Traffic Retort

This page has grown annoyed enough about this emerging fact of life in Vancouver to post it here: why is it that anyone who drives an SUV has a wealth of information about construction delays, lane closures, etc., and anyone who doesn't gets to run a perpetual obstacle course? The automotivocracy makes sure that drivers are never inconvenienced, while those of us without vehicles are annoyed, confused, and occasionally stranded by poor planning and a lack of information.

If one walks, cycles, or takes transit, be assured that construction companies, municipal authourites and the media don't give a flying f**k about you. Sidewalks and stations are closed without a reason or a completion date. Notice only goes up at the site where the work is being done, confusing and inconveniencing riders and pedestrians.

Yesterday, this page saw the entrances and exits and Granville Skytrain station closed off except for the Dunsmuir Street access. I saw a man well into his 70's totter down stairs with a cane and stumble a few times to the point where I was sure he was going to fall. There was an elevator, but nowhere did it indicate the elevator went to the Skytrain platform he was trying to reach.

This page is sick and tired of being treated like pedestrian cattle, and has a few good places where Translink can stick its uninformative copies of The Buzzer.


No news is good news for our corporate overlords

Last Wednesday, Bill C-257 passed in the House of Commons by a margin of 167 to 101. This legislation prohibits the use of SCABS (or for the fascist toadies among you, replacement workers) during labour disputes in federally regulated industries. The Canadian Labour Congress estimates about 1 in 10 Canadian workers will be subject to Bill C-257, including workers in transportation and telecommunications.

One would think that potential impact, let alone the passing of a stridently pro-labour bill in Stephen Harper's Canada would generate significant media coverage. Outside of the CLC website and discussions at Rabble.ca, this page has seen no mention of C-257 anywhere since it was passed last week. This page suspects that the more deluded among the fascists consider anti-scab legislation as a minor annoyance until the Conservatives can sweep to power with a majority government, a prospect that grows more remote by the day.

It could very well be that the media's self-imposed blackout has to do with the media, particularly CanWest Global's dominance of the daily newspaper market. This is the same cabal who had no problems with buying a tarnished Calgary Herald that used "e-scabs" to e-mail their work across picket lines. It's also the same gang that tried to break strikes at the Vancouver Sun and Victoria Times Colonist with "British Columbia" editions of the National Post. They may also be waiting until the bill approaches third reading to unleash the apocalyptic editorials about how C-257 will destroy competitiveness. Of course, the Canwest papers became less competitive once the Globe & Mail realized they could do a BC edition of their own....


Return to Sender

Canada Post believes that if a religious group in Ontario is willing to pay for them for it, delivering hate literature to people in East Vancouver is "appropriate".

Last week this page saw an interview on CNN which illustrated the preferred communications strategies of the radical and religious right wing. Direct Mail was cited as an example of one of the means so-called "Christians" can bypass the "liberal" bias in the mainstream media and speak to their supporters. Distributing this material in some of Canada's most progressive neighbourhoods is more likely to harass and intimidate people than win them over.

This page salutes the CUPW members who stood up to Canada Post's toadying to the darkest, anti-human elements of the Stephen Harper regime, and refused to deliver this garbage. This page also wants the name and address of this alleged church, as I have a sizeable whack of gay porn and Dan Savage columns to unload on them.


Scary Movie

Gabriel Range's faux-documentary Death of a President opens tomorrow. The movie draws a parallel between the events that followed September 11, 2001 with those which will take place following the assassination of George W. Bush on October 19, 2007. Right wing critics are screaming that Range has concocted little more than a liberal revenge fantasy.

For those of you scoring at home, a liberal revenge fantasy would actually look something like this: the Democrats take control of the House and the Senate. The first order of business for the new Congress is Impeaching the President for disregarding FBI intelligence prior to 9/11, staging a pre-emptive war in Iraq on false pretenses, and the manipulation of elections in 2000 and 2004, just to name a few of the Articles of Impeachment.

That's actually a good tag line for next month's blockbuster that Americans will be lining up for: On November 7, don't get mad, get even...


Corky turns a little Green

BC NDP icon and Nelson-Creston MLA Corky Evans is advocating an alliance with the Green Party.

There are a lot of New Democrats, this page included, who are skeptical about the Greens. I find the belief among many of them that capitalism will save the environment misguided to the point of threatening. Their antipathy towards the Labour movement dissolved any hope of a concentrated fightback against the Campbell Lieberals after the 2001 election. Any Green who still believes unions run the NDP need to familiarize themselves with recent changes to membership policy, particularly the fact that Dave Haggard hasn't been one for years.

Now that the Jim Harrises and Adrienne Carrs have stepped aside, there may be a window of opportunity for New Democrats to reach out to the left wing of the Green Party, and remind them that B.C.'s environment was in much better hands before 2001. Some of us preferred Forest Practices Code with a few Pine Beetles to work out rather than the Forest industry promising to regulate itself, and closed containment fish farms instead of mutant salmon in open waters.

However, when Corky mentions that Greens in his riding voted Liberal to keep him from winning, it illustrates some Greens are more interested in being on the right side of Canwest Global's anti-NDP propaganda than the right side of the issues. Only Nixon could go to China, so I guess that only Corky could go to the Greens.


Firing at Random

Is Peter MacKay going to change his position on same-sex marriage? After calling Belinda Stronach a dog in the House of Commons, I don't see how he can hope for an opposite-sex one.

Single Residency Occupancy hotels (SROs) are starting to evict tenants to attract a "better" clientele in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics. Nothing says "world-class destination" like making more homeless people.

The U.S. congressional elections take place November 6. The verdict in the Saddam Hussein trial is scheduled to come down November 5. The Bush administration captured Saddam on a Sunday, and attacked Afghanistan on a Sunday to broadcast these achievements to the huge syncophantic audience watching the NFL for maximum propaganda value. Put this page down for Saddam in the gas chamber and the Cowboys by 2 over the Redskins.

Two people who pissed me off last week: Dennis Miller and Rona Ambrose. Dennis Miller hasn't been funny since becoming a Republican stooge. The Tories environmental plan is funny, but it's by no means a ha-ha funny.

I picked either the Mets or the Yankees to be in the World Series, which shows how little I know about baseball. However, this page is considerate enough not to disturb others with my flashes of ignorance, unlike Bill Bavasi and Mike Hargrove: how many power hitting first basemen who don't have power do the Mariners need?

Watch the new Battlestar Galactica before it loses its edge.


Boxes...need more boxes...

This page is in the process of moving to a new office, so regular programming won't be seen here until next week.


The Globe & Mail: BC edition...er, PG edition...er, R...

Dear Editors - I'm a 63 year old pedophile who was teaching upper class west side high school girls out in the woods, and I never believed any of these stories were true until one day...

What happened to these women who were children at the time was bad enough, but why does The Globe and Mail's coverage of the Tom Ellison trial have to read like something out of Penthouse Forum? I think the expression "2 counts of gross indecency, three counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual assault" says all that needs to be said.

A picture is worth a thousand words. In the case of the Globe, it takes just a few words to paint a humiliating picture for the victims and their families. I'm sure that soon enough, the above link will require a password - most internet porn does.


That's for the courts to decide

Gordon Campbell decided he was above the law when he refused to resign after his drunk driving conviction in Hawaii. In trying to add a principle of "sustainability" to the Canada Health Act, Campbell and the Liberals are trying to put themselves not only above Federal law, but the laws of mathematics. As it's already been pointed out, the CANADA Health Act is a Federal statute, and can't be rewritten in the legislature to appease private health care con artists like Brian Day. By this reasoning, British Columbians should be able to euthanize their parents to collect their inheritance early by applying the principle of "mercy" to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Day doesn't believe the CHA should be treated "like the holy scriptures", but at the same time, is happy to join Campbell in blissfully ignoring such fundamental law as "What goes up must come down." Just like they fabricated a "structural deficit" to make the NDP look fiscally dangerous even though they balanced their last two budgets, Gordo's Goodtime Bullsh*t Factory is now claiming that health care will soon take up 71% of the BC budget. How do they figure that? Well, if Campbell drinks a martini on Monday, and a couple of martinis on Tuesday, then book the idiot for a liver transplant because Liberal Math and its principle of perpetual exponentiality dictates he will have drank 465 dozen martinis over a month. Furthermore, vermouth may end up taking up 71% of Campbell's budget, but just because he spends a lower percentage on olives, it doesn't mean he's running out of olives and he has to cut back on vermouth.

Responsible health care and fiscal policy are based on the truth, not by throwing buzzwords at federal law to see if they'll stick, and not by throwing out fiscal context to let the numbers skyrocket and serve the right wing's privatization agenda.


Do as I say.

Let's review: UN weapons inspectors proved that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction in 2003. However, the Bush Administration justified the forgoing of brutally effective economic sanctions and the invasion of oil-rich Iraq on the grounds that they did have WMD. The U.S. dismisses criticism of the invasion at the United Nations and tries to establish its own "coalition of the willing".

North Korea detonates an atomic bomb in 2006, and the first response of the Administration is to press for economic sanctions against one of the poorest countries in the world. Instead of directly confronting Kim Jong Il's regime, the U.S. looks for support at the U.N.

Hypocrisy? No, that would be Mark Foley.


Alberta woman goes blind, loses sense of smell

Environment Minister Rona Ambrose claims that the most pressing issue facing the environment isn't climate change, it's air quality. In the same breath, Ambrose also claimed that her Conservative government, with its collective head so up the a*s of the oil and gas industry that you get a Tory membership with a 25 litre fill up, will do a better job on the environment than the Liberals. If smiling and nodding while Northern Alberta becomes a giant smoking crater, heat waves in Toronto and Montreal kill people, and Vancouver homeowners get beachfront property they didn't pay for is somehow better, then this page is willing to take a chance on what would be worse.

Given that everyone from to Canada's Insurance Industry to Alberta's own Department of Agriculture have at least clued into the severity of the climate change problem, it's disturbing that Ambrose and the Conservative's don't put it at the top of the agenda. Air quality would only be the most pressing issue if one happened to be near enough to the Environment Committee Room to subjected to the toxic whiff of corporate denial and bullsh*t emanating from the Environment Minister yesterday.


God help us all...except you

Canada's Reactionary Biblicofascist Conservative government is looking to erase any notion of a separation between church and state in its proposed Defence of Religions Act. According to the draft legislation, public officials will be legally able to discriminate against other Canadians based on their particular religious "orientation".

As I am sure readers of this page, there are a multitude of religious traditions in this country, many of which are odd with each other. Many Canadians are put off by these unending conflicts and subsequently don't follow any religious tradition. The public wasn't going to abide by Ontario courts judging cases by Islamic Sharia law: Why should should right-wing Christian Fundamentalist doctrine determine who someone on the public payroll will marry in a civil ceremony, or for that matter, determine which legal procedures a doctor will perform in a public health care system ?

If the state is willing to protect fanatical zealots who want to abuse public institutions to deny Canadians their rights to equality, liberty, and everything else guaranteed by the Charter, what else is the state willing to condone in defence of "religion"? Given the contradictions among Canada's religions, it would be inevitable that one religious tradition would prevail to the point of calling the shots. It must be going terribly in Afghanistan when Canada's government is sounding more like the Taliban than the Afghans are sounding like a functioning democracy.


If "Housing Matters", they would build some

The BC Lieberals latest exercise in moving money to make it look like they're on top of things is "Housing Matters BC", a $40 million subsidy program. While Rich Coleman says the subsidy will benefit 15,000 low income families across the province, it's really a back-door giveaway to developers and landlords. This is the same Liberal government who legalized 20% rent increases when they changed the Residential Tenancy Act, and closed Tenant Appeal offices across BC, it follows that Victoria would continue to screw over people who can't afford a down payment, or are too smart to try and buy their own place without one.

What is about the right wing that they think the public are such idiots that we can bought off for about a $100 a month? First it was the Conservatives "Universal Child Care" bribe, now Victoria follows suit: Coleman claims a family of five living in Vancouver and paying $875.00 a month will receive $110.00 a month in assistance. You show this page a family of five paying $875.00 for a place in this city, and I'll show you a guy walking up to their front door with a Condemned sign.

Throwing rent subsidies around will not help homelessness when there are not enough homes to begin with. Subsidies may (marginally) help somebody in BC keep their apartment, but will also inflate the rental market to keep someone else from finding one. The Vampires of Victoria will build 450 subsidized units this year for all of BC, but lowball estimates put Vancouver's homeless population alone at over 3,000 by the Lieberals iconic year of 2010.


For those of you scoring at home...

The above, for those of you who are regular readers, is this page's catch-all catch phrase. Unless you already know where it comes from, you will know if you're watching the Major League Baseball playoffs which begin today.

Looking at the field, this page saw only the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers up close and personal this year. While those teams were good enough to hand my Seattle Mariners their collective heinies, I don't think either will be going all the way this year. The A's, Cardinals, Padres, and Dodgers have a few too many holes to fill as well. If you pick New York, you would be right, or at the least, demi-right.