Monday, February 09, 2009

crank it up

Dan Leger writes in The Chronicle Herald that after the bailouts, justice ought to be served.

THERE MUST have been millions of people grinning with satisfaction...when they read about...Obama’s plan to cap executive pay at companies bailed out by the American taxpayer.

After all, these are the greed heads in red suspenders who helped crush the world economy. They are the ones who caused the crisis now threatening the economic security of millions. It wasn’t accidental.

(It) would limit the top salary at bailed-out firms to $500,000.

That’s fine for many of the CEOs. But here’s what I’d propose for those whose greed caused the crisis: hard time in the house of pain.

Obama’s move...falls far short of what the banking bandits falls short (because) most of the latter-day bank robbers have already absconded with the loot. Most are lolling in the sun somewhere in Paradise, sipping champagne as they’re fanned by servant girls. They are far removed from the travails of ordinary people.

So why not send some of those underemployed anti-terrorism cops out to find, arrest and bring to justice the miscreants who have destroyed the security of so many?
Leger points out further into the article that Conrad Black was "a piker" by comparison, and he got six years...

This is part of why I think that much bigger trouble is coming. People are starting to awaken to the sham of governments, corporations, taxation, greed, graft and tazers, "free market" Milton Friedman tripe, and so on. There is going to be a mighty blow-back at some point, but by then, the banks will be bankrupt, the government will be bankrupt, and we will have RFID-enhanced secure documents, which will need to be produced for receipt of your food allotment. You can always plant a garden, but what is produced will be seized by thugs, or the government - same thing, maybe.

Forget about On The Beach, I am going to get into civil rights and the Olympics next.

But, all that gloom and disgust aside, here is another fun video. It's only 1:40 long, so wait 'til the boss goes for a smoke, and crank it up.

Saturday, February 07, 2009


I've been out traveling around, listening to music, playing, shunning serious thought. I think that we all could use some distraction - as if there was not enough - but a distraction from the distraction. To that end, I have embedded a couply videos that are just fun to listen too. patriotz will need his Flash...

Canada lost 169,000 jobs last month. Of those, 35,000 were in BC, and of those, 10,000 were in construction.. Ouch. The US lost some 600,000 jobs in comparison. Per capita, Canada lost twice as many jobs. So much for that Canadian Shield of an economy.

The problem, as I see it, is that we have a lot of uneducated people "running" the ships of state. They do not have a clue what is going on. These bail-out packages by government are ridiculous, and it is just pissing money away. It's all politics on our dime, because the populace is as uneducated as the grunts in Parliament, Legislature, City Hall, etc. Did you hear that the "twinning" of the Port Mann Bridge - at a cost of $1.5 billion - has been tossed for a brand new bridge that will cost $3.5 billion. Of course, the numbers keep changing, just like those of the convention centre, Olympics, etc. Do you realize that nobody is in control, unless you count the fox in the hen house?

A railway was granted 11% of the land on Vancouver Island a hundred-odd years ago. That railway company was rolled into a lumber company, which was rolled into another forestry giant, which was bought out by foreign interests, who are now going to develop that land. Make of that what you will.

Speaking of developers; Another major developer in Metro Vancouver has filed lawsuits against people who have defaulted on their contracts to buy condominiums. Of course, they are perfectly within their rights - both legally, and morally - but a lot of people are going to get burned on this. A lot of lawyers will get rich too, to off-set that. There is one couple, in their mid-late seventies, who bought a pre-sale for ~$460K, and now cannot complete. They can't sell the condo that they already are in, and the developer of the new condo is not only going after them for the $68K deposit, but also for the difference in prices (another $100K?). These folks could not complete if they wanted to, because the banks won't even give them the money. They are fragged. I feel sorry for them, they are going to lose all of their retirement savings, but still, they made a stupid decision. So did many others. Be bold, and move into an alley with a broken credit record.

There is some great writing over at The Republic of East Vancouver this week (and always). Potvin has slipped some in his editing, but it is the ideas that count. Potvin makes a case for cancelling the Olympics (in my dreams!), Chris Shaw makes the case for the homeless to take over the Olympic Village (I'm not quite sure if he is promoting sedition), and there are some other good articles as well. I encourage you to read it all. A madness has descended, and it does not bode well for the future of a civil society.

If you want to become really addled, read this.

Executive Summary

Very few people understand the “continental drift” that threatens with a fracture of the U.S. (and hence, the world) monetary system. There are two tectonic plates: one, the supply of Federal Reserve notes (FR notes), and the other, the supply of electronic dollars in the form of an inverted pyramid that rests on the supply of FR deposits. The fault line between the two tectonic plates, like San Andreas fault in California, is a worrisome source of unpredictable earthquakes that could cause massive and permanent damage to the U.S. and world economy.
Heck, I emboldened that whole paragraph. I've been very worried about my nut, how about you?

I don't have the time, or inclination to expand on what I have presented. There is so much more. There is no good news, and things are going to get much, much worse. I have been looking at windmills, shotguns, cob building, seeds, and other such end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it stuff. I have also been going back into music and art, and really digging my kid. Business is still keeping the rent paid, vehicles gassed and in good repair, good food, and decent wine. I'm just enjoying it while it lasts.

Enjoy the videos. Keep cash on hand. Buy 50 ponds of beans, and 50 pounds of rice. Think about worse-case scenarios, at least you will not be surprised.

Next, I want to write about Neville Shute's On The Beach. It's a good book, and I see similarities to what is going on right now.

I can hardly believe that you still want me to post this stuff...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

limp and limping

I have been wanting to

a) take this blog in a new direction

b) put it out of my misery

c) continue on lamely

d) ignore it (and I have been...)

e) escape

However, I am still vacillating like a wind vane. So, in the interim, I will post some scary movies that require little effort on my part. I will concretise things eventually.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

titular void

source had an unscientific poll (results pictured above) indicating that a whopping 64% were always against the Games Being Played. Are CBC readers more knowing than National Post readers? Are they more prescient than The Province readers? More cynical than The Sun readers? Who benefits?

That leads me to this;

I heard rumours of a possible criminal investigation around the whole Olympic Village debacle. There were a whole lot of "resignations" of City money people in City Hall since the municipal election. I have never had any doubt that there would be shenanigans around the Olympics. There are always shenanigans when billions of dollars are floating around.

So, those pre-sale flippers that thought that they can just walk away from their deposits and contracts are in for a surprise, the developers are suing for specific performance, and such, and will be flogging such units for what they can (25%-40% off to start...). The contract breakers will be on the hook for the difference, plus costs.

" many people who put down deposits at the market's peak are obliged to take possession of properties they don't want and can't finance because of tumbling values." link

Jayne sent me an e-mail with a link to this story. (thanks Jayne)
The Second Stage
Another Real Estate Crisis is About to Hit

For a picture of the US real estate crisis, imagine New Orleans wrecked by Hurricane Katrina, and before the waters even begin to recede, a second Katrina hits.

The 1,120,000 lost US retail jobs in 2008 are a signal that the second stage of the real estate bust is about to hit the economy. This time it will be commercial real estate...
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

Things are getting wilder every day.

Has it been foggy, or is it just me?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


A Vancouver real estate developer is making an unprecedented move to offer a liquidation sale of $350 million worth of its condominiums throughout the Lower Mainland.

The marketing strategy by Onni Group of Companies is aimed at selling off hundreds of condos in its inventory.

About 375 unsold condominiums in cities such as Richmond and New Westminster will be offered at 20 to 40 per cent off...
There goes the neighbourhood. Pity the fools who bought at full price. I caught a brief news clip, and the condo "owner" was flipping out. The poor bastidge probably thought that he would be selling at a tidy profit in a year, and now his condo is worth at least 20% less. This flo development is more like an ice floe that people were cast off on to perish.

In my not-so-humble opinion, the suckers buying at the sale prices will also be finding that they have bought depreciating assets. Then comes the earth quake that will literally put them underwater.

After a 20 hour "emergency session" of the Legislature, Vancouver has received the go-ahead to borrow the money to finish the Millenium (Under) Water fiasco. You, nor I, will be consulted. That will be at least $456 million, and the latest is that it could be as much as $750 million. The limit imposed by the Leg. is to be found somewhere between the Sea and the Sky. In other words, there is no limit. I don't know about you, but I don't think that a billion dollar decision should be made after 20 hours of deliberation. I know that my own head is not very clear after an hour of debate, let alone 20 hours. The silver lining is that the City of Vancouver can borrow the money at "around 4%", while the developer (and us since September) pays 11%. So how is it good that I can borrow money cheaper than you, to cover your arse?

Who did the 52% that voted for the Olympics think was going to pay for this? Who got a Senate seat? Why do we have to have a 60% majority to have proportional representation, but only a 51% majority to put on a party for the rich, that costs us untold billions - directly and indirectly - disrupts our city and lives for 7 years, fuels an RE bubble that sucks in tens of thousands of slogan-addled believers into a lifetime of servitude to own a decaying, poorly built, and over-priced condo.

After 21 years in Vancouver, I have finally had enough. I don't want to pay for this. I'm going to buy a windmill, some hens and a rooster, hand tools, ammo, seeds, some goats, a few dogs, a few friends, a ukelele, an electric 4X4, 99 bottles of beer, buy a lease, build a sod house, learn to love potatoes, trade them for corn liquor, trade that for tobacco, trade that for dental floss and boots, and maybe a paper clip. What? You think that's crazy talk?, Yeah, well, real estate never goes down, you know.

This is going to be one of my last posts here, I think. I still have some photoshops that I just have to do, and a few comments to make, but let's face it, RE is dying an ignoble death. There is no joy or fun in that, and I am over taken by other, more pressing things. I just don't have the time to put in a decent effort anymore, and I'm just embarrassing myself now. Grin.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

the unravelling ball of wax

So, you've probably heard by now that Vancouverites are the last bagholders on the Millenium(Under)water development - AKA "The Athletes' Village". A billion bucks. $2000 more debt for every man, woman and babe-in-arms in Vancouver. Say, I don't remember having the option to vote against that when I voted against the Olympics, and the $175 million in capital expenditures. Ah well, never mind, they/we can sell the 500 unsold condos after the Olympics, things will really take off then, right? Our calling card has been sent to the world, and we have ARRIVED!

Oh, and the $150 million for security, that we all knew was laughable, is now admittedly north of a billion $. That will be an extra $750 per Vancouverite to cover our share.

This really is TBPOE... to get screwed.

In other news: Alberta lost 16,000 jobs last month - the worst losses of any province. Wipe that smug smile off of your face Calgary. (By the way, have you finished paying for your Olympics yet?)

That's just the way it is these days.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

snakes, ladders, snow, snot

Image ripped off from Alaska education system

Grack! I, and the fambly have been sick as dogs...and you thought I didn't love you anymore... I'm still pretty sick, but the miniature ME is more settled, so I have a few minutes.

Did you hear about the guy who is renting condos from flippers, and hiding behind the RTA (Residential Tenancy Act) to rip off the condo "owners"? Seems that this snake on the property ladder is leasing condos from "accidental" landlords, renting them out to foreign exchange students, pocketing all of the cash, and telling the "owners" to go frag themselves. Ouch! Can you imagine? Rennie Robots, who were more than bold, bought pre-sales, that they then had to complete on. Faced with $3600/month mortgage payments, they desperately lease them out for $1800+/month to some scammer who re-rents them for $2400+/month, and pockets all of the cash. OMFG! The hairball, as interviewed by CBC, says that he only refuses to pay rent to landlords who "harass (him)".

Landlord: Uh, Mr. Jones-Smith-Brown, your rent cheques have bounced for the last 6 months, and my bank is freaking out on me because I am behind on payments. They are threatening to foreclose!

Mr. Snake-On-Your-Property-Ladder : Quit hassling me man! I'm never paying you now!

The cops say that they can do nothing, because it is difficult to prove "intent to defraud". Flippers in Paradise, indeed... Rule of Law, indeed!

So, how about those City services? Snow removal? Pshawww! The City's plan is to wait for the rain. Get out of your car and take public transit!
"Ooops! Sorry! The buses can't run because one of the two plough operators is on
holidays, and we can't afford to pay over-time".
My sister-in-law observed a City truck driver, with a plough, and a hopper full of sand and salt, snooze on her quiet corner for over two hours.

I saw the first taxi cab on my street in three weeks last night. He got stuck. I went out with a shovel to help him.

ICBC reports a 30% increase in claims since this weather has started. My question is; how many hundreds of millions of dollars in property damages, personal injuries, lost productivity, etc., has the City's lack of response cost the citizens of this city? I heard Raymond Louie last week going on about how this is a "40 year event". Horse shoes! This is the second year in a row, and is a building trend. Climate change is upon us (forget about the Global Warming BS, Climate Change is the reality).

And, all of a sudden, our Federal Transportation Minister is concerned about the 2010 Games, and how we will deal with it if it snows. We will get 4 more trucks. Yee haw!

I could go on, and I will, but is this really The Best Place on Earth? Hummph!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


image from here

Great deals out there

Vince sent me an e-mail asking for my reaction to the article linked above. Thanks for the e-mail Vince, I appreciate all e-mails.

I thought it to be a well written article. It had well placed platitudes -

I have heard both doomsday predictions and rosy outlooks. From this, I conclude that right now people are looking for direction. They are looking for some semblance of where the market is going, when the opportunities will emerge and how to best act on those events. (sic)

biased factoids -

While I cannot predict the short term fluctuations of the market I can offer insight based on MPC Intelligence's experience observing and documenting Metro Vancouver's development market.

I can provide some simple facts about the current market that will better allow consumers to sort through the fact and the fiction in the months ahead.

fallacious mythology -

The Chinese proverb says, "May you live in interesting times." (I have dealt with that before) (sic)

acronymic company titles -

MPC Intelligence... (and they are, who?),

and generally unbiased positivity. Vapid writing for the vapid and vacillating venture capitalists who still have way too much money to lose.

From a Google search for MPC Intelligence - MPC Intelligence reminds our customers that we are here to help in every way shape and form. We are working near round the clock to deliver ..., and - MPC Intelligence assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies provided by the ... MPC Intelligence is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of ... I am always so encouraged when a marketing group has disclaimers in their headlines. "Near round the clock", no less... Hang on, I'm going to give them a call... OK, so Jennifer Podmore (the author of the Vancouver Sun "article"), is a Managing Partner of MPC Intelligence! Qu'elle surprise! Another great surprise - MPC Intelligence is not really available around the clock... I called at 12:45 AM, and was advised that their business hours are "from 9-5, Monday through Friday". MPC Intelligence - contact

So, Vince, I think that the "article" is another piece of shill from the Vancouver Sun. A pumper for the developers is trying to get you to buy. Why even read it? My own take is that, if prices have retreated by 15%, they have another 35% to go - minimum. And that is if there is not a depression. If that happens, see the previous post featuring Detroit "mansions" for three hundred dollars.

I will not eviscerate the "article" further, that would be unseemly.

See, I'm a "journalist" too! All it takes is Google!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Hi! How ya doin'?
Still there?
Ya, me too.

I have not written much lately, I've been considering where to go from here. I've had a lot of fun with the zany, the zowie, the zip and the zing. Jertains in my curtains, and zillows on my pillows... but the RE market is toast. That is not news anymore. Well, maybe it is - to some...

I got an e-mail yesterday from condohype alerting me to this article in The Gastritis and Mal-absorbed. I suppose I ought to be more charitable - given the Season of Blissful Consumption, and given that the writer, Timothy Taylor, gave a (favourable?) mention of condohype and vancouver (un)real estate - let's call it The Globe and Mail.

The upside to the bubble bursting: Sanity returns
The bloggers had it right - B.C.'s real estate market was due for a correction. At least we can stop obsessing about house listings
I could not agree more. Further, he writes;
...Meanwhile, bloggers are gloating. I'm talking about those real estate death watch sites such as Vancouver (un) Real Estate ( and Condohype (condohype.word- After the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver called off its 2009 conference and trade show two weeks ago because of the downturn, the blogger-in-chief of Condohype wrote, "Too bad the party's cancelled because that activity sounds awesome. In my book, it's an invitation to show up in my 'The Blogger Was Right' T-shirt with my dogs Case and Shiller. I'm devastated this can't happen now."

The sarcasm is perhaps a little undignified, but you can hardly blame them for feeling satisfied. They diagnosed market madness. And, with varying degrees of insight and eloquence, they were correct. That bull market really had distorted our view of certain things. It had changed us, or at the very least it had changed the way we relate to the places where we live.

It's nice to be noticed by such (an august) publication as the Gripe and Mewl, but I have to say that, well never mind, it's Crassmess, after all. Personally though, I think that the hypster's sarcasm is brilliant, prolific, and consistent, but never undignified. And Timothy, it's all lower case on the title for a reason. Do I feel sorry for flippers caught with their trousers down? No. I do, however, feel for the naive and ovine - whom were sucked in by the hype. I feel for those who have no idea what a recession is, let alone a depression, and have a huge mortgage with no equity, and will lose their jobs.

We were right - all of us; VHB, the pope, me, mohican,... Even Rob Chipman hedged his bets. You the readers were right too, and that is why you sought a different view. But gloating? Nah.

Now, where to go from here?

There is much to write about, always. Politically, I could dedicate to a career in print. I alienated a lot of readers in that though, because I expressed my very explicit views of Harper, and a good bunch of the Conservative Party. There is little gained from such rants though, it just tires me, and inflames others. Most couldn't give a hoot.

I could write about the coming depression, but that would just depress all of us, and waste a bunch of time that could be spent more judiciously - like canning fish, and salting pork, and stewing fruits, and pickling eggs, and learning how to plow with a dog in harness, or darning socks, or repairing boots, or distilling corn mash.

Maybe, I could just continue to post whatever suits my fancy. It might be about gay penguins. It might be severed Internet cables under the sea (and the perceived portent). Maybe you need an herbal cure for halitosis, or want to know about non-local effect. How to skin a rabbit, or pull a grouse's head through it's rectum. Maybe I will relate something that you have already read over at The Turner Report, or Greater Fool. I ripped this from there -

The Detroit house, on the left is going for $300 (three hundred dollars). The Vancouver house on the right is going for $998,000. Detroit must be the Worst Place on Earth, wot? They need some steenking Oleempics.

For now, this will remain vancouver (un)realestate (because it is still unreal), but in the future, it may morph into something like vancouver re-instated, and I will report on Bridge scores, or such. Who knows?

If you send me money, I might even be compelled to write more. If the Grey and Mangy wants to hire me, great! In the meantime, you can hook up for the RSS feed so to save a fruitless click - only to find nothing new.

Best of the season to all, whatever your affiliation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

cold comfort

From the Gloom and Mentira
Canada's stock market plunge... contributed to a 3.2 per cent drop in household net worth in the third quarter of this year, equivalent to ...$191-billion, Stats Can said Tuesday.

Stock prices were down by 18 per cent in the third quarter,...

“The...loss in... equities, combined with the related loss in the value of pension and life insurance assets..., was the principal factor “Also contributing were slower growth in residential real estate values and continued household borrowing. Total household assets fell 2.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2008.”
(slower growth? Hah!)
...the largest percentage drop in household net worth (in ten years)...

The numbers for the final quarter will almost certainly be worse, Patricia Croft... said....
Gosh! It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

I heard some bobble-head or another say last night that Vancouver RE prices will decline by 15%-20% in 2009. That would be on top of the ~15% haircut in 2008, I presume. Another fella said that price retreats will be in the same % as sales declines. That would be about 70% for Vancouver. 2010 will see another 30% off RE, and 2011, another 12%. Dare to Dream!

It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

Our fearless leader, who was so nonchalant about the economy until last week some time, had this to say today -
PM's economic flip: 'I've never seen such uncertainty'

Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — Stephen Harper has delivered his bleakest forecast yet for the Canadian economy, warning yesterday the future is increasingly hard to read and conceding the possibility of a depression.

"I'm very worried about the Canadian economy."

When asked whether a depression might be possible,...‘The truth is, I've never seen such uncertainty in terms of looking forward to the future,’ ...Harper says.

"It could be, but I think we've learned enough about depression; we've learned enough from the 1930s to avoid some of the mistakes that caused a recession in 1929 to become a depression in the 1930s." (emboldening mine)
This guy is so full of CRAP. Are you not thankful that it is his "hand on the tiller"? Garf. I really don't think that any lessons have been learned from the Depression - except how to better swindle people.

It is all happening so fast! Who'da thunk it?

Are you ready? Things are melting down faster than the Arctic.

Meanwhile, some Antarctic snow birds are having problems of their own. It seems that someone decided that two penguins are gay, and protested that they be given eggs of their own to hatch, as they have been stealing eggs of other penguins at the zoo in China.

Gay penguins... Who'da thunk it?

Oh, and I almost forgot, the Fed cut interest rates to between 0%-.25% today. The only route to kick-starting the economy now is lots and lots of overtime for the printers. Free money for everyone! (except in Delaware, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, Indiana, Idaho, Omaha, and The Big Island, and anywhere prohibited by local statute. Some restrictions may apply.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

pity the fool

From the comments section:
"Pity the fool who bought this... Buying an asset which doubled in 3 years is nothing short of idocy..."(sic)

5164 Madeira Court
Asking price: $1,090,000
Selling price: $870,000
Previous selling price: $389,750 (2005)
Taxes: $5,240 (2007)
Days on the market: 36
Listing agent: Betsy Carstairs, Park Georgia Realty Ltd.

Even though this 1,972-square-foot house...sold for $220,000 under asking, the selling price was still $480,000 above what (was) paid for it about three years ago.

"Unlike financial markets, real estate is always a good investment," agent Carstairs says. What else is she going to say? The place has shed value in the week passed since it was sold.

...built in 1971, is in need of some (major) updating — brown carpets aren't for everyone — but it has attractive's on a dead-end street... It is fitting that it is on a dead end street, it is a dead end investment.

The new owners are "excited about the idea of giving this '70s-style home a facelift," ...Carstairs says. "They can't wait to roll up their sleeves and work together to create the home of their dreams."
(italics mine)

Now, that is just crazy. They were asking 3 times what they paid for this house three years ago, and got double - without doing anything to the place. The new "owners" will need to put $100K into the place while it is dropping in value. Will it go back to 2005 value? Oh, yeah. Will it go back to 2003? Oh, yeah. How low will she go?

Just imagine paying $500/month in property taxes on top of the mortgage payments, new furnace and windows, new roof, new kitchen, new everything. This place has a great view, but is a bad deal, IMHO. The ones who bought it in 2005 hit the jackpot though...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008



I wrote about the pope packing it in, but it seems that due to popular demand, he is considering other avenues (an assumption that the pope is XY, and not XX). condohype has made an excellent comment today, and the pope reproduced the affair here.
Prior to sending a cease and desist regarding the language via our Legal staff, if the matter can be resolved internal it would be preferred.
RE: Identification of site management

Further to the changes as outlined below which we expect to be implemented immediately, we also request that...

...this email will serve as notification with respect to our requests and will be kept on file and further forwarded to our legal department. (bolding is mine)
That is threatening language, thinly veiled, in my view.

I was surprised by the pope's announcement, but at the same time, was not. I became somewhat bored with RE when the top was in, and now it seems a slow fall to bottom - like a feather from a humming bird. La-la-la. Big news would be the whole danged flock of humming birds falling from the sky like so much hail. Further, I have either alienated, or bored, many readers. Having these kinds of bombs dropped on you can dampen ones enthusiasm, and instill cynicism further. I too have had a letter with mention of libel, civil proceedings, subpoena, etc. - in regard to some anonymous comments that did verge on libel. I removed the comments, but did not alter my post. That satisfied the complainant, and the pope has done similarly.

It can be daunting to keep it fresh, and RE related, which his eminence did well. There has been so much financial and political intrigue too, it is almost useless trying to write about either - they are both so colossally fragged up. I'm just finding everything to be surreal, if predicted, these days. I have had a hard time keeping up - my toddler is a terror (in the best of ways), and demands and deserves a lot of attention. I often start posts that end up saved as drafts, because I lose the rhythm, and the post becomes senseless (this is one of those). Pages sit open for days awaiting comment, until the news is stale, and there are 10 new essays to write every day.

I seem to have misrepresented the situation with VCI this AM (as pointed out by Many Franks), and hope that I have done better in my redaction. It was really about the photoshop, and I rushed the writing. I was distracted.

All the best, your eminence, and thanks for all the laughs, news, and traffic.

Friday, December 05, 2008


What a week, huh?

The November RE numbers are out (as reported by CBC Newsworld a couple of days ago), and Vancouver is 70% down in sales, and prices (benchmark, if I recall correctly) are off 12.3% since May 08. Flippers in Paradise? More like a floppers with a pair of dice, and they've crapped out. Shucks.

OJ, oh, OJ. You are up shite creek now. Justice delayed is still justice - especially when meted out on such a cretin as you by your own doing. Up to 33 years. Try swinging the babes when you are 94, Old Jerk.

The picture up top is from here. If you want a trippy look at reality, check out (the Late) Terence McKenna. (the Late) Timothy Leary rated him as one of the six most important people alive. They are both toast now, and they both have, er, reputations, but if you have an open and adventurous mind, there are some interesting avenues of thought - far removed from benchmark prices, but strangely relevant to granite counter-tops (or counter-culture, at the least).

That vague reference is the best prologue that I can think of for a comment on what is happening to our poor, beleaguered, bewitched, and bewildered land of Canada. I've got to get away from that though, it only brings out partisanship and talking points, and sound bites from the six o'clock news. A great harm has been done to our country this week. Whether one supports this, or that, doesn't really matter. Precedents have been set, and we have no Parliament in what is about to become very desperate times. "The Big 3" have lined up at the trough, and asked for $6 billion, which they are going to get, with no Parliamentary debate what-so-ever. We just pumped $25 billion into the banks, and they reported profits of some 13.9 billion (needs citation) in profits. Down from the $19 billion of last year, and the year before, and the year before. My bank account is down to less than a grand (I spent a lot on lobster and cognac), can I have a top-up too?

We have not yet really noticed what is coming, but it is coming. Pay attention. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. How is that for a platitude?

Here is the best picture of Our Dear Leader that I have ever seen. What a clown whore. (no image credit, but I am pretty sure that it is from Image Factory, which is, I believe, of the CBC)

I loved Question Period last week when the Opposition was chanting "leader, leader" after Prentice got up and spoke (in reasonably reasonable tones - even if he is full of shite). Harper looked like he was having an aneurysm, and some painful haemorrhoids at the same time.

Christmas shopping will be a breeze this year for the recently laid-off, there will be no money to shop with. Sorry kids, but we will have to sell one of you for medical experiments. The malls will not be too busy for those with money.

We are giving li'l solipsist an empty can to collect rainwater, and a ruler. I'll make a fancy box for it, and call it the Lower-Mainland Mini Meteorologist Mean Measurement of Precipitation kit (patent pending).

I smell a new cottage industry that The Dragons might be interested in.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

...and lies and videotape...

I have realized the futility of explaining fairness, decency, honour, the Westminster Parliamentary system, the constitution, history, and a whole lot more.

Just remember Goebbels' meme about repeating a lie often enough.

from here, by way of Garth Turner's.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

bread and circuses

a thought for the thoughtful

We are having an economic melt-down, and a political melt-down - that seems to be leading to a societal melt-down (just read some of the comments on the boards at CBC, G&M, NP, MacLean's, etc. There is talk of Harper proroguing Parliament, illegal tape recordings, "coups d'etat" (oh please!), "bloodless coup" (I'm swooning now), internecine squabbling about who gets to be PM, separatist and socialists, Western secession, with-holding food supplies to Ontario and Quebec (they produce about 80% of their own food).

I've been meaning to write about The Five Stages of Collapse
So here are the five stages as I defined them almost a year ago. The little check-mark next to "financial collapse" is there to remind us that we are not here to quibble or equivocate, because Stage 1 is pretty far along. Stages 2 and 3 - commercial and political collapse, are driven by financial collapse, and will overlap each other. Right now, it is unclear which one is farther along. On the one hand, there are signs that global shipping is grinding to a halt, and that big box retailers are in for a very bad time, with many stores likely to close following a disastrous Christmas season. On the other hand, states are already experiencing massive budget shortfalls, laying off state workers, cutting back on programs, and are starting to beg the federal government for bail-out money
The article is worth the read. My take is that financial, commercial and political collapse are well under way, societal collapse is coming, and cultural collapse will follow thereafter (no more Internet, no more mp3s, no more movies, books, no more electricity, no more schools, hospitals,...those kinds of things).

I get this little niggling in the back of my mind of the SPP agreement Harper signed with Bush last Valentine's Day - that permits American military to enter Canada in "the case of an emergency". What could be more of an emergency for Harper than getting his butt kicked to the curb?

So how about those numbers? I was wrong about the 7000 TSX, and there is a rather bullish sucker rally on. Strangely, it took off on news of the impending "constitutional crisis" (are you scared yet?).

Mayhem in Mumbai. Catastrophe in Congo. Giant meteorites! Dogs and ponies, and bread and circii (or circuses, if you must). How's that employment security? Thinking of buying a pre-sale? How about "moving up"? There are now 3 miserable houses on miserably-sized lots for under $400K in all of East Van. You still have to pay over $400K for a full(ish)-sized lot. It's not sinking in yet.

I hear a train a-coming...

Friday, November 28, 2008

no comment

I am practically speechless, I have too much to say. Where to start? Where to finish? "There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life." That is what Fellini said.

The "Old Chinese Curse" (supposedly, NOT!) May you live in interesting times seems applicable here too. Things certainly are interesting - fascinating, even. I am digesting so much information these days that I am in overload mode. There is a lot of really serious shite coming down the pike. Another of my favourite quotes (from NASA) is; Don't let your pre-occupation with reality stifle your imagination. Yeah! I could lay out all kinds of wild scenarios...

My mind has been turning back to art. It is a nice refuge from the madness. That is why we do it. The painting above is entitled Half Life. You can draw your own meanings and context from it.

The one below is entitled The Cleaning of Democracy - Lima 2001. It was inspired by student protests against Fujimori - in which they symbolically washed Peruvian flags outside the government buildings - to be rid of the corruption that was tainting the country. Those could be Canadian flags washed of the Maple Leaf. Today, we have the Opposition building a coalition to bring down the Conservatives, and cleansing our own Parliament of their stench. I am most excited about this.

We are on shifting ground, and I see no stability in sight.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the big ones

Thanks to Saturday Night Live for providing me with some blog fodder.

I get weary of the doom and gloom, so a little levity is welcome.

Update: SNL/NBC seems to have canned the YouTube vid, but I found another...