One of the crime scenes

Monday, February 26, 2007

What, GlowBall TeeVee
Might Not be Telling You!

Well here it is February 26, the date we were told back in mid-January that there was going to be a pre-trial hearing regarding further disclosure. Since I am lucky enough to live in British Columbia with it's open access to information about the Courts I went to the Court Lists website shortly after six this morning, the time the current day's schedule is supposed to be published. Well this is what I found there.

Last Updated:

Sun Feb 25 20:00:00 PST 2007



Now these listings have been there since last Friday, and I would assume tell us about the schedule for last Friday. Later on I went back when it was almost 7:00 AM (and though I am way east of Vancouver, I'm still in the Pacific Standard Time Zone - it's not like I live in Creston or something). On the site they claim to have updated at 5:30 this morning, but I know that means somebody either got there and started at that time or they are simply lying.

In the world I live in the time something is updated is when it is published ON THE WEB. But hey, within an hour and a half, I guess that's close enough for government. Just like 22 hours and three hospitals is timely emergency service, though not timely enough to save a finger injured on the job from being amputated.

Oh, I almost forgot something kinda important - there is no mention of the BC Rail (or Basi/Virk) trial in the schedule for the Vancouver Law Courts. Of course for some reason there are court hearings etc. listed for New Westminister and Victoria under the Vancouver heading. Maybe if I search every other court house listing in British Columbia, I will find it under Williams Lake or something. Do they even have a Court House in Williams Lake? They have a tendency to close them down, because the population's access to justice is just too easy. The government has many more important things to do than provide venues for its citizens to seek justice. I mean, there are rivers, utilities, railroads and other assets from the common to give away or sell cheap, in the name of ideology and making sure one's pockets go jingle jangle. There's also those all important "conversations" about Health Care, now if only they could figure out where to find all the people that want Privatized Medicine so they could listen to them, instead of the folks they've had to hear so far.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Golden Gyroscope!

Well the time has come to announce the eagerly anticipated winner of the Golden Gyroscope for Spinning the Basi/Virk Trial the hardest in 2006. I have to admit when the amount of spin applied to this issue in the newpapers, on the TeeVee, online and even by the Attorney General of the Province is so great that we have to spend our time dealing with nausea from dizziness, it isn't easy to choose a winner. But then on December 27, once I had put bricks on the corners of the paper so it wouldn't spin, there was the headline in the Globe and Mail "THERE IS NOTHING TO THESE CHARGES." If one was wondering what charges are referred to then the online headline might be helpful - "DAVE, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? I DON'T KNOW, BOB. I HONESTLY DON'T." That's certainly not as boring as the old "It wouldn't be appropriate to comment on a matter before the courts" so why not just DELIVER A VERDICT IN THE PRESS!

For those of you who still haven't guessed, the winner is that recycled relatively poor (I'm not talking about his bank account) sports writer - GARY MASON. Oh, and by the way Gar, I've decided that you don't deserve the lovely Gold Gyro, so we are fixing you up with the plain jane model. Most likely neither one can spin as well as you, so suck it up and be happy with what you're given. Too bad you're not a journalist, but hey, we can't all be in the NHL either!

No Lips - but a good stenographer

Rather than soil myself and butt my head on the paywall at the Gross & Maul(the truth) - I will share some of BC Mary's observations upon discovering this PR Fluff piece (thanks to BC Mary - They played Gary Mason like a violin):

I've often said that I wondered how Basi and Virk were doing. And yet this big, sprawling, teary-eyed story came across as creating suspicion, because it didn't seem that they or Gary Mason were being straight with the public. I don't know, but could public opinion then influence the trial verdict? I've never seen the inner thoughts of any other accused person put on public display before, almost like an endorsement of their innocence, just ahead of their trial. Have you? Is this legal?

.......Gary Mason's story begins (in the on-line version) in bed with Dave and his wife Inderjit Basi. Got that? The reader is dropped right into the accused's marital bed. And I don't want to be there. Yuck to "grab-'em-by-the-balls" attention-getting. It's unworthy of an old Conservative newspaper. More about that point later.

......It's a long article, mostly personal opinion, riddled with intimate personal gratuitous information. Basi is "stunned, "in shock", "his mind whirled" and "feeling numb", things which Mason has no way of knowing himself; but which he accepts in the role of stenographer. It's mawkish emotionalism, money-talk, baby-talk, daddy-talk, thwarted ambition, every maudlin angle to create sympathy except for one glaring omission. What about the public? What did Basi and Virk think about the public interest?

......There are many glaring clues, subtleties, contradictions and points of interest in this story, well worth anyone's study. It's an article which will end up in university-level journalism and political science classes for all the wrong reasons.

Gary, I don't imagine you are interested in my advice but, why don't you go back to the sports beat . Sports really aren't all that important, so it wouldn't really matter if you don't get it right. I know, if you lie about the score some bookie and bettor might get in a fight, but hey, that's gambling for you. But issues that involve the public trust, and actually even life and death (as in CN's management of BC Rail and the "Ugly American's" handling of the BC Ferries, to name just two issues this government needs to answer for that could be partially illuminated by this trial "about nothing") are obviously too important to be handled by someone of your journalistic weaknesses and fictional talent. You want to spin? Go home with your Golden plain old Gyro and push it - it spins good - but maybe not as well as you!

On the Other Hand!

Some folks weren't even nominated for Gyros because gosh darn-it they were just trying to share what was actually going on without consciously or unconsciously promoting someone's agenda. There are three I would like to point out or honor at this moment in time.

Robin Matthews for his incredible effort in being at so many of the hearings to date and telling it like it is and was.

Bill Tieleman for not ignoring the issue and being so willing to share information and argue the points if necessary.

Last, but defintely not least, BC Mary who has kept on the issue and even worn out shoe leather chasing up and down the Island in search of the vanishing and elusive courthouse and publically available (as it should be) information about what the courts are doing on our dime and time, and supposedly in our interest and the interest of justice (cough, cough).

Remember boys and girls - the day after April Fool's Day the trial is scheduled to begin. It's about time, or we're all being taken for fools!

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Fuggetabout the Oscars and Grammies

......It's Time for the First Gyro Award

You've all heard of the Pulitzer Prizes and I'm sure there is a Canadian equivalent - an award given for journalistic excellence. As journalistic excellence becomes virtually extinct in the era of "info-tainment" and corporate media mergers it is only fitting that a new award be created to acknowledge the accomplishments of those hacks who demonstrate the best in Spin in this post-Journalism Age.

I have to admit that it was a tough choice to pick the winner for 2006 for spinning the Basi/Virk trial - Legislature Raids issue. The silence itself regarding this issue is astounding and I was considering a "vacuum" award, but how do you decide who to give the prize to for not mentioning something. I guess the Canned West chain of what used to be newspapers deserve an honorary "vacuum" for ignoring the whole affair as much as possible since the raids themselves, but that is more of a team effort than any individual achievement.

Actually I've changed my mind, already and as a warm up to the awarding of the coveted Gyro I will award a Vacuum today.
Let me open the envelope, though I think I know who's going to be the winner. I was right - it's Lucinda Chodan, Editor in Chief of the Victoria Times-Colonist, who earns the first Vacuum award for this amusing message and the subsequent complaint to BC Mary for publishing it on her blog.

From: "Chodan, Lucinda (Times-Colonist)"
Date: Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:31:32 PM Canada/Eastern
Cc: "Helm, Denise (Times-Colonist)" , "Obee, Dave (Times-Colonist)" , "Patterson, Candace (Times-Colonist)"

Subject: Re: Basi, Virk, Basi in court yesterday?

Dear Ms. Mary:

There was indeed a pretrial appearance by Basi, Virk et al yesterday. Our reporter staffed the appearance, and nothing of note happened. As is the case in sucinstances, the reporter consulted with his editor and did not write a story. When there is news, we plan to report it.

Lucinda Chodan
Victoria Times Colonist
2621 Douglas St.
Victoria, B.C. V8T 4M2

It's one thing to just ignore important public events, perhaps because they might be embarassing to certain Criminal Conspirators. But to go out of your way to explain how unimportant it is and then even get angry because someone made you accountable for your views, as the ad goes, PRICELESS!

Anyway, stay tuned I'm not going to announce the winner of the Gyro until later today , or even later this week. But I have opened the envelope, so I know who it is. I would like to find a picture of the winner, I mean that's the least I can do for someone who overcame such competition to be the Spinner of the Year for 2006 - BC Basi/Virk File. Who knows maybe I could even take/make a picture of him holding his Golden Gyroscope!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Overworked and Underpaid

Now that the big old rockpile in James Bay isn't sitting empty or being searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the silliness begins in earnest. Keeping in mind that this is a "workplace," to use the term loosely perhaps, where the employees have had to show up for work about six whole days since last March or so, it is somewhat hard to sympathize with Mike "never meant to be in Mensa" de Jong and his whining about having to show up for evening sessions twice a week. This is especially onerous I imagine after the supreme indignity of having to show up FOUR days each of the FEW weeks they even bother to pretend to be a Legislature.

But yes indeedy, old Mike the Brain Spike is promoting the idea of spending a little more time in the afternoon and cancelling the evening sessions, to a great extent to make it more convenient to enjoy the pleasures of family life. Now slap me if I'm wrong, but I thought most MLA's families were back at home, you know like in Prince George, Cranbrook or even Surrey and that that was why MLAs got the perk of taxpayer funded flights home on the weekends. Of course I have heard that many politicians have the added burden of mistresses or boy friends, whatever turns their crank, including the Soup Nazi himself, so maybe I can see the need for all the spare time possible after dark.

I find it sort of contrary that on March 31, 2003 Mikey D had a whole different attitude towards sitting at night. It seems that his Forest ministry was going to not meet their budget target that year and $3,900 would be lost by the Minister (Mikey D) unless they could ram through a new budget estimate, even if it took all night. They were there until after 11:00PM when Joy (who was more opposition in her single little red headed self than today's NDP psuedo-opposition) finally allowed the third or fourth vote of 50-74 against one, since she couldn't win if they were still there today.

a couple excerpts from Hansard that night: (bolding mine)

J. MacPhail: Maybe we'll have to go back during the estimates of the Premier. I'll have to ask him why he was so far out ahead of announcing it on TV on his infomercial. Was he out of order? Or maybe he'll have to admit that this has all been ready for weeks — for weeks. In fact, there's been nothing new coming out of this ministry since December 12, 2001 — absolutely nothing — and yet here we are, ramming it through.

How did the government reach the figure of $200 million?

J. MacPhail: I can understand the minister not wanting to actually identify himself as being the person to not be affected negatively by this penalty and therefore to have $4,000 more in his own pocket. I can understand him not wanting to say: "I will not be penalized by $4,000." Did the minister sit at the cabinet table when this legislation was discussed?

Hon. M. de Jong: My withdrawal from any cabinet debate, as the member knows, would be a matter of public record, and I'm not aware that the member would find a record of my withdrawal.

J. MacPhail: Did the member participate in the decision on this at the cabinet table?

Hon. M. de Jong: Well, I am in receipt of additional advice as it relates to the question of cabinet privilege. The member is aware of the records that exist around members who absent themselves from debates in cabinet, and I commend those records to her.

J. MacPhail: I fully appreciate the Speaker's ruling earlier this evening, but it is interesting to note just how the minister answered that question. This section makes a mockery of the Ministerial Accountability Act. It's a decision that directly affects his ministry. It will be booked against his ministry, and this government is using the sheep effect — the 74 sheep to put up their paw to vote to allow an exemption from the penalty for this minister. Nobody else. It's an exemption from the penalty so the minister will take home $3,900 more in his own pocket because this legislation is being rammed through.

The minister sat at the cabinet table, made the decision and didn't exempt himself. If anyone in this government stands up, particularly the Finance minister, and crows about his Ministerial Accountability Act when the first time there would be a minister who overspends his budget, the government brings in legislation to exempt that minister and that minister alone, the Finance minister will be a fool. In fact, the Finance minister already is a fool by crowing day after day after day about how every minister….

The Chair: Member, could I ask you to take your seat, please. Could we please be parliamentary in our characterization of other members.

J. MacPhail: The only time that anyone has actually even had to work to meet the requirements of the Ministerial Accountability Act and fails, this government brings in legislation and rams it through at 11 o'clock at night.

I'm sad to say, it ain't like it's any better these days. A young workman waits almost 24 hours to have his injured hand tended to, and thus loses a finger. Adrian Dix gets up and questions the Health Minister who says that it is unfortunate. Just like the couple from Rossland who were separated and died within days, unfortunate. The issue is never mentioned again and meanwhile Carole fires or suspends a staff member for calling somebody "potatohead." That sucking sound in the background is our streams, our hydro, pretty much all of our resources and assets being disposed of at the Soup Nazi's fire sale of a beautiful slightly used province.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

What's Going on at the House

Rumour has it that the British Columbia Legislature is actually going to start having a session and you know legislate and stuff. I was starting to wonder if I dreamed about hearing something about this on the CBC radio this morning. CBC News for BC (on the web) doesn't mention it. I guess having our legislators actually you know, legislate, just doesn't cut it compared to the Pickton trial or the firing up of the Omega Olympic countdown clock.

Maybe it's a security issue, you know in the age of terra-rists and all, perhaps they're hoping nobody notices that our government is meeting in our capital. Or then again, maybe if people notice, they would expect them to actually do something. The legislature is just kind of a pretend "show" government these days anyway, all the real action takes place behind the scenes and by Order in Council. Of course if I was stealing all the assets of the people of a whole province and selling them to my corporate buddies, I wouldn't exactly want to seek publicity and transparency either.

Anyway, being the nosy or curious type I really started to wonder so finally I went to the supreme authority regarding things legislative. I went to and there it was as plain as day.

The Legislature will resume on
Tuesday, February 13, 2007.

And thats all they are saying for now! I must admit though that I read or heard somewhere that the Soup Nazi was going to try to out Arnold Arnold (the Gropinator who used to drive a fleet of HumVees) and convince the people of BC that he is greener than Kermit the Frog, through the Speech from the Throne - which I assume happens tomorrow. The official legislative web site was non-commital about that and any other information though. There was a link to the Parliamentary Calendar for 2007, but it didn't go anywhere. They usually start with a throne speech though, who can forget Dough-Boy Stephen's Speech from the Throne right after he swore that traitor Emerson into cabinet. Actually I forget everything except that he promised to do five whole things and then went and did a bunch of stuff he never really mentioned.

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