Saturday, April 10, 2010

Life Under the Big Top

Yesterday, I wrote in this space about the Narcissistic Sociopath Couple of the Decade.

Today they are front-pagers across the land.

The charges and allegations and rumours are all busily swirling about.

The basic notion seems to be that Helena and Rahim - no doubt on their way to their own highly popular reality TV show - like to use what used to be her office to get biz for him.

All of which would just be amusing nonsense and not much different from watching animals in a zoo throw veggies at one another, were it for one fact and one consideration.

The fact: Ottawa, with a full agenda on its plate, has effectively ground to a halt. Surrounded by scandal, the PM will be unable to do much else for the next few days.


The consideration: This idiocy is the tip of what iceberg?

Yes, Helena and Rahim are uniquely challenged, but with so many free-loaders on Parliament Hill, one has to ask, "How many others are handing out Blackberrys on street corners? How many others are charging handbags and sports warm-up suits as political expenses? How many others routinely promise or have their spouses promise special access to the Mint?"

What ever happened to the quaint notion of "public service?"

When did this get replaced with Let's Bleed All We Can out of this Circus While the Bleeding's Good?

Maybe it was always thus.

Maybe we've been duped by the rare and occasional Good Member of Parliament in to thinking that that was the norm.

Now, back to Helena and Rahim!

On today's show, Helena buys a poodle and writes it off as a campaign expense for "security," and Rahim takes a number of foreign dignitaries to lunch where he shows them photos of himself lounging poolside with the Prime Minister recently.

Nice Run

Kash Heed has done the right thing in stepping down as BC Solicitor-General while the RCMP check out alleged violations of the election Act in Heed's campaign office.

He was a good cop and we will hope that he is cleared and he can get back to work.

But this is not a good run for Mr. Campbell's picks for the office over recent years.

Mr. Heed is the third consecutive B.C. solicitor general forced out of office due to legal matters.

John Les resigned in 2008 amid disclosures he was caught in an RCMP investigation over land deals while he was mayor of the Fraser Valley city of Chilliwack. John van Dongen quit in April, 2009, over the disclosure that speeding tickets had cost him his drivers’ license.

You probably don't want to ask Gord's advice on which pony to back in the third at Belmont next week.

This is a Rogue & Obscene Government

It doesn't matter that three women died.

It doesn't matter that the seats in the van, designed to carry 15 passengers, had been ripped out and replaced with wooden benches or that here were 17 farm workers in the van that morning.

None of this matters to Gordon Campbell.

He is too occupied waving flags and building concrete monuments to himself.

Instead, he sends poor defenseless Labour Minister, Murray Coell to talk trash like, "Farm workers are definitely safer."

These people are shameless.

The simple unarguable fact is that inspections of these continuing death traps are down, way down.

Coell's cruel deceitful twist?

Fewer inspections are required because the rate of compliance has improved.

Not true.

A completely verifiable falsehood.

When asked about the coroner's recommendations, Coell said his government has not rejected those recommendations, but is still considering them.


These real human beings who were going to work at 6 am to feed themselves and their families and were being treated like slave labour in some banana republic fourth world garbage can of a country were killed THREE YEARS AGO, Murray.


That's the Honorable One, Hisself, smiling at you in the top corner.

Cash & Miscarry


You might want to start carrying a lot of cash with you the next time you venture down to the BC Ferry terminal in your neck of the woods.

Seems the high-priced talent from the New York airline business who now runs our system, David Hahn, (Well, when I say "our" maybe this is wishful thinking at best...) can't quite get a handle on securing our credit card information.

Seems that if you make a few transactions with BC Ferries, like say paying for your car and you and your partner and then splurging on a burger and fries and a coke and maybe a newspaper and a book of crossword puzzles, why then pretty soon there are about 3,000 unprotected pieces of secret information about your credit card roaming around out there in cyberspace where any average crook can hack and use, hack and use.

Gary Mason, as he often does, has all the rich comic details today.

But, as he reassuringly points out, no sweat.

Everything will be tickettiboo by...well, say, by October or November.

Meantime, kids - carry cash.

My Liberties, Not Yours

On Tuesday, I wrote in this space about the Firehall Art Controversy. (Artful Dodges.)

Today we offer - with thanks to our buddy Al Arsenault, long time Vancouver Police Man and film maker with Odd Squad - these two examples of art that were not in the quiet confines of a fire hall, but plastered on every thing that could stand and that were peculiarly not objected to by the BC Civil Liberties.

Funny how that works...

Say It Isn't So

The Donner Prize is given every year for best new book on Canadian public policy.

On the list this year is "Who Owns the Arctic?: Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North," by Michael Byers.

Byers is a friend whose work I admire, so I pleased to see him on the list.

Way beyond not pleased is how I might describe my reaction to another possible winner.

Actually being considered by the Donner jury - and thus disqualifying themselves from the world of common sense, let alone an understanding of public policy - is a fake non-book allegedly written by Larry Campbell, Neil Boyd and Lori Culbert.

This piece, which to date has sold about seven deserving copies, is called "A Thousand Dreams: Vancouver's Downtown Eastside and the Fight for its Future."

Even the title is a deceit.

The book, written by Sun reporter Culbert, is really all about that great contribution to humanity, the Insite safe injection site.

This drivel - an attempt to legitimize and enshrine truly bad public policy in Christmas wrapping - may or may not win the prestigious award for which it is so inappropriately nominated.

But you can be assured of finding bent and broken copies in remainder bins at bargain prices soon.

As for Campbell and Boyd, they are - praise the Lord - safely tucked away in Really Big Institutions (the Senate and SFU) where they can do the least public harm.

Who? Yah, Who?