Monday, February 27, 2012

Thank The Spaghetti Monster For...


...Leap Year.

Which means I'll be away for a few days because of a massive March 1st deadline coming down.

For updates on the Robo/Real Call Subversion I suggest:

The Sixth Estate for the daily box scores.

Alison's Creekside for the real dirt just below the surface

McSushi Boy...Glen McGregor, who I reckon will sooner or later tell us a little a bit about how it wall went down, from the perspective of someone who helped break the story.

Talk to you'all later in the week when, hopefully the need to pay for a subverted Canadian election in American dollars will have been explained.

And while Gonzo Week is now officially over, an AudioZine-EP is coming....


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gonzo Week Cont'd...Don't Know Much About Objectivity



It was good, hard-nosed investigative digging by Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor that brought the full extent and systematic nature of the Robo/Real Call story out into the open for everyone to see, consider, and think about.

And I, for one hope there is a whole lot more of it.

That kind of really fine straight up 'objective' investigative journalism, I mean

And I hope that editors and publishers are right now, at this very minute, scrambling to rearrange schedules and rosters, as well as reallocate resources, to give more good reporters like Maher and McGregor the time and space to do it also so they don't get beaten like a gong come Monday morning (and beyond).


As the good Docktor once said about a very different regime that also lived on (and, of course, ultimately expired early because of) Dirty Tricks....

In the end, objective journalism is just not enough:

"Some people will say that words like scum and rotten are wrong for Objective journalism - which is true, but they miss the point. It was the built-in blind spots of the Objective rules and dogma that allowed Nixon to slither into the White House in the first place. He looked so good on paper that you could almost vote for him sight unseen. He seemed so all-American, so much like Horatio Alger, that he was able to slip through the cracks of Objective Journalism. You had to get Subjective to see Nixon clearly, and the shock of recognition was often painful."
Hunter S. Thompson, 1994.
'He Was A Crook' In: Better Than Sex, Random House, pg 243.


I'm not saying anybody has to 'find' evidence of ibogaine smeared into the lip balm and/or colchicine swirled into the coffee or anything.


I am staying is that it is time for the pundits to stop squinting at the individual pixels. Instead, they need to step back and have a look at the really big picture.

And no more of this 'he said/she said' and/or 'both sides do it' codswallop.

Because now is the time when we need to see things clearly.

And if a 'shock of recognition' is what results, so be it.



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Robo And Real Calls.....The Big Question Now....


"Who Knew What, When?"
Stephen Maher, PostMediaNews
On 'The House" Feb 25, 2012


I don't know for sure.

But I do know that at least a couple of our readers knew something way back in April of 2011.

How do I know that for sure?

Because, after I wrote a series of posts about Mr. Michael Sona's involvement, together with a very fine online publication called the 'Landmark Report', in a conflaguration that took place at an advance student poll in Guelph Ontario, the following exchange took place in the comment threads:

Anonymous said...Forget about Sona. Check this out. Elections Canada is investigating harassing midnight or early am calls to people in close ridings asking them to vote Liberal. Vote supression strategy directly copied from the states. Seems like the RepubliCON strategists like Lutz imported by cons from the states are pulling every rovian trick in the book in order to ensure a Harper majority.

G West
said...CBC is now reporting that Elections Canada has ruled they are good votes and a valid process...Haven't heard anything further from Sona.

Anonymous said...@Anon3, Yeah the calls are being investigated by EC at the request of the Liberals most of them have been traced to North Dakota...seems like the Republicans have their tea partiers working overtime campaining for the cons.

RossK said...Thanks All.Unfortunately, I just don't see the hard evidence re: the recent calls, robo or otherwise, and where they are actually coming from.It is interesting to note, however, that we out here in Lotusland had some most peculiar phone calling going down late in the 2008 election cycle that targetted a particular left-sided group of voters in the riding of, surprise!, of Mr. Gary Lunn.
7:16 PM, April 20, 2011

Anonymous said...They have been traced to some numbers in North Dakota. This fact has been widely reported. One of the first ridings to recieve these calls was that of Liberal MP Joe Volpe(high percentage of wealthy upper middle class voters and a big con target cuz of the Jewish vote).

RossK said...Thanks Anon.Will follow.


Now, a couple of things.

First, as Kady O'Malley also said this morning on 'The House', these stories were out there at the time, but it took Maher and his compatriot from the OCitizen (and BlogCrawl denizen) Glen McGregor to sit down, look at all the stories, and then a whole lot more digging over a period of weeks to see the bigger picture of the systematic efforts to affect the vote in, by Maher's count at the moment, at least 18 ridings.

Second, I did do a little digging at the time, but ran up against this North Dakota area code problem which, apparently, is where phone scammers of all kinds (and not just political) go to be completely anonymous.

Which, I think, begs another question that is not quite, but almost, buried in Mr. Maher's question at the top of the post....

Did somebody, right from the start, know this would come out eventually and, given that, did they, perhaps, make sure they had a pre-packaged, pre-planned limited hang-out all set and ready to whip out when needed?



I, like many others, including, I'm pretty sure, Ms. Malley ("how come his [Mr. Sona's] name was floated by all the usual suspects and conservative sources within five minutes after the story broke?") believe that Mr. Sona is being scapegoated here because, as Mr. Maher also said on the CBC this morning:

"This was not one kid with a robo-dialer"


More on that London Ontario party for Ann Coulter in March of 2010 and the photos that were taken there to come....


Robo or Real Call.....Systematic is NOT Sonamatic



Sun News pre-empts all the other media one day, and at the same time identifies/elevates the profile a staffer who's name is served up by a Conservative Party 'investigation' into its own alleged election irregularities .

And the next day said staffer, who has become a national scape-goat in less than 24 hrs, is either fired and/or resigns after a whole lot of his easiest to see tracks are first covered, including publicly available stuff on his Twitter feed, stuff I've screen-shot in the past (scroll down the page if you want to see a couple).*

Anyway, that sure would appear to be an excellent example of, as old Tricky Dick himself liked to call it, a 'limited hang-out', eh.**


Here's the real thing....

How could it have all been young Mr. Michael Sona's fault, if all this stuff was being done systematically from a whole bunch of places all at the same time.

And, according to a story from Stephen Maher and Glen McGregor in the Ottawa Citizen, it was.

Being done systematically, I mean.

Here is Maher and McGregor's lede, published late last night, about 36 hours after the limited h-o was set in motion by the fine upstanding folks over at Sun TeeVee:

An analysis of reports of mysterious harassing phone calls during the May 2011 election points to the existence of a systematic voter suppression campaign targeting Liberal voters in some tightly contested ridings.

Unlike the pre-recorded "robocalls" under investigation by Elections Canada, these calls came from live callers, likely working from a call centre.

A Postmedia News-Ottawa Citizen investigation based on interviews with dozens of campaign workers has identified 14 ridings - mostly closely fought electoral districts in southern Ontario - where electors reported receiving fake live calls.

Many received calls in the middle of the night from callers claiming they represented the local Liberal candidate...

*Bizarrely enough, because of a post I wrote 8 months ago about Mr. Sona's role, together, it would appear, with another young compatriot in causing a conflaguation at an advance poll at the U of Guelph just before the last election, that was, unbeknownst to me, way up on 'teh' Google page (not anymore!...which just demonstrates how well the hangout has worked, at least so far), a national political reporter actually contacted me asking me if I knew how to get in touch with the young (former) staffer...Alas, no....But if someone were to contact, say, oh, I dunno, how about the young compatriot?...
**Kinda/sorta makes you wonder who is going to 'write' the report of that internal ConParty investigation, doesn't it....I mean, I don't think little Johnny Dean would do it now, would he?


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Night Lullaby


A little more Tweedy.

That's all I've got.

'Tonight's The Night', you're maybe wondering?

Maybe next time.


Gonzo Week Cont'd...Was Hunter Thompson The First Blogger?



Do you think all this stuff about how the Mainstream Media doesn't cover enough actual news, and/or get to the heart of the matter, is a new thing?

Think again.

Because here's vintage, pre-fame Hunter Thompson, circa 1968, writing to the general manager of his local television station in Aspen Colorado.

Dear Mr. Palmer,

Six months ago I watched your tearful commentary on the night of Dr. King's death; it was an impressive performance - and I use that word very deliberately, in light of your influence on the level of KREX-TV's programming since you took over as general manager. Your predecessor, as I recall, retired to work for Richard Nixon; he was an infamous yahoo, recognized all over the western slope for his unenlightened views on almost everything. So it was a hopeful sign - to those of us who can get only one channel on our sets - when the station's management was taken over by an articulate human being who publicly cast himself as a one-time friend of Martin Luther King.

Well....with friends like you, Dr. King didn't need enemies. It's you and your swinish, hypocritical ilk who've created and sustained the world that Dr. King was trying to change.....

You weep for Dr. King, yet you manage a TV station that stands as a rancid monument to the worst instincts of the industry. You talk of the need for a better world, yet you treat your TV audience as if they were total waterheads....

I'm sure 'Doc King' would be proud of you. You got your hands on a captive audience and fed them the cheapest, meanest kind of swill you could find......

From: Fear and Loathing in America
Simon and Schuster, 2000, pg 128

This was written just a few months after both M.L. King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated, and just a few weeks after Thompson himself was beaten about the head while covering the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, this despite the fact that he was carrying press credentials at the time because he was working on a doomed project that would eventually become the underlying theme of pretty much all of the rest of his best work, which was....

"The Death of the American Dream"


What's amazing is that screeds like the one quoted above were not rare.

In fact, Thompson wrote literally thousands of them, often in the middle of the night, or just before dawn, to friends, foes and total strangers alike.

And he did it in his study, hunched over a typewriter, with reading light on, and often with music booming while he missed deadlines he knew had to reach back and yank forward if he wanted to keep a roof over his wife and kid's head (he did worry about that kind of mundane real-life stuff, almost constantly, by the way).

And, perhaps most importantly, if you read them one after the other, in them you can see the real evolution of his art.

Awhile back a guy named Greg Beato, who is a pretty interesting wordsmith himself, described the power, the glory, and the sheer fun of producing of all those unedited molotov word cocktails:

Who would have guessed that the dope-addled, peripatetic Thompson, who was so seemingly out of control that each last-minute story he filed came across as a miraculous convergence of typing paper, chemical incentive, and editorial triage team, was also a careful correspondent/diarist who carbon-copied and saved 20,000 letters over the last five decades?.....

If these letters show Thompson as far more clear-headed and calculating than his literary persona suggests, they also reveal that his larger-than-life aura and fantastic contrarian assurance were innate aspects of his personality rather than products of his eventual celebrity.

"I'm getting a little tired of writing articles that everybody praises and nobody prints," he tells novelist and former colleague William Kennedy, after turning in a 140-page manuscript on the NRA to Esquire. "I've been writing for 11 years," he says to Random House's Jim Silberman, "and never--not once, not even with my poem in Spider magazine--have I ever had anything published straight."

Instead, he wrote letters. "I'm having a hint of twisted fun with this letter" he says to Silberman in the midst of a nearly 4000-word letter. "I haven't written anything for a while, and I miss that kind of high rambling feeling you get when the crank comes on and THE MEANING is almost clear; just around the next bend, or at the end of the next crude tangent."

Such statements make it easy to see why Thompson took so strongly to the form. Letters are personal, spontaneous, informal--everything that Gonzo aimed to be.......

It also demonstrates that maybe, just maybe, Thompson was actually blogging 30, or maybe even 40, years before anybody had even thought seriously about the form.

Which might explain why his technique is universally mimicked by everyone, myself included, all over the bloggodome.


Does Ezra Levant Know Michael Sona?

Double-Secret Probation Update: Oct 31, 2012...Mr. Sona is now claiming that Sun News and the CPC threw him under the bus...

Update: Late Friday...For those who just don't quite get it, there is now an explanation of the satirical snarkolepsy that underpins this post at the bottom.

And if yes.....

How long, exactly, has the fine Sun News commentator known the good Mr. Sona?

Why, 'how long'?

Because the image above was taken at a 'private' reception for Ms. Anne Coulter when she was on her Canadian speaking tour in the spring of 2010, one year before the RoboCalls were allegedly made that Mr. Levant's Sun News yesterday 'suggested' Mr. Sona may have been involved in (together with their 'own' photo of Mr. Sona with another conservative luminary).

And now, just one day later Mr. Sona, who some might think, myself included, is being scape-goated here, has been fired....errrr....'resigned' as a Conservative Party staffer.



Why did I say that the reception noted above was 'private' (and therefore was not likely filled to bursting with the hoi polloi)?

Because the very fine fellow who that took the picture, and was proud to post it on his blog identifying the good Mr. Sona at the time, explicitly said so.

There were some other interesting folks of note that were also at that event....More on that later....
Update, late Friday: Have been taken to task by a commenter for being a conspiracy-theorist....Actually, I am a satirical snarkoleptic cynic on this one who is only attempting to demonstate just how absurd it was for Sun News to elevate the status of Mr. Sona's 'relationship' with the Prime Minister with their own photo (originating, apparently, from the PMO itself) before they set the limited hangout in motion....I mean, if Mr. Sona was just some jr. drone, in a backroom somewhere, would the hangout have been credible enough to spike the story in front of the EC report?


Will The Cons Soon Claim That The Robocalls That Were Clearly So Wrong Were Actually 'Right'?


After all, it is not as if the Conservative Party of Canada's sacrifical operative (allegedly) at the heart of the matter, Mr. Michael Sona, hasn't arbitrarily changed the meaning of words to suit his point of view when his actions as an operative have ended up in the public eye in the past.

The following is from a post last April in which Mr. Sona claimed victory in the wake of the U of Guelph 'special poll' conflaguration that he was involved in that I viewed, based on the actual words of an Elections Canada ruling, as a voter suppression effort....

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Conservatives' New Translator: Mr. Michael Sona



Update: At Bottom of post.
Double Secret Probation Update: Was he or wasn't he there?...Photographs appear to confirm initial eyewitness reports regarding the presence of the good Mr. Sona at the University of Guelph's special ballot session last Wednesday....

Mr. Michael Sona is the communications director for the campaign of Conservative Coalition candidate Marty Burke in Guelph Ontario.

He was also, according to a number of eyewitnesses, present during the controversial confrontation on the University of Guelph campus last week.

The following is a report on that confrontation in the Guelph Mercury published yesterday April 16, 2010:

....Several students and a Liberal scrutineer present at the polling station allege Marty Burke’s director of communication, Michael Sona, attempted Wednesday to grab a ballot box in an effort to stop voting at the U of G polling station.

Sona and the Burke campaign team directed all requests for media comment about this episode to the Conservative Party of Canada national campaign.

In a news release issued Friday morning, the party “vehemently denies that any of its workers or volunteers interfered” at the polling station.

“In particular, the Marty Burke campaign denies that any of its workers or volunteers touched a ballot box or ballot,” read the release. “The outlandish and unfounded claims being spread on the internet are the product of desperation, and are most regrettable.”

Students Brenna Anstett and Claire Whalen both said Sona tried to grab the ballot box. Anstett was “100 per cent” sure it was Sona after she identified him in a group photo provided by the Guelph Mercury.

Sona is a former University of Guelph student and former member of the Guelph Campus Conservatives. He also founded the group’s Facebook page.

Conservative party spokesperson Ryan Sparrow, the official responding to media queries about the case, wouldn’t say if Sona had been on campus in connection with the episode....

Now regardless who 'touched' what, or not, what is it, exactly, that the Conservative Operative Mr. Sona was translating as being 'wrong' in terms of the actions of E(lections) C(anada) or anyone else in Guelph?

Because, based on the following, from the Elections Canada press release on the matter at hand, it would appear that absolutely nothing was.

'Wrong' I mean.

"...While the initiative at the University of Guelph was not pre-authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer, the Canada Elections Act provides that electors may apply for and vote by special ballot. A special ballot coordinator, appointed by the local returning officer, oversaw the activities at the University of Guelph. All information at our disposal indicates that the votes were cast in a manner that respects the Canada Elections Actand are valid..."

So, given all that, is it possible that the Conservative Coalition of Canada and its Operatives were actually looking, not for something that was 'wrong', but rather something else?

Something like the following, also from Elections Canada:

"...In light of the focus on youth and student electoral participation at the 41st general election, and on efforts to increase voter interest and turnout among this group, a well-intentioned returning officer undertook a special initiative to create an opportunity for students at the University of Guelph to vote by special ballot.

Once Elections Canada officials were made aware of the local initiative in Guelph, the returning officer was instructed not to engage in any further activities of a similar nature. All returning officers have received this instruction..."

Does that part in bold, directly above, read like a successful voter suppression strategy to you?


Thanks to the anonymous commentor on a previous thread for pointing me towards the appropriate operative in this matter......
Update, Mon Apr 18th: Saskboy, with the help of Dr. Dawg, goes up the TwitterCon Food Chain.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stuff My Hit Meter Tells Me....


Today it is the fact that a whole lotta people are landing here after they type "Michael Sona" into the Google machine.

Especially if they add "Guelph" to the string.


How come, I wonder?

Hang on a second while I go check.


Holy Crap!

It turns out that....

Once a Donnie Segretti wanna be, always a Donnie Segretti wanna be....

OTTAWA — The Conservatives scrambled Thursday to distance themselves from fraudulent "robocalls" sent out during last year's federal election and attempted to direct blame toward a young campaign worker.

In response to a Postmedia News-Ottawa Citizen report that found an Elections Canada investigation has traced the robocalls to a call centre with Conservative connections, Prime Minister Stephen Harper denied his party was involved in the attempt to mislead voters.

"In this case, our party has no knowledge of these calls," Harper told reporters in Iqaluit. "It's not part of our campaign."

Anyone found responsible would face the full consequence of the law, Harper said.

Later in the day, a Conservative-friendly media organization cited two anonymous Conservative party sources and reported that a staff member who had worked on the campaign of Guelph, Ont., Conservative candidate Marty Burke was a person of interest to the investigation...

{snippety doo-dah}

....Sun Media's website ran a photograph of a Burke campaign worker, Michael Sona, standing next to Harper at what appears to be a campaign event, claiming he was involved in the calls. The photo is credited to the Prime Minister's Office.

Sona, 23, served as Burke's communications director during the campaign and is now an executive assistant to rookie Conservative MP Eve Adams on Parliament Hill.

Postmedia News contacted Sona earlier this week and asked him a series of questions about the robocalls but he did not respond.

Sona was not in Adams' office on Thursday afternoon. Asked if he would be returning, another staffer said, "Maybe."

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae dismissed the naming of Sona as a tactic, noting that he was identified only after the story surfaced.

"Why would they only find the guy today, after the story has come out? They've known about this allegation a long time."

Rae said the real blame for any election trickery rests with the political culture Harper has created in the party.

"The prime minister has created a Nixonian culture," Rae said. "This stuff doesn't happen unless the boss lets it happen."...

And the post that I wrote, back in the spring of 2011?

Well here it is....

Feel free to scroll down to the second to last comment...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Photos Michael Sona Did Not Tweet-Up



Double Secret Probation Update (Apr 25, 2011): I have been contacted by a very nice person from the 'The Landmark Report' who wanted to set the record straight. She pointed out that the 'Tweet' referred to below came from the 'editor' not the 'proprietor' of that fine online publication. I have thus made that correction in an editted version of the post below. The representative of said fine online publication also took umbrage at my description of it being 'right-sided' and then went on to state that "it is a site that fosters debate and discussion from all sides of the spectrum" Now, that is a most interesting claim. I've had a look around there and I am not entirely convinced. Regardless, I have edited the post below to make it clear that it is my opinion that the site contains considerable right-sided content of a Canadian political nature. Finally, during my poking around at the very fine 'Landmark Report' it was most illuminating to find that, based on one of his own posts, it is clear that the good editor in question is very proud of his on air support for a political commentator that, in the opinion of some at least, always aspires to foster debate from 'all sides of the spectrum', Mr. Mark Steyn, while the latter was a guest on the program of he who, in the opinion of very, very few, is always inclusive of all political views, Mr. Rush Limbaugh.

Original Update: At bottom of post....

Yesterday, Conservative Alliance/Coalition Party of Canada operative Mr. Michael Sona, who is currently helping run the campaign of coalition candidate Mr. Marty Burke in Guelph Ontario, retweeted a message from the editor of a very fine website called 'The Landmark Report' that leads back to this post.

The 'Landmark Report', in my opinion, publishes a considerable amount right-sided Canadian political reportage.

Regardless, the post in question, which has been wurlitzered 'round the intewebz by some very well meaning Conservative Coalition apologists, shows five photos that were apparently taken at the University of Guelph last Wednesday during a soon-to-be-hotly disputed 'special initiative' that had been designed to help students cast their ballots before they left campus after final exams.

In fact, this initiative was so special in terms of how it was designed to help get young students out to vote before they left the riding to go home for the summer prior to the regularly scheduled polling day on May 2nd that it was fully supported by none other than the President of Guelph University, who got all avatared-up to do so, as can be seen in the video below...


Getting back to the tweets by the twitterers/operatives/journalists/conservatives concerned, please note that four of the five photos posted by 'The Landmark Report' were taken outside at the University of Guelph last Wednesday.

As in outside the 'special initiative' station where students were casting their ballots.

And, to give the avowed apologists their due, there do appear to be some young folks holding Liberal party literature in some of those photos who are, again, outside.

Please note, however, that the fifth Beatle.....errr.....Photo was taken inside, at what is clearly the special polling station itself.

And in that most (non) incriminating photo of all there appears to be absolutely nothing nefarious or untoward whatsoever going on.



According to numerous press accounts, based on the statements of eyewitnesses, the dispute at the special polling station revolved, at least in part, around the good Mr. Sona himself who has also been acting as a ministerial staffer in Ottawa during the election cycle off-season.

But here's the real thing....

It turns out that five very different pictures have been published on another very fine website, that of the Guelph Mercury.

And who is in every one of the pictures taken at the University of Guelph, inside, at the site of the special initiative last Wednesday?

Why none other than, the good Mr. Sona himself.

And whaddy'a know.....It turns out that this is not the first time during this election campaign that a reporter at the Guelph Mercury, Mr. Greg Layson, has done the digging to determine that that the fine Conservative Operative currently working in the Guelph riding for Mr. Burke has been involved in disputes involving local university students attempting to exercise their rights as citizens of Canada.....Gosh.....Would'a thunk it?
And whosoever could have possibly thunk that some of those fine, upstanding and well meaning apologists could possibly have been in on the front end of the wurlitzering of the previous dispute...

Update, 12pm noon on Tuesday Apr 19th (~12hr after this post went up)....It's very interesting, but now, suddenly, the five photos of the good Mr. Sona at the 'special initiative', have been added without comment other than identification to the original 'Landmark Report' post....

Donald Segretti was a notorious Nixon campaign dirty trickster and self-proclaimed 'rat f*cker'....But even tricksters, alleged or otherwise, can be 'sacrificial', right?


Gonzo Week Cont'd...Wild Hunter's Circus Story, Vol. 2


'The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing on Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the Six Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos...but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space. Right above the gambling tables the Forty Flying Carazito Brothers are doing a high-wire trazeze act, along with four muzzled Wolverines and the Six Nymphet Sisters from San Diego.....

This madness goes on and on, but nobody seems to notice. The gambling action runs twenty-four hours a day on the main floor, and the circus never ends......Stand in front of this fantastic machine, my friend, and for just 99 cents your likeness will appear, two hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas. Ninety-nine cents more for a voice message......

I could see myself lying in bed at the Mint Hotel, half-asleep and staring idly out the window, when suddenly a vicious nazi drunkard appears two hundred feet tall in the midnight sky, screaming gibberish at the world: "Woodstock Uber Alles!"

Hunter S. Thompson.
Rolling Stone #95, Nov. 1971
Reprinted in: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Warner Books, pp 46-47.


Who won that war anyway?

Now that industrialists can install governors and make entire states their playpen...

And double-secret probation corporate Super-Pacs can buy presidential nominations lock-stock-and-barrel...

And, most of all, Vegas is now a go to place for good, clean family fun...

Canadian Club (i.e. not Wild Turkey) Sidebar....On the night they went to the Circus-Circus, Thompson's Attorney, who was definitely not Samoan, wanted to go to the Tropicana to see Guy Lombardo and his Young Canadians. Thompson said no, as he had no intention of paying out hard earned dollars to watch a bleeping corpse. So they went to the Desert Inn to watch Debbie Reynolds sing Sgt Pepper in a silver afro wig instead. Strange days indeed.


Chris Montgomery Has Questions...


....About the debacle (my word, not Ms. Montgomery's) of the 'deservers' that became the 'only' float plane dock grafted onto the Convention Center in Vancouver Harbour that nobody who owns and/or flies float planes actually wants to use.*

Subsidized, of course, of course.

(which is why the 'deservers' are just that - most deserving of everything they deserve I mean)

Anyway, here are Chris' questions:

...This group of floatplane operators spent time and money trying to open their own terminal and run it, roughly speaking, as a co-op. It is widely rumoured that they approached the Vancouver Airport Authority for either advice or to arrange a deal to have the authority run it for them. It is also widely rumoured that they got nowhere with their request.

Graham Clarke, who was chair of the airport authority at the time the operators would have come in to talk, later left the airport authority to build the new terminal himself.

There’s nothing up with that, right?

2. The floatplane operators also had to deal repeatedly, over time, with Port Metro Vancouver as they attempted to get approval to open their own terminal east of the convention centre, in an area controlled by the port. They got nowhere with that either, and in the end were left with one option: becoming tenants of a terminal built by Mr. Clarke.

Anne Bancroft-Jones is a member of the board of directors for the port, which turned the operators down when they tried to open their own site.

I understand that she is also Mr. Clarke’s wife.

There’s nothing up with that either, right?....

Now, Chris is hoping that someone in the Lotuslandian proMedia will step up to the plate and ask these questions.

Me, I'm not holding my breath.

*And may or may not be safe....There's a report in the government's hands, but somebody, 'deserving' or otherwise, apparently doesn't want them to release it....BiV has that story.


Why Can't These People Just STOP Selling Off All Of Our Stuff?



It's like a billion groundhog days are playing on an endless loop inside British Columbia's beaten, bloodied, battered and bowed body politic.....

Sunny Dhillon and Justine Hunter have the story in The Globe.

And all you need is the lede to raise your blood pressure through the roof:

He served as a strategist during Christy Clark’s campaign for the BC Liberal Party leadership. Patrick Kinsella – the quintessential insider in B.C. politics – also lobbied the province to adopt a new liquor distribution system, which Ms. Clark’s government this week vowed to do.

In unveiling its budget Tuesday, the province announced it would sell off non-strategic assets in hopes of raising more than $700-million over the next three years. Two liquor branch warehouses – one in Vancouver, one in Kamloops, employing about 400 people combined – and liquor distribution services were among those assets. The province said it would request proposals to transfer the government-owned warehouses and services to the private sector by 2015....

I mean, seriously....

Do these people want absolutely everything?


Is the selling of Haida Gwaii to the jet-set and the professional hockey players who profess their love of fishing, killing stuff, and private gambling dens next?

And, while they're at it....

Maybe they can get us to throw in the Kootenays and all children under the age of 11 as well.

Ah geez....

That's enough with the snark.

Because, as hard as you all might find it to believe, I'm actually speechless on this one.



Ian Reid has the story of another Not-Lobbyist/Campbell-Clark Government Insider trying keep his tracks

And Dave looks hard at the numbers and decides, perhaps quite rightly, that the Birdman's budget is actually a...punishment.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gonzo Week Cont'd...Wild Hunter's Circus Story, Vol. 1

Louisville, Kentucky
The Athaeneum Club

What kind of crazed hillbilly who ran away from home not to join one, but instead to build his own circus would move heaven and earth to have his ashes shot out of a cannon after his death?

Probably the same one that would say this about the invasion of Iraq:

" We are the Nazis in this game and I don't like it."

Freak power indeed.

Image at the top of the post.... HST's birthplace just down the street, around the corner, over the tracks, and across the river from that of Cassius Clay.