Thursday, June 30, 2011


Until yesterday, the great Roger Federer has been 178-0 when leading two sets to none in a five-set major tennis match.

Yesterday at Wimbledon, the six-time champion blew that 2 set lead and lost in five to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Full credit to Tsonga who never faltered for a moment and drove through like a determined mad man to push Federer off the court.

But for those of us who have follwed Fed from the beginning and marvelled over and over again at his sublime athleticism and mind-boggling shot-making, Fed' s performance was more than disappointing.

It was downright annoying and frustrating.

How can you fault a guy who has experienced such success for his methodology?

Well, you can.

Federer has the most wonderful belief in himself, and that's understandable. He has 16 major singles titles, more than any other player.

But sometimes that belief gets in his way.

Yesterday, the commentators during the first two sets kept saying, "Federer's on cruise control."

And they were right.

Unfortunately, he stayed on cruise control for the next hour or so and lost the match.

He did that because he seems always to believe that he will pull this out of the hat.

What he had to do instead was let go of his stoic exterior and FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

He settled back on his heels into a largely defensive game exactly when he needed to fire out on all cylinders.

Easy enough for me to say, I realize.

Many of us are looking forward to witnessing more history when Roger Federer collects his 17th and 18th and maybe more Grand Slam trophy.

But it won't happen with the current game plan.

I had the extraordinary pleasure of watching Boris Becker in person at the Italian Open turn around a losing proposition by sheer will and determination. You could see on his face the thought that went something like this, "Who are you kidding? I am Boris Becker! Get out of my way, Buddy!"

Like millions of tennis fans, I am waiting to see Roger turn on the same kind of juice when he needs to...and against the quality of players now in his path, he will need to many times.


Recently, I posted a monologue that began, "All governments are corrupt."

Soon I received the following note from my friend and colleague of many years, Mike Harcourt:

Jeez David what the hell did you put in your 10 th Ave cappuccino to write such a bitter and twisted diatribe!
Mike H

So I replied:

Hi Mike,
I am sorry that you found this monologue bitter and twisted or that you may have taken personal offense.
There are good people doing good work with the best motivations in every walk of life, including elected officials and public servants.
But the systems themselves, I believe, are by nature, corrupting.
The evidence is before us every day.
This is simply a call to remain ever vigilant.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that 50% of all government employment and activities are useless, senseless sops. The cost of government is and has been for a long time completely out of any reasonable control.
If you'd like to characterize these observations as “bitter and twisted,” you are free to do that.
But I am a happy guy. I enjoy life.
And I enjoy the freedom to laugh at the Emperor’s New Clothes.

Then Mike closed the discussion with:

David,Vancouver's budget goes to Police,Fire and Engineering services-75 %. Most of the rest is for our fabulous parks and recreation system,culture. The rest is to manage planning and development,and collect taxes and fees to pay for these basic services to citizens.
If you examine the provincial budget 75 % goes to health,education and social services. Most of the rest-20% goes to transportation and the administration of justice.
The national government's $200 billion budget almost 1/2 flows back to individuals as OAP,CCP and other direct income transfers;or equalization payments to poorer provinces;or health,education or social service cost sharing. A huge chunk of the remaining budget is for defence,prisons and other basic functions.
Now agreed there is some waste,dubious programs,incompetence,and some lying self serving politicians and civil servants(a very small number in my experience).
Compared to the sub prime mortgage,real estate scammers,bankers,bond rating agencies who trashed the world economy in 2008,who should you be venting your wrath at?
Just trying to bring a little perspective to these issues old pal. Not to take it too personally. To be continued.
Mike H

I have posted this lively debate with Mike's permission.

Soon, we will meet at a White Spot for our quarterly breakfast and the arguments and laughs and camaraderie will continue.

Mike Harcourt is a former Mayor of Vancouver and Premier of the Province of British Columbia and not a bad Sunday tennis player. Neither of us got to Wimbledon.


Where is the relief fund from multi-billion dollar SNC Lavalin, and their “ DEAR CAMBIE MERCHANTS: I LOVE YOU ” tee shirts”?

Where is any accountability for the many years of unmitigated relentless losses caused by the built-for-profit Canada Line project?

The healing needs to begin for merchants who have had their life’s work torched by all the Canada Line partners.


Riot relief fund for small businesses launched in Vancouver


Vancouver— Globe and Mail Update
Published Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2011 3:02PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2011 3:06PM EDT

Small businesses that are struggling to cover insurance premiums or other repair costs resulting from riot damages can now apply for up to $7000 from a relief fund co-ordinated by the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.

Contributors to the fund, called the Vancouver Restoration Fund, aim to raise $150,000 to help about 55 downtown Vancouver businesses that suffered damages to windows, doors, furniture, fixtures and equipment during the Stanley Cup riot on June 15.

Both Vancity and Telus have contributed $50,000 each, while sports merchandise store The Fan Zoo is hoping to raise the same amount from selling #DEARVANCOUVER: I LOVE YOU T-shirts. To The Point Tattoo will be donating a percentage of its revenues to the fund.

“Vancouverites were in need of a way to come together and show their pride and appreciation for their city,” said Bobby Atwal, president of The Fan Zoo in a statement. “This is about supporting the businesses that serve all of us in the downtown core and in many cases they missed watching playoff games themselves while they served us.”

Businesses can go to for details about applications and donations.