Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wasn’t that a party


After periods of hot sweating and swelling intensity, Canadians experienced that special physical and emotional release that comes at the peak of hockey excitation, following vigorous stimulation of the nation's love for the game. Hockey Gold triggered a climax that brought people into the streets Sunday, from the village of Vancouver to the centre of the universe, where they closed Yonge Street to accommodate the many streetwalkers.

The final gold is probably the Olympic medal that matters most to the wide Canadian nation and I'm thrilled that our group of millionaires beat their group of millionaires. Sorry, that just slipped out. I'll start again.

For Canadian hockey fans, the final game, winning Olympic Gold at home, may rank as the biggest ever moment in sports. At least it will for those not old enough to remember Paul Henderson's goal in 1972. But, the 21st World Olympics were filled with moments that only provoke admiration, respect and, dare I say, love of country. Normally, I dread patriotism because it has been an engine of excess, dangerous throughout history. Not today.

Canadians achieved so much in hosting this event. Not a few Canadians, either. Tens of thousands conducted the games, from youngsters in the opening and closing ceremonies to the regular citizens including many seniors who filled the ranks of volunteers doing essential but unglamorous chores. From the rising generation of performers, the almost stars, authentic stars, and even a couple of superstars, entertainers showed Canadian style at the closing, with playful wit and, I guess, the inevitable pre-recorded audio tracks. It is impossible to create a music program appealing to all people, including both those before and after onset of atherosclerosis. Nevertheless, despite Mounties, moose and flying beavers, at least we didn't get hit with Rita McNeil or a Moxy Früvous reunion.

Even politicians helped by staying largely away from microphones on the final day. Both Prime Minister Harper and Premier Campbell stared at worldwide television coverage and an audience of 60,000 trapped indoors at BC Place. Somehow, they resisted the opportunity to say a few thousand words. Actually, I appreciated VANOC's decision to let John Furlong's speech be the only extended discourse before Jacques Rogge called on youth of the world to reassemble in four years in Sochi Russia. Furlong, after proving wrong those who thought his resume too thin for the big job, deserved to be the official face of the 2010 Olympic Committee.

We also tip our metaphorical hat to the security folks, particularly the Vancouver City Police and the BC Civil Liberties Association Legal Observer program. Some worried that the streets might become a cherished battleground for disaffected social drop-outs. Instead, the police forces showed how to manage crowds. Was London watching? After serious failures at the G8 meetings and with the 2012 Olympics scheduled in their city, British police forces need massive improvements. At Vancouver 2010, anxious planners brought in thousands of extra security forces; so many that some became bored and stirred up action amongst themselves, leading to early flights home for some. In downtown Vancouver, battle ready troops remained hidden while the streets were covered by walking constables wearing uniforms of services from all over Canada. I'm convinced that heavily armed troops with covered faces escalate difficulties while smiling men and women in uniform decrease potential tension.

This event brought back the positive interactions that graced Vancouver throughout Expo 86. Maybe our country faces an imminent beer shortage but who cares. Wasn't that a party.


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Oh, Canada!

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Curling crime confessed

A secret behind Mirjam Ott's crime, stealing one on the eleventh end, is revealed:
Sponsored by a cartel of Swiss Banks, she built a secret ice sheet where she could push the bounds of curling without pressure from adoring fans, jealous competitors, and the paparazzi. Working with the aid of a foam pit, she will get the rocks to curl both to and fro—a front side double Spin Doctor 1260. She tries to get the rocks to curl over each other, to play the game above the ice, but she misses the foam pit and it's ugly. Her entourage including Roger Federer's racket stringer and a St. Bernard named Guenther gather by her side as they await an ambulance….

More insider news at Ohno no more
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Next, man-hugs for Gallagher and Pratt?

Mostly, Vancouver sports fans love Brian Burke. From the day he hit town in 1987 as aide to Canucks General Manager Pat Quinn, until his return as top dog of the USA 2010 Olympic Team, Brian has attracted public attention. Media folks relied on Burke for headline grabbing quotes and he could oblige instantly with astute comments, outrage, drollery or bemusement, depending on what he thought appropriate. Even a "No comment" from Burke could be the foundation of a story.

Two of Brian's enduring foes in this town were newspaper scribbler Tony Gallagher and sports radio fabulist David Pratt. Not likely, but maybe those are walls that also can be deconstructed. Sports Illustrated tells a touching story of how Burke and Edmonton NHL executive Kevin Lowe were reminded that friends shouldn't stay angry with each other:
Remember Kevin Lowe, the Oilers executive Burke eviscerated—and who a year later fired back by calling Burke "a moron" and accusing him of destroying the Canucks before leaving to run Anaheim? "Last summer I said something [nasty] about Kevin Lowe, and Brendan asked, 'How can you stay mad at someone?'" Burke says. "I said, 'It's easy.' He said, 'No, it's not. He used to be your friend. It doesn't make sense. I don't approve.'"
When Lowe, now the Oilers' president, learned of Brendan's passing, he e-mailed Brian, referring to their shattered relationship while offering his sympathies. Burke immediately called Edmonton G.M. Steve Tambellini, with whom he had worked in Vancouver, and asked him to tell Lowe that this is one broken fence he wants to mend.
And so Burke and Lowe began the healing process last week at Canada Hockey Place. In their best moments, the Olympics can be as much about peace and friendship as about rivalries. Five nights before the U.S. beat Canada 5--3, the grieving father walked over to Lowe, a Team Canada executive, and offered his hand. Burke says an awkward sort of half man-hug accompanied the handshake. The Olympics really can be as much about peace and friendship as about medals.
"Again, that's Brendan breaking down another wall," Burke says. "That's what he does." Burke reaches for a paper towel.

Read all of Man of His Word, Michael Farber's top story at S.I.

Also, see my blog entry "This won't change a thing."
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

VIP's disguised as empty seats in sold-out game

The ticketing process for Olympic Men's Hockey is mysterious. Only a portion of the arena capacity is available to ordinary fans while large blocks of seating are dedicated to VIPs, sponsors and other privileged souls, including BC Liberal politicians, of course.

It is shameful for valuable seats - the Craigslist price had been $650 each - to go empty throughout a game, despite huge unmet demand. Organizers could require ticket holders to attend by some moment, perhaps within 20 minutes of scheduled start time, to maintain reserved seating. If a place is left empty after that point, give admittance to a standby patron. Alternatively, have a pool of deserving youngsters on standby, ready to take an unused seat, perhaps during the first period break.

Another possibility is to follow the lead of televised awards shows, such as Critics' Choice and the Academy Awards. Bring in professional seat fillers, people assigned to sit in empty places at least to provide the appearance and atmosphere of a full house.

Here are scenes from the "sold-out" Men's Play-offs Quarterfinals, USA vs Switzerland, Feb 24/09 (click on photo for larger view):

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Monday, February 22, 2010

If you care about wild salmon

Please, view this film and send this link to all in your contact list.



Alexandra Morton warns about the movement of drug resistant sea lice from the west coast of Vancouver Island to the Discovery Islands, putting at risk coastal salmon runs, including the Fraser Sockeye Salmon.

Evidence of damage to wild salmon from sea lice is indisputable. Evidence of drug-resistant lice on the coast of British Columbia is irrefutable.  Despite that, Fisheries Canada and the BC Government each deny there is any problem. They refuse to acknowledge this serious biological issue and refuse to even examine the evidence.

A political decision has been taken to protect the fish farms, most owned by a handful of Norwegian companies. It has been left to citizens to collect the evidence and explain the science. Our politicians and bureaucrats sold out to higher bidders.

Read Walter Cordery in the Nanaimo Daily News.
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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Everyone belongs to everyone else - Updated

The 1931 novel Brave New World forecast that eventual populations would be drenched by false and meaningless information and truth would drown in a sea of dross. With youngsters cultivated to not care, civil liberties would disappear amid trivial distractions.

The novel parodied Men Like Gods, a work of H.G. Wells that Aldous Huxley considered wrongly optimistic. Brave New World described a future where Controllers streamed newborns into predestined roles and impaired physical and intellectual development of lower castes with drugs and sensory conditioning. Individuality was suppressed and family and social connections prohibited. Society was designed for supreme conformity. Non-conformists were outcast savages.

Approximately 30 years later, Huxley published Brave New World Revisited. This examined movement toward society foreseen in the precursor novel. He concluded it was approaching more rapidly than feared.

Regular readers know that I have written here about a modern aristocracy that has little regard for ethical behavior or loyalty and accountability to the masses. Democracy is mythic instead of real and mass communications are owned by a coterie of plutocrats. Legislators are neutered by accretion of executive power while megacorps and multinationals dictate policy.

Huxley did not envision the 1,000-channel universe, the Internet, cell phones, tweeting and texting but it is easy to fit all into the scenario he imagined. He would be surprised by none. Out of respect to friends who abhor criticism of the Olympics, I shouldn't mention the mass distraction occurring in Vancouver now but, as we applaud the athletes, Gordon Campbell's minions are focusing new attacks on education, healthcare and the remaining public services.

Americans lead Canadians in eradicating fundamental principles of freedom. Under the guise of fighting terrorism or crime, civil rights are subverted. Electronic communications are intercepted and analyzed by a global surveillance network that leaves no expressed thought immune from interception.

When government and its proxies oppress freedoms, a new standard is set for corporations, institutions and private citizens. Even school administrators feel licensed to ignore rights of children under their supervision. Does that seem an overstatement? Read about this egregious situation.

The FBI is investigating Pennsylvania's Lower Merion School District, which is accused of secretly spying on 2,300 high school students and their families using webcams installed on school-issued laptop computers.

A federal lawsuit filed by a student and his parents claims the school remotely spied on their son at home. They found out, they said, because the assistant principal told student Blake Robbins that he had engaged in improper behavior at home and claimed the school had a webcam photo to prove it.

The district's superintendent issued a statement admitting that students were required to use school issued laptop computers and those each had a webcam that could be remotely activated by district personnel. He said secret features were intended to allow tracking of stolen computers and that students and their families had not been told of the spying capability.

A lawyer's view.
* * * * *
UPDATE
The Robbins family continue legal action against the school district.  According to lawyer Mark S. Haltzman, new details have emerged in tens of thousands of pages of documents and e-mails the district turned over to him in recent weeks.

From philly.com:
Three district employees have also given sworn depositions in the suit. A fourth, [Carol] Cafiero, declined to answer Haltzman's questions, asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Back at district offices, the Robbins motion says, employees with access to the images marveled at the tracking software. It was like a window into "a little LMSD soap opera," a staffer is quoted as saying in an e-mail to Carol Cafiero, the administrator running the program.

"I know, I love it," she is quoted as having replied.

In the filing, the Penn Valley family says the district's records show that the controversial tracking system captured more than 400 photos and screen images from 15-year-old Robbins' school-issued laptop during two weeks in the fall, and that "thousands of webcam pictures and screen shots have been taken of numerous other students in their homes.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Important news from Alexandra Morton

Hello

I apologize for a second email so soon, but important news on the issue of salmon farming has become daily.  Most astonishing is the warning sent today to Canada from former Attorney General of Norway, Georg Fredrik Rieber-Mohn,

we  had an open goal to save wild salmon but we missed the target,”....”If you  want to protect wild salmon then you have to move salmon farms away from  migration routes.

I have posted his entire plea to Canada on my blog, see below for link.

I am working on a very serious incident in Nootka Sound/Esperanza Inlet where reports keep coming to me  that sea lice are out of control on salmon farms.  Neither the province nor DFO will act to stop this from spreading to eastern Vancouver Island, so we are doing the investigation for them. This problem is exactly what Rieber-Mohn is talking about.

http://www2.canada.com/courierislander/news/story.html?id=913af0e6-31ff-4ec4-b66f-908cbfc32c7a

A group of us went to Nootka Island and found extremely high larval sea lice numbers. These farm salmon are being transported to Quadra Island for processing and a sample taken 90’ down from the plant’s effluent pipe found live lice eggs are pouring into Discovery Passage.   Drug resistance in sea lice is causing serious problems in eastern Canada and Norway and means we stand to lose our ability to protect the Fraser sockeye. It is becoming increasingly apparent that wild salmon runs in BC, as in Norway, depend on de-lousing farm salmon  that are on the migration routes. The Discovery Islands host 1/3 of all BC’s wild salmon during migrations as well as millions of Norwegian farm salmon. If these Nootka lice attach to the farm salmon we stand to lose a generation of wild salmon and more drugs will be used on our coast, with the end result being the situation in Norway loss of BOTH wild and farm salmon. I have contacted the federal and provincial governments all the evidence with no action from them to contain this. This is a well-known catastrophe. You can follow it by checking on my blog.

Dr Larry Hammell from the University of Prince Edward Island speaks about "an eruption of the lice last summer", developing resistance to sea lice chemicals, "treatment failures" etc  http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/maritimenoon_20100126_26452.mp3

Professor Tor Einar Horsberg at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science who said: "The harsh treatment that is needed to reach lice limits will lead to more resistant and multi-resistant lice. There is a dramatic development, and I'm worried how this will end": http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utskriftsvennlig/?artId=588564

"The sea lice situation is now out of control along the entire coast of Nordland and south” : http://www.nmf.no/default.aspx?pageId=121&articleId=2354&news=1

I don’t know why we refuse to avoid the situation Norway is facing. It is not even good for the fish farmers. The province of BC maintains there is “no evidence” of drug resistance, but there is evidence everywhere people are willing to look.

You can join our efforts at www.adopt-a-fry.org

Alexandra Morton

http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/
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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wrong, wrong, this is all wrong

Extremely Uptight Olympics Procession Director During Opening Ceremony: 'Wrong, wrong, this is all wrong.'

VANCOUVER—Olympic Procession director Bryan Anderson, known for his vigilant attention to detail and his violent temper, was furious with the apparent "sloppiness" and "unprofessionalism" during the athletes' opening ceremony march-in Friday night, sources reported." Continue reading
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Friday, February 12, 2010

A new world of mapping

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The Commissar orders

Iranian Edition
"The artist shall at all times refrain from making any negative or derogatory remarks respecting VANOC, the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Olympic movement generally, Bell and/or other sponsors associated with VANOC."

Native artist told to sign contract or leave

A First Nations artist who has criticized the aboriginal licensing program for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics has been told he must sign a contract permitting VANOC to approve all his communications.

Shain Jackson, the Vancouver artisan behind Spirit Works, has been told he will be removed from the Olympic Artisan Village, which will be visited by thousands of visitors, if he does not comply.

The contract demands he submit for approval any "publications, press releases, website copy or collateral material" that mentions the 2010 Winter Olympics, he said on Thursday.

Jackson has asked VANOC to stop using the label "authentic aboriginal products" on items made overseas and merchandised by non-Aboriginal companies.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Olympic souvenir

A special Olympics souvenir to remind us of what the Games are really about.

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Here comes the cavalry















As part of the $1 billion Olympic protection effort, thousands of visiting policeman, armed forces and security personnel are stationed in or near Vancouver. People have been drawn from all over and here are representations of a few of the agencies helping us with the games.

Because so many police officers have been needed for Vancouver 2010, a few others may come out of retirement.


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BCCLA Legal Observers

From a BC Civil Liberties Association website:
The Olympics have an unfortunate history of being associated with government activities that repress dissenting voices and “undesirable” populations. In China, dissidents and potential protesters were detained and silenced. In Atlanta and Sydney, homeless people were harassed and displaced by security teams.

Here in Vancouver, people who have written letters to VANOC, gone to city hall to express Olympic related concerns, and even some who visited independent book-stores, have been the targets for increased scrutiny by the Olympic Integrated Security Unit. Our province has proposed legislation that would allow police, arbitrarily, to move homeless people out of high traffic tourist areas and into homeless shelters. Vancouver’s city council is seeking By-law amendments to punish “leafleting” and non-celebratory signs with $10,000 per day fines over a 40 block area of the city; and VANOC is urging cities along the torch run to ban signs and handouts provided by anyone except Olympic sponsors.

The BCCLA doesn’t want Vancouver’s Olympics to be an Olympics where the homeless are displaced, free speech interfered with, and citizen rights trampled with the mistaken purpose of attempting to impress international tourists and media. We believe what will impress tourists and international media the most is demonstrating our tolerant, diverse and unique democratic society and the values that guide us, protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The BCCLA has trained many citizens as Legal Observers, volunteers who represent the watching eyes of the BCCLA during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. They will be focused on police, military and private security conduct to ensure accountability. More concretely, they will be observing major protests and other potential hot spots like Olympic venues and the Downtown Eastside. Legal observers will report observations back to BCCLA's team of volunteer lawyers who are prepared to go to court to protect people's rights where complaints cannot be resolved informally.

David Eby, BCCLA Executive Director, recently stated that the Vancouver Police Department has been cooperative and helpful in establish protocols for observers. He could not say the same thing for the RCMP Integrated Security Unit.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another game for the Olympics?

We've heard horror stories about renting cars in third world nations. Advice given to minimize rip-offs is to avoid prepayments, use a credit card with travel protection and rent from major organizations.

Renting in Vancouver should be OK, if you stick with a major outlet. Should be, that is. One would expect that Avis Budget Group, Inc. would be safe since they operate "two of the most recognized brands in the global vehicle rental industry."

Safe and trustworthy? Maybe not. CBC News presents an unhappy story about one man's experience with Budget. Turns out that the Better Business Bureau has had frequent contact with a Budget franchisee in Richmond known as the Phelps Group.

By sharing this story, we can raise the cost of unethical and questionable business practices.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

No huddled masses please

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
and I'll send them right back to you.

Martin Macias, new media journalist denied entry to Canada, is not a pathfinder. Because he is a critic of the Olympic movement, notably with No Games Chicago, Macias is unwelcome in Stephen Harper's Canada. Indeed, he is not the first to be unwelcome in Canada. Nor will he be the last.
We have a long tradition of keeping out people who make us uncomfortable, particularly poor people. We used to block all brown-skinned souls coming here from mysterious places. They made us uncomfortable.

We did learn to make exceptions. The wealthy, even Asians, have been welcome throughout the past 50 years. We focus mostly on blocking the poor now but also those who support Palestinian causes or are part of the new generation of American service dodgers and deserters. They also can be turned back if they don't have a reference from Sarah Palin and the teabaggers.

Martin, just so you don't feel like you've been singled out. Your is simply one of the cases where Catch 22 applies. Here are a few examples that demonstrate our Canadian Border policies:
  • 2007 - Canadian immigration authorities denied entry to three Mexicans because "they didn't appear to have money and looked very poor." One of the victims said authorities did strip searches and searched their belongings four times and then took them to a detention center where they were handcuffed and detained. Two of the Mexicans were carrying $300 U.S. in cash and the other, $150; between the three they had 14 credit and debit cards and also had return tickets to Mexico.
  • 2007 - An American peace activist, detained by immigration officials in B.C. for two days, is accusing Ottawa of engineering her confinement to silence critics of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Alison Bodine, 22 was carrying anti-war pamphlets in her car when she was arrested at the Peace Arch border crossing.
  • 2009 - William Ayers, professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago was one of the founders of the Weather Underground, whose members protested the Vietnam War four decades ago. He was invited to Ottawa by the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE). Mr. Ayers was denied an entry visa. He was also denied entry to Canada this past January, when he was scheduled to give a talk at the University of Toronto.
  • 2009 - British MP George Galloway, who's opposed to the war in Afghanistan, is not allowed into Canada for speaking engagements. We know what loose lips can sink.
  • 2009 - Rose Kelley, 25 was refused entry twice by CBSA at Sarnia's Bluewater Bridge because she didn't have a job and was collecting social services. The single mother of two was invited to spend three days in Canada at the home of Wayne and Carolyn Leblanc. The couple have their own home and were paying for Kelley's visit. "The officer said a person on welfare shouldn't be going on vacation," Kelley said in her May 4 complaint to the CBSA. He (the officer) said: "You really should not come back to the border until your life drastically changes."
  • 2009 - Chandra and Presilda Felix were advised that five year-old son Moses faced two to three years of cancer treatment. With two other children and no family in Alberta, they asked Presilda's mother in Sri Lanka to help out. But Canadian immigration officials thought grandma posed a risk, and told her she couldn't come. Moses died and the Grandmother was also prohibited from attending his funeral.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

"This won't change a thing."

A good man and a large family is grieving in Boston this week after a tragedy of the sort every parent fears. Brian Burke, former Vancouver hockey linchpin, lost 21 year-old son Brendan who crashed while driving with a friend in poor winter weather. Hockey people and many others across North America mourn with the Burke family.

Born in Vancouver, Brendan grew up mostly in Boston. He played hockey until his final year of high school and reengaged with the game as a student manager of his university's hockey team. At age 19, Brendan came out publicly as a gay man and admitted the former secret had influenced his decision to quit as a player. Hockey and all high level sports have not been gay friendly and that made Brendan's journey to acceptance more arduous.

In November 2009, ESPN writer John Buccigross wrote We love you, this won't change a thing, the story of Brendan's life challenges and his family's responses. This is a polished article, written with sensitivity and understanding for everyone, even those who would make a gay man's life difficult. The loving response that Brendan experienced probably does not surprise those who know his father well. I don't know Brian much at all and I was not surprised.

Years ago, I edited a minor hockey newsletter. Having heard Brian give interesting views on kids' sport when he spoke at a hockey convention, I wanted to convey his thoughts to our association members. How to do it in a unique way was the question. I asked two teenage players to interview Burke and write a report from their point of view about his hockey ideas. The young guys agreed but the Canucks' press office said no, that Mr. B. was too busy.

Days later, I got a call from Burke's assistant telling me to name a day for the meeting. I asked what had changed. Her reply, "When Brian heard the request had been denied, he said, 'Call them back. I wanna do it'."

Burke hosted the boys, with a parent escort and me. The NHL team's offices could intimidate but Brian was quiet and reassuring. He made the young people as comfortable as possible - he knows his reputation - and said, "Ask me anything." Then began what wasn't Brian's toughest ever interview but he was totally and sincerely committed.

About half an hour later, Burke says, "Do you want a tour of the building?" He didn't call for a flunky, he led the group himself, going in and out of places throughout the rink. We laughed at the plumbing facilities in the basketball players' dressing rooms. Seven footers need different fixtures than little guys.

I listened to all the positive things Burke says about kids in sport. He pisses off parents of 10 year-old superstars because he says, forget about bodychecking, toughness and fighting; teach children the fine skills and love for the game. They'll learn the rough stuff later, if they need to, when they're grown.

In a few dealings with him for minor hockey, I found Brian Burke to be a real gem. It doesn't surprise me that he's a great Dad too. Writer/broadcaster Buccigross portrays a family with love and respect for each other. After Brendan's declaration, although surprised, his father was boldly and publicly supportive. In 2009, he telephoned Brendan at school, asking him to fly to Toronto so they could together attend one of the world's preeminent Pride Parades. He said he'll walk in the parade next year if asked.

The story of one family's challenge, response and subsequent tragedy will resonate in homes throughout much of North America, particularly in those challenged by issues of sexual identity. The Burke clan, despite bereavement, will someday share satisfaction that during a critical moment, they stood together and gave Brendan the support he deserved. There will be no regrets about words left unspoken.

John Buccigross, ESPN, Feb 10 2010, There's a light that never goes out.
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Friday, February 5, 2010

Once, there were giants

I have written here repeatedly about British Columbia’s mistaken policy of promoting private production of electricity. BC Hydro is forced to sign long purchase agreements at rates substantially above the likely wholesale values and well above the cost of generating new electricity. Advance contracts at premium prices eliminate the main business risks facing producers and guaranteed streams of public money provide collateral for borrowing, even for producers with minimal invested equity.

Liberals want profits to be privatized while costs and business risks are socialized. Since this benefits the rather few individuals gifted with risk free investments, we must examine possible motives for the policy. Here, the advantages are clear for the sellers but incomprehensible for the public.

Without considering corruption, it is difficult to conceive of the Campbell Government’s motivation. If encouragement of private enterprise is the main purpose, BC Hydro would not be involved as intermediary. Private utilities could produce and sell electricity in the domestic or export markets at their own risk. That is market driven capitalism allegedly favored by BC Liberals.

If alternative power technology initiatives are successful, inexpensive clean power will be available readily. Electricity prices will drop. Nuclear is one possible technology, geo-thermal and high-efficiency solar are others. We can embrace those capabilities or not but their availability will affect export pricing of electricity because Americans are diligently embracing alternate energy.

All schemes for private power in this province are shrouded in secrecy. What is known though is that many companies involved are populated by people with close ties to the Liberal Party. Contracts are not available for public review although it is clear that the commitments total over $30 billion. The quickly sourced report of the government’s Green Energy Task Force is secret and they solicited public submissions to be received through email accounts outside the public system so that records could be undisclosed. The Task Force is beyond scrutiny.

This scandalous situation developed and continues, partly because the NDP opposition is poorly engaged as they wait for Premier Campbell's final self-destruction. Liberal backbenchers are toothless lambs, following their wounded leader without question. A compliant media. loyal to doctrinaire ownership, offers mindless support to the current administration.

I will review one regularly egregious example of media ineffectiveness. It involves representatives from the three major news organization of BC: Global TV News, Canwest Newspapers and Corus Radio. I realize this is a long article but it is fairly transcribed and is reflective of the tortured logic employed by these media members.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Olympics-enhancing drug use expected to rise

A leaked report from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Integrated Security Unit indicates that authorities are worried about increased Olympics-enhancing drug use by spectators and television viewers. “We have reason to suspect that millions of sports fans will be artificially increasing their ability to sit through the 2010 Games with mind-altering substances, particularly marijuana.

The ISU report indicates that interest-boosting doping will be particularly rampant among viewers of Biathalon, Skeleton, Luge and Curling. However, not as earlier reported, two-man luge, a sport that is developing a hard core following.

A VANOC source also admits that some Games viewers are expected to consume beverages produced by companies that are not official sponsors. “We fear that beer drinkers may enjoy Labatt, Sleeman or even Moosehead, rather than officially approved Molson Coors products.”

"The fundamental issue is, we want to protect our sponsors' rights, because it's only through the financial generosity of our sponsors and donors that IOC members can live in the styles to which they are accustomed” said the executive who wished to remain anonymous.

Inspired by OSN, the Onion Sports Network
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Judged by those above you

One of the world’s leading global governance think tanks, the One World Trust, issues an annual report rating the accountability of international organizations. Examiners evaluate transparency, participation, evaluation and complaint and response capabilities.

In the most recent report, The International Olympics Committee (IOC) received the lowest overall score in the report, closely followed by The International Atomic Energy Agency, which promotes nuclear energy, and NATO, which accounts for over 70% of the world's defense spending.

The IOC rating was lower than even these corporate citizens of villainous repute:
  • Haliburton
  • Royal Dutch Shell
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Unilever
  • Cargill
  • APEC
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Monday, February 1, 2010

Shoveling something

We hear reports today of a truck fleet doing 500 km round trips, hauling snow from Manning Park to Cypress Bowl. Could this be true? Well, not likely, according to information that came two weeks ago from Games Organizers.
VANOC has been running an intensive snow salvage project to conserve snow, including stockpiling snow at higher elevations.

State-of-the-art snow making using 35 snow guns has been operating around-the-clock since November and has converted over 95.3 million litres of water (21 million gallons) to snow needed to construct the courses. This snow has been stockpiled all over the mountain to ensure the terrain at Games time can sustain all weather conditions. Over the next three weeks, the snow will be pushed down the mountain by snow grooming machinery where it will be shaped by machine and by hand to create the freestyle and snowboard courses, including the 60-metre-long superpipe, which is 19.5 m to 20 m wide and 6.5 m high.

Trucking snow from the North Cascade Mountains. . .
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The sad reality here is . . .

David Berner publishes a letter from former DTES cop Al Arsenault, he of Odd Squad fame, about drug treatment, or lack thereof. It's all worth reading but this truth caught my eye:

The sad reality here is that the rich get treatment while the poor get harm reduction.
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What terrorists should do



Hillbilly Report
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