Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Seventy - Three


The number of fantastic catches a way done gone Willie Mays made patrolling Shea Stadium's center field during the last year of his career which, not coincidentally, was 1973?
......Not a chance......

The number of times gopher-boy Gordon Campbell went googlie over young W5 reporter Carole Taylor when she came to town to interview the big boss man, Art Phillips, in 1974?
......Not even close.....

The number of times Vancouver Alderperson Carole Taylor, and now spouse of former big boss man Art Phillips, made goo-goo eyes at a prematurely greying, but still slim and trim, Mayor Gordon 'Marathon Man' Campbell during City Council meetings in 1988.
....Not even once, she was admonishing him to ignore the antics of that infamous lefty power trio from days gone by - Davies, Ericksen and Rankin....

The number of times not-so-golden-boy Gordon Campbell had mean thoughts about Vaughn Palmer after the latter called him the BC Liberal Party's 'worst handicap' in 1997.
....Mean thoughts? Gordo? Are you kidding?.....

The number of times that born-again neandercon Premier Gordon Campbell and his Minister of Fish Fries, John van Dongen, said that independent scientists in general, and Alexandra Morton in particular, don't matter since they came to power in 2001?
.....Maybe, if you multiply by, say, a thousand......

The number of times Rafe Mair called Messrs. Campbell and van Dongen on the carpet for their ridiculous fish fry statements since 2001?
....Perhaps, if you multiply by, say, a million....

The fold increase in sea lice found on wild salmon that pass within 30 km of open-pen fish farms that are clogging British Columbia's coastline in 2005?

Stranger than fiction part of the story......this is a big deal on the mainstream media map the world over, but still not a peep out of the CanWest (not)Global Monolith as we get ready to push the 'publish post' button.


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Anatomy of a Meme, Part I


My brother and his family came over for dinner last night

I'll call him Don here, which is his real name, but we'll pretend it's not.

If you think I am a waygone Lefty, well, you should hear Don talk.

I may support the labour movement and almost all it stands for, but my brother lives it and breathes it around the clock - literally.

Anyway, as the evening wound down (after the kids had done their performance of 'Cats' in the basement - one more good reason not to have Cable!) the talk turned, as was inevitable, to the upcoming Provincial Election.

The upshot of it was that Don bemoans the fact that our side seems unwilling to take it to the other side and 'give 'em a taste or their own medicine' on the Prop/Spin front.

You see, in a way, my brother got to the same place that Billmon just arrived at, only in Don's case his train pulled into the Smackdown Station a long time ago.

Four years ago to be exact, back during the 2001 election campaign, where Don spent endless hours sitting in stuffy Union halls listening to people like former Premier, and no longer Dipper, Ujjal Dosanjh wimp out and admit that we'd made mistakes without offering up anything in the way of significant Firewalls and/or Counterinsurgency Strategies to try and reduce the number of inciendiary spincycle devices and rhetorical bunker-busters that were raining down on us from all quarters of the corporate media monolith that has (or perhaps I should say "had") a stranglehold on information dissemination in this Province. And after the extreme drubbing we took in that election (77 to 2 for those who are not in the immediate vicinity) my brother decided that the only way to beat these people is to get down in the muck with them and start throwing the haymakers, non-stop.

Now, as you can see from my previous posts here I feel somewhat differently. While opininated, I try my best to be less strident, something that I hope is reinforced by my comments at other places in the bloggodome - a few of which you may have inadvertently run in to yourself in your cyber-travels*.

Essentially, for me at least, it comes down to this: I don't want us to win by building a more viscious Obfuscation Machine, even if it does serve to smackdown the Neandercons for good (or at least for another hundred years or so before they take another shot ressurecting the Gilded Age in all it's glory).


Because, I figure that if that were to happen the truth really would be on the ropes. What's more the ideological poles would start to bend towards each other which, ultimately, would be good for no one.....

And that is the position I took with my brother last night even though I know it exasperates the hell out of him, and even though I know that another redmeat Lieberal majority will not have nearly the direct negative impact on me and mine as it will on him and his.

But then later, after everyone had left, and I was doing the last of the dishes in a dark, quiet and comfortable house in a formerly working-class East Vancouver neighborhood where the mean house price is fast approaching $500,000 I got to there a third way in the AgitProp game that allows you to 'Stick it To the Man' while simultaneously 'Sticking to the Truth', as it were?

And that's when the lightbulb went off (think I was scrubbing the potato pot at the time) and I came to the conclusion that it might be worth seriously analyzing my extremely minor role in 'T-Shirt Gate' which all started when an unexpected E-mail floated lazily out of the ether from Citizen K...........

......stay tuned for Part II, coming soon to a bloggodome near you......

Exception to the rule Update: 'discussions' about any aspect, either real or imagined, of Intelligent Design, which drive me so far around the bend that I stop making any sense whatsoever; happened recently over at pogge's place where I came out sounding like an advocate, I think....still apologizing for that one.


The Price

Balad AirBase, Iraq

From Johny Dwyer of the NY Times Magazine:

As of March 18, 11,344 American soldiers had been injured in the war in Iraq......

"These young kids are heroes," says Col. Joseph Brennan, a head and neck surgeon. "Somebody's got to pay the price. And these kids are paying the price."

To which one can only ask - why?

Why does any kid, no matter where they are from, have to pay that price, or worse, for no good reason at all?

Can also be reached via the always fine TruthOut.Org

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Coming Soon to a Congress Near You...


There's no easy way to admit this......

In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of socalled evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies.....

Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.

Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory: it doesn't get bogged down in details.

Good journalism values balance above all else..... In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions.

Get ready for a new Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can't work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and imperil national security, you won't hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration's antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that's not our concern.... This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science.....

And it will start on April Fools' Day.


Once you've stopped laughing, go read it all, then take a deep breath and realize the guts this thing took.

Oh sure, it's cloaked in humor but what it really does is put truth up on the table with all the lies and the half truths for all to see (and smell).

And in these times this kind of effort is the only thing that can save us.

But it will only work if a significant proportion of mainstream media outlets get up the gumption to do the same - in all fields.


Because there is safety against the targetted smear in numbers.

And even more importantly, once a few get going others in the media that want to do the right thing (and their editors) will be emboldened to do so.

And if that happens the Obfuscators (love that word, sounds as sordid as what it actually describes) will be forced out into the open to defend their lies and half-truths day after day after day after day until they either give up the ghost or dry up and tumble down the idiot wind with last remaining shreds of yesterday's fish wrap.

So, how are we going to help make that happen?

Huge Thanks: to Liz at Blondesense for posting the letter in its entirety, especially for those that can't get past the subscription wailing wall, and for helping us see obfuscation for what it really is.
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: especially for our South of 49th Readers....if the hearings are held, who gets to reprise the role of Sen. McCarthy?


Friday, March 25, 2005

In The End...

Anschluss Rising
Canuckistained (blood red)

......We Will All Love Guns.

By way of Rick Barnes, Aislin nails it.


Res Ipsa Loquitur.....

The High-WaterMark

.....which means "The Thing That Speaks For Itself".

That, along with "Let The Good Times Roll", was one of the favorite mottos of Hunter S. Thompson, and when he died I suggested that it was no more.

Now, I'm not so sure.


Even if you are not a Thompson freak you are probably acquainted with his infamous line about the vision of the highwater mark that he saw in the Mojave Deseert, circa 1971.

But just as a reminder of the work of a man at the top of his game, as it were, here it is word for word:

"We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark— the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

So forget all that 'He Who Makes a Beast of Himself to Get Rid of the Pain of Being a Man' stuff for a minute, because there is something else to consider here.

Something bigger.

Because if you go back to Thompson's mid-60's writing it is a beautiful, savage thing. And from it you can catch glimpses of life, the real thing, both in its darkness and its light.

And so, while I'm convinced that his high-water vision had the ring of truth to him at the time, I don't think that Mr. Thompson ever really believed it.

And while he always said that his job was to chronicle the 'Death of the American Dream' I don't think he really believed that either.

Because if you've really read Thompson you also know that, despite the great gathering of the darkness that came with Nixon's stomping of McGovern, Ford's pardoning of Nixon, the Hawks' false-deification of Reagan, the emergence of the New Dumb, the squashing of his own private Idaho from the Mankiewicz days - Gary Hart, the Atwater-aided Willie Horton-abetted one term aberration of George HW 'Sushi Barfing' Bush, and, finally, the lynching of Clinton by the unholy Scaife/Coors/Mellon Trinity, he never lost sight of the light.

I felt the same way when I stumbled upon Billmon's Whiskey Bar awhile back.

Back in the days when he still ran comments.

This time last year both Thompson and Billmon were still stomping on the terra, the former only occasionally, the latter every single bloody day (sometimes twice, or even three times per).

But both collided hard against something that could not be avoided in the run-up to the next big swindle - the re-unification of the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Aileswater/Rovian Heartless Ones during the re-election campaign of George W. 'Sushi Cortex' Bush.

Which, of course, was the stomping of the truth.

For Thompson, it was too much and in the end I think maybe the light at the end of the Dream tunnel really did go out, because, as quoted by Billmon:

Starting around the time George W. Bush got re-elected, Hunter descended into a deep funk. Traditionally, when the blues appeared it would last for a day or two and then his arch humor would creep back in full force . . . But not in November 2004. The jokes disappeared and never came back, replaced by incessant talk of his having fulfilled his life mission. Death was now always on the table.

Rolling Stone
Contentment Was Not Enough
March 24, 2005

Billmon too gave up the ghost, ostensibly because:

"What I finally had to confront was the fact that truth alone is impotent in the face of modern propaganda techniques – as developed, field tested, refined and deployed by Madison Avenue, the Pentagon, the think tanks, the marketing departments of major corporations, the communications departments of major research universities, etc. To paraphrase Hannah Arendt, the peculiar vulnerability of historical truth (which means political truth) is that it isn’t inherently more plausible than outright lies, since the facts could always have been otherwise."

Which scared the hell out of me, because, despite his ability to chronicle all that was going wrong with America, like Thompson, I always felt that, deep down, Billmon also believed in all that America could, and should, be.

But all is not lost.

Because now, suddenly, Billmon is back.

And sure, he can pretend it's because of that monkey he just can't quite get off is back:

"But as I’ve noted before, blogging is a strange drug. When you’re clean, it’s not too hard to stay clean. But once you start using the stuff again . . . man, the monkey can get his claws in your back pretty damn fast. So one post led to another, and then another. And, well, pretty soon I was back freebasing."

Or, he can pretend that he's learned to live with futility:

"American democracy will continue to vegetate in the chronic ward, occasionally moaning or drooling or wetting itself, until someone in authority finally orders the feeding tube pulled out....The Republican Party no doubt will continue to metastasize into an unholy alliance of Christian authoritarians and nationalist xenophobes. Little Green Footballs uber alles. The world, in other words, no doubt will continue heading for hell in a hand basket. But I guess I’ve learned to accept futility. Or at least, I’ve decided it isn’t good or sufficient reason to lock up the liquor cabinet and shut down the bar."

But we know it's something more than that.

Because we now know that, through it all, Billmon has kept a candle in the window.

And we know that that candle, and a thousand others like it, are throwing a small but growing light on the initials of a crazy hillbilly from Louisville that are etched in the stone above that old high-water mark far, far out in the darkness.

And that is a beautiful and sometimes savage thing.

Update: Credit where credit is due. The 'Sushi Barfing' thing is from another writer with a very different, yet strangely congruent, vision, Annie Lamott.


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Identity Crisis?


Today's the day we start to find out if we're still the Country we think we are, or if the Anschluss has truly begun.

And no, we're not talking about that made-for-TV 'Three Amigos' thing down in Texas.

Instead, it's the day American Anti-Iraq-War Warrior Jeremy Hinzman finds out about his refugee claim.


Wednesday, March 23, 2005

He Who Must Be Punishered



Second source, courtesy of Thursday, is in the bag.


Cluffie Must Go! Vol V



We're willing to admit that it's not all CBC Vancouver morning man Rick Cluff's fault this time around.

But we do believe that Cluffie's continued puffery in all matters serious is symptomatic of the continued disintegration of the Nation's Broadcaster.


What really got a bug in our ear this morning was the now ubiquitous 'TalkBack' crutch.

Essentially, this is a device where people are invited to phone in and 'give their views' after an interview or talking-head piece on an important subject.

All fine and good in concept, but only if the producers, fact checkers, and hosts are willing to do their jobs assiduously.

But it is essentially crap that gets in the way of rational discourse by obfuscating evidence, reason, and fact when it is used as "he said/she said, two-sides-of-the-same-coin" filler that gutless Mothercorp administrators love because it is cheap and it offends no one.

Case in point: this morning a very well-meaning lady called the TalkBack line to bemoan the fact that Terri Schiavo is being starved and forcibly euthanized because of her husband's decision to have her feeding tube removed.

Now, this lady should in no way be chastized for making these statements.

It's just that the CBC should either not run such comments or, if they do, they should make a moderating statement to clarify the facts.

For example, here are two facts that were not made clear by P. Cluffie, either before or after he played the Talkback Clip in question:

#1) Ms Schiavo is not being 'starved' to death because she is no longer capable of perceiving hunger. Her cerebral cortex with it's billions of neurons and trillions of synaptic connections is gone; it has been replaced by cerebral spinal fluid.

#2) The withdrawl of a manufactured medical device that is keeping someone alive is not euthanasia. This is the same thing as choosing to remove a respirator when someone is braindead after a massive stroke. Despite what the Rovians and their Corporate Media Shills would like their Base (and the lady who innocently called the 'TalkBack' line) to think, Ms. Schiavo is not being murdered.

Given these facts, we would like to suggest that the critical point to be discussed here is not whether Ms. Schaivo's husband should be allowed to pull the plug (ie. this is not arguable in the law, either here or in the States, which is why successive judges have refused to grant injunctions), but instead whether more humane ways of dealing with a certain, yet slow death, should be seriously considered.

As the fact-challenged 'Senator from Shrubland', Tom DeLay, said last weekend:

"If you did this to an animal you would be thrown in jail."


And if Mr. DeLay and his kind would stop grandstanding and instead facilitate the passage of humane death and dying laws there would be no need to inflict this kind of thing on anyone or their families.

Unfortunately, you won't hear P. Cluffie talk about really hard stuff like this as long as he can duck the toughest job of a real jounalist, which is to separate the wheat from the chaff. Instead, he falls back on his unmoderated 'Talk Back' breaks, his hourly duels with Kevin Sylvester, and now, worst of all, his constant stream of inane chatter with the newly installed Traffic Girl.

Which is a real shame, because as CBC Radio apes the corporate Morning Zoo shows in an effort to become more 'relevant' for a younger demographic it is becoming less and less relevant as a disseminator of insightful news, analysis and comment.

Update: In case you were wondering, cerebral spinal fluid, or C.S.F., is a clear, plasma-like fluid. It contains no cells - stem, nervous, or otherwise. Essentially, it is saline with a bit of protein in it; kind of like the stuff you wash your contact lenses in. That is what Ms. Schaivo's brain has become over the last 15 years, and no amount of wishful thinking, or parsing of the prognosis by the anti-Hippocrates incarnate, Bill Frist, or now the Jebbinator is going to change that.
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: Looks like 'renowned' and Nobel Prize 'nominated' Fristian prognosis parser, neurologist William Hammesfahr may not be all he has been hyped to be .


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Does Sam Walton Have Something Against....


El Gordo?

Thanks to KayberToss for the link.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Big Frank and the Shillophant



I know a lot of things are better now than when I was a kid.

Especially our inclusiveness towards each other - in almost all of our forms.

But sometimes I wonder why we have decided to give so much of it up.

Why we have convinced ourselves that hopping into the excrement at the bottom of the Neandercon's Newly Gilded Cage is a good place to be.

In fact, it's gotten to the point where I sometimes figure we've crossed over to the darkside of a Frank Capra story.

You know, like that part in 'It's a Wonderful Life' where Bedford Falls turns into Potterville.

Case in point: Casinos everywhere.

Don't get me wrong. I like Casinos and I like Vegas.

It's just that I also like to drive through the bats near Barstow to get there, get stupid for a few days, stop to hit fungos in the desert on the way home, and then get on with my life.

What I don't like is going for a bike ride with my kids along Vancouver's Seawall and then, suddenly, out of nowhere having to run a gauntlet of Security, Stepford Molls, and Pseudo-Sopranos as we pass the old Expo '86 site.

And if it was only the Mob running a shady show I might be able to live with it.

But what I can't handle is the likes of Big Frank Stronach slathering it up as good 'ol fashioned fun and wholesome entertainment for the Entire Noocuelar Family.

Belinda's included.

And never forget that Potter.....errrrr....Stronach always has his legitimizing ducks in a row.

Why else would he have recently hired former US Ambassador, and Rovian Shillophant, Paul 'Gucci' Celluci, to help smooth things over both North and South of the border.

Influence doesn't come any better than that.

But then again, hey!

Maybe if Big Frank really steps up to the plate and becomes a Super Ranger, "Craps at the Casino" and "Trifectas at the Track" will become a Keystone Investment Golden Arm of that Social Security Privatization Plan that has not quite yet emerged from Mr. Bush's Brain.

Update: Patricia over at Blondesense has the South of 49th view on SS 'Gambling Account's in a fabulous bit of snarkolepsy she calls 'Viva Lost Wages'

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The New Pornlaunderers

Prince Rupert, British Columbia

Looks like Heavy Kevvie has gotten the green light from the Bridge to use a little Slushie to buy Prince Rupert's Ridley Coal Terminal from the Feds:
"The British Columbia government is negotiating with Ottawa to buy Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal shipping terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C. Provincial Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon yesterday said the province approached Ottawa after learning that the federal government was talking to prospective buyers about the facility, which opened in 1984. B.C. wanted to ensure open access to the facility, something that might have been threatened had the terminal been sold to a private company, Mr. Falcon said...

So, apparently, the Falcon wants to ensure open access.

For Whom?

The Snowman?

Balderdash, we say.

Here's our prediction: The SS Gordo makes a small investment now ($10 million tops)....takes it out for a short term, pre-election savior spin....then a year from now, two tops, the terminal is quietly sold to the bidder of the Government's choosing for a sweetheart deal and an even sweeter closed-shop contract.

We're not sure what their double secret probation name for this scam is but we call it "Privatization Laundering".

It's new, it's sexy, and it will have the Multinats drooling all over themselves in anticipation.

And like all perversions it will gain strength with repetition.

Just imagine the circle of frenzied Corporate Onaism that will ensue when it comes time to sell off, oh say, Manning Park?


And Justice For All?


Thursday has an excellent post up on the Air India verdict that ultimately brings us around to the eminently sensible conclusion that the justice system may have actually performed a required correction that was necessitated by a very flawed National Policing system that must be fixed.

Thus, opportunistic politically expedient bleatings to the contrary, if there is to be a public inquiry it should focus on the latter, not the former.

Update: Interesting that Thursday and Michael Enright (see this am's Sunday Morning editorial) are pretty much on the same page - except the former beat the latter to the punch and offers up much better evidence to support their conclusion.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Where Have all the Numbers Gone?


Regular contributor eteba from Quebec is quite rightly despondent:

"A little over 2 years ago we were 135,000,last year 25,000 and today 8,000.
It was quite dissappointing because we had a beautiful, sunny and warm day."

It was a similar situation here as well, for total numbers at least.

But I did notice a subtle shift in the crowd because mixed in with the usual suspects there seemed to be a higher percentage of families at Sunset Beach in Vancouver's West End today.

And the unembedded Dahr Jamail, whose speech was short and to the point, was magnificent.

Something I didn't know is that his has been a DIY operation from the beginning. Essentially, Jamail is a guy from Anchorage Alaska who got so upset with the (non)reporting of the Naked Aggression/Occupation that he decided to go to Iraq himself.

He also pointed out that the Main Stream Media in North America has done its job to keep it all off the front pages, and then described the current situation in Fallujah in detail. What is abundantly clear is that the city is a concentration camp, complete with retinal scans for all residents.

And what percentage of North Americans knows this, or that it is being done in their name?

Jamail also pointed out that the Bush Empire has demonstrated that it does not care one iota about 'protest as usual' . Thus, he believes that we must undertake a concerted, 3-pronged peaceful effort to topple the Empire by:

1) Unmasking the entire MSMedia (ie. not just Miller and Gannon) as shills
2) Actively supporting military resisters in the US and other 'coalition' countries
3) Making corporations that support and/or profit from the occupation pay.

Most importantly, he said, these are things that we, the commoners, can make happen on a DIY level.

I agree with him.


Get The Real Story on Iraq - Today!

Vancouver, British Columbia

Big anti-war rally in Vancouver today.

March starts @ 11:30 south side of Burrard Bridge.

Rally starts @ 1:00pm Sunset Beach.

Real life, on the ground Iraqi correspondent/blogger Dahr Jamail is speaking!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Mushie Goes Yard

This Year's Model
WMDVille, Pakistan

Unlike baseball players, dictators don't need steroids to hit the long bomb.

"Pakistan successfully test-fired its longest-range, nuclear-capable missile Saturday.....

The Shaheen II missile has a range of 1,250 miles and it successfully hit the target, said Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for the Pakistan army....

President Gen. Pervez Musharraf witnessed the test and congratulated the missile's developers, the military said in a statement.

"This missile which incorporates an advanced two-stage solid motor technology, can carry all types of conventional and nuclear warheads," the statement said."

Which got us to wondering.....Was it his highestmajor(non)demodomo Generalissimo Musharraf who took those WMD's from under the Twig's Oval Office couch?

To paraphrase the Rumskullian One.... "You go to war with the Dictators you have, not the Dictators you wished you had." (although some might dispute that with respect to the Italian guy).


The (red)Meat Shall Inherit The Earth


Was good to hear SS Gordon Campbell spinmeistress Erin Airton call in Rafe Mair's show from the Conservative Alliance Convention this morning.

Not that Ms. Airton had much to say of substance, because every time a remotely tough question was asked she jumped in before his Mairness was finished by yelling 'Absolutely!'

In fact it was such a transparent demonstration of the old 'Cut 'em Off at the Pass with Bluster' spincycle strategy that one got the impression that if Rafe had asked......

"Is it true that Stephen Harper is an unhinged, raving lunatic who is actually the Manchurian Trojan Horse Candidate of the Ailene Chretien Wing of the neoKinsellerFeller Whig'-O-Tronic Party?"

......that Airton would have jumped in with an:

"Absolutely Rafe!
And this is something we will try our hardest to reach consensus on by Monday."

But all of that speculation is neither here nor there when it comes to us here in B.C.

Because what was most illuminating was when Ms. Airton identified herself as a member of the far-right FundieWing of the BigHoley Alliance Tent reportedly headquartered high in the rafters of the SkyWalkBar of Calgary International Airport.

Which is a very important thing to remember the next time you see, hear or read Ms. Airton shilling for Mr. Campbell and the so-called B.C. 'Liberal' Party*.

*'so-called' regardless whether or not they shell out more big bucks and/or political capital to bring in a few more waiver wire 'rent-a-centrist candidates' like her Mothercorpness Carole Taylor.



Ian King has switched into glide with his BallotBox Bulldog column in Terminal City.

It will be a weekly focus on the BC Provincial Election Campaign right through May 17th and we're looking forward to it.

This week he nails the 5 W's on Gordon Campbell's recruitment of former MotherCorp Honcho Carole Taylor to run for the (not)Liberals in Vancouver Langara:

".....What happened to the liberal wing, such as it is, of the BC Liberal party? The prominent ones were all quitting on him (Campbell). Val Anderson, that rare Liberal who wasn’t enthusiastic about slashing social spending, was retiring after 14 years. Christy Clark decided to spend time with her family, then Gary Collins packed it in to play airline CEO.

Geoff Plant’s resignation last week was the latest blow, and a tough one for the leader and party.

Campbell’s top lieutenants were no longer federal Liberals, save Colin Hansen; instead, he was stuck with a crew drawn from the federal Conservative party and its Reform/Alliance precursors. Competent politicians they are, but all that not-just-fiscal conservatism might alienate the delicate sensibilities of voters outside the Bible belt.......

......So who was Campbell gonna call other than CBC board chair and former Vancouver City Councillor Carole Taylor? She’s a small-l and big-L Liberal, well-known, appeals to voters across party lines, and Cabinet-grade material. This was a huge score, considering the alternatives...."

It's worth reading the entire thing; solid stuff all around.

Only one thing missing......that pesky 6th W.



Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Other Roosevelt

Uncle Dick's Private Reserve
The Drilling Fields, Alaska

One of the biggest lies being surgically inserted/insinuated into George W. Bush's 60 day/60 city Bamboozle Palooza Tour is the notion that Franklin Delano Roosevelt himself wanted 'private' accounts to be part of Social Security way back in the beginning.

Of course, this makes about as much sense as suggesting that FDR supported the rise of Hitler because a War in Europe would help America claw its way out of the Great Depression.

Which is not to say that the latter scenario won't be recycled by the Rovians in, say, the 'Jeb Years' when Rupert Murdoch's designated screamer replacement for the newly annointed FCC uberBoss Bill O'Reilly, Ashton Kutcher, declares:

'Like, Dude, don't you know we had to invent that Mushie guy in Pakistan so we could put the people to work building all these bunker-busting nukes so we could, like, punk him!'

Which got us to wondering if the current Bush out front of the Carlyle Curtain, his Twiggness, has ever heard of that other Roosevelt, Theodore.

Because, as Joel Connelly of the Seattle PI points out, with yesterday's Senate vote to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, now is a good time to remember Teddy:

"Under President Theodore Roosevelt, America was coming out of the Gilded Age. Given its name by Mark Twain, the Gilded Age was the opulent, corrupt era of the late 19th century in which corporate moguls ruled the country.

The trust-busting Roosevelt inaugurated a progressive era.

He created our national forest system and designated national monuments in the Grand Canyon and Olympic Mountains. He protected the vast estuary of Alaska's Copper River Delta from exploitation by greedy coal barons."

But we won't hold our breath. After all, rumour has it that the only Theodore the Twig is familiar with is the one who sings with Alvin, and we're not talkin' about Dave and the Blasters.

And besides, as he has stated many times before, the Twig only learns new stuff when his minions put it right under his nose (or sneak it into ESPN-2 "editorials" between bouts of celebrity poker and the tractor pulls).

And those minions sure as heck aren't going to start dredging up the legacy of the Tedster at this moment of inflammatory infamy.


Because TR was a Republican.

Update: As a couple of South of 49th readers have pointed out, Eisenhower was a Republican too - and it was he who signed off on the ANWR just prior to cleaning his out his desk for Jack Kennedy in 1960.
DoubleSecretProbation Update: We on the Left Coast of Canuckistan should not be smug and/or complacent on this issue. After all, Disco Dick Neufeld has his 6 million dollar propaganda man, Steve Simons working overtime trying to do the same thing in the Hecate Straight.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Taylor or Phillips?

Vancouver, British Columbia

Lots of folks, David Schreck and Rick Barnes included, are wondering about the sweetheart deal that Gordon Campbell must have given to Carole Taylor to get her to run.

However, we wonder if there isn't an element of long past due chits and IOU's that are finally being called here.

After all, Mr. Campbell has quite a history with Ms. Taylor's husband, former Vancouver Mayor Art Phillips, which continued after he emerged, reborn, as the Man from Marathon.

This from el Gordo's 'official' biography.

".....He (Campbell) then became an assistant to former Vancouver mayor Art Phillips. From 1976 to 1981, he worked with Marathon Realty, where he became general manager of development. In 1981, he founded Citycore Development Corporation."

In other words, if there are any hardnosed young journos out there that really want to get to the bottom of this they may want to consider following the

Update: Ian King makes an excellent point about the ripple effect that this move could have on the upcoming Vancouver civic election.
(or should that be 'vortex' effect?).

No Guantanamos Allowed

Vancouver, British Columbia

Regardless the verdict later today, it is important consider how the Air India Act of Terrorism has finally been dealt with here - openly, publicly and with habeus corpus intact.

Enough said.

(especially when considering the true implications of the recently proposed Fortress North America).

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Cluffie Must Go, Vol III

The MotherCorp (WirelessVersion)

National Sports reporter Kevin 'Danny Edwards' Sylvester cleaned-up on local CBC morning man Rick Cluff once again today.

This time out it was Sylvester took P. Cluffie around the block at 37 minutes past every hour to bash his shins on firehydrants while he tried to get a grip on Shakespearean quotes inpired by the 'Ides of March'.

The repeated exchanges were a little bit Inigo Montoya leading Fezzick haltingly down the rhyming couplet path, except for the fact that the latter appears to be significantly more quick-witted than P. Cluffie.

Then, finally, the kicker came during the 8:15 am wrap-up when Heavy Kevvie (who just might be angling for Cluffie's chair) manouevered the Clue-Challenged One into essentially begging for the delivery of this devastating zinger.........

'My Kingdom for a Host!'


Update: As pointed out by reader B.A.D., a bizarre thing about the zinger was the fact that it had P. Cluffie guffawing with what seemed like genuine laughter.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blue Ribbons....

Fortress North America

.....Are for Losers and Cheap Beer*.

There are at least 30 million, give or take a few red ensigners, good reasons to stomp the life out of every single one of the recommendations from the 'Blue-ribbon Tri-National Task Force' that were unveiled in Washington yesterday.

Unfortunately, we don't have time to go into them now.

Suffice it to say, we are willing to give 1-7 odds that if we give in to this stealth Anschluss it will be a race to the retinal-scanned, push-polled bottom of the barrel that will result in our no longer civil discourse being led by people like this guy.

Enough said (or should that be seen).

* from Pabst and/or Moorsons

Living Vicariously....

Hanoi, NoLongerNorthVietnam

Through our friend Per.....who is now in Vietnam:

"We reached Hanoi at around 11pm after a brief rain shower, the first I've experienced since leaving Dhaka, and were dropped off (after considerable haggling and negotiating fares with the Kip, Baht and US dollars we possessed) in the city's Old Quarter next to a great hostel offering clean singles with hot water for $5 USD per night. Not having any Vietnamese Dong at our disposal, and with me $20 in debt to my Canadian traveling mates from Toronto, we forced the bus to pull over at the first ATM we had seen since Vientiane to stock up on well needed funds - 1 million Dong, about 75 USD, in my case."

Another example of what can happen to a place when certain Imperial Powers saving the world for somebody's Democracy finally get the heck out.

Also, glad to know we can now update our tired old joke about dinner and a movie costing '1 Million Lira'!

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Circle Game

Lake Cowichan, British Columbia

An excellent post from sometime reader Thursday on Mr. Campbell's proxy (through Little Lord Mayencourt) 'War on the Poor' as a replay of that which has already played out in Mike Harris' Ontario:

"In Ontario, the slashing of the social safety net was accompanied by draconian laws against the poorest people, and there was a backlash. In Vancouver, there's going to be much the same....

....So what exactly does the Safe Streets law do? Not much, really: it stops you and I from having to listen to someone beg for their survival if we're in our cars, or at a bus stop, or waiting for the crosswalk light to change. Of course, it makes the sidewalks a little prettier for the delegates from the IOC when they take a look at our progress with the Olympic venues, and that's what's really important, isn't it? What this law allows is the police to remove anyone that is undesirable from sight, and put them in jail instead. Las Vegas does much the same thing, with loitering and public drunkeness being enforced laws only if you don't look like you can afford to gamble."

And the scary part?

The folks running the SS Gordon Campbell would probably love it if Vancouver were to become Vegas North. And if they needed a little 'Organized' help busting the Unions, well, so be it.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I Need a Slushie!

Vancouver, British Columbia

The Atlanta Thrashers inaugural play-by-play broadcaster, Scott Ferrall, was actually a shock jocker who loved to scream "I need a Freshie, I Need a Freshie!" on those (very) rare occasions the very crappy team he was shilling for scored.

And now it appears that our own Gordon Campbell has taken up a similar, albeit slightly twisted version, of the same cry whenever cause and effect pops up and threatens to expose his pitiful performance as a protector of the public trust for what it really is.

And we're betting Gordo's next call for the Slush Fund will come because of this:

VICTORIA (CP) --......A news release also issued Tuesday by the three former child advocates said "the public trust in the child protection system is at stake.".......

(Premier) Campbell was travelling in Ontario, where he was meeting with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and was not available for comment.

The letter said budget cuts by the provincial government severely restrict public accountability and awareness in the child protection system.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development budget was cut to $537.4 million this year from $621.6 million in 2001, when the Liberals were first elected.....

So, only question now is......Will that be a grape or cherry flavored slushie that will be used to goo this one up one for the required 68 days?

Update: Looks like this one is getting traction. The not-so-Giant 98 ran with the story on it's major news @ 10pm this evening.
DoubleSecretProbationUpdate: Rick Barnes figures the local media conglomerate may be helping Mr. Campbell save a little Slush (fund cash) by tossing this story in the deep freeze (see comments).

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Hey Lady. Take It Outside.

Victoria, British Columbia

The SS Gordo has landed its temporary supply bill.

And it's a whopper; 150 billion dimes worth.

And the debate?

Well, ironically enough, when Joy McPhail raised the issue in the Legislature she was told by the Speaker from the Bridge, I-Claudius Richmond, that if she wanted a debate she would have to:

"....take it outside."

So, cue the Banana Boat song and bring in Carmen Miranda because it looks like we're in for a 3 hour, errrr..... 68 day cruise.

Original Hansard Link Source: David Schreck at Strategic Thoughts.
Update: Apologies to Dean who was first on the 150 billion dimes meme. He also links to the latest Mustel poll and makes the excellent point that Carole James is ahead of Mr. Campbell among women voters.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Eye, Re-Focused

Victoria, British Columbia

There is a little-watched, and barely remembered, Clint Eastwood/Jeff Bridges vehicle called Thunderboldt and Lightfoot that reminds us a little of the new dynamic Provincial Politics duo at the Vancouver Sun.

Yup, that's right!

It's wily ol' veteran Vaughn Palmer (Thunderboldt/Zeussian Lightning Thrower) and young, headstrong newcomer Sean Holman (Lightfoot/Back Room Catburglar) together, covering the same beat, for CanWest (non)Global.

Which begs the question........Is the Rockpile big enough to keep them from driving each other crazy?

Come to think of it, maybe this is more like Matthau and Lemon in The Odd Couple.


The sad thing about it all, for the Blogodome at least, is that Holman has decided to stop updating his ever entertaining, and always slightly ahead/above of the rumour-mill curve, 'Public Eye' site.

We did, however, catch the no longer uber-independent Mr. Holman in his new capacity, chatting with Rafe Mair this morning.

And while it's hard to disagree with him, because he sure does know his local real-politique, we found it somewhat distressing that Lightfoot would conclude that Carol James and the NDP are doomed because they are spending too much time and effort crafting policy.

Because you Sean, of all those in the journo game around here, should know that policy is where it's at.

After all, if there hadn't been that policy of centralization at the Child and Family Ministry by the SS Gordo there would have been no opportunity for the Commander's relative and acquaintance, Doug Walls, to bamboozle/destroy it.

And if that had not been the case, whose mantle would be holding that Webster Award now anyway?

Update: Sheesh, forgot to call PEye 'informative' as well....always found those full disclosure, rush-transcripts of topical media scrums fascinating...will really miss that feature that we can't find anywhere else.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Dither Whirlitzer

The Proconsul's Fiefdom
Ottawa, Ontario

His Gucciness is at it again:

"The Bush administration said Prime Minister Paul Martin backed away from a longstanding commitment to participate in the U.S. missile defence program.

U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci said Mr. Martin had been sending strong signals for some time that Canada would take part in the scheme to protect North America from incoming missiles.

"We were given that impression in a very direct way for a long time," Mr. Cellucci said Sunday on CTV's Question Period.

Mr. Cellucci's comments were aired one day after U.S. President George W. Bush told Mr. Martin in a telephone conversation that any controversy over Canada's decision not to participate in missile defence was behind them..."

So, is this just the whacked-out work of an overzealous ambassador who thinks he's actually the proconsul of a defacto BushCo subsidiary?

We think not (at least not the whacky part).

Especially given that Karl Rove now makes foreign, as well as domestic, policy decisions.

All of which set us to wondering, is Our Paul now officially a target of the Rovian slime and defend machine?

And would the Rovians go looking for correspondents of foreign magazines to send out the first blast of the sticky green stuff?


After all, it's not like they've ever done that kind of thing domestically, right?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

They're Practically Giving It Away


There are two big public Universities in Vancouver.

And both public institutions were granted large swaths of land as an Endowment when they came into being.

And both are selling off/longterm (ie. 99yr) leasing big chunks of that land to raise money for mini Harvard-like endowments and the like.

Arguments can be made that one or the other place is doing a better job at building buzzword communities (my money is on the school on the hill).

But one thing cannot be denied. Once those lands are gone, they are gone forever.

And once they are gone they will no longer be owned the public.

The slogan of one of those Universities (the one on the penninsula) is 'Tu'um Est' which, roughly translated from the latin means...

'It is Yours'.

Which got us to wondering when we rode our bike past one of the new developments on that campus yesterday and we saw that the 'exclusive, gated' units 'start at $1,290,000.00' .....

Just who the 'You' in that slogan is anyway?

Because, clearly, it is no longer you or me.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Dear Condi

Winnipeg, Manitoba

So US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has changed her mind.

Apparently, she has decided to come North and give us a good ol' fashioned dose of her sit-up partner's so-called hard body power.

Unfortunately for her, judging by the following open letter, looks like Ms. Rice sure as heck won't be workin' out on former Canuckistani Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy:

" Dear Condi,

I'm glad you've decided to get over your fit of pique and venture north to visit your closest neighbour. It's a chance to learn a thing or two. Maybe more......

I know it seems improbable to your divinely guided master in the White House that mere mortals might disagree with participating in a missile-defence system that has failed in its last three tests, even though the tests themselves were carefully rigged to show results.

But, gosh, we folks above the 49th parallel are somewhat cautious types who can't quite see laying down billions of dollars in a three-dud poker game.......

......Coming to Ottawa might also expose you to a parliamentary system that has a thing called question period every day, where those in the executive are held accountable by an opposition for their actions, and where demands for public debate on important topics such a missile defence can be made openly.

You might also notice that it's a system in which the governing party's caucus members are not afraid to tell their leader that their constituents don't want to follow the ideological, perhaps teleological, fantasies of Canada's continental co-inhabitant. And that this leader actually listens to such representations.

Your boss did not avail himself of a similar opportunity to visit our House of Commons during his visit, fearing, it seems, that there might be some signs of dissent. He preferred to issue his diktat on missile defence in front of a highly controlled, pre-selected audience.

Such control-freak antics may work in the virtual one-party state that now prevails in Washington. But in Canada we have a residual belief that politicians should be subject to a few checks and balances, an idea that your country once espoused before the days of empire......

These Canadians believe that security can be achieved through well-modulated efforts to protect the rights of people, not just nation-states

To encourage and advance international co-operation on managing the risk of climate change, they believe that we need agreements like Kyoto.

To protect people against international crimes like genocide and ethnic cleansing, they support new institutions like the International Criminal Court -- which, by the way, you might strongly consider using to hold accountable those committing atrocities today in Darfur, Sudan.

And these Canadians believe that the United Nations should indeed be reformed -- beginning with an agreement to get rid of the veto held by the major powers over humanitarian interventions to stop violence and predatory practices.

On this score, you might want to explore the concept of the 'Responsibility to Protect' while you're in Ottawa. It's a Canadian idea born out of the recent experience of Kosovo and informed by the many horrific examples of inhumanity over the last half-century. Many Canadians feel it has a lot more relevance to providing real human security in the world than missile defence ever will"

It's a reasoned and reasonable show of spine that comes not from 'might makes right', but instead from the real and lasting power of a truly representative liberal democracy, which the United States once was, and can become again.

But it will only happen when more American lawmakers themselves get up the gumption to speak truth to naked, ugly hardpower like Mr. Axworthy just did.

Good on you Lloyd.

Axworthy stood his ground and waxed eloquent in an interview with Mary Lou Finlay earlier tonight. Should be up in Real Audio on the AIH website sometime tomorrow.
DSP Update: Interview is here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

(Don't) Blame Canada!

The Land of the Religious Evolutionists
MonitorVille, Christendom


Thanks to andrew in caledon.

Talkin' With(out) My Head

Boston, Mass
42deg 19min North; 71° 05' West

Venerable Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman discusssing FOX-TV Newsmangler Britt Hume with Al's Your Uncle Franken earlier today.....

"Unlike Armstrong Williams, Britt Hume is not actually a journalist on the Bush Administration's payroll........Instead, he just plays one on TV."

Update: Residents of Cascadia of a certain vintage no doubt recall Mr. Hume from his days as a 3rd string lifestyle/traffic accident reporter on Seattle's KOMO-TV.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

We Are The Enemy!

Gulag of Fafbloglandia
The Snarkapeligo

This is unbelievable:

So Bob Herbert is sobbing on and on about this Maher Arar guy in Canada who got “kidnapped” by the “FBI” and “deported to Syria” to be “beaten and tortured for months.” And Giblets is goin’, so what? If John Ashcroft says he’s a terrorist that’s good enough for Giblets. And then Herbert says that Arar is free – free and on the loose in Canada, mere hours from Giblets’s home!......

Giblets saw a Canadian at the mall today. He said “Nice day for it, eh?” Nice day for what? For your secret terrorist plots?! For your Islamist beheadings?! What is this “eh” business – he was speaking in code, in feverish Muslim “chatter” to Giblets! Giblets does not know your “frequency,” Saskatchewan Salafis! He will never yield to the mad zealotry of your maple leaf caliphate!......

Unbelievably funny that is.

There's more. You'll laugh your head right off if you go read it all.

Thanks to Diamond Bill for sending us the coordinates to Flafbloglandia.


The Hoover Institute
Palo Alto California

She may be from San Francisco, but for Canuckistan at least, she sure is no treat.

And what's all this lockstock and softball stuff asking Ms. Rice if she's seriously thinking about running for President in 2008 that we're hearing everywhere we go?

Did we miss something?

Or did Armstrong Williams and Jeff Gannon both move over to Shill the SecState Beat?

Thanks to Sir Richard of Cranium from sister (solja) station, ASZ.