Friday, August 01, 2014

This Day In Snookland...The 'Official' Downgrading Of The Sparkle Ponies


Idiot Bloggers with no established credibility started grading the LNG Sparkle Ponies as, essentially, junk bonds with no real value BEFORE the last provincial election campaign began in earnest.

And during that election campaign, and pretty much ever since until very recently, the Lotuslandian proPundits with all that alleged established credibility have allowed the Snooklandians to pretend that the Sparkle Ponies are actually real pretty much unfettered.

And then, yesterday, so late in the game that it does not matter,  the Dean of the established credibility crowd, the VSun's Mr. Palmer, got the Snooklandian finance minister Mike de Jong to admit that Sparkle Ponies are not.

Not real, I mean.

More to the point, Mr. de Jong called them 'aspirational'. 

But here's the thing.

Mr. Palmer buried that lede that actually matters deep below his piece on the $40 a day school strike extension bribe diversion.


I would be remiss if I didn't mention that fellow blogger GrantG has been onto the Sparkle Pony Delusion from the very beginning...
And why is no one amongst the EstCred crowd talking explicitly about how the $40-a-day-bribe just happened to be announced yesterday, the very same day that another real nail was driven into coffin of the undead/never born sparkle pony coffin when Apache pulled out of the Kitimat LNG 'project'?...I mean, deflector spin much?...And just who is in control of the PAB-Bot spinners these days anyways...Oh, ya...I remember now.
And finally, an historical word from the self-proclaimed defender of the EstCred crowd's realm....The good Mr. Baldrey...


Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Evening In Snookland...If A Sparkle Pony Falls In The Forest...

....Will Anybody Hear?

Brent Jang posted up the latest story of a pullout in the pony patch  on the Globe's website earlier today:

Apache Corp. is exiting the Kitimat LNG project in British Columbia, leaving co-owner Chevron Corp. rushing to find a new partner to keep plans alive for exporting liquefied natural gas from Canada to Asia...

{snippety doo-dah}

...Kitimat LNG, one of the “Big Three” projects envisaged for British Columbia, has been put on shaky ground as a result of Apache’s pullout. It’s also a setback for the dreams of B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s government for a resource boom that is supposed to propel the province to new economic heights...

Paging Ms. Martin...


Meanwhile, the soft-peddle from that TeeVee reporter with all of that  'established credibility'  around here  continues. This time in the public (but no comments generated) prints:

Not a week goes by, it seems, that doesn’t see Premier Christy Clark talk, yet again, about the vast riches that lay in B.C.’s path if only a liquefied natural gas industry gets off the ground in this province.

It’s a theme that began before the last election, and one that helped carry her to a surprising victory with the voters. People seem to at least want to believe the fairy tale-like talk about billions of dollars coming our way, to help eliminate the provincial debt and even the sales tax...

Fairy tales?


One can't help but wonder if the 'people' would still believe in such things or if the election might have turned out differently if the 'established credibility' crowd that the good Mr. Keith Baldrey apparently belongs to had made like the 'idiot bloggers' and called out the Sparkle Pony Delusion for what it truly was and still is way back when?

Report on the Snooklandian attempt at deflector spin to counter this in the proMedia maw to follow...


This Day In Snookland...Let Them Eat Hummus!


First there were the promised beds that never that never seemed to arrive.

And then they came for their wheelchairs.

Now they just might be coming for their meat.

Sam Cooper, of The Province, has the story:

...Some nursing homes in B.C. have been cautioned that menus may need to be changed due to surging meat prices.

The costs of hogs and cattle hit all-time highs in North America this year experts say, due to a widespread disease that is killing off millions of piglets, as well as years of drought that have reduced the supply of cattle and changed farming production.

Amid the rising prices, Andrew Crombie, director of operations of a major food supplier to a number of B.C. care homes, has recommended that menu changes could help mitigate costs, according to an email obtained by The Province...


How to 'mitigate' such costs?

Well, an academic contacted by Mr. Cooper for his story suggested the following:

...(University of Guelph professor Sylvain) Charlebois said in order to meet protein requirements without significantly increasing food budgets, in the longer term nursing homes may have to increase usage of vegetable proteins contained in foods such as humus...


I've got an idea here in the land of plenty (of mega-handouts for the cronies).

Why don't we cancel a couple those ridiculous IPP contracts and use the money to take care of the people that need our help most.

Because they are not, as the fine folks from the 'major food supplier' called them, either clients or customers.

Instead they are citizens.

I mean, honestly, will this damnable Golden Era, underpinned by its race to the privatization bottom, a race, by the way, that did absolutely nothing to make things better either economically or socially, never end?

A very special Tip 'O The Toque to an Anon-O-Mouse on the IceBombBridgeCrazyEightsGods comment thread for the heads-up and the header...Thanks!
Tune, above, is E. and my re-working of the old Phil Ochs opus.


The Summertime Jukebox So Far.

...littler e, back in the days of a falling apart bit of tie-dye...Almost time for another trip to Telegraph Avenue.

Our Neil, Pocahontas and Thee...

Springsteen, Mashed Potatoes and Me...

When In Doubt Ask Yourself...What Would Danko Do?

What Canada Day Means to Me and Mine...

At The End of The (Busking) Day It's What Everybody Wants...

Vincent/Starry, Starry Night It's Not...

When Busking and French Immersion Collide...

Gram Goes To Goteborg...

The Still-Beating Heart Of Alt. Country...


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

At The End Of The Day...

....Some lists really matter.

Here are two compiled by Jody Paterson, which she argues are an indicator of our failed mental health system :

Fatally shot by police (and confirmed to have a mental illness):
2014 – Alain Magloire, Montreal
2013 – Michael McIsaac, Durham
2013 – Sammy Yatim, Toronto
2013 – Steve Mesic, Hamilton
2012 - Farshad Mohammadi, Montreal
2012 - Michael Eligon, Toronto
2011- Mario Hamel, Toronto
2010 – Reyal Jardine, Toronto
2010 - Sylvia Klbingaitis, Toronto (sole woman)
2007 – Paul Boyd, Vancouver
2009 – Jeff Hughes, Vancouver
2008 - Byron Debassige, Toronto
2007 – Unnamed man, Vancouver
2004 – Martin Ostopovich, Spruce Grove
2004 – Joe Pagnotta, Langford
2004 – O’Brien Christopher-Reid, Toronto
2004 - Magencia Camaso, Saanich
2004 – Antonio Bellon, Toronto
2003 – Unnamed man, Vancouver
2000 - Darryl Power, Newfoundland
2000 – Norman Reid, Newfoundland
2000 - Frank Hutterer, Ottawa
2000 - Otto Vass, Vancouver
1999 – Unnamed man, Langley
1999 - Unnamed man, Vancouver
1997 – Edmund Yu, Toronto

1997 – Thomas Alcorn, Vancouver
1997 – Unnamed man, Vancouver
1996 – Charles Albert Wilson, Vancouver
1996 – Wayne Williams, Toronto
1996 – Tommy Barnett, Toronto
1994 – Albert Moses, Toronto
1992 – Dominic Sabatino, Toronto
1988 – Lester Donaldson, Toronto

Fatally tasered and confirmed to have a mental illness:
2013 – Donald Menard, Montreal
2010 – Aron Firman, Collingwood, Ont
2007 – Howard Hyde, Nova Scotia
2007 – Claudio Castagnetta, Quebec City
2006 – Jason Doan, Red Deer
2005 – Kevin Geldart, Moncton
2005 – Alesandro Fiacco, Edmonton
2004 – Samuel Truscott, Kingston
2004 – Ronald Perry, Edmonton
2004 – Roman Andreichikov, Vancouver
2004 – Robert Bagnell, Vancouver (opinions divided as to whether he had mental health issues)

If you read Ms. Paterson's entire post I think you will be hard pressed to not be convinced by her argument.


The Ice Bomb Bridge Gods, They Must Be Crazy.


From Michael Mui's report in yesterday's 24 Hrs:

The companies that designed, built and operated the Port Mann Bridge claim the incident involving falling chunks of ice and snow that smashed windshields and caused accidents in late 2012 was an “act of God” and not because of any failures.

The accidents were caused by “unanticipated weather conditions,” claimed Transportation Investment Corporation (the operators) and the Kiewit/Flatiron General Partnership (the designers and builders), who filed the joint response Friday to the civil claim of a woman whose car was struck by falling ice and snow on Dec. 19, 2012...


I guess the god and/or the goddess concerned only manifested that unanticipated weather directly over the Port Mann crossing of the Big Muddy.

Because, to the best of my knowledge, there were no ice bombs in Surrey that day, or New West, or Mitchell Island, or the Airport, or anywhere else in the entirety of Lotusland.

And there sure as heckfire weren't any ice bombs being thrown from the Alex Fraser, Arthur Laing, Knight Street, Oak Street or Lions Gate bridges or any other bridge in the entirety of Lotusland either.


Could it be, maybe, that the fine folks from Kiewit/Flatiron and the rest of the General Partnership think their bridge itself is actually god?

Speaking of those fine folks from Kiewit...We can't help but wonder what Laila is going to say about this latest bit of news...
And, we also wait, with bated breath, for a scathing comment from the head of the BC division of the Canadian Taxpayers federation on this one as well...Or, perhaps not.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This Afternoon In Snookland...The Debt-Free Delusion.


Marvin Shaffer, of the CCPA has an interesting commentary up about the Snooklandian's 'Debt Free' fallacy.

Point one focuses on the curious inability of the puffed-up proMedia punditry's inability, even with all its 'established credibility' to see the fallacy for what it is, where it came from, and what it has led to:

...The issue, however, is not whether the promise of a debt free BC will be achieved. It won’t, at least not in my lifetime. The issue is whether it was ever a reasonable policy objective in the first place. After all, debt supports investments and long term assets, as (the VSun's Vaughn) Palmer pointed out in his curiously soft, almost apologetic (recent) commentary. If no debt means no investment in needed assets we will be making future generations worse, not better off.

I recall when Mike Harcourt was elected, the mainstream media (with Palmer at the forefront) railed against increasing government debt, with virtually no regard to the investments and assets it enabled. That anti-debt campaign had two unfortunate consequences. It caused government to cut back on capital expenditures, however needed and valuable they might be. And it encouraged government to look to ‘innovative’ off-book financing in order to reduce the reported amount of public debt. The political need to hide debt led directly to the widespread use of P3′s even if that increased, through long term contractual obligations, the liability future British Columbians would ultimately have to pay for...

And point two deals with larger, really and truly important policy matter of running up debt on mostly worthless junk while we avoid investing in things that actually matter:

...The real policy problem in this province is not that we are failing to move to a debt free B.C. The policy problem is that we are incurring debt for things we don’t need, that arguably don’t offer benefits in excess of their cost or at best are low in priority relative to other pressing demands (think Cadillac upgrade to the Sea-to-Sky highway, Smart Meters, the NW Transmission line and the retractable roof over BC Place). And at the same time we are failing to make the ones we should, for example in early education and high quality childcare, flood control and other preparation for extreme climate events, and a host of other areas....


Hidden debt backed with longterm liabilities driven by largesse handed out, hand over fist, to cronies while we simultaneously strangle the baby named 'public good' out back in the bathtub?

Is it possible that there are actually a few Straussian wizards hiding behind the curtains marked 'Pay-To-Play' in Snookland?

Tip O' The (itchyscratchysummer) Toque to Norm Farrell on the Twittmachine, who is most definitely NOT an 'idiot blogger'  for pointing us back towards Mr. Shaffer's post.


The Dilbit Diaries...The Bonfire Of The Flack Hackeries.


In case you missed it there is a pretty big dilbit ooze going down in and around Cold Lake Alberta that started sometime last summer.

And instead of really investigating and figuring out what is really going on, it would appear that Environment Canada has been more concerned with keeping any and all leaks to the media contained.

Mike De Souza, now working for the TStar has the story.

Here's his lede:

OTTAWA—Environment Canada’s enforcement branch asked a spokesman to “limit information” given to reporters about how long it took to launch a federal investigation into a serious Alberta oilsands leak last summer.

The comments were included in more than 100 pages of emails obtained by the Star that were generated in response to questions from journalists last summer about the mysterious leak in Cold Lake, Alta., that now totals about 1.2 million litres of bitumen emulsion, a mixture of heavy oil and water...


Don't worry.

It's ethical!

Well, that and Neil Young was way wrong.


Meanwhile, in other environmental news of our world...Tens of thousands of farm fish are dying in Nootka Sound and Alexandra Morton is not buying the industry's 'explanation' handed to the media.


This Day In Snookland...Does B.C. Now Have A Foreign Affairs Ministry?


From the final bit of Ms. Christy Clark's letter of support for Israel released not by her government or her political party but instead by the 'Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs':

"...As the world continues to hope for a peace that satisfies both Israelis and Palestinians, I’m proud that British Columbia can be counted as a friend of Israel..."

As a rationale, Ms. Clark also states the following in her letter:

"...Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens against terrorist attacks..."

All of which makes one wonder, especially since she appears to have appointed herself as British Columbia's foreign minister, if Ms. Clark knows much about the Palestinian 'national consensus' government of reconciliation that was formed in June.

That government was recently described on the OpEd page of the NY Times by the International Crisis Group's Nathan Thrall thusly:

...(I)n many ways, the reconciliation government could have served Israel's interests. It offered Hamas' political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel..."

So, what happened in the period between the striking of the reconciliation government and firing of rockets by Hamas from Gaza?

Well, Mr. Thrall concludes the following:

...Israel strongly opposed American recognition of the new government, however, and sought to isolate it internationally, seeing any small step toward Palestinian unity as a threat...


...(In addition)...the key (on-the-ground) issues of paying Gaza's civil servants and opening the border with Egypt were left to fester...


...(Thus) after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse...

Of course, Mr. Thrall may be overstating things in terms of Israel's role in the kiboshing the emergence of a more reasoned and reasonable governance of all the Palestinian territories that could have mitigated, or perhaps even have prevented, the current asymmetric hostilities.

I, personally, cannot be certain if that is, or is not, the case because I am most certainly not an expert on Palestinian-Israeli relations.

But Ms. Clark, especially if she is going to speak for 'British Columbia' (and, by extension, all British Columbians) in her newly-minted and self-proclaimed role as foreign minister of our fair province, darned well better be.


You can read of/listen to more of Mr. Thrall's point-of-view if you wish....Here.
Subheader?....Well, you know....Iron Snowbird!


Saturday Night's Alight For Uke Cover Fighting!


Except that...

In this case the cover is also the original.

Brought to you by Bigger E. working barefoot in downtown Lotusland.

 E. was captured for posterity by 'Everyday Music' who has a heckuva local multilevel musical stratification archive-a-palooza project going...