Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cross Border Bombastic Weekend Disorder



I just realized something pretty rare is about to begin.

Because for those of us, like me, who have one foot on each side of the 49th, a four day weekend is looming.

It's Bobby Gimby's Canada Day tomorrow, Friday July 1st.

And on Monday it's Ron Kovic's 4th of July.

Now, one of my favorite border straddlers is that old buzzard of a two-bit, tin-plated wordsmith who will sell his entire oeuvre of books from the trunk of his car if you let him, WP Kinsella.

Of course, one of Kinsella's favorite topics, amongst many other things including formerly weedy backlots in East Vancouver (see: The Alligator Report), is Baseball.

And not necessarily uncoincidentally it is also one of mine too (as is East Vancouver, because I live there now), although the stewman, Jerry Willard, and that carnival barker Stu Kehoe had a lot to do with it, what with their free tickets and endlessly inventive promotions in the late '80's back when I was still a starving gradual student.

Anyway, here's the kicker..... the here and now version of the Vancouver, almost professional, Canadians (ie. we are currently stuck with unbelievably craptacular, short-season, low 'A', barely-not-legion, junk baseball) are actually coming home from a road trip to kick-off a homestand with a 'Celebrate America' night on the 4th.

Guess I'll have to haul myself high into the bleachers atop Section 10 of Nat Bailey Stadium for that one.

Otherwise my (former) Editor will never forgive me.

But that's neither here nor there.

Guess what I'm really trying to say is......Regardless which side of the border you happen to be on at the moment......

Have a great weekend everybody!*

And if you must talk politics around the barbeque, well, look for a little common ground before, rather than after, you try to turn your idiot brother-in-law around.**

*And if you happen to be down at Pt. Roberts you can be on any side of the line you want depending where you build your castle on the sandbar (or where you buy your ice cream cone).
**I can say that without getting in trouble because my brother-in-law is definitely not an idiot.
***And if you need material once you get rolling, go read this and this from sukabi and Sir Richard of Cranium of the AllSpinZone.
Update Sat am: That post from Sir Richard is getting a lot of plug and play, both because it is thought provoking and because Atrios fronted it this morning.




And we're not talking about Larry Campbell.

After all, we are pretty darned sure we know very well why he called it quits.

And it had nothing to do with his health, Walmart, the RAV line, never ending somnolence-inducing 300 page staff reports, or even the infighting amongst the Classics and the Lights that he had to Cope with every darned day of the week.

Instead, word on the street, and the fantasy island version of Stephen Quinn's wildest dreams, has it that Mr. Campbell apparently just couldn't stand the thought of another three years of being interviewed by Rick Cluff.


But what we really want to know this morning is the following......

Why were the drug charges against David Basi stayed?

And why was this done in secret?

Last week.

The CBC has nothing. Mickleburg has nothing.

Heck, even Holman has nothing (yet).

Update: OK, OK, OK - looks like that ink-stained wretch Mr. Holman took the day off from the Basi File so that he could do some real digging on into our Larry's big 'W'. And he's got good stuff here (especially the part about Campbell trying to enlist his 'friends' to support Mr. Green).


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Sometimes A Draft Is....


....Just A Draft.

Then again, sometimes it is not.

South of 49th snarkoleptic sharpshooter Driftglass ducked into a Chicago bar last night to catch the 8:00pm speech from his fearless leader on one of the gazillion or so TV sets buzzing in the place. Unfortunately, he still hasn't found what he's looking for (warning: while he is no RudePundit, Driftglass is the former king of the komment threads over at Steve Gilliard's place so his language can be 'colourful' to say the least). Here's why:

"A lot of people were watching (at the beginning). This was, after all, a Major Prime Time Address on a matter of Great National Importance, in a room that looked to me to be loosely packed with 1-A, draft-age Bushite males. So my pal and I, we were just starting to relax into the rhythm of it, such as it was, when the signal cut off.......

Several of the teevees flickered, which was kind of weird and momentarily chilling, and then one of the barristas pulled down a HUGE white screen and fired up the projection box in the ceiling and I figured she was putting on the Major Prime Time Address of Great National Importance and I thought, “OK, well they may be kinda fascist-y here, but at least they take this seriously.”

Because it was, as I have said, a Major Prime Time blah blah blah.


It was 8:15. And the NBA draft was on.

And every teevee, including the Very Big One, flickered a few more times, and all settled on it. And everyone just kept right on, and no one asked for any one of the 600,000 channels to be changed back to Bush and the Big Speech.......

We laughed, my friend and I, finished our beers, and left."

Now Driftglass took this to be evidence that everyone involved, Republicans included, were completely indifferent to the latest round of speechifying by the Twignoramous.

And he's probably right.

Further, it probably wouldn't be unreasonable to assume that the Roving Halliburtonians messed up on this one re: scheduling.

But what if they didn't?

What if their real intent was to use the Twig as nothing more than a short lead-in to a very popular and glamorous draft where everyone involved hits the jackpot. In otherwords, a draft that every young kid in the country wishes they could be a part of.

A Draft.....




Put me in coach!

I'm ready to play.........


They wouldn't stoop to something like that.

Would they?


Spontaneously Combustible Couplings - Not!


Re: Bill 38 and the morning after.

Rob Cottingham makes a very important point about the unchanged nature of his continuing relationship with his technoratically superior partner Alexandra*.

"Just checked. Defying predictions, our marriage certificate has failed to explode into a ball of flame and ash."

Now, if I could just find my marriage certificate.....If I'm not mistaken I think its hidden somewhere beneath a stack of old Bay Area Guardians underneath the sundeck.

I think.

*Alexandra's place is here.


Solipsistic Rumour Mongering


While he will neither confirm nor deny that he is the investigative reporter who quit CannedWest (not even remotely)Global so that he can work unhindered as an independent on the upcoming LedgeGate Trial, Sean Holman of Public Eye has let on that he knows that it was himself that we were speculating about in that very vein very recently.

This almost, not-quite, maybe, could be I guess, non-denial denial was leaked to the Pacific Gazette earlier this morning. It has been re-posted on the comment thread attached herein.

OK, OK, OK. So it wasn't actually 'leaked'. But what the heck, it makes for a better magical mystery tour this way. And besides, all those hits that we've been garnering recently will like it better that way.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Working For The Clampdown


So much for Mr. Campbell's promise of cost certainty to the Trans(g)Nats:

"About 1,100 privatized B.C. health-care workers employed by Sodexho have voted 96 per cent in favour of strike action to back their contract demands.

The food service, cleaning staff and support workers are employed at hospitals and nursing homes in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Victoria and the Sunshine Coast."

You might remember these folks. They used to work for us and we used to pay them a decent wage for their labour. In turn, they used to do a decent job for all of us.

Then they were fired by Mr. Campbell and rehired by the private contractor Sudexho, headquartered in France, who makes a nice fat profit making sure that our hospitals are barely clean and the food barely edible.

The overwhelming majority of these workers now make somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10.15 per hour. That means that if they have a family their annual income is thousands of dollars below the poverty line.

Now they want $2.50 per hour more.

All of which has us wondering if Sodexho has an escape clause in its contract that lets it re-negotiate terms if the workers get organized and/or uppity?

After all, what good is Corporate Entrepreneurial Imperialism if it cant' lock in a little risk certainty right upfront anyway?


Who Says Minorities Get Nothing Done


Bill 38 passes.

Rick Barnes explains why this truly is the right thing to do.


Two Years Is Long Enough


Those raids on the BC Legislature took place in Dec of 2003. Looks like the trials will finally start just shy of two years later:

"VANCOUVER -- Nearly two years after police raided the legislative offices of two ministerial aides in Victoria, the case is going to trial.

Dismissing calls by defence lawyers for more delays yesterday, Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm of the B.C. Supreme Court set a Nov. 28 trial date for the case involving David Basi and Robert Virk."


Just wildly speculating out loud here, but wonder if this looming walking, talking Blockbuster is one of the reasons a certain investigative reporter decided to walk away from the local monopoly and go independent once again?


Monday, June 27, 2005

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Tax Freedom Day


So I've been reading about the latest spat that the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has been having with the Fraser Institute about the the latter's methodology in calculating 'Tax Freedom Day' (ie. that day when Canadians are supposedly free from tax for the rest of the year).

Turns out that the wayLeftCCPA has pointed out that the wayRightFI restricts its calculations to 'cash income' only.

In so doing the CCPA claims that the FI's calculations are 'prepostrously exaggerated' such that Tax Freedom Day actully comes in April, not late June as the the latter group has claimed.

The FI's rejoinder?

Well, they do not respond to the validity of the claim at all. Instead, they just fall back on an old saw that cash income (ie.working people's wages and pension) is a standard measure of income used by Statistic's Canada.

But in so doing, the FI actually made a very important admission by omission....

Specifically, it is an admission that if all that non-cash income stuff, stuff like capital gains (ie. rich people's wages), were taxed appropriately the date would be rolled back even farther.

So there you have it.

Straight from the smart boys at the Fraser Institute.

End the free ride for the rich and everything, and everybody, will be just fine.


What a novel concept.

Wonder why nobody ever thought of it before........


Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's Better To Be Gone and Not Forgotten....


.....Than Forgotten and Not Gone

Finkleman the Elder is done.

And the livingroom lazyboy is in for a good long ride, especially during the sure to be extended 'de-itemization' period.

Best story from the last show....

When he was about 12 Danny convinced his parents that he and his younger brother (who I have never heard him call by name on the radio show) needed a chess set.

So his Mom got them one. It came with a board and pieces that were kept in one of those little wooden boxes with the sliding lids.

Then his Mom went out, probably to the drycleaners or something.

When she came back the boys were playing.

Not chess though.

Instead, they were trying to see who could toss the greatest number of pawns into the open box from eight feet away.

Which, as Danny pointed out, is why he spent a good chunk of his 30 odd years at the CBC on Saturday nights spinning wax rather than on Ideas.

Which, of course, is a crock.

Because I'm pretty sure that Lister Sinclair and Finkleman would have made a helluva team if some mucky-muck at the Mother Corp had had the guts to force them together in, oh say, 1977.

This I do know for absolute sure however.

I'll miss him.

Especially in the summertime around the picnic table during that anticipatory twilight time between cleaning up the dishes and lighting the campfire.

Here's the shocker though. There is a Finkleman fanclub. And, believe it or not he likes it. It's run by a lady named Alice Hinther whose email if you want details is:
And who knew. His pal Al has a last name - Mendelson.


Bubble, Bubble Toil & Trouble


It's everywhere.

All this talk about 'The Bubble'.

The Economist, the Report on Business, The Vancouver Sun....

Heckfire, even Billmon has had his say about the thing.

But yesterday, at an event that was the antithesis of all things business, I found myself sitting beside a financial wizard-type guy that actually knows what he is talking about.

And this is what he said:

'It's not a bubble until it bursts.'

Which, of course, means less than nothing at all, at least in historical terms.

But as Goose Gossage, who deep down was always a pure numbers man, once said while sitting in the Oakland Airport Hilton Hotel Bar late on a Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1993:

'History is hard to know, what with all the hired crap out there.'

Which is neither here nor there.

Because the Goose is long gone and I have never been back to that bar again.

Which is just another way of saying that these days the future really is now.

And this very weekend people are still plunking down $700K for two bedroom bungalows with less than nothing down and a gossamer thin credit line that leads straight into the guts of a huge, collective hot air-filled balloon hidden in the upper reaches of the stratosphere.


But, unlike the North American real estate market, there is one bubble that has apparently well and truly burst already.

And that is the one labelled 'Torturers For Hire':

"CACI International Inc., one of the companies that provided interrogation services for US forces in Iraq, said yesterday that profit for fiscal 2006 will be slightly below Wall St's average estimate....

Shares of CACI, whose main business is creating secure networks for the US government, fell 7% yesterday.....

'Things have been a little bit slow,' said Jack London, CACI chief executive officer, when asked about contract awards on a conference call. 'Generally it's not a matter of losing (contracts), it's a matter of nothing happening.'.....

Multiple investigations into CACI employees' practice at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq had slowed the company a little last year, Mr. London said, but had no material impact looking ahead.

'The silver lining was that we went through a number of investigations and reviews and came out from that wire-brushing as being an absolutely stellar performing organization, that was clean as a whistle in terms of its internals," he said.

Which is a crying shame, for the greedheads at least.

After all, what's the world coming to when you can't meet the street's expectations with clean-as-a-whistle electroshocks, waterboards, naked, excrement-smeared pyramids, and genital seeking attack dogs anymore?

And as for that Dick Durbin.....

He sure was full of crap, right?

Historically speaking that is.

Of course.

And no, I am not making this stuff up. Although I am not entirely sure if the Goose actually said those exact words or if I just stuck an old HST rant into his mouth on that boozy afternoon oh so many years ago. I was invited into that bar, and fleetingly sat and drank just outside of Mr. Gossage's inner circle, by a guy who was at that precise moment in time a short-lived mop-up man for the Chicago White Sox.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Gringos 'R' Us

Mark IV

Ever ask yourself how Latin America is like Iraq?

We'll, even if you haven't, here are a couple of stories from a young Dr. Thompson and a slightly not so younger Billmon and his other side of the world sidekick Bernhard that are worth pondering if for no other reason than they say a heckuva lot about the white man's burden, especially when he finds himself banished, most often for monetary reasons, to his own of heart of darkness without a decent set of links anywhere nearby.

"One of my most vivid memories of South America is that of a man with a golf club - a five-iron, if memory serves - driving golf balls off a penthouse terrace in Cali, Columbia. He was a tall Britisher, and had what the British call 'a stylish pot' instead of a waistline. Beside him on a small patio table was a long gin-and-tonic, which he refilled from time to time at the nearby bar.

He had a good swing, and each of his shots carried low and long out over the city. Where they fell, neither he nor anyone else on the terrrace that day had the vaguest idea.....Somewhere below us, in the narrow streets that are lined by the white adobe blockhouses of the urban peasantry, a strange hail was rattling down on the roofs - golf balls, 'old practice duds,' so the Britisher told me, that were 'hardly worth driving away'.

It is doubtful that the same man would drive golf balls off a rooftop apartment in the middle of London. But (it) is not really surprising to see it done in South America. There, where the distance between the rich and the poor is so very great, and where Anglo-Saxons are automatically among the elite, the concept of noblesse oblige is subject to odd interpretations.

The attitude, however, does not go unnoticed; the natives consider it bad form indeed for a foreigner to stand on a rootop and drive golf balls into their midst. Perhaps they lack sporting blood, or maybe a sense of humor, but the fact is that they resent it, and it is easy to see why they might go to the polls at the next opportunity and vote for the man who promises to rid the natiuon of 'arrogant gringo imperialists'.

Hunter S Thompson, The National Observer, August 1963
Reprinted in the Great Shark Hunt, Warner Books, 1979, pp404-05.


Bernhard, a Whiskey Bar reader in Germany, has made a spectacular catch - or cache, I should say, since it comes from the bowels of the Google data base.

What he stumbled across is the diary of one Joe Ryan, a frequent caller and on-air personality at station KSTP, a conservative talk radio station in Minneapolis. More recently, Joe has been serving as a military interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and KSTP has been posting his diary on their web site.

For some strange reason, though, the radio station recently removed Joe's diary from its site. Unfortunately for KSTP - and, I suspect, for Joe - the page has been cached by Google. A copy also now resides on my hard drive.

The diary is a fascinating read - not least because it documents the fact that as of last Sunday, one of the private contractors identified in the Army's own internal investigation of the torture scandal was still at Abu Ghraib, and may still have been supervising or conducting interrogations......'s what Joe Ryan, our radio personality turned military interrogator, put in his diary entry for April 25:
'I got to take the rest of the day off after our long booth time. This gave us a nice evening after dinner to head to the roof and play a round of golf. Scott Norman, Jeff Mouton, Steve Hattabaugh, Steve Stefanowicz*, and I all took turns trying to hit balls over the back wall and onto the highway.'

Billmon, The Whiskey Bar, May 2004

So, why would all those poor, sick and hungry Venezuelans keep on voting for a crazy man like Chavez?

And why was it so important to neutralize Al Sadr before the Iraqi elections?

Is it because they both hate golf?


But my guess is that it might have more to with the fact that they both have convinced their people that the only way they are going to get out of those slums and away from the white hail that never melts is to send the Gringos and their Beastly Burdens packing - for good.

*Turns out that Seymour Hersch had reported that Mr. Stefanowicz was actually a merc working for CACI International who had already been reprimanded, stripped of his security clearance, and recommended for firing by General Taguba before the golfball diary entry was written by Mr. Ryan.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Ten To The Third


Recent posts from the AllSpinZone and the Canadian Cynic got us to thinking about something regarding the Roving Neandercons Excellent Adventure in Iraq.

First it was just going to be a really short ratings boosting week of Shock and Awe.

Then it was just a few months till it was Mission Accomplished.

Then it was a couple of years breaking the back of the insurgency while simultaneously setting up the fly paper effect.

Now, apparently it's a generational commitment.

Which has us long before it becomes a Millenial Reign?

What's that?

Oh, ya forgot.

That the 1000 year thing beginning with 'rei' (not the co-op) has already been tried and it didn't turn out so well.

(Although it did end with two different consonants).


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Jack Goes Deep


A few weeks back the discussion was very vigorous, some might use another 'v' word*, about how it was political suicide for Jack Layton to make a deal with the Red Devils on a revised budget bill.

And I remember asking myself, and lots of commenters all over the bloggodome, how it could possibly be a bad thing that Mr. Layton was using his leverage to serve the constituency that elected him.

Now, out here on the Left Coast at least, it looks like Jack's 'Act'** has paid off because, as Rick Barnes brings to our attention, he is way out front:

"Stephen Harper has lost significant favour with British Columbians over the last few months. Harper's current approval rating of 38% is down 14-points from March and well below the approval ratings of his rivals Paul Martin (53%, down 5 points) and Jack Layton (63%, up 2 points)."

Now, if Big Jack can just manage to throw a bullet over the middle to connect with Green voters on a crossing pattern.......

**a.k.a. doing the right thing

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Where The Deer And The Antelope Play


Rich Coleman responsible for social housing?

Isn't that just a little bit like putting Evil Kneivel in charge of playground safety?


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Talkin' About My Generation


As Red Barber liked to say:

"This much I know."

And this much I know.

I am one of the fortunate ones.

I've got a good job, I'm making more money than I ever dreamed of, my kids are alright, and they and I both will very likely be even more than alright in the years to come.

In other words, I've got two, maybe three, fingers of my left hand firmly planted on the brass ring and I'm poised to go ambidextrous on the bloody thing.

And if anybody asks, I did it all myself.


Actually, no.

Because that would be pure and utter bullshit.


Heather Mallick, buried within a fantastic column about the latest big lie dubbed 'African Debt Relief', said something small, but important, yesterday:

"I'm aware that I already won the genetic lottery by being born in Canada and not in Rwanda."

I am aware of this as well.

I am also aware that, perhaps like Ms. Mallick, I was born not just in the right place but also at the right time.

A time when political will and social justice did their level best to work together as one in Canada.

As a result I got the chance to run away to University.

The year was 1977 and the cost of embarking on that wild-eyed run towards the light that ultimately led me to the Ring mentioned above was the princely sum of $540.

And I'll be damned if I'm going to be one of those fortunate sons who are now swerving way to the right in a selfish effort to turn off the lights on the next generation.

And here's why:

My old man was a Union man.

And the folks in the Union fought like bastards...and they fought constantly, usually for the tiniest of things in each successive contract...things like an extra quarter percent on a COLA clause, or one little add-on like an extra free filling per year on the dental plan.

And when I was a kid, especially during that time when I was a barely no-longer-a-teenager-aged kid, I thought the folks from the Union were just a little bit off their nut....all that energy going into what, exactly?

After all, it was the 80's, and Dave Barrett and the Socialist Hordes were long gone, and the Wild Kelowna boys were rolling along, and Unions were bad, and Expo was coming, and Trudeau was going, and John Turner was hiccupping, and Mulroney was lurking, somewhere off in the distance....

....And if you were a half-bright, apolitical science-geek kind of kid like me, breezing your way through college and thinking about graduate school, you laughed when you saw the boy wonder from Burnaby, Michael J. Fox, shirk his Family Ties and ape the young Republicans while making fun of his willfully neutered Leftie of a Dad on the TV screen...

....And if you were that kid, you thought that you were living in a golden age that was tied, not to the social democratic reforms of the past, but to the coming of Free Trade and the promises of the Reaganites from the South...

...And from that perspective you sure as heck didn't get the irony of Bruce Springsteen singing about the plight of the working class in 'Born in the USA'.

But now that I have spent a good chunk of time in USA where I started a family of my own before coming home, I do get it.

I understand that my Dad spent his entire adult life hauling logs up and down the West Coast, working his guts out to help keep the robber baron families rich because he had to make a living to support his own family....

....And I get the fact that, because of the Unions, my family's standard of living gradually improved, bit by bit, over the years so that by the time I had grown up to be that callow young man described above my parents had saved enough to help me go to University....

....And I get the fact that I was the first one in my family who got to go to University.... ever..... and it wasn't because I was so damned smart....

....And I get the fact that, while my parents' limited financial help and support was important, it would never have been enough to get me into the same good schools if I had arrived on the scene a single generation earlier or, perhaps, later....

....And I get the fact that those Wild Kelowna Boys, and all the other neo-cons that have come since, have being doing their damndest to destroy the dream of a University education for all, and instead have instituted an elitist education for some and one-trick-pony Technical training for everybody else.....

....And I get the fact that, if it wasn't for folks like my Dad and the other lefties of his time, my current world, one in which I make a living with my eyes and my mind wide open, would not be what it is today.....

....And most of all, I now get the fact that my Dad was, and is, my hero.

....first posted Father's Day, June 2004


Friday, June 17, 2005

Time Keeps On Slippin', Slippin'......


......Into The Future

"Montreal - All nights are cold in Montreal. The last time I was here was in the spring - for the first Duran-Leonard fight - and the downtown streets were like sheet ice.....

But that was a long time ago, and we have all become older and wiser since then - even Sugar Ray, who lost to Duran in Montreal, then redeemed himselve in New Orleans a year later.

This time I was in town for ....... (for) a talk I was scheduled to deliver the next day at Concordia University and I was met at the airport by a student committee of two - Doug and Terrence.

Terrence is bright and ambitious, but he is cursed with a dark and twisted curiosity that all too often characterizes Canadians......

Montreal is a strange city. It was built about 400 years ago on an ice-bound island in the St. Lawrence River by renegade Frenchmen who thought they had found the New World and would soon own it.

This has not come to pass - or at least not yet, according to the hard rockers who speak for the Free Speeech Quebec Separatist Party who identify mainly with the I.R.A., Puerto Rican nationialists and the ghost of Chiang Kai-shek. But they say it will happen soon - that the long screw of history is still turning and the war is not over yet.

As far as the French Separatists are concerned, with any luck at all......Washington will be seized by a cabal of crazed generals in the style of 'Dr. Strangelove' and the colossus to the South will be paralyzed by fear and greed paving the way for the takeover by truffle-eating wine-sucking anarchists.

It was a hard and irascible attittde to deal with when I went up on stage the next day to answer all the obvious questions about the U.S. - Canadian political position......

It was a long afternoon, but finally a consensus emerged: Canada is doomed to the status of a nuclear chattel regardless what happens.....and the winter book favorite to win the 1988 election has to be Richard Milhous Nixon.

I left for the airport immediately, feeling lucky to get out of the country without being flogged."

Hunter Thompson, Nov 18, 1985
The San Francisco Examiner (Wee Willy Hearst Edition)
Reprinted in: Generation of Swine, Simon & Schuster, 1988 (pp 49-51)

Not a bad analysis, especially the part about the turning of screw that is the recurring groundhog day of separatism re-rising in Quebec.

And as to the doomed fate of the Nixon (non)Dynasty.....How the heck could the good Docktor, or Raoul Duke, or even the ghost of Oscar Zeta Acosta for that matter, have known that the half-bright Bush boys would fair so much better than Tricia, at least in terms of the quasi fasciti-democratic times that we now find ourselves in.



Thursday, June 16, 2005

Return of the Independent


Don't know if it's a limited hangout or what, but Mr. Holman is back from behind the subscription wailing wall and is blogging again at Public Eye.


Oppal vs Coleman, Round I?


Clearly Gordon Campbell and/or his handlers have decided that the spin must move towards the center, at least for the time being:

"Former CBC chair Carole Taylor is the new finance minister, while the Liberals' other star candidate – former judge Wally Oppal – is B.C.'s new attorney general......

Rich Coleman, who had been solicitor general and minister of public safety, is the new forests and range minister. And John Les takes over Coleman's old job."

But is the RedMeat faction of the BC Liberal Party really ready take a backseat to the so-called Moderatos?

Or, as Rich Coleman did in his last public act as the province's so-called 'Top-Cop' yesterday, will they try to get out and front of things to cut them off at the pass?

How else to explain Mr. Coleman's sudden reversal on his previous 'everything's fine here, move along' position on the Police Complaints issue that led him to appoint retired judge Ben Casson to undertake an 'independent inquiry' into the process.

Now, we have no reason, based on his track record, to question Mr. Casson's impartiality, particularly given that his activities in BC (he was previously a judge in Alberta) began way back in Mike Harcourt's government.

But there are two things worth noting.

First, Mr. Casson himself served as acting Police Complaints Commissioner for a short period after the resignation of the somewhat less-than-uber-independent Don Morrison.

Thus, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the fact that he ran the thing for awhile might make it more difficult for Mr. Casson to make really tough recommendations if they are required.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Mr. Casson is to report directly to the director of 'Police Services', which has us wondering if this means that the newly-minted AG, and house Moderato, Wally Oppal, will be cut-out of the process.

Only time will tell.

The important point here?

Well, unlike the bad old days when Mr. Morrison, VPD Chief Mr. Graham, and their friends could sweep unpopular things under the rug whenever the going got tough, this time around there are a lot of people ready to scream from the rooftops if the Redmeaters try to bury things at the bottom of the stew.

And I'm not just talking about the advocates, smalltime bloggers like myself, or even the growing voice of the Tyee for that matter because, based on his truly independent decision last week on the Pivot Legal Society matter, the current Complaints Commissioner Mr. Ryneveld has proven that he can speak truth to power and make it listen.

And that is a very good thing indeed.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Reality-Based Televsion


Our old friend Robert Broughton has just alerted us to this:

I went to a presentation on June 14 by Paul Jay, of the CBC Newsworld program counterSpin. Paul's current project is Independent World Television and I think it's an excellent idea.....

To make this happen, he's hired Paul Maslin, who engineered the grass-roots internet fundraising effort for the Howard Dean campaign in 2004. Paul has also signed up an impressive list of media heavyweights, including Gore Vidal, Naomi Klein, and Janeane Garofalo; the list can be found on the IWT News Site, which launches on June 15.

There's a fundraising component to the thing but, when you figure out how much you throwaway to greedheads like Crazy Uncle Ted and those Shawpeople every month for crapola worth less than poop on shinola, who the heck cares.


There Are Lies, There Are Statistics.....


.......And Then There Is Mr. Rumsfeld

Where's that mad hat when you need it:

Iraq is "statistically" no safer today than it was at the end of the war, Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, has admitted.......

In an interview with Sir David Frost on BBC2's Newsnight last night, Mr Rumsfeld was asked whether the security situation had improved since the day after the war ended.

"Well, statistically no. But clearly it has been getting better as we've gone along," he replied.

And if you fall down the rabbit hole tomorrow and land on your head, statistically you will have the same number of limbs as you have today, even if you do have brain damage.

Update: And then there is the Heritage Foundation.


Sunday, June 12, 2005

Base Is Base


Digby took another strip off the collective backs of Beltway Hackagooligans today:

"Press The Meat today was one for the books. After a colorless exchange between the usual ineffectual Democrat and a looney tunes, delusional Republican (Joe Biden and Curt Weldon) Monsignor Lil' Russ joined the roundtable where they ignored everything that had just been said to breathlessly offer their learned opinions on the runaway bride and Michael Jackson of the beltway --- Hillary and Howard.

Gwen Ifill pointed out that while Dean is popular with the rank and file, the Washington Democrats are very upset. The Knights of the Botox all made it quite clear that while Bush catering to his base is a smart strategy, they agree with the DC Dems that catering to the filthy Democrat rabble is quite beneath any civilized politician. But then, as we all know, Bush's base are Real Americans while the Democratic base consists of a bunch of godless, bi-coastal, terrorist sympathizers who are waaaay outside the mainstream. All 49% of 'em. No way are Judy, Gwen, Father Tim, and Dean Broder associated with those treasonous bastards. Why, everybody on Nantucket practically lives on pork rinds these days......

Which is waycooler than, well, maybe even Billmon - although I do take slight exception to Digby's last sentence quoted above based on the fact that a terror-assisted clampdown on slave-wage waiter visas is making it hard for Nantucketinians everywhere to get a good night's repast, Atkin's or no.

Regardless, the best comment on Digby's post so far goes to 'aiko' who said:

Thank you. thank you. thank you.

I never laughed so hard.

Not only does Dean speak for me but I think all this fuss is good for us.

I love being the base--it is about time!

And time it is.


No Sex Please, We're British


Remember Andrew Gilligan?

How about David Kelly?

To refresh your memory, here's the short version, courtesy of

September 24, 2002 - The British Government releases a dossier (the "September Dossier") in which it claims that Iraq could deploy weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes of the order being given.

February 3, 2003 - The British government release a dossier entitled Iraq - its infrastructure of concealment, deception and intimidation . The dossier is later found to have included whole sections from unattributed sources including the postgraduate thesis of a former Californian student Ibrahim al-Marashi. The dossier is subsequently dubbed the "Dodgy Dossier".

May 22 - Andrew Gilligan, a BBC journalist, and David Kelly meet for lunch in the Victorian Charing Cross Hotel, between Strand and the Thames Embankment in London.

May 29 - Andrew Gilligan claims that a senior MoD official told him that the dossier in September was "sexed up" by the government with the insertion of the 45-minute claim. Subsequently, a row ensues over just who the source was.

June 1 - The Mail on Sunday publish an article by Andrew Gilligan in which he elaborates on his report and specifically names the Downing Street press secretary Alastair Campbell as the person responsible for the insertion of the 45-minute claim into the September Dossier......

July 8 - David Kelly admits to his seniors at the MoD that he had met Gilligan to discuss the dossier, but denies mentioning any involvement by Campbell. Later that day the government issue a statement saying that a Ministry of Defence official has come forward and admitted meeting Andrew Gilligan on May 22.

July 9 - In a private letter to the BBC, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon names Kelly as the official who had spoken to Gilligan.....

July 17 - Andrew Gilligan appears before the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and is accused by the committee's chairman Donald Anderson of "changing his story" and being an "unsatisfactory witness". Meanwhile Kelly's family contact police after he fails to return from a walk. Before he had left his house, Kelly had sent an e-mail to a journalist on the New York Times, warning of "many dark actors playing games".

July 18 - Kelly's body is found a few miles from his home. The government announces an independent judicial inquiry into the events leading up to the death, to be chaired by Lord Hutton.

Now, there's no need to go into the 'eye of the needle' terms of reference that led to the inevitably ridiculous conclusions of the Hutton Inquiry.

Because everything has changed now.

First, note the date of the release of the Sexless September Dossier at the top of the timeline.

And then realize the date of the original Downing St Memo, in which the highest levels of the British Government were informed that the Bush Administration was 'fixing' the intelligence around the policy to facilitate the invasion of Iraq, was July 2002.

In other words, in the Summer of 2002 was the time to start making stuff up.

Stuff like 45 minute deployments of Weapons of Mass Destruction which later were apparently hidden under Mr. Bush's oval office furniture.

But now it looks like things were even more non-coital than all that.

To whit: Downing Street, the Sequel, in which the British government is informed, again in July 2002, that what they and their compadres from across the pond were setting out to do was actually illegal.

MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal.

The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier.

The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blair’s inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was “necessary to create the conditions” which would make it legal.

This was required because, even if ministers decided Britain should not take part in an invasion, the American military would be using British bases. This would automatically make Britain complicit in any illegal US action.


Never Mind The 'I' Word.

Because, with evidence like that......Here Come the Sexless Pistols.


Friday, June 10, 2005




Think this problem with the Mainstream Media is new?

Think again.

Because here's vintage Hunter Thompson, circa 1968, writing to the general manager of his local television station in Aspen Colorado.

Dear Mr. Palmer,

Six months ago I watched your tearful commentary on the night of Dr. King's death; it was an impressive performance - and I use that word very deliberately, in light of your influence on the level of KREX-TV's programming since you took over as general manager. Your predecssor, as I recal, retired to work for Richark Nixon; he was an infamous yahoo, recognized all over the western slope for his unenlightened views on almost aeverything. So it was a hopeful sign - to those of us who can et only one cannel on our sets - when the station's management was taken over by an articulate human being who publicly cast himself as a one-time friende of Matin Luther King.

Well....with friends like you, Dr. King didn't need enemies. It's you and your swinish, hypocritical ilk who've created and sustained the world that Dr. King was trying to change.....

You weep for Dr. King, yet you manage a TV station that stands as a rancid monument to the worst instincts of the industry. You talk of the need for a better world, yet you treat your TV audience as if they were total waterheads....

I'm sure 'Doc King' would be proud of you. You got your hands on a captive audience and fed them the cheapest, meanest kind of swill you could find......

From: Fear and Loathing in America
Simon and Schuster, 2000, pg 128

This was written just a few months after both M.L. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated and just a few weeks after Thompson was beaten while covering the Democratic National Convention in Chicago despite the fact that he was carrying press credentials while working on a doomed project that would eventually become the underlying theme of pretty much all of the rest of his best work - The Death of the American Dream.

What's amazing is that screeds like this were not rare. Thompson wrote literally thousands of them, often in the middle of the night or just before dawn, to friends, foes and total strangers alike.

And in them you can see the evolution of his art.

A few years ago Greg Beato described the power, the glory, and the sheer fun of producing of all those uneditted molotov word cocktails:

Who would have guessed that the dope-addled, peripatetic Thompson, who was so seemingly out of control that each last-minute story he filed came across as a miraculous convergence of typing paper, chemical incentive, and editorial triage team, was also a careful correspondent/diarist who carbon-copied and saved 20,000 letters over the last five decades?.....

If these letters show Thompson as far more clear-headed and calculating than his literary persona suggests, they also reveal that his larger-than-life aura and fantastic contrarian assurance were innate aspects of his personality rather than products of his eventual celebrity.

"I'm getting a little tired of writing articles that everybody praises and nobody prints," he tells novelist and former colleague William Kennedy, after turning in a 140-page manuscript on the NRA to Esquire. "I've been writing for 11 years," he says to Random House's Jim Silberman, "and never--not once, not even with my poem in Spider magazine--have I ever had anything published straight."

Instead, he wrote letters. "I'm having a hint of twisted fun with this letter�" he says to Silberman in the midst of a nearly 4000-word letter. "I haven't written anything for a while, and I miss that kind of high rambling feeling you get when the crank comes on and THE MEANING is almost clear; just around the next bend, or at the end of the next crude tangent.�"

Such statements make it easy to see why Thompson took so strongly to the form. Letters are personal, spontaneous, informal--everything that Gonzo aimed to be.......

It also demonstrates that maybe, just maybe, Thompson was actually blogging 30 years before anybody had even thought seriously about the form.

Which might explain why his technique is universally mimicked by everyone, myself included, all over the bloggodome.

Update: sukabi, who started it all, has her latest HST Friday offering up at the AllSpinZone and it's a good one.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Spam In A Minivan Can?


I know a guy that grew up in Windsor Ontario in the '60's.

One of the great stories he owns is the time he loaded his freak friends into a tie-dyed, burned-out 1957 Pontiac station wagon for a trip to Detroit to see the MC5.

In the beginning they made a run for it over the Ambassador Bridge but were sent back when one of the Customs officers figured that one of the denizens in the back, back seat was just too stoned to enter the US of A.

Fair enough.

Being a polite Canucklehead my friend turned around and headed back to the northside of the bridge where he dropped off the super-stoner and promptly high-tailed it for the The Tunnel where they had better luck and made it to the gig just before the opening act went on. He thinks it might have been an early Ted Nugent vehicle, but he just can't quite remember through the Fog of Lore.


Anyway, looks like we're getting ready to start sending vehicles through the Tunnel again.

This time it's a whole mess of Minivans to, get this, replace those super-heavy, super-expensive, super-macho Humvees that, armoured are not, are just not making it.

WINDSOR, Canada — The U.S. Armed Forces have ordered 19,000 minivans and 5,000 Pacificas from the Chrysler Group for use as light-duty vehicles in Iraq and elsewhere around the world, displacing less fuel-efficient Humvees, according to the Windsor Star.

The switch to the gas-powered school-carpool mainstays is designed to reduce fuel consumption and improve passenger-carrying ability. The U.S. military has complained it is inefficient to use Humvees to carry a few soldiers at a time, especially in noncombat situations.

The minivans — all gold-colored — will be built at Chrysler's St. Louis, Missouri, and Windsor assembly plants.

"The U.S. government has put their down payment on the vehicles and we're building them already," a plant source told the Star. "They're supposed to be going to Iraq as taxis and stuff."

Sure, sure. I can hear the jokes about the need to start recruiting (or drafting?) Soccer Moms already.

Still, can't help but wonder if there is not a little bit of historical Karma at work here.

After all, in our time of need during the early years of WWII it was FDR that came to our aid when we needed American flying machines the most. The difference was, instead of tunnels and bridges, back then we just used teams of horses to haul the goods across the Prairie.

"To comply with neutality laws which stated military aircraft could not be flown to warring this case to Canada which was at war with Germany... the various aircraft acquired from the US were flown and taxied to within a few feet of the border. This was usually in the midwest such as North Dakota/Manitoba borders. The aircraft were then dragged across as you see in the picture, started and flown away."

Strange days indeed.

Original Link from sukabi at the AllSpinZone.
Update: Matt The Hot Dog Man has his own great Windsor/Detroit crossing story here.


Sunday, June 05, 2005

Katmandu I Will Be Seeing You



Why didn't they just pour all that sponsorship money into this?

When I was a kid, a long, long time ago back in the days of (still)Trudeaumania I always wanted to give Katimavik a try.

But at first I was too young; then, later, shaking the moneymaker got in the way.

In the end, when I was in college, I found an even better job that paid absolutely nothing so I had no need.

But still, I always liked the idea of the thing. You move away, you live with young people from all over the country, you do community work, you help folks out, and then you go out drinking on the weekends.

It was way better than the army if you didn't like guns, and best of all there was no god stuff.

Humanism, the real thing.

And, now, due to the latest adventures of our favorite young globetrotter Per, we find out that it's still going.


Maybe it's not such A Strange And Bewildering Time after all.


Saturday, June 04, 2005



Here in British Columbia we no longer have a Ministry of the Environment.

Instead we have a creature called the 'MLWAP'.

Otherwise known as the Ministry of Land, Water and Air Protection.

Unfortunately, although not unexpectedly given our current provincial government's track record on syntactical gymnastics, it looks like the 'protection' part of the name change is bunk.

I am most familiar with the situation at Cathedral Grove Park which sits in one of the last easily accessible stands of first growth forest on Vancouver Island, but it turns out that similar things have been going on at Grohman Narrows Park near Nelson.

Mark Hume had the story in today's Globe:

"A developer who owns land directly across from the park had to align his access road with the park's for Ministry of Transportation safety reasons. He proposed, and the government accepted, that instead of building a new road himself, the one in the park would be moved, at a cost of about $100,000.

Bill Barisoff, Minister of Water, Land and Air Protection, approved the project."

Which would have been the end of the story, except for the fact that a longtime provincial government worker named Gordon McAdams, who had a sneaking suspicion that habitat was at risk because he'd been involved in writing the guidelines for such projects, ignored the Orwellian name change, went to the drawer, pulled the files, was shocked by what he found, and acted appropriately.

"Mr. McAdams said he knew he could get in trouble for leaking the documents but he wanted to get the facts out -- so he swore an affidavit for a lawyer representing the West Kootenay Community EcoSociety, which had filed a petition with the Supreme Court trying to overturn the minister's decision.....

....The construction was delayed by the court action and then, in a ruling last week, Madam Justice Sinclair Prowse of the B.C. Supreme Court set aside the minister's decision saying it violated the Park Act"

And how was this hero and whistleblower feted?

Well, he filed the affadavit on Monday April 25th and he was fired on Friday of the same week.

Which was also the day he was set to retire.

Welcome to the start of the Golden Decade.

Update: Apologies to Paul Willcocks. He had a very good, and scathing, piece up on this subject yesterday and I just flat out missed it.


Friday, June 03, 2005

Kill All The Cats


This post has nothing to with living breathing felines or Andrew Lloyd-Webber's cash cow.

So don't bother ringing up PETA or my oldest kid's musical theater director.

Because what I'm calling for here is the well-deserved, and long sought after, demise of the bloggodome's stupidest ritual, 'Friday Cat Blogging'.

To be replaced by........wait for it.........

HST Fridays!

This is actually sukabi's idea from over at the All Spin Zone. And the first post is a king-hell, stomp-on-the-terra winner archived by Dr. Fugacious.

By Hunter S. Thompson
From "Kingdom Of Fear "

"Let's face it, the yo-yo president of the U.S.A. knows nothing. He is a dunce. He does what he is told to do, says what he is told to say, poses the way he is told to pose. He is a fool..........

To say this goofy child president is looking more and more like Richard Nixon in the summer of 1974 would be a flagrant insult to Nixon.

Whoops! Did I say that? Is it even vaguely possible that some New Age Republican whore-beast of a false president could actually make Richard Nixon look like a Liberal?.......

The Boss was a certified monster who deserved to be impeached and banished. He was a truthless creature of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, a foul human monument to corruption and depravity on a scale that dwarfs any other public official in American history. But Nixon was at least smart enough to understand why so many honorable patriotic U.S. citizens despised him. He was a Liar. The truth was not in him.

Nixon believed, as he said many times, that if the president of the United States does it, it can't be illegal. But Nixon never understood the much higher and meaner truth of Bob Dylan's warning that "To live outside the law you must be honest.".....

Richard Nixon crossed the line when he began murdering foreigners in the name of "family values"- and George Bush crossed it when he sneaked into office and began killing brown skinned children in the name of Jesus and the American people.

When Muhammad Ali declined to be drafted and forced to kill "gooks" in Vietnam he said, "I ain't got nothin' against them Viet Cong. No Cong ever called me Nigger."

I agreed with him, according to my own personal ethics and values. He was right.

If we all had a dash of Muhammad Ali's eloquent courage, this country and the world would be a better place today because of it........"

And it only get's better after that, if you can believe it.

And the best thing?

There's so much HST to mine and so few Fridays left until the end of the Twig's Reign.

Res Ipsa Loquitur!


Thursday, June 02, 2005

We Don't Need No Stinkin' External Investigations!


Remember a few months ago when VPD Chief Jamie Graham went on the attack after local poor people's advocate, the Pivot Legal Society, made 56 abuse complaints against the Vancouver Police:

"The facts are now in," he (Graham) said. "The evidence simply does not exist to substantiate these alarming and irresponsible allegations. Both the RCMP and VPD investigators concluded that there was not a single case of criminal activity by a Vancouver police officer-not one."

Graham's statement came after the RCMP concluded its investigation into the allegations, which included torture, kidnapping and assaults on Downtown Eastside residents......

"We're the only department I know of in Canada that [holds press briefings] every day. You have complete access to pretty well everything we do. If we do something wrong, you'll find out about it, and we're accountable for that."

Even the Province's Top-Cop, Rich 'RedMeat' Coleman got into the act:

"Solicitor General Rich Coleman backed the department.

"They (the public) can have confidence in this police force, it's a very good police force," he told CKNW radio."


But that was then and this now.

Because there's a new boy in town.

Dirk Ryneveld is his name, and it looks like he's prepared, unlike former old boy Don Morrison, to do what an independent Police Commisioner is supposed to do - examine the evidence and do this crazy, weird, bizarre thing known as acting, well, independently.

And even better, Mr. Ryneveld is not afraid to name names and speak truth to power.

"British Columbia's police commissioner wants an independent review of the Vancouver police department over complaints that some officers abused people living in the Downtown Eastside – the city's poorest neighbourhood....

"That external investigation met with frustrations and lack of co-operation. And the result of that was that Chief Graham then ordered his own staff to reinvestigate the matter," said Ryneveld.

"To me, that, in effect, thwarts the whole purpose of an external investigation and I'm, of course, concerned about that, as well."

Ryneveld says his review found nine of the complaints were valid."

And if you, like me, were wondering why Mr. Coleman suddenly started screaming like a banshee a couple of days ago about the despicable fact that excess traffic fine monies returned to municipalities were being used for ridiculously stupid things like schools, sewers and vaccination programs instead of war on crime stuff like sweeping the streets clean of squeegie kids, rubbies and poor people, maybe it was deflector spin because he knew that Mr. Ryneveld was getting ready to go after him as well.

"He (Ryneveld) is calling on B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman to audit the Vancouver police department.

Coleman rejected that idea moments after the call was made."

All of which got us to wondering if the LINO's now wish that Lorne Mayencourt had actually lost his Vancouver-Burrard by the skin of his teeth seat to Tim Stevenson.

After all, Little Lord Lorne would have been the perfect 'law-and-order-in-a-soundbite' replacement for Mr. Ryneveld.

A while back frequent contributor lenin's ghost took me to task for slagging Wally Oppal. Well, this issue just might be the Big O's big chance, particularly given the fact that it was his investigation into police practices more than a decade ago that help paved the way for the formation of the Commissioner's office in the first place.


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Watch Out For Those Disassembling Haligonians


Remember where all those diverted flights landed on Sept 11th, 2001 when they closed all the airports in the States?

Yes, you got that right - Canada.

I know this because I had a friend flying from Boston to Los Angeles that day and she ended up in Winnipeg for 36 hours and it took me almost 2/3 of that time to find her.

But we Canuckistanis did not complain. In fact, as good neighbours we welcomed everybody with open arms.

Because we were filled with goodwill, as was the entire world a scant four years (and a million smart bombs) ago.

But now, apparently, Canadian folks flying from, say, Halifax to Montreal, may soon be forced to subject themselves to Twiggonomic Terror Watch Lists.

".....a new American proposal attempts to go one step further (with manifest surveillance) by demanding that any flight passing through U.S. airspace, even if it doesn't land, must first submit its passengers' names, citizenship, birthdays, and possibly their addresses and credit card details.

Many flights, for example Montreal to Halifax, or Toronto to Calgary, cross U.S. airspace to save time and fuel."

Isn't that great?

So, we can only long will it be before some poor sod is rendered without even leaving Canada?

And that includes you too Ms. Mallick. Because crap like this, if we allow it to happen, just might make it possible for that the venomous Bill O'Reilly to get back at you after all.

And just what would stop some irate Middle-Eastern Oilers Fan who grew up in Spruce Grove from from hijacking a plane flying from Vancouver to Edmonton and forcing it to make a sharp right turn over Kelowna so that he could buzz Bruce MacNall's prison cell in Lompoc California? What's that you say? McNall is out and rumour has it that he was last seen sipping mint juleps in Louisville at the Derby with Kennyboy Lay a few weeks ago? Sheesh. Are these people completely insane?


Who Will Go Deep For Us Now?


As a young teenaged kid in the wilds of not-quite-yet Left Coast Canuckistan, I was obsessed with all things Watergate.

In fact, for a while there it wouldn't have been unreasonable to suggest that Tinfoil was actually my middle name.

In particular, I remember the summer of 1973 very clearly because that was the big one.

The one where I read the now syndicated stuff from the Post's Wildboys almost every day. I also listened constantly, between games of badminton and frisbee football, to Senator Sam's Hearings, featuring the resurrection of John Dean, on a cheap transistor radio propped on a log at the beach at Bamberton near Mill Bay on Vancouver Island. And what was even better was having my gaps in knowledge of who was a Waterhead and who was not filled in by latenight flashlight-in pup-tent-readings of the insane ramblings of a still almost young Doktor Thompson that arrived two weeks (or more) after the fact but somehow greatly improved the next day's listening still to come.

But the weird thing is that my interest in Deep Throat only came later, after the dust had settled, when I read Woodward and Bernstein's book and then saw the movie after a vigorous priming from previous viewings Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View.

But today I'm not so much interested in who Mark Felt is and why he did it but instead whether there are any more Mark Felt's out there right now who might be ready to step up to the plate when, in my view, things are so much worse than they were 30 odd years ago.