Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2005
Woody Creek, Colorado
"DENVER (Reuters) - Hunter S. Thompson, who pioneered "gonzo" journalism and became a counterculture celebrity with works such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," fatally shot himself at his Colorado home on Sunday night, police said. He was 67."
Before he started to get stupid, and worse - famous, Thompson wrote this about the last days of Ernest Hemingway:
"Ketchum was Hemingway's 'Big Two Hearted River', and he wrote his own epitaph in the story of the same name, just as Scott Fitzgerald had written his epitaph in a book called 'The Great Gatsby'. Neither man understood the vibrations of a world that had shaken them off their thrones, but of the two, Fitzgerald showed more resilience. His half-finished 'Last Tycoon' was a sincere effort to catch up and come to grips with reality, no matter how distasteful it might have seemed to him.
Hemingway never made such an effort. The strength of his youth became rigidity as he grew older, and his last book was about Paris in the Twenties.....Like many another writer, Hemingway did his best work when he felt he was standing on something solid - like an Idaho mountainside, or a sense of conviction."
Now, Thompson was no Fitzgerald, and try as he might he could never quite write an even halfway decent Hemingwayesque novel, this despite the fact that he wrote thousands, if not millions, of phrases, paragraphs and entire journalistic set pieces in that strange Hemingway/Gonzo fusion that in the end became cliche for all to see, both in print and, especially, all over the Blogosphere. But back in the days when he was really stomping on the terra, a careful read always gave you the sense that it was more than just technique and that HST was standing hard on conviction, even when he was going a hundred miles an hour...
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"...Revive the protest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery … which IS front and center …in the city, where the action will draw the most attention. BUT do it only one day a week …. say every Friday. That’s every Friday, all year round … with featured speakers at Noon, keeping up the message … every Friday, every week.
The single Day of Action will allow thousands of people … underpaid workers, unemployed workers, involuntary part-time workers, struggling single or coupled parents, union supporters, seniors, overpaying renters, aspiring homeowners, and thousands of others who understand and support the true objectives … to show up for an hour or two or for the day and take part, without giving up their entire lives and bedding down in the bushes.
Community leaders, union leaders, even on-side politicians, writers, actors and who knows, even bloggers, could take part in that kind of sustained protest and express their support for the movement...."
..."It’s time for the NPA to get out a huge vacuum and suck up all the people who think every political opponent is evil, and that job No. 1 is to eliminate them," Ladner writes.
"It’s a tiresome, downer strategy borne of three years of citycaucus.com blog’s partisan putdowns – hilarious to family and friends, but tedious and irritating to anyone who cares more about the city than about hating Vision and COPE (RIP). (Was that blog really funded by former mayor Sam Sullivan’s 2008 election war chest?)"...
Sunday, November 27, 2011
...Preparation for the Grey Cup hit a snag late Saturday when crews discovered water dripping from the roof of the newly renovated B.C. Place stadium.
Howard Crosley, B.C. Place's general manager, said the leak has been patched and will be double-checked before five-million viewers tune in to watch the big show....
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The 99th Grey Cup is the new stadium's national coming out party. It's expected to have a television audience of five million people.
"It's something very important for them to make sure they get it right, because 563 million dollars has been spent on this renovation -- just over half on the roof itself," business commentator Tom Mayenknecht said. "It's got to be a big concern for them because they do not want this to be a story after the Grey Cup that fans had rain coming on them."...
Why no plan? Clark and the other ministers never offered a coherent reason.
Because there isn’t one.
The facts are clear. The annual national look at child poverty, released by First Call, an advocacy group, found that 12 per cent to 16.4 per cent of B.C. children were living in poverty in 2009. That’s the highest proportion of poor kids of any province, a dismal ranking B.C. has retained for eight years. (You can debate poverty measures, but the fact remains this province is the worst.)...
...Clark said the government doesn’t need a plan. It’s doing things like raising the minimum wage and providing housing supports and launching job strategies. Those will help reduce child poverty.
Maybe, though it’s an odd claim since the government has insisted for most of the last decade that raising the minimum wage wouldn’t reduce poverty.
But a bunch of random actions aren’t a plan. There’s no objective, even a modest one like moving B.C. from the worst in Canada to the seventh worst. There’s no estimate of the effect of any actions on reducing poverty..."
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
November 23, 2011
From: Sam Sullivan, Michael Harcourt, Larry Campbell, and Philip Owen
To: All B.C. MPs, MLAs, Mayors and Councillors
Re: Call to Action – Marijuana prohibition and its effects on violent crime, community safety, and the health and well-being of our citizens
As former Mayors of the City of Vancouver, we are asking all elected leaders in British Columbia to speak out about the ineffectiveness and harms of cannabis prohibition.
Marijuana prohibition is – without question – a failed policy. It is creating violent, gang-related crime in our communities and fear among our citizens, and adding financial costs for all levels of government at a time when we can least afford them. Politicians cannot ignore the status quo any longer; they must develop and deliver alternative marijuana policies that avoid the social and criminal harms that stem directly from cannabis prohibition.
Among the most pressing issues is the contribution that cannabis prohibition has made to organized crime and gang violence. The Fraser Institute has estimated that B.C.’s illegal cannabis trade may be worth up to $7 billion dollars annually. This massive illegal market drives violence in communities throughout the province. New thinking, new policies and collaboration across party lines are required to protect our communities and make them safer.
Unfortunately, research and practical experience from Canada, the U.S. and elsewhere clearly demonstrates that increasing anti-cannabis law enforcement strategies will not reduce the availability to young people. Cannabis prohibition has failed globally. While we fully recognize that marijuana is not without health- related harms, the failure of cannabis prohibition to reduce the availability of the drug to young people requires an urgent and novel response.
We agree with the Stop the Violence BC coalition and the criminologists, economists, lawyers, law enforcement and public health experts under its umbrella: we must move from a violent unregulated market to a strictly regulated cannabis market that is based on a public health framework. We believe a legally regulated market for adult cannabis use has the potential to reduce rates of cannabis use while at the same time directly addressing organized crime concerns by starving them of this cash cow. A regulated market would enable governments to improve community health and safety while at the same time raising millions in tax revenue.
The time for action is now. A recent Angus Reid poll demonstrated that 69% of British Columbians believe that chasing and arresting marijuana producers andsellers is ineffective and that British Columbians would be better off taxing and regulating the adult use of marijuana. We fully agree.
Clearly, elected officials are out of step with their public on marijuana prohibition. It is time that elected officials enter the debate and deliver specific proposals to address the easy availability of cannabis to youth and the organized crime concerns stemming directly from cannabis prohibition.
If you agree, please step forward, join this call for change and add your influential voice to the debate. In addition, we encourage you to notify Stop the Violence BC of your endorsement so that they may profile your support and adjust their education efforts accordingly.
If you disagree, there is nevertheless an ethical and moral obligation to join the debate, because the stakes for our communities, our youth and our fellow British Columbians are so high.
Politicians of all stripes – not just at the federal level – must respond before further damage is done to our B.C. communities. We must break the silence on this issue. The status quo must change.
Sam Sullivan, Mayor of Vancouver, 2005-2008
Larry Campbell, Mayor of Vancouver, 2002-2005
Philip Owen, Mayor of Vancouver, 1993-2002
Mike Harcourt, Mayor of Vancouver, 1980-1986
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
...the voters have spoken, decisively rejecting a Mayoral campaign based on puerile, sophomoric, gotcha-style attacks and trivial wedge issues.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
"If there is any surveillance, Mr. Collins says it should be disclosed because it will completely reveal that he wasn't involved [in any wrongdoing]," Mr. Roberts said.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
"Attorney-General Shirley Bond says the (Cambell-Clark) government is not trying to prevent the release of more documents related to the Basi-Virk deal to the Auditor-General.
The auditor has filed a new court application seeking material around the deal, but Bond says that's a necessary step.
Bond says in fact the government is not holding back documents that are covered by cabinet privelege.
She says this is about solicitor-client privelege related to billing information, and so a court does need to give permission for that information to be released....."
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
"...(T)he auditor general filed a petition with the B.C. Supreme Court that came to light Tuesday. If he gets what he's after, it could fill his desk to overflowing with specific details about the legal bills and how the taxpayers ended up paying them.
Doyle's office is working on an audit of all special indemnities granted by the government over the last several years, Basi and Virk's included. There have been about 100 such deals struck and the audit is to determine if taxpayers got value for the money.
Based on his work to date, Doyle appears quite skeptical of the arrangements. In requesting full access to all details of the two men's indemnities, Doyle states to the court there are a number of apparent problems with such deals.
They are granted outside of established policy, there is no set approval process and government staff may not fully understand what they're doing in processing such indemnities, he said. And in a few cases, where the minister of finance approves an indemnity, usually for an elected politician, "the approval is not supported by legal advice from the attorney general's ministry."....
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
We gave up our table to the f*ckers and sat down a couple tables away from where I could observe them..."