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Article by David Beers at The Tyee:

Late in the afternoon of Dec. 15 Rafe Mair decided it was time to take a break from moving books out of his downstairs office in the modest Lions Bay condo he shares with his wife Wendy. He climbed the 14 stairs up to the living room that commands a spectacular view of Howe Sound, felt his hand slip off the knob at the top of the banister, pitched backward and fell all the way down to the foot of the staircase.

When Rafe came to, he was being wheeled into an ambulance that would rush him to Lions Gate hospital in North Vancouver. There, doctors discovered he’d fractured his seventh cervical vertebra and that he believed he was trapped in an elevator on an ocean liner (a delusion sparked by the fact that Rafe and Wendy had been scheduled to depart soon on a cruise, now obviously moot).

Read the full article: Rafe Mair Lands Hard, Bounces Back

Radio DazeIt’s out, and available from Chapters/Indigo.

Or from Red Tuque Books.

Interview with John Ackermann of News 1130. Includes Rafe’s Jack Webster impression.

FacebookNew articles by Rafe are now being posted on his Facebook page, which is here.

Democracy?

Here is another article which, apparently, ran afoul of Mr Putin. Quite why, I cannot say.

I should add here that I cannot be certain of the reason except for nearly 5 years I had no columns returned by the Strategic Culture Foundation, then I was told that columns about Russia or Russian policy (such as in Syria) were off limits and then I started having columns returned.

Perhaps they simply wanted to get rid of me in which case a letter would have sufficed.

Incidentally, I was paid a pittance for these articles so I’m not being a crybaby!

There are, it scarcely needs saying, many forms of so-called “democracy” going back to ancient Greece and Athenian democracy. Perhaps there is a common thread – the voice of the people is heard through voting for their leaders. The ‘franchise’ as we call it. The importance of the “election” is such that even the most egregious of dictators holds them – on schedule – then solemnly announces that he got 98.6% of the votes and trumpets his popularity and how essential he is to the nation.

The recent vote in Zimbabwe shows how this is now refined by the dictator so that there is apparently an Opposition and Opposition leader but, alas, they just didn’t get enough support so “better luck next time”.

Like many brought up in a “democracy” I’ve clucked my tongue with the best of them when these sorts of elections take place and thank my lucky stars that I live where the voice of the people counts. Except it doesn’t and those of us in Canada and the USA  have entrenched electoral fraud. Continue Reading »

When will we ever learn?

Hi folks … here is another of my columns recently censored by Mr Putin… the only possible reason I can come up with is this could be taken as criticizing his position re gays

In my advancing years I don’t get as angry as I once did, Perhaps that’s because I’ve seen so much go around and come around. I’ve come to feel, after looking back at my life’s experiences, that perhaps big powers would do well to mind their own business when it gets to the internal affairs of others. Maybe a good dose of international shyness would not be a bad idea.

I am, however, spitting mad at my own country especially the Province of Quebec. And I’m pissed off at France.

Let me go back a few years to set the stage my anger rests upon.

The Canadian Legion is an organization for veterans of the armed forces, Because of the passage of time it takes in new members who have not heard a shot fired in anger.

November 11 is Remembrance Day in Canada and is a very big day for veterans who crowd the Legions, salute fallen comrades and drink a beer or two … or maybe a bit more. Continue Reading »

Today’s decision by Adrian Dix to step down as BC NDP leader, pending a leadership election next year, comes as no surprise. The good news for Mr. Dix – to be a bit catty for the moment – is that he stays as Leader of the Opposition, with the salary that goes with it, until some time in 2014.

That he had to resign based on history doesn’t stand up – Gordon Campbell blew the 1996 election, stayed on and became the worst premier in our history. Right wing parties, until Mr. Vander Zalm, have always circled the wagons and – to mix a couple of metaphors – refrained from eating their own whelp.

For the NDP, however, self-immolation is traditional.

This announcement gives the NDP time to focus on its leadership to come, and the party has never been very good at that. The reason is simple: the NDP is a party of principles – which is not to say that any of those principles make any sense  - whereas right wing parties concentrate on winning and let other principles be damned. Continue Reading »

When powerful countries mess about in other lands sooner or later it backfires.

Afghanistan is but one lesson. From Alexander the Great until today it has been unconquerable in the sense of a conquering country permanently ruling the place. When the United States moved in to destroy Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden much of the world understood even if it didn’t join in themselves. Canada sent troops which are still there and we must ask why?

The all-embracing question is why is America still there? I have long believed and written that ethnicity never dies. This doesn’t mean that you cannot construct a state with minority populations – clearly you can but you must understand that ethnic groups will hold on to their culture, language and religion for a very long time. This axiom must be recognized by any central government.

A very good example of how ethnicity never dies is Yugoslavia under Turkish rule, as various provinces, then Yugoslavia. In fact, after Tito’s death and wars broke out it was like the salesman in the baseball park hollering “get your programs! You can’t tell the players without a program!” Continue Reading »

A Quiz for Premier Clark

Two predictions: She can’t pass it. Creating a fail for BC.

Premier Clark used to be Minister of Education so I’m sure she would be delighted to answer a few questions from old Uncle Rafe, the friendly schoolmaster.

Madam Premier, you won a memorable victory last May and no one can deny it, no matter how much they wanted a different result. Usually when a party wins, the other sides are full of piss and vinegar and ready to hold the government to account. You did such a thorough job it effectively destroyed the opposition party and its leader. I don’t mean to suggest that the independent media can take the place of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, but considering that the mainstream media seems gobsmacked by the Liberals and have since 2001, someone has to try to get answers. Continue Reading »

BC Premier Christy Clark and BC Fed President Jim Sinclair (photos: CP, Glen Baglo/PNG)

BC Premier Christy Clark and BC Fed President Jim Sinclair (photos: CP, Glen Baglo/PNG)

When I read that BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair and Tom Sigurdson, head of the BC-Yukon Building Trades Council, had arrived at a deal with Premier Clark on training workers for the liquefied natural gas (LNG) business we’re told is coming, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Now let me make this clear – there is northing wrong and a lot right when traditional political foes shake hands on a deal that is beneficial to them or to the people of BC, or both. Way back in the 70s, Socred Labour Minister Allan Williams worked well with labour because there was trust.

Kicking Dix in the family jewels

The question this latest deal raises is more fundamental than simply making a deal that may never happen, complete with photo-ops in which, I might say, Mr. Sinclair looked most uncomfortable. Continue Reading »

Folks, the wheels are coming off the BC Government’s 2002 Energy policy, which forbade BC Hydro from creating new power (Site C Dam being exempted).

Energy Minister Bill Bennett has cancelled 10 Independent Power Projects (IPPs), with plans to defer delivery on up to another 9.

This is a major vindication for all of us who have pointed out the obvious – BC Hydro cannot go on paying over two times the market for electricity. It simply can’t deal with the $50 BILLION-plus bill it must pay for the privilege of losing money hand over fist. Continue Reading »

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