Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Got California Drownin' Out The Windowsides


It was the summer of 1993.

C. and I had already been in Berkeley for awhile, living in a tiny white house off Gilman with an even tinier e.

And suddenly, one day this tape showed up in the lab up the hill overlooking the Bay where I was training to be a science geek at the time.

A demo of some kind.

That arrived in our midst because of an undergraduate named D.


D. was one of those kids you expect to find in Berkeley.

Smart as whip, and a thousand times hipper.

And she lived in this communal house off lower Durant with a cavalcade of housemates that came and went like the fog that rolled in under the bridge every day.

Apparently, at one time or another, two of those comers and goers were a couple of aspiring musicians named Adam and Dave.

Which may or may not have have been true but, in the end, that really doesn't matter.

Because a few of months later you couldn't go anywhere in the Bay Area, including our house, without hearing most of the songs that were on that demo.

And I sure as heckfire wish that I had made a copy of the thing, because the band that D.'s 'housemates' built is called 'The Counting Crows'.

And for now and ever after the sounds Dave Bryson's opening guitar line and Adam Duritz' swirling vocal that eventually rises out of it on the lead-in to 'Round Here will always be the sound of Berkeley (and maybe now the infamous Sproul Plaza too) to me.


Every two years or so we make the trip down the coast down the Bay Area to see old friends, most of whom were first C's, because she had a real job when we lived there. In contrast, most of my friends from those days, including D., have all moved on because that's what science geeks-in-training do when they get real jobs.

Anyway, when we go it's always fun to show our two kids where we lived and what we did back in the days when California pretty much drowned our window sides every single day.

And, of course, we also make sure we head down to Telegraph Avenue to replenish our Tie-Dye supply, one example of which you can see above, worn by the once tiny e. during our 2004 trip down the coast in the VW (notso)Microbus.

As for 2008?

Well, the story of that trip will just have to wait.....

Because we're on our way there right now.


You know, it's a funny thing.....Earlier in 1993, probably because I was more attuned to that sort of thing at the time, I knew all about a derivative little bubble-punk trio that I just knew would soon be busting out of this place right down the street from our house. But I must confess that, while I really dug their stuff, I never thought Bryson and Duritz would hit the bigtime because what they were doing just seemed too damned esoteric for those days of grunge and glory. Clearly, I was wrong, especially after 'Mr. Jones' hit.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking MegaMediaMegaloPlex


My newest favorite go-to Lotuslandian blogger guy, Harvey Oberfeld, has the story:

Where are CanWest’s intrepid, investigative business reporters!

Something BIG has been happening to the company’s stocks … they are becoming LITTLE. Some BIG story seems to be happening to the Company … but I have seen LITTLE about it in CanWest newspapers.......

It's actually a huge drop in share price and CanWest is pretending it's not happening which, as we who follow RailGate closely know, is not exactly novel, especially here on the Eastern side of the Straight of Georgia (not Nichols) and Gracie's finger.


In the couple of months or so that I have been reading Harvey O it has become clear that there is little love lost between him and the folks running the local Media Empire, especially when it comes to their more brazen water carrying for the current government and premier of British Columbia.

Further, Harvey even lays out his version of events regarding what happened at BCTV after Frank Senior died and the Pet Food Co. heiress sold the family heirloom to the Aspers just as little Arthur's folly started to come crashing down, in an earlier column.

It's all good stuff and worth checking out regularly as H.O. posts even more so.

Regularly, I mean.



Monday, June 23, 2008

Bruce Springsteen's Tribute To Tim Russert


I still agree with L girl about what one of the most important lasting legacies of Tim Russert's body of work will be.


I also understand how important it is to separate a man's work from the man himself.

And besides, as Mr. Springsteen so eloquently explains, the 'screen door slams' for everyone......


And as nothing more than a small Boss-O-Logical aside, it is extremely interesting from a fan-geek POV to hear Mr. Springsteen strum as he talks during the pre-amble in the video above given how similar it is to what he did while offering up advice to John Cusack in Nick Hornby's Americanized version of 'High Fidelity'. I always thought the latter was purely movie hokum, but now I'm wondering if maybe he (Bruce) does the same thing at, say, bedtime when he's working himself up to saying something important to one of his kids before the story songs start and dreamtime comes because, well, you know.........


RailGate Revisited - Hansard's Revenge, The Prequel



Teensy-Tiny Corrective Update At Bottom Of Post

As we mentioned yesterday, and as the mainstream pro-media have probably forgotten by now because it happened three days ago, a third member of Erik Bornmann's RailGate Six, Mr. Rick Thorpe, has announced that he is quitting Gordon Campbell's cabinet.

And just what, exactly is this "RailGate Six", you might be asking?

Well, it is the six high level members of the B.C. Liberal goverment (ie. five cabinet ministers and a premier) that Mr. Bornmann said he contacted to lobby on behalf of the American RailCo "OmniTRAX" during the run-up to the sale of B.C. Rail in 2003.

Except, here's something weird.

Mr. Thorpe told Joy McPhail, when questioned in the Legislature in way back in March of 2004 (ie. a few months AFTER the Ledge Raids but a few months BEFORE the search warrants were unsealed) , that he had 'no knowledge' or 'recollection' of meeting with Mr. Bornmann.

And no one had to file an FOI request to get that information because Hansard recorded it, in it's entirety, for posterity:

J. MacPhail: Has the minister ever been involved in a meeting with Mr. Bornman? I think his first name is Frank. I'm sorry. I've just had one of those moments. Is it Frank?

.....(A Voice: Erik.).....

J. MacPhail: Erik. I'm sorry — Erik Bornman, the lobbyist that until recently was with Pilothouse. Has the minister ever attended a meeting in his capacity as minister where Mr. Bornman was present or where that meeting was arranged by Pilothouse?

Hon. R. Thorpe: Not to my knowledge.

J. MacPhail: I'm asking it about the minister personally, so I assume that he would either be able to answer yes or no. I don't think he has menopausal moments. I may be wrong.

.....(A Voice: Don't be so sure.).....

J. MacPhail: Yeah. I can't imagine why a minister would say, "Not to my knowledge," when that's the case. Can the minister say whether his staff, either in his previous portfolio or the current portfolio, met with any lobbyists or any people with interest in the B.C. Rail deal?

Hon. R. Thorpe: I have no recollection or no knowledge of that.

But here's an even stranger thing.

Mr. Thorpe did recall meeting with Mr. Bornmann's partner in OmniTRAXian lobbying, co-'Pilothous' principal Mr. Brian Kieran:

Hon. R. Thorpe: I believe I have met with Brian Kieran, both in opposition and as a member of the government.

J. MacPhail: Can the minister remember the nature of the meeting when he was a cabinet minister?

Hon. R. Thorpe: No, I can't remember the details, but I can assure this House that I never met Pilothouse consulting with respect to the B.C. Rail partnership.

J. MacPhail: How is it that the member so assured on one point but not any other?

Hon. R. Thorpe: They have many customers.

Hmmmmmm......and just who might some of those many customers be?

Well, here too, Mr. Thorpe fills us in:

J. MacPhail: No, no. I know that. You should see the lobbyists' registration. They — Pilothouse — are claiming a lot of success. But I'm asking the minister how it is that he's so assured. He can't remember what he met Pilothouse on or Brian Kieran, but he's so assured that it wasn't about B.C. Rail. Can he remember what it could have been about?

Hon. R. Thorpe: You know, over the years, I've met Mr. Kieran on other issues. I can't remember if it had to do with auto dealers. I can't remember if it had to do with the breweries. I can't recollect the details of that, but I do know that I did not meet with them with respect to the B.C. Rail partnership.

So, there you have it.

Car dealers and brewers maybe, but B.C. Rail most definitely NOT.

Only one small problem with that.

Mr. Kieran also had a "RailGate Club" of his very own.

And five of the members were EXACTLY the same as Mr. Bornmann's including, you guessed it, Minister Thorpe (click image below to enlarge).

Looks like somebody has some 'xplainin' to do.


Many, many, many thanks to lynx, who is one of the regulars and most insightful commenters over at Mary's place, for pointing us towards the right drawer over at the Hansard library.
Speaking of which, those little gems that Joy MacPhail left behind for us in the farthest corners of the HLib are worth their weight in way more than gold. I hope she has been sufficiently thanked for all the work she did, so much of which was thanklessness personified at the time (especially given that she was working pretty much sans staffers thanks to the actions of the gold key member of Mr. Bornmann's RailGate SixClub that was left OFF of Mr. Kieran's).
Teeny-Tiny Corrective Update: In the original iteration of this post I put up an official BC Govt lobbyist affiliation page for Mr. Kieran that indicated a RailGate Six that was exactly the same as Mr. Bornmann's. This was not quite correct because, while that equivalent group of six was also, apparently, lobbied by Mr. Kieran on behalf of OmniTRAX, the actual 'subject' in that case was the Fort Nelson Line (hmmmmm.....pretty sure Gary E. might have something to say about that). Instead, for OmniTRAX's interest in the 'BC Rail Evolution' Mr. Kieran's RailGate group was only five (ie. the same five cabinet ministers as Mr. Bornmann, including Mr. Thorpe, but no premier). Apologies for any confusion this may have caused.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Erik Bornmann's RailGate Six - Three Down.....

......Three To Go?

Erik Bornmann is the former BC Liberal party-connected lobbyist who 'allegedly' bribed BC Liberal government staffers David Basi and Robert Virk while acting for the American RailCo OmniTRAX during the run-up to the LedgeRaids in 2003.

Unlike the 'alleged' bribees, Mr. Bornmann, (ie. one of the 'alleged' bribers) has never been charged and, instead, will apparently be the Crown's star witness (if the trial ever starts).


Rick Thorpe is currently BC Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell's Minister for 'Small Business And Revenue'.

On Friday, Mr. Thorpe dumped.......errrrrrrr......announced his retirement thusly:

"To use a hockey analogy, you have to know when to take the skates off and the time has come for me to take the skates off."

Which is reassuring, indeed.

Question is what position did he play?


There are six players on the ice during a hockey game.

Which, it turns out, is exactly the same number of BC Liberal Party 'players' that Erik Bornmann said he 'officially' met with while acting as a lobbyist for OmniTRAX in 2003.

Interestingly, three of those players are now gone (click on image to enlarge).


Who's next?

Sure, Mr. Thorpe was not the most 'popular' of Campbell Cabinet Ministers, but it is laughable in the extreme how much pro-media attention, including a full half of the 'Rabble Rousing Panel' discussion on this morning's Public Eye Radio show, has been focussed on the fact that Gregor Robertson has stepped down as an MLA so that he can concentrate on running for the mayor's chair in the City of Vancouver vs. this story. And it was wurlitzered by BC Liberals just off Mr. Bornmann's ice, people like Mike de Jong who made a huge fuss that this means there is a huge rift in the NDP Party Party. Question: Does this in anyway compare to the very recent resignations of four, count 'em four(!) (Taylor, Ilich, Richmond, and now Thorpe) cabinet ministers in front of the premier goalie? Sheesh.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

RailGate Redux.....For Premier Campbell Some Things Were 'Interesting To Know'


In case you missed it there was another RailGate hearing yesterday.

How do we know?

Because Bill Tieleman posted up the details on his blog.

Turns out that the defense (surprise!) is alleging political interference by British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell in decisions that have been made (and may still be being made) about what 'evidence' will be held back/suppressed for various and sundry types of privilege that, apparently, have nothing to do with the affairs of Mr. Campbell's cabinet.

We've written about this stuff before.

A lot.

Actually, a heckuva lot.

In fact, probably more than any sane person who is not billing lawyer's hours ever should.


Given all the water that has already passed under the privilege bridge, including the sinking of a previously proven protocol (which is another glorious P3 for anybody that missed it), it is not surprising that the defense now wants to know what Mr. Campbell said to whom, when.

Specifically, the lawyers for co-accused David Basi and Robert Virk, Michael Bolton and Kevin McCullough would like any recordings that were made of the interview Mr. Campbell gave to VProvince columnist Michael Smyth earlier this year when he, 'allegedly' said things like the following:

"It is interesting to know what's taking place on occasion," Campbell told me.

"I asked [Seckel] within the last couple of weeks, 'What's going on?'
He said, 'The judge has got all the documents. The judge is making the choices. That's what's happening.' I said, 'Fine.'"


Interesting that, don't you think.

Because, despite all claims that he is not 'interfering' and that he is not 'involved' and that he is not 'influencing' how evidence is being suppressed (legally, of course), Mr. Campbell is, indeed, 'interested', and thus he has apparently spoken to his man 'Seckel' about the details of all that privileged information .

And some of that material is, apparently, critical to the case because it gets to matter of, as the presiding judge Elizabeth Bennett has described it, 'innocence at stake'.

So forget all this 300,000 pages of evidence stuff, because if the critical pages are missing all that wasted wood fiber and/or pixel power means pretty much less than nothing at all.

And just who is this 'Seckel'?

Well that would be Mr. Campbell's most excellent Deputy Attorney General Mr. Allan Seckel, the man in charge of knowing 'what's going on', because he is also the guy that was in charge of the privilege suppression (or not) protocols themselves.

But don't worry, because as Mr. Seckel also spoke to the columnist Mr. Smyth way back when:

"We were going into a meeting and he said something about, 'How's it going?' And I said something to the effect of, 'Don't believe everything you read in the papers.' Then he said, 'Well, when this is all over, you can tell me about that.'

Which is certainly good to know.

But here's something just as, if not more, 'interesting'......

Mr. Seckel and his interview with Mr. Smyth was a topic of discussion in the RailGate Courtroom yesterday.

How do we know that?

Well, again, we are lucky that Mr. Tieleman was there to tell us all about it when no other media members were* (perhaps they were too busy getting ready to write all those storys about the third member of 'star' prosecution witness Erik Bornmann's RailGate Six to resign yesterday?).

Here are the details from Mistah T's report:

Government lawyer George Copley later told (Judge) Bennett that there is no government audio tape of the interview with Seckel.

"The deputy did reply to (Virk defense lawyer) Mr. McCullough's letter and said he did not record the interview with Mr. Smyth but the passages quoted by Mr. Smyth were correct," Copley said.

Which is all fine and dandy as far as it goes.

Except for this.

Michael Smyth's interview with Mr. Seckel was NOT the same interview as the one that resulted in Mr. Campbell's comments to Smyth regarding his 'interest' in privilege such that he spoke to his man Seckel.


*OK, OK, OK! It turns out that Mark Hume, who has done some very good work in the past, did have a short piece in today's Globe but it was cryptic in the extreme. Further, it contained no mention of the actual RailGate Tape 'request' and the only quotes were made by lawyers 'outside' the courtroom which kind of makes one go, hmmmmmmmmm...... (re: attendance). And speaking of hmmmmmmm.......(re: attendance), especially given our good friend Mary's recent very illuminating exchange with VSun managing editor Kirk Lapointe, why no story today from Neal Hall (enquiring Anon-O-Mice want to know)?


Friday, June 20, 2008

RailGate Hair Afire


Holy doodles!

Hate to bury my own lead, such as it is (see post below), but Mr. T. has a blockbuster up on today's RailGate hearing.

(will comment later..... off to C's big show with two E's and C's mom L.......)


Are Lotusland's Top Pundits Wilfully Ignorant?



I was listening to Vaughn Palmer and Keith Baldrey on the Goodship Watercarrier's radio show this morning (NoMeansNo* RailGate by the way) and I couldn't believe the level of inanity that prevailed for pretty much the entire hour.

Oh, sure, it was kind of interesting when Mr. Palmer used razor blades to cut a recent Michael Smyth column into a million tiny pieces because he had come to the conclusion that it was sloppy punditry of the most putrid kind.

But most of the rest of the hour was taken up with things like well-aired discussions (ie. airtime odour eaters that keep stinky-cheese-stuff-like RailGate and the willful killing of the Therapeutics Initiative at bay) of a kid that wore a T-shirt with a bad word on it and the fact that Gregor Robertson's stepping down after winning the Vision Vancouver nomination for Mayor is one more gigantic nail in Carole James' political coffin. In fact, regarding the latter point, Mr. Baldrey spent most of the initial segment of the show pulling more unsourced rumours out of his hat than a bad magician corraling a herd of sex-crazed rabbits culled from the free love ranges at the University of Victoria.

Then there was the 'fe-fi-ho-hum-I-smell-the-blood-of-an-Islander-who-doesn't-have-a-six figure-salary' (or even, probably, mid 5's) dismissal of Davey (Don't call me Jones) Hahn's latest increase-on-an-increase-that-isn't-an-increase-because-it's-a-surcharge-that-we-would-rather pay-right-now-so-that-we-can-pay-even-more-for-it-later. I mean, somebody has to pay for rising costs at B.C. Ferries, right? After all, it's not like somebody who is now piling surcharge after surcharge on the tops our heads was actually in any way responsible for the decision that resulted in the payment of an extra hundred million or two for new ferries because we paid a German shipbuilding firm a few hundred million more to kill off our local (ie. well paid worker) ship building industry, eh?**


That's not what struck me dumb.

Instead, what really took my breath away was the discussion of the Carbon Tax, both provincially (which is, somehow, also Carole James' fault by the way) and federally.

And on the latter point the Water Method Man was, is, and apparently always will be....


Because he just can't understand how the Conservatives can expect to win if they are not on the side of the environment when they do things like run ads on gas pumps slamming the 'Green Shift', given that it, the environment, is top of mind for so many voters.


Based on this point alone I am now completely convinced that Mr. Good is either willfully or woefully ignorant when it comes to understanding how the flackhackery that seeks to play him really works***.

I mean does he not understand that the Conservatives are actually bent on destroying Mr. Dion's only remaining real strength and turning what was once, is, and always will be, one of their true liabilities while simultaneously turning it into a "perceived" strength.****

Otherwise, how else can you explain John Baird.


*Big question is, did Mr. P. ever write a story about NoMeansNo back in those halcyon days when he wrote other bits about some of my other favorite local bands of all time like, say, this one.
**And here's something that makes me see R-E-D, Red! .......Canadian Flags draped all over the "Coastal Renaissance" ferryboat as it is christened and gets set to sail in.......aaaaaarrrrrrgggghhhh....Germany. Crimeney! Looks like the work of the O.I.C. Network to me.
***OK, OK, OK! Maybe it's both.
****And regarding the 'possibility', also bandied about briefly during the dying moments of the discussion, that by running those attack ads on gas pumps Mr. Harper might actually hurt the fortunes of his ideological soulmate Mr. Gordon Campbell? Well, that might be a point worth considering if and when (ie. when the hell freezes over under a Mars lander?), duh!, the HarperCons actually run the ads in British Columbia. Sheesh.


Are We Part of Mr. Campbell's Big Media O.I.C. Network?



What the heck is the "OIC" Network?

Well, it is most certainly NOT the NHL's chosen network in the United States.

But, in terms sheer numbers, it just may be British Columbia's biggest Media Megalopolopaloozaplex.

And it is owned, pretty much lock, stock and barrel, by our Premier, Mr. Gordon Campbell

Our good friend Mary, in a recent comment on the threads, explains:


At long last, somebody mentions the effect of

185 new Public Affairs Officers (hired Sept. 2006 under "Order-in-Council" #656)

100 old P.A. Officers (as a guess)

50 added one-at-a-time since Sept 2006 (another guess)

Which, according to my guesswork, is about 335 well-paid people on the government payroll, at our expense, whose jobs is to manipulate the news so that we see things the way the government wants us to see things.......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

When Dr. Blair Speaks.....

......We Listen



Dr. David Blair is a family physician in Saanich British Columbia.

And he is not happy that the "Pharmaceutical Task Force Report" , which was generated by a 'blue ribbon panel' that was commissioned by the government of Gordon Campbell, is now being used by the government of Gordon Campbell to kill the funding for a pre-existing program called the "Therapeutics Initiative".

The following are excerpts from Dr. Blair's righteous screed that were published recently in the Victoria Times Colonist:

The recent so-called pharmaceutical task force report commissioned by the health minister to review pharmaceuticals selected for PharmaCare funding is, in part, a dreadful hatchet job on a valuable made-in-B.C. program, the Therapeutics Initiative.


Why would any ministry set out to silence its best source of advice on the rational expenditure of public funds for prescription drugs? Why would a program producing so much good work, for an annual expenditure roughly equal to three days' worth of the annual increase in PharmaCare costs, be a target?

Since its beginning the TI has produced close to 70 soundly researched and carefully written newsletters, covering topics from Cox-2 inhibitors to selection of appropriate treatment targets for Type 2 diabetes to an evidence-based look at drugs for Alzheimer's disease. And it has done a lot of other educational programs benefiting British Columbians by better informing prescribing physicians.

(Colby) Cosh is right. The task force criticism of the initiative's "resistance to meaningful stakeholder input" is code for letting the pharmaceutical industry run the show on its costly terms, where cost increases to PharmaCare are regularly three or even four times the annual inflation in other health-care sectors.

Grassroots organizations (read Astroturf organizations funded by the pharmaceutical industry) would like more say, too. So would "disease experts," of which there are now precious few in the province who have not found the trough of Big Pharma largesse......

We agree fully with Dr. Blair.

Because what we have here is a shill factory working flat-out, at full capacity.

And the 'product' of that factory are 500 lb crap hammers that are being used to pound a good program to pieces because that program is standing in the way of the shills' paymasters' ability to make rapacious profits on the backs of all British Columbians.

And the work of this shill factory is being fully facilitated by our own government.


Gosh, wonder who is lobbying the government of Mr. Gordon Campbell on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Industry? Might just have to go and look that up (just plug "health" into the "lobbying activities by agency" box, hit run and then search the file using the kewword "pharma")
Thanks to Mr. Willcocks for bringing Dr. Blair's piece to our attention.


The New! Improved! Conservative "Miss" Spokesperson, 2008


In case you missed it we're talking about the Harpoons' chief obfuscator.

And we're not joking around here; these are Rethug tactics served Raw, wherein the object is to game everything in a concerted effort to turn your political opponent's greatest strengths into his greatest weaknesses.

And the result of this wretched gaming is that, in the end, all public discourse is turned to crap.

Such that, for example, real war heroes are become lily-livered pansies while effective draft dodgers emerge, newly forged as aircraft carrier codpieces.

Ms. O'Malley has this particular, and particularly Canadian, story of obfucatory gamesmanship nailed down from top to bottom, and it is she who has done us the honour of bestowing the glittering crown of "MissSpokesperson" on Mr. Ryan Sparrow.

And, of course, as is to be expected when the game you run is ultimately designed to fling crap into the Wurlitzer so that it can be sprayed on everyone concerned, the NaPo has picked up the fake story in all it's fecal matter of (anti)factness.


This is a very, very dangerous Rovian Road we are heading down here folks.

After all, if we continue in this direction, what's next?

Will Ken Dryden, when he next stands up in the House to question the direction of our Foreign Policy, be pelted by the guano of an entire flock of MissSpokespersons all alluding to the (anti)fact that he didn't really win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1971 because he was actually thrown in a secret jail by Alexander Haig for repeatedly desecrating the flag while he tripped on Kool-Aid (the real thing) and watched old Groucho Marxist propaganda films at Cornell?

And will all that crap get picked up by the NaPo late on a Friday afternoon so that it can be spun out as Fool's Gold on the front pages of newspapers all over North America by Monday?

Of course, that kind of stuff is just crazy talk, right?


But now might be the time to remind you of the Harpoon-assisted NaPo-driven News Zombie that kept on giving?

Or that funny little slip that wasn't really a controlled leak about a certain U.S. Democratic candidate and NAFTA that hit the broadsheets just before the bloom suddenly came off that candidate's Primary Rose.

Or the fact that we have had to spend months and months defending a successful harm reduction program/public health success with real scientific backing from the repeated attacks of a single source of anti-scientific codswallop that was first 'published' in a Rovian-funded 'journal' and jumped at by much of the MSM because of the Wurlitzer's cheap date love affair with false equivalencies.

If you get my drift.


All snarkolepsy aside, if you are interested in good journalism that counts, go and read Ms. O'Malley's entire account of this thing, post-by-post, at her place. She cloaks it all in the relaxed breezy language of the Wolcott's of this World, but the story itself is really quite chilling.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

RailGate ReFloated - Secret Witness "Revealed"



Mr. Iain Hunter, writing in the Victoria TimesColonist this morning , decided that, once again, it was time for a mainstream media-maw commentator to joke about all this RailGate stuff.

Thus, instead of paying attention to real evidence that is right in front of his face and/or web browser, Mr. Hunter decided to ignore the FabFive (ie. Gordon Campbell Government Ministers who are on the record as having met with alleged RailGate Bribe-Masters Bornmann and Kieran) and, instead came up with a list of five 'potential' secret witnesses of of his own.

1) Victoria Police Chief Paul Battershill
2) Soon to be former Finance Minister Carole Taylor
3) BC Ferries CEO David Hahn
4) The smartest person in the 2007/8 HarperCon inner circle, Julie Couillard
5) The Marauder and Lord-In-The-Cross-Hairs, Conrad Black

Now, of course, this is all supposed to be in good fun.

But after the stuff that was flung up on the wall by Gary Mason last Saturday in the Globe that has not yet stuck, one has to wonder if these people have lost sight of what is really at stake here in what Mr. Mason also derisively referred to as 'B.C.'s Political Trial Of The Century'.

Mr. Hunter actually named a sixth man who could come off the bench and clear the press gallery pool and/or the beaches at Clover Point, Mr. Floatie.
Ever ahead of me, Mary takes Mr. Hunter on, straight-up, over at her place.


RailGate Revival - Testify!


Forget about secret witnesses.

And forget about content consultants with many hats.

And forget about protocols gone wrong.

And forget about all the privileges - cabinet, lawyer, banker, informant or otherwise.

And forget about the Party officials who are related to Police investigators.

And forget about pundits like, say, Gary Mason who are suddenly wondering what all the fuss is about.

Because even if all those things didn't exist (and they do), in my opinion, there is one overriding reason why Mr. Campbell must testify if the RailGate defense team requests him to do so.

And the reason is not hidden.

Or secret.

Or trampled under massive cement-lined FOI boots.

Instead, the reason can be found on an official government website.

Specifically, all you have to do is go to the lobbyist registry of the Province of British Columbia and choose one name in the "Activity By Lobbyist" box.

And that name is Erik Bornmann.

Then you only have to choose one company - OmniTrax.

Why are those the two things to do?

Well, OmniTrax is the American Railway Co. that was nominally bidding for BC Rail during the run up to the latter's Gordon Campbell-mandated privatization in 2003 (ie. the year of the Ledge Raids).

And OmniTrax is also the company that Mr. Bornmann was working for when he and his then partner in lobbying, Mr. Brian Kieran, 'allegedly' bribed provincial government staffers Robert Virk and David Basi for insider information on the privatization process.

Of course, there is no mention of the alleged bribery on Mr. Bornman's OmniTrax lobbyist registration page.

Instead, the names of the members of Campbell government that were 'officially' contacted by Mr. Bornmann can be found there.


Who were they?

The 'officials', I mean.

Well, there was Richard Neufeld, Rick Thorpe, Kevin Falcon, Judith Reid and Gary Collins.

All of whom worked directly for Mr. Campbell as members of his cabinet at that time*.

Which is reason enough, in our eyes, to compel Mr. Campbell to testify, if he is asked to do so.

But even that list of five names doesn't really matter.

Why (again)?

Because of the sixth name on that list (click on the image to enlarge):


*Three of the Fab Five still work for the 'Sixth Man', but the last two on the list are long gone Pete Tong.
For the record, if you punch up Mr. Brian Kieran's OmniTrax page you get the same six official 'contacts'.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stunts Are Not Enough



I'm listening to the news this morning, and after the inspiring story of the octagenerian couple that was finally able to get married fifty some years into their relationship in California, I also heard an item that clearly has the local media's maw's attention.

And that second item also made it clear where Mr. T., Bill Tieleman, was coming from/telegraphing when he took a break from all things RailGate last week to make a fuss about this:

Big oil companies are already hosing you at the gas pumps and now Premier Gordon Campbell wants to do the same – are you going to let him?

Because in just 20 days this province’s gas prices will go up even more – thanks to the B.C. Liberal government’s new “carbon” tax that will add 2.4 cents a litre immediately to your gas bill and then keep going up.


Today's 'Axe The Gas Tax' press release thingy from Carole James and the B.C. NDP is a good idea, at least in terms of pure, raw politics.

And, as such, I would also agree that they should grab as many doppler echoes as they can.

With stuff like this.


It is not enough.

Because, in my opinion, they have to have to hit fast and hard with something new by the next newscycle so that what they are doing here doesn't get hammered down (and/or before folks realize that by taking this action they are actually aligning themselves, in simplistic media maw terms at least, with a certain group of neoStraussians from Albertario).

And besides, don't forget that Ms. James also has to deal with a the biggest media machine this province has ever seen.

Which is not CTV.

Or Global.

Or CanWest.

Or Corus.

Or even a guy named Holman.

Instead it is a thousand-headed hydra known as Mr. Campbell's 'OIC' network.


Given all that, what should the James gang do next?

Well, my advice is to do a reverse Taylor.

As in Carole.

Which means that first you beat up on some egregious business bunds (maybe forestry, maybe coal bed methane, maybe rapacious mining, maybe not).

Then, by this time next week start making nice with carrots to real green and really sustainable businesses with really super-duper tax breaks for doing the right and righteous thing.



Monday, June 16, 2008

Shrugging For Timmeh


The best blog post I read regarding the unfortunate passing of Tim Russert was from L-girl:

If you knew someone personally, of course you are upset at their death.

If you were very attached to someone's work, such as an artist or musician or political figure who meant a lot to you, yes, of course.

But a news commenter? A corporate media pundit?

It's sad for his family and friends, but many families lost people today, and the day before, and tomorrow, and the day after that.

What's more, people are acting like Russert was the second coming of Edward R. Murrow or Nellie Bly. Tim Russert was on the front lines of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld's propaganda team, selling the invasion of Iraq. He was one of the many who gave Bush the candidate a free ride while treating bogus accusations like "swift boats" as fact. He was one of the reasons the US media is in the shape it's in. To anyone who cares about good journalism, he should not be missed......


Personally, I'd much rather trumpet the life and times of someone who really did make a difference. Someone like Mr Gilliard.
Except...........then there's this.


Julie A No Show


But maybe not for the reason that many news reports will be pushing and most pundits will be pulling.

What the heckfire am I talking about?

Well, Ms. O'Malley, has noticed the following passage in Ms. Couillard's lawyer-up letter to the Standing Committee On Public Saftey:

"The purpose of Ms. Couillard’s testimony is very broad. At first glance, it is unrealistic to imagine that all the Committee members could effectively and fairly interrogate my client in seventy-five minutes......"


Does that mean Ms. Couillard wants her show to be a feature length film rather than just a crummy extended TeeVee one off?

I, for one, would be fine with that.

And not for the reasons you might think.



RailGate - The Early Years


On Saturday, in the pages of the Globe and (nolongerEmpire) Mail, Gary Mason wrote this:

"An individual has apparently come forward with information about the Crown's star witness, Erik Bornmann. He wants his identity protected. I've been told that the information he has is related to $30,000 that went missing from the coffers of the Young Liberals of B.C. in 1997. Mr. Bornmann was president of the organization at the time......

Which sent us scrambling, a la Sean Holman, through the google-cache looking for connections from those fateful days of 1997.

And, surprise(!), we "discovered"* the following, written by Richard Warnica in The Tyee back in 2005:

"(Sean) Holman always aimed himself single-mindedly towards politics. Before leaving for Carleton (in 1999) he was a member of the University of Victoria's federal Young Liberals. The group he called "the liberal mafia" included senior political aide David Basi, who is linked to the BC Rail scandal, lobbyist Erik Bornman, who is expected to be a witness in the case, and Jamie Elmhirst, the current president of the Federal Liberal Party in B.C...."

As such, I wrote a post about this "discovery"* and wondered out loud if, perhaps, Mr. Holman might have some background/inside info/a gigantic scoop etcetera, etcetera regarding those halcyon days when so many of the young dudes who are now RailGate principals got their first real hits of, as Mr. Holman described it in the Warnica article, "pure politics".


In case you were wondering, it turns out that Mr. Holman is NOT entering the witness protection program anytime soon.

How do we know this?

Because he told us so:

You're absolutely right. Back in my Young Liberal days, I did personally know many of the major players in the legislative raid case - including Erik Bornman. In fact, my first ever drink of hard alcohol was shared with Erik in the basement of my parent's home. But that's an aside. I can also confirm that I am not the secret witness......

Which is fair enough, I suppose, as far as it goes.

But drinking with Mr. Bornman (back when there was only one 'n')?

In his parent's basement?


We can only wonder the following.....

Was there any movement of ceiling tiles involved in getting to that liquor cabinet?

*Actually, it was really a 're-discovery'. I'd remembered the Warnica piece because it was good and because it was based on an interview that Mr. Holman gave after he quit the Vancouver Sun while he was on the top of his game. Funny thing is.....there was drinking involved in that encounter also. Which I'm sure was just a coincidence (of course).


For All Those Union Folks Out There....


First there was Mary's, then late last night I received a great comment from Gary E. in response to my Father's Day story yesterday.

Gary's is great.

And it's slightly different because it comes from the perspective of somebody who, like my Dad, knows the difference that unions made in their lives and the lives of their families.

Here goes......


I just got home from a family thingy with the bride, her family, and our new daughter Mack E. It was a pretty good get together with four generations of women (on Fathers Day of all things).

I usually read all the main sites about politics and what is happening to our province these day, but I was totally taken aback with your piece on your father.

You see like him, I spent most of my working life in unions. Always championing rights of all workers and especially the safety things.

So it was with great admiration that I read that you "got it".

It made my day knowing that out there, there is one son who realizes what his father went through. And I know there are many more. There were (and still are) many of us who got involved in this way.

And just by way of a reminder to some who may want to bash unions: before unions there were no holidays; there was no safety; there was no 40 hour week; there was no medical or dental.

And the list goes on.

You bet Gary, sure does.


Just as an aside, I am not now officially in a 'union' but in reality I am. And that group of folks does a heckuva lot for my colleagues and me. Funny, though, how a great many of those colleagues don't realize this and thus take our 'association' for granted (at best) or are utterly derisive (at worst).


Sunday, June 15, 2008

From Mary To My Dad


This came in from our friend Mary tonight in the comment threads to the last post....


I've been looking forward to another re-telling of your Dad's story.

It's nice the way e., E. and C work you into the picture (I mean, very nice indeed) ... but I really look forward to each new visit with your Dad. Stories past and present ... log booms to speaker phones.

It's kinda like when I run one of those YouTube videos showing BC Rail and I know I'm seeing something that speaks of the spirit of British Columbia.

B.C. isn't about the Olympics, the casinos, the deals, the Golden Era.

B.C. is a hard, lonely land where a train's horn (or a ship's whistle) can echo off the mountainsides like voices from history, telling us that it's tough to do real work here, that it's always been tough, and worth doing, to work in British Columbia.

Best wishes to your Dad.

Thanks Mary.

And you don't know how right you are.

Two things....

First, when I was a kid my Dad started making these long trips to and from Prince Rupert and beyond. As a result, he brought home many stories (and about a billion pictures of boats, booms and barges) that told us what a wild, hard land next to a roiling sea B.C.'s coast really is. Only later did I learn how close we came to moving to the North Coast. By then I was the callow youth in the story and there was no way I would have gone without a fuss. Of course, my Dad never forced any of that on us. Instead, to help keep us in Victoria, he ended up doing a heckuva lot of extra travelling to get to and from wherever his boat, which was sometimes this one, was. Truth be told, by the time he retired a few years ago my Dad hated riding the goddamned ferries.

Second, my Dad's Dad was a towboat man too. Only, unlike my Dad who worked for one of the Coast's two big companies, my Dad's Dad he owned his own boat, a little one, that he kept tied up in Sooke. And let me tell you that was one tough haul, both from a business point of view and a seagoing one as well.

As for my Dad's Dad's Dad?

Well, he worked the boats too.

Go figure.


For My Dad.....


The following is a re-worked version of one of the first posts I ever wrote.


I really do live a charmed life.

I have a wonderful wife and two great kids.

I also have a job I actually like, where most of the time I get to do what I want to do.

And that job pays me well; not fantastically well, but well enough that we were able to buy a house in the city of Vancouver a couple of years ago which, considering the prices, is pretty darned well.

In fact, I guess some might say that I am upwardly mobile enough that I should quit all my complainin' because I'm one of the lucky ones that actually benefits financially from many of the 'rich folks first' policies of Mr. Campbell et al.

But here's the thing.

I am most definitely not one of those 'ladder puller-uppers'?

You know, somebody who's got theirs, and now says, "Screw you Jack," to everybody else.


I'll tell you why.

It's because of my Dad.......

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 been 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.

Talked to my Dad for about half an hour with the two E's and C on the speaker phone out on the sundeck this morning..... We went through all the usual stuff, which was fun, and then just near the end of the conversation Dad, who got me hooked on Pat Burns sometime around 1967, slipped in a little zinger about how he was listening to Sean Holman's radio show earlier this morning and noticed that there was an Email from the 'Pacific Gazetteer' that the 'hell-raising' panel discussed briefly. Now why would I have been sending electronic messages to Mr. Holman on this, the finest of the fine morning of the Day of The Father? Well, if you really want to know I was banished to the Subterranean Blues Room for the duration while my kids made me breakfast and laid out all my fantastic gifts, some made (ie. a collage picture of littler e. and me; a box of homemade snowball truffles and a book of poems from Bigger E.) and some bought (ie. a new microphone and stand for the family band from C.). Man, life really is good, except I have to go cut the grass.......drats.


BC Transmission Corporation Surveillance Re-Visited....


The 'alleged' surveillance car with camera (in red circle) pointed at the Bee Family's house.

Inside the 'alleged' surveillance car looking at camera, camera operator, and driver

Would You Want This Happening Right Outside Your Front Door?

A couple of days ago I wrote a snarkolepsy-laden piece on the B.C. Transmission Corporation's statements, through a sycophantic spokesthingy, that it is their legal right and obligation to spy on people in Tsawwassen who do not want the corporation to put up new, higher, and higher voltage, lines in their backyards.

I then heard back from a lady whose family has 'allegedly' been surveilled, and all the snark very quickly fell away like a warm North Delta rain.

I will call this lady Ms. 'Bee', and the following is part of what she had to say when she sent me the pictures shown above:

Hi Ross

I also have a video I made of them, with audio, on my digital.

In one incident, we confronted them and told them to turn the camera off, and asked who they were working for.
The guy with the camera said he was a freelance photographer, said he did have a 'name' but would not give us his name. We told him to stop following us like he has been doing for several weeks. He lowered the camera to his lap, but I think it was still running recording the audio....

.... well I kept my camera running too, right in his face. Then I walked around to the front of the car and took a clip of his license plate and the Police were called.....
We spent the day on the phone yesterday (Friday) with lawyers and we were told that it will be extremely difficult to get a restraining order against BCTC, regardless that we have pictures and video footage of them..and a license plate number....

..... legal advice told us to call 911 if they continued to follow us and if we had concern for our saftey.
So that was not helpful as we had hoped. We are on xxx** street, and live directly under the ROW (right of way) but our property (so far) does not have construction planned for it and it is not an access point (so far) for the heavy equipment. So we don't really understand why we are being followed. Yes we are against the lines but we are not involved in the ferry protests either.....

So, let's re-cap......

#1 These 'people' have staked out the front of Mr. Bee and her family's house for weeks and they have been filming the family's comings and goings while there are absolutely NO protests taking place.

#2 Ms. Bee and her family have not , repeat NOT, been involved in any efforts to physically obstruct BC Transmission Corporation workers from gaining access to the right-of-way where the new higher voltage transmission towers and wires are to be built

#3 Ms. Bee and her family have not, repeat NOT, been involved in the ferry traffic-blocking protests.

However, Ms. Bee and her family are opposed new higher voltage power lines.

Now, in my books, that last point is fully justified in a representative, dare I say 'liberal', democracy.

In fact, to throw the spokesthingy's words back in her and her paymasters' faces, I would even go so far as to very strongly suggest that is actually the right and the obligation of members of the public to do their best to peacefully affect change when they feel it is warranted.

Finally, please don't forget, as was outlined in our original post, that the 'Corporation' 'delivered' large quantities the surveillance material to Tsawwassen residents opposed to their plans in big 'intimidating' envelopes.

Thus, this is not a simple case of paranoia.

Because it is really happening.

To our fellow citizens.

So, the really big question is....

Would any of us want it to happen to us?

And don't forget the BCTC is a 'crown' corporation. Thus, they are supposed to be working for us. Given that, as was asked by Sean Holman's Trooper-assisted 'hell-raising' panel on his radio show this morning, "Where is the provincial goverment in all of this?"


RailGate Rewind: So, Who Else Was A Young Liberal Back In The Day?



Update: Mr. Holman has responded to our query to let us know that he has most definitely NOT entered a witness protection program. (In true Holmanesque fashion....) You can find a complete copy of his response, which was not obtained in response to an FOI request, here. Our responses to his response can be found here, here and, most completely, here.

You might not know this, but.....

The proprietor of one of our favorite Lotuslandian websites of all time, Mr. Sean Holman, once went to Graduate School at Carleton University in Ottawa.

And before that he went to UVIC.

From which he graduated in 1999.

And what else, you might (or, more likely, might not) be asking yourself, did he get involved with while he was a student in Victoria?

Stay with me for a minute, because this gets a little more interesting pretty soon.


The following is from an excellent interview that Mr. Holman gave to Richard Warnica that was published in The Tyee in the summer of 2005 after Holman quit the Vancouver Sun so that he could go back to being a free agent (which is how we like him best, by the way):

Holman always aimed himself single-mindedly towards politics. Before leaving for Carleton he was a member of the University of Victoria's federal Young Liberals.......

Now, that's kind of interesting, don't you think?

But not really that interesting.

So why are we raising it here?


It's the timing.

Again, Mr. Holman graduated from UVIC in 1999.

Thus, it's a reasonable assumption that he was also there in 1997.

Why is that of interest?

Well, to answer that let's go back to Gary Mason's potential bombshell in yesterday's Globe and Mail:

"An individual has apparently come forward with information about the Crown's star witness (in the RailGate case), Erik Bornmann. He wants his identity protected. I've been told that the information he has is related to $30,000 that went missing from the coffers of the Young Liberals of B.C. in 1997. Mr. Bornmann was president of the organization at the time......"

Now, it is very important to remember that Mr. Bornmann is one of the fine folks that allegedly tried to bribe Mr. David Basi and Mr. Robert Virk to give him and his partner in lobbying, Mr. Brian Kieran, information about the impending sale of B.C. Rail in 2003.

So, after that long and winding set-up, here's the kicker, again from the interview with Mr. Holman in The Tyee published back in 2005:

......The (Federal Young Liberal) group he (Holman) called "the liberal mafia" included senior political aide David Basi, who is linked to the BC Rail scandal, lobbyist Erik Bornman, who is expected to be a witness in the case, and Jamie Elmhirst, the current (in 2005) president of the Federal Liberal Party in B.C.

"It was a real exercise in pure politics," Holman said. "When your policies are mutable it has a tendency to draw in people who are more interested in power than policy."......

Seem interesting now?

Please do not misunderstand me. I am in no way suggesting that Mr. Holman was involved in any skullduggery whatsoever back in the day. I do wonder, however, if he might have some interesting insights on many of the players that revolved around that Westcoast mini-me/soon-to-be SmallPaul version of the Big Red Machine that he might like to share with us sometime soon.
And, as an aside, just what the heckfire has Mr. Holman been up to for the last 10 days anyway? I mean, I can't ever remember a time when he's gone this long between non-radio show-related posts.
Finally, just in case you missed it, the third member of the so-called 'liberal mafia' mentioned above, Mr. Elmhirst, eventually became a member of a short-lived, Lobb-Shop called K&E Affairs that rose from the ashes of a little outfit called Pilothouse that was run to such great 'success' by alleged RailGate bribers Mess'rs Bornmann and Kieran.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

RailGate Re-Renumerated - The first $30,000 Is NOT New News


Earlier today we commented on Gary Mason's potentially explosive 'suggestion' that the secret witness in the RailGate case has information about $30,000 that went missing when Mr. Erik Bornmann was the president of the B.C. Young Liberals Association way back in 1997.

Now, please do not be confused.

Because this $30,000 is not the same $30,000 that Mr. Bornmann and his partner in the Liberal-connected Lobbyshop known as Pilothouse, Brian Kieran, allegedly gave to the co-accused, David Basi and Robert Virk, in 2003 as a bribe for insider info regarding the sale of BC Rail.

But what's even more bizarre is that it turns out that the missing $30,000 from 1997, is NOT NEW news.

In fact, RailGate go-to-guy Bill Tieleman wrote about that missing $30K way back in early 2004 in the pages of the Georgia Straight:

In July 1997, the Vancouver Sun reported that Young Liberals were the subject of a police investigation when $30,000 raised for federal convention costs went missing......


Erik Bornman had been president of the Young Liberals during the time the money was raised, while Jamie Elmhirst, one of Bornman's colleagues at Pilothouse Public Affairs Group, a Victoria-based PR and provincial lobbying firm, took over as (president of the BC Young Liberals) after (previous president Jim) MacLaren's departure. Elmhirst is a former Gordon Campbell aide who also worked for federal Environment Minister David Anderson, as did Mark Marissen.

(clarifying stuff in brackets mine)


How do all the big league editors and producers 'round Lotusland that have been pretty much ignoring this story like like them apples, not to mention list of names?


Please note: Bill Tieleman's original column contained a mistake pertaining to the outcome of a pre-RailGate court case that, it turned out, was not directly related to the missing $30K. This was clarified at the bottom of a follow-up column by Mr. T. and that is the reason for the snippety-doo-dah in the exerpt from the original 2004 piece cited above.
Regardless, can't wait to read Mr. T's take on this latest development over at his place.
And don't you think, perhaps, that this latest development makes Mr. Norman Spector's rant from a few months ago appear to be even even more suspect?
And thanks to one of Mary's Anon-O-Mice for pointing us towards Mr. T.'s original story that we had missed on the first pass through the Google-Cache this morning.


RailGate Renumerated......Follow ALL The Money


First there was, allegedly, the $30,000 bribe from the "never-charged bribers" to the "in-the-docket-forever bribees", as recorded for posterity by Bill Tieleman:

"The ITO (information to obtain) documents also alleged Bornman and Kieran paid David Basi and Bob Virk nearly $30,000 in exchange for confidential information on parts of the B.C. Rail deal (in 2003)......"

Now, according to an allegation by Gary Mason in today's Globe and Mail, there is another $30,000, except that the second $30,000, if it's real, was actually the first:

"An individual has apparently come forward with information about the Crown's star witness, Erik Bornmann. He wants his identity protected. I've been told that the information he has is related to $30,000 that went missing from the coffers of the Young Liberals of B.C. in 1997. Mr. Bornmann was president of the organization at the time......

Oh boy.

Another little gem in the MaceMan's column this morning was this most interesting tidbit: "As an aside, I've been told that an editor at a major Vancouver daily newspaper may also get towed into this affair." Hmmmmmm.....Didn't Mr. Mason once work for the Vancouver Sun?


So, When Will Mila Head The Inquiry Into Ben's Insipid TeeVee Shows?


From the latest canary in the KadyMine:

Not in the PMO backgrounder on Justice (Jeffery) Oliphant, just appointed to head up the Mulroney/Schreiber Commission of Inquiry:

Oliphant was appointed a Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba, and later, Associate Chief Justice, by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.


That's right.

The judge that will be investigating Mr. Mulroney was appointed by Mr. Mulroney.


Original KadyMineShaft discovery #3,457 discovery by Dave.


Math Is A Wonderful Thing....

“Seven seats. If our government loses seven seats – just seven – in 2009, we won't be government. Do you ever think of that? We lose seven. They gain seven. They're government,” (British Columbia Premier) Mr. (Gordon) Campbell said referring to the NDP and the math of redistribution in the legislature.

Mr. Campbell was speaking to 1,700 rabid LINO's Wednesday who paid, get this, $350 a rubber chicken to listen to him scare them.



Friday, June 13, 2008

If This Crap Is Even Remotely True, It Is No Laughing Matter



I have heard back from the matriarch of the 'B' family who lives in Tsawwassen. This is for real. Film at 11.


Earlier today we commented, with some snark, about the news reports that a crown corporation, the British Columbia Transmission Corporation, feels that it has both a right and an obligation (?!) to spy on law abiding citizens who do not agree with their policies about running high tension wires through populated neighbourhoods.

Well, in response to that we received the following, absolutely snark free comment:

We live on 53a street and we have been followed by BCTC who are in unmarked cars with cameras pointed at us continually. I personally confronted them with my own camera and have close ups of their faces and their license plate.

One morning when I opened my living room curtains they were parked directly across the street and a camera lense was pointed at my home. My husband was followed when he got in his truck drove down highway 17 and after driving through the Massey Tunnel the car disappeared.

We are not paranoid, but we are very aware of being followed and our moves are being recorded. BCTC has been using bully and intimidation with regards to all the homeowners residing on the ROW.

It is very interesting to us, as tax payers, that this corporation does not have to follow laws, municiple laws, and we have no rights.

NO, we do not plan on voting for the Liberals in the next election.

Now, at this point I cannot confirm that the comment from 'The Bee Family' is 100% accurate (I am awaiting an Email response).

However, if only half of it turns out to be true* the BCTC and all concerned should be ashamed of themselves. And, in my opinion, they should also be shamed into repudiating their currentd policies on 'information gathering' and apologizing for their actions.



*And remember, the BCTC has already publicly admitted, through spokesthingies, that they did, indeed, put people under surveillance.
Double Secret Probation Update: Since hearing from Ms. 'Bee' I have removed her full family name from this post and her original comment. This was my idea, not hers, I just want to give her and hers a little cloak of protective anononymity given the way this thing has gone so far.