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Rafe Mair trusts Mayor Gregor Robertson (pictured) with our transportation future a tad more than the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation – despite big misgivings about transit management to date (Vision Vancouver/Twitter)

Rafe Mair trusts Mayor Gregor Robertson (pictured) with our transportation future a tad more than the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation – despite big misgivings about transit management to date (Vision Vancouver/Twitter)

I am a lifetime contrarian. Whatever I’m supposed to do, I rebel against. I have not changed much in my dotage.

But I’m going to vote “Yes” in the Transit Plebiscite, notwithstanding the fact that I have grave concerns about the Translink and the city councils offering their ideas about how to spend the money.

There are several reasons that I came to this conclusion.

Look at who’s leading the “No” side

To begin with, I always like to see who is lined up on each side of an argument so that I can judge a little better what the issues really are. There are a great many people who have expressed simple annoyance, deep annoyance in fact, at the way Translink has been run. I have a lot of sympathy with that but in a moment I will tell you why that is not my major consideration. Read full story at The Common Sense Canadian

Boaters raise the alarm over plans to re-industrialize Howe Sound (Future of Howe Sound Society)

Boaters raise the alarm over plans to re-industrialize Howe Sound (Future of Howe Sound Society)

Howe Sound needs the help of all British Columbians and it needs it now. The proposed Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish has got some very powerful allies.

Both governments support it. That means that there’s no point in citizens seeking help from their MP or MLA, who in fact are the vanguard of the enemy forces.

Industry group spews hot air in LNG PR

Industry is of course in favour and their stalking horse is a bunch called Resource Works which I exposed here last week as a group quite prepared to completely distort the words of a Supreme Court judge, to have phoney baloney TV interviews, and to twist adverse findings by a scientist and make them appear as if they actually favour tanker traffic in Howe Sound!

Resource Works has not refuted these charges, even though their Executive Director, one Stewart Muir, has since published an op-ed piece on the organization in the Vancouver Province. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the SS St. Louis. The U.S., Cuba and Canada refused to grant the passengers asylum. Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany aboard the SS St. Louis. The U.S., Cuba and Canada refused to grant the passengers asylum. Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Canada’s list of wrongs against minorities is long.

On March 9, Justin Trudeau made a speech where he castigated Prime Minister Stephen Harper for his views on the niqab issue and civil liberties in general.

“These are troubling times,” Trudeau said. “Across Canada, and especially in my home province, Canadians are being encouraged by their government to be fearful of one another.

“For me, this is both unconscionable and a real threat to Canadian liberty. For me, it is basic truth that prime ministers of liberal democracies ought not to be in the business of telling women what they can and cannot wear on their head during public ceremonies.”

Trudeau went on to say, “You can dislike the niqab. You can hold it up as a symbol of oppression. You can try to convince your fellow citizens that it is a choice they ought not to make. This is a free country. Those are your rights.

“But those who would use the state’s power to restrict women’s religious freedom and freedom of expression indulge the very same repressive impulse that they profess to condemn. It is a cruel joke to claim you are liberating people from oppression by dictating in law what they can and cannot wear.” Read full article at The Tyee

Many Howe Sound residents are opposed to an LNG plant in Squamish, B.C. Flickr photo: Mercedes Dayanara.

Many Howe Sound residents are opposed to an LNG plant in Squamish, B.C. Flickr photo: Mercedes Dayanara.

Young and old are fed up with mounting betrayals from their ‘betters.’

I foresee a collision coming. Not between French Canada and the rest, not between East and West (although there is a role played by these stresses) but between the “establishment” and the general public. The “establishment” is difficult to define except everyone knows what it is. Dictionary.com defines it as “the existing power structure in society; the dominant groups in society and their customs or institutions; institutional authority.” Let me give a couple of examples leading to the conclusion to which I have reached.

I almost spilled my muesli the other morning when I read that the prime minister’s office had reacted to President Obama vetoing the Keystone XL pipeline, saying, “it has the support of the Canadian and American people… ”

Since when did our prime minister give a damn about what the people thought? Moreover, it’s a stretch to say that Keystone XL has the support of the Canadian people while in fact 54 per cent of British Columbians oppose, according to a poll from January 2014. That poll said only 52 per cent of all Canadians “somewhat” support it. Moreover, the poll was about a pipeline in the U.S., not at home. Read full article at The Tyee

Finance Minister Joe Oliver (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Finance Minister Joe Oliver (Adrian Wyld/CP)

I must apologize for being an alarmist. I now discover there is no reason for concern about hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking”. I have been alleging that this process of “mining” natural gas is dangerous not only to the atmosphere and the people around the process, but to the water used and the potential damage thereafter to the water table.

I now understand that there are no problems whatsoever with this process and that the scaredy-cats in places like New York and Quebec that have banned “fracking” – and the United Kingdom and the European Union that have limited it – are simply wrongheaded.

How do I arrive at my volte face?

I have examined the evidence carefully. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

The Conservative government says it will appeal a court ruling that allows an individual to wear a niqab during a citizenship ceremony. Niqab photo via Flickr.

The Conservative government says it will appeal a court ruling that allows an individual to wear a niqab during a citizenship ceremony. Niqab photo via Flickr.

Harper’s niqab stand seems ‘deliciously timed’ for a fall election.

What the hell is the matter with us, anyway?

The prime minister of Canada goes out of his way to criticize the Federal Court of Canada because it permitted a woman to take the oath of citizenship while wearing a niqab, a veil. She made it clear that she would be glad to remove the niqab privately to confirm her identity. But Harper, whose government intends to appeal the court ruling, says covering one’s face during a citizenship ceremony is “not how we do things here.”

Harper has made this and his proposed anti-terrorism legislation, Bill C-51, into political issues, deliciously timed for a fall election.

I tell you frankly, up front, I think this is not only wrong, but also racist.

I realize those are strong words but I’ve given it a lot of thought and I can’t think of anything else. Why on Earth would anybody, much less the prime minister, care what somebody else wears? Read full article at The Tyee

Thomas Mulcair, Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau

Thomas Mulcair, Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has thrown down the gauntlet with his promise of federal tax giveaways for LNG enterprises.

I expected this sort of nonsense – just one look at the smug sneer of power on the face of James Moore, Minister of Industry, over the last few months, indicated that this decision was coming and that the opinions of the people of British Columbia didn’t matter a tinker’s dam.

This I think is one of the central points.

When it comes to industry and the people with whom this government are philosophically aligned, the people lose every time.

It may well be, when one thinks about it, that Mr. Harper takes few if any risks with this policy. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Cartoon by Greg Perry.

Cartoon by Greg Perry.

Is Harper pushing us towards a new McCarthyism?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, unless thwarted by a surge of surprising voter intelligence, has found the winning formula. Leading his coven of three-piece-suit and pearl necklace know-nothings, he will rally the electorate in a rout of the mortally dangerous non-Christian hordes within and without our borders, saving God from Allah and leaving Trudeau and Mulcair gasping for air, something they excel at.

As Harper whips up fear of a Muslim enemy he will make it simple to allow hate to spread without appearing to do so. In fact Harper need only mumble “not all people… many are fine, innocent… blah, blah, blah” and play the civil libertarian role.

It’s classic George W. Bush, a fellow intellectual of the right, who parlayed the hateful Saddam Hussein and those who looked like him into two election victories from which the world will likely never recover. Continue Reading »

Premier Christy Clark made big election promises about managing BC’s economy (CP)

Premier Christy Clark made big election promises about managing BC’s economy (CP)

Welcome to Ruritania! Where is Peter Sellers when we need him?

We now have a legislature pretending to act like big kids do, leaders acting as if they really are in charge, a government out of control, and an opposition dedicated more to supporting the government than to raising issues.

Through the looking glass: Clark’s surreal throne speech

The Throne Speech was really quite funny when you think of it. The more LNG companies withdraw their undertaking, the more money we make. The fewer the LNG plants developed, the more jobs we’ll have. The worse our environmental record is in fracking for LNG, the less it matters.

If we go on having companies withdraw from LNG in BC, God knows how much money we’ll all make and how rich we’ll all become!

Thanks to Christy Clark, Alice in  Wonderland has become not a fairy tale, but a documentary! Continue Reading »

The Dodgers vs. the Giants

Duke Snider

Duke Snider

First, forgive my absence from these pages for so long however Wendy and I did take a short cruise punctuated, sad to say, by some hospitalization for me. Thankfully, I am on the mend!

Today is true confessions day and there will be a lot of old friends rolling in their graves to learn what I have to say.

From the time I was a small child I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan, big time!

My first recollection was the Mickey Owen dropped 3rd strike in the 1941 World Series but my interest really was piqued in 1947 when Jackie Robinson was the first Black to play in the major leagues in the 20th century and played for “my team”. Continue Reading »

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