Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Saturday Morning...


Halloween morning is not the time to smack-up, hard, against what many might argue is the single most important concept in free-market economics.

Which, of course, is the law of supply and demand.

What the heckfire am I talking about, you may be asking?


After spending most of the morning battling with Telus*, I finally emerged from the Subterranean Blues Room with the express written consent of C. to start carving the pumpkins with the two E.'s.

Five minutes later we were in a quandry due to our inability to find the pumpkin carving tools.

Bigger E. was all ready to have a go at the Orbs with kitchen knives.

Instead, I took off with littler e. thinking we could pick a set up in about five minutes.



Canadian Tire on 'The Stinkin' (a.k.a. Kingsway)???....Sold-out.

New PriceSmart on Knight???..... Blank stares (but we did pop into the library to pick up a couple of books, which was OK).

Dollar Store on Fraser???....Nothing but plastic junk.

Buy-Low** on Fraser???....Finally....Gold!....Or, at the very least, chrome-plated junk metal.

But fifteen bucks for two little saws and a few plastic bits?


*More, much more, on my decidedly anti-free market battle with Telus later.....
**How many Lotuslandian Grocery Store chains does Jimmy the P. have to own anway...and which lesson in free-enterprise is totally surreptitious market domination taught in anyway?.....(Anti-) Trust-Busting 101a, perhaps?


Friday, October 30, 2009

Never Mind The Finger....


......What About The Questions?


Yesterday DisasterGordon got together with the man who would be John Lennon if only Margaret Thatcher had kidnapped him at the age of eight.

And the two of them got to joking.

About mittens....

And who would, or would not, give whom the finger....

Or some such thing.

And then, after all was said and done, the reporters on the scene huddled together to pour over the CP pool tape to make sure they had the stupid quote exactly right.


But here's the real deal.

The entire thing was staged.

In other words it was a 'No-Questions-Asked' Photo-Op

Which begs the question.......

What the hell were reporters even doing there then?

Potential Answer: Hoping to get picked out of the herd, due either to dumb luck and/or corp-connections, so that they could run with the flaming pudding-can perhaps?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Did They Blow-Up The Chicken Man In Lotusland Last Night?


I dunno know for sure.

Unless, of course, he (or she) was wearing a now water-logged running shoe.

But I do know the following, thanks to more fine work from Sean Holman of PublicEye:

The former commander of British Columbia's now-defunct integrated illegal gaming enforcement team is questioning the provincial government's commitment to "meaningful" illegal gaming investigations. Speaking exclusively with Public Eye, Fred Pinnock also described the RCMP's senior management in British Columbia as demonstrating "willful blindness" when it comes to the connection between illegal gaming and organized crime. And he said his provincially-funded RCMP team should have been expanded - not shutdown.....


......Mr. Pinnock acknowledged those at BC Lotteries and the enforcement branch are "very competent people."

But he questioned whether their "resources and mandate are sufficient to effectively target the criminal activity going on within these environments," noting they don't appear to have had much impact.

The reason: Mr. Pinnock said there hasn't been any big busts at casinos even though "it obvious that highly-pedigreed gangsters frequent these venues on a continuing basis. There's a ton of criminal activity being conducted in these places every day, including money laundering, loansharking and other enterprise crimes."

The RCMP is "playing ostrich" about the problems inside legal gaming facilities, he concluded, with senior management only giving "token attention" to the illegal gaming problems outside those establishments.

"I don't think the RCMP is sufficiently aware of the very significant role that un-enforced gambling has in social decay," he explained, adding that most illegal gamblers are "addicted gamblers, with all the associated life impacts."

Instead, the force has focused on criminal activities that "keep them positioned to ensure the renewal" of their provincial policing contract in 2012, such as gang violence.


Who, exactly, decided to shut down The Unit that is supposed to ferret out the bad guys hangin' round and hangin' in our Casinos?

And why?


On the face of it at least, that story is turning out to be very twisted, indeed, as Mr. Holman, following up as only he can, has demonstrated in the last few days with a number of fine posts.

Oversight boards...with government members and without....a cabinet minister.....and all kinds of folks and officials saying things that appear to keep on contradicting what others, and even they themselves, have already said before them.

Meanwhile, the money just keeps on keepin' on.

Changing hands I mean.

The title of this post refers to the opening line of the song that Springsteen opened with when he visited Lotusland recently. Which, based on the Boss' history of making a statement with his set-lists, was likely no accident.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why Calling Codswallop Exactly What It Is Matters.


Antonia Zerbias fisked the crap out some really craptacular crappimatronic codswallop recently.

Essentially, she called out a couple of would-be meme-makers who want to marginalize all women who actually work to make a difference through their words, deeds and actions instead

Or some such crap.

Here's just a taste of the fabulous Ms. Z's work (she's in bold; codswallop's in italics):

I cut'n'paste. You decide.

"Right-wing women rock.

Not for us the sturdy, honest calves of the New Democrat/Green Party female, honed on eco-tourist rainforest hikes. Those legs are often on unfortunate display, extending from a knee-length tweed skirt as hairy as the legs themselves, and end in a pair of Birkenstocks."

Because, you know, left-women have never heard of wax.

"I have yet to see a pair of Birkenstock women's shoes that didn't look like part of the required uniform for police SWAT teams.

The primary reason our womenfolk are at war with the looming spectre of the nanny state is because you can't buy Jimmy Choos in a socialist paradise...."

Oh really? Have you been off the ranch and in downtown Toronto recently?

"The only sensible footwear you'll find in a right-wing woman's closet are the Nike cross-trainers that go with her gym membership....."

And Robertson (Calgary Sun Columnist Ian) Robinson knows this because ... he is in closets a lot?


Why does calling out this kind of stuff matter?

Because it is important to realize that the Codswallopinarianists are now attempting to do what the Atwater/Ailes/Rove Axis-of-Evil-BoWeevils once did to Kansas, using exactly the same framing strategies, to an entire gender.

Which is to bamboozle them into working and voting against their own best interests.

You think I'm joking and/or wrong about this?


If that's the case, please explain the Axis of Evil-BoWeevil-driven ascent of this.



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CorpMedia: They Are The World, They Are The Torches


Yes, that's right!

Thirty of CTVBellGlobeTSNRDIEverythingElseYouCanThinkOfMedia's finest spokesmodels/atheletes are going to be Running With The Devi......errrrrrr.....Olympic Torch as it crosses our fine land this fall.

Harvey Oberfeld has the story (and the comments are good too - watch for the appearance of a certain CTVBellGlobeEverythingElseYouCanThinkOfMedia scribe offering up a half-baked, half-a-momma-mea-culpa about halfway down)



Does this mean that Brian Williams is now officially competing for Canada in the Five-Ringed Winter TriathalonFusion (ski-jumping-skeletor-luge-o-rama-lama-ding-dongle).

After all, we're pretty sure he would look fantastic in the suits.

As for Mr. W's rumoured fear of extremeheights and speed.


The CTVBellGlobeTSNRDIOfficialOlympicTeamAndEverythingElseYouCanThinkOf trainers have 'remedies' for that sort of thing, don't they?

(and/or photoshop)


Climate Change Challenge - The Kids Are Alright


Alison has the story.

(and the video)


Monday, October 26, 2009

When A Power Pole Falls In The Forest.....


.....Does Anybody Hear?

Or is the timing of this followed by this a few days later just a coincidence?

More later, on the run today....Have a feeling this discussion may heat up over at Mary's and that ol' Rafe may weigh-in on the matter too.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ya, But Can A Billion Dollars and Helicopter Gunships Stop....



And yes, that Olympic Torch hoax was the real deal:

(Barry) Larkin and eight other students at St John's College, University of Sydney, planned to protest against the Olympic Flame (in 1956).

One reason was that the torch relay was invented by the Nazis for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. The plan was to get one of the other students, dressed in white shorts and a white top, to carry a fake torch. The fake was made of a wooden chair leg painted silver, on top of which was a plum pudding can. A pair of underpants, worn by one of the students in National Service, was put inside the can, soaked in kerosene. The underpants were set on fire. Another student dressed as a motorcycle outrider by wearing a reserve airforce uniform.

The torch was scheduled to enter Sydney, carried by Harry Dillon. Dillon would present the Torch to the Mayor of Sydney, Pat Hills, at Sydney Town Hall. Hills would then make a speech and pass the torch to Bert Button.

Before Dillon arrived, the two students went out carrying the fake torch. At the beginning, people noticed they were joking and even the police laughing at them. Then the underpants fell out of the torch because the fake runner was swinging his arms too hard. The runner panicked and fled. Peter Gralton, one of the nine students, went to get the pants and told Larkin to pick up the torch. With Larkin holding the torch, Gralton kicked Larkin's backside and told him to run. Larkin did so, running the rest of the way to Sydney Town Hall. He ran the rest of the route, protected by police who thought that he was Dillon.

Oh, and that bit about the Nazis inventing the modern day five-ringed circus torch relay is for real too.

Interesting that, especially given what's goin' on around here right these days, don't you think?


Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Saturday Morning.....


.....And Bigger E.'s holing up for a massive day of homework (highschool! I'm tellin' ya)

....C. is off to rock the house at yet another birthday party

....And littler e. and me are putting on warm clothes, hopping on our bikes and heading off to a cool planet, or some such thing (film at 11?).

Update: Our friend Bob, who covers all the important events in Lotusland that Fred Lee won't, has some great pix up of the CoolPlanet Extravaganza.


Friday, October 23, 2009

What's 458 Million Divided By 5 Thousand?


Why, it's nine thousand one hundred and sixty.

And why does this matter?

Well, $458,000,000.00 is the new, new cost of the newer than new roof for the Giant Marshmallow (aka BC Place Stadium).

As for the $5,000.00?

Well, just in case you've forgotten $5K was the magic number that DisasterGordon's latest numbers gnushue, Colin Hansen, used as he ran around like a madman, with hair-afire, slashing the crap out of every social services agency budget he could get his hands on when he woke up the day AFTER the election and suddenly 'realized' that the Province of British Columbia has a wee-bit of a deficit problem.


So, the upshot of all this is the following......

We could fund more than 9000 projects/organizations that actually help ALL the people of British Columbia if the very small and select group of people who stand to make out like bandits on the condo-jacking of the land around the Giant Marsmallow that is part of the deal had actually been forced to pay for a new roof over the thing.


More on how the 'condo-jacking' will be 'financed' coming later.....But as a prelude, think 'lease' not 'sale'....Now, where have we heard that before - ha!




For a new roof on the Marshmallow.


And it is the first big 'story' the VSun has broken in months, since back in the days when we first learned that Disaster-Gord's son is a Twitter genius who rides campaign buses his Dad isn't even on because he's a backdoor man on the Campaign trail, or some such thing:

VANCOUVER - The aging teflon dome at BC Place will be replaced by a retractable roof costing up to $500 million, the provincial government is expected to announce Friday morning.....

The real thing to watch for?


How about the give away of public lands worth billions that will be announced to great fanfare as a disastero....errrrr....'creative' way to fund the thing without burdening the poor taxpayer.

Which, of course, is just the type of high-speed/360 degree/Friday docu-dump deflector spin the sycophants, watercarriers and Ledgie-Boys will swallow whole with nary a cut from the whirling blades given how much crap they have coating them.

The blades I mean.

(or maybe I didn't)



Montreal Simon's Close Encounter Of The Most Scary Kind


And it involved the Republic of BananaBoat Limos veering off towards the Trough.

Or some such thing:

"....I was on my way home yesterday afternoon. I was just about to cross a highway that leads to the airport. When suddenly three motorcycle cops roared up, blocked the intersection, and shouted at me and other pedestrians to stay where we were.

Then about a minute later came the biggest police motorcade I've ever seen in Canada. For a moment I thought that Obama was making a surprise visit. Or that some brutish Banana Republic dictator had just arrived in town with his entourage.

But then I looked more closely, and hunched up in the back seat of one of the limos was Great Porker Leader on his way to the nearby convention center. And I swear his cold, cruel, piggy eyes were staring straight at me !!!!

Yikes. I didn't know what to do. I wanted to give him a fascist salute eh? But I was afraid I might be arrested or shot. So all I could think of doing was screwing up my nose and oinking loudly....."

All of which has us wondering....

Why were Mr. Harper and 'His Twiggness' in Montreal at almost, if not exactly, the same time?

Could it be that they both have a thing for the Mata Hari of the 405?

Oh wait, we already knew about that, right?

"Mr. Bush had a reception at the Waldorf Astoria hotel and we (Maxime Bernier and Julie Couilliard) were invited. I had a chance to meet him.… As I approached, Mr. Bush said, 'Maxime, well, well, well haven't you been keeping good company.'"

Meanwhile...Those French, they have a different shoe for everything!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

When, Exactly, Did Alan Greenspan Move To Canada?


First, off a little full disclosure.....

Me, myself and mine just took advantage of Canada's very own GreatWhiteNorth version of the never-ending Greenspan 'Put' and locked in at 3.92 over five years.


Put the suddenly resurgent put-driven buying frenzy together with, as Murray Dobbin reports in The Tyee, the fact that we are now the new Sub-Prime Capital of Capitalism thanks to the recklessness of Mr. Stephen Harper and, well....

You've gotta wonder if we are headed for a world of hurt that just might make Andrea Mitchell a shoo-in to replace Peter Mansbridge in, say, early 2011.

Or some such thing.


Oh, and in case you're interested, the comment thread of Mr. Dobbin's piece is good - real discussion (for the most part) goin' down....


Is Lotusland Open For Business?


The "Money-Laundering" business I mean?

After all, it's hard not to read a recent report from Sean Holman at Public Eye and not seriously wonder if that really and truly is the case.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Mr. Holman's piece:

The former commander of British Columbia's now-defunct integrated illegal gaming enforcement team is questioning the provincial government's commitment to "meaningful" illegal gaming investigations. Speaking exclusively with Public Eye, Fred Pinnock also described the RCMP's senior management in British Columbia as demonstrating "willful blindness" when it comes to the connection between illegal gaming and organized crime. And he said his provincially-funded RCMP team should have been expanded - not shutdown.....


.....Mr. Pinnock acknowledged those at BC Lotteries and the enforcement branch are "very competent people."

But he questioned whether their "resources and mandate are sufficient to effectively target the criminal activity going on within these environments," noting they don't appear to have had much impact.

The reason: Mr. Pinnock said there hasn't been any big busts at casinos even though "it obvious that highly-pedigreed gangsters frequent these venues on a continuing basis. There's a ton of criminal activity being conducted in these places every day, including money laundering, loansharking and other enterprise crimes.".....


You know, when Springsteen was here awhile back, I was floored when he changed things up and OPENED the show with Atlantic City.....Which, given that he is known to use his set-list to make statements, is pretty interesting don't you think?
Paul Willcocks also comments on Mr. Holman's fine bit of investigatory interviewing.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Robo-Calls....In Saanich?


Yesterday, we commented on a piece by Andrew MacLeod in The Tyee about the connection, by holy matrimony, of one of the third party advertisers that helped elect FedCon kinda/sorta/almost front-bencher Gary Lunn and one of the movers and shakers, a very fine fellow named Robert Evans, associated with an Alberta development group that wants to put a marina for the Uber-Rich and their Uberer Yachts into Victoria's Inner Harbour.

All of which is interesting, in the extreme, in-and-of-itself.

But it also led our friend, and commenter, Jennifer Smith to ask the following:

"Where the he(ckfire) is Elections Canada in all this?

Bad enough they dropped the robo-call investigation - did they ever even bother to start a real investigation into (Mr.) Evans and his third-party groups?"

Which led me to contact Mr. MacLeod, who confirmed, as per an earlier piece of his, that the Robo-Call Investigation that was opened by Elections Canada after some bizarre goings on that some construed to be a nefarious effort by persons unknown to strip away left-sided support from Mr. Lunn's main rival on the eve of the last federal election, has been closed, not because it didn't happen, but instead because it apparently couldn't be proven that it didn't affect anyone's actual vote.

Or some such thing.....

However, Mr. MacLeod also mentioned that he wasn't sure about the status of the Elections Canada investigation that was also initiated to look into the blue-hued, LINO-centric, uber-Marina-lovin' 3rd Party Advertisers for Lunn.

But he's going to check.

Can't wait to hear what he finds out.

And what's all the fuss about the Uber-Marina?.......Well, here's a good backgrounder from (guess who!) Mr. MacLeod.


Can A Seed Ever Really Be Bad?


I used to be able to bamboozle my kids with musical choices.

Not anymore.

Because it turns out that littler e. can't stand Nick Cave.

In fact, this is what she had written on her downstairs, mock-up classroom/funroom blackboard this morning (I noticed it while ironing - I only do that for the big lecture hall):

"Children of The World......Nick Cave is a bad person.....I beg of you.....Stay away from him and his music!"


(not sure if Bigger E will listen though)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Return Of Gary Lunn's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?


Remember when Gary Lunn was demoted to Minister-In-Charge-Of-Hockey-Rinks after the last election?

And remember how we wondered, in the wake of some fantastic reportage from Andrew MacLeod in The Tyee and insightful commentary from Paul Willcocks in the Victoria Times-Colonist, if that demotion, perhaps, had something to do with 11th Hour-RoboCalls and/or the Third Party Advertisers that sprang out of nowhere to spend a big whack-o-cash when his Mr. Lunn's campaign suddenly hit the spending limit Wailing-Wall?


It turns out that Mr. MacLeod has just discovered that one of Mr. Lunn's very finest of the fine third party advertisers has very close, blue-hued /LINO-type connections to one of the folks pushing a mega-marina on the South-Isle.

Here's A.M.'s most recent lede:

"The man pushing the mega-yacht marina proposed for Victoria's inner harbour is married to the financial agent for one of five third-party advertisers that sprung up to support cabinet minister Gary Lunn in the last federal election......"

But that's only the half of it, because it turns out that a reverse back-flip from the piked-position indicates that the husband of the financial agent mentioned above actually has a marina-linked connection or, at the very least, a wafer-thin second degree of separation to the man that coordinated ALL four other Third Party Angels For Lunn:

".....Robert Evans is the vice-president of Community Marine Concepts, which is seeking a license from the province to occupy 2.63 hectares of Victoria harbour with a marina for 80-foot to 120-foot yachts. The company is working on the proposal with Alberta-based WAM Development Group. Getting the license requires approvals from various provincial and federal agencies.

Evans also shares a phone number and address with one Donna Evans. A real estate agent, Donna Evans was the financial agent for Common Sense Advocacy of Victoria, a group that spent $3,500 advertising in Victoria's daily newspaper in support of Lunn before the October, 2008, federal election.

Common Sense was one of five previously unknown groups to support Lunn during the election. The other four, the Tyee reported, all had the same financial agent, Mark Dickinson, and were registered out of the office of Bruce Hallsor, a federal Conservative with close ties to Lunn.

Hallsor, a provincial Liberal, has registered to lobby on behalf of WAM in Ottawa and has met with at least one provincial cabinet minister regarding the project, the Tyee reported....."

Gosh! (or should that be W(h)AM!)

What's next for Mr. Lunn now....



Friday, October 16, 2009

Who Says Comment Threads Are Drivel?


Comment threads are not just for serious discussions and devolutions into dopey name-calling anymore.


Because of this one.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is Vancouver's Great Divide Getting Wider?



The other day I was bitching and moaning about how the Water Main work on West 16th in the Creme-Belt was finished in, like, a day-and-a-half back in the summer, while King Edward East of Main has pretty much been Beirut-in-the-'80's for going on an epoch or two now.


My good friend Doug, who lives in peace and tranquility out amongst the cedars in the Kootenays, left this nice comment.

Well Hell Ross -

The plebes east of Main St. just don't have the political clout ($$$$$$$) you know -=it;s the properties west of Granville (OK then) that are worth the $$$$

Now, I know that Doug is accurate in his description.

Except that it is an old, pre-2003, accuracy.

What the heckfire am I talking about?

Well, here is my tongue-placed-firmly-in-(clenched-teeth)-cheek response to him...

Gravatar Doug--

Here's the thing....

The Main/Fraser corridor is not what it used to be....

Case in point, the house down the street from us - EAST of Fraser! - just sold for almost $800K....

As for the Main St itself....Well, A Million Dollars and a passel of Barenaked Ladies will probably get you a tear-down and maybe, if you're real lucky, some dijon ketchup and a really cruel green dress with fake fur .....


Folks who are laying out green like that are not going to put up with this crap (and nor should they), regardless whether or not they KNOW that Smilin' Sammy and the Spamaloteers really "Big (and still hidden) Money Adventure " to kill wards that not-so coincidently launched a failed Mayorality back in ancient, pre-bubble times, is STILL putting the screws to them....

Or some such thing.

(Am I steamed about having to travel from the 30's down towards 'The Stinkin' [aka Kingsway], turning left against traffic, and then jig-jogging all over the place through peoples' backyards just to get on that hump-backed bit of one lane far, far East End 16th so I can then crawl all the way to Dunbar every morning? You bet I am!)

(Oh - and why not 33rd Ave you might be asking?...Well, where do you think all that King Edward traffic coming off Knight and all parts East is going?....And have you seen how long they've been working on that kinghell f*ck-up/left turn/can't line-it up anymore because of the 29th Bike Lane that nobody rides, me included, because it's uphill all the way compared to ,say, 26th/ at 33rd and Cambie? Sheesh!!!)




Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BC Ferries A-Go-Go....



Wonder how long it will be before the mellifluous, but never malodorous, Mr. Hahn and his most-mirthful minions mount a million smacker PR campaign in an effort to convince us that it is in our best interest to pay exhorbitant fees for assured non-loading reservations to take future trips that no longer exist on boats that we paid for, but which are no longer, apparently, ours to use when needed (unless, of course, we are offshore tourists with deep pockets and/or the five-ringwormiest super-secret codes):

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) - Starting Wednesday (Oct 14th), B.C. Ferries will reduce the Horseshoe Bay/Departure Bay sailings Monday through Thursday evenings.

Deborah Marshall with the corporation explains it will include the 7 p.m. sailing exiting Departure Bay, and the corresponding 9 p.m. sailing from Horseshoe Bay. "They will continue to operate Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. We're going to put them back in the schedule for the Christmas period and during the Olympics in February."

Of course, this is all about saving money and not strangling service so that others, say truckers who use late night ferries will go looking for an alternative.


Well, maybe....

And then again....



(hang on to ALL your hats!)

Meanwhile, Kevin Falcon has a bonus message for aging British Columbians that no longer take ferries - 'Don't You Dare Get Really, Really Old Or We Will Screw You Too!'


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Important Is Activist Blogging Anyway?


I dunno know for absolute sure.

But I do know this.

The activist/progressive/secularist/humanist/bloggers down south had a Kinghell lot to do with the recent blowing-up of the super-secret WhiteHouse/(anti)Health Insurance Lobby double-dipping, full-meal, 18-wheeler-uber-deal that has put a real the public option BACK on the table.

And here is fifty star a/p/s/h/b Brigadier General Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake proving it, if not all night, at least on a Sunday morning, on the TeeVee:

All of which led to this comment by Firepup 'Inquisitr':

See, I always find those articles about “stop blogging and March!” interesting.

Marching does nothing, absolutely nothing.

Firedoglake and a few progressive blogs are the whole reason we went from the PO is dead to drop the PO at your own political peril.

Blogging has done more in 12 years then every march after the 60’s.

I’ll stay home and blog, Marching is for suckers.



Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why Is It That.....


...When they ripped up West 16th way out in the Creme-Belt to put in new watermains, the road was repaired, all shiny and smooth in about a day-and-a-half.



King Edward East of Main has been a mess for two, going-on-three, years now?