Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Walking Boomerang


Paul Willcocks thinks that the boomerang smear has gone through a forced evolution and developed legs:

"My first reaction was to dismiss the BC Teachers' Federation defamation suit against Gordon Campbell as just the latest development in their tiresome feud.
But then I read the union's statement of claim, and its case looks pretty good. The union may not win, but it has a good chance of getting the issue before a judge, and the premier on the witness stand."

Now wouldn't that be interesting, to see Mr. Campbell on the stand and forced to answer, under oath, a point blank question from a lawyer asking him why he called, with malice aforethought, a press conference to accuse the BCTF and the NDP of having a secret and duplicitous plan to throw our kids out on the street before the end of the school year.

Mr. Willcocks also makes a reasonably convincing case that it would be best for everyone if they could all just bury the hatchet. Unfortunately, that's a tough one for the BCTF to pull off at the moment given that the axe is currently poised above their collective (not bargaining) necks.


Monday, May 30, 2005

Wheels Of Justice Still Locked


Something was supposed to happen on the Basi/Virk front today:

"Hearing in B.C. Supreme Court to fix date of trial for David Basi, Bobby Virk, charged with fraud, breach of trust and influence-peddling in B.C. Rail privatization. Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm expected to hear submissions on length of trial."

But that was just the CannedWest (not)Global press briefing from this morning. No updates in the evening sweeps.

At this rate, we may finally get to the good bits in the Winter of, say, 2008.

Hmmmmm......come to think of it, maybe that's not such a bad thing.

Update 7:30am Tuesday: Mark Hume has the story. Apparently Justice Dohm can't find his can of WD-40 because he has set yet another hearing date, this time June 21st, to set an even later date for the commencement of the trial. Oh well, in the meantime, instead of sinking our teeth into unsealed search warrants guess we'll just have to sit back and enjoy all those shiny, happy people in the avalanche of oh-so-golden Harmony Airlines media buys.


The Mother of All Wedge Issues


Steve Gilliard tells it like it is on the subject of the Rovians sending their DreamTeam* of Ken Mehlman and Condi Rice on the road to rustle up the African American Superchurch Vote by bamboozling their willfully bamboozable Ministers:

"The day will come when these sellouts face the wrath of their congregations for their naked greed. Or when they ask the GOP for something they will never get, like voting rights for ex-cons.

The Bush adminsitration is getting their parishoners children killed in Iraq and all they care about is having their TV megachurch. Well, the same racists who were pro segregation are now anti-gay and if they want to jump on that bandwagon, when they get treated like all blacks get treated by the GOP, with contempt and disdain, well, they were warned....."


It's a word that has been erased from the Rovian lexicon.

Sure has.

*Waking up screaming from a soaking sweats Dream (not)Team that is.


Sunday, May 29, 2005

True Colours?


Looks like maybe the Rumskullian One was one of the few who actually dug Altamont*:

"Thousands of motorcycles rolled down the streets of the nation's capital Sunday in a rally organized by Rolling Thunder, a biker group that supports veterans' rights.....

...Later in the day, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld gave a speech to members of Rolling Thunder near the Lincoln Memorial."

Which begs the question - did Mr. Rumsfeld come for the leathers, or was he looking for a little Sympathy For The Devil?

Then again, now that I think of it, guess the two really aren't mutually exclusive.

*Check out the image that goes with the AP wire story.
In the meantime: The Dogs of the Americans are instructed to begin the latest Bagdhad Clampdown .


When Coleman Met Joe


Who says all this Moonbat vs Wingnut stuff is new.

And who says Canuckistanis haven't helped to lift the veil before:

"Reuben Ship's celebrated radio satire of the work of the US House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) and the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and its chairman, Joseph McCarthy, was first aired nationally in Canada by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) on May 30, 1954. For the most part, the drama was reviewed favorably in Canada. In the USA, it was reviewed in a positive light by the New York Times and by the left-wing press (including New Masses), but it was excoriated by the right wing as anti-American propaganda. By mid-June, tapes of the broadcast were circulating in the USA. There, some attempts to broadcast the CBC production on both coasts caused objections from the American Legion and private individuals...."

This is in reference to 'The Investigator', a parallel universe radio play where Joseph McCarthy takes his act to heaven. It quickly became an underground hit in the US that, apparently, was even listened to on a bootlegged LP by Dwight Eisenhower and his staff.

"About 100,000 copies of a long-playing record made from the CBC production of "The Investigator" were sold during 1954 and 1955, mostly in the US. The LP appeared on an obscure label named "Discuriousities" created by two enterprising Americans to sell the recording—probably in collaboration with Ship himself. The record was described as communist propaganda by Ed Sullivan in his newspaper column and in other publications; it was given positive notice (again) in The New York Times, which wondered if the satire might cause friction between the US and Canada. The New Republic informed readers that a chuckling President Eisenhower had it played at a meeting of his cabinet......"

Of course, the Wingnuts, even those North of the 49th parallel, went berserk. But in the end the whole world listened, and eventually truth and reason won out.

"In Ottawa, Hugh Lennard, a Conservative member of Parliament, castigated the Canadian Government for allowing the broadcast......(but then).....The Australian Broadcasting Company requested broadcasting rights and the production was praised highly when it was aired by the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) a year or so later...."

But would it today?

The Investigator was brought to our attention by a great documentary by Sam Levene on CBC's Sunday Morning. The entire original radioplay is archived on the link at the top of the post.


Saturday, May 28, 2005

In The California Sun


Until very recently we lived in Vancouver's upscale, creme de la creme/kid-cloistered Westside.

Now we live in the Eastern Townships which, while slightly downscale, are definitely more interesting.

And if I knew that intuitively, at least from a grown-up point of view, one of my kids knocked the concept out of the Park this morning.


On Saturday mornings our 6 year old goes to tap dancing class.

The tap school is way out on East Hastings near Renfrew which is a stone's throw from that old hockey barn, the Pacific Coliseum, where the Vancouver Canucks used to play before little Lord Arthur borrowed high from, and was subsequently forced to sell low to, those wily McCaw boys awhile back.

But that's a different story.

And an even more different story is the time I saw DOA front for, and slamtrash, the Clash at the nextdoor Gardens in 1981.



Lately on these Saturday morning treks our 12 year old kid has come along for the ride.

At first I thought it was just because she liked to come to the Laughing Bean to get a treat from the tatoo lady at the coffee bar.

But this morning, with our goodies in hand from the little coffee place that could, and will (ward off the predatory drive-through Starfcukers that just opened down the street), my kid and I wandered out into the blazing, late spring, no sign of rainforest, Left Coast Canuckistani Sun and she said something pretty interesting.

'These mornings remind me of California. "

"Because it's so sunny and warm?" I asked, stupidly.

"No," she said. "It's because this place is kind of cool. I mean, when we lived in Dunbar we couldn't go to a place like this. It's like Cafe Roma in Berkeley*."

That floored me.

We used to live in Berkeley and we go back often.

But it wasn't nostalgia my kid was talking about.

It was eyes-wide-open, open-world-funkiness that she was noticing.

The tatoo lady....the obsessed kid with the drawing pad....the old rubbies sitting in the corner nursing their caffeine till the government jar store opens at the midway point between the Bean and the Evil drive-through Empire...the crazy Italian guys arguing about gardening and tomato plants....the tap-dance Moms babbling on about sequins and bows, the cop on a 10-7 reaching down to scratch the ears of the anarchist's twin beagles....the motorcycle leather boy waiting for the tatoos to bring him his heated cinammon bun.....all of it.

Life's rich pageant.

And after that we had a great, good talk about life in general, and teenagerhood rising in particular.

Which is something that is way harder to do when you're hopping in and out of the minivan as you race between classes, swimming lessons, and protective custody playdates in the so-called cleaner, safer, better part of town, I reckon.


*Don't get me wrong. It's not like my kid's off-the-deep-end weird or anything, because she does use 'like' about a million times a day the wrong way. It's just that she knows how to use it, like, the right way too.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Backdoor Man


Remember that part in the Rob Reiner classic 'Stand By Me' where the two kids, Teddy and Vern, are arguing about who is mightier, Mighty Mouse or Super Man?

Well, if memory serves, Teddy, played by Corey Feldman, finally kinda/sorta wins out by informing Vern that Mighty Mouse can't beat Superman because he's just a cartoon character.

Now, while Conrad Black was once the self-promoted SuperMan of Neandercons, his status in the cartoon world of caricature is fast becoming iconic.

All of which is neither here nor there because Conrad the Marauder is no longer Mighty in any way, shape or form.

Witness his newfound predilection for playing the part of the backdoor man.

"Conrad Black has been ordered by an Ontario court to return 12 boxes of unidentified materials after he was captured on security cameras removing cartons through the back door of Hollinger Inc.'s Toronto head office late Friday afternoon......"

Go check out the pictures. They're worth more than an entire crate of Amielian Jewelry filled to bursting. Especially the one where Mr. Black's loyal servant and limo driver John Hillier can be seen gazing up at the security camera while his boss fuddle duddles looking for the 'right' boxes.

Update, Midnight EDT (stuck in apparently teacherless Ottawa.... has the BCTF exported it's duplicitous plan to the East?): CBC Radio is reporting that Mr. Black has agreed to return the boxes (but will they be full or empty?).


The Boomerang Smear?


As we've said more than once, we figure that two non-story stories were critical in the LINO's carjacking of the Province of B.C. last week.....

One was that StratCounsel/BellGlobeMedia/FastEddieG 'Poll of Inevitability' that was released four days before the election (heard any retractions on that one yet?).

The other was Mr. Gordon Campbell's not so secret, but utterly duplicitous, smear of the BC Teacher's Federation that went CanWestGlobal faster than you can say Money Talks five days before the election.

So, imagine my surprise when, during a post-election visit to the newly emergent kinder and gentler hotbed of JamesGangsian Socialism otherwise known as Vancouver Island, I came across this in Victoria's CannedWest print organ grinder's monkey, The Times Colonist*:

Chris Mason
May 20, 2005, pg A6

"I don't think there will be any significant holdovers (from the election)" said (LINO) Education Minister Tom Christensen........

.....Christensen said the best solution may be to circumvent the union and deal directly with teachers, calling the tone of the union's campaign comments 'unfortunate'......

Ya, right.

And the best defense against your leader calling a wedgie-assisted press conference and lying, on purpose, is a good offense, right Tom.

Not to mention the fact that it brings up the Christy Clarkian "re-jigged for bustin' " BC (non)Teacher's College without even mentioning it by name.


But wait....

What is that rotatory whooshing sound I hear coursing through the air?

Could it be the Revenge of the Boomerang Smear?

VANCOUVER, May 26 /CNW/ - The B.C. Teachers' Federation has filed suit in
B.C. Supreme Court, calling Premier Gordon Campbell to account for defamatory
statements he made five days prior to the election.
On May 12, 2005, at a hastily called news conference at his campaign
office, Campbell made numerous false statements that teachers cannot allow to
go unchallenged.
"The premier said many things about teachers and our Federation that are
untrue and unconscionable," said Jinny Sims, BCTF president. "We immediately
wrote to him to request a retraction and apology, but he did not respond. As a
result, we are compelled to take this important issue to the courts."
As an example, Sims pointed to Campbell's claim that teachers had "a
duplicitous plan meant to engineer a school strike only weeks before
provincial exams that would throw our schools into chaos."

*Locked-Up Behind the Subscription Wailing Wall (where it belongs)

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Ostrich Days Must End


Recently, we speculated that the Isikoff incident may actually have been a Rovian innoculation strategy against the coming of Galloway and the Down St. Memo.

Wild speculation, true, but given past practices not outside the realm of possibility.

But none of that matters anymore. What really matters is that is time for all of the American people to lift their heads, wipe the muck from their eyes, and make this stop.

"Even as the young Afghan man was dying before them, his American jailers continued to torment him.

The prisoner, a slight, 22-year-old taxi driver known only as Dilawar, was hauled from his cell at the detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, at around 2 a.m. to answer questions about a rocket attack on an American base. When he arrived in the interrogation room, an interpreter who was present said, his legs were bouncing uncontrollably in the plastic chair and his hands were numb. He had been chained by the wrists to the top of his cell for much of the previous four days......."

......At the interrogators' behest, a guard tried to force the young man to his knees. But his legs, which had been pummeled by guards for several days, could no longer bend. An interrogator told Mr. Dilawar that he could see a doctor after they finished with him. When he was finally sent back to his cell, though, the guards were instructed only to chain the prisoner back to the ceiling......

Several hours passed before an emergency room doctor finally saw Mr. Dilawar. By then he was dead, his body beginning to stiffen."

This description is taken from a US Army investigation that was leaked to the NYT. The evidence presented makes it very clear that the abuse was (and is?) both systemic and systematic.

And from what we know of the unholy P3 alliances that were set up to run these prisons/torture chambers, it is almost impossible to conclude that it was not fully condoned at the highest levels of the American military, the Pentagon, and the Bush Administration.

So, yes, Mr. Da Rita, people did die and they are still dying.

But it had nothing to do with Newsweek.


Cluffie Must Go - Part XVIII


After turning it off completely for a few days when Rick Cluff began quaffing down the 'Newsweek Killed People' kool-aid earlier in the week I took a chance on the local CBC radio show this morning and was once again flummoxed by the sportsguy whose cranium, for all intents and purposes, appears to be an empty suitcase.

But it took a few minutes for the flummoxing to occur.

Because when I first flipped the dial over to 690am there was a Battle Royale going on between Sven Robinson and Pat Carney worth listening to:

Robinson extolling the virtues of the budget and all the good things that Jack Layton levered into it.

Carney saying it was a disgrace.

Robinson saying it was a disgrace that Conservatives voted against the budget.

Carney saying that Conservatives did not vote against the budget.

Robinson laying out the votes to prove that they did.

Carney saying that they supported the 'original' budget.

Robinson saying that was not the budget that was voted on yesterday.....

And then, just as they were getting down to brass tacks about corporate tax cuts and what the the CRAParty really stands for vs the NDP, a clearly bamboozled Cluffie brought the proceedings to a screeching halt by insisting that the following burning question be answered in full:

"But what do you say to Canadians who are disgusted by the shenanigans that went on this week in the House of Commons, Ted?"

This led the Liberal shill, who had been sitting quietly in the corner, to go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah on the old talking point known as 'the democratic deficit' for 5 minutes until the segment was over.

Well, Cluffie, I'll tell you what this Canuckistani thinks......

There is no disgrace.

There was horsetrading, deals were made and votes were ultimately cast.

But if people hadn't given the NDP the seats in the last election the Ultimate Deal never would have been made.

And if the CRAParty hadn't hooked their wagon to the opportunist Stronach before the last election in an effort to make inroads into southern Ontario the sashaying across the floor never would have happened.

And we the voters who, unlike you Cluffie, actually pay attention will remember all of this next time and vote accordingly.

It's called parliamentary democracy - get over it.

A true measure of the man may be the fact that the #1 google bomb to hit this site, pretty much daily, is 'Rick Cluff Weight Loss'.
And #2? That goes, straight-up, to BCLiberal/CRAParty flack hack 'Erin Airton'.
We did learn one useful bit of info listening to CBC this morning. Cecelia Walters informed us that Elections BC says there are approximately 100,000 absentee ballots still to be counted from the provincial election. So, despite our retraction, it looks like we were half right a couple of days ago.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Exceptional American


Don't kid yourself.

They still exist.

Lots and lots and lots of them.

And Dahr Jamail is one of the best.

".....For 10 weeks now, I've traveled along each coast, giving Iraq War presentations, most of the time to large crowds hungry for information. It's been heartening to see so many people so concerned, as well as angry, about what's being done in their name -- and with their tax money.

Upon returning from a presentation in Vancouver, Canada, I wait for a U.S. border agent to scan my passport. I watch him languidly flicking through my many pages of Jordanian/Iraqi/ Lebanese/Egyptian visas, staring at the Arabic script and stamps.

"What were you doing in the Middle East," he asks. I feel a little spurt of anger and glance up at the signs all across this border station informing non-US citizens that they will have their photos taken upon entry and then place their index fingers on a scanner -- solely for our safety and security, of course. I have that natural human urge to tell him it's none of his damned business where I've been; after all, the United States is, at least in theory, a free country. Instead, of course, I simply say, "I'm a journalist."

He looks at me, hands me my passport, and I come home yet again. As for the anger, it quickly dissipates. Such a small moment amid so many larger catastrophes. Besides, he's just doing his job.

Not too long after, I get an email from a friend in Baghdad who's just spoken with a friend of his, a teacher in Fallujah. She crossed another kind of "border" there, also guarded by Americans -- a border around her own city. She had to undergo a retinal scan mandated by the Americans and had all ten fingers printed in order to obtain the necessary identification badge which, unfortunately, she then lost while shopping in a Baghdad market. When she tried to return to Fallujah without it, Iraqi National Guard soldiers wouldn't let her back in.

"She told them she'd lost her ID in Baghdad at the market, that she wants to go home, that they have to let her in, but they refused," my friend wrote. "A neighbor of hers inside Fallujah was there and told them she was his neighbor, but they refused. She called her husband with her neighbors' mobile and he came to the checkpoint with her papers, showing that she is his wife and he lives in Fallujah but they still refused to let her in."

She was crying, my colleague said, as she related her woes to him. She had lost 9 relatives during the American assault on the city in November, 2004. Then he wrote: "I want you to tell your friends and your audience about this. Please ask them what would happen if they were prevented from getting inside their city although the people inside knew they were a teacher who had to get to their school?"

My friend also wanted me to ask what Americans would do if our country were invaded and the only ID that was worth anything was that given by the invading forces -- even though you had several of your regular forms of identification with you?......."

Dahr Jamail is an independent journalist from Alaska who has spent 8 months reporting inside occupied Iraq. He writes regularly for the Sunday Herald, Inter Press Service and the Ester Republic among other outlets. He is a special correspondent for Flashpoints radio and appears on Democracy Now!, Air America, Radio South Africa, Radio Hong Kong and numerous other stations around the globe. He has recently returned to the Middle East to continue his reporting on the occupation of Iraq. Dahr Jamail's latest pieces from the region can be read at his website.


Galloway Spares No One


After he's finished with his flaying of the Congress Critters, perhaps we should invite George Galloway up to Canada so that he can have a go at Messrs. Steyn and Harper as well.

Even better, maybe David Frum can be bamboozled into interviewing Galloway by producer Idella Sturino during one of his voice-modulated guest host gigs on the CBC Radio's 'The Current'.


Because this is the kind of thing that would happen to every last one of them.

" Before the (Senate Committee) hearing began, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow (Galloway) even had some scorn left over to bestow generously upon the pro-war writer Christopher Hitchens. "You're a drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay," Mr Galloway in formed him. "Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink," he added later, ignoring Mr Hitchens's questions and staring intently ahead. "And you're a drink-soaked ..."

Eventually Mr Hitchens gave up. "You're a real thug, aren't you?" he hissed, stalking away.

Now some may say that this type of thing is too much, too over the top, too uncivil.

But we have to realize what we are really fighting for here.

It is not just Left vs Right.

It is not just New Labour vs. Old Labour

It is not just the CRAP vs. the NDP

It is not just Republican vs Democrat


This is a cage match, for all the marbles, between Corporate Fascism and Liberal Democracy.

Thus, there is no room in the ring for the rhetorically squeamish.

Original Link Source: The Liberal Avenger.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Homegrown Curveball-O-Rama


Let's say your name was Karl Rove.

And let's say you knew a Scottish Madman with truth on his side and hate in his heart was coming to your shore to call your paymasters war criminals and worse over and over again on National TV.

And even worse, let's say you had this Downing Street Memo thing (sans kerning) hanging over your head like a ten thousand ton craphammer.

What might you use as a multiple Newscycle Innoculation for the Nation?

Two words.

Michael Isikoff.

Naw.......not even the Rovians could be that be that brazen.

Could they?

After all, it's not like Isikoff hasn't carried water for the Re-Pugs before.

Scary But Almost Maybe True Update: Looks like the poles really are converging, at least in an upside-down inside-out non-linear unparallelled-trapezoidal alternative universe sort of way, because one of Ann Coulter's latest hate-filled rants kinda/sorta supports what we are suggesting. Specifically, she is saying that it was only this time that Isikoff was able to get his 'scoop' directly into a major news organ while it was apparently 'impossible' when he was peddling his anti-Clintonian smears.





Go right now to Ian King's and check this out!

Right Now!

Ian asked for captions......I have a zillion. Here is one:
GC: "Is that a paper bag under that hat, or are you just glad to see me?"
The I-Ching King: gives us the correct most oft-used Zalmian adjective - faaaaaaaaaaantastic (couldn't guess the correct number of 'a's' to use in google when looking for title at top of the post).


The Mother Of All Smokescreens


Our favorite renegade British politician, George Galloway is at it again, speaking truth to power.

    Galloway: "Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth. Have a look at the real oil-for-food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months...when $8.8 billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch."

Galloway also used his appearance before the committee to hammer away at the long record of U.S. support for Saddam Hussein, in particular the current U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    Galloway: I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, one in 1994 and once in August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be described as many meetings with Saddam Hussein. As a matter of fact, I've met with Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps to better target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war and on the second of two occasions I met him to try and persuade him to allow Dr. Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country. A rather better use of two meetings with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of his."

Why invoke the name of Al Franken you might be asking?

After all, what could Stewart Smalley possibly have in common with a man who stands his ground and flings the Waterheads excrement right back at them?

Because if Mr. Franken were to run for the American Senate in 2006, it would likely be against Norm Coleman in Minnesota, the Senator who has been instrumental in the McCarthy-like Re-Thug attempt to slime Mr. Galloway.

Thanks to Leah of Corrente for resurrecting our original piece on this one, which she stumbled upon via a Trackback to one kinghell chunk of writing by James Wolcott.

The 200K Solution?


With Sources and everything.......

Our conclusion, based on an unamed source (well, sort of, unattributed on the Elections BC Website) was wrong......

The I-Ching King, his named Ian-ness, has given us the story straight from the E-BC spokesthingy's mouth on the threads (although it still sounds a little bit loosey-goosey):

Ross -- talked to Elxns BC earlier today on this subject. Advance polls are included in the total, because those ballots are collected in normal boxes instead of by mail or ther other means by which absentee votes get collected. Their spokesthingy can't say for sure how many absentee votes are out there, but there were 80,000 in 2001, and anecdotally, it seems that there are more of them in 2005. Those votes won't be counted until May 30."

Thanks Ian!

****************A thousand million apologies***********but we do hope that Eddie The G is disappointed with us regardless**********

Original post below.


"More than 200,000 people voted in four days of advance polling leading up to Tuesday's B.C. election.
Elections B.C. spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said Monday that the 205,000 total is 81 per cent higher than the 113,000 who voted in advance polls in the 2001 election."
Canadian Press, May 16, 2005

So, have those votes been counted yet in the Initial Poll results?

"The Initial Count is the preliminary count of the votes on the ballots for an election, other than those contained in certification envelopes. In 2005, Initial Count will also include a preliminary count of the votes on referendum ballots that are not in certification envelopes. Candidate ballots will be counted first and then the referendum ballots will be counted once the candidate results are reported.

Ballots are placed in certification envelopes if a voter votes at a voting opportunity other than either their assigned voting station on General Voting Day, or an Advance Voting location in their electoral district of residence."

Elections BC Website, Frequently Asked Questions, May 18, 2005

If those votes have not yet been counted, we say......'Bring 'Em On!"

But we must admit that the language is a little confusing....it implies that regular advance polls (ie. if you vote in your electoral district) also go in the certification envelopes, but it might be the other way around.

The quoted Elections BC statement does however explain, in more straightforward terms, why the referendum results were so late in coming last night (ie. they were counted after the candidate votes). Too bad all the high-priced waterheads on both TV and Radio didn't read that, it would have eliminated all that uninformed, some might say stupid, speculation re: why they were so late in coming.
Thanks to redrivergirl over on the Tyee Election Blog thread for bringing this issue to our attention.
Update 4:30 May 18th; Poster Martin on the Tyee Election blog thinks that regular advance poll ballots have already been counted (will try to get an answer directly from Elections B.C.).
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: Bree points out in the comment threads that Global did have the right explanation for the late counting of the ref. ballots. But I'm not going for the Exacta Retractor here because there were all kinds of waterheads opining about all manner of things including colour blindness and the difficulty from telling grey from brown....


The Headline You Won't Read In Tomorrow's Funny Papers


Greens Steal Victory From Carole James and the NDP!

And that includes Vancouver West Point Grey....if only that darned Kettlewell guy hadn't been so successful with that bloody GordCo 2.0 thing.

But what the hell, that was a good one and it probably lost the Commander votes all over the place, both left and right.

And besides, it was still a great victory for US (ie. British Columbians) not THEM (ie.Multinationals - just ask the people of Kitimat).

Full kudos go to David Beers et al. as well as Rafe Mair for giving us a truly alternative voice.

And why the heck was David Schreck so pessimistic (still think if the James Gang had sent, say Corky Evans, to every Media outlet immediately to do a stunt-o-rama on The Smear, non-stop from Thursday to Sunday midnight, that it could have been an even better outcome)?

Can't wait now to see if contributor BFD is right......and if so, which LINO will unsheath the first longknife* behind the Commander's back.

Finally, don't forget where all those LINO seats came from and who fronted them. Put that together with the fact that for every Carole Taylor and Wally Oppal there was a Mary Polak and a Little Lord Lorne elected and one can only conclude that, caucus-wise at least, the RedMeat Crowd is firmly in control.

*Speaking in purely metaphorical/realpolitick terms of course.


Monday, May 16, 2005

Codger's Are Us


Look, you don't have to take my word for it....or my wife's.....or my kid's....or my Dad's....or my Mom's*....or any other raving lunatic lefty that wants to win friends and influence you or your Uncle, whatsoever.

Instead, you can just listen to the old codger himself, Rafe Mair.

"I could never have served with the Campbell Liberals. They lied about the fiscal state of affairs when they took over, they threw a tax rebate at the well off, then embarked upon three years of reckless borrowing, driving the provincial debt up while figuratively flogging the less fortunate of our fellow citizens. .....

This government hasn’t just ignored the environment it has consciously made it much worse. The Fish Farms are but one example but are an especially good look into the mindset of this government. Premier Campbell refused to save the Pink salmon out of the Broughton Archipelago, refuses to take responsibility when they fail, as fail they will then – I’m sorry friends but there’s no other word, lied through his teeth telling us that his policy is science based.....

What about the alternative? My sole concern with that party is its close ties to Unions. That they are concerned about working people to me is a plus …...I accept the word of Carole James that this will change. I believe that under her the NDP has finally started down the path that the British Labour party trod on its march towards the Centre. So we’re essentially faced with a party of the right showing no inclination to move to the centre and a party of the left whose leader is clearly on that path.

On Tuesday I will vote for Dennis Perry, the Green Party candidate in my riding (West Vancouver), but must say, that wherever I lived I would vote for the candidate I thought best able to defeat the Campbell Liberals.

A Party I support must have values and a commitment to all British Columbians – not just those who buy influence with them."

You got that.

Rafe Mair, he no lefty, he no bleedin' heart, he a free-enterpriser nonpareil, he a man who cares about the future of OUR (not THEIR) Province, is telling you that, if that's what it takes, to Vote ND Freakin' P!

* OK, OK. Maybe you should take my Mom's word for it no matter what. After all, she spent most of her adult life working for banks and thus knows what's what. And besides, she is my Mom and she's not really a raving lunatic lefty.
However, Rick Barnes and all kinds of other lunatic lefty's have been all over this one all day.
And don't forget: It was waygone lefties, and I was one of them, that gave Mr. Campbell his huge majority last time because we believed that he would rule as a pragmatic Centrist. As Mr. Mair's editorial makes clear Mr. Campbell has proven, time and time again, that he is anything but.
That's It: I'm done......putting away the compass, the pointy calipers and all the rest of the mapmaking tools. You know where the LINO's are, go find 'em and send 'em packing.


There's No There There


Gertrude Stein said that about her hometown, Oakland California.

I lived up the street from Oakland, and my oldest kid was born there.

And I can uncategorically state that if Ms. Stein were to come back to life and say the same thing today she would be dead wrong.


Because Oaktown is one of the very few cities in the United States that has swaths of real, honest to goodness racial integration.

And that means that whole segments of the population and local and regional governments are working together to effect change.

And that's the real thing, people acting together in the public interest.

But if a reincarnated Ms. Stein was to make the same statement about B.C. Liberal Party 'Star Candidate' Carole Taylor she just might be right.

At least based on what I heard Ms. Taylor say, just a scant few minutes ago, on Michael Smyth's show on the (not-so)Giant 98 (paraphrasing of course, 'cause I can't type that fast):

In response to the criticism that elderly people have been thrown out of longterm beds:
-Michael, what's really disgraceful is all those rundown beds...... and we need to help people in this province that really need it.

In response to Smyth's question re: her opinion on the BubbleBoy campaign:
-Michael, it wasn't......after all, he came to my campaign rallies and talked to my people.....and you're in the media, you know as well as I do that sometimes if you.....if the Premier goes to Prince George or wherever he needs to talk to the media (ie. not the people there) to say what needs to be said.

In response to Gordon Campbell's tearing up of contracts after he told workers, 'to their face, that he would not' (phrase in quotes is Smyth's, not mine):
-Michael it was a very difficult situation businesswise....I wasn't there but the decisions were difficult....Gordon Campbell had a job to do....but this wasn't punishment....let's be positive.....I'm in this for the public good....

In response to Salmon Farms:
-Michael you know the NDP did most of it.....we have only added one farm....the best thing we've done is John Fraser's commission....I look forward to sanity on this issue.....we need the science.....and besides, the NDP did it.

In response to the incredulity at the portrayal of the BC Liberal Party as the upholder of the 'Rights of the Disenfranchised':
Taylor - The Liberals didn't cut money form Women's transition centers
Smyth - They cut Women's Centers.
Taylor - Yes, but.....
Smyth - How many did they cut?
Taylor - 37.....but.....but.....but they increased money for 'transition' centers...the others were 'advocacy' centers.

Remind me again, in terms of acting in the public interest.....what there is there there?

Update: After Ms. Taylor was safely escorted from the building, Smyth came to his senses and went into full damage control mode re: his print employer's complete innocence in Smeargate by blaming it all on Carole James, not because she hasn't moved to the center, but rather because she hasn't gone all the way right and kicked working people squarely in the teeth to become precisely what he wants her to be which is, as near as I can figure it, the second coming of Rita Johnson.


Carnal Knowledge

Post Moved to the Top For Election Eve (newer stuff below)
First Posted Sat May 14th @8:30am


"He was sunk in despair. He was desperate... he called his equally depressed campaign manager and instructed him to.....accuse his high-riding opponent (the pig farmer) of having routine carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows, despite the pleas of his wife and children... His campaign manager was shocked. 'We can't say that, Lyndon,' he said. 'It's not true.' 'Of course it's not,' Johnson barked at him, 'but let's make the bastard deny it.'..."
Hunter Thompson, on Lyndon Johnson's 1948 Congressional Campaign.

" ...this is a tremendous wedge issue being handed to us on a silver platter! Please spread the word to your contacts."
Irene Barr, President, BC Liberal Women's Commission
In an E-Mail to supporters sent before publication of The Smear

"Late last night, British Columbians learned of a BC Teachers Federation secret plan to hold a strike vote days after the provincial election. It’s a duplicitous plan meant to engineer a school strike only weeks before provincial exams that would throw our school system into chaos. It’s obvious that both the NDP and the BCTF have been trying to hide their true intentions. They’ve run a campaign of deception, half truths and misinformation."
Gordon Campbell, On The Campaign Trail, May 12, 2005

"This is a totally manufactured issue."

Rod Mickleburgh, May 14, 2005 on CBC's 28 Days.
The first, and only, member of the mainstream media
to uncategorically Smack the Smear Down

So, in the spirit of the times, someone walking among us might be wondering if there are any crackerjack staffers out there working for a yet to be formed political party who are rumouredly speculating, entirely off the record of course, if the following question might possibly be a wedgie-in-waiting if it were to be asked, hypothetically, by a non-existent media member on the campaign trail:

Is it true that a now convicted drunk driver from British Columbia secretly and duplicitously visited a barnyard while vacationing, alone, on the Island of Maui in the first month of the third year of the new millenium?

Update, 11:38am Sat May 14th (after walking to the corner store to get today's Globe): Mr. Mickleburgh's full and measured view on the matter, the smearing of the BCTF, not the non-existent barnyard query, can be found here.


Duty Bound?


Awhile back, in an effort to point out a few dots that an ambitious young media maven could then try and connect, we took a closer look at the winner of the big Ferry building contract, Flensburger Schiffbau-Gellschaft of Germany:

'This company (FSG) is owned by a tight little outfit called Egon Oldendorff Carriers, also German, which likes to get into bed with a certain Multinational that (mostly) operates out Canada.'

"Canadian Steamships Lines International Inc. (CSLI), a subsidiary of CSL,also operates a fleet of international self-unloading bulk carriers. Most of its ships are in a shipping pool with those of the German shipowner Egon Oldendorff (EO)."

Now, if you remember, the only way that Mr. Campbell's right hand, (no)arms length man on the issue, Davey 'Jones Locker' Hahn, can make this work financially is to get the federal government to waive that pesky $125 million import duty that is supposed to kick in if you don't build the Ferries in Canada.

And you might also remember that Egon Oldendorff's pool partner, CSL, is owned by a guy named Paul who currently resides at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.

So, who wants 3-1 odds, against, that if two things happen this week (Mr. Campbell wins, Our Paul survives) there will be an announcement on that waiver before the end of the month?

Oh yes - in case you missed it, as outlined in the BC Ferries link at the top of the post, the cost of those German ferries that are being used to screw us with our own money is now estimated to be $542 million, not the originally projected $325 million.
Update:You, like us may be surprised to find that the original CSL Corporate link above, first cited by us last August (check Google if you like), that at the time trumpeted the connection with EO, is now dead. Hmmmmmmmm...... But have no fear, you can still find the connection at wikipedia here.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

And What About.....


.....Next Time?

The evidence is mounting that there was a strong element of the 'Push' in that Strategic Counsel poll commissioned by the Globe and Mail that Rang Out with the NDP's 13% Deathknell less than a week after the more methodologically rigorous Mustel poll brought them within the margin of error.

Couple that with the success of the Smear...

And the Bubble Campaign....

And the systematic No-Shows at All Candidate's meetings....

And the Obfuscation on any and all manner of Numbers, financial and otherwise...

And the ability to Demonize the 'Other' while simultaneously making their greatest strengths your own, unchallenged....

And what do you get?

An American-style pander campaign in the extreme.

Which wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't worked.

And worked so well.

And you know what that means.......

It will be even worse in 2009.

Dean has been on top of this one from the beginning.


Does Mr. Campbell Have a 'Magic' Number?


Like many others I am of the opinion that there is considerable volatility in the British Columbia electorate.

Thus, I surmised that Thursday's Big Smear was hatched out of a serious fear amongst Irene Barr and her ilk that a slithering slippage of soft votes might be seriously challenging the BC Liberal Party's big majority.

But if you look at it from the side of the rationalists, and that includes hard-headed numbers crunchers like Will McMartin and lefty pragmatists like David Schreck, that majority has never been in question.

So, if you take that tack, you have to ask yourself why.

Why, if Gordon Campbell has never been in any danger of losing his majority, did his Rovian-inspired handlers lance the bubbling boil and push him out into the open to flash his venal side by spreading lies and misinformation about teachers?

Well, an occasional poster on our comment threads, 'BFD', has an interesting hypothesis:

"Let me be one of the first to call this. I don't think Mr. Campbell will be around as leader long enough to implement anything being suggested in this thread. Amongst others, MLA John Les as well as the husband of the former deputy premier have been sprinkling healthy doses of campaign-helper (measured in k's of cash) into certain ridings, all in crystal clear exchange for future leadership support. Of course, Coleman and Falcon are not far behind."

It took me a while to cotton on to this, but I think I've got it now.

Essentially BFD is suggesting that internecine warfare has broken out within the BC Liberal Party between the so-called 'centrist' real McCoy's and the extreme right 'redmeat' Hatfield faction.

And it is a fight to the death for the soul of the party with Mr. Campbell stuck in the middle trying to gauge who has the upper hand and who will continue to grudgingly lend him support when the battle is over.

Now, while I am not quite ready to swallow this hypothesis hook-line-and-sinker for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I'm not convinced there is actually a soul there to be saved, one's perspective can be shifted just by considering it.

For example, a couple of the first things that popped up for me was the following.....

Is there a magic number of seats, say 50, that Mr. Campbell must retain to keep the long knives of his own party's apparatchuks safely in their sheaths?

And, could the smear of teachers actually been a sop to the redmeat Hatfield's rather than a ten ton sledghammer attack on the NDP fly buzzing about harmlessly on the mansion's back patio?

Update 11:00am: This view of the BC Liberal's weirdly wired world might also shift your perspective on why somebody would be willing to continue with late stage dirty tricks in, say, the riding of a star candidate who is likely viewed as a future jewel in the centrist 'McCoy's' crown.


Saturday, May 14, 2005

Push Me, Pull Me......


......Just Don't Poll Me.

Dean, of Dean Rushes the Vote, has an interesting post up which links to a Rabble thread and some tabular data that is leading some to tentatively conclude that there may have been some push polling going on in the lead-up to the Strategic Counsel analysis.


Friday, May 13, 2005

What's Next?


So, the last major newscycle before Election Eve has come and gone and Mr. Campbell's CannedWest-assisted Big Lie has gone viral.

After all, if the CP Wire picks up the story and adds an in depth 'he said/she said' analysis to the ludicrous premise that 'Teachers Hate Your Children' you've hit the jackpot, right?

But that doesn't mean the LINO's won't want to pile-on.

Or that our supplicant media won't be happy to take on the extra weight.

All of which has us wondering.....

What will the subject of Gary Mason's fluff piece in tomorrow's B.C. Sporting Life section of the Globe be?

An up close and personal, Inside Edition-type treatment of the life and times of Erik Bornman perhaps?


The Maceman is probably saving that one for after the election when it won't count for beans.

Instead, how about this.....

An in-depth interview with Mr. Campbell's wife, herself an educator, in which she talks candidly, and at length, about her husband's true love of teachers and all they do (as long as they don't do it as a group)?


More seriously, Joel Connelly has come up to Vancouver from Seattle and written another great piece from the perspective of somebody standing on the outside looking in. Earlier in the week he lambasted our local (mainstream)media. Today he takes on Mr. Campbell's well-timed use of 'the Smear' and calls a spade a spade.

"Going negative will likely work here (B.C.) for a simple reason: On both sides of the 49th Parallel, news media have let the conservative movement go about defining and demonizing those with whom it disagrees."

Now, there are many here that refuse to see this for what it is.

Because if they did they might have to seriously consider the fact that the tactics being used by Mr. Campbell were first perfected by the American Radical Right.

Then again, if the ideological shoe fits......


The Mashed Potatoes Defense



Now I know why creating longterm care beds is so difficult.

Because, according to Mr. Gordon Campbell on Rafe Mair this morning:

"Creating longterm care beds is not like making mashed potatoes."

Which, I guess, about explains it.

It does bring to mind an interesting question though....

What is destroying the public school system with chronic underfunding like?

Making Kraft Dinner?


Thursday, May 12, 2005

The Double-Secret Probation Conspiracy


Yes, that's right!

We here at the Gazetteer have used our crackerjack investigative reporting skills to unearth a potentially devastating, ultra-secret, pie-in-the-sky conspiracy between the BC Liberal Party and the British Columbia Business Council.

And you don't have to take our word for it because it's all right there, in super-sneaky enigma codespeak on the BCBC website.

Specifically, less than one month after the provincial election 'The Council', as they like to be called, will meet to have a conference on so-called 'Skills Shortages'.

But we have learned that this just a cover.

Instead what 'The Council' really plans to do is have 'breakout' (of jail?) 'sessions' to discuss 'Immigrants', 'Aboriginals', 'Oil & Gas, Mining & Forestry', 'Construction' and 'Tourism'.

Clearly, this is a nefarious plan by 'The Council' that has been 'skillfully' designed to force the entire Province of British Columbia to submit to their will in the immediate wake of the BC Liberal Party's re-election.

And if that isn't bad enough, 'Human Resources and Skills Development Canada', a known arm of the dastardly Federal (still)Liberal Government is also involved.

So there you have it.

An fauxian iron-clad 'Triangle of Evil' between the BC Liberal Party, 'The Council' and The Federal Liberal Party.


When you've got the goods on something like this who needs to even bother with Basi/Virk.

Any similarity between this post and the Vancouver Sun's slagging of the BCTF for 'gasp!' contemplating a continuation of the collective bargaining process after the election is entirely intentional.


A New One To Consider


A while back we wondered the following:

If he is given another wide open shot at the brass ring, how far might Gordon Campbell go this time around.....

Will he sell off even more Public Assets?

Will he shred every last strand left in the Social Safety Net?

Will he rip up more Contracts and Outsource Everything?

Will he completely demonize Trade Unions and Institute a Golden-Age Training-Wage where the kid willingly pays the employer to exploit her?

Of course, it is not outside the realm of possiblity that the answer to all of the above would be yes.

But then along came a little announcement from United Airlines earlier this week that should scare the heck out of everybody that works for a living.

Because, essentially United told everybody working for them to go to hell while simultaneously squealing for the U.S. government to bail them out:

"A federal bankruptcy judge approved United Airlines' plan to terminate its employees' pension plans Tuesday, clearing the way for the largest corporate-pension default in American history.

The ruling, which carries broad implications for U.S. airlines and their workers, shifts responsibility for United's four defined-benefit plans to the government's pension agency."

Which got me to thinking that a re-elected Mr. Campbell might also wish to consider allowing the MultiNats to opt-out of their pension obligations to keep them fat and happy when the commodity markets inevitably go South in, oh say, '07.

Seem far-fetched?


But then again, it just might be too good to pass up, especially when you factor in the extra bonus that it would be an act of flim-flammery so brazen that it just might send Mr. Campbell straight to the Neandercon Hall of Fame*.

*Or, at the very least, it would likely garner him an invitation to one of Grover Norquist's monthly bathtub government strangling sessions.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Dumbest Five Minutes On Radio


When things are really humming down here in the Subterranean Homesick Bluesroom (a.k.a. the hole in the wall office in the basement) I'll have the tinny little transister blaring, a pile of print pieces will be tacked to the walls with grease mark pencil circles all over them, and I'll be streaming all the World-Wide Weirdness I can find under headphones with 6 or 8 windows from all over the Bloggodome open simultaneously.

But in the last couple of weeks that focus has narrowed considerably as the British Columbia election has forced its way into just about every dark and dusty corner of my consciouslessness.

And that focus finally became thinner than a razor's edge this evening when I missed Rick Macinnes-Rae's long awaited interview with Sydney Schanberg on purpose because, in my obsession to find anything new about the election, I found myself frantically spinning the AM radio dial to trackdown Michael Smyth chatting with the (not-so)Giant 98's Ledge Guy Sean Leslie about Gordon Campbell's day on the campaign trail in the Peace River region.

Unfortunately, it all turned out to be a complete waste of time and opportunity because, in all honesty, I'm not sure that I have every heard such willful ignorance from a so-called insider.

First off, Mr. Leslie spent 90% of his airtime waxing Duvall-o-sophical about the 'Smell of Natural Gas Wells in the Morning' (cue the Wagner) while dropping his 'G's and calling Smyth 'Smittie' to affect a non-existent good 'ol boy personna.

And when he finally got down to brass tacks Leslie pointed out that there was no way that Mr. Campbell could lose in the Peace and, what's more, those BC Liberals sure are lucky that nobody has been able to come up with anything that might connect them with those nasty and brutish Federal Liberals.

All the while it apparently never dawned on Leslie that there might be a reason (ie. a poll/a scandal called Virk/a Ferry deal with a company who pools ships with CSL, etc.) why Campbell and entourage would travel to a far flung corner of the Province to spend an entire day outside of the media spotlight less than a week before the election in two ridings that do not need a single second of Bubblepalooza Tourtime for both Liberal incumbents to win going away.

So, as a service to Mr. Leslie on the way off, off, off chance that he actually wants to get better at what he does, here's the deal......When a front-runner gets into trouble and goes into hiding it's called ducking.

And any correspondent who's worth his or her salt wants to find out why, rather than being content to make points with Smittie 'cause he sure can talk real darn good about that there colour of money and all those shiny new pick-up trucks, 'huh.

OK, OK....I didn't miss everything today. If you want the real thing, something that was even better than Schanberg calling for a Media Boycott of the White House, check out Seymour Hersh with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.


The Three M's


And no, we're not talking about monkeys here.

Instead, we are referring to the three Big 'M's of campaign propaganda machines, which are:

1) Money
2) Manpower
3) Media Buys

And the neanderconnish LINO's are burning through all three in spades in their overwhelming desire to go negative on Ms. James.

So, how should the James Gang respond?

For reasons outlined in the post below we say ignore 'em, at least in terms of out front stump stuff (surrogates are another matter - go get 'em Joy and Moe!).

Instead, push those centrist policy platform planks to right up to the front and go extreme with 'The Pincers' which, Fraser Institute hack's on Rafe to the contrary, Mr. Campbell and Minions have no defense for.

And those are......
1) Privatization
2) The Environment.

In War Room terms, which is something that Messrs. Vanderwal, Morton and Collins can truly understand, it's our campaign version of the Schlieffen Plan.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Evi's Comin'


When the LINOs' BigRedWarRoomMachine decided to go negative late last week we speculated that they must have been staring some pretty scary internal poll numbers in the face.


Because there's no need for a frontrunner with a comfortable lead to go negative (witness Mr. Campbell's short leash during last Tuesday's TV debate).

Well, looks like those numbers are now out, for all to see, in the form of the latest Mustel Poll.

And we're not talking about the overall trend towards tightening (now within the margin of error on both sides).


Instead, we're talking about the leaders performance where 39% are still undecided on Carole James.

Which is a heck of a handle for the kind of swing that could flip the BC Liberals ass over teakettle.

So, as witnessed by last weekend's Bubble Bursting on the Lowroad and the TalkShow Debate Push-Polling excercise of yesterday, Gary Collins et al. have decided to try and drive James' undecideds hard into the negatives.

But there is a danger in this strategy.

And that is evident in another set of internals buried within Evi M.'s spreadsheet that involve a little over half of the entire population.....

The name of which is Women, which are solidly in Mr. James camp with a bullet.

And who responds most strongly to negative campaigning in a negative way?

Let's just say it's not the half of the population with only one X chromosome.


Hollower Men For a Hollower Planet


Cathie from Canada knows how to cut through the gunkitude to get to the heart of the matter.

And unlike me she rarely resorts to bombast or snarkolepsy to get her point across.

Like this, on Mr. Bush and his expanding circle of sycophants:
(sorry Cathie, hyperbole there all mine)

"...Bush just doesn't get it, and neither do the people around him. "Protecting the people" is the corrupt justification for illegal acts that we hear in the speeches of every tin-pot dictator from Stalin to PolPot to Idi Amin. The idea that one person is actually responsible for protecting an entire nation is romantic megalomania. It leads to the pretense that the country is surrounded by and infested with enemies who must be beaten regardless of any illegality. Without the Constitution, in fact, the very concept of illegality becomes hollow. Thus Bush turns Americans into a nation of hollowmen who promote the demonization of Muslims and pregnant women and gay people, deny the legal authority of judges, support religious zealots, and justify torture."


I feel a lot better about the British Columbia Election already. At least all we're dealing with, for now at least, is a dismantling of the social safety net b/w a simultaneous sell-off of every public asset imaginable.

So while we may end up becoming hewers of wood and drawers of water once again, at least our limbs and torsos will still be solid.

Won't they?


A View From Away


Joel Connelly, the Seattle PI's Environmental Man (and damn fine all-around columnist) weighs in with his view of Mr. Campbell from the outside looking in.

First Connelly lays out the important questions, including the following:

Is the "golden decade" going to make British Columbia an economic powerhouse, cultivating global markets and finally gaining the respect of snooty, far-off Toronto and Ottawa?

Or is it fool's gold, built on privatization, slashed health and welfare services, tax cuts for the rich, and carte blanche for the timber and mining industries to despoil the environment?

In the end, Connelly does not offer definitive answers, but he does show his disdain for one of Victoria's biggest problems, which is not Politicians, but rather Mountains of Shit, and I'm not being rhetorical here:

"With other Canadian cities at last building treatment plants, Victoria may soon be the only major waterfront city in the United States or Canada to discharge all of its sewage raw and untreated. Eleven million gallons gets dumped into the Strait of Juan de Fuca each day."

He then takes note of the fact that Ms. James, unlike Mr. Campbell, has a plan to deal with it all.

But what I find most interesting about Connelly's musings is his take on B.C.'s cuckolded media:

Pro-government news stories and headlines dominate Vancouver's daily newspapers and its top-rated local TV news operation, all owned by the same Winnipeg-based media conglomerate.

"B.C.'s Unemployment Rate Lowest in 25 Years" proclaimed a front-page story in the weekend Vancouver Sun, with a big picture inside showing Campbell in a hard hat.

"Premier Vows War on Crystal Meth," The Province headlined yesterday, picturing a stern-looking Campbell on the front page.

It's a Canadian tradition that even a personally unpopular premier gets reelected if the economy looks good. In British Columbia, the unemployment rate recently dropped to 6.1 percent. Construction employment has reached 173,000 jobs, a record.

And yet ...

The town of Lillooet, on the Fraser River, has seen its forestry office cut from 35 people to five, its courthouse targeted for closure, its Legal Aid office shut down, an elementary school marked for closure and the hospital rumored as a target for downsizing.

Dubbed by opponents "the boy in the bubble," Campbell has waged a stealth campaign. The premier's schedule is announced only hours in advance, to ward off hostile demonstrators."

In short, Connelly is the kind of scribe we need more of here in B.C.


Because, while he's a reasonable man who can see both sides of the story, he never falls into the trap of giving equal weight to false equivalencies.

Thus, he is always able to make the call if the Emporer's New Clothes are something other than advertised.


Monday, May 09, 2005

Steve From Prince George


This morning we noted that Ms. Shirley Bond was having her feet held to the fire by Rafe Mair at the exact moment that her boss Mr. Campbell was having his massaged by Mr. Good et al.

Well, it turns out that, as 'Rob From Cyberspace' has informed us, Sean Holman determined that some of that massaging was actually being done by one of Ms. Bond's own operatives:

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - After this morning's radio leaders' debate on the Bill Good Show on CKNW, Premier Gordon Campbell confessed Liberal supporters were asked to call in.

Vancouver Sun Legislative reporter Sean Holman told CKNW's Jennifer Mather he knows a caller named Steve from Prince George, who called in to grill NDP leader Carole James about her party's policy of letting teachers in the province strike.

"Steve Vander Wal is an assistant to Shirley Bond, who is the Liberal Minister of Health, and he's right now up in Prince George helping Shirley Bond out on her campaign. And you know, he doesn't have any kids either."

All of which has us wondering the following......

.....Did these folks learn nothing whatsoever from the Prem Vinning incident?

Or is it just that they figure that a little low level exposure on this kind of dirty-tricking is just the cost of doing business?


Looking For Mr. Goodbar


Back in the good old days, before he went prematurely grey and hit the 'Smoothie With A Heart of Gold' jackpot playing opposite Julia Roberts, Richard Gere often portrayed characters working the darker side of life's emotional ups and downs.

Like when he put on a bad Italian accent to chase down Diane Keaton in 1977's 'Looking for Mr. Goodbar'.

Now, I'm not trying to suggest that our good Premier's career parallels that of Mr. Gere's in anyway.

Well, except maybe for that premature greying part.

And besides, it took Mr. Campbell an extra thirty years, give or take a couple, to find his own Mr. Goodbar.

Because, by my reckoning at least, he found it this very morning, in the form of Bill Good Jr.

Now, never mind the talk-show format of Mr. Good's so-called debate, which was bad enough in and of itself (ie. have a candidate respond to a caller and then get slammed by opponents without chance for a rebuttal).

What really got me was something that I only noted in passing, but which David Schreck actually nailed to the wall using that most complicated of arithmetic operations - counting (darn him and his numbers anyway!).

Specifically, Schreck found that 14 of 18 (78%) total callers asked negative questions of Carole James which both Campbell and Adrienne Carr than jumped on, all of which was sandwiched around 'Pitbulling for Campbell' News Clips every 30 minutes and, in at least one case, a straight-up ad BC Liberal party ad.

Maybe, we shouldn't be too suprised though. After all, according to Ian King, Mr. Good has carried the water when Mr. Campbell has found himself in times of trouble in the past:

"CTV News at Six anchor and CKNW talk-show host Bill Good, who is chummy with Gordon Campbell, has declared that because the premier has decided not to resign, the public should move on. I gather, then, that Good believes that Campbell should not pay any political price for his transgressions - Jan 2003."

Clearly, the relatively fair and wide-open 2005 TV debate format, which was much improved over 2001, did not suit Mr. Campbell's handlers while this morning's 'Burns on the Line, Go Ahead Doll!' excercise in talk radio push-polling did.

Which brings up the larger issue - how do you deal with this kind of stuff?

In the old days Progressives had to just suck it up and go because it was the only game in town.

But now there are alternatives, like the Tyee, or even an off-the-reservation Rafe Mair.

In other words, next time the Waterboys (and girls) from Corus come calling I suggest that the James Gang should just tell them to take a hike.

For anybody who missed it because they were listening to Brand X, Mr. Mair did a great job of holding Shirley Bond's feet to the fire this morning. Ms. Bond is in big trouble because Paul Nettleton, he being the former Liberal who had the guts to stand-up for the people of British Columbia by questioning his fearless leader's wonton acts of privatization, has moved across town in Prince George to challenge her as an independent (see back story here).


The Pols Have It


If you turn into CKNW this morning during Bill Good Senior's old bus riding time slot (8:30am) to listen to the leaders' radio debate just remember that Junior can't hold a candle to the old codger, Rafe Mair, over on Mr. Pattison's station.

In fact, it was Rafe who got the top Pols from each side, Gary Collins (LINO) and Gerry Scott (NDP) to show their true colours awhile back.

Collins (On DonateGate): "Extort is a very strong word Rafe."

Mair: "Well, I used it Gary, so don't worry about it."

Scott: "If things are so good, why are they treating people so badly?"

Sometimes it's important to remember who's zooming who when watching/listening to debates, especially the talking points/zingers.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Beating-Up Big Bad Labour


The bubble that is fast becoming a boil was temporarily lanced at a Gordon Campbell rally in Chemainus yesterday when a man wearing a Graham Bruce button attacked a protestor singing 'What can you do with a Drunken Premier?' at the back of the rally.

Despite the fact that CBC radio has audio which clearly indicates it was a one-sided attack, not a 'scuffle' as reported by the not-so Giant '98, Mr. Campbell, as is wont in all matters problematic, created a false-equivalency where there was none by saying that he was not happy with the fact that:

'Both parties engaged in a fight' .

And as for Mr. Bruce, he the BC Liberal Party's current Labour minister who is in big, big trouble in the Cowichan-Ladysmith riding, he blamed it all on big, bad labour trying to unseat him.

Imagine that, labour trying to defeat the (child)Labour minister of a government that has done everything in it's power to smash unions in every sector of the Province, public and private.

But the real irony here is the fact that the protestor who was attacked was an unemployed forestry worker.

Guess he couldn't get one of those plum downtown Chemainus Tourism B.C. jobs rolling raw logs.

Golden Decade indeed.


Saturday, May 07, 2005

Like Lice on Smolts....


......Trolls Swarm the Tyee.

I suppose it should just be taken as a measure of the success and increasing impact of the work of David Beers et al. but, regardless, I still have a hard time ignoring the Troll Swarms that have hit the Tyee of late - especially the Election Blog section.

Case in point: a recent thread in which, apropos of nothing at all, two such folks started slagging Carole James for her 'role' in the resignation of Rollie Keith in the wake of statements he made about an issue that is vital to every single British Columbian - the relative guilt of Slobodan Milosevic.

Of course, the Trolls made no mention of stuff like this from Macleans:

"Liberal MLA Barry Penner, who represents the Chilliwack riding, had called on James to review Keith's candidacy in the May 17 election."

Or this, from CTV:

"(Liberal) Premier Gordon Campbell said the NDP mishandled Keith's nomination from the outset.

"Surely the NDP should have known (about his support for Milosevic) and they should have acted on it then, not now," he said. "Given that Mr. Keith has resigned, that's what he should do."

And most importantly, Mr. Keith himself sure as heck wasn't blaming Ms. James. Instead, in a Letter to the Editor of the local Chilliwack Times published just days after his resignation Keith turned his attention back to Messr's Penner and Campbell and went down with both barrels blazing.

"If one wants to talk about crimes against humanity, in my opinion, it is Gordon Campbell, our elected premier, who not only has been convicted of impaired driving, but who is a leader who, in his negative, ideological privatization push, has weakened our health, educational and social systems. These policies have hurt the disadvantaged, and this is indeed an example of crimes against humanity.

This leader also had within his staff, people accused of money laundering and drug trafficking.

Then there is his loyal local representative, Barry Penner, who sits quietly while the pristine Elk Creek is harvested for less than $7,000 in stumpage fees. Barry Penner who seeks private health care for a back problem because his government's severe cut backs and confrontation with labour have increased waiting lists for surgery for ordinary British Columbians.

In contrast, I am a proud citizen of Chilliwack who has served his country both internationally and locally for many years. And, although my comments on justice and truth have led to my withdrawal as the NDP candidate in Chilliwack, I do hope my fellow citizens vote to get rid of Barry Penner, John Les and the rest of the Gordon Campbell gang who, despite their election rhetoric, are not governing British Columbia for the majority of its people."


No wonder they figured they had to get rid of him when they got the chance.

(and remember, the LINO's are playing by Rovian Rules now which state that you only attack that which you fear the most).