Saturday, March 27, 2010


I really think America has gone mad,

Folks walk into Starbucks with loaded firearms and not only think that's ok, but insist that it is their God-given right.

Maybe they'll shoot you if you disagree.

Maybe you'd enjoy a cup of coffee without Silverado playing out before your eyes.

Folks who don't approve of the President's Health Care reforms REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DON'T APPROVE.

They call this Obamacare and other epithets and they threaten violence against...well, against anyone who disagrees with them, including fools who have had the nerve to run for public office and get elected and vote on what they believe is necessary and good.

And now, Sarah Palin is back.

When she publishes a map targeting districts that need some good Republican votes, she puts the Democratic seat-holders in a rifle cross hairs. She thinks that's cute.

Palin is a scourge and a distraction.

She wouldn't know a cogent thought if she swallowed one.

She has "written" a "book" which 1,000,000 of her fellow Americans have bought and apparently read.

She draws huge adoring crowds wherever she goes.

She is an idiot and housewives and accountants love her.

I used to worship America.

For its movies and its music above all.

And then for its brash open unapologetic style.

I was always flattered when people mistook me for an American.

No longer.

I am afraid to fly from here to anywhere that might involve American air space, let alone touch down somewhere and brave the OK Corral of a coffee shop.


The University of Regina (an oxymoron?) has created Project Hero.

The University will pay tuition and $1000 for the children of fallen service men and women.

OK, so far?

No, no, no.

Not OK.

Sixteen enlightened professors have signed an open letter condemning this horrible act.

You giving children who have lost a parent a little help in their education, the University is unwittingly approving the War in Afghanistan.


The only people I know on earth who can twist their kishkas in such knots are academics.

I have been against our participation in Afghanistan from the beginning.

But that has nothing to do with the efforts and sacrifices of soldiers.

Or with the devastating emotional and economic losses to their families.

Some folks at Universities really must find something to do with themselves all day, other than kvetching that they have another course to teach this term. Oy!

Laundry Bin?


365, I guess.

That would be the working hours of the new hotel-casino complex that will soon be built downtown near B.C. Place.

Is there some other known form of "entertainment" with that kind of licensing, or that kind of business model?

I mean other than hooking?

Listen to the Premier babbling on in all directions at once:

"We do have a better quality of casino which actually provides, I think, for entertainment opportunities, cultural opportunities..."

Cultural opportunities?

He's always opening some new giant gaggle or other, while quietly - oh so quietly - closing down dental care for poor children.

And have you seen the model for this playground?

Ugly, unimaginative, architecture from the '50s.

Come about a giant bagel or dollar bill.

Where's the water slide?

Victor on American Health Care

Dennis Hopper is dying of prostate cancer. He weighs 100 pounds. He
made his first movie in 1955 and worked for the next 50 years.

According to reports, his lawyer says he makes $58,000 a year from
residuals and his treatments are taking all of it. He is a pauper
living in a Hollywood mansion.

His story underlines some of what was wrong with the US health care
system and why legislation was needed. But not in the way it is being
sold through the media by the Democrats.

Much of the media coverage depicts the new legislation as aiding the
economically oppressed, those on welfare. Not so. The poor, without
incomes were fine. Medicaid covered them. That's why if you visit LA
or Chicago for a weekend you are not stepping over the decomposing
bodies of human trash who shoot eachother every Saturday night. None
have an insurance plan. None have a job. All are treated.

Same goes for the aged. All are covered by free health care and the
American public pension plan is far,far richer than Canada's.

The real problem was with people like Mr. Hopper. Although he worked
as an actor for 50 years, it was never really a job. So he had no
health care plan. And he probably never thought of it until cancer
struck, at which time he was over 60 and no insurance company would
touch him. And since he had an income, albeit a trifle of his big
earnings days, he didn't qualify as poor. So, as Charles Dickens might
have said, if he made $58,000 a year but his care cost more than that,
he was still considered solvent. Insane.

Similarly, a 62 year old American, working at a factory, who had a
good health plan, and lost his job also lost his health care. And
because he was 62, no insurance company would touch him and he didn't
qualify as poor until his severance ran out and he spent all his

So this had nothing to do with the non-working poor. They were already
covered. It is not going to address the black-white-hispanic divide.
It will hopefully address the situation of people who, through no
fault of their own, lose their benefits after a life of earning a

It will also force the gormless young to buy health insurance if they
get a job. And that's overdue. I once sat in a bagel shop in San
Jose , in 2004, where there was a sign in the window offering
employment for a server at $7 an hour plus medical benefits. I asked
the owner how he could provide health care for a $7 an hour worker. He
replied, " Well, I'll be hiring a healthy 20 year-old and they cost
bugger all for health care. I can cover them for peanuts and they
won't buy it themselves".

About 25 per cent of those uncovered by health care in the USA fall
into that category.

There is a little bit Dennis Hopper in all of us. We go through life
ignoring two immutable facts. (1) We will get old. (2) We will lose
many options as a result of (1).

I am not an Obama fan and loathe his oratorical excesses. But
something had to be done. No matter how imperfect. It is said that the
state can't be expected to protect us from our stupidity. Well, since
stupidity is the most widely shared human trait, maybe that is the
state's job. When great civilizations built walled cities in ancient
times, they would compel the blissfully ignorant peasants who were
farming outside the walls, to come inside the walls in times of crisis.

Stupidity was not a death sentence then. It shouldn't be today.

Blue, Blue Herons

A kind commenter has found the Stanley Park Blue Herons.

You can find them as well at this website:

or...head over to the Park.