Friday, March 22, 2019

When Business Models Kill...

...We Should All Be Concerned.

What it's all about this time Alfie?

Well, according to Hiroko Tabuchi and David Gelles, not to mention the front page of the NY Times...


As the pilots of the doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia fought to control their planes, they lacked two notable safety features in their cockpits.

One reason: Boeing charged extra for them..


...Boeing’s optional safety features, in part, could have helped the pilots detect any erroneous readings. One of the optional upgrades, the angle of attack indicator, displays the readings of the two sensors. The other, called a disagree light, is activated if those sensors are at odds with one another...

The thing is, preventing such occurrences, unlike, say, crazy people doing unthinkable things in school houses and places of worship with weapons, is easy.

If you get my drift.


Friday, March 15, 2019

The Keef Report...Young Barbarian At The Clubhouse Gate!


Doesn't that young whippersnapper know that he is never, ever, allowed,to challenge the conventional wisdom of a senior proMedia Club member, in public, with a contrary analysis based on actual fact?

I mean, if this type of behaviour continues, what's next....

Does somebody starts challenging the Dean's pronouncements from the inside?

And a few more wee not so conventional bits I would like to release from my brain so that it can writhe in throes of last minute science writing free of all thoughts of poli-blogging (ha!) during the final countdown to grant submission day....
Is this (so far) soft landing for the Lotuslandian real estate market not exactly what we need and why, isn't that ever the angle in the tidal wave of stories from the Club?....
When, precisely, will a certain senior Club member be trumpeting the story of a local citizen journalist (a.k.a. 'idiot blogger') who helped change provinical policy on IPP's for the better?....
And finally, why, exactly, do major proMedia outlets, and that includes the MoCo, not state, up-front and explicitly, Ms. Christy Clark's ties to SNC-Lavelin when they bring her on to read the 'Iron Snowbird in Red Riot Act'....
As always, previous Keef Reports can be found...Here.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Blessing And A Curse.


I'm pretty sure I've owned this thing since I was a child.

But I didn't become acutely aware of it until I was in college.


Because it drove my best friend crazy.

In first year calculus.

Here's the thing. We could sit at the back and mess around, nothing bad really, usually just whispering about homework or an assignment that was due in another class.

Inevitably, when it became abundantly clear that we weren't paying attention, the prof would call on us.

And most of the time I flummoxed my friend S. by answering the question because I kinda/sorta had been.

Paying attention I mean.

I've been doing the same thing to my own family since forever and, while I'm not sure it drives them completely crazy (although it probably does),  my kids always laugh when I refer to it as my slightly Rainmanian 'two track' parlour trick.

Weirdly, unlike just about everything else, this two track thing has not started to diminish as I slip and slide toward the end of my sixth decade.

In fact, I now use it fullest advantage in my day job.

Specifically, these days the place where I get a good chunk of my real work done is in those never ending meetings that are all pervasive in the world of academia.

Just yesterday (yes, Saturday!) I was sitting in an all day retreat to discuss curricular renewal. It was was actually pretty important and, to be honest, it's something I'm pretty passionate about.


I also had a colleague who was waiting for a revised sub-aim for a research grant we're writing together.

So, I beavered away on the grant in the back row of the conference room with one ear to program credit  and butts-in-seats ground, until things in the room started to get deep into the course duplication weeds and I couldn't help myself.

So I jumped in, said my piece, and then got back writing up to our grant's transgenic gene knock-in strategy.

I thought I was in the clear until the woman sitting next to me, who works in a completely different field, tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, 'What's a knock-in, anyway?'

I started to explain and pretty soon we were having a full-fledged whisperfest.

The chair of the meeting, who is a prof who knows nothing about math, was not amused.


Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Wild, The Innocent, And The JT Shuffle.


The good Mr. Butts has now had his say.

And I couldn't help but notice that he conflated the regulatory TMX decision with the criminal SNC Lavalin decision.

And, oh yes, he also brought up the fact that all those innocent Canadians and their jobs were a policy decision that needed to be discussed.


Where were all those wild-eyed innocents when the trial avoiding deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) thingy was inserted into our Criminal Code?

Why, nowhere to be found.

Paul Wells had that story in the pixel pages of Macleans before Ms. Philpott resigned and Mr. Butts whined:

....When the government inserted the DPAs into the Criminal Code, how did it announce the move? With a single paragraph on page 202 of the 2018 federal budget document, under the catchy heading “Addressing corporate integrity.” You really had to go to page 202 to learn anything at all about the scheme. Finance Minister Bill Morneau made no mention of it in his nationally televised budget speech.

And how was the DPA described on page 202, for insatiably curious or insomniac readers who might stumble across it? As a way to get tough on corporate wrongdoers. DPAs would be “an additional tool to hold corporate offenders to account,” the document said. They would “sanction criminal conduct appropriately and deter wrongdoing.”...

'Holding corporate offenders to account'?

With a trial avoidance tool inserted at the behest of lobbyists from a corporation that, based on past performance, was known to offend?

Protecting the innocent, indeed.


Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Why The Heart Of Jane Philpott's Letter Matters.


There has already been a whole lot of discussion of the ethics, the politics and the 'fact' that in the end SNC Lavelin did not get the DPA it wanted anyway.

However, I have heard little of any discussion of the following passage from Ms. Philpott's letter of resignation:

"...The solemn principles at stake are the independence and integrity of our justice system. It is a fundamental doctrine of the rule of law that our Attorney General should not be subjected to political pressure or interference regarding the exercise of her prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases..."

Why does this passage matter so much?

Because, if the former AG was was subjected to such pressure and/or interference and if such pressure and/or interference really is regarded as normal  'discussion and debate' around the cabinet table and elsewhere that happens as a matter of course in such matters*, well...

It begs the question.

Are we still a nation of laws or have we become something else?

*Which is precisely the point that the Minister of Fisheries Jonathan Wilkinson made while he was interviewed by Stephen Quinn on the MoCo's Early Edition this morning....
Paul Wells has more on how 'we' got the DPA  process we may not have wanted in the first place in the pixel pages of Macleans.


Monday, March 04, 2019


That is all.


Saturday, March 02, 2019

Beach Day.


The Whackadoodle and I got down to the edge of the North Arm of the Fraser's last gasp early this morning.

When we arrived it was still winter.

Twenty minutes later spring broke out.

Soon it was so warm I could play without the fingerless mitten thingies

We are most definitely on our way to summer.

Pretty much got the next Sunday Set worked out this morning during the walk....But recording it will have to wait for a bit - have to get back to grant writing...Sheesh.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Is It Possible That 'Socialism' Isn't The Real Reason The Usual Suspects Are...

...Screaming About The Green New Deal?

And, given all the screaming, I am personally surprised that said suspects haven't yet accused AOC of being a Marxian replicant who was manufactured in a vat in East Caracas by Hugo Chavez in 2001.

After all, she once was a budding young microbiologist who messed around with roundworms which should be enough evidence for anyone.


But what about this:

Ohio’s political conservatives strongly favor renewable energy over coal and especially over nuclear power, a new poll commissioned by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum has found.

“Conservatives in Ohio are strong supporters of renewable energy, with a clear majority, 70 percent, wanting 50 percent or more of their energy to come from renewable sources,” concluded Jim Hobart, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, a national polling firm which does research for Republican candidates.

The poll was the third such survey Public Opinion Strategies had done for the the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum. It found growing support for clean energy. And a willingness to pay extra for it.

Conservative Ohio voters “also view renewable energy as a job creator in the state, with low-income conservatives and conservative men being especially likely to say that the increased use of renewables would create jobs in Ohio,” Hobart’s summary of findings points out...

Boss! Boss! The Base!

Piece quoted above was written by John Funk in the people's notoriously funkadelic Cleveland Plain Dealer....A link to the 'Ohio Conservative Energy Forum's presser on this thing is here...All joking aside, this thing has the whiff of a push about it...Is it possible that the lobbyists's stars are starting to align with those who bankroll the wingnuttian welfare workhouses?


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Steelhead LNG....Certainty, Schmertainty.



Why, according to Steelhead themselves, have they stopped 'work' on their LNG facility that was supposed to float in Alberni Inlet on the westside of Vancouver Island?

Susie Quinn, writing for the Alberni Valley News has the pull quote, direct from the mouth of the horse's spokesthingy:

...Steelhead LNG manager of communications Matt Skinner said the decision to cease work on the Kwispaa project comes down to economics. “Given the current environment in B.C., investors really need a greater degree of certainty before investing in a project such as ours,” he said Monday. “We’ve paused (work) on Kwispaa for now and are evaluating.”...

And where, exactly, did all that 'certainty' for Mr. Skinner et al's., 'investors' go?

Grant G, who knows a whole lot about all things LNG, has this take:

...Steelhead LNG can remove these expensive pipeline issues (that involve crossing Strait of Georgia and Van Isle) by locating to Prince Rupert...Kitimat..Dish Cove, Ridley Island...But they're not...This was always a pump and dump scam...either that or they thought by conning First Nations, promising economic prosperity, announcing a series of milestones crossed they could convince a naive BC Government to expend $billions of dollars to deliver natural gas to a fly-by-night group of private investors without a pot to piss in...
(stuff in brackets and the bolding are mine)


With all that as a preamble, get ready for the following, because I don't think you have heard me say this before...

In this case I think Grant has actually understates his case.


Because I do not think that the fine folks from Steelhead, at the time that they conceived of all their most sparkly of plans, were hoping to work over a 'naive' government.

Why do I think this?


'Nuff said?


Monday, February 18, 2019

Sunday Set For A Holiday Monday....February 18, 2019


'Boots of Spanish Leather' cover done in the style of Mandolin Orange...

A very, very soft version of an old THip song...

'Even When The Sun Comes Up' cover from Sharon van Etten...

Daniel Johnston's 'Devil Town', which has been done by just about everyone, including the Irish, just because it feels like that kind of town 'round here at the moment...