Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Green" Hypocrisy Is Alive & Well in B.C.

Let me join Pete McMartin in raising a white flag of concern (or is that surrender?) to the seemingly never ending bevy of new "green" initiatives coming at us from every corner of the public sector. Let's not kid ourselves, with this bevy comes a whole lot of new levies. And for poorer families struggling to get by, a lot more money going toward taxes means less available for rent. Let's hope that none of them have to start living in a tent!

In principle, I support the idea of us going more green, but let's ensure that the cost is less than obscene. And for goodness sake, can we finally be rid of this silly notion of personal carbon offsets (PCOs). It's nothing but a phoney excuse by the liberal-minded wealthy to do whatever they please and not feel guilty about it. Contrast PCOs with the diet plan of an overweight tycoon. Do you think he will stay "weight neutral" if he keeps on overeating but pays others to eat less?

A poor person can't afford to fly to Mexico every Christmas and then buy PCOs to relieve their guilt. No politician or media personality should try to convince us of their "green-ness" while continuing to live their multi-home lifestyles. To be specific, this means means no more yearly Hawaii vacations for Gordon Campbell, no more weekend cottage visits for Carole James, no more Sunshine Coast breaks for Bill Good, and Christy Clark and her hubby should put their Gulf Island home up for sale immediately. If they're not prepared to do this then they should all stop preaching to us about our lifestyles.

People Can Only Be Pushed So Far

An interesting debate is occurring in Britain over the trial of an Islamic extremist, who is being tried on a plot to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier. Many average British people are outraged that many British Muslims are quite publicly refusing to condemn such an action. And then in turn, anyone who is so outraged is apparently a racist.

This editorial has set off a tirade of letters to the editor, including this one:

Sir: I am surprised that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should be surprised at the new prejudice and discrimination in British society ("Why is racial abuse now considered acceptable?", 28 January). What really ought to surprise her is that it has taken so long for the backlash to 7/7, and other atrocities, to materialise.

How can the ordinary British citizen be expected to distinguish between the law-abiding Muslim and the extremist? In these circumstances it is easiest, and safest, to assume the worst and to take refuge in whatever form of defence comes readily to hand – even foul language.

As an asylum-seeker myself, albeit of many decades ago from Nazi Germany, I can only draw Yasmin Alibhai-Brown's attention to the distinction between assimilation and conformity. Nobody is asking Muslims to assimilate, but it behoves immigrants, of whatever religion, to conform to the norms of the society in which they have chosen to live.

When we read (as we have just done) of Muslims seeking to behead another human being, or to commit other appalling atrocities, then it is reasonable for ordinary folk to ask – what are these people doing here anyway and why do they choose to behave in ways which appall us?

My generation of immigrants conformed. We retain and value features of our origins, but we do not demand privileges or special treatment and we contribute to the life of the nation as best as we can. Ten thousand of us fought for Britain in the Second World War – a small expression of gratitude to the country which gave us refuge.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown needs to ask herself to what extent the racial intolerance which she condemns is of her, and others', own making? What has she, and others like her, done to bridge the ever-widening gap between what seems to us an alien culture and a way of life which in these islands has endured for centuries and which, in many ways, still makes this country one of the most civilised in the world?

Eric Bourne
Alstonefield, Derbyshire

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anya Marina on BBC London

Big George [Webley] had San Diego singer, Anya Marina, on his show again tonight (2 - 3am London time). Like many celebs, she's much too self absorbed for my taste but is definitely a great singer. George seemed flattered with all her flirting, as were all the male callers. Great fun!

American Conservatives Are Getting Spanked

There is much sadness on the U.S. radio talkshows today after John McCain's victory over Mitt Romney in Florida yesterday. It seems almost certain now that McCain will go on to become the Republican nominee for President.

This is bad news for Conservative Republicans because McCain is anything but. Arguably on many issues he's on the extreme liberal end of the Republican party.

Looking ahead, this means that American Conservatives will have a choice of voting for McCain on the one hand and either Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama ... on the same hand. Expect a low turnout in November by traditional Republican voters and thus a likely victory for the Democrat candidate.

Looking ahead a bit further, one thing is certain: The "spend, spend, spend" mentality of the U.S. Congress will continue and this will be perfect for the Liberal mentality that is taking hold of Washington, DC. Once Americans realize how much all of these social programs are going to cost, I expect a huge backlash. Expect a Reagan like landslide for Conservative Republicans in 2012.

Politics is like a pendulum and right now Americans are wanting for theirs to swing to the left.

The 2007 Stella Awards

Update: Please read the comments attached to this, especially from my favourite lawyer in the Emerald City!!


I received this from a friend:

It's time again for the annual Stella Awards! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck, who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued McDonald's in NM where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

That's right! These are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy. Here are the Stella's for 2007:

7TH PLACE:

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by
the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

6TH PLACE:

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California, won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he
was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

5TH PLACE:

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to
open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. He was forced to sit for eight days with only a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food and
he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.

4TH PLACE:

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

3RD PLACE:

A jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. Whatever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

2ND PLACE

Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a nightclub in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies' room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the nightclub had to pay her $12,000, oh, yeah, plus dental expenses.

1ST PLACE:

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her - wait for it - $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs.
Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Day In The Life

Here are some photos showing a glimpse into a day in the life of Vancouver in the winter . . .









Saturday, January 26, 2008

Superb Indian Food

Today I went out for lunch with some friends who had just got back from India. Guess what kind of cuisine they wanted to try? We went to Saravanaa Bhavan at 955 West Broadway, near Oak. Little did I know that this restaurant was part of a growing chain from Ontario. This was the first one in Vancouver and opened just a week ago. I'm no expert at Indian food, but I thought it was quite tasty. Dosas are a specialty of theirs. Like the Japanese restaurant I tried the other day, the service here was superb!



Morning Sky

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Culinary Japanese Delight

Today I tried Posh, a new style of restaurant on West Broadway near Burrard. It was all-you-can-eat for just $10 ... and very tasty ... and healthy! Incidentally, the service here is first class.






video

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Most "Interesting" Resume Ever

If you've ever been involved in reviewing job application letters and resumes then you're either going to laugh or cry with this one. More on this can be found here.

Ezra Levant on John Batchelor's Show

American radio show host, John Batchelor, interviews Ezra Levant about the fiasco going on in Alberta. Batchelor, being the astute historian he is, makes an interesting comparison with totalitarian Albania. Notice the similarity in the spelling? Apparently that's not all that's similar about these two places.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is Progressive the New Regressive?

In the old Soviet Union there was a process of thinking known as the Marxist Dialectic. With it, everything got turned upside down: black was white, blue was green, left was right, up was down, etc.

The term "liberal" has grown out of disfavour because of all the negative connotations associated with it. Such people now like to be referred to as "progressive". If you'd like to see the minds of such "progressives" on display, then take a look at many of the comments posted for editorials written by Ezra Levant and the 4 Osgoode Hall law students on the Globe & Mail website. They provide perfect examples of the Marxist Dialectic at work; as does the latter editorial.

Here's a letter I sent to the newspaper:

I very much appreciate the ongoing debate of ideas you've been featuring on your website regarding Free Speech in Canada. Particularly interesting are the hundreds of comments posted in response to the editorials from Ezra Levant and the 4 Osgoode Hall law students.

One disturbing trend that became clear was a similarity amongst those who philosophically were at odds with the views of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn. They disagreed with these gentlemen, frequently belittled them, and then went on to support the government muzzling their right to free speech, citing any or all of the following reasons: it was hate (which it's not), it offended them (which it surely did), and that they were personally being victimized because of such words being published.

It's amazing to me that in 2008, there are still many people in Canada who think this way. It brings a whole new level of meaning to "pampered by the nanny state". Indeed, they have every reason to think anyway they want, but I adamantly don't believe that the government has any right to enforce their views. One can only wonder how such folks would feel if charges of a similar nature were brought against them? For make no mistake, these people offend me ... deeply! If only I could remember the address of the Canadian Human Rights Commission . . . .

Monday, January 21, 2008

CHRC-Gate

A strange mystery is evolving concerning one Richard Warman, serial-plaintiff in front of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC). He is the Ottawa lawyer who has kept bringing charges against assorted people via his old employer, the CHRC, asserting that the websites of these defendants were promoting hate-speech. And he won, everytime.

But there's an interesting twist: there is now compelling evidence to suggest that HE was one of the ones posting such hate, albeit under a pseudonym. This is a fascinating story that you can read here and here.

Here is an example of the kind of Internet postings that Warman has brought charges against and successfully won money for. The heart of th matter is about 1/3 of the way down the page or just search for the word "revolution". It ain't pretty stuff and clearly I don't agree with any of it. But should the government be monitoring it and deciding what is allowable? Furthermore, why should a private individual such as Warman be profiting from it? If I report to the police that someone is breaking into my neighbour's home, should I be expecting to profit from this?

But here's the thing: There is now compelling evidence that Warman posted the following on this sort of website:

Not only is Canadian Senator Anne Cools is a Negro, she is also an immigrant!
And she is also one helluva preachy cunt.
She does NOT belong in my Canada. My Anglo-Germanic people were here before
there was a Canada and her kind have jumped in, polluted our race, and forced
their bullshit down our throats.
Time to go back to when the women nigger imports knew their place…
And that place was NOT in public!

Will the next step be for him to sue himself?!? Looks like CHRC-Gate is well under way!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Canadian Human Rights Fiascos from a British Perspective

Pat Condell is a British comedian who isn't afraid to speak his mind. He has decided to share his thoughts on the growing controversy facing the various Human Rights Commissions:

Canadians need to wake up to the fact that our society and judicial systems are under close scrutiny by many around the world. Take this video as an example. In just one day it's been viewed 68,000 times and had over 1,600 comments. For those not familiar with YouTube, that is ENORMOUS!!!

The New B.C. Ferry!

The beautiful new Coastal Renaissance ferry was on display today at Canada Place. I didn't go onboard but here are a number of photos and one video I took:












Shiny Buildings

And me being me, I had to take a few photos of the architecture in & around Canada Place:



Finally, A Sunny Day in Vancouver!

After weeks & weeks of miserable weather, we had blue skies and brilliant sunshine in Vancouver today! I made full use of it and was outside much of the day!




video

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fiction, Fact, & Fun!

Fiction: The NY Times inventing a story

Fact: Mark Steyn explaining the truth

Fun: Blogger "Iowahawk" turning the tables on the media

P.S. The last one is the funniest thing I've read in years!

The Cost of Freedom: Free Speech

Toronto Sun columnist, Salim Mansur, speaks out against the nonsense going on with the kangaroo courts known as the "Human Rights Commissions". Kudos to him!

Note: He makes reference to Berkeley Law Professor, John Yoo. His article on "lawfare" can be found here.

Multiculturalism: The Slow Road to a Dysfunctional Society

I recently commented on Janet Albrechtsen's recent editorial in the Vancouver Sun in regard to the persecution of Ezra Levant. But there was a second, intertwined theme as well. Here's a snippet from what she wrote:

"It was one of those rare, particularly sunny days in Vancouver in September when, addressing an audience at the University of British Columbia, I suggested that multiculturalism and its partner in crime, moral relativism, were leading to the demise of western values.

“ But you must understand,” implored a well- intentioned woman in the audience, “ multiculturalism is Canada’s gift to the world.”

If Australia is set to follow Canada, then thanks, but no thanks. Call me ungrateful, but we should have returned the gift to Canada long ago."

This past evening I listened to a fascinating talk show on BBC London, hosted by Ray Khan. The main topic of the evening was why so many Londoners feel absolutely frightened to venture out on the streets at night. This was exemplified when British Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, recently admitted that she is scared to walk in London at night.

A visiting Canadian from Toronto, currently staying in London, called in. He made an interesting observation about a significant difference between America & Canada on the one hand and Britain on the other. In America one thinks of themselves as an American first. This is pretty much the same in Canada, albeit to a slightly lesser degree. But in Britain, multiculturalism has so deeply taken hold that "hyphenation" is the order of the day. The result is far too little unity between the various groups within society, especially amongst young teenagers and men in their early 20's.

There are dangerous, divisive forces at work in Canada, striving to hyphenate everyone here. So rather than just being a Canadian, one is instead a Chinese-Canadian or an Indo-Canadian or a Native-Canadian, etc. Little do these same people understand how they're being manipulated by politicians, most of whom are white liberals by the way.

Britain is the proverbial canary in the mine shaft. If Canadians wish to continue down the same path to the mess that is British society today (their words, not mine!) then keep on promoting the "Us & Them" policies of multiculturalism.

A Little Colour in Dreary Vancouver

The gray skies continued to blanket Vancouver today - no surprise there. It actually was snowing this morning! So this afternoon I decided to walk down to Granville Island and soak in the sights, sounds, and smells. Here's a little taste of the former: