees, the Saints...

The Tatooted Man - there's one in every whirlpool - even had a life-size Mickey Mouse on his chest.

Whatever is really "life-size" for The Mick...who knows?

I thought as I hobbled back to the locker room, "The Globe, the New York Times - what do I read this trash for? I've got the experts right here in sloppy hanging Hawaiian bathing suits."

There must be some station in town who really needs something different...

Listen closely over the coming weeks...but, Puleeeeze, brng your own towel!

Golden Oldie


The video below shows the fascinating and complex structuring of a sequence in the 1946 movie, “The Jolson Story.”


This may be the first movie I ever saw.


It is certainly the first one I remember.


And it had a profound effect on me.



To this day, I still have a VHS copy of the film, and the sequel, “Jolson Sings Again.”


The story has been made and remade a dozen times under various guises, beginning with the very first “talkie,” “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson himself.



“The Jazz Singer” has been remade first with Danny Thomas and then with Neil Diamond.



“Funny Girl,” although a bio of Fanny Brice, follows the same trajectory and themes – the great performer who lays so much out there on the stage for his/her love affair with the audience that he/she can’t possibly have a reasonable or successful personal life. Think Bette Davis – 75 different addresses and 4, I believe, husbands.



In the movie below, Larry Parks is playing Jolson, who, of course recorded all the music tracks.


Jolson was such an egotist that he wanted to play the part himself.


He was dissuaded, but you can see him from a distance – shot from the theatre balcony – in the “Swanee River” number later in the film.


Larry Parks was nominated for Best Actor, but lost to Fredrick March for his role in “The Best Years of our Lives.”


Parks’ career was destroyed shortly thereafter by the McCarthy hearings. He survived by doing Broadway and live theatre around the country.


We didn’t really see him again in the movies until 1962 in “Freud.”



Watch the Process - See the Great Payoff

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Universal Marketplace


Yesterday, in commenting about The Games, I pointed out the lovely and imaginative Canada Pavilion was made by a Chicago company.

I mention such things as part of my ongoing and long-running complaint about how we love to shoot ourselves in the food - usually with an imported weapon.

Whether it is stamps or flags or movies or packing boxes (disguised as pavilions), we seem to embrace a self-destructive impulse to favor off-shore suppliers.

God forbid, anyone in Canada could actually make or build or sew or weave or assemble anything that we might use, anything that might employ, you know like, I think you call them, uh, Canadians, eh?

However...

My perpetual kvetch on this score may be, like so many of my quaint notions, simply not in tune with the real world.

Imagine.

Today, newspapers across the land announced with great fanfare that we Canuckleheads can now return to bidding on American contracts. US protectionism has been declared dead.

"Canadian companies can now bid on U.S. infrastructure projects financed under their $787-billion economic stimulus package ending the year-long Buy America dispute."

The local press pretty much greeted this development as the Second Coming. It actually knocked a certain Event off the front pages.

So far, so good.

But just a border minute, now.

What this really means is that all bets are off.

All companies in North America (with a few restrictions) can bid for all deals in Dallas or Kapuskasing.

In udder woids, boys & girls, yes, we get the opening to those VAAAST yanqui markets, but our friends south of the 49th have equal access to ours.

In addition, the EU is negotiating for similar reciprocates with us.

For so many years, suppliers and workers in Saskatchewan couldn't bid on jobs in Manitoba or BC, and Quebec and Ontario might as well have had high stone walls separating their attempts at commerce.

Much of that has gone the way of elk meat.

And now, trade barriers are melting into the Arctic seas on a daily basis.

At first blush, that is a bad thing for us under-producing, latte-sucking urban elite geeks in Canada.

But now, I think the message is clear.

Work harder.

Work smarter.

Support and encourage local manufacturing wherever possible.

If you think times have been a bit tough of late, hang onto your hats.

They will get tougher.

Are we up to the challenge?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Games Update


Just in case, I haven't been clear about this.

I do not believe.

Like most people, I love sport.

I am thrilled to see people running and jumping and diving and swimming and riding and skating and doing all manner of astonishing great things at super-human levels.

If there was a way to see these things without so much bullshit and groupthink and public monies being wasted, I'd be a much happier camper.

But, alas, that is not the way of the world.

I suppose I should just grow up and dummy up and love every corrupt moment.

Maybe not.

Here is the latest:

1. The Canada Pavilion at the Games, a square boxed pre-fab tent with no food or entertainment, cost $10.4 Million and, in a great act of patriotism (right up there with Danny William's surgery), was built by a Chicago company.

It is a hideous embarrassment.

Second only to the fake dark brown teepee that was the Canada Pavilion at an international exhibition I saw in Venice, Italy a few years ago.

2. VANOC - in spite of receiving millions of tax payers dollars - is not an extension of the government and therefore it is not bound to disclose a damn thing about how it spends money.

Many Games employees will be given substantial bonuses when the shouting dies down.

We, the paying public, will never know who and why and what and how much.

3. CTV makes all its money from an ancient ruling of the CRTC called "simulcasting."

The network shows us programs basically "stolen" or piggy-backed from ABC, CBS and NBC.

Inevitably, there are three second or ten-second delays. If it is a golf game, for example, we usually return from commercial just on time to see Tiger or Phil staring into the fog, trying to see where the little white dimpled thing went.

Nevertheless, CTV and other Canadian vampire networks have the gall to go on and on about how "Local TV Matters."

Hahahaha...

They hire pleasant stooges who look like nice people to tell us how important local TV is, even though CTV and Global and the others give us less local TV every day.

Last night I taped an American program and watched it a bit later.

That way I can zip through the commercials.

About 90 times, till I was ready to heave, I zipped through all those pudgy faced Canadians telling me "I believe."

They asked me even in fast motion if "I believe?"

Well, Steve Nash and Sarah and Sasha and cute little kids, here is my answer.

No.

I don't believe in jumping on your bandwagon.

If this is something you will enjoy, I champion your right to that enjoyment.

I'll read a book.

Or...wait...

Maybe I'll go to Italy...

Hm...there's an idea...

Honor Up


"I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."

Who said this?

A rabid "gay agenda" lobbyist?

No.

Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this speaking to the Senate armed services committee.

I did not know, until I read the editorial this morning in the Globe, that Canada has had same-sex weddings on military bases.

Gays and lesbians are completely integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces.

As they should be in America.

It is not time for further studies and discussions.

It is time for the U.S. to honor all people who serve, regardless of race, color, religion, and sexual orientation.

Next!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

To Quote every Idiot Waiter in Town - "Enjoy!"


I have seen the face of the Olympics and it isn't a pretty sight.

Yesterday morning, I was walking to my car, which was parked deep in the heart of the West End. Beside me was my friend, who is elderly and infirm and riding his electric cart.

At a residential intersection, we paused. My friend headed his cart towards the wheel-chair accessible curb.

Along came Lady Day.

Blond-haired, blue-eyed, 45ish and driving a huge white expensive late-model SUV.

The signage on the doors proudly proclaimed : "Official vehicle of...etc."

Adorable little Upchuck was there in all his Stonehenge glory.

Of course, Lady Day was far too important, far too burdened with a mission far too urgent, to consider for even a moment stopping to let an old man in a wheelchair go by.

She drove on.

My happy, healthy series of thoughts went something like, "Whose cousin is she? What is she being payed, $120,000? For what enormous task? How did she get this gig? Was it advertised?"

My friend and I said our goodbyes and we parted.

A few moments later, I was heading down Nelson Street towards the Cambie Bridge. Georgia would have been a better route, but given the Event that looms ahead I didn't dare risk it.

Just as this morning I will go all the way over to the Second Narrows to get to Lonsdale because I fear the potential gridlock in the Park.

Anyway...Nelson Street.

Look!

All these lovely new red leather hoods on the parking meters.

Also on the parking meters on East Broadway.

Whose cousin got the contract for these things?

Over lunch my son told me that when the meters are working again they will all be in effect to 10 pm, not 8, as they have been for so many years.

As I write this, Vietnam is being replayed overhead.

A helicopter hovers.

Can they see me in my pajamas?

Face

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Gotta Have Heart(s)


My bridge gang - we're all poster kids for good cardiac care.

We start playing at 10 am, play three rounds of 6 hands and then break for lunch.

Inevitably the medical rolls begins.

At 67, I'm the youngest at the table and with only 3 stents in various arteries and 2 angioplasties, I'm the least experienced under the knife.

All of which is to say that, before we even tick into the soup, we all agree that health care - and particularly cardiac care - in this province and this city is quite wonderful and amazing.

Each of us has "the best cardiologist in town," which makes for at least 4 great ones and counting.

Thus, it was a bit of a shocker to see this morning that Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, one of the great modern sovereigntists of the age, is off to some undisclosed U.S. hospital for heart surgery.

The Globe has not one, but two stories on this matter and one opinion piece.

Williams is a fascinating and often most admirable guy.

He is a millionaire and nobody's fool and nobody's patsy.

He loves and protects Newfoundland - and donates his premier's salary to charity - and continues to have a voter approval rating above 80%.

The editorial argues that how Williams manages his own health is entirely his business.

I agree.

When faced with mortality, we will all do exactly what we can to survive.

But, that doesn't stop any of us from wondering what exactly is this circumstance or this medical condition that it cannot find timely and appropriate response right here on Canadian soil.

Nobody on the political stage, local or national, has been willing to criticize Williams over this decision. All wish him speedy and best recovery.

Still...

Is this some terribly arcane and delicate procedure known only to a handful of experts in, say, Boston, or New York?

If it is, then we will understand.

If not, why not take the cure in Vancouver or Winnipeg or Toronto where heart surgeries, if not a dime a dozen, are certainly performed with astonishing regularity?

VGH, for example, completes on average 20 angioplasties a day.

I don't know the numbers for open heart and valve jobs, but they are almost a matter of course these days.

In the meantime, we join all others in wishing Mr. Williams the best.

And we will look forward to learning the full story.

And to playing our next hand of bridge.

Monday, February 1, 2010

We are Fools and We are Played for Fools


More than 300 people who claimed to live at the same address in Mississauga are being investigated by the RCMP in what police suspect may be a massive case of citizenship fraud.

Suspect?

You think?

The fake common address is an office building in sunny downtown Mississauga called Palestine House.

Your government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada gave the centre $2.4-million of your tax money for English-language training in a multi-year agreement last April.

The building manager said he found brown government envelopes that came through the mail addressed to people who didn't live or work at Palestine House. He said the envelopes contained government cheques for the national child benefit, but the recipients weren't actually living in Canada.

In addition to the continuing shame and embarrassment of non-Canadians stealing Canadian tax dollars with fake tears in their eyes, we have the spectre of a Clouseauvian police force having certain"suspicions."

As American playwright David Mamet once reported that his father - an avid poker player, like Mamet himself - once said, "Son, if you're sitting at the table and wondering who the mark is, it's you!"

The photo, by the way, is off the Deputy Minister of Citizenship & Immigration...or someone posing cleverly as him.

From a Friend


Subject: A German's View on Islam


This is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist
situation I have ever read. His references to past history are accurate
and clear. Not long, easy to understand, and well worth the read. The
author of this email is said to be Dr. Emanuel Tanay, a well known and
well respected psychiatrist.

A German's View on Islam

A man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War
II, owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many
German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude
toward fanaticism. 'Very few people were true Nazis,' he said, 'but many
enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care.
I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So,
the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew
it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had
come. My family lost everything.. I ended up in a concentration camp and
the Allies destroyed my factories.'

We are told again and again by 'experts' and 'talking heads'
that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of
Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion
may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant
to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the spectra of
fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam.
The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in
history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any
one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically
slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually
taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics
who bomb, behead, murder, or honor-kill. It is the fanatics who take
over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the
stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics
who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers.

The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority,
the 'silent majority,' is cowed and extraneous.

Communist Russia was comprised of Russians who just wanted to
live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the
murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were
irrelevant.

China 's huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese
Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was
not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way
across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the
systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword,
shovel, and bayonet.

And, who can forget Rwanda , which collapsed into butchery.
Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were 'peace loving'?

History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for
all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated
of points: Peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their
silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don't speak
up, because like my friend from Germany , they will awaken one day and
find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have
begun.

Peace-loving Germans,Japanese, Chinese,Russians , Rwandans,
Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and
many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up
until it was too late.

As for us who watch it all unfold, we must pay attention to
the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.

Lastly, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just
deletes this email without sending it on, is contributing to the
passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a
bit and send this on and on and on! Let us hope that thousands, world
wide, read this and think about it, and send it on - before it's too
late.


Emanuel Tanay, M.D.

Street Talk


A university student writing in a campus newspaper back east a few days ago attacked the Harper government for trying to shut down Insite, The student held up the facility as a great modern boon to practically everything.

Our good friend, Al Arsenault, who worked the DTES as a city cop for a great many years, has a slightly different take.



Hi David

I have a hard timer reading the drivel coming from people who know absolutely nothing about drug addiction as well, but every once in a while I have to pen a few words: this is what I told the author:

As a long-time DTES beat officer who was walking those mean streets of Vancouver before HR ever showed up, I have seen the devastation that drug abuse has inflicted on this community. Do you call the very high rates of infectious drug-related disease quoted a success? Show me the plunging graph line of how infectious diseases were curtailed from the late 1980’s with the “highly successful” Needle Exchange to the present slick Supervised Injection Site (SIS). I defy anyone in the medical community to plot this long-term course of ruin. Wake up! There are scores of people hobbling around now down there with missing limbs, so sick is that population. BandAiding them to death is so compassionate, isn’t it? OD deaths went up from 50 to 64 in the (Vancouver) Health District that hosts the SIS in the first year of operation (2003-4). It was deviously hailed as a “success” by their spokesperson Gillian Maxwell (Google her name and the ‘2020 Group’ for the drug legalization aspects of the operation). She used the provincial decline stats from 186 to 171, citing a lack of knowledge about the deaths more pertinent to the operation of the SIS. Since then detailed health district by health district OD death stats have not been publicized.

All sanctimony aside, no one dies from OD’s, nor does anyone ever get a drug-related disease, in good treatment. Why? Because, by definition, they separate the addict from the drug. Period. Look up the Therapeutic Community Treatment Model. How’s that for life-saving measures? How about the so-called ‘Center of Excellence’ doing a study on the relative benefits of long-term treatment vs. long-term Harm Reduction, if they really want to help solve them problem of drug addiction? Ever hear of San Patrignano?

The sad reality here is that the rich get treatment while the poor get harm reduction.

After over two decades of HR, you might have a live addict but most likely a diseased addict. Imagine what could be accomplished with just a few good years of treatment. If you look closely at those poor souls down there, those with one foot in the ditch and the other (if they still have their other leg) in the grave, you might see someone badly in need of treatment. They really don’t need a box of needles and a place to shoot up. Heaven forbid we judge their drug-related behaviour as per the HR mantra. But we do owe it to them to do just that- not to judge WHO they are as people, but to show how their drug use is costing themselves, their families and the community at large. The junkie industry thrives on the pandering to the whims of those too sick to ask for help (can they get help in a timely fashion in the shadow of HR?).

True compassion lies not in giving an addict what she/he WANTS, rather it is based upon the sober, connected, and compassionate gift of what he really NEEDS- decent treatment.

KIng on his Court

Thanks for asking, but no, I did not stay up to watch Federer take the Aussie Open handily the other morning.

But that's why G-d invented the VCR, right?

I taped it and watched over morning tea.

Lovely...

Joe Boxer Rebutt