After seeing this morning's headlines, this page is left wondering if I should take Lou Dobbs' advice and has retreat to a dark corner while I suck my thumb:

"...day of carnage" - The Globe & Mail
"Global Contagion" - The Vancouver Sun
"Market Crisis" - The Province
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" - D.C. Comics
"Crisis? What Crisis?" - Supertramp

Wow. All because 228 Members of Congress voted to adhere to the wishes of their constituents rather than the wishes of some of America's most notorious corporate criminals, aided and abetted by a corporate media who are treating the cyclical nature of the economy like the Coming of the End Times. This page is no economist, but I didn't think that rock bottom interest rates, bottomless tax cuts, and a regular blank cheques for the Iraq occupation could last forever - sooner or later, something else has to give besides George Bush's key to the White House.

Until the public sees a bailout package that actually has some actual oversight and some real enforcement provisions, it's not a bailout package worth voting for. Congress can do it right, or they can do it fast. Over the past few days, nobody in the financial services industry has been advocating moving off the buy low and hold strategy, it's still a sound strategy unless one is planning not be around that much longer. It's a sound strategy for anyone in Washington looking to be around after November 4th too.


The Seven (Plus) Words You Can't Say in 2010

VANOC has released a list of prohibited words for anyone interested in volunteering for the 2010 Winter Olympics/Parlaympics. Among the words and phrases are 'cripple', 'spastic', 'lunatic', 'crazy', 'nuts', 'retarded', 'idiot', 'mongoloid', 'physically challenged', 'differently abled', and 'patient'. Unacceptable use of the lyrics to the national anthem is also under review by VANOC.

As a public service, this page lists several other words and phrases which will no doubt be prohibited by Olympic organizers in an effort to appease the ruling sensibilities as the 2010 Games approach: 'homeless', 'environmentalist', 'union', 'occupation', 'tar sands', 'child labour', 'child poverty', 'farce', 'carbon tax', 'public', 'opposition', 'freedom of speech', 'kickback', 'NDP', 'GLBT', 'bad cop no donut', 'gentrification', 'overcrowded bus', 'safe injection site', 'feminist', 'police state', 'Cambie Street bankruptcies', 'medicare', 'hypocrisy', 'democracy', 'ripoff', 'tax burden', 'Taiwan', 'In Calgary the medal ceremonies were free', 'Vladimir Putin', 'corruption', 'egalitarian', 'Squamish', 'microbrew', 'International ice', 'Drunk driving premier', 'Downtown Eastside', 'Simon Fraser University', 'accountability', 'rockslide', 'Interior', 'Why the f**k are we watching a giant TV and drinking $8 cans of Canadian in David Lam Park while it's raining and the cops are shoving that guy to the street and ripping stuff out of his shopping cart?'


Harper doesn't know Jack...or Carole.

With the Federal Election about three weeks away, and Stephane Dion's Liberals in freefall, Stephen Harper is pulling out all the stops to secure a Conservative majority, including a stop in Vancouver yesterday to attack the hard-charging NDP. The Prime Minister's weapon of choice was a claim so disconnected from the political reality of this province: Federal New Democrats are not like the populist, poll winning BCNDP. This page offers a thousand words and then some to refute Harper's pathetic attempt to drive a wedge among New Democrats in British Columbia:

Those of you who may not recognize the woman in red raising Jack Layton's hand, that would be Carole James, Leader of the B.C. New Democrats, and possibly the first woman to be elected Premier of B.C. on May 12, 2009*. While Stephen Harper may be scoring points of Stephane Dion's proposed Carbon Tax in British Columbia because James and the NDP gave the B.C. Liberals a severe thrashing over Gordon Campbell's Carbon Tax, the Prime Minister is ignoring the fundamentals behind opposing the Carbon Tax. New Democrats at the Provincial AND Federal level oppose a Carbon Tax when it punishes working families who need to commute and heat their homes and are forced to watch those revenues finance more tax cuts for the wealthy. The Conservatives oppose any Carbon Tax because it pisses off their friends in Big Oil and may slow down their 'progress' in reducing Northern Alberta to a giant toxic crater.

This page has worked on a few election campaigns for the NDP at the Provincial and Federal level in B.C., and I can declare that the same people I worked with getting Jenny Kwan elected to Victoria are the same people I worked with getting Libbie Davies to Ottawa. Unlike Gordon Campbell and the B.C. Liberals, an Anti-Union Mercenary Hit Squad made up of Federal Liberals, Tories, and refuse from the Social Credit era, the NDP is an actual political party who spit every time someone mentions disgusting hypocritical sellouts like Ujjal Dosanjh or Bob Rae.

New Democrats in B.C. are all the same shade of orange, no matter what our divide n' conquer Prime Minister thinks. Can Stephen Harper say the same thing about his 'fellow' Conservative on Canada's opposite coast, Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams?

*Rita Johnston holding the flaming bag for the Socreds in 1991 obviously doesn't count.


If you can read this, don't read that.

Today is the Vancouver Sun's Raise-A-Reader Day. For those of you scoring at home, the Vancouver Sun is British Columbia's alleged paper of record, and a division of the Asper family's Canwest Global media empire. The Sun says that the Raise-A-Reader promotion, where local celebrities appear at high traffic locations and hand out free newspapers, is intended to promote literacy. This page says it's more like Raise-A-Readership, and I don't care which Sedin twin handed you the Sun, dumping free copies is an quick and dirty way to boost circulation figures for a broadsheet in decline, a tactic Canwest has employed since your local University campus was insulated with complimentary editions of the National Post.

Parents who are concerned for the children's reading ability should also be way of what kind of 'literacy' the Sun is trying to promote. The Sun wants your children to read how accepting a discount on a deck for Premier Clark's house was serious government corruption, but Gordon Campbell ripping up legally binding contracts wasn't. Sun readers were also told that moving shipbuilding jobs to Germany was a good idea because once upon a time, some waterfront mansions on Bowen Island were almost splashed by a Fast Ferry made by those evil union workers right here in B.C. The Green Party is a left-wing replacement for the NDP, even if a growing element of their membership has a bigger hate-on for organized labour than the Liberals do. Real Estate developers and the free market will solve Vancouver's Homeless problem. Seriously, one can find much better fairy tales than these ones.

For those of you just starting out on the path to literacy, this page will summarize: See Dick. See Dick write. See Dick write corporate propaganda for his boss. See Dick's boss call it journalism. What a Dick!


Ladies and Gentlemen, Michael Moore

Today is the release date for Michael Moore's new film Slacker Uprising, which chronicles his Great Slacker Uprising Tour, and the author/filmmaker/activist's attempts to rally America's youth to fight back against George W. Bush during the election of 2004. While Moore has drawn criticism from so-called 'pure' doumentarians and utopian liberal elitists who are less than fond of the Michigan Muckraker's brand of populist diatribe, this page counts himself as fan, and encourages readers to enjoy the movie. So there.

And now, the World Blogcast Premiere of Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising...

(click here to download the complete movie)


Many are called. Few do the choosing.

This page received a phone call yesterday from Ekos Research Associates. Had the Seattle Seahawks not already put away the St. Louis Rams, I may not have not decided to get off the couch and pick up the phone, having received a barrage of calls over the past week regarding Vision Vancouver's nomination meeting on September 20. That's the problem with tracking polls during a campaign, and that's why I don't bother tilting at those windmills: They only illustrate voting preferences among people who can be bothered to pick up in the phone, and in Ekos case, think they could actually win the $500 being offered for participating.

Ekos uses robo-calls with touch-tone responses. It's cheaper than hiring people for the public to hang up on, and more effective than a voice recognition program - those of us seen screaming our coordinates into our cellphones trying to get route information from TransLink can attest to that.

Dispensing with the usual demographic profiling, this page was asked three questions :

1. 'If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?' This page pressed 5 for the NDP, as there was no key to press for 'there can't be a federal election tomorrow because one has already been called for October 14.'

2. 'How likely are you to change your mind between now and the election on October 14?'. I pressed 5 for 'not at all'. Again, there was no key for 'I thought we were talking about some hypothetical election that takes place tomorrow'.

3. 'Do you have a second choice among the parties to vote for on October 14?' I pressed 6 for 'No second choice', as I don't believe Libby Davies will be caught training virtual puffins to defaecate on command, cracking jokes about listeriosis victims, or smoking a giant bong. Well, there's always YouTube.

If anything, the experience of being polled was as validating, and as easy as when I was pegged to fill out a ratings survey log for the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement about 25 years ago, and a year before I started subscribing to cable. Now, where's my five hundred dollars?


If you can make it there...

This page normally refrains from personally addressing complete strangers in a post, but today I would like to address the arrogant bully who I saw while passing through Guelph Park near Kingsgate Mall in the early hours of this morning. For those of you scoring at home, this woman felt she had the right to not only berate two homeless people, but to also gather their meagre belongings and throw them in a nearby garbage bin.

First of all, Ms....for lack of a name, let's just call you Bitch, welcome to East Vancouver. I'm sure that since Starbucks has deemed Mount Pleasant gentrified enough to put down tentacles...er...roots, I guess that there will be more spoiled yuppies and their egomaniacal bratlings like coming our way in search of the last remnants of relatively affordable real estate in the city. Enjoy our 'funky' Main Street, even if it was branded as 'funky' by marketing geniuses in Kitsilano. Take time to hang out on 'The Drive' (known as Commercial Drive by people who go there to buy pet supplies or hardware, and go swimming at Brittania Community Centre) but watch out for the hippies, punks, lesbians, skaters and activists who might distract you from your shopping. However, Ms. Bitch, I am concerned that upon your arrival in our neighbourhood, you have not been informed that unlike Yaletown, there are no 'Downtown Ambassadors' in our neck of the woods to harass the indigent, the addicted, and the mentally ill. We don't use the Safe Streets Act, we use the code of the original 'Project Civil City' - LIVE AND LET LIVE.

If someone cracks open a beer on the front porch of their Halfway House, it's all good. If someone asks us for spare change, it's easier to say we don't have any rather than bitch at that person to 'get a job' - there may be a very good reason why he doesn't have a job. If someone discreetly pitches a tent in a park and keeps to himself, we allow him to do so because its safer than sleeping on the street. As you may have noticed, when you pulled your little stunt this morning, you were the only one out there - that's because your neighbours, unlike you, have some compassion and respect for those less fortunate than themselves. Why do you think we keep returning New Democrat MLAs and MPs to Victoria and Ottawa? You should just be lucky that, as the only witness, this page opted not to slip to that homeless coup the idea of pressing charges against you - theft and harassment are easier to prove than whether or not someone slept in a park all night.

One more thing - I don't know what motivated you to attack those people the way you did, but let me be clear - Rudy Giuliani is an arrogant, corrupt, vicious, deluded, philandering failure of a failed Rethuglican Presidential candidate whose only claim to fame is sitting in the Mayor's Chair in New York as the Bush Administration ignored warnings from the FBI in August of 2001 about Al-Qaida plans to hijack airliners and fly them into skyscrapers. Giuliani has nothing to say about what's best for the people of Vancouver, particularly the most in need among us.

These people do. So do these people. Try listening to them before taking cues from self-righteous demagogues like Giuliani. and Tony Clement.


Imagination Nomination Contemplation Presentation

This page's mailbox and phone lines have been jammed over the past week as Vision Vancouver's City Council candidates have been urging me to vote for them at this Saturday's nomination meeting, plus the other candidates they support as running mates. The problem with 15 contenders running for 8 positions while sharing mailing lists is that one eventually tells campaign callers that their candidate will get my vote if they hang up in the next five seconds.

That being said, here are the eight candidates this page will be voting for:

George Chow: came to see the light on InSite.

Heather Deal: strong incumbent who hits the NPA hard.

Kashmir Dhaliwal: strong Labour background, and a South Asian voice on Council.

David Eby: proven fighter against homelessness with Pivot Legal Society.

Kerry Jang: understands mental illness in relation to poverty and homelessness.

Raymond Louie: proven leadership, and as good a choice for Mayor as Gregor Robertson.

Andrea Reimer: She quite the Green Party and I'm on her blogroll. 'Nuff said.

Rey Ulmas: HEU Activist, and voice for Vancouver's under-represented Fillipino community.

If I get around to it tomorrow, I'll dish out endorsements for Parks Board and School Board candidates, which of course, like the Council picks, carry the political weight that only anonymous blogs can provide...


No Neck to Step On

After a celebrity turn at the Beijing Paralympics, Mayor Sam Sullivan returns to Vancouver with some unexpected, but welcome news: he will not be seeking a seat in the B.C. Legislature.

This page is relieved to find out that Sullivan's thug mentality and idiotic pet projects such as 'Eco-Density' and 'Project Civil City' will not be wheeled to Victoria and inflicted on the rest of the province. However, I do have to wonder if Sullivan's not running because he can't a find a suitable running mate like he had with James Green in the 2005 Mayoral election.

What? Were Jennie Kwon, Adrienne Dixx or David Chudnauvski just not that interested?


Whose Crisis is it Anyway?

To hear some people tell it, the current adjustment taking place in the stock market is the hearkening of some kind of apocalypse. Until I see four repo men on horseback, I'm not convinced. This page is always bewildered when the alarm bells are ringing from Bay Street or Wall Street. As someone who works for a living, lives modestly (i.e. doesn't own a vehicle), and puts his money in the bank, I'm not seeing that big a crisis. I didn't party like it's 1999 when the markets were rocking to the beat of Easy Credit & the Subprime Mortgages, so I'm not going to panic like it's 1929.

If an adjustment in the market means a few less rich people who may now be more interested in preserving the social safety net rather than screaming for more useless tax cuts, by all means, adjust away. The best thing for the rest of us to do is remain frugal, and be ready to call 'bullshit' when the richies and the wannabes want governments to cut health care and education because they had a few bad days at the Trading Floor Casino and didn't know when to quit.


Please leave quiety and in an orderly fashion.

Gordon Campbell and the B.C. Liberals have cancelled the Fall Session of the Legislature.

Over the past week, this page has heard much shrieking from people with a hate-on for New Democrats about how much Elizabeth May should be heard in the Federal Leaders TV Debate, and how denying her the right to express her views is an affront to democracy. For those of you scoring at home, I haven't heard any noises about the fact that Gordon Campbell has padlocked British Columbia's House of the People out of fear that Carole James and the BCNDP might get in a few shots during the debates or Question Period which could throw a wrench into the Liberals high-performance propaganda machine, which at this moment is churning out more taxpayer-funded touchy-feeliness about how we live in "The Best Place on Earth" (tm).

This page has made his thoughts on the TV debates clear, and doesn't care what kind of televised circus the Federal Leaders perform as long as its their respective parties who are paying for it. In the case of the Legislature, however, its Members are servants of the public and should be in the Legislature serving the public. Are issues like the Pine Beetle infestation or the expanding Homeless population going to go away because there's no one in Victoria to address those issues? In 2001, Opposition Liberal MLAs refused to participate in Question Period or debate NDP legislation in the hopes that they could expedite their malicious propaganda war on the working class and seize power. Here's hoping that the silence this time marks the end of their time in government.



Republicans are screaming 'sexism' over Barack Obama's assertation that John McCain recasting himself as an agent of change is 'like putting lipstick on a pig'.

Although I think it's sacrilege that Major League Baseball started using it, this page is really starting to like instant replay....

Wow. Does America really need another Septugenarian President who doesn't remember anything he said?


80 - 20 Vision

And some of you didn't think two left-leaning parties couldn't get along...This page and other supporters of the left in Vancouver are breathing a sigh of relief with the news that Vision Vancouver has struck a deal with the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) for a joint slate in the November 15 civic elections. The deal, which requires approval from COPE's membership, sees COPE endorsing Vision Mayoral candidate Gregor Robertson while Vision leaves open two City Council races for COPE candidates to run against their rivals from the 'Non-Partisan' Association (NPA). Vision will also be stepping aside for COPE candidates in School Board and Parks Board races. Full disclosure: this page has memberships in both COPE and Vision Vancouver.

Some readers may be asking how can this page call cheer two parties reaching this kind of agreement, yet at the same time criticize Elizabeth May and Stephane Dion for making an accommodation with each other...SHUT UP, THAT'S HOW!...Seriously though, COPE and Vision Vancouver are not actually parties, the Vancouver Charter has not mention of political parties, only 'elector organizations'. These organizations are essentially slates (albeit slates that can spend more money than the major provincial political parties), and unlike federal politics, there's a tradition in Vancouver civic politics of leaving races open for fellow travellers. Up until being reduced to David Cadman's seat on City Council, COPE traditionally left a couple of Council races open for the Vancouver Green Party.

The challenge for real progressives is to make sure that the joint COPE-Vision slate actually is progressive and reflects the values of the civic left. It shouldn't be that big a challenge on the COPE end, as incumbent Councillor David Cadman and former Councillor Ellen Woodsworth are most likely to be nominated on September 28. Both Cadman and Woodsworth have a track record of sticking up for working people and the disadvantaged in Vancouver. The real challenge comes on September 20 when 17 challengers go after Vision's 8 Council nominations. In reviewing Vision's candidate profiles, there is tremendous potential for a progressive slate, but this page also came across such disturbing phrases as 'sales and marketing experience', 'public relations firm', 'Liberal Riding Association', and 'Larry Campbell' - for those of you scoring at home, these are not the markings of progressive candidates.


The Revolution will not be Televised

Whenever the Federal Party Leaders TV Debate takes place, Elizabeth May won't be representing the Green Party at it. This page doesn't believe that a cabal of broadcasters should be deciding which political views see the televised light of day and which don't, but in this case excluding May is the right choice. The Greens don't have official party status in the House of Commons (which is why the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives should have been out of the 1997 debate), and in fact are 12 members short of official party status having elected, by my calculations, zero (0) Members of Parliament. Also, claiming that one of your 'opponents' would make a great Prime Minister and not running candidates against his party doesn't exactly look like one's ready to bring it on.

For all of the Greens' histrionics, their anguish at being escorted out of the studio is misplaced. With apologies to Seinfeld fans, TV debates in Canada are the real show about nothing. Since the 1993 election, when the traditional system of national political parties collapsed, These nationally televised podium derbies have been little more than a farcial circus of non-issues, grandstanding journalists, incessant spin, and games of 'gotcha'. Attempts at taking questions from idiot-in-the-street 'ordinary' voters have failed to inject authenticity into the proceedings. The problem lies in the fact that these debates have no real argument because the format of putting four or five people on stage for an hour doesn't allow any of them time to formulate an argument. The Democratic and Republican National Conventions may also have been circuses, but at least they offered American voters the chance to hear Barack Obama and John McCain speak for an hour without interruptions to lay out their parties' platforms and address their critics.

Besides, there are far more entertaining fake arguments to watch....


Hey! Look over there!

Defying his own fixed election date legislation, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has called a General Election for Tuesday, October 14. In yesterday's opening salvos, Green Party leader Elizabeth May called the upcoming vote the 'most important in history', and that voters should tune out other 'distractions'. Ms. May and this page have a few differences, but rest assured, distraction makes up a significant bulk in the Tory bag of electoral tricks, particularly when it comes to the campaign in British Columbia.

It's one thing to stage a vote the day after Thanksgiving, when suburban and rural Tory voters will be raptured in the glow of turkey dinners, proselytizing, trolling the aisles at Wal-Mart and token charity efforts, while the rest of us are struggling to make out way back to work or campus. In British Columbia, it's another thing to stage the vote in the middle of campaigns for the November 15 Municipal elections, and what will be the final Legislature session before the May 12, 2009 Provincial election - at least Gordon Campbell respects fixed election dates, even if he can't respect collective agreements.

This page submits that all these elections are important, which is part of the reason why Stephen Harper is going now. British Columbia is probably the closest thing Canada has to a 'swing state', and this election could swing the Tories way after the polls close in the Pacific Time Zone if Federal Liberals can't work together because some support the B.C. Liberals and some support Carole James and the BCNDP. Even an electoral breakthrough in the City of Vancouver is possible if centre-left voters feel they owe more to Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver in the quest to take back City Hall than they do to a Federal campaign.

This page has no problem with a loaded electoral calendar, but then again, this page took several political science courses and is on all the right mailing lists. Most British Columbians aren't, which, in a close election which could deal a majority to the Conservatives, October 14 could be a lucky day for the Prime Minister.