One of the crime scenes

Friday, May 16, 2008

Justice, Lies and

To view the above video go to the CBC website at the crime/justice archives.

Just two recent incidents from the "important" towns of British Columbia serve to support the notion that the BC Rail Corruption trial should be televised and I hereby join my fellow bloggers BC Mary and Gary E in urging that these important proceedings be available to those affected no matter how far they may be from the center of Gordon Campbell's universe with its Victoria/Point Grey axis. When one considers how much manipulation, delay and shifting of dates happens, how almost impossible it is to pry what should be PUBLIC documents from the (in)justice system and how important this trial could be to people who live two days drive from the infamous Studio 54 at Robson and Smithe, it's a no-brainer. Well, a no-brainer to a government and justice system that truly is open, transparent and wants justice to both be done AND appear to be done!

When one compares the police testimony to the videotape in the incident above involving the 15 year old girl in custody in Victoria or the sad case of Robert Dziekanski arriving at YVR, it becomes clear that without video evidence, inconvenient truth tends to stay conveniently out of sight (and hearing). In the case of Willow Kinloch, the "official" story was that she was abusive and "assaulted" the matron and police officers. Amazingly, one of the "witnesses" maintained the "official" story in front of the jury (jury in the lawsuit just won by Ms. Kinloch), in spite of the fact that the jury had actually seen the video that begged to differ. Everybody is familiar with some "official" facts regarding poor Robert Dziekanski, such as the "crowded terminal" and his looming danger to the officers who arrived on the scene, having been informed that Mr. Dzieskanski spoke no English and in the span of 29 seconds, deemed it necessary to Taser him enough times to kill him. Lacking the contradictory video evidence it is difficult to believe that the original "official" stories wouldn't still be the accepted "truth" today.

I really doubt that even if the BC Rail Corruption Trial is televised that it will be available on a channel that I can actually access from my home which is fairly well served through community re-transmission but has no cable access. Perhaps those who've invested in satellite systems would be able to access such programming, depending of course on the package they had chosen. Thus, I won't be able to look forward to nibbling popcorn and watching sweat droplets explode from the brow of the Soup Nazi or watch the Ferret try to scurry around the witness stand. However, I would feel much better just knowing that these proceedings WERE being recorded, and WOULD be available in archived form to ANY citizen of the Greatest Place on Earth who might be interested in learning what happened to the Greatest Railroad we ever owned.

Over at the posting linked to above at Gary E's place there is a link to another case and its judgement that relates to the televising of trials in the public interest. Interestingly this judgement was sought by our buddies at Glow Ball, who apparently are our soldiers in the fight against censorship, when it affects them anyway! The judge in this case was also our own Studio 54 Matriarch, Justice Elizabeth Bennett.


Apparently the issue is greatly up to the various lawyers and litigants in our jurisdiction. Therefore communicating with the lawyers and parties involved your concerns for "open" justice may be the only way to influence the likelihood or lack of same in the airing of this matter. It is difficult to assume the Special Prosecutor would tend to favor televising of proceedings that he so rarely deems worthy of his presence, but perhaps the defense would be sympathetic to more public scrutiny as an antidote to perceived government secrecy and manipulation. All parties seem reluctant to make available e-mail addresses, but the recently un-earthed "affidavits" yield a bonanza of conventional mailing addresses for ALL parties. Some folks still feel that a genuine old fashioned letter is taken much more seriously than an e-mail anyway. After all, the sender took some time to slip it into an outgoing mail slot AND spent between at least fifty cents and a dollar on stationary and postage. I think it is still legal for a member of the public to address their concerns to Justice Bennett, Special Prosecutor Bill Berardino and his minions and the lawyers for the defense, Bill 42 not withstanding. Avoid including white powders or electronic gizmos that tick and your missives may even be read AND make a difference.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

A May Blizzard of

Above is the signature from a letter from George Copley to Office of Berardino and Harris for the attention of Andrea Mackay relating to their capacity as Special Prosecutor in the case of HTMQ v. Basi et. al. The letter is typical of many released yesterday thanks to the efforts of the NDP concerning the vetting of documents and the assertion or non-assertion of various kinds of privilege in relation to the documents. This letter (and it is just one example) is dated November 24, 2004, or almost one year after the extraordinary raid on the Legislature. Keep in mind the fact that at this time Mr. Dobell's desk was virtually IN the office of Premier Campbell, yep, the same Premier who when he will say anything other than "I can't comment about something before the courts" says that he has never been involved in the vetting of documents requested by the defence in the normal course of disclosure. Yet somehow Mr. Dobell's name keeps coming up as the guy issuing instructions to George Copley and/or Alan Seckel and for some strange reason he receives copies of much correspondence between the various parties to the case. Hmmmmmmm........

For an interesting and long lasting read go to the Media Release (apparently ignored by the media) issued yesterday by the NDP Caucus. Be warned there are 400-500 pages of documents in Portable Document Format and the whole release weighs in at a hefty 30+ Megabytes. A gentler introduction that helps make sense of the blizzard of paper to us mere mortals can be found at Affidavit Documents Sorted by Subject, where one can download excerpts extracted and put together that deal with the same general subjects or players.

For those with a limited interest of time, this one message is worth the read. For lack of a better title I will just call it the "Irrevocable Undertaking" in which George Copley tries to establish conditions for the release of a document already designated by the judge as possibly relevant to "Innocence at Stake.

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What could be so embarrassing or incriminating that the government would only be willing to release it to the defendants' lawyers on double secret, cross my heart and swear on my grandmother's grave I'll never share what I learn with a breathing soul other than those specified AND only if they too take the double etc. secret oath. Gimme a Friggin' break Gordo and Gang!

Not surprising our homegrown Media Megalopoly, Canned Waste, didn't think the release of these documents to the public was important enough to mention, or if they did it was so unimportant that they put it somewhere that I can't find it. Of course there were things like Spider Monkey killings and kidnappings and a video game launch that drew celebrity boxers.

One encouraging aspect of the NDP release is the fact that they too are now referring to whatever it is that is happening down there at Smithe and Robson as the BC Rail Corruption Trial. With a title like that, and appropriate it certainly seems, how can the media (or what passes for media) continue to ignore it much longer?

In order to give credit where credit is due though, I would like to bring my readers' attention to a column from yesterday by Vaughn Palmer in which he takes the Teflon Flim Flam Flip Flop Man, our own Gordon Campbell, to task for his 180 degree reversal on third party advertising during elections. Back in Opposition Mr. Campbell was horrified when the NDP Government proposed some limits on such advertising.

But Campbell himself made the case for what amounted to an absolute right of third parties to engage in political advertising.

"This government has decided that it knows better than anyone else to what extent someone should be able to participate in a democratic process," he preached.

"Anything the government does that restricts expression . . . undercuts the very purpose of a modern, open Election Act. Elected officials should not be deciding the rules by which they're elected."

So said Campbell on the floor of the legislature, July 4, 1995.

Jump ahead to the current session of the Legislature and lo and behold:

Enter the Election Amendment Act, Bill 42 on the order paper for this session of the legislature and one the Liberals have every intention of enacting before the house adjourns May 29.

Among its provisions, restrictions on third-party advertising that are in some ways tighter than those enacted by the NDP a generation ago.

The definition of what constitutes third party advertising is certainly broad enough to stifle almost anything other than praise for the existing government.

The transmission to the public by any means . . . of an advertising message that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party or the election of a candidate, including an advertising message that takes a position on an issue with which a registered political party or candidate is associated

I guess I can still disagree with Rich Coleman, as long as nobody is paying me to publish my opinion though, can't I, or who knows, maybe you be hearing from me in a postcard from the Big House!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Golden Gyroscope

Norman Spector

Well, well, just as Canned Waste has maintained its ownership of the Vacuum Award for the second year running, so has the Globe and Mail from the center of the universe managed to maintain its grip on the Gyro itself. It is surprising that a Toronto based paper would annually win for its dizzying spin infested coverage of what is basically a British Columbia issue. But then it is (or should be) surprising that a paper from Hogtown pays as much or more attention to the BC Rail issue than our home grown megalopoly of the Media. Where BC's Can West dominated media tries its best to ignore the whole BC Rail Trial and issues, the Hubris of Hogtown prefers to spin it into humourous irrelevancy. Last year's winner Gary Mason took us to bed with Dave Basi and his wife in an effort to win our hearts over to give mercy to poor Ms. Basi and her fine upstanding husband and just forget about the stolen railroad and insider tips, bribes and god knows what.

This year, just in time to qualify (December 31, 2007) Norman the Spectre weighed in with No conspiracy here, just a badly managed justice system If you aren't a paying suscriber to the Globe and Mail though, it isn't worth going there to read the 46 words from the beginning of the article to which you will be allowed access. Unless you got there within SIX days of publication:

To continue reading this article, you must be a Globe Insider subscriber or a 5- or 6-day newspaper subscriber.

Or, you can purchase just this article.

Now if you kill a couple trees to make a copy of the paper, I'll probably have to pay for a copy today. But next week, or next month, I can get it for free just to use to light my fire in the woodstove. Oh well, the modern media is having a hard time figuring out how to "monetize" stuff, and some are doing better than others. Don't feel bad, Globe and Mail, even Bill Gates is running in place trying to figure out the new-fangled InterTooobz and how to make money with it, though he proved pretty good at making money in the desktop universe. And really, Globe and Mail, we are so thrilled that ya'll notice us back there with the whole universe revolving around you and all - heck, maybe that has something to do with inducing such SPIN in your writers.

Anyway, since I don't want to irritate all of the Globe and Mails herd of lawyers I won't reproduce the whole prize winning article by Mr. Spector and will merely, thanks to free use, quote some bits for critical purposes, in order to support my contention that Mr. Spector deserves this year's Gyro.

The first question that comes to my mind is WHY Norman's opinion is even valued by anybody in the first place. Let's examine some of the highlights of his career. Well, he was an advisor (I don't feel like looking up the exact title) to the man who was indisputably the worst Prime Minister in the history of Canada, well, at least until Stephen Harper came along. Oh, let's not forget that he also was some kind of advisor to Mini-Wac, the least pleasant Bennett for British Columbians to recall. So that's pretty much 2 for 2 in terms of being able to claim some responsibility for the policies of losers. I wonder if Norman advised Brian to cuddle up to Ronnie Raygun, and I wonder if he was the one who told Billy to pull the plug before the people pulled it for him.

Oh well, let's examine the dizzying contents of Norm's winning entry in the Spin Dizzy Gyro Sweepstakes. To begin with Norman makes much of the fact that someone (he assumes from the Victoria Police) apparently tipped off the media about the Legislature Raids so that pictures could be taken of dollies full of files being carted out of the Legislature. Does Norm think that the unprecedented execution of search warrants on the People's Legislature was less deserving of attention than say Glen Clark coming home from a day at the office to find his East Van home full of cops and surrounded by media? By the way Norm, I still haven't even begun to see any footage of the Ledge Raids to compare with the constant re-play of the Raid on the Back Porch Deck!

Normie quickly moves on to a favorite subject among those who consider themselves "real" journalists, writing for "real" newspapers as he attacks people like BC Mary and myself as conspiracy theorists (or was that other people on the internet?) and the whole matter as an NDP election ploy.

Unfortunately, though it's rarely stated as boldly, it has been replaced by dark hints of a plot to protect Gordon Campbell's government by ensuring that Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk never have to testify in open court.

In the main, this overheated talk circulates on the Internet among people whose minds incline them to believe in conspiracies. Sadly, however, some of the speculation is fuelled by New Democrats and their allies in the media, who see the Basi-Virk trial and its links to the BC Rail privatization as their big chance – okay, their only chance – to win the 2009 election.

What a cute concept, NDP allies in the media - which media would that be, Normie, the Republic of East Van, The NDP Newsletter?

Of course to people like Normie with no values other than their own personal advancement and winning elections as the only worthy goal, it must be difficult to understand folks who just feel that politicians should be honest AND have the interests of the people (that they are supposed to represent) foremost in their heart and mind. According to the Spectral One all is the result of "poor management" and a concerted effort to delay justice by employing lawyers.

This is not to say that repeated delays in setting a trial date are not a source of legitimate concern. However, there's no conspiracy here: British Columbians are simply witnessing for themselves how badly the justice system is managed. We're also seeing how that system can be played by anyone who can afford a good lawyer, or can find a way to have taxpayers pay for one – assuming that person isn't in any particular hurry to clear his name.

It is very difficult to support a claim that any delays in this trial are the result of delaying tactics by the defense, unless the defence is expected to just throw up their hands and go to trial without the disclosure of evidence to which they are still entirely entitled. This right may be headed for the same fate as the dodo bird, but as of today it is still the right of the Basis and Mr. Virk to be considered innocent until proven guilty AND to have access to documents and witnesses that may support their claim of innocence. The delays in this matter seem to be coming from somewhere far above the defendants in the pecking order.

Farther along Mr. Spector compares these happenings in BC to things going on in Ottawa, some of which involve his erstwhile buddy Brian and the questionable envelopes stuffed with cash. Almost too silly to mention is an implication in here that Stephen Harper is some kind of paragon of openness and accountability in his handling of the Schrieber/Mulroney issue - I hate to even give that the courtesy of a mention. Or maybe he's being critical of St. Stephen, this far into the article I'm so dizzy it is easy to become confused.

Mr. Spector moves along in his dizzying and fantasy laced delirium until he finally types out the sentence that all by itself would have qualified this piece as the hands down Leaden Gyroscope Winner with:

In comparison, there's been considerable coverage by B.C. journalists of the Basi-Virk pretrial manoeuvring – including in The Post's sister CanWest papers, which underplayed the Mulroney story until recently.

I can only conclude that Mr. Spector gets some special edition of the CanWest papers delivered to his home daily. You know, some that actually cover the news, especially the REAL news about things that are relevant and important to British Columbians.

Considering that Mr. Spector's two most prominent former clients are little more than unpleasant memories today, I would like to suggest that he apply for a position advising Gordon Campbell. Perhaps he could slide into Mr. Dobell's old office. I would be more than willing to write a personal recommendation letter, if he thought that would help.

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for the Week!

What They're Saying This Week

On Gordon Campbell's fuel tax

Does global warming affect spit buckets?

"The government's own figures show that this is not going to do a warm bucket of spit for climate change ... This carbon tax is all about Gordon Campbell getting good headlines back east. And it's all about Carole Taylor burnishing her credentials for her next job. It has nothing to do with global warming."
- Norman Spector (Bill Good Show -- CKNW), April 28, 2008

Normie, Normie, you are definitely an equal opportunity spinner, maybe you're just like a yoyo string that has to be unwound from time to time to remove the previous spin caused knots. Don't be surprised if we get back to you quite soon here at the House!

But...but...but Ah-Nuld approves!

"As presently designed, B.C.'s carbon tax will further impoverish the poor, destroy productive industries, imperil public finances, erode the province's competitive position and ignite inflation -- and it won't make an iota of difference to greenhouse gas emissions."
- Harvey Enchin (Vancouver Sun), May 2, 2008

This is significant too, because I've been reading Mr. Enchin in the Vancouver Stun lately and I've come to realize that he really does know everything, has (the only) access to the real and genuine facts and anybody who differs with him, well, they may as well save their breath or ink.

He could also make B.C.'s biggest polluters pay up

"If Premier Gordon Campbell is serious about saving the world, he could do better than to slap British Columbians with a carbon tax.
"He could pick up the phone to Ed Stelmach and tell the Alberta premier to get his head out of the oil sands."
- Alan Ferguson (the Province), May 1, 2008

So, does this mean that it was Mr. Stelmach's proctologist that originally discovered the Tar Sands?

On one reality-challenged MLA's defence of coalbed methane drilling in the sacred headwaters

The (ahem) interesting claim

"We heard the member talk about people turning on their taps and that you could light the gas coming out of their taps. That's happening in Telkwa today because there's a big coalfield there. There are lots of homes built on top of that, and some of the water that is coming up out of the seam into the homes in which these people live has got methane gas in it. You can actually light it today."
- Bulkley Valley-Stikine Liberal MLA Dennis MacKay (Hansard), April 14, 2008

Reaction from a person who knows

"It borders on fear mongering, saying something like that unless you can substantiate it. I have never heard of anyone ever having a problem with burning tap water or exploding showers or toilets due to methane gas."
- Telkwa Fire Chief Harold "Stoney" Stoltenberg (CBC Radio), April 29, 2008

Reaction from a person who found out

"Kelly Stokes, who lives atop the coalfield, told the CBC she has knocked on every door in the area, 'and there is not one person who can light their tap water on fire.'"
- (CBC Radio), April 29, 2008

I'll admit, this one is beyond my abilities to even comment. I do wonder if I should get a pilot light for my taps though, and make sure it doesn't go out.

On the government's choice to give playground funding to rich private schools

Millionaires deserve playgrounds too

"I don't begrudge the boys their luxuries. Heck, if I was a millionaire I'd want the best for my kids, too.
"But I do resent the Gordon Campbell government giving this wealthy private school $20,000 for playground equipment while impoverished, inner-city public schools get nothing."
- Mike Smyth (the Province), April 29, 2008

Haven't we been on this swing before?

"And there is an ideological aspect to the decision to deprive poor kids of playgrounds, as if they just aren't worthy of them.
"But mostly, this looks like a blend of insensitivity and incompetence. That could be even more worrying. Especially because the government has been through this once already."
- Paul Willcocks (Nelson Daily News), May 1, 2008

I really don't think that poor children need equipped playgrounds! After all, they don't have time because they need to be collecting recyclables and holding down part time jobs to help keep a roof over their families' heads. This is the same constructive reason that video games are priced beyond the reach of poor children, they have more important things to do with their time.

On the bungled B.C. Place roof replacement

How far is it from B.C. Place to the convention centre?

"It didn't have to be this way. They were warned two years ago the roof should be replaced. They ignored that. Then the roof fell down last January. You think that would have been a clue that they need a new roof. Now they're up against the clock, backs to the wall and they're paralyzed into doing nothing! Phillip this is what you call bad management! Thanks a lot Gordon Campbell!"
- Mike Smyth (CKNW), May 1, 2008

The Libs know, but they ain't saying

"New Democrats have been asking for this report in the legislature this week. Of course they'd like to see the report. The government's reply -- 'Well we released it under freedom of information.' Like heck they did.
"15 page report. 14 pages blanked out."
- Vaughn Palmer (View from Victoria -- CKNW), April 30, 2008

On the government's plan to create new universities without new funding

Maybe the Liberals should go back to school to learn new tricks

"Meanwhile, there's the old joke about what the boss offers when he can't provide a raise: a new title.
"So if there are any institutions out there still hoping to become a university, I gather the premier has some openings in his calendar later this spring."
- Vaughn Palmer (Vancouver Sun), April 30, 2008

When Lap Dog Vaughn starts calling you down, maybe you should give your head a shake!

Coming soon: Yahk University

"Just So You Know: There's no telling where this will end. By the time (the premier and advanced education minister) get to the towns of Yale and Princeton, we could have our own Ivy League."
- Les Leyne (Times Colonist), April 30, 2008

Just something to think about the next time the government crows about the economy

"... real income for many British Columbians continued to fall from 2000 to 2005 at a time when as a province we were getting back on our feet with strong economic growth
"Despite the fact that jobs were being created in record numbers and unemployment reached historic lows, the median income for full-time workers declined by 3.4 per cent.
"British Columbians will rightly be disappointed and concerned by this result. For many, it will be a betrayal on a personal level by the Liberal government..."
- Vancouver Sun Editorial, May 2, 2008

Not to mention that BC led the country in decline of median income (over 11%) since 1980, during a period when the economy itself grew over 50% - it just didn't go to regular folks.

Ferry fare hikes are a strategy to promote home appreciation

"B.C. Ferries may be approaching a watershed moment with the people it serves. If it continues to routinely hike ticket prices, we Island residents may increasingly just stay home."
- Keith Baldrey (Richmond Times), April 29, 2008

Look at the savings in Law Enforcement and other services with everybody sitting at home.

This government sees no such thing

"Log exports to the U.S. are not a fix for what ails us. The government must see that people make companies, not the other way around."
- Brent Browning (letter to the Times Colonist), April 30, 2008

A train between Vancouver and Prince George? What ever happened to that, anyway?

A fitting last quote for this week, here at the House where we really miss our old RailRoad!

"It may not be the Lower Mainlanders who travel, but it will be people from other parts of the world. With the Olympics being paraded as the opportunity for every possible advantage for B.C., passenger train service between Vancouver and Prince George should be a high priority."
- Ann Rose Sims (Letter to the Vancouver Sun)

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday, Monday!

More Pointy Stuff:




   "a presentable young man"
                  .......Conrad Black




"He's a remarkably self-assured and attractive man?a cross between Ricky Martin and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones."

..............Claire Sibonney - Ryerson Review of Journalism

Doing some research into Kirk LaPointe because he earned the Vac for 2007, has turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving. According to a piece in the Ryerson Review of Journalism from 2000, when Pointy was the new editor and associate publisher of the Hamilton Spectator following a surprisingly short stint at the National Post, at that time Kirk was "one of the country's most sought-after journalists.

LaPointe admits that people are speculating on where he'll go next. After all, he's become one of the country's most sought-after journalists. "LaPointe is probably the brightest, most innovative editor of a newspaper in Canada,

I guess being the best is still meaningful, even during a time when newspapers are losing circulation, revenue and credibility almost daily. I guess the top executives of General Motors are pretty good too, as GM becomes less relevant and nearer death with the release of each quarters new, improved record losses as they watch Toyota eat their lunch.

Of course we've seen that ole Kirk can't recognize news if it bites him, in the Ryerson Review piece it becomes clear he isn't very knowledgeable about English and the function of punctuation, either. He addresses the crowd and sprinkles his wisdom upon the assembled with this gem.

"Our writing is more direct than it's ever been. We are shedding many of the techniques of journalism that stood in our way." As an example, he cites a "broken-back sentence" in this typical newspaper lede: "'A man has been charged with 23 counts of murder, comma, police said yesterday.' That's not a sentence anyone would say. Why write something no one would say? And yet journalists commit this offence every single day." Journalists, he adds, often "write things in a way that appears to be sophisticated and elevated and designed to show how informed and enlightened and intelligent they are, when in fact what they produce is less likely to be understood, less likely to provide meaning."

You would think that a "professional" writer, editor etc. like Mr. LaPointe would realize that punctuation has a purpose, precisely because written language IS DIFFERENT than spoken. In writing punctuation, PROPERLY used, makes up for the inability to convey meaning through INTONATION, rhythm and even gestures, tools which are all available to a speaker. Perhaps Mr. LaPointe should read that classic and popular recent book titled "Eats, Shoots and Leaves."

Everyone in the Journalistic World doesn't share the view that Mr. LaPointe is as good as it gets. An un-named fellow journalist expressed his opinions as follows.

He calls the Spec editor an opportunist, referring to his job-hopping. "He's a good talker," he adds. "But everybody's hard-pressed to point out any achievements in his career, other than his personal advancement." Of LaPointe's abilities as an editor, the journalist says he's a "profound bullshitter...with a profoundly shallow view of a newspaper." He says his ideas are unoriginal and formulaic. "He's kind of like the Martha Stewart of editors," he continues, referring to LaPointe's obsession with new trends, like the decision to put Britain's sexy new virtual newsreader on the front page of the Spec on January 26. "How lamo."

Canned Waste and Kirk LaPointe seem like a match made in heaven, and who knows, perhaps Pointy will stay here in Asper Heaven (Canned Waste has 100% market dominance for daily dead tree papers in Lower Mainland/Southern Vancouver Island) until death or retirement. The only competition here is which sibling paper can more totally ignore the most important stories!

Coming soon are the quotes of the week, which usually appear on Monday, but the humour that is the Pointy One took precedence today. Also this week the Star Award - The Gyro itself will be presented - really (Well I ALMOST promise).

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Awards Day

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, so it was only appropriate that I delayed these awards until at least today. Our CanWest dominated media here in BC is nothing so much as an abuse of the freedom of the press earned at such cost by so many over so much time.

The Vacuum:

CanWest continues its domination in the Vacuum category, which is to recognize the most egregious (and usually successful) attempt to stifle, hide or ignore news that actually is relevant to the lives of British Columbians, especially in relation to the BC Rail Trial and the questionable sale of our once publicly owned railroad. This years winner is Kirk "Pointy" LaPointe, managing editor of what was once the flagship daily of British Columbia, the Vancouver Sun. Just like Lucinda Chodan last year, Pointy won this year for what he wouldn't publish, AND his lame rationalizations, explanations or excuses for the failure to even acknowledge a pre-trial hearing had taken place, in his newspaper (sic).

In August of 2007, my colleague BC Mary had very politely e-mailed Mr. LaPointe inquiring about if and when she might expect to see some coverage of a hearing that had supposedly taken place, but was completely unmentioned in the various local media. Kirk's reply was:

Hi Mary:
The truth is, nothing much has happened in the process, so we haven't been consuming resources during this heavy holiday season on non-news.

But we are at work on a piece that will move in the next two or three days, so bear with us.

Mary then shared the GOOD NEWS that there would be something upcoming and the wrath of the Pointy one began spewing forth. Of course the very fact that he would refer to ANYTHING to do with the BIGGEST TRIAL in BC HISTORY as non-news, should have set everyone's spidey sense a-tingle. Mr. LaPointe became very insulting to Mary, accusing her of violating his "privacy" by sharing his news about the upcoming coverage. Then I sent a pointed letter to Mr. LaPointe who replied that I was totally clueless and didn't even deserve the disrespectful answer I got, because (shudder, shudder) I use a psuedonym. Didja ever hear of George Sand or Mark Twain Mr. Journalism at its Worst?

Personally I would be satisfied if they could give the BC Rail Trial the same level of coverage they did for a certain deck at the rear of a certain Premier's home in East Vancouver a few years ago. I would have to undergo neurosurgery to remove those images from my brain after GlowBall and the dead tree arm of Canned Waste imprinted them through constant repetition week after week after week. The coverage only slacked off when Mr. Clark was acquitted of the bogus criminal charges, somewhat suspicious in itself. Of course BC's loss was the Jimmy Pattison Empire's gain, as he wasn't fooled by the political assassination of one the the better Premiers in the history of our province.

Just to help everyone maintain some perspective here, this fool who considers the BC Rail Trial "NON-NEWS" is the managing editor of the very same newspaper that deemed it necessary to have a DAILY FEATURE on the Robert Pickton trial EVEN WHEN IT WAS IN RECESS for about one full year. This is also the great journalist who can produce almost 3000 words on the really important stuff, like the time he got to be a judge at the Fireworks Competition in English Bay, in spite of the fact (in his own words) that-

I know nothing about fireworks ....snip/

I know nothing about gunpowder, or choreographed explosion, or the technical intricacies of the pyrotechnical display I will see in the nights ahead. But I have the privilege of sitting along the shore with a few others as a judge for the HSBC Celebration of Light while hundreds of thousands of others cheer and ooh and aah. Supposedly it’s better to have the significantly undereducated as judges; if that’s the case, they’ve found the right guy.

As I said, I didn't say that.

Those fortunate students in the UBC Journalism School got to hear Mr. LaPointe expound on Journalism in the Real World and how it should be carried out recently. On the day in question Pointy was all worked up about what he referred to as "datebook/calendar journalism."

The media’s reliance on staged events --also known as "datebook journalism" --strips reporters of their ideas and leaves them to cover scheduled events on their calendars, LaPointe said.

Instead of finding their own stories, journalists are covering stories created by other groups. Lapointe said this reduces reporters to tape recorders. He added that some staged events, such as budgets and reports from the auditor general, are important and must be covered. But many product releases and press conferences aren't newsworthy. And stories on “days” and “weeks,” such as National Payroll Week, are examples of datebook journalism, he said.

Well all I can say about this is that perhaps he should give the same speech to his Corporate colleagues over at GlowBall TeeVee Snooze. Am I the only one that noticed the dawn to midnight coverage of some little girl that went missing over in Portugal exactly ONE YEAR AGO YESTERDAY. If indeed they are not somehow complicit, I feel for the parents, but I can't ignore the fact that if one is looking for an example of datebook journalism, it would be difficult to find a better example. It also seems to me that reporters, or the ones we are stuck with anyway, pretty much are "tape recorders" for the drivel put out by the 185+ OIC PR Flacks employed by the Campbell excuse for government.

I'm already working on the presentation of the truly big prize, the Gyro for 2007. It could even be awarded later today, or tomorrow or..........?

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

British Columbia AC*
(*After Campbell)

The picture above is masterfully symbolic of the BC that Gordon Campbell and his Merry Band of Thieves will leave behind if they continue to be as successful as they have been in pursuing their agenda. It comes from the Flickr collection of bcrdean at:

I don't know if Dean used to work for the BCR, but after the pleasure of seeing his photographs of our old railway, it is clear that he loved the BCR. As Dean himself says in his Flickr profile:

Previous part owner/taxpayer in the third largest railway in Canada until Premier Campbell sold off our beloved Provincial railway in a shifty deal to Canadian National.

I know that describes a lot of us, especially those of us who follow the BC Rail Trial, hoping against hope that some actual "TRUTH" will be shaken out of the thugs who appear to run OUR province for the private gain of themselves and their cohorts. I also have to admit that on first reading I thought dean was describing the deal as being kind of like excrement, rather than shifty.

I hope it is okay with Dean to use his magnificent photos, and I want to thank him in advance. I wanted to e-mail him in advance, but couldn't find an address, but if Dean would like to get in touch with me, my address is in the upper right and there is always the comment board. I will be putting a permanent link to his pics over on the right as well.

If I thought Gordon Campbell and his "brain" trust actually engaged in strategic thinking/planning, I would imagine the new "Greener than Kermit" Gordo might be slapping himself alongside the head hourly for selling (against his own worthless word) the BC Railroad. After all, it isn't even debatable that when it comes to moving large amounts of material and/or people, nothing is as truly economical OR environmentally efficient as rail. As long as cities on the West Coast (L.A. to Vancouver) can tolerate having a third or more of their particulate air pollution drifting across the Pacific from Asia, tons and tons of coal will need to be moved to sea ports to supply the coal fired plants being opened in China at the pace of one every three days. Or how about moving people to Whistler for the Olympic GameUs deal for rich folks and solving parking problems in one easy stroke. Oh yeah, we don't really have that railroad anymore, so lets spend a few billion to build a road for those few that may be able to afford to drive on it in a couple years. I hear that the car dealers and road builders have a lot of suction with the BC liaRs, maybe that's why the railroad had to go.

Note to Commenter Paul

Thank you for your thoughtful comment regarding the new "homeless consultants." Of course you are correct that anything is better than nothing, and I guess you are seeing the glass 10% full rather than 90% empty. You do have to admit though, it is like putting lipstick on a pig, except the lipstick probably does more for the pig. The fact remains that they are going to give money to some one who already has a home. Of course, does that person already have a job? And if so, how will s/he find the time to help the homeless and if not. If this person doesn't have a job, where did s/he get the home? Perhaps they should HIRE a homeless person, hell, they can probably find a laid off social worker or something!

Every thing you said is true, like often the homeless need advice about dealing with welfare. Of course, let us not forget that it was policies of THIS GOVERNMENT that made trying to apply for welfare perhaps more difficult that writing a grant application to become the new homeless consultant. Also, by the way, have you noticed lately how much housing was available in Nelson lately that would fit into the shelter allowance available from welfare? But that's okay, once these people are off the street it isn't like they need any food, clothing or transportation. Too much of homeless policy is all about either making the homeless invisible, or the government look benevolent.

I remember a Canada where the only homeless were younger people "on the road" by choice, learning about their country and seeing what opportunities lie over the mountains or in the next province. There were hostels and shelters that truly were intended for TEMPORARY use as people would generally only choose to stay where they found both accomodation AND employment. I heard Rich Coleman respond to the results from the recent homeless "count." All he could do was make fun of those whose estimates had been higher as if just because they hadn't found as many homeless as some people thought, his excuse for a government deserved a big pat on the back. I'm sorry Rich, but there are a lot more homeless folks than a group of well meaning individuals can find by combing the streets ONE NIGHT. Then there are all the people staying with relatives, but not by choice, or couch surfing from place to place, or the creme de creme of the homeless, those lucky enough to have a car, truck or van to sleep in.

However I think you are losing perspective with:

It's an excellent program. Don't slag it.

The services provided by this "homeless consultant" or outreach worker are simply things that used to normally be done by social workers in offices and on the street that worked with the Ministry of Whatever they Call it This Year. Of course that was before you had to book an appointment a month or so in advance (just to prove you can stay alive without welfare, I figure) to find out about all the paperwork you would need to bring NEXT TIME, provided of course you are still alive and not incarcerated.

If you want something to really cheer about, check out the economic numbers from the recent census - most Canadians make the same as they did twenty-five years ago, except in BC, we make on average 11% less. Well, except for the top, top of course who've eaten up the 50% growth in the economy during the same period. How long will it take for food riots to spread from Egypt and Haiti to here?

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