Friday, December 10, 2010

ELVIS - Santa Claus Is Back In Town

A blues version of the song and now for a more upbeat version. This post inspired by taking my kids to see Santa tonite.


Lots of press on this issue, so I don’t think you need any links. Julian Assange, is the one of the founders of Wikileaks, he has hosted a great deal of leaked information from the US State department. Now leaking information that embarrasses governments and leaders, both democratic and otherwise is good fun and good for democracy. But when you endanger peoples lives, actually more likely get them killed and/or being imprisoned that where helping us or fighting for democracy in their country, then you are being an asshole. Even worse when it’s done more for ego, than any true cause. I suspect as price of these leaks go up and people realize what he has done, then any public sympathy for him will vanish. I suspect one day Julian will be doing his own version of the famous scene from McBeth "Out damm spot, out"

Erza levant nails it in his blog.

WikiLeaks published a document that named an Algerian activist covertly aiding the democracy movement there. It identified a Venezuelan reporter secretly exposing the appalling conditions of hospitals for the poor. Both are real whistleblowers. Both were outed by Assange.
Assange admits WikiLeaks will probably end up with "blood on our hands." But he's not too worried
Read the rest here

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Stunning pictures of the wildfire in Israel that claimed 42 lives. Most of whom were in the bus pictured here moments before they were engulfed. It’s pretty clear that Israel was not prepared for this event and now that the crisis is over the blame will begin. I won’t cast a lot of blame, out here we are used to such fires and are prepared for them, yet even we have had to learn the hard way that fire can never be taken for granted.
Now they must rebuild, relearn and replant. For some families, they must live with the grief of young sons never to return home. What does give me hope is that despite the harsh words between countries, one of the Canadair waterbombers pictured there is Turkish. There was also a Russian or Ukraine waterbomber and the recently deployed Evergreen 747 waterbomber.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day of Infamy

This should prove to be interesting……

I'm hoping if the case against the Police and the Chief Firearms Officer is strong, that the Baders do not settle out of court. No doubt if the police think they are going to lose, they will scramble to offer a sweet deal with a non-disclosure clause. I admire anyone that wants to run a firearm business, because any misstep can have you and your family treated like a Mob hitman.

Gordon and Jane Bader were not in their South Surrey home when some Surrey RCMP officers and members of the Delta Police arrived with a search warrant and broke down the door.

The 68-year-old retired former Vancouver police officer and his 63-year-old wife were out having breakfast.

However, their son, 34-year-old Sylvan, a security guard, was home sleeping.

He was awakened and arrested at gunpoint.

It was about 8:30 a.m. on May 16, 2008.

When the parents returned around 9:30 a.m. they were arrested, too.

Around 11 a.m. the Baders' 25-year-old son Jared, a college student, arrived at the home and was arrested.

About the same time, the Baders' other son Travis, 32, a Ladner resident, was being arrested at the offices of Silvercore Advanced Training Systems, the weapons training facility operated by the Bader family since 1988 at 7198 Vantage Way in Delta.

Travis took over as president and CEO of Silvercore from his father, the founder of the company, in 1996.

After their arrests, all five Baders were taken to the Surrey RCMP main detachment, where they were kept in separate holding cells for three days.
The next month, the Baders were charged with multiple charges of possessing restricted firearms and ammunition, making or using explosives and other weapons-related offences.

The case never went to trial.

The charges were stayed by the Crown prosecutor's office.

Details of the raid and arrests are outlined in court documents filed in the Vancouver B.C. Supreme Court registry on behalf of the Baders by lawyer Cameron Ward.

The Baders are suing two of the Surrey Mounties and one Delta police officer involved in the raid, the provincial Solicitor General's office and the municipality of Delta, saying their rights were violated.

Unspecified compensation is being sought for alleged wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespass, assault and battery, negligence and malicious prosecution as well as loss of income, humiliation and distress.

Their lawsuit also names a Surrey firearms officer employed by the Canadian Firearms centre gun registry and licencing authority, saying he supplied false information to the police.
In response, lawyers for the firearms centre officer, the Delta Police, RCMP, solicitor-general and the municipality have applied to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing the various officers involved were acting in good faith and their actions were legal and without malice.

No date for a court hearing has been set.

The rest here

BC Politics always bizarre

Never a dull day here. Our Premier Gordon Campbell staggering under a 9% approval rating, tried to sell himself on TV and giving a 15% tax break, shortly afterwards the knives were out and so was he.
Good news for the Loyal Opposition? Not so much really, the Premier who just left was their only hope of getting in with their own lackluster leader Carole James. In fact there was a symbiotic relationship between the two. Gordon’s only hope was that the voters would hold their noses and vote for him, knowing she would be a disaster. Carole’s only hope was that the voters might think she could not be possibly worse than Gordon. Once Gordon left, she was on borrowed time and it just ran out with her own caucus in revolt.

I don’t follow local politics closely enough to tell you who will be successful in replacing both of them, but I can tell you this. Politics has never been dull here.

1871 First general election in province of British Columbia for Legislative Assembly.
1874 Chinese and native Indians disenfranchised
1878 School teachers prohibited from voting or campaigning
1895 Japanese disenfranchised
1899 Provincial civil servants disenfranchised
1907 Hindus disenfranchised
1917 Franchise extended to women
1924 Both Premier (John Oliver) and Leader of the Opposition (William John Bowser) defeated in general election.
1931 Doukhobors disenfranchised
1945 Members of prohibited groups, if otherwise qualified, allowed to vote if they served in either World War (SBC 1945 c.26).
1949 Indians and Japanese prohibition removed
1977 Liquor sales allowed on election day

Colourful Premiers we had aplenty

De Cosmos, Amor 1872-74
De Cosmos' attempt to alter the terms of union in order to obtain monetary guarantees from the federal government to complete a dry dock at Esquimalt that eventually led to accusations of impropriety, and ended his provincial political career. He speculated heavily in land and in Texada Island Iron mines, which brought further criticism, as he was a public official. Thus he ended his tenure as Premier on February 11, 1874.

W.A.C. (Wacky) Bennett 1952-1972
He was a capitalist that nationalized the Provincial electric utilities and railway, some of the smartest moves made by a politician in this Province.
· Quotes "Just say that I smiled and I smiled and I smiled!" -- signature riposte when asked to respond to criticism from opposition party or media
· "The finest sound in the land is the ringing of cash registers."
· "The Socialist Hordes are at the gates of British Columbia!"
· "I couldn't give it away, so we decided to build it and run it." - On the British Columbia Railway.
· "We are a young country; we must build on the solid rock of sound economic policies and balanced budgets. But, we must be prepared, as a nation, to step from the solid rock onto new ground. The path of ease, the path of tradition alone, is not the path of a greater Canada." - Addressing the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 1962.
· "I'm plugged into God" - On the reason for his political successes
· "It's the smell of money." - To residents complaining of the smell of a local pulp mill
· "They couldn't run a peanut stand." - On the New Democratic Party
· "You may not be my friend, but I'll be your friend, even if I'm the last friend you ever have." - On his frequent application of "my friend" to everyone, including political opponents.
· "The answer is 'No'." - How Wacky Bennett would emphasize his stubborn opposition
The above borrowed from Wiki

The voters here can also be quite vengeful, they wiped out the Social Credit party and mopped the floor with the NDP. They might decide to punish the current Liberals for the HST that they imposed on us, after promising not to. Which lead to a successful referendum run by another colourful ex-premier called Bill Vanderzalm.

Oh did I mention we had our own navy made up of 2 submarines?