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Rotten Apple

iPadIt is with some regret that I form today Apple Haters International. I will be the interim president until the thousands of prospective members from all around the world come, as I suspect, within the next few hours, and we can democratically elect a Board of Trustees, militant variety.

There is, of course, a reason for this dramatic move.

I have an Apple iPad which I got last spring. I bought this damned thing because I wanted to have a small computer into which I could dictate articles like this.

I must say, that I am not what you would call computer friendly. I have used one since 1984 and have always fought them. I have no instinct for the things. I am no better with TV sets or any other mechanical object.

I hold the view, however, that it is people like me who need tender, loving care from computer manufacturers. The geeks need no help – my sort of which there are hundreds of thousands, nay millions, do. Continue Reading »

Cartoon by Ingrid Rice.

Cartoon by Ingrid Rice.

As BC’s promised gas boom goes pffft, Premier Clark must come clean.

The entire question of LNG has reached a sorry pass indeed. The premier’s policy seems to be crumbling before our eyes.

Let’s not forget that Premier Clark and her Liberals pulled the 2013 election out of the jaws of defeat by promising a Liquefied Natural Gas industry to the extent of a trillion dollar addition to the economy, $100 billion into a “prosperity fund,” an LNG plant built by 2015, and all of our debts paid off. We would be on easy street.

But the whole business on the eve of 2015 is at square one. There is no commitment by any company to build an LNG plant in British Columbia. That these election promises were preposterous, as I and many more expert than I said at the time, is patently obvious.

Now, the chickens have come home to roost. Negotiations with Petronas, the only LNG company apparently interested, have descended into a public squabble. Read full article at The Tyee

Fighting words

Henrik Sedin

Henrik Sedin

I am off hockey as many of you will know.

It should’ve been a great start for the season. For the Rafe of old, the Canadiens beat the Leafs on opening night, in Toronto, 4 to 3 scoring the winning goal with 33 seconds to go and not on a power-play. In days of yore that would’ve sent me down to the Georgia Beer Parlour to look for Leaf fans to hassle. Moreover, for the Rafe of today, the Canucks won their first game.

My disaffection could not have been more neatly summed up than by the opposite of recent statements by Brian Burke, now of the Calgary Flames, uncritically supporting the violence of today and vowing that we’ll see lots of it from his team.

I should tell you, we have a history. Many years ago, Burke tried to get me fired from CKNW merely because I had said, on air, that Brian Burke gets into the asshole Hall of Fame without the usual five year waiting period. I have not changed my mind. Continue Reading »

Cover of 2013 Petronas annual report

Cover of 2013 Petronas annual report

The Christy Clark government’s back down on LNG, as evidenced by the throne speech, is an admission that Ms Clark and her colleagues misled the public in the 2013 election and is an unmitigated disgrace.

As we all remember, Ms. Clark, found herself badly behind in that election. Something had to be done. She turned to Brad Bennett, son of and a grandson of former BC premiers. He, and his chamber of commerce enthusiasm, were just what the doctor ordered.

A story was concocted and there is no other word for it because it didn’t just come out of thin air. In fairness, I don’t know if Mr. Bennett played a role in this.

The story – LNG was going to be a $1 trillion industry in British Columbia, bring $100 billion into a so called prosperity fund, pay off all our debts, and ensure BC prosperity for all time. All we need do was re-elect Christy Clark and Co. This was, as said by many of us at the time, arrant bullshit. There was absolutely no reason to believe any of this. Continue Reading »

A Pot Pourri

Art Sterritt. Photo by David P. Ball.

Art Sterritt. Photo by David P. Ball.

Learning that a substantial donation has been made to UBC for Alzheimers research brought to the attention of the public that former premier Bill Bennett is in an advanced stage of the disease. This is something that friends have known for some time. Wendy and I had dinner with Bill and Audrey just before Bill was diagnosed and after he had driven us to our hotel we each remarked that something was very different. He simply did not seem to be the same Bill Bennett.

Bill was, in my view, a first class premier. He will, as time passes, be rated in the top two or three. He also is a friend of mine. We are about four months apart in age and of course it shakes me a lot to realize where he is now and how lucky I am.

What a bitter irony it is that his old antagonist, Dave Barrett, is in exactly the same position at about the same age. These two men, who for 10 years battled it out in the legislature, now find themselves stricken by the same deadly disease. Continue Reading »

Surrey Mayor Diane Watts: Leaping from frontlines of city building into backbench backwaters?

Surrey Mayor Diane Watts: Leaping from frontlines of city building into backbench backwaters?

But then you decided to run for the Tories. Big mistake.

I thought that Dianne Watts, the about to be ex-mayor of Surrey, was a smart person.

Her decision to seek a federal seat for the Tories in next year’s election puts paid to that idea.

That Watts is a very capable person is beyond question. She probably has as good a political resume as one could possibly find. At one time rated the number four mayor in the entire world, she has a reputation for sound government, which by all accounts, is much deserved.

I question her smartness, not her capability.

I have written about this before, but I’m afraid I can’t quit until we, the somnolent public, finally understand how undemocratically our government is run. Read full article at The Tyee

Scots wha’ Hae

Gordon Brown. Photo from Wikipedia.

Gordon Brown. Photo from Wikipedia.

Like millions of Canadians, I consider myself a Scot.

Notwithstanding the fact that my maternal grandfather, last name Leigh, came from a distinguished English family – his grandfather was an editor of Punch magazine and has his name carved on the famous table – I tended to go with his wife, my Gram, who was Jane Macdonald (small “d” please) from Cape Breton Island. Her family descended from the Clearances and never lost their Scottishness. Gram spoke Gaelic at an early age and went to her grave still angry at the Campbells for the massacre of the Macdonalds at Glencoe in 1692.

The Mairs come from Banffshire via New Zealand where they had gone in the early 1800s, my branch coming to Vancouver in 1913.

I watched the Scottish referendum with considerable interest. I have visited Scotland often and have spent many an hour tromping over the Western Highlands with a fly rod in hand. I love the country and every part of it. I have visited the Outer and the Inner Hebrides; I have visited Orkney and Shetland; I have wandered the Lowlands and I’ve spent considerable time playing golf at their famous courses. Continue Reading »

Vince Ready photo by CBC.

Vince Ready. photo by CBC.

Who is this cat Vince Ready, anyway? He seems to drift in and out of labor disputes, like the magic fairy, touching things with his wand and all is well!

Don’t get me wrong. I have enormous admiration for Mr. Ready. For many years he has been a positive factor in labor disputes and obviously has the confidence of both labor and management.

It was interesting to watch his involvement in the teachers strike. Now he was here, now he wasn’t. When it didn’t seem to be an appropriate moment – and it was his decision – he withdrew from the scene. When it was right he reappeared and the matter got settled. Continue Reading »

BC Premier Christy Clark dons Canucks jersey during 2013 election campaign (Andy Clark / Reuters)

BC Premier Christy Clark dons Canucks jersey during 2013 election campaign (Andy Clark / Reuters)

Nowhere in the appalling record of the Liberal government in Victoria has its shortcomings been more obvious than at the very top. Premier Christy Clark has been a terrible leader whose pronouncements get more and more embarrassing as time passes.

However, she so dominates the government that one is hard-pressed to think of even the names of her cabinet ministers, which doesn’t say much for their abilities or courage to speak out on issues.

Tsilhqot’in move merited praise…BUT the proof is in the pudding

I recently applauded Premier Clark for making formal contact with the Tsilhquot’in First Nation. I did this because she was right to do so. What she has said since makes me wonder if she really understood what she was supposed to be doing. That she understands the obvious politics in what she has done is clear but there is no evidence that she and her government comprehend what must now be a clear policy. We wait and see with hope, if not much confidence. Read full article at The Common Sense Canadian

Brian Mulroney in 1993: Almost wiped out the Tories.

Brian Mulroney in 1993: Almost wiped out the Tories.

And ruminations on the federal election we must soon endure.

This is about the federal election and our province, but first…

One almost hates to pay any attention to the man. Brian Mulroney, a certified fudger of facts to his own advantage, has now taken on almost everybody within his range.

God knows I have no love for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I wouldn’t support him for Lions Bay dogcatcher. But Brian Mulroney really is the last person who should be critical.

Let’s deal quickly with Mulroney’s castigation of the late Pierre Trudeau. Cabinet minutes from 1990 unearthed in March show he blamed Trudeau for the failure of the 1987 Meech Lake accord, Mulroney’s attempt to get Quebec on board the Constitution by recognizing it as “a distinct society.” Blaming Trudeau for the flop is, of course, arrant nonsense. Read full article at The Tyee

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