Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Duceppe Body-Slams Harper.....


Well, whaddya know.

The cage match went on as scheduled.

And Mr. Harper got slammed, hard.

All Conservative MPs in the Commons voted Tuesday against a Bloc Québécois motion calling on the House “to express its full and complete confidence in Elections Canada and the Commissioner of Elections Canada.” The motion passed 152-117 with the combined support of all three opposition parties.



That was some Phi-Slamma-Jamma.

Maybe some performance enhancing substances and/or new scripts for the shills are in order for Team-In-N-Out (a.k.a. T-I-N-O).

Failing that, the current PM could always fire Mr. Luntz and bring in this guy.


And, just in case you were wondering, Ms. O'M had our small Paul in The House.


Sometimes A Conservancy Is Just A Conservancy...

.....And Sometimes It Is Not.



I hope the 11 new parks and 70 new conservancies announced by Mr. Gordon Campbell's man in Havana, Barry Penner, are, indeed, the real thing for all British Columbians.

After all, as every single press release-assisted bit of media wurlitzering is quick to note, the aggregate is, gosh!, twice the size of Prince Edward Island.

But there is one little little niggler that, when coupled with the Campbell government's previous and oft-repeated bouts of duplicity, is giving me just the teeniest twinge.

You can find the niggler buried deep within the Globe and Mail's piece from Ian Bailey and it goes like this:

"Though there are protections for both parks and conservancies, some minor commercial activities are allowed in conservancies, but excluded from parks."


Minor commercial activities?

What the heckfire are those, precisely?

And if you think that Mr. Bailey's piece has the whiff of the steno-pad about it , feel free to check out the VSun's unbylined piece......As far as I can tell the latter appears to have been taken straight from the press release (careful, pdf), pretty much verbatim - Sheesh.


Ya, But Did She Smuggle In A Bottle Of Bass Ale.....

....With Her Laptop?


Ms. O'Malley is Liveblogging the Omar Khadr hearing at the 'Parliamentary SubCommittee For Human Rights' this afternoon.

And believe me, all snarkolepsy settings have been set to minus infinity when I say that her stuff is the real thing.


Because she's giving us real context, at least as she sees it, as the real thing is actually happening.

Here's just a snippet....

1:36:43 PM
And here he is: Jason Kenney. He points to what he sees as a contradiction between (lawyer for Omar Khadr) Kuebler’s written submission and presentation - something to do with rehabilitation versus due process in Canada. But it just isn’t, really. The two things Kuebler is recommending aren’t mutually exclusive, but that doesn’t stop Kenney from quizzing him on what charges Khadr could face in Canada. Kuebler reminds him he is Khadr’s lawyer, so it wouldn’t be appropriate for him to make suggestions on other possible crimes of which his client could be convicted.

Jason Kenney has been adjusting his tie for the last four minutes. I wonder if he’s listening to what Kuebler has to say or if he’s just running through lines in his head.

1:40:24 PM
Kenney doesn’t think much of the comparison of Khadr to the child soldiers of Sierra Leone, but Kuebler handles it well; he points out that age isn’t the only issue, nor is coercion - whether at gun point, or via family pressure.

If Khadr is a “victim”, Kenney wonders, who should be prosecuted for that crime? Wait, huh? I mean, I sort of get what he’s saying, but even if his father was deemed responsible, as Kuebler points out, he’s dead.

1:44:28 PM

The trouble with extra-shortened five minute question slots is that almost no MPs are capable of asking anything with less than a minute of preamble and that tends to eat up a lot of time. Serge Ménard, the wily Bloc Québécois MP who interrogated Mulroney, is the exception. He actually gets into a back and forth, which is far more likely to produce new information.

1:47:44 PM
A good point from Kuebler: Canada doesn’t have to take on the existence of Guantanamo Bay, or the legitimacy of the War on Terror, in order to request justice for Omar Khadr. It kind of depresses me how he keeps reminding the committee that Khadr simply won’t be acquitted by military tribunal. It’s just not going to happen. It must be rough on him, too - Keubler, that is - to know the game is rigged against his client from the start. Then again, there’s something awfully appealing about seemingly lost causes, and it does feel pretty damn good when you suddenly win.....

Now go read the whole thing because it is really, really, really good, not to mention the fact that, apparently without even trying, it gives you a sense of the bigger picture with respect that all that went off the rails almost immediately after the GWOT train left the station.


Bass Ale was Hunter Thompson's quasi-legal contraband of choice when he dead-blogged (ie. wrote the realtime narrative three weeks before it was published) the Watergate hearings........ On second thought, Ms. M. probably had a can or two of Red Bull in her bag instead.


More Local Pols Get Uppity In British Columbia


Last week it was the Pols of Metro Vancouver who got uppity.

About the greedheading of a park.

This week it appears that it is the local Pols of the Okanagan who are worried about their reservoirs.

A campaign opposing the sale of 163 recreational lots on 20 Okanagan reservoirs is ramping up as Westbank Irrigation District and Summerland council jump on board.

The campaign, spearheaded by Lake Country Mayor James Baker and Kelowna Coun. Brian Given over the proposed sale of 15 recreational lots on Crooked Lake east of Lake Country, received a boost last week from the WID.

An explanatory article and a blank petition form were included with the irrigation district‘s annual tax bill to customers.

Baker attended an informal meeting of Summerland councillors on Monday night.

“They are keen to hold a rally for water because some of these lots are on their Headwaters Lake, the headwaters of Trout Creek. It‘s the same issue that we have with the lots on Crooked Lake, the first ones the province is targeting,” he said.

And what does Mr. Gordon Campbell's man, the man who will apparently make the final decision, Mr. Pat Bell, have to say about all of this?

Well, he's ready to 'consult':

Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell has promised to consult with Valley politicians before he makes a final decision.

But here's the thing.

Mr. Campbell's men and women once said, flat-out, that they wouldn't greedhead any urban parks.

So if an unequivocal statement is worth less than zero, how much, exactly, is a promise to 'consult' worth?



Monday, April 28, 2008

Tomorrow, On CPAC's RAWWWW!.......

......The Colossal In 'N Out Smackdown!

From Macleans' Bloggorific duo of Mr. Wells.....

Debate opens tomorrow on this Bloc Québécois motion:

"Que la Chambre exprime sa pleine et entière confiance envers Élections Canada et le Commissaire aux élections fédérales."

"That this House express its complete confidence in Elections Canada and the Federal Elections Commissioner (Inkless translation — ed.)."

And Ms. O'Malley......

So sneaky, those separatists. That might actually be a debate worth watching in its entirety.

Ya, but.....

Did somebody just call in Los Federales?


My Life As A Science Geek



Being a science geek is a very strange thing indeed.

First of all, and this is especially true in the field of 'Life Sciences' these days, it is one of the last bastions of indentured servitude/apprenticeship.

But to become a real expert in something as arcane as, say, 'the role of mechanical signal transduction in alveolar morphogenesis' it pretty much has to be that way.

All told, my apprenticeship took about 15 years, and along the way I studied with a lot of very smart people.

The last four years of which were spent as a post-doctoral fellow working for the smartest person I've every met in the People's Republic Of Berkeley.

Interestingly enough, those four years were more like seven years in actual work time.

Because I was working 70-80 hour weeks.

Week in and week out.

And I loved every minute of it.

So much so that it wasn't really work at all.

After all, when you're in the hothouse of a really top-notch lab I imagine it's like any other absolutely intense creative experience wherein you live for every single discovery big or, much more often, small.

And you live even more for the sharing of those little discoveries backed with the back-and-forth, bare-knuckled bashing about of ideas that goes into the planning of the next day's experiment which, when it is designed perfectly will generate data that will either support or refute any new prediction you've made about what you think will happen next.*

My old Boss in Berkeley used to call those rare events 'champagne' experiments.

And when they hit, that day's coffee break was always converted to cork popping out on the lab's back deck which a redwood tree-laden hillside.



This weekend my old Boss came to Lotusland to give the big plenary talk at a conference in a fancy black glass-windowed hotel on the eastern edge of the West End.

She's pretty famous now, both inside, and even outside, pure science geek circles. As a result, she was innundated by all manner of requests to make appearances and attend various and sundry gatherings.

So much so that we had very little time to go off in a corner and bash new ideas back and forth based on stuff going on in both our labs.

But we did use the short time we had together very, very well indeed.

And I hardly said a word.

Instead, I sat back and let the apprentices who work with me these days have a go with her instead.

And after they showed off their data they stood their ground and gave as good as they got.

Heckfire, I was proud.

Best of all, in the end they came up with a whole slew of new experiments which are sure to cost me at least one bottle of bubbly.

Maybe two.

Or even better, three.

Can't wait to spend the money!

*This is the thing about using the scientific method rigorously.....When you do so, you can't 'prove' anything. In fact, the best experiment is often the one that irrevocably disproves an hypothesis, which is nothing more than a prediction, because then you have to come up with a new and better one that best fits all the available data. Crazy that, eh?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vancouver Sun Says Municipal & Provincial Govts Should Negotiate....

....Over Expropriation of Pacific Spirit Park's Heart

From the VSun's somewhat schizophrenic Friday Apr 25th, 2008 editorial titled 'Musqueam Land Transfer Lawsuit Is A Waste Of Taxpayers' Money':

First they lay out the facts:

Metro Vancouver has decided to launch a constitutional challenge against the backroom deal Premier Gordon Campbell negotiated last November to hand over large tracts of land to settle lawsuits brought by the Musqueam First Nation.

Under the agreement, the Musqueam band was given two parcels of land in Pacific Spirit Park as well as the University Golf Course lands and the site of the River Rock Casino in Richmond -- in all, about 88 hectares -- along with $20.3 million in cash. In exchange, the Musqueam agreed to drop its three lawsuits and allow the golf course to operate until 2083.

Within days of the disclosure of the plan, Metro Vancouver's parks committee raised objections to the park-lands portion of the transaction, 22 hectares worth more than $200 million, citing the importance of preserving parks for the public.

Then they tell us how the Provincial government did it, and the egregious steps they took to make sure that the Municipal Governments involved wouldn't be able to do anything to stop it.

When the provincial government passed the Musqueam Reconciliation, Settlement and Benefits Agreement Implementation Act, the die was cast for confrontation. The legislation gave the province the authority to seize the land, adding that "no compensation is payable to the Greater Vancouver Regional District . . . and no legal proceedings for damages or compensation" can be filed against the B.C. government.

Then they tell us how the Municipal governments are responding.

Metro Vancouver's board of directors said on Monday that it will ask the court to decide whether the province has the constitutional authority to expropriate land, specifically regional government assets, to settle aboriginal title and lands claims which, it argues, fall under federal jurisdiction.

Then they tell us that the Municipal government has good reason to be upset, particularly given the precedent this expropriation sets and because the Provincial government has said one thing and done the exact opposite on this issue:

It's easy to sympathize with Metro Vancouver's position. After all, when it took office, the government assured municipal authorities that regional parkland was not on the table for settlement. Now it appears that it is, and that should raise concerns in every municipality in British Columbia.

Then, after telling us at some length how badly the Provincial government has treated the Municipal governments on this and a host of other issues, the VSun finishes up with the following :

What is needed to resolve this impasse is not a court ruling, but rather a political accommodation. The only way to reach one is for the parties to sit down together and work it out.

But here's the thing......

Why would anyone (ie. the Municipal Gov'ts) in their right mind sit down and 'work things out' with someone (ie. the Provincial Gov't) that has already proven that they will act with duplicity.

After all, anything 'worked out' with someone who can't be trusted to do what they say they will do is worth less than zero.

Way less.



Friday, April 25, 2008

If You Don't Have Plans......

......Why Make The Change?


Apparently British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell's government, which has already given forest companies a huge windfall by allowing them to become defacto land developers, is now going to let them turn logging roads into toll roads as well

But not to worry, even though the new legislation will allow the forest companies to charge fees there is no 'plan' to have them do so.

S.M. Holman of Public Eye has the story:

Responding to complaints that commercial and industrial road users will now have to pay forest companies to use those corridors, the ministry confirmed the act does allow for the establishment of such fees. But "there is no plan to impose new fees for industrial use."

Sure thing.


Excuse me if I parse the 'qualifier' regarding no plan to impose fees for "industrial use".

After all, don't think the VW (notso)Microbus with a canoe on top and the two E's in the backseat qualifies.

As 'industrial' I mean.

Which begs the question.....

Will, the ForestCos ultimately, like BC Ferries, have reservation fees on top of the toll fees too?



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sometimes A Boundary Is Just A Boundary....

....And Sometimes It May Be Less Than Nothing At All


Actually, it looks like it may have been all about 'adjustments'.

Here's the latest from Lori Culbert, Neal Hall and Kate Bird of the Vancouver Sun:

"The sites of three Christian schools in Chilliwack are among the properties the Agricultural Land Commission will investigate as it looks into farmland dealings in the Fraser Valley city, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

All three schools made their properties bigger by expanding into neighbouring farm land in the 1990s, through a process known as "boundary adjustments," according to documents obtained by The Sun under the Freedom of Information Act....."

Well, at least British Columbia Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell's former Law 'N Order Solicitor General John Les, who was Mayor of Chilliwack at the time, had nothing to do with these ones, right?


Except that there is this one teeny, tiny wrinkle which can also be found deep within the Culbert/Hall/Bird story:

"One of the files requested by the commission involves Timothy Christian elementary and secondary school at 50484 Castleman Rd. In 1992, it applied to enlarge its playing fields by moving the boundary line between it and the neighbouring farm at 50338 Castleman Rd.

Today, the school's property, owned by the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack, comprises 12.5 acres and its 2008 assessed value was nearly $6 million.

According to Les's disclosure records, his wife has been an employee of Timothy Christian school for about five years. She is a school bus driver, the school's principal said......"

But of course, that is just pure coincidence.

After all, Chilliwack is a small town where everybody knows everybody and works with everyone.

And, apparently, everyone sits on everyone else's boards too:

Frank Les, the brother of John Les, is a member of the board of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation of Chilliwack.

Also purely coincidentally, we're sure.

So, who actually made the decisions on all those 'adjustments'?

Well, it was a gaggle of municipal 'approving officers', one of whom signed off on at least two of three school boundary adjustments in question:

"In the 1990s, an "approving officer" with a municipal government could make certain boundary changes to agricultural properties without prior approval of the land commission or city council. {snippety do-dah} Grant Sanborn was the approving officer during most of that time, and signed off on two of the three school yard adjustments."

Again, this very likely just one more small town coincidence amongst many.

Including this one:

"Sanborn, who abruptly left his position as approving officer in 2000 and is now a consultant and chairman of the Cultus Lake Park Board, approved (then Mayor John) Les's Rosebank Place deal. People connected to that deal, as well as a few other more recent ALR applications undertaken by Sanborn's private consulting company, have said they have been interviewed by police."



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

EcoDensity That I Would Vote For



I'm not thinking about what is happening on SE False Creek, what with it's well 'planned' $3000 sq/foot condo units, or the travesty of what is supposed to happen at Little Mountain/Main where the affordable housing component could, potentially, go from 100 to something like 11%.

Instead, I'm thinking about what Cameron Gray had to say to Vancouver City Council recently (saved for posterity by the ever diligent AB FABula).

This is my favorite of many very good and thoughtful passages:

EcoDensity is not the first initiative undertaken by the City to address the need for new forms of housing. The new neighbourhoods pioneered by the City in the 1970s on the south shore of False Creek and in Champlain Heights were a response to rising housing costs, and the fact that young families with children would not afford to live in Vancouver.

The City pioneered higher density forms of housing such as stacked townhouses, clustered and courtyard housing that would be more affordable than single family housing. And that housing remains more affordable than single family homes today.

The fact is, as a former colleague put it, “not all dense housing is affordable, but all affordable housing is dense”. And yes in part the affordability is achieved because the units are smaller, as they are, relative to single family houses, on the south shore of False Creek and in Champlain Heights. And in part because of lower land costs, less exterior wall, shared roofs, less parking, etc.

I mention False Creek South Shore and Champlain Heights for another reason. And that is to make the point that EcoDensity or any other kind of density will not, alone, ensure affordability for households of incomes. The only way to do that is to ensure that tenures are available that are inherently more affordable, such as market rental, affordable homeownership, and especially social housing funded and subsidized by senior government housing programs, all of which were developed in those communities.

Imagine that!


Does Team Harper Think They Have A Water Carrier At CanWest?


When all the kerfuffle broke about the attempts to have In 'N Out Burgers secretly delivered to various and sundry Ottawa hotel rooms on Sunday we noted that Ms. O'Malley, who was not a recipient of said deliveries or even take-out, made more than passing reference to the fact that CanWest was.

On the delivery list.

At least initially.

But then, suddenly, they weren't.

On the list I mean.

So, how come?

Well, Ms. O'Malley's piece (and especially her updating) kinda/sorta led us to surmise that it might have had something to do with the fact that the new guy at CanWest, David Akin, showed up and had his fries snatched away from him by The Sparrow.

So, to get his opinion on the matter, I headed over to Mr. Akin's place, and after initially demurring and sending me back to Ms. O'Malley, which was fair enough, he also said this:

"To go back to your original question -- you may also wish to review what National Post's Politics Editor, Kelly McParland, had to say about all this at his blog."

And here's something pretty interesting/confirmatory that Mr. McParland had to say:

Also on the list of invitees was Canwest News, but the invite was summarily revoked when Canwest sent David Akin, a reporter recently recruited from CTV, where he obviously did BAD THINGS and is now on the Tories' list of persona very non grata.

Interesting that, don't you think?

Which brings us back to that original list.

Because.......does that mean that there was someone else, specifically, at CanWest's Ottawa Bureau that The Sparrow wanted at that double-secretsauce-probation-with-dijon-ketchup-on-top meeting?

And if so, whom might that be?

Me, I'm not sure.

But I am playing musical Bureau chairs with that 'ol Baretta theme song in my head.



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hey! When Did The MP For Vancouver East....

...Become The President Of Mexico?


Wait a second....

What the heckfire was I thinking!

After all, our Libby would never wear that much make-up.


Original Photo Bloop-O-Rama Source: Dan Cook's blog and MSNBC.


Local Pols To Fight For Pacific Spirit Park



Why is this NOT on the front page of every newspaper in town*?

Oh ya, I forgot.

Apparently, Bill Tieleman didn't give quite as much money to the B.C. NDP as CanWest gave to the Liberal Party of British Columbia.


*You think it wouldn't be, if this was about the destruction of Stanley Park's heart?
Thanks to West End Bob and good friend of the Park, and ours, S., for the tip.


Monday, April 21, 2008

In 'N Out BurgerGate: Which Media Members Weren't Invited?



We all know who was invited to yesterday's private press poodle party.

But, more to the point, aren't we really more interested in who wasn't?

Invited, I mean.

Because, clearly, those would be the folks HarperCons figure are NOT the water carriers/poodles.

Here's how the Canadian Press originally had it:

The Canadian Press, the CBC, Maclean's, the Globe and Mail and the Halifax Chronicle Herald were among those who were not invited to the party's briefing at a downtown hotel.

Which is pretty much what you might expect.

Except that Kady O'Malley, she who so was NOT invited herself, but who clearly enjoyed the chance to scrum Mike Duffy regardless, also had this little extra tidbit:

"I can confirm that macleans.ca was most emphatically not welcome on the voyage. However, being unable to take a hint, we wound up hanging out in the hallway outside the backup briefing room - hastily arranged after word of the first meeting was leaked - with various other uninvited media guests: CBC, Canadian Press, and the Halifax Chronicle Herald and CanWest News,......."

Say what?

CanWest wasn't invited to the party the Capistrano sparrows after all?

Hmmmmmm.......How come?

Well, Ms. O'Malley doesn't come right out and say it, but she does say this:

".....and CanWest News, which had, in fact, originally been on the list, but was abruptly disinvited when the Conservatives realized who had been sent to cover the story."

So, who was sent that was found to be so unacceptable by the HarperCons?

Well, Ms. O'Malley doesn't explicitly say that either, but later in an update to her post she does say this:

UPDATE: The consistently awesome David Akin, now of CanWest, managed to get his hands on the warrant, even though he wasn't on the invite list, and it sounds as though the details may be well worth the wait.

Interesting that, don't you think.

Because if CanWest was, indeed, shut out because they've hired a digger to replace a poodle, doesn't that say something pretty important about what Mr. Stephen Harper really thinks of one of the central tenets of a true liberal democracy?


We've had our own encounter with Mr. Akin too, back when he was still working for BellGlobeGTVTSNCHUMMedia. And after everything was said and done we didn't even have to scuttle down a fire escape to make our getaway.
One last thing - while I still read Ms. O'Malley's blog everyday, Mr. Akin's is gaining on hers, fast. And, best of all, he still allows comments. This, though, well......it smells like tag-teaming and that is a very, very, very good thing indeed.
PhotoSource: Tom Hannon of the CP (not acceptable) via the Globe and Mail (also unacceptable).


Sunday, April 20, 2008

There Is No We vs. Them....


There is only us.

Because X-Box 360 money goes a long way in Bangladesh.



Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Phantom Will Live Forever


Unfortunately, Mr. Federici won't be playing in Ft. Lauderdale this weekend.

NEW YORK (AP) — Danny Federici, the longtime keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen whose stylish work helped define the E Street Band's sound on hits from "Hungry Heart" through "The Rising," died Thursday. He was 58.

Federici, who had battled melanoma for three years, died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. News of his death was posted late Thursday on Springsteen's official Web site.

He last performed with Springsteen and the band last month, appearing during portions of a March 20 show in Indianapolis.

"Danny and I worked together for 40 years — he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much ... we grew up together," Springsteen said in a statement posted on his Web site.

Springsteen concerts scheduled for Friday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Saturday in Orlando were postponed.

Federici was born in Flemington, N.J., a long car ride from the Jersey shore haunts where he first met kindred musical spirit Springsteen in the late 1960s. The pair often jammed at the Upstage Club in Asbury Park, N.J., a now-defunct after-hours club that hosted the best musicians in the state.

It was Federici, along with original E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez, who first invited Springsteen to join their band.

By 1969, the self-effacing Federici — often introduced in concert by Springsteen as "Phantom Dan" — was playing with the Boss in a band called Child. Over the years, Federici joined his friend in acclaimed shore bands Steel Mill, Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom and the Bruce Springsteen Band.

Federici became a stalwart in the E Street Band as Springsteen rocketed from the boardwalk to international stardom. Springsteen split from the E Streeters in the late '80s, but they reunited for a hugely successful tour in 1999.

"Bruce has been supportive throughout my life," Federici said in a recent interview with Backstreets magazine. "I've had my ups and downs, and I've certainly given him a run for his money, and he's always been there for me."

Federici played accordion on the wistful "4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)" from Springsteen's second album, and his organ solo was a highlight of Springsteen's first top 10 hit, "Hungry Heart." His organ coda on the 9/11-inspired Springsteen song "You're Missing" provided one of the more heart-wrenching moments on "The Rising" in 2002.

In a band with larger-than-life characters such as saxophonist Clarence Clemons and bandana-wrapped guitarist "Little" Steven Van Zandt, Federici was content to play in his familiar position to the side of the stage. But his playing was as vital to Springsteen's live show as any instrument in the band.

Federici released a pair of solo albums that veered from the E Street sound and into soft jazz. Bandmates Nils Lofgren on guitar and Garry Tallent on bass joined Federici on his 1997 debut, "Flemington." In 2005, Federici released its follow-up, "Out of a Dream."

Federici had taken a leave of absence during the band's tour in November 2007 to pursue treatment for melanoma, and was temporarily replaced by veteran musician Charles Giordano.

At the time, Springsteen described Federici as "one of the pillars of our sound and has played beside me as a great friend for more than 40 years. We all eagerly await his healthy and speedy return."

Besides his work with Springsteen, Federici played on albums by an impressive roster of other artists: Van Zandt, Joan Armatrading, Graham Parker, Gary U.S. Bonds and Garland Jeffreys.

But his music will never stop.



Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Boss Backs Obama


From BruceSpringsteen.net.......

Dear Friends and Fans:

LIke most of you, I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand. Senator Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest.

He has the depth, the reflectiveness, and the resilience to be our next President. He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years, a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where "...nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone."

At the moment, critics have tried to diminish Senator Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships. While these matters are worthy of some discussion, they have been ripped out of the context and fabric of the man's life and vision, so well described in his excellent book, Dreams From My Father, often in order to distract us from discussing the real issues: war and peace, the fight for economic and racial justice, reaffirming our Constitution, and the protection and enhancement of our environment.

After the terrible damage done over the past eight years, a great American reclamation project needs to be undertaken. I believe that Senator Obama is the best candidate to lead that project and to lead us into the 21st Century with a renewed sense of moral purpose and of ourselves as Americans.

Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President.

Bruce Springsteen



Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Arbour Effect


Like we said yesterday, Louise Arbour, soon to be former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is one of our heroes.

And given that Mr. Stephen Harper is apparently quite happy with that 'former' tag, it got wondering what might make him (ie. the aforementioned Mr. Harper) unhappy with respect to any future career developments for Ms. Arbour.

Well, wondering like that set the tongues to wagging on the comment threads.

Our good friend GWest started the ball rolling:
Now she is a leader who could step into Dion's shoes and fill them to bursting without even trying. Which eventuality - if Harper was behind this - would come back and bite him in the ass very nicely, don't you think ross?

Then, JanFromTheBruce made the case that Ms. Arbour should run for the Dippers.
hopefully she is a member of the NDP party. She's not a war advocate in anyway.

Prog-Rocker and noted Lib-Backer Scott Tribe then chimed in:
She is a rumoured Liberal candidate. I know many in the Liberal Party would love for her to be a candidate.. I've no doubt there's some behind-the-scenes talks.
Which, tongue-in-cheek, led me to respond: Well, forget all that Scott.
Bring 'em out front where they belong!
Well, to his credit, Scott has done his best to make it happen, by writing this post over at his place:

This is an open letter to the Liberal OLO; please make a very determined effort to recruit Louise Arbour (the soon-to-be-former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) to run as a Liberal candidate somewhere in Montreal for the next election. I understand attempts have been made before at convincing her to run, but redouble your efforts, particularly in light of reading over here that Harper and his government may have helped in torpedoing her chances for a 2nd term at that post because they were unhappy with her criticisms of the US over detainees.

I believe she is well respected in Canada (outside of Conservative circles). She obviously is an accomplished jurist, both domestically and internationally, and getting a high-profile person like Ms. Arbour to commit as a candidate for the Liberals would help in getting some positive news for the Liberals in Quebec, and perhaps Canada in general, for a party that could use some positive coverage after the last month or so of gloom and doom out of the pundits.

Good stuff (although I must admit, my preferences run closer to Jan's), and it led to a lot of interesting discussion on Scott's threads, most of it positive, although there was some serious discussion, initiated by 'The Operative', about whether it would be appropriate for a former Supreme Court Justice to run for elected office.

My favorite comment over at Scott's though came from Daveberta, who said:
Louise Arbour would be my dream Prime Minister, but I’d honestly hate to see her reputation tarnished my partisan politics.

Dave's got a point.

Imagine though if Ms. Arbour had, say, John Manley's current job.


We would go from 'Lapdog-Nation' to 'Honest-Broker', like, overnight.

Or maybe even yesterday.

Because we're talking instantaneous separation from the PNACKian-Paddywaker-Nation credibility here.


PhotoCredit: Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, Phil Esposito and Chiko Maki at 'Henri Henri' Chapeaux shop, circa 1965, in Montreal, deep within the riding that Mr. Tribe suggests the Liberals run Ms Arbour in.


Saturday, April 05, 2008

There Is No Darkness In This Town......

...The Night Before All The Fools Of April Rush Down!



Part one of the first part.......
(please forgive the indulgence and/or skip this one if you don't want an opus)

The whole thing started on a dreary Saturday morning last November.

I was up early, as is my want, noodling around down in the Subterranean Blues Room (ie. the basement office where I thumb through old newsprint, scour books with yellowing pages, and throw stuff up on the Internets) when I was suddenly overcome by the urge.

So I went online, paid all the ridiculous add-ons on top of the already steep base price, and bought four tickets to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band four months hence on the last day of March.


I first discovered Bruce at the time of the turning.

My turning, not his.

I was 18 years old and, if truth be told, I think it was the cover of that bloody 'Darkness' album above that got me.

After all, this was 1978, and we were neck deep in the Disco Age, which was a time when just about everything, but especially music, was glitter-domed, gilt-edged, and all-smoothed-over in the extreme.

And here, suddenly, was this guy who was willing to show his dishevelment and the ravages of what was clearly no smoothed-over teenagerhood right up front, on his face, on the album cover.

Of course, in reality, by that time Springsteen had already reinvented himself a whole bunch of times.

But when I actually listened to the thing, none of that mattered.

And neither did the musicality, the talk of the legendary 'showmanship' amongst my friends, or even the high-falutin' critic-talk about rock-and-roll's 'future'.

Instead, what got me was the imagery.

And as I went backwards, rapidfire, right through 'Run' and the 'Shuffle', all the way back to 'Asbury Park', it was the plethora of images driven by the rush of the words that came in ever more grandiose whooshes that generated mind-movies in my head that shimmered and shone and just would not stop.

And as for those young man dreams that backstopped all the images? Well, to my mind's eye at least, they were nothing short of exhilarating in their completely unjaded and wanton openness.

It was, to put it mildly awe-inspiring.

Which I've since come to learn, is the only thing that real art, regardless its form and/or its supposed function, can give you.

The inspiration, I mean.


Now, despite all I've said above, for some completely unexplicable reason , I never went to see him play.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that soon after this time all the Westcoast DIY stuff hit, hard.

As a result, my friends and I started a garage band of our own that led us to spend a whole lot of our money, and even more our time, chasing around after local heroes like DOA and the Pointed Sticks such that, for me at least, bigtime acts like Springsteen quickly became kind of passe.

Then came 'Nebraska'.

That album was a shot to both the head and the gut that plunged everything it touched into a real darkness before it pulled just a touch of it all back out into a guarded light that might, or might not, have been a false dawn.

I mean, listening to 'Open All Night' back then could keep me up all night - literally - as my other (ie. non-garage band) friends at summer camp (which is where I also met my wife C., by the way) played and played and played the thing over and over and over again in wrist-breaking excruciation trying to get it just right.

Now, it's 'Reason to Believe' that does the trick - especially the wail of the harmonica.

I heard an interview with Springsteen much later in which he explained that the entire thing was the work of a guy on the downside of twenty-five who is suddenly struck by the realization that maybe all those wild and innocent dreams of his youth just might not come true.

And that struck me as more real, and more inspiring, than ever.


So, why go see him now, all these years later?

Well, I guess I could explain it all away as some sort of nostalgia trip for a middle-aged, now-comfortable guy who just wants to conjure up a time when all the dreams of all the tramps like all of us really could come true - even if only for a couple of hours.

And then there's the fact that Springsteen is now 58 years old, and the rest of the E Street Band is just as old, if not older.

So, in the back of my head there was a tiny nagging thought that this might be the last chance to see the really big travelling show.

But mostly, I think, it was the chance to give my kids, kids who themselves are starting to get caught up in all that glitters and glistens in today's smoothed-over musical world of pop-music, a chance to see what I had been telling them was the real thing.

So I shelled out the 350 bucks for C., me, and the two E's - our two daughters littler e., age 9, and Bigger E., age 15.

And then the preparations began.


Now there's one other thing I have to tell you before we get to the heart of the matter.

Which is that, even before I bought the tickets, I already had the 'Tabs' to a big basket filled to busting with Bruceian stuff.

And I've been playing all sorts of tunes from Nebraska at bedtime for as long as either of the two E's can remember.

In fact, I have long found that the title tune, if changed into pure travelogue from the original killer's rampage/Charles Starkweather version can put any kid to sleep by, say, the 37th verse no matter their state of excitement, anxiety, or even sadness.

But, after the tickt buy, building through the Christmas season and into the New Year, a whole new onslaught began.

Throughout this period I followed the East Coast and European legs of The Tour's ever-changing set lists, which resulted in my transposing 'Badlands' into the key of 'C' so that I could play harmonica and littler e. could follow along on the keyboard while Bigger E. did most of the singing.

Best of all, after watching the YouTube of a Yuletide show from Armen in the Netherlands about a million times, we did our best to mimick the whole troupe while playing their version of 'Santa Claus is Coming To Town' endlessly for my students, office mates, and family members.

Needless to say, by the time the calendar flipped to 2008 I had become just a little, how shall I say it?.........


All of which ebbed and flowed a little through February and March until finally last week, I made a playlist of what I thought would be on tap at the Vancouver show and insisted that it be played everywhere - in the kitchen, in the living room, in the subturranean blues room, in the car, and, most importantly and most often, in the VW (notso)Microbus.


These days the E Street Band only plays weekends.

Three or four night stands in a region running from Friday to Monday and then out - ostensibly so that the band members can keep up with their day jobs, most notably Little Stephen's radio show and Mighty Max Weinberg's 4 minute bursts of skin bashing on late night TV.

So each of these stands tends to stand alone as a bit of a mini-tour, each with its own quirks in the set list.

I had staked everything on the previous weekend's run in Indiana/Ohio.

And then when they hit the left coast, everything changed.

But in a good way.

I mean who could have ever predicted that Jimmy Cliff's 'Trapped', which I have hidden away somewhere on an old 99 cent Concert-Tone cassette that was played over and over and over again, circa 1982, in the KennyVan, would hit the set-list suddenly, out of nowhere.

In the end, though, I took L-Girl's advice and tried to let it all pass, so that the last minute surprises could wash over me and mine.


Vancouver was the third of a three night trip to the Pacific Northwest/Cascadia on the Monday before 'April's Fools All Rushed In' that began with a Portland show the previous Friday (good, but not sold-out) and Seattle on Saturday (a 24 tune extravaganza egged on by a Key Arena Crowd that went berserk everywhere from pit to rafter).

So, unlike tha fateful evening in Jan 1993 when Bigger E was born down the coast in Oakland California, I actually got home from the lab early on Mar 31st 2008 so that we could be sure to beat the traffic on our way to the cheap parking which was pretty much a straight shot down Kingsway to Main and Science World.

As we hustled across the last remaining Concord Pacific wasteland on the Northeast side of False Creek we could see all the tour trucks lined-up all along Pacific directly under the SkyTrain tracks.

"Are those all for The Show?" C. asked?

"Yup." I answered, scanning the shadows around the SkyTrain's gunmetal grey stanchions searching for a furtive looking Crazy Davy and/or Killer Joe doing a last minute deal, wine in hand.

"Oh!" exclaimed a suddenly skipping littler e., "It's just like the circus."

"Sonny wanna try the big top?" I mumbled, grinning in spite of myself.

Only Bigger E. got the 'Wild Billy's Circus Story' reference, I think, as we got closer to the hockey arena that Little Arthur's family's credit built.

Suddenly, there were decisions to be made, the most pressing of which was - should we find a corner store to stock up on the required junkfood - or should we just get in there and get ready?

We hummed.....

We hawed......

And then, aided and abetted by my extreme ancieness, we rushed into the cavern as fast as we could.

It was 6:45pm - only 45 minutes before the showtime announced on the tickets - and the place was almost empty.

In fact, the only sign of a crowd were the folks huddled six deep around the tour souvenir table down on the one-hundred level.

It was all was very strange indeed.

Even stranger was the make-up of the crowd that was there.

Well-heeled in the extreme.

In fact, at the door, we were just about the only group that had a backpack that had to be checked and tagged with a red ribbon which signaled that we were kind of troublesome, but, apparently, OK (ie. it was filled with kids sweaters and small blanket for littler e. on the way home).


Our seats were on the upper level, which was not so good, but the saving grace was that they were directly off stage right (Section 326, Row 10, Seats 1-4).

While C. and bigger E. went off to buy stuff, littler e. and I got down to the business at hand - cataloguing everything on the stage.

Me, I was impressed by the huge stand-up bass stage-right behind where Garry W. Tallent would be standing for the duration and began to wonder if that smell in the air was maybe, just maybe, 'Jungleland'.

Littler e, of course, waxed ecstatic about the huge, ornate golden throne directly below us that, I informed her, was likely reserved for The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, when he needed a break from the festivities.

Littler e., like just everybody else I know who knows him, loves the Big Man.

At this point a bit of a furrow came to her brow for the first time that evening she also clued in to the fact that we wouldn't be down with the Lottery winners in 'The Pit' directly in front of the stage.

'Does this mean that we won't be going up on stage like the little girl in Indianapolis?' she asked.

'Afraid so, ' I answered, suddenly wishing that I had shelled out the extra $50 bucks a pop for floor tickets.

'That's OK,' she answered. 'I like Badlands better anyway.'

'Me too', I thought, but didn't say anything as I remembered how much I had hated that bloody 'Dancin' In The Dark' video with the young Courtney Cox when it first came out.

I'd always thought that that thing was the coming of the 'Anti-Bruce', not to mention an omen that brought on the debacle that was 'Julianne Phillips'.

Or some such thing.


By 7:15pm 'The Pit' was cheek-by-jowl and the rest of the floor was filling, but still the seats were only 10% occupied at best.

The time had come to start to canvassing the other early arrivers around us about what they wanted to hear.

The young kids behind us in their twenties wanted that bloody 'Dancin' In the Dark'.

I forced a smile.

The South Asian guy in the sports coat and loafers surprised me with a boisterous, two-thumbs-up-assisted, 'Forty-One Shots!'

Then there was the grey-haired and slightly grizzled looking middle-aged guy below us who had also brought a couple of 'Born after Tom Joad' kids of his own to the show. He just looked up non-plussed and mumbled 'Thunder Road', softly, almost under his breath. This was downright unnerving. Was it possible that I was looking at my own long-lost brother from 'Highway Patrolman' that I'd never known? Maybe? Just in case, I resisted the urge to ask him what he thought of that 'Wings For Wheels' documentary.

The weirdest response though came from the Wayne Newton look-a-like who slid in directly beside us while answering, "I dunno; I haven't had a chance to listen to the album yet!" as he flashed a copy of 'Magic' that his well-coiffed wife had just bought him at the souvy-table downstairs.


At 7:30pm Bigger E told me to calm down, because I was getting just a little 'too excited.'

She had a point.

Luckily, at that very moment her friend J. arrived with her own Dad and younger brother in tow.

And here's something you may not know.....

Back when they were in fifth grade, Bigger E., J., and their other friend C. were crazy about Springsteen in general and 'The River's' double-shot, specifically.

Their favorite track was 'Cadillac Ranch' which they used to run around the schoolyard at lunch screaming at the top of their lungs.

So, there was only one thing to do, of course......

We made a huge cardboard Black Caddy, talked to their teacher, had an audition, and then they ended up singing the thing, cardboard Caddy in hand (with their heads in the windows like they were riding in it, while I accompanied them on C's childhood guitar, the 'El Degas' at an assembly for the entire school.

I'm not sure if I won any cool-Dad points for that one or not but, regardless, at 7:52pm on concert night Bigger E. suddenly exclaimed that she wished we had brought the sign with us,
'because Cadillac Ranch is what I really want to hear!'

Unfortunately, the sign had gone down with our old house when the Greedhead Developer's wrecking ball killed our entire neighbourhood for condos in the spring of 2005.

There's a Crazy Janey-type tune in there somewhere, me thinks.

And I'm pretty sure Bigger E. will write it someday.

After all, it's not like she hasn't had the inspiration or anything.


At 7:55pm the Techs were done fiddling with the guitars and the Roadies had taped the setlists down.

Now, I've heard all kinds of stories about how Bruce sometimes needs help with the lyrics these days but there was absolutely no evidence of any of that here whatsoever.

And through it all the big stand-up bass just stood there as a ripple of anticipation suddenly went through crowd.

Could Anne Murray of Green Gables be in the house?

Or, even better, maybe Rosalita?

Because if I can't have 'Growin' Up', well, 'Rosie' will just have to do.

At 8:02pm the light-show guys head up into the rigging - 'It really is just like the Circus!' I shout, but nobody is listening to me anymore.


By 8:10 pm the suddenly late-arriving crowd is really weirding me out.

I mean, Holy Criminy, why are all these people that normally spend all their time and money at the Orpheum watching the Symphony interpret Nat King Cole tunes here anyway?

Luckily, there are two young women down the row that can't hold their liquor, otherwise I would be seriously worried that we are not actually at a Rock Concert.

And suddenly, nothing else matters because the show has begun.

After all the anticipation and all the build-up I am completely and totally surprised by the opening chords.

So much so, that for at least 20 seconds I can't tell what the opener actually is.

And then it hits me.

'Atlantic City'!

Is Bruce forewarning us Lotuslanders of the Boomtimes, the Easy Money, and all that brings?

I dunno.

But I do know this - it's time to hold on to my hat and get to my feet.

Because it's going to be a wild ride...........

(show blow-by-blow to come)


When SuperGroup Members Are Not So Super



Does our 2nd favorite rock critic alive today, Jim DeRogatis, ever hate the latest from Vancouver Indie Super-Sub Group "Destroyer" and frontman Dan Bejar's latest 'product':

"Although Bejar has released a staggering eight albums plus assorted other effluvia under the Destroyer name since the mid-’90s, he’s best known as a contributor of some of the finest songs on albums by the indie-rock supergroup the New Pornographers. There, his most self-indulgent and grating tendencies are mitigated by the big-band dynamic, if not checked by unofficial bandleader Carl Newman. But there are no similar filters in Destroyer, and we suffer for it...."

Fair enough.

And don't think this is just an anti-Canuckistanian Indiosorial hate-on from big shot critic from Chicago.

After all, DeRogatis and his partner Greg Kot just love The Besnard Lakes.

And so do we.


Did Stephen Harper Freeze Out Louise Arbour?


Louise Arbour, the soon to be former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is one of our heroes.

For all kinds of reasons.

Like making it clear that ALL civilians deserve protection in war zones.

And for making it clear that secret prisons and the process of rendition must be stopped, no matter who is doing it.

But most of all, we admire our fellow Canadian for being the first official with an international profile to call for the closure of the Concentration Camp at Guantanamo Bay Cuba when no one else would.

Of course, the Bush administration and the Cheneyites hated that last one most. As a result, they sent their pit-bull-with-a-moustache, John Bolton, after her with a vengeance.

Now though, there are reports that Ms. Arbour's resignation, which she announced in early March, may have been forced, at least in part, by current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

I first heard of this last night on CBC Radio One's "As It Happens" (wmv. file) when they interviewed John Zarocostas who wrote a piece in the Human Rights Tribune about how he thinks Mr. Harper withdrew critical support for Ms. Arbour's possible re-appointment.

The absence of support from the highest levels of the government of Prime Minister Steven Harper torpedoed the chances of for Louise Arbour to get the nod for a second term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, diplomatic sources said.

Although Arbour stated that she "was not quitting because of this pressure”, diplomatic sources said the Harper government was not pleased with Arbour’s criticism of the US treatment of detainees in the war on terror or her open criticism of abuses by Canada and US allies such as Israel.

Now, this should, I suppose, be taken with a grain of salt as it could be argued that Mr. Zaracostas might be influenced by an apparent tacit support for many of the actions taken by Ms. Arbour in support of true Human Rights for all (ie. as opposed to state-specific support for the rights of some).

However, after I heard the report on AIH I spent a little time searching the fringes of the Google-Cache and found another older report also written by Mr. Zaracostas that essentially said the same thing.

And it was interesting to note that the earlier piece was not published in the 'Human Rights Tribune'. Instead, it graced the pages of the Mooniefied 'Washington Times' which, of course, is hardly a virulent critic of Mess'rs Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Neandercon Caballaroes.



Friday, April 04, 2008

L'Affaire de Lesser: More Than Just Rosebank?


Yesterday, we wondered if the Rosebank development in Chilliwack just might be Mr. John Les' 'Rosebud'.

Now it looks like their might be a whole bunch of sleds in the formation:

The investigation into the land dealings of B.C.'s ex-solicitor-general goes beyond the two properties CTV has uncovered, according to the special prosecutor overseeing the investigation.

Prosecutor Robin McFee told CTV News that there are more land transactions that have brought the attention of the RCMP than those at Bell Road and Rosebank Place in Chilliwack -- deals that made John Les hundreds of thousands of dollars during and after the years he was mayor of the Fraser Valley city.

"I can say that the scope of the investigation is broad and has been fully pursued by the RCMP," Robin McFee told CTV News.

If that's truly the case, it would seem that it is becoming more and more difficult for reasonable people to believe that no one, including the principals, knew anything was up before the CBC started to make enquiries last Friday.

Unless, of course, everyone in the Chilliwack land development business has kept their ears plugged, their eyes covered, and their mouths duct-taped for the past year or more.


Oh, and the guy who had the story before the CBC, Paul Henderson (not the 1972 goal scorer), of the Chilliwack Times has all kinds of interesting details on the behind how the Rosebank deal did not go through repeatedly for the original longterm owners but did (go through) for Mr. Les almost immediately after he bought the property.


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Did Orson Wells Write L'Affaire d'Lesser?


After all, Charles Foster Kane once had his own 'Rosebud'.

And now it looks like Citizen Les just might have his own 'Rosebank':

VICTORIA -- It was once rich fields of corn; now the Rosebank Place land in Chilliwack is covered with sprawling, luxury homes.

Just how the protected farmland - a property that was bought, subdivided and then sold by former solicitor-general John Les - came to be developed was the subject of scrutiny last summer when RCMP officers questioned staff at the provincial Agricultural Land Commission.


The Rosebank Place land is still technically in the Agricultural Land Reserve, but when RCMP interviewed several commission staffers last summer, authorities were particularly interested in whether any rules were bent to allow that property to be developed.


In 1997, while John Les was mayor, council rejected a rezoning application by the owners of an agricultural parcel at 10542 Bell Rd.

After he left City Hall, Mr. Les successfully applied to have that parcel rezoned in 2000, and took ownership of it.


According to this, and other, reports, the original owner of a chunk of farm property comes before Chilliwack City council while Mr. Les is Mayor asking to have the farmland rezoned for subdividing which would raise the value of the property significantly.

Council, with Mr. Les as mayor, rejects the proposal.

Three years later Mr. Les, who is then no longer the mayor, buys the property and has it rezoned by the council in essentially the same fashion as was proposed by the original owner.


Looks like somebody's got some 'xplainin' to do.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Maybe Glen Clark's Deck Did It....


It appears that Mr. John Les has an explanation, sorta/kinda, for all this land deal investigation stuff by the RCMP and a Special Prosecutor appointed by his provincial government:

VICTORIA -- Embattled MLA John Les hinted yesterday he may be the victim of a politically motivated vendetta that cost him his cabinet post.

Mr. Les resigned as solicitor-general on Friday after he was named in an RCMP investigation into land deals involving former City of Chilliwack officials.

"If there is a vendetta or some kind going on, I don't know," he told reporters. "I'm not sure if this is partisan, but it easily could be."

He did not say who might be behind a political attack.

Ya, sure.

An unidentified political opponent did it.

And if it's not 'partisan', does that mean he's suggesting that somebody on his side might be the culprit?

Oh boy.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Are Some Special Prosecutors More Special Than Others?


Ian Mulgrew asked a bunch more questions about the John Les affair in his recent Vancouver Sun column:

#1) What were the cops doing for nine months -- twiddling their thumbs?

#2) What is so murky that it has taken this long to clarify?

#3) What exactly has special prosecutor Robin McFee been doing?

#4) And why wasn't assistant deputy attorney-general Robert Gillen, who appointed him, kicking his butt given what was at stake?

Not sure what the answers to any of them are.

But Paul Willcocks gave some insight into why the SPs in the L'Affaire Lesser and RailGate just might be a little less efficient than most:

The original (Special Prosecutor) policy called for "senior criminal lawyers in private practice" to be appointed special prosecutors. But in the B.C. Rail case and now in this one (ie. that involving John Les), the (Attorney General's )ministry has picked lawyers who, while highly regarded, are not known for criminal work. Given the massive problems in the B.C. Rail case, this raises questions about why the change was made.

(stuff in brackets mine)

Ya, that's the ticket - why have special prosecutors with criminal experience work complicated cases involving alleged crimes.

I mean that would be flat-out crazy if you wanted to expedite matters wouldn't it?

And if you didn't want to?

Expedite matters, I mean.....



No Jersey Girl At The Big Show?

....Bring In The New Girl!


Full report to come (after noon on the day after the Mar 31st Vancouver Show)

PhotoCredit: courtesy the most 'serious' Springsteeniacs I know of......the good folks at Backstreets.
Oh! And just so you know, the Magic number was '24'. And yes, Rosie did, indeed, come out last night.