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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%. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Justin Trudeau at the Paris climate talks, flanked by Canadian premiers (Province of BC/Flickr)

Justin Trudeau at the Paris climate talks, flanked by Canadian premiers (Province of BC/Flickr)

I am writing today about the Trudeau government’s increasingly bizarre policy on fossil fuels, which essentially amounts wanting to have its cake and eat it too. But first, I must note that the same can be said for the government’s dealings with First Nations and myriad environmental issues surrounding Site C Dam – as yesterday’s quiet approval by DFO of key permits for the project shows. Treaty 8 First Nations are going to federal court in September to challenge a lack of consultation regarding a project with massive implications for their territory and rights.

Aboriginal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould has publicly acknowledged this project would violate treaty rights, while the Trudeau government made a big deal recently about backing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. And yet, where the rubber meets the road, we have the swift, closed-door approval to damage important fish habitat, with no meaningful consultation of First Nations and local landowners. What are we doing in this day and age destroying any fish habitat at all? Moreover, the latest research shows that big dams are actually destructive to the climate, not “green” or “clean”. It’s getting harder and harder to square Justin’s campaign promises with his actions in government. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

More blood has been shed on the shores of the Danish Faroe Islands in the second grindadráp (grind) of the year, in the same village where 43 pilot whales were slaughtered just three weeks ago.

At approximately 4pm yesterday, a pod of up to 200 pilot whales was spotted by locals on the island of Viðoy, before being pursued by 25 boats for over two hours to Hvannasund beach where 120 of the whales were killed. Hvannasund is one of 23 “approved killing beaches” in the Faroe Islands, where it is permitted for locals to slaughter pilot whales and dolphins. Read full story at Sea Shepherd Global.

Also:

Sea Shepherd Global Launches New Patrol Vessel, Ocean Warrior

Read full story at Sea Shepherd Global.

Ashlu Run of River Facility

Ashlu Run of River Facility

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

The political situation in British Columbia is such that no one seems capable of winning and both sides seem quite capable of losing.

This unique situation usually leads to an opportunity to “come up the middle” meaning I would think the BC Green Party.

I consider myself a “Green” but cannot believe that Dr. Andrew Weaver is able to lead them to success. I have nothing personal against Dr. Weaver, whom I’ve never met.

In my opinion, Dr. Weaver has badly mishandled the Independent Power Producers, that it goes to the very root of Green philosophy and that he continues to do so. The judgment, of course, is yours but let me lay my case before you.

Let’s go back to 2007-8 when the 2003 Gordon Campbell Energy Plan became a reality, giving the sole right to make power, save Site C, to the private sector spawning the Independent Power Producer (IPP) and an unbelievable sweetheart deal forced upon BC Hydro to these IPP’s. Continue Reading »

Weaving of the Green

Ashlu Run of River Facility

Ashlu Run of River Facility

The purpose of this presentation is to press The BC Green Party to deal with the issue of Independent Power Producers in a manner satisfactory to environmentalists. My sole concern is that BC has a viable Green Party  option for next May’s election. I have never met Dr. Weaver.

Independent Power Producers (IPP´s), created by Gordon Campbell in 2002, were to produce power with unobtrusive little power schemes (daintily referred to as “run of river”). In fact, they were, from the outset, environmental catastrophes and by reason of sweetheart deals with political pals, have, just as predicted, have all but bankrupted BC Hydro.

Dr. David Suzuki, an eminent environmentalist, has recently classified Hydro power as not “clean and green” as alleged by Dr. Andrew Weaver, now Leader of the BC Green Party, when he endorsed Campbell’s 1992 Energy Policy scheme and supported this Liberal policy during the 2009 and 2013 elections.

My every instinct wants to support the Green Party but its endorsement of this policy makes it clearly impossible for any environmentalist to do so. Continue Reading »

David CameronEverybody seems to have a theory about Brexit and I am no exception.

Britain was never in Europe entirely. It is a long torturous history from the beginning of the Common Market to now but it goes back much further than that. I don’t suppose it’s too big a stretch to say that the original invasions of Great Britain from Europe were all part of an effort to bring the islands together with the mainland.

Over the years the British, despite the occasional common monarchy, thoroughly mistrusted the French more than that they saw economic advantages in any union. Oddly enough, Britain’s only enduring alliance with Europe is with Portugal, going back to 1386.

Churchill’s ‘New Europe’

It was after two massive wars in the 20th century that spawned the idea of peace through economic arrangements and there are many who credit Churchill as the author, arising out of his famous speech in Zürich in 1948 where he called for a united states of Europe. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

foreclosedI always read the comments to this journal, the Tyee, Norm Farrell’s In-Sights and others and I often add comments of my own. What I’ve been interested to learn is what possible defense Liberal supporters can make for this wretched government we’ve had since 2001.

It might be argued that these comments are mostly from left wingers. I have no idea about that but I must say that if I were in politics and defending the government, these are the kind of places where I would do it because this is where those critical readers are. A better explanation for the lack of a defense of the Clark government in these papers is that there is none!

In reading comments I came up with the following one in the Tyee last week, which was the only one I could find where there was any kind of a defense one really felt compelled to deal with:

Fact is, right now, BC is highly successful given solid policies of the Christy Clark BC Liberals government. Best economy of ANY government in Canada; Lowest unemployment rate; balanced funding for healthcare and education and other programs.

BC is doing really well.

Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

Christy Clark (Province of BC/Flickr) and John Horgan (BCNDP/Flickr)

Before I start today’s piece, a quick report on the two columns I did recently on the Canadian government, starting with the ravages of “responsible government”, moving to suggested cures.

I received substantial feedback from across the country but not one word from an MP, MLA or an ex, questioning what I said about the effect of “responsible government”.

What to do?

Two things – raise hell with the Ministry of Education and teachers and make sure that our youngsters are taught what really happens with “responsible government”, and, secondly, test the bona fides of Democracy Watch, and its Founder and Coordinator, Duff Conacher, which claims to advocate for democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility issues. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

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