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judge gavelI’m a lawyer by trade and recently helped celebrate the 60th anniversary of the UBC Law Class of 1956. Like all of my classmates, I am very proud of our Class, one of those of those extraordinary comings together of individuals who somehow become an identifiable entity.

Out of the 56 who graduated, 14 became judges. They were all a great credit to our Class, the Bar and the Bench. It is therefore with considerable trepidation that I criticize the Bench in anyway.

This, perhaps, is the genesis of the problem. Judges are seldom criticized and, when they are, it seems that every lawyer in the country springs to their defense, stating that they don’t have the ability to defend themselves because of their lofty position.

But they must be held to account when they go off base.

This is especially so because they are in that protected position and can only be fired under the most exhausting of procedures. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Story by Jayson Stark at ESPN: The Man. The Voice. The Stories.

One man, no added interviews in the middle of the game, no mindless giggling with a colleague no one had ever heard of before either, no insane irrelevancies pulled off the internet to help him fill the time, just Vin Scully. There were others – Mel Allen, Red Barber and there would be more if the networks would let them happen. But Vin Scully was simply the greatest. – Rafe Mair

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC Licence)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (Gage Skidmore / Flickr CC Licence)

Of course Donald Trump could beat Hillary in November. I think he will, but before going further, let me say that this would be an enormous worldwide tragedy and we must pray that there is a God and He will save us.

Back to the election.

Trump is in a lot better shape than the pundits give him credit for and he couldn’t have done it without a hell of a lot of help from Hillary.

She has been in the race too long and it’s showing. She’s displaying her temper and a lack of judgment – not to mention her recent health issues – things that everyone has but no-no’s when you’re running for president.

But let’s get to the underlying reason Trump is doing so well. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Dodgers SS Cory Seager

Dodgers SS Cory Seager

It’s time again for the Fall Classic, folks. No, the World Series will have to wait a couple of months, I refer to my annual pre-World Series baseball column.

I bring to this effort a lifetime of experience going back to the school playground at Maple Grove Elementary where my baseball career started. I was known as “strikeout Mair” – not, I regret to say, for my pitching ability but rather my batting. I remember that Jimmy Marshall was our big star and he was even more famous for incessantly drawing Spitfires shooting down Messerschmidts in the classroom and catching hell. You wouldn’t get much notice of this now but we’re talking 1940 here and the Battle of Britain and Jimmy’s talent with brush was admired as much as that with the bat. Continue Reading »

BC Premier Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and Greens Leader Dr. Andrew Weaver

BC Premier Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and Greens Leader Dr. Andrew Weaver

It’s always difficult to lose a friend even, perhaps especially when it is mostly a friend of convenience. Friendship covers a lot of ground, all the way from that which leads consenting adults into the sack through the Arab expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Political friendship is cynical, temporary, and, far from loving, practical.

I leave it to you to decide how close the Liberal party of BC and the Green Party were as friends but you’ll  remember earlier this year the Liberals fell all over themselves allowing the Green leader, Andrew Weaver, to bring in a bill protecting women on the campus from sexual assaults. To say this was a cooked up deal scarcely needs any verification, if you know anything at all about politics. Things like this don’t happen by accident.

The Liberals know that every vote cast for the Greens would otherwise be NDP, and this coziness did more for the Liberals than the Greens as Premier Clark was able to vouchsafe unto all of us the terrible story of how she was once followed by a man and she was so brave she didn’t tell a soul. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Photo: Flickr CC Licence / Flood G

Photo: Flickr CC Licence / Flood G

Yes, yes, yes, I know, Mr. Editor, we’re in the last stretch before the last stretch just before a big, real last stretch going into next May’s election and I should be thinking wall-to-wall BC politics. Well, sir, I’m not going to do that today, for a couple reasons.

I have commented till hell won’t have it on the incompetence of the premier and her quasi-government. I have said plenty, for the nonce, on the invisibility of the Opposition and, surely, all that needs saying about the pathetic display of a Green Party many of us expected much more of.

Don’t take from this that I’m having an exotic boozy blast on Capri  – it’s just that I need a little time to see how some of these issues settle out in real terms.

Besides, I’m overwhelmed by the international concern about what women should wear, where not long ago the issue was whether women wore any clothes at all. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Photo: Laurel L Russwurm/Flickr

Photo: Laurel L Russwurm/Flickr

Whither the Green Party of Canada after its recent convulsion?

In order to answer that question I think it must be understood, perhaps conceded is the better word, that the Green Party isn’t like other parties and probably never will be. If it struggles to be what it never can be, it will go the way of Technocracy and Esperanto.

The Greens’ dilemma

I have, as you might expect, a Churchhill anecdote which explains what I am on about.

Back in the 1930s, the “Wilderness Years” as they were known, a man approached Churchill and asked him what it was like to be without a power at this critical stage of history.

Churchill growled, as only he could growl, “out of office perhaps – out of power no”. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Ichiro Suzuki - Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Ichiro Suzuki – Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Ichiro 4278, Pete Rose 4256, Ty Cobb 4191

Those are the all-time numbers of base hits for three of the very greatest baseball players to ever live.

Last night Ichiro – like Tiger, the Babe, and The Rocket, that’s all the identification he needs – tripled off the right field fence for his 3000th US major-league base hit. Added to his Japanese league record, he now surpasses both Rose and Ty Cobb.

The boo-birds, who have been waiting for this, are out just as they were when Maris passed Babe Ruth’s record and then, of course, Barry Bonds passed Hank Aaron’s lifetime homers after Aaron passed the Babe and so on.

There are always plenty of reasons why the record is not really “the” record and there are usually people like me who say “who cares”, it’s a helluva lifetime performance and everyone can only be the best of their era.

The argument about Ichiro is the usual one – Japanese ball was and remains inferior to American ball, especially the pitching. So it’s said by two American Major Leagues which have no intention of testing that proposition in any meaningful way. Continue Reading »

Elizabeth May (photo: Laurel L. Russwurm/Flickr) and Rafe Mair

Elizabeth May (photo: Laurel L. Russwurm/Flickr) and Rafe Mair

What follows below is my recent exchange of letters with federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May over her high-profile dilemma with the party endorsing the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. But first, a few words to set the stage.

I began to hear rumours as you all did that Elizabeth May was going to quit the leadership of the Green Party over its resolution to support The BDS initiative, a worldwide effort to force Israel to treat Palestine and Palestinians fairly.

I then received a copy of a letter, generally circulated, sent by the former Director of Communications for the Green Party of Canada, Kieran Green, to Ms. May.

I must tell you frankly that, along with many British Columbians, I was much impressed by Ms. May’s accomplishments, supported her editorially here and elsewhere. We became friends. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Who Killed BC Hydro?

RIP BC HydroThis is the story of the death of our province’s once greatest institution, BC Hydro. Though the public power utility began its life under Socred Premier WAC Bennett in 1961, the story of its demise starts circa 2001, under the newly-minted Liberal administration of Gordon Campbell.

Today, this once thriving institution is de facto bankrupt, without counting the $8.8-plus billion set aside for Site C Dam (a number surely to double, as we have seen with Newfoundland’s Muskrat Falls) – this catastrophe when customers haven’t required any increase in electricity for more than a decade, while rates increased by 30%. Continue Reading »

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