Tuesday, September 30, 2008

If She Climbs Upon Our Bloggodomic Pyramid, Will She Be Able To See Wasilla?


Ms. Mallick we mean.

And even better, offers to join in the progressive bloggodome's rescue mission of her column are pouring in.

Feel free to leave a message here or off line (pacificgazette at yahoo dot canuckistanmikitaville) if you're interested.

And Rev.....was it not quite recently that we were talking about 40K?


Monday, September 29, 2008

Ask Not What The CBC Can Do For Our Heather....


Well, well, well.....

It looks like the CBC has decided to censure Heather Mallick for speaking truth to stupid.

Alison has all the details.

All of which begs the question.....

What should we do?

Well, we could write to the CBC Ombudsman ourselves as folks at the Galloping National Symbol have been suggesting.

And I think that is a good first start (my letter will be posted later).

But I also suggest we say, "To hell with all that!"

CBC.ca, I mean.


Because, the other part of the 'decision' of the Mush Heads is to Fauxify the site with fairness and he said/she said, wait for it.......'Balance'.....

Thus, in Ms. Mallick's case at least, I suggest we cut the gutless Mush Heads who are now running the Ceeb out altogether.

And how are we going to do that?

Well, we in the Progressive Bloggodome could give Ms. Mallick her own exclusive distribution deal.

With Us.

All of Us.

Of course, I'm not sure that we could pay her much.

But, based on my own very limited, but very cordial, correspondence with her in the past, Ms. Mallick never made much on that pg 2 Globe and Mail/Focus section 'As If' deal anyway*.

But I'll tell you one thing....we sure as heckfire could deliver her a readership if we all agreed to publish her column, at the same time, every Saturday morning.


(and if you are interested in helping work on the 'offer' to Ms. Mallick feel free to leave a message in the coments)

And in case you are wondering and/or have forgotten, given her relatiely low profile since she was forced out by the G&M, here are a couple of reasons why I believe that thinking Canadians need to read Ms. Mallick at least once every week.

*In fact, interestingly, Ms. Mallick once let on that she actually made more writing that throwaway fashion thing in the Lifestyle section underneath Leah McLaren than she did got for 'As If' which, I think, tells you something pretty important about the true priorities of Fast Eddie G. and the Boys at the Globe & (nolongerEmpire) Mail.


StealthCon LVIII - Hot Air Balloon Edition....


Well whaddya know..... This time it's another Harpertronic Cabinet Minister, Little Johnny Baird!

Instead of debating local Ottawa issues at City Hall on Monday night, high-profile federal politicians are arguing over whether they'll accept city council's invitation at all.....

{snippety doo-dah}

On Wednesday the city got word that Mr. Baird would not be attending. Spokesman Chris Day said Mr. Baird has other commitments Monday night. Mr. Day said Mr. Baird has done five debates so far in the election and countless media interviews and will have participated in 13 candidates' meetings by the end of the election.....

Oh, diddums.....

What's the real problem John?

No needles left to throw down on this one?

Meanwhile the Bloggodome is on fire with StealthCon Coordinate Reports, including the latest from Cathie, Dave, Chunklets and Mound of Sound, not to mention tons of great stuff from commenters in the threads to all of those posts.

StealthCon Concept Of Contemptuousness explained here.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beyond The Valley Of The Neocons....



Warning: This is an end-of-the-weekend, combinatorial thinking-cap/snarkoleptic post....if you are opening this on Monday morning you may have better things to do and/or read.....)

Laura has an interesting project going at her place, We Move To Canada, in which she has asked her readers to complete the following sentence:

And the responses have been fantastic, numerous and insightful.

In a general sense, one of the things that is most interesting about those responses is how many of them focus on the meanness that is being foisted on us, at us, and/or because of us, particularly as it pertains to our 'worst fears' about things like crime, artists, women, children, family, terrorists and economic armegeddon - not to mention evil, elite 'galas'.

Which begs the question.....


Why is Mr. Harper using meanness and fear to win us over?

Well to answer that, I think you have to understand at least two things.

First, you must realize that much of what Mr. Harper holds dear in terms of his real, heart-of-his-heart, policy desires stems from his involvement, right from the start, with something called 'The Calgary School' of neoStraussianism which Dave at 'The Galloping Beaver' did an exceptional job of illuminating just before the last election.

Now, one of the central tenets of neoStraussianism, regardless whether it comes from cloistered academic bubbles (yes, it's an academic/professorial construct, albeit shrouded in a veil of theocracy) in fields where rigorous peer review is almost entirely lacking or from think tank-wurlitzered poppycock that is used to justify things like the the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), is:

Now just what the heckfire is that?

Well, just to be clear, it is NOT named for the guy who started all those prizes for scientists and such (as no doubt, a certain, half-bright governor from a southen oil-rich state very likely initially surmised when it was first explained to him in, say, 1997).

Instead, it is the idea that the neoStraussians themselves know what is best for society and as such there are times when they are justified in telling the public white (?) lies so that they can get on with their more noble causes and policy changes, behind closed doors, in secret, away from the prying eyes of both the media (especially those of the non-water carrying kind) and the public.

And we all know where that kind of garbage leads, be it unjustified pre-emptive wars bent on regime change and/or the blooming of bacilli deep within uninspected meatcutters.

Now to the second point, which is:

How do you push these noble lies?

Well, to do that you have to obfuscate, and obfuscate mercilessly.

But don't forget that, because you have already convinced yourself that what you are doing is 'noble' and 'just' and 'right', well..... anything goes.

And to do that you bring in people like Mr. Frank Luntz, a man who can turn black into white and white into black, often by preying on people's worst fears.

As such Mr. Luntz, brought the PNACkians best and biggest lies to the people of the United States, by unabashedly saying things like the following:

"September 11 changed everything. So start with 9/11....Without context of 9/11, you will be blamed for the deficit....The trick is to contextualize the deficit inside of 9/11."

So..... has Mr. Luntz come north to help the Canadian Conservative Reform Alliance Party (ie. NOT the 'Tories') deliver their lies......errrrrr....'messages' of nobility?

You bet he has.

In fact bringing Mr. Luntz north, as Preston Manning did before him, was one of the first things Mr. Harper did after he won last time around:

"Next Saturday (in May 2006) a group of Tories will gather quietly in Kanata, Ont., to 'analyze the strengths and weaknesses of conservative communications in Canada'......


Sandra Buckler, the Prime Minister's director of communications......is to participate.

Frank Luntz, a (U.S.) Republican pollster and advisor to Preston Manning when he was Reform Party leader, is the keynote speaker. His topic: "Communicating Conservative Messages".

But here's the thing.

When you have created ideology whose central tenet has at it's core both self-delusion as well delusion of the people because you have made the decision, prior, that what you believe in (ie. extreme disaster-assisted Laissez-Faire Capitalism b/w a Socially Conservative/Theocracy-Based Patriarchy and an Inflexibly Unilateral Foreign Policy) where does it all end?

The delusional part, in the name of fake goodness and the unbearably lightness of being light headed I mean?


How about ........ here?

And in case you doubt, or are laughing off my final conclusion, I remind you again that, according to Mr. Harper's website at least, Ms. Laureen Harper, who, apparently, used to very much enjoy elite galas, is still the Co-Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.


From Steph's Blackberry.....


WeDon'tNeedNoStinkin' FISA Pings


".....Finlay! ...SandyDeeon is on w/ Curmudgeon....rg't now.... sounds like leader (lol!).....seriously tho'....it's that 'reasonable' th'g ag'n.....Quick!....more ads & let the wroomboys go ag'n, ok...."


There Is One Thing That Stephen Harper And I Both Know....

.....Which Is That It Doesn't Matter If Millions Of Canadians Believe His Obfuscations About The CFIA, Because We Both Know That It Was His Policy, and His Policy Alone, That Removed Government Inspectors From The Meat Processing Plant Where The Listeria Bloomed....

(we now return you to our regularly scheduled post)




Despite the unarguable proof that it was his government's policy change that led to the removal of Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors from meat processing plants, Mr. Stephen Harper implied earlier this week that the listeriosis outbreak was the fault of the previous Liberal government and that it was his government that was actually the proactive one:

The Conservative leader (Mr. Harper) insisted his government has already taken action by modernizing the inspection system and hiring 200 new inspectors and will conduct a "comprehensive" inquiry into the listeriosis outbreak.

"We are aware of deficiencies, and that's why we're acting and investing, both putting money [into the system] and looking very carefully at our processes as we go forward," he said.

"The previous (Liberal) government was aware of some of these deficiencies, [but] they didn't act. We have been acting."

This is unadulterated codswallop.

And it should be Mr. Harper's 'Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job' moment.

In other words, he should wear this for now and forever after, because this so-called 'frenzy of inspector-hiring' came after.....

After people started getting sick.....

And after people started dieing......

And before all that, the common and easy to disinfect listeria bacilli began blooming deep within the bowels of those meatcutters in that processing plant which no longer received visits from CFIA inspectors because of an overt, and demonstrable, policy change instituted by the government of Mr. Stephen Harper.

No ifs.

No ands.

And no buts.

No matter how much he obfuscates.


We sure wish the media would put the question of the policy change and its aftermath directly to Mr. Harper but, as Mr. David Akin informed us, the National Media following the Conservative Co-Leader around the country on the campaign trail are muzzled in such a way that they are not able to ask it or, most importantly, follow-ups based on the obfuscatory replies given. All of which makes one wonder if that muzzling of reporters ability to ask questions when they are at press conferences called by Mr Harper so that they can ostensibly ask him questions (?!), has something to do with the post-9/11 too? Quick! Tape up the exit signs!

And we thank
DTK for bringing the latest obfuscation in which the Liberals are blamed (and in which the media, in this case the CBC, report it as a false equivalency without comment) to our attention.
We had missed it.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Isn't It Interesting......


.....How, once the capital costs have been paid off, the tolls come down on the Coquihalla Highway which is one of three ways to drive to the Okanagan, Merritt, Kamloops and the Shushwap, while the Ferry tolls just keep on going up and up and up?

And up.

And the ferries are the only way to drive to Vancouver Island.

And is it not interesting that we recently paid hundreds of millions of dollars of our own money to have people in foreign lands build our newest ferries?

And is is it not interesting that that foreign building was done at the expense of folks, union folks, that live and work and would like to build big ferries right here in British Columbia?

Why is that exactly?

Well, there is that whole bust the unions thing that we saw so much of before the BC Liberal party became everybody's friend (thanks Carole!).

But there's something else to consider here, I think.

And to do so, all we have to do is look and and see how folks voted last time around in the Okanagan, Merritt, Kamloops and the Shushwap and compare that to, say, the how the folks in Victoria and Vancouver Island voted.

Interesting that, eh?

And here is something kind of interesting, if you ask me anyway....The 2005 election results summary page is no longer available on the Elections BC website, which is why you're getting them here from Wikipedia.....As Mr. Schulman has informed us in the comments (and thanks for that), the complete breakdowns, riding by riding (and area by area within each riding), are available at E-BC here (and have fun downloading the 20.5meg pdf, ha!). Regardless, please note that I origninally implied that the results are not there at all....that is not true, and for that I apologize.


StealthCon XIX* - Our First Cabinet Minister...


And it is.........

You guessed it!

Saanich-Gulf Islands very own, Mr. Gary Lunn:

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Federal Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn has abruptly cancelled a scheduled morning speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Penticton, B.C.

Lunn was set to address British Columbia's civic politicians on behalf of the federal government, but his speech was cancelled at the last minute.

UBCM officials would only say Lunn was not able to attend the speech and no replacement was available to speak on behalf of Ottawa......

Of course, as we have discussed previously, Mr. Lunn is in tough in this riding where he won last time out only because of a true Lib/Dipper/Greeniac split to the left of him......Well, this time the Dipper is, essentially, gone.....and the Lib Briony Penn is actually a Greeniac with a high Q score to boot......

So, what, exactly are the keepers of the StealthCons afraid of?

Could it, perhaps, be, oh I dunno......


*A StealthCon is a Harpertronic conservative candidate who ducks the media and especially the public. Their most egregious acts of stealthitude occur when they subvert democracy completely by refusing to show up at all candidates meetings where the voters, instead of watching ads on the TeeVee actually head out the door in an effort to find out, via their own eyes and ears, what they will (or will not) be voting for. We first became actutely aware of the StealthCons that walk among us during the invisible Mar 2008 by-election candidacy of Deborah Meredith in Vancouver Quadra. And here's the thing......Ms Meredith almost won. Thus, despite the jocular, snarkoleptic tone of these posts, this is no laughing matter.

And don't forget, we're taking names and mapping their coordinates ('cause that's what Gazetteers really do).... so send us the details regarding the whyfores and whereofs of any and all StealthCons in your area now (and we are always available to take your calls offline at.....pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca).

Thanks to James Curran for the heads up on the disappearance of StealthCon XIX.


Glows In The Dark 'Cause It's Iridescent...


Everybody has a Newman moment, I'm sure.

When I was a kid it was when he was sitting amongst that row of lopped-off parking meters at the beginning of Cool Hand Luke.

Later, when I spent a whole lot of time watching late night movies on the TeeVee (remember when they had those, before all this 1-900 'Call Me' crap), it became a throw away scene from Hud when Mr. Paul is getting his mail or something......He's a little dissolute.....and because his hands are suddenly full, he doesn't know what to do with his beer can so he tucks it under his chin. Now, everytime I have a can of beer in my hands, especially if I want to look (or even feel) cool, I think about doing that.


And, oh ya, sometimes in my darkest of dark times I figure I'd like to be just a cynical as the Newman character in WUSA. But later I realized that that had more to do with Robert Stone than Mr. Paul.


And don't forget, as Ms. Hamsher points out, Mr. Newman did a heckfire lot of good stuff for the progressive side when he wasn't acting.


Friday, September 26, 2008

The Branch Rickey Factor....


I hung out at Firedoglake for the first Obama/McCain debate.

And boy, were folks there disappointed.

Over and over and over again, people were upset that Obama did not attack.

And what really drove them crazy was when Obama agreed with McCain.



I'm not entirely sure it was the right strategy for O' to be so deferential, but I think we've got to remember two things here.

First, this is where Obama was most politically vulnerable, especially on the guns and bombs and troops stuff, so clearly a decision was made to tread carefully from the get go.

Second, we were in Jackie Robinson territory here.

And clearly, just like when Mr. Robinson first came south from Montreal (Vive Les Royals!) to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Mr Obama had to be very careful not to alienate and lose the cracker vote right out of the box in the very first debate.

And in Mr. Robinson's case, he ultimately won those folks over not just with his skillful play but also by following general manager Branch Rickey's advice to turn the other cheek.

Which is what I think Obama was doing this evening.

But here's the thing.....

There came a time when the Dodger's Rickey turned Robinson loose.

I just hope the O' team Braintrust does the same with Obama soon.


For all those folks who have come over from FDL due to my streetwalkin' (for which I apologize, but this thing was a lightbulb moment for me that I thought explained a lot about last night's debate).......here's a little clip of Red Barber talking about what he thought really made Mr. Robinson great that was completely separate from all the hits and stolen bases (and please do not misunderstand me, despite the title of this post, I too truly believe that the greatness was Robinson's; Rickey merely did the right thing)

OK - and for the flip side.....the artist formerly known as SA23 gives you all kinds of musical reasons to pick O' over Mr. McCain......my favaorite is 'Baraaaawwwkkkk Lobster!' (the whole thing is good, but the music starts at ~ 3:10).


It's The Stealth-Cons, Stupid!


We first became obsessed with the concept of the Stealth-Con, a Harper Conservervative (ie. not-a-Tory) candidate who will say and do absolutely nothing during an election campaign unless it comes directly from the Politburo, during the Vancouver-Quadra by-election back in March of this year.

Specifically, we are talking about StealthCon-VI, Ms. Deborah Meredith.

Who, wonder of wonders, almost won that by-election.

Which probably explains why the Stealth-Cons appear to be out in force this time around.

Anyway, our good friend and frequent comment, Lenny, has found another one, and this time it's hiding amongst the last of the old growth trees in the wilds of Northern Vancouver Island:

Vancouver Island North Conservative candidate John Duncan is under fire from other candidates for pulling out of Saturday's CRTV all-candidates meeting.

They say Duncan's either hiding from voters and issues, or being muzzled by his party.

Duncan's campaign manager Dick Clancy confirmed Monday that Duncan will not be attending Saturday's taping of the CRTV all-candidates meeting. He said the format - allowing candidates to interrupt each other - is not to Duncan's liking because it could lead to "the same kind of behaviour that politicians are criticized for exercising in the House of Commons, where they interrupt each other and talk over each other......

Sure thing.

After all, we wouldn't want the StealthCon to get involved in any of that messy debatin'/democracy kind of stuff goin' on with real people who might have and/or change their real opinions based on what they see and here (as opposed to what they're spoonfed by a WarRoom spinning at Warp 9Billion)...


So, here, my friends, is your mission if you wish to accept it......

Spot the Stealth-Cons that walk (and/or hide) amongst you.

And then, by all means send us their co-ordinates.

Because that's what Gazetteers really do.

They make maps.


You can always send us the raw materials for our cartographic extravaganza off-line (pacificgazette at yahoo dot ca) if you so desire.


This Just In.......Live Report From Mississippi....



And apparently, the John McCain party is just getting ready to arrive at debate central in Oxford Miss....

We go now to our reporter, Live, from the parking lot of the Lyceum on the campus of Ol' Miss:

.....and this is where the YouTube clip of Les Nessman reporting live from the Turkey drop would go if I could find it......

All of which kinda makes one wonder just who is more fond of keeping all her Toes in the Box these days, Ms. Anderson or Ms. McCain.


Meanwhile, McCain Camp Declares Victory! (before debate has even happened)


Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been A Member Of....



I will not even link directly to 'The Operative' or mention his name again.

Because I've already had my say on the specifics regarding his 'tactics'.

So, instead, I'll let Sean from Saskatchewan tell you all about the latest developments on that front.

I do, however, have something to say about the repeated use of 'guilt by association' smearing from the point of view of someone who believes in 'ABC', but is starting to wonder if, perhaps, we should add a fourth letter that is actually the 12th letter of the alphabet.

Thus, for the record, here's what I had to say to Sean and his friend Leftdog over at Sean's place:

Here’s the REAL thing.

While the operative does his metaphorical high-fivin’ with the boys in the bunker, folks like me, folks who lean Dipper but who aren’t quite as way gone lefties like either Sean or Leftdog are starting to wonder if, indeed, we should give up on this whole strategic voting thing altogether.

Because this is despicable.

And, in my opinion, it is no different than McCarthyism, especially this ‘guilt by association’ garbage…….’have you ever now or have you ever been a….”

In other words, all you 'L'iberal operatives out there who troll little F-Troop list blogs like this to get a sense of whether or not your politics of destruction strate(r)gies are working - know this.....

If you lose people like me - people who are generally OK with a centrist government as long as there's a strong push from the left - because we decide to say the hell with you and your despicable tactics, well.....

You really are truly doomed.

And not just for this cycle, but maybe forever, because if things go really, really badly over the next, say, four years, we will not be looking for the center to pull us back from the brink.


And just to prove that I'm serious about this, I point you all towards one of the sharpest tacks in the box, Jim Bobby, who's been pontificating on the larger issue of strategic voting (sending folks there is likely something I would NOT have done earlier this week).
Update: Sean and Leftdog and I have been having a bit of a discussion about what I meant by the term 'way gone lefty'.....I use it to describe folks that are hard and fast in their Dipperness (ie. they are not likely to hold their nose and vote Lib for strategic reasons regardless the circumstances).....Sean feels I mischaracterized him in that regard and for that I apologize. Leftdog, however, is proud to bear the moniker.....
Oh, and if you want to let fellow Progressive Bloggers know how you feel about the Operative's politics of destruction feel free to, as Leftdog suggests, click through here and cast your vote.


Well, At Least It's Not One Of Those Lousy Eatmores.....


I don't know about you, but when I was a kid the Eatmores were always the very last candy bar out of the Halloween bag.

Because they were, in my opinion, excreable.

But here's the thing.....

For me, at least, Mr Big bars were not far behind.

In contrast, Mr. George W. Bush seems to like 'em really, really Big.

Here's the way he just describe the big bailout of all the big fat fat cats who badly need a really big handout:

"(O)ur proposal is a big proposal.... (and) the reason it's big is that we've got a big problem,"

Brilliant that, eh?

Heckfire, almost smarter than, say, this guy, who also thinks big stuff is 'neat':

Meanwhile, the latest is that Mr. John McCain has joined forces with the whack-a-doodle contingent to kill the big bill so that Ms. Palin has time to come up with something even more stupider.

Which means that, and here's the bizarre part if you really think about it, it would appear that the American people would have been better of if, instead of 'suspending' his campaign to make the crisis worse, he had just gone on Letterman instead.

Oh, and for the recored, Mr. Bush also said that putting together that really big thing was, you guessed it, 'hard work'. Ya, sure. Maybe he should fly to Seattle and tell that to the tellers takin' the heat at WaMu.


Maybe If They'd Called It Art.....

.....Regular Joe's and Jolene's Wouldn't Be So Pissed Off



I have this very, very bad habit that goes all the way back to 'The Poet', 'The Gate', and 'Ken Ballaoofie', which is that I like to fall asleep with the clock radio propped up on my chest so I can listen to Dan Russell's Sports Talk with the volume down low.

I do this, I think, for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that when it's running at it's rythmic best, sports talk radio can be as sonically soothing as a baseball game on a Saturday afternoon in July.

Or some such thing.

But last night was different, because the callers were really, really worked up and they were really, really angry.

And it had nothing to do with the bone-headed moves of Vancouver Canucks management or the concern that Todd Bertuzzi just might (ha!) return to form and score 43 goals for Mike Keenan and the Calgary Flames this coming season.


Instead, what was really sticking in people's craw was this:

VANCOUVER — The next time hockey fans stand up before a game, one hand grasping a beer and the other clasped over their hearts as they sing the national anthem, they will be unwitting marketers of the 2010 Winter Games.

And the next time a grade school student fumbles her way through O Canada at the start of class she, too, will be reciting the slogan for the Vancouver Olympics.

The words "with glowing hearts" from the English version of O Canada, and "des plus brilliant exploits" from the French version, have been chosen as the slogan for the Games.

"We chose words that are cherished by all of us, words that we believe in," John Furlong, the chief executive officer of the organizing committee of the Olympics, announced Thursday.....

And apparently the words from the anthem are part of the copyright!

I'm going to end this one right here because, for once, believe it or not....

Words fail me.



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Canada's Too Cold.....

.....And Molly Has Gone To College.


You know what?

It's stuff like this, not to mention the staying power of Randy Newman, that assures me that, indeed, the kids really will be all right.

Right GAB?

And Mr. Barnes.....If you're out there, send me a message will'ya.....I mean it goldarnit! I wanna know how you're doing. OK?


Everything To Fear But The Fear Itself


There is a reason why our good friend and fellow baseball enthusiast Laura, who believes, as far as I can tell, in all that can be truly exceptional about America, moved to Canada.

And now, in her eyes at least, it looks like this 'socialism for the rich' that is coming with this Wall Street bailout of the Greedheads has only served to further reinforce her greatest fear.

But not for the reasons you might expect:

The US Government has seized control of the largest, most powerful insurance company in the country, along with the entire mortgage industry and large portions of the financial services industry.

The US Army is in training for domestic operations.

The Republican candidate for president suspends his campaign.

And all this must be seen in context of a Government that has been systematically expanding its powers and operating as an autocracy, a Government that was not elected by popular vote in the first place, then fixed elections to maintain its power.


For a long time, I've been wondering if the White House junta would cancel the 2008 elections....

{snippety doo-dah}

Last night we were watching the Red Sox with our laptops in front of us. I saw the headline "McCain Suspends Campaign" in my CBC feed, and my heart froze. I read it to Allan* and we looked at each other in shock. What is happening?

I fear my fears are coming true.

Now please do not discount her sentiments out of hand because, while she is both an idealist and an activist, Laura is no wild-eyed radical.

I just hope we don't screw up the safe haven she and her partner, and so many others, like Bob and drf, have run to.


Making Sure U.S. Americans Never Forget...


And coming soon..........Ms. Palin explains why US Americans will never put that iccky Wahhabi sauce on their breakfast burritos for as long as she draws breath.

Unless, of course, it's morning in America once again......

And Michael Deaver is allowed to sell a daily dose of trickle-down treacle to of all of America's infants and elderly once more......

And it's Sunni outside.



Stephen Harper's Canada - Worse Than China II


On yesterday's (Sept 24/08) Pacific time zone version of CBC Radio One's World Report there was considerable discussion about Canadian Food Inspection Agency issues that arose from a 2005 internal review that has received some play in both the 'lectronic and the print media.

But one story that has gotten very little play is one from foreign correspondent Anthony (notsosaintly)Germain who reported that doctors in China had warned officials about the coming tainted milk scandal beforehand.


Where have we heard about that before?

Ah, yes, here it is (again), straight from the Canadian Medical Association Journal:

"And listeriosis may be the least of it. The same November 2007 Cabinet decision that handed self-inspection to the owners of meat plants did the same for operators of animal feed mills and cut back the avian influenza preparedness program. Yet bad animal feed led to the epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalitis (mad cow disease), and in an influenza pandemic tens of thousands of Canadians may die. Listeriosis pales in comparison. Overall, it would seem that, as a country, Canada is far less prepared now for epidemics than in the past......"

There is a difference between the two situations, however.....

Which is that the Chinese Minister responsible for food safety no longer has his job.





Mr. Barnes.

(and we're glad)


And Mr. Cherniak, When They Come For Thee....?


This is no laughing matter.

Mr. Jason Cherniak is, in my opinion, a Liberal operative.

Once, not so long ago, Mr Cherniak smeared Olivia Chow, repeatedly.

And he long justified that smear because he said that, despite the fact that it was based upon on an unsubstantiated rumour, that that rumour itself was 'out there' and therefore Ms. Chow's reputation was fair game.

Finally, however, after much pressure from the progressive side of the bloggodome, Mr. Cherniak relented and apologized in what, in my opinion, was an unrepentant and argumentative manner.

So, since that time I have rarely visited his blog, and I have refrained from commenting there, or here, on his 'activities'.

But yesterday, what Mr. Cherniak did was beyond the pale when he smeared Ms. Chow's partner, Mr. Jack Layton.

Which, in and of itself, is no big deal, because Jack is a big boy who can take care of himself.

Instead, what I cannot countenance is how Mr. Cherniak did the smearing.

Specifically, he accused Mr. Layton of being guilty of something ridiculous by means of a very loose association.

To wit:

I'm not so sure. Clearly (NDP candidate) Ms. Collins needs to respond to that question personally (having to do with her association with 9/11 conspiracy theorists). Perhaps Jack Layton can explain why he is good friends with the leader of the movement in Canada, Barry Zwicker.....

Mr. Cherniak then pointed us towards a video which he says 'proves' his point regarding Mr. Layton's guilt-by-association.


Now , smearing people based on who their friends and/or associates are, and/or who their friends and associates might be, is the lowest of the low.

And I could go into many long expositions regarding 'regimes' that have done so to the great detriment of liberal (yes, 'l'iberal) democracy.

Instead, however, I will attempt to make my point via a "hypothetical scenario" directed towards Mr. Cherniak, as if I were commenting to the most offensive blog post in question:

Mr. Cherniak--

Friends and associates?

What's the matter, were there no unsubstantiated rumours floating around 'out there' that you could use for your blog-by-smearing this time around?

But never mind all that because I think, perhaps, you may wish to consider where this type of despicable activity may ultimately lead 'hypothetically'....... two, or maybe even three, election cycles from now.

For example.....

What will you, Mr. Cherniak, do when 'Kay McMillions', the newly minted Minister for Cultural Purity, comes after you during your first run for Parliament in 2016 because she has just discovered that you, Mr. Cherniak, were once a reasonably close friend (ie. you were seen sitting at the same pub table with six other young Liberals two Thursday nights in a row) with that good looking young fellow who also just happened to be the treasurer of the campus GBLT club when you were both undergraduates together, oh those so many years ago?


Now, I would have very much liked to put this directly to Mr. Cherniak in the comment thread to the blog post in question. Unfortunately, he has, so far, chosen not to post the message I sent, which was very similar to what I have written above. OK?


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lies My Ceeb Told Me....


From Sept 23rd, 2008......

Jim Abbott (C, Cranberries) states repeatedly that the Government of Stephen Harper has RAISED funding for the arts, on 'As It Happens'..........This is allowed to stand. Specifically, there is no demand that Mr. Abbott to explain how the Cons have, as they so often do, just changed the definition of what 'art' is.

Donald Copeman, the owner of private health clinics who has just opened his latest one in Calgary, compares himself favorably to Tommy Douglas on 'The Current'...........Incredibly, especially given that Mr. Copeman is charging people $4,000 a year to 'join' his private, for profit, operation, this rhetorical ju-jitsu is allowed to stand unchallenged.

On the flip-side, yesterday's interview on 'As It Happens' with former Nuclear Safety watchdog Linda Keen is very much worth listening to. Even better is a fantastic slice of life piece that takes place in the taxi of a Halifax cabbie who asks each of his fares who they are going to vote, is pure Gzowski (should be up here, by tomorrow).


Could Eby Win One For The 'I' Team?



Update...... at bottom of post)


What's the buzz?

The real buzz 'round Lotusland I mean?

Well, I figure it centers around a tireless activist for Vancouver's homeless, David Eby, who almost, but not quite, made the cut on the Vision Vancouver Council slate on the weekend.

And how do I know his is the story of the moment?

Well, because when FABula, who has her fingers on more political pulse points in this City than a centipede has feet stuck to a melting Creamsicle, spends more ink on him than any of the high profile winners, it just must be*.

And besides, I saw how folks reacted to his Mr. Eby's near miss at the Vision party on the weekend.

This guy's got the goods.

So, here's what I say:

Draft David Eby...... for Independent Vancouver Councillor!

And if he needs money (he says, reaching for wallet), I know where I can find him some.


*Although, I must confess that I was most disappointed that there was not one specific reference to the woman who really kicked butt on nomination day - skateboarder Sarah Blyth (watch her video, and I triple double to the billionth power dare you not to vote for her on Nov 15th!)

You can hear more of those buzzing sounds
over at Mr. T's, the House of the Rising Creativists, and at Vancouver Manifesto's place as well (apologies if I missed anybody, let me know if I did).....

Update: Mr. Eby has a really great post up at his place now......he say's he won't do it......the I-Ching thing I mean....He does not, however, rule out helping Vision shape a housing policy that helps all Vancouverites.....and he does not rule out running again in the future......All of which is good enough for me (oh, and ya, you can see that even he was worried about what he would have done if the recount had flipped the vote.....I'm not kidding, it really is a good post....almost as good as the one that Ms. Reimer wrote after she lost her School Board seat in the last Muni-E on that black November day in 2005. And look where A.R. is now.......OK?


Hey, Canadian Press.......Stop Stealing Our Stuff!


Earlier today, in response to the calling of the cops when the cloistering of Conservative candidate Cadman looked like it might collapse at a joint appearance with the Bubble Boy, we wrote a post titled:

Which was a reference to the banshee wail of Bubble Boy aide Ray Novak who wanted the Horsemen to keep reporters away from the cloistered candidate Cadman at all costs.

So anyway, this evening I notice that we're getting hit on a search that goes like this:

Which is fair enough.

But the fact that we were so far up the list (#2 to be exact, late Wednesday), seemed bizarre given all that's happened today, which got me to thinking that maybe hardly anybody had picked up the cloistered candidate story in the Pro-Media.

So I went to have a look.......

And what should pop-up but a Canadian Press Story titled thusly:


I think maybe.

The byline and/or blog post that we're really waiting for is the one from Mr. David Akin, CanWest's man on the Harper campaign trail. Why? Because it was he, Mr. Akin, that told us about the bubble wrap (can't you pop that stuff, repeatedly, for fun and profit) around the cloistered candidate's dear leader in the first place. OK?
Oh, and in case you didn't click through, the unbylined (hmmmmmmm....wonder if there is any significance to that?) CP story is actually pretty good and catches the Horseman's spokesthingy in what appears to be an blatant obfuscation.


Stephen Harper's Quebec Strategy.....Screwed By A Seal?


Of course in french seal is 'phoque', which has a most interesting English pronounciation:

Ahhhhhhh, those rich, elitist artists who hang around at rich, elitist galas all day long.....

Gotta love 'em!

Phoque sounds like......well......not quite like....Fhawk....

Update: Reader Beijing York has brought the longer, and much more cutting, Director's Cut (aka 'version longue) to our attention.


Stephen Harper's Canada - Send In The Baubleheads!


In the aftermath of the cloistering of candidate Cadman last night, Mr. Harper's chief spokesman Kory Teneycke had, as quoted CKNW's 7:30am PDT broadcast, this to say:

"We didn't ask them (reporters) to a scrum."

Then, apparently, he and/or his called the cops.

Which, of course is bad for democracy.

But it may also be a bad sign for Mr. Stephen Harper.


Well, we figure that if Mr. Ryan Sparrow was still in charge he would have had all those reporters out in the parking lot watching a shiny spinning bauble, like, oh I dunno, maybe the Minister Responsible for Blowin' Things Up Real Good telling atrocious jokes about the former Nuclear Safety watchdog.

Or some such thing.



Stephen Harper's Canada - Keep Them Out!


Maybe they should just be called the 'Bubble Party'....

The Conservatives called on the RCMP Tuesday night to block reporters from speaking with B.C. candidate Dona Cadman, in a scene reminiscent of the last election when they stashed a local candidate into a restaurant kitchen.

Cadman, a candidate in Surrey-North, has fallen silent since alleging months ago that her dying husband was offered a lucrative life-insurance policy to side with the Tories in a 2005 confidence vote.

A dispute over exactly what kind of deal the Tories tried to strike with the late Chuck Cadman now lies at the heart of a legal battle between Stephen Harper and the Liberal party.

Reporters following the prime minister's national tour asked to interview Dona Cadman after a campaign rally in Surrey — a request that Harper aides initially laughed off in apparent disbelief that the media would even bother asking.

They later told reporters to go ahead and try speaking with her at the end of the rally, but when the media pack got too close, the prime minister's staff ordered the RCMP to block journalists from the exit door.

"Keep them out," one aide shouted at the guards.

And what did the Bubble Boy's Braintrust have to say....?

"Local candidates' priority is campaigning in their local ridings, and not talking to the national media," said Harper's chief spokesman, Kory Teneycke.

"We have a national campaign tour with national media with us, we have media availabilities every morning in which journalists can ask questions of the prime minister, and we have events every day in our war room, generally with members of cabinet, so I think there are many opportunities for the media to talk with the party and with the campaign."

Sure thing.

And two + two equals five.

When you're livin' in a bubble.


Saanich-Gulf Islands Update....


Greg Morrow has analysis you just won't find in the tradMedia.

Late yesterday he reported the following re: the 'resignation' of NDP candidate Julian West in Saanich and The Islands:

I have also confirmed with my sources that indeed, West will be listed as the NDP candidate in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Since half the NDP supporters will vote for him anyway, his resignation probably doesn’t change the race that much.

The discussion over at Greg's is also really vigorous. I don't agree that this won't change things, as, based on last time out, half of the NDP turnout would be ~10%, which is huge in that riding.

Some say it will break Green...... I say it will mostly break Lib/Penn/kinda/sorta/Green.

Regardless, one thing is clear - very little, probably <0.01% will break to the Minister Responsible For Blowin' Things Up Real Good, Gary Lunn.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What Would Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Do?


Well, whaddya know.....

WASHINGTON (WSJ Sept 23,2008) -- Federal investigators have opened preliminary probes into the financial troubles of four high-profile companies that are at the center of the current financial turmoil that the Bush administration says requires an unprecedented proposed taxpayer-funded bailout to clean up.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's preliminary inquiries are focusing on whether fraud helped cause some of the troubles at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and American International Group Inc., according to senior law-enforcement officials.


No strings attached?

Seven hundred billion?

On top of the hundreds of billions already pumped into this mess?

And no money for folks that were suckered into taking these bad, unregulated stoopid-headed mortgages?

Has the world gone completely insane?


Lotuslandian Big Tent Update.....


This just in......Recount complete......

Dhaliwhal and Clement are in....

Eby and Vdovine are out....

Details, and Mr. Eby's statement of congratulations to Mr. Dhaliwhal, can be found under the Big Top.

And what is it with these people? .....Does the party never stop? .....Karaoke Wednesday?......Pub night Thursday?......Sheesh!

(so.... what's up for the weekend?)


Gary Lunn, Unleashed!


Update: ......Saanich Gulf-Islands shake-up.....see bottom of post.....


Remember when the Minister in charge of 'Blowin' Up Stuff Real Good', a.k.a. Saanich - Gulf Islands Conservative M.P. Gary Lunn, decided that nuclear power in the tar sands would be a good thing?


Well, let me refresh your memory:

Federal Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn raised some eyebrows last week (Jan 2007) when he not only gave a big thumbs-up to the idea of using nuclear power in the oilsands, but suggested that the building of a nuclear reactor to help power the huge resource extraction was all but inevitable.

"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when, in my mind," said Lunn, who added that he had unspecified "discussions" last week on the idea, presumably with oilsands companies.

Lunn noted that nuclear energy is "absolutely emission free" and "CO2 free" and that it can help replace natural gas and other fossil fuels currently being burned to extract other fossil fuels from the tarsands.

Why do I bring this up now?

Well, in the spirit of killing off all the watchdogs, the government of Stephen Harper just ticked another one off the list:

The former head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has resigned from the nuclear watchdog's board of directors.

Linda Keen sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday stating she no longer wants to stay on the board and be second-guessed by government officials.

Which, I suppose is to be expected.

After all, in Stephen Harper's Canada its all self-regulation, all the time.

So let's get rockin' - "Nukes for Oil!"

I can see the benefit concerts coming already.

Fronted by, oh say, I dunno.......


And, in a true, 'You're doin' a heckuva job Brownie'-type moment, as POGGE points out, Mr. Harper's new nuke watchdog, who appears to be acting more like flagwaver, has already started fast-tracking projects that could result in a 'Nuke in Every Tank'.

Just for the record..... rumour has it that Mr. Lunn may be in tough in Saanich/Gulf Isles against Greeniac turned Lib Briony Penn, for all kinds of good reasons and at least one silly one - the fact that she has a Q score amongst Vancouver Islanders that is to die for (but hopefully not via nuclear explosion). If you're a Dipper and you live in that riding, this is one place you might want to think about voting strategically. Now, with that said, for all those interested (and I think ALL Lotuslanders interested in stopping the Cons should be), you should go read what Alison has to say.

As Sean from Saskatchewan mentioned in the comments, the Dipper from Saanich/Gulf Isles has just been forced to resign. That sound you just heard? Could it be Mr. Lunn's jaw hitting the floor?


Stephen Harper's Canada.....Worse Than Listeriosis?



Do you remember that editorial from the Canadian Medical Association Journal that was published last week?

You know, the one that pointed a finger at Mr. Harper for instituting a policy that removed government inspectors from meat processing plants?

Well, maybe you do...... or....... maybe you don't, because it didn't get much media play given that reporters following Mr. Harper around the country were not allowed to actually ask him any substantive questions about it.


It turns out if you read a little deeper into the thing you will come acroos a couple of paragraphs in succession that, if you have any concerns for public health and safety at all, will knock your socks off.

And I mean it.

To wit......

Paragraph 1:
"The listeriosis epidemic is a timely reminder that the Harper government has reversed much of the progress that previous governments made on governing for public health. Following the 2003 SARS epidemic and subsequent recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on SARS and Public Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) was created and given its own minister in government— a direct line to the prime minister. But in 2006, among Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first acts was to eliminate the PHAC minister and public health’s seat at the Cabinet table. His government also left the chief medical officer of health within the ranks of the civil service, working under the minister of health. In so doing, it left our country without a national independent voice to speak out on public health issues, including providing visible leadership during this crisis...."


Stripping knowledgable folks that oversee public health and safety of their independence so that their mandates can be politicized....

Where have we heard about that before?

But that's not worst and/or least of it.

Let's head back to the CMAJ editorial for.....

Paragraph 2:
"And listeriosis may be the least of it. The same November 2007 Cabinet decision that handed self-inspection to the owners of meat plants did the same for operators of animal feed mills and cut back the avian influenza preparedness program. Yet bad animal feed led to the epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalitis (mad cow disease), and in an influenza pandemic tens of thousands of Canadians may die. Listeriosis pales in comparison. Overall, it would seem that, as a country, Canada is far less prepared now for epidemics than in the past......"

We have nothing, absolutely nothing, to add to that except to once again remind everyone that the real issue here is bad policy not bad jokes.

Which is the real story the wurlitzered-up media should have been following for the last week.


And this just in........Despite what today's codswallop from the Harper campaign would have you believe, crime rates in Canada are at generational lows.


Have The Rovian Rules Come To Lotusland?


So, now that the real homeless champion David Eby is out of the way, Vancouver NPA councillor Suzanne Anton (11pm Mon Sept 23/08 CKNW Broadcast) is taking shots at Gregor Robertson's desire to deal constructively with homelessness by calling them, and I quote, 'offensive'.

Interesting that.

Because under the Rovian rules you always try to turn the other guy's greatest strengths into his greatest weaknesses while simultaneously doing the opposite with your own*.

Which has us wondering when Ms. Anton and the Family (money)Guy are going to unveil their plan to house the City's homeless in that new Curling Rink at Little Mountain after 2010.

*See the Codpieced Chimp as War Hero v. John Kerry as War Wimp.
And why do the pols pull this crap? Because the media eats it up - witness the fact that CKNW played it straight-up without comment.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Stephen Harper's Canada.....Worse Than China?


This morning we established, beyond a shadow of a doubt that has absolutely nothing to do with misplaced gallows humour thrown from the cliffs of insanity, that accountability for public health policy disasters in Stephen Harper's Canada is lower than it is in today's China.

Which begs the question.....when did this very bad, very fast downhill slide begin?

Well, for me, it began on Nov 30, 2005, the day the last federal election writ was dropped.

Which, if you, like me, mourn the death of the country formerly known as Canuckistanmikitaville, is a day that will live on in infamy.

It is also a day I just happened to be in OttaWash, and I remember it like it was yesterday......


Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The Dogs On Mainstreet Howl

I just got back from bloody Ottawa where it was actually warmer than it is in Vancouver.

But screw the warming.

Because this freakish weather business looks like a global warning to me, in more ways than one.

Or even a thousand.

Anyway, the cigar tube-assisted trip to the Nation's Capital (of hubris) was a science-geek thing where I was forced to sit with a bunch of fellow obsessive/compulsives for three days straight so that we could bash each other's grants, and each other, up the side of the head for 16 hours at a time.

Kind of like waterboarding with sharp sticks, no water, and very bad coffee.

Usually we are stuck in hotel basement bunker rooms. However, this time around, for some unfathomable reason, we were deposited in a 27th floor room right under the revolving rooftop restaurant on Kent St. As a result, every 30 minutes or so we spun around and came face-to-face with the clock tower (the rest of the time we could see the billowing of the pulpmill smokestacks across the river in Hull that obscured the Museum of Civilization.....).

At about 7pm Monday night the few amongst us who are even aware that there actually is an outside world, which is not a normal character trait amongst science geeks, noticed the small white puffs of smoke rising from one of Parliament's many chimneys just as the caterwauling began.....

And a scant five minutes later, if you looked very carefully, you could see the beasts begin their sprint for the river looking for fresh blood and raw bones to gnaw on....and those were just the advance men....somewhere off in the distance I was sure I could hear the joyful hooting of Warren Kinsella...but I could have been mistaken.

By the way, Ottawa cab drivers routinely kill people....they are insane.

And five and a half hours with Robert Milton's minions constantly trying to sell you 5 dollar cup-a-soups on the cigar tube ride home is enough to drive just about anyone crazy.

But who cares. After all, January 23rd, 2006 is far off in the distance beyond the Holiday Season (take that Bill O'Lielly) Horizon.

And Paulie is doomed anyway....Even Bono has grown tired of him now.



When, where, and/or why did it all become clear to you?*

*That we were headed for Heckfire in a Handmaid's Tale Basket I mean.
And if you have any lingering doubts about the evil contents of that basket check this out.


Frances Bula on Christy Clark/CKNW


I'll have more to say about the two way interview between FABula and Christy Clark later....

But just to get it out there now.....

Clearly, Ms. Clark still has an axe to grind with Smilin' Sammy and the NPA braintrust.

As FABula said more than once (in just the first segment)....

"You're so mean!"

(and I'm not even sure she, Ms. Bula I mean, was joking entirely)

(and no amount of happy, upbeat bumper music will change that)

Oh, and Ms. Clark wants to know where The Smilin' One's War Chest went......aaaaaaarrrrrgggghhh, mateys!!!!!


Did Mr Ritz Get To Keep His Job BECAUSE Of The Jokes?


Why do I ask?

Because, even in China, Ministers that put public health policies in place that make lots of people sick, and even kill some of them, are forced to resign:

The head of China's quality watchdog has resigned amid a growing scandal over melamine-contaminated milk, the official Xinhua news agency reports.

Li Changjiang stepped down "with the approval of the State Council", China's cabinet, Xinhua said.

Earlier Prime Minister Wen Jiabao apologised for the contamination, which has made nearly 53,000 children ill.

So there you have it.

Worse than China.

That is Stephen Harper's Canada.

And none of the Harper/Ritz bad public health policy decisions that took meat inspectors out of meat processing plants are a secret....There are treasury board documents....There is a scathing editorial from the Canadian Medical Association Journal.....And still people like Christy Blatchford and Michael Smyth run with the deflector spin and say it is all about silly political correctness and black humour; ....Now, if this did come out of the Liberal War Room they deserve it because it would mean that they took the easy shot, straight down the trivial road. and now they've missed the turn-off that is taking straight down the Highway to Hell...... Sure would like to hear what Mr. Kinsella has to say about that the next time he sits and pontificates, all erudite and establishment-entrenched, on either that TVO show that was used to snare Lizzie May (and on which Kady O'Malley tore him and his, see: Taylor, Stephen, to shreds) or Enright's insipid Sunday morning radio thing where, even there they refuse to get to the heart of the matter. (I'll link back to all this stuff later.....but right now I've got work to do that hopefully won't kill anybody or ruin my country....which it won't because it actually is trivial in the big picture of the health and well being of 30 million people instead of vital.....sheesh!).


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Almost Live At The Vision Vancouver Party.....

This Just In....NoFuncouverIsStillDead!

2nd Update, Early Sunday afternoon edition: Dumping the notebook in chunks.....first and second thirds are now up in full.....done to a little MC-5 (eg. Kick out the Jams) backed with these kids....Oh, and I have made a few small revisions to the original version of the first third now, as I heard from a couple of folks who took offense to what they perceived as slagging of the personal kind. As that is not my intent here (ie. I really do dig the Vision thing and realize that folks who put themselves out there, especially if they are truly independent and new at the game, are taking a real chance and are doing their best) I've anonomized some of that stuff and I apologize....


Originally this was going to be a well thought-out, organized, bullet-pointed version of my impressions of Vision Vancouver's big nomination vote celebration at Science World last night.

But then things went haywire and the count came in three hours late.

And, because I was riding my bike, I didn't get home 'till about 1:00am.

And before I even had a chance to write much of anything I noticed that my sitemeter was going completely bonkers.

Which, it turned out, was all Frances Bula's fault.

(and if you want real analysis and real hard numbers as well as a blow-by-blow to the night's festivities go to her place and read from the bottom up , but....Hey, Francis! ....Change your 'publishing' template so that more posts stay on the front page, ok; that way, if we don't visit for an hour or seven we can still get the whole story, all at once).

Anyway, as a result of the onslaught, I decided to immediately bang out something about my first impressions of what happened after the deal went down.

What follows, for the record, and ripped pretty much straight from hastily scrawled notes (I didn't take the bloody box down to the glitter dome with me because I left late, and figured I would be done and home in an hour), is the unexpurgated version of most everything that I noticed going on before the deal went down.


The First Third......Before 10pm....
It was dinner at our friend's across the back lane...she works for the city and wanted to hear all about the Vision thing (I was at the polling station earlier and gave them the blow-by-blow)....because of what she does she has all kinds of behind the scenes stories which are, to say the least, interesting in the extreme.....duck out early on them though to zip home to get the camera and my notebook, then haul my bike out of the VW (notso)Microbus for the ride down to the glitterdome....

After a short ride west past the million dollar homes (ie. along the Mainstreet corridor), I hang a right at Nat Bailey and it's pretty much a straight shot down Ontario for me .....the sky is really low over the city as I fly over the Broadway hump and when I hit the waterfront the curvy-edged concrete butresses of the $3000/sqft condos cheek-by-jowl are almost eerily creepy in a BladeRunner sort of way.

As I'm locking up my bike I glance at my watch.....9:15pm, and I'm worried I might have actually missed the votecounting.....there's a small gaggle of three, maybe homeless, certainly roughlife, but good natured guys nonetheless, hanging around the rack.....I ask them if they're going in, mentioning that there might even be some free food and stuff.....they laugh and one of them I can see is actually thinking of it.....as I walk toward the entrance I call back to say that 'and you'll probably get to see the next mayor' which brings laughs from all three; they're united in derision again as one of them calls back 'Forget that, the new mayor is gonna be me!'......

Inside the main doors the donation ladies at the table are pretty nice about it all when I ask if it's OK if I just give $5 instead of the recommended ten spot....they do kinda size me up first though given that I'm dressed in my old guy who wants to be a bike-courier sort of look (which is not my intention, honest)......

First impression of the crowd in the big room is that it sure is a lot whiter than what I knocked up agains a bit with earlier in the evening just before the polls closed at Tupper Senior Secondary....but the ambience is nice even if there was no free food or drink (unless I missed it.... I paid 2.50 and 5.00 each for my one pop and one beer over what was going to be a long night)...band, a jazzy duo is pretty good too.....conducive to conversation....I search in vain for Westend Bob and drf but in vain.....everybody's nice.....nodody's too tense except for poor Sarah Blyth who looks like she's going to jump out of her skin, even when folks, including me tell her she's in.....

9:30pm.....nothing much going on.....definitely nothing high tech nor hard sell from the Visionistas...they are running powerpoints on some of the screens around the place.....I like the ones of today's events...must have been crummy though, early on in the rain.....don't like the sunny side-up, everything's coming up roses ones from events through the summer however, as they've clearly been picked over and the 'best' (ie. smoothed over) ones chosen for screen time....

There are quite a few kids (real ones, not Blyth followers) and tweens in the room....amazing how many of them are banging away on hand-held electronic things.....a few of them, but mostly the smallest ones and some of their parents are playing around with the interactive SciWorld displays.....

There are a few media types with laptops sitting at tables.....these too are mostly kids (contemporaries, although a little more button-down than most of the Blyth followers - or what I perceive to be Blyth followers)....they have microphones - the radio folks I figure....I see no/zero TV folks (and in fact don't notice any all night, but I easily could have missed them, later on, as you'll see, I didn't move around much).....

9:45......Can't help but notice that the paparazzi are circling the Gregor, but at a respectful distance....Have a great conversation with a friend and colleague, 'D', who has tons of great stories to tell of all kinds of grassroots pol-work he has done in all kinds of places, including South Africa for the anti-apartheid 'Progressive' party....and in case you were wondering - he's a white Englishman.......we are interrupted by one of the candidates who appears out of nowhere and says that they are sure they know me from somewhere......I have never met the person in my life and I tell them so, but politely....they gladhand anyway and then move on....just to make sure I've got this straight - nobody's voting tonight are they?......

10:00pm.....slide by FABula and ask how long?.....she says just a few minutes more......(ha!).... things settle into not much of anything at all.....I decide to just sit back and watch because, as Yogi once said, you can observe a lot that way (at least I think it was Yogi - am eschewing the Wiki in the re-write as I did this all with ink on paper in the first run).......

(chunk above was written very late on Saturday night....stopped here and took up the 2nd chunk on Sunday)

The 2nd Third......Waiting For The Midnight Hour....
There really is some kinda/sorta campaigning still going on....most notably that gang of rowdies from the Greek guy faction....truth be told even in their dark blue T-shirts Demitri Douzenis' folks are so good natured and goofy that it's hard to give them a hard time....and when I ask them if their guy is going to make it they are resigned but still smiling....that's the spirit....pro-Pols though seem to have a different reaction, but then again, maybe it's the strain of the waiting....

10:30pm.....crowd is starting to get ancy.....a lot of actual politicians of all stripes in the room now, including Ms. Davies..... and the crowd is much more polyglot than it was before which is good, I think...Much of the schmoozing seems to be done now and everybody is there to see what happens now....where'd all the pro-media types go?......post deadline I guess.....lots of folks still trying to buoy Ms. Blyth.....

10:45pm.....the live duo is gone from the stage, and so is the relaxed music......DJ has begun with the canned stuff... not much there for the young though (note to organizers for future events, eh?).....Visionista workhorse Marcela Munro comes on to tell us that they're still counting votes because there are so many....later learn from reading FABula that there is, maybe, some fussing going around the boxes re: provisionals?.....from what I understand those are folks that had ID but no proof of a living address in the city.....hmmmmm....Ms Munro does promise that we'll know before the clock strikes 11 (I think of Nigel as it's getting pretty loud)....Ms. Munro then requests that everybody dance.....and they do.....

Around 11:00 (I lose track of the chronometer a little at this point).....Ms. Munro gives up the microphone to a guy, not sure who it is exactly, sorry, who tries to get the crowd chanting....his message, I think, is the big tent one, mixed in with 'taking the city back'...but when he goes into an 'NPA is garbage'-type thing it kind of takes the crowd aback a bit ....and me too - no need for that here I reckon, not to mention that it is actually anti-big tent.....

I notice that the semi-spiral staircase that winds up to the second floor of the glitterdome is open and is filled to bursting with photogs and supporters/confederates of the guy who was just yelling on stage.....figuring that will be a good vantage point to watch the announcement that is supposed to be coming any minute I head to the top....it's less noisy up here and not so hot which is nice.... looking down, I notice for the first time that the stage area is actually the "Peter Brown Family Theatre"..... it says so on the wall above and behind the big Vision banner....is that irony in the extreme, or something else?.....

11:10pm....still no announcement....dance floor continues to be happening though while periphery is thinning a little.....my notes start to lose their edge for a while at this point so next I'm going to give you the rumba rundown all at once - but only the good stuff, promise.....

The mad Greek's supporters stream through crowd in front of the stage..... in a conga line!.....seconds later the Limed-up Greeniacs of Ms. Reimer show up and take the stage.....and some of them are actually, get this, real kids!.....Umlas (I think) and supporters circle up with maybe a Dhaliwal and/or Hundal supporter or six and start to rhythmically high five to Donna Summers' 'Sad Girls' (say what?!), then, of course, YMCA gets the whole crowd going crazy....even I get that one but 'Rah, Rah Rasputin'? (is the DJ doing this on purpose?).....Tim Stevenson has his jacket off but tie still knotted tight as he lets go a little with partner during Mama Mia.....Is Mr. S. really happy smiling?....Is this some kinda Swedeglam foreshadowing of victory?....Jessie's Girl??? Rick Springfield????!...c'mon, if you wanna give the kids something real to them (but still really fake nonetheless) why not just go all the way with the Jonas Brothers, sheesh..... Best dancers of the entire night?.....No question in my mind.....It was COPE Parks guy Spencer Herbert and Vision Parks candidate girl Constance Barnes.....real lapel pullin' going on there....the non-aggression pact fully realized?......

11:30pm......where did all the pols go? the periphery is really thinning and folks are starting to flag I think....I wonder why they don't have any food....notice there are vending machines up on the out-of-bounds, super quiet, 2nd floor.....I take a chance.....all I get is a bottle of water...D. who has gone off for a wander comes back and announces that he has seen, gasp!, a rodent scurry across the floor in one of the darkened empty exhibit rooms....

11:30pm.....Only a photog or two left now.....kind of weird....tension thickens as crowd thins.... me I'm just sitting on the stairs minding my own business now trying to be discreet with my dimestore notebook and bottle of anti-enviro liquid....kinda understand now what it must feel like to blow a deadline, and I don't even have one...am wishing that West End Bob was here so that he could play the Acosta to my pale hose imitation of the long gone Docktor (OK, OK, OK!....for any pro-pols with delusions of Mankness....it should really be Tim Crouse at something like this, not the Peter Boyle character from Buffalo Roam...Del Toro version too dark for me).....I rember that I told C. I'd be home by just after ten; and so much for all that....David Eby slides back into my vision and moves around the place a little.....lots of folks approach and want to talk to him, interesting what a diverse group they are - from the suits to the very pointedly suitless and, sorry, but I've gotta say this because it was so apparent, lots of women, and I've gotta say this too....Eby looks a little like G. R.'s kinda wilder-sided brother that goes off and does the crazy stuff that everybody admires (or some such thing, not really sure that I'm making any sense at all at this point, but it's what I scribble)......Just then a fellow bike rider climbs the stairs (he's got his helmet with him too) and he's wearing an Eby button...we get to talking....he's really worried, and he's not happy about all this slate stuff either....I realize now that I should have paid all that stuff more attention....

11:45pm....rumours abound....it's school board and parks that are too close to call....or......it's something weird with the council votes.....fact is, nobody in the peanut gallery really knows.....a lot of hugs and handshakes as folks start to stream out....even the dance floor begins to settle a little......still don't see many pols about.....I'm thinking of leaving myself, but I'm hooked....it's the drama..... and as I noted earlier it most certainly won't be televised (which West End Bob informs me later is apparent from the next morning's newscasts)......

(OK, enough already.....that's part 2 of 3 done.....you all pretty much know it ends, but I will spill all my own beans later....promise.....alternatively, you can just slide down the page for the abridged version here)