Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Forty Years Ago Tonight...The Bird Is The Word.

...On the mound against the damnable Yankees at old Tiger Stadium.


This Day In Clarkland...A (Very Different) Tale Of Two proMedia Club Members.


Remember back when Stephen Smart was the legislative bureau chief for CBC British Columbia and an uppity blogger by the name of Norman Farrell lodged a complaint with the corporation that he, Mr. Smart, had been put in a position of potentially being in a conflict of interest given the fact that his life partner's job was to control the flow of information from the office of the premier to reporters covering the legislature?

And remember also how the CBC's ombudsperson, Mr. Kirk Lapointe came to agree with Mr. Farrell and the similar complaints and concerns of others?

And remember, too, how the local proMedia howled with protest, from the Vancouver Sun's Craig McInness to Global's Keith Baldrey, and many Lotuslandian proMedia club members in between?



Fast forward to the present and ask yourself how many of those same club members have howled since Ian Jessop was fired from CFAX last week just as he was about to start unclogging the legislative info-flow in earnest.

Done asking/scratching your head?

Well, you can always use the Google.

To find.



Merv Adey has an excellent contextual post up on why the firing of Mr. Jessop is so problematic for members of the Lotuslandian citizenry that would like to learn what is really happening in Clarkland these days.
And where is Mr. Smart plying his stock-in-trade these days?...Well...You know.
A funny thing about all that howling over the Smart/Pointy affair back in the day...The Keef actually proved the point about the conflictyness of the thing when he was trying to, as is so often his want, demonstrate the opposite. 
And here, via Laila, is some very good news...Indeed.


Friday, June 24, 2016

This Day In Clarkland....Have Two Hundred And Forty-Seven Post-It Notes Gone Missing?


Via Buzzfeed:

...At the Western Premiers’ Conference in early May, Clark said the Lax Kw’alaams leadership “voted overwhelmingly in favour of moving forward into the next stage of this agreement on LNG.”

In an emailed response to Discourse Media about the meeting, the premier’s office stated, “First Nation officials carried out their own internal engagement processes prior to their vote and letter of support to the federal government.” The premier’s office stated that Lax Kw’alaams voted 244 to 3 in favour of developing Lelu Island.

Discourse Media’s investigation found no evidence of such a meeting. In May 2015, community members in Lax Kw’alaams voted to reject a benefits proposal from Pacific NorthWest LNG, which is majority owned by Malaysian company Petronas. No further band meeting appears to have occurred since a new mayor and council were elected in November 2015.

Neither the premier’s office nor the band council provided any documentation of any band council or community vote. Discourse Media also could not identify a single community member who attended or was aware of such a public meeting...

The full report, with extensive on the ground reportage from Brielle Morgan and Ash Kelly of Discourse media, which also includes an admission by a spokesperson in the Premier's office that their boss may have been mistaken on the 'leadership' aspect of things is...Here.



What really happened?

Will we find out for real this time, or...

Will the Legislative Press Club members (in good standing) once again run the other way as yet another apparent contradiction seeps out under the door of the premier's office?

Stay tuned...


Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Keef Report...Idiot Paywallers!


What's it all about this time Alfie?

I mean...

Is it just that the Keef doesn't like folks that might be smart enough to figure out a way to chop away at the decaying base of his paymaster's debt pile while making a go of it themselves?

Especially given that, as Sandy Garossino of the NatO points out, the paywall concerned is not actually built in the manner described by the Keef:


Is it possible that the Keef is just really riled by Ms. Garossino's latest NatO piece on the price that the entire public (really) pays for private schools for the few.

Not that those two things are necessarily mutually exclusive or anything.

Idiots, idiots,

Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here.


#IanJessopFired: What Scared The Wizards More...


Norman Farrell or...

Martyn Brown?


The above is a screen shot of the Googleplex taken the morning of Thursday June 23rd.

Luckily, those sharp boys with the search engine and the gigantic bags of money are a little behind because if you hit the link that takes you to the actual CFAX 'guest' page you will find that it no longer has any reference to an appearance by Gordon Campbell's former chief of staff who was previously scheduled to appear at 1:00 in the afternoon sometime this week.


One o'clock in the afternoon....

Isn't that Mr. Jessop's 'old' timeslot?

Not that the Wizardarian fear of either Mr. Farrell or Mr. Brown is necessarily mutually exclusive.
Do you not find it interesting that, what with all the PR and all the Spin and all the Astroturf and all the in-pocket media members they have at their disposal pretty much 24/7,  the wizards are still so scared of one talk show guy who has the occasional guest on that is willing to point out the realities of the actual public record that they felt the need to have him fired/silenced/censored?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...The Sound Of (Media) Silence.


If you listen to CFAX 1070, which is a BellGlobeCTVEverythingElseMedia property, in the early afternoon you may have noticed that Ian Jessop is no longer there.

Thus, in addition to other things, you no longer get to hear intelligent, fact-based discussions of the goings on in Clarkland.

Especially when Norm Farrell was on.


Puget Sound Radio reckons Mr. Jessop has been 'terminated':

A usually well-informed source passes along word that Ian Jessop has just been terminated at C-FAX Victoria.

The talk show host in the 1-3 pm slot M-F has in recent months had his show repeated daily from 6- 8 pm. So one would assume he had been held in somewhat high esteem...



Something else?

The real tragedy of this is that Mr. Jessop is/was the ONLY local 'lectronic media voice that consistently looked hard at, and spoke the truth to, the Clark government...
TipO'TheToque to Alison at Creekside for the heads-up.
Seems to me that a weekly blogger-driven BCPoli podcast might be in order...Maybe something like, say, the following which was a discussion of  BCRail back in the days when the court case was heating up (i.e. just before the Six Million Dollar Deal brought it all to screeching halt) with fellow blogger 'TheReverendPaperboy' on his 'Maple Syrup Revolution' pod:


Has The Leader Of The Vancouver Island Party Removed His SoCon Stripes?


As Norm Farrell pointed out on the Twitmachine yesterday, the ostensible leader of the Vancouver Island Party, Mr. Robin Richardson, used to be a Fraser Institute guy.

So much so that the dear leader even wrote a book with the Big Muddy's main man Michael Walker.

Which is all fine, as far as it goes, given that the good Mr. Richardson describes his party as fiscally conservative.

But, according to CHEK News' Ben O'Hara, he also describes the party as something else as well:

...“We are fiscally conservative, socially progressive and environmentally green,” he (Richardson) writes...


Leaving aside the environmental thing for the moment, the bit above in bold is most interesting given that awhile back the Mr. Richardson tried to take the FedCon 'Alliance' party's nomination away from Keith Martin in Esquimalt because Dr. Martin was, at least in part, pro-choice.

The MoCo had the story back in the day:

...Alliance members in the riding of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca will choose Saturday night between Martin and a more conservative challenger Robin Richardson, who opposes abortion.

"The opposite of 'pro life' is 'pro death'," Richardson says. "This 'pro choice' is just a weasely way out of it."

During public debates, he has argued that women who have abortions get diseases and die younger a claim that Martin has dismissed as "crap."...


Do you smell what I smell?

Please note the irony in Dr. Martin's description of Mr. Richardson's bogus claims about disease and death as a result of abortions given the short lived Canadian Reform Alliance Party monicker that was once associated with the pre-Steve party...
More later on the good Mr. Richardson's BCL-lovin' Stockboy connection...


Monday, June 20, 2016

"Music Is Good For You..."


That's the word from our Neil.

Age 70.

Talking to Marc Maron.

And, as so often happens on Maron's podcast, things get looser as the conversation rolls on and the subject realizes that the guy he or she is talking to is genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Listen to it....Here.



This Day In Clarkland...The Twin Tiering Of Education In British Columbia.


Paul Willcocks, writing in the Tyee, has the story.

Here is his lede and a little bit more:

We don't talk much about two-tier education.

Two-tier health care, sure. Governments reject the idea that a sick child from a wealthy home should get better treatment than a child from a poor home.

But B.C. governments have been happy to let parents with money buy their children a big educational head start over the equally bright poor kid a few neighbourhoods away.

And the BC Liberals -- like the New Democrats and Socreds before them -- insist that less-affluent taxpayers subsidize the private schools they can't afford for their own children.

But recent (albeit flawed) polls and a policy shift from NDP leader John Horgan could signal a long overdue change...


...(W)hy are taxpayers subsidizing posh private schools, when the government insists the public system is meeting students' needs?

St. George's School is among the elite B.C. private schools. Tuition starts at $20,460. Based on the school's budget, it spends about $34,000 per student, almost four times as much as the provincial funding for students in public schools.

Yet taxpayers will subsidize St. George's with more than $3 million this year...

Go read it all.

(and keep a water-filled spray bottle handy to help put out the fire that will produce the smoke coming out of your ears)



Sunday, June 19, 2016

For My Mom and Dad.

For those of you who have been stopping by here since the dinosaur days....

Why this post again?

'Cause it's a tradition (with little bits and pieces, one of them musical, added on each year)...

That's why!



As is usual at this time of year, I've been climbing in and out of the cigar tube a lot lately on my way to and from not-so-secret science geek bunkers dotted around the country where peer reviewers are fighting it out to the figurative death over the ever diminishing success rates for grant-funded basic/fundamental research (stay-tuned for that, by the way, because I think it is soon to become big news given that the federal minister responsible has just announced a review of government policies and programs on that front).

Anyway, I have written about this before, and I will write about it again, but that is not what I want to talk about today.

Instead, I want to talk a little about my Mom and Dad.


As I have also written before (see below), my Dad spent his entire adult life working for tow-boat companies hauling all manner of stuff up and down the west coast, from Alaska to California, and sometimes even across the water to Hawaii.

And he was pretty well paid for doing that job, especially once the 1970's arrived.

And while I know that part of the reason for my Dad's increasing salary, which helped make it possible for me to go to college, a first in our family, was the damned good job he did as he began to work on ever bigger boats like, say, this one, I also know that in large part I owe my shot at a higher education to his union.

How do I know this for sure?

Because I also know that my Mom, who was climbing the ladder working in ever bigger branches on ever bigger jobs with ever bigger responsibilities of one of our country's biggest banks at the very same time my Dad was hauling logs, got paid peanuts by comparison for doing her non-union job.

But that does not mean that my Mom's passing down of her ability to be analytical, sometimes in the extreme, did not help me get to college too and, maybe even more importantly, help me become a full-fledged science geek in the end.

My mom passed away early last fall after a long, slow decline that left my Dad doing a whole lot of the work and the worry after his days of working for a living/pay cheque were long done.

Anyway, below is my now traditional F-Day post for my Dad....


I really do live a charmed life.

I have a wonderful wife and two great kids.

I also have a job I actually like, where most of the time I get to do what I want while working with people (also mostly kids) to produce stuff that we are all really proud of.

And that job pays me well; not hockey player money well, but I make more than I ever dreamed of. Which, of course, means that I make just enough that we can afford to live in our own house within the Vancouver city limits.

In fact, I guess some might say that I am upwardly mobile enough that I should quit all my complainin' because I'm one of the lucky ones that actually benefits financially from many of the 'rich folks first!' policies of Mr. Campbell et al.

But here's the thing.....

I am most definitely not one of those 'ladder puller-uppers'

You know, somebody who's got theirs, and now says, "Screw you Jack," to everybody else.


I'll tell you why.

It's because of my Dad.......

My old man was a Union man.

And the folks in the Union fought like bastards...and they fought constantly, usually for the tiniest of things in each successive contract...things like an extra quarter percent on a COLA clause, or one little add-on like an extra free filling per year on the dental plan.

And when I was a kid, especially during that time when I was a barely no-longer-a-teenager-aged kid, I thought the folks from the Union were just a little bit off their nut....all that energy going into what, exactly?

After all, it was the 80's, and Dave Barrett and the Socialist Hordes were long gone, and the Wild Kelowna boys were rolling along, and Unions were bad, and Expo was coming, and Trudeau was going, and John Turner was hiccupping, and Mulroney was lurking, somewhere off in the distance....

....And if you were a half-bright, apolitical science-geek kind of kid like me, breezing your way through college and thinking about graduate school, you laughed when you saw the boy wonder from Burnaby, Michael J. Fox, shirk his Family Ties and ape the young Republicans while making fun of his willfully neutered Leftie of a Dad on the TV screen...

....And if you were that kid, you thought that you were living in a golden age that was tied, not to the social democratic reforms of the past, but to the coming of Free Trade and the promises of the Reaganites from the South...

...And from that perspective you sure as heck didn't always get the irony of Bruce Springsteen singing about the plight of the working class in 'Born in the USA'.

But now that I have spent a good chunk of time in USA where I started a family of my own before coming home, I do get it.

I understand that my Dad spent his entire adult life hauling logs up and down the West Coast, working his guts out to help keep the robber baron families rich because he had to make a living to support his own family....

....And I get the fact that, because of the Unions, my family's standard of living gradually improved, bit by bit, over the years so that by the time I had grown up to be that callow young man described above my parents had saved enough to help me go to University....

....And I get the fact that I was the first one in my family who got to go to University....Ever.....And it wasn't because I was so damned smart....

....And I get the fact that, while my parents' limited financial help and support was important, it would never have been enough to get me into the same good schools if I had arrived on the scene a single generation earlier or, perhaps, later....

....And I get the fact that those Wild Kelowna Boys, and all the other neo-cons that have come since, have been doing their damndest to destroy the dream of a University education for all, and instead have instituted an elitist education for some and one-trick-pony Technical training for everybody else.....

....And I get the fact that, if it wasn't for folks like my Dad and the other lefties of his time, my current world, one in which I make a living with my eyes and my mind wide open, would not be what it is today.....

....And most of all, I now get the fact that my Dad was, and is, my hero.

Photo at the top...My Dad and my youngest brother C., getting ready for a highly ritualized Samuri Fishing Rod Sword Fight (to the death!) up at Spectacle Lake at the top of the Malahat on Vancouver Island in the early/mid-70's.
Photo at the bottom...My Mom with somebody's kid, probably one of my much younger cousins, at the picnic table in our daisy-filled old back yard on Monterey Ave. in Victoria that was the scene of a thousand-and-one-before-and-after-dinner soccer and/or cream-'em games (although the latter were more often in the front yard for some unfathomable reason) also probably from the middish '70's...And if I'm wrong, rest assured that my brothers will be sure to correct me!