Sunday, June 30, 2013

Who, Exactly, Is Running For The BC Liberal Party In Westside-Kelowna?


From Mike Smyth's catch-up/phone-it-in column this morning in The Province:

...The governing Liberals have flooded Clark’s adopted riding of Westside-Kelowna with robo-calls aimed at getting supporters out to the polls.

But when voters pick up their phones and listen to the recorded Liberal message, it’s not Clark they hear.

Instead, the voice on the line belongs to Ben Stewart, the Liberal cabinet minister who stepped aside so Clark could run in a safe seat.

The Libs say the reason Stewart is featured on the robo-calls is because they want to reassure Kelowna voters that the popular MLA stepped aside voluntarily and he fully supports Clark...

No mention, of course, of Mr. Stewart's wife's comments that have since been wiped clean from the book of faces.


Mr Smyth even acts as the willing wurlitzer to crank-up a little 'debate' spin we told you was coming....From....Wait for it....Judy Tyabji.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Is Mr. Eby Making Good On His Promise In...

...The Letter?

In the wake of the May 14th disaster I have to somewhat sheepishly admit that I took considerable solace from a letter written by David Eby, the young Dipper guy who slayed the Charlatan and her cast of a thousand hidden Quick-Win Dragons.

There's a lot of good stuff in that letter.

Stuff like this:

Like me, in our party's darkest moments on election night, you may have wondered whether the recipe for success in politics in British Columbia involves putting your opponent's head on a weather vane in a crude animation, hiring a phone bank, and calling it a day...

{snippety doo-dah}

...In our riding, the truth telling will start with an effort to save the Therapeutics Initiative, the agency that provides BC's healthcare system with impartial, independent advice about drug safety and efficacy. At a cost of one million dollars a year, it saves the lives of children, seniors and the very ill from unanticipated medication side effects. It saves millions of our tax dollars every year.

The Liberals have cut off the TI's access to anonymized health care data and cut all of their funding. That decision is unacceptable. The truth must win in this fight.

I hope you, in your community, will find your local fight for truth. Because only the truth will defeat the kind of systematic dishonesty we saw during this campaign. And we can't afford to lose next time...



I will return to the matter of the Therapeutics Initiative in the coming days and weeks,  the part of Mr. Eby's letter that I want to zoom in on this fine, bright Saturday (Summer's Here!) morning is the following:

...The Liberals will try to choose the safest riding possible for Ms. Clark, but there is no safe seat for her. On Tuesday, a riding that has elected Liberals for more than a decade, the second wealthiest riding in BC, asked Ms. Clark and the Liberal party, politely, to leave. Others will as well.

Perhaps we will pick up another seat, or two, or more, as our unelected Premier tours the province. We will meet Ms. Clark wherever she shows up with an aggressive campaign that tells the truth. I can't wait to work a phone bank and knock on doors for that byelection. Sign me up...


As you might expect, yesterday afternoon our good friend Rick Barnes alerted us to the following Twittmachine post from Carole Gordon, the NDP candidate who is running against Ms. Clark in the Westside-Kelowna Bye-Bye...

Do not forget, a lot of folks blanched at the thought of Mr. Eby's call to unsheath the swords in the By-Election, including, of course, that fine fella that runs The (nolongerVancouver) Province.

To those people I say....

Marquess de Queensbury is dead.


And if anybody out there thinks that I have not thought of Blogger #1 and his early support/call for the elevation of the peanut farmer after his Georgia Law Day speech, well, ya....(but only sheepishly). 
The next Sunday Setlist is set, tunes and theme and all...The Whackadoodle and I are on our way to the beach to work on it, between stick-throwing...Will record soon (maybe)...
G. Barry Stewart left an important comment over at Norm Farrell's yesterday...It's got me thinking.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Waiting For The Great Troubadour To Leap Forward.


One of the things that absolutely floored when I first saw Billy Bragg when he was a skinny little kid was the way he got up there, all on his own, and just did it.

And he still does.

Get up there and do it, I mean...

Think I just might have to sit down and write a verse or two of my own to fit into a Lotuslandized version of 'Great Leap Forward'...
And ya, just in case you were wondering, Maron got into it with Mr. Bragg recently in the garage...


Radio, Radio...Mr. Holman Is Back On The Air.



Actually, the former PublicEye guy was on the air for about 12 minutes this morning on The Current, with the best of the best still (kinda/sorta) working for the MoCo, Rick MacInness-Rae

You can hear Sean talk about his documentary about political party discipline, here.


Why Mike de Jong's 'Drop In The Bucket' Has Me Seeing Red.


I got a really nice note from a reader the other day.

Mostly J. just wanted to let me know that she was glad I hadn't packed things in entirely after the May 14th election.

I wrote back to let her know that it was close, mostly because I worry that I could very easily become little more than a raving naybob of negativity like, say, the contagonist of a certain middle-period (and lesser known) Nick Hornby novel.

Anyway, J. set me straight about the usefulness of reason and insight and passion and all of that.

And for that I thank her profusely.


Having said all that, today I really am just angry.



I know there are some really big things coming down around here.

Things like the massive continuing overspend at BC Hydro.

And the billion dollar hole at BC Ferries that is being papered over with 'Hey! Look! Suddenly we're in surplus!' codswallop.

Not to mention the ongoing efforts to turn Pharmacare into an unfettered playpen/moneypit for Big Pharma.

And then there is the matter of the real provincial deficit that is fast approaching $200 billion, much of it due to our being on the hook for future 'taxpayer obligations' owed to the cronies of the current Charlatan running things and the former Leader whose Iron-Fist was wrapped in Think-Tank rags.

But what has me really steamed is a 'small thing'  that the Charlatan's Finance Minister, Mike de Jong, described to the VTC's Rob Shaw yesterday:

...“On a budget of $43 to $44 billion, it is obviously a very small percentage, 0.07 [per cent]. If we were a family earning $60,000, it’d be about $42. If you put it in those terms it sounds easy. It’s not really that easy. But it is achievable.”...


What's this all about?


Because of some problems with 'shortfalls' in projected revenues (remember the 'fiscal fairness advisor'?) Mr. de Jong has asked provincial government ministries to cut an additional $30 million out of their budgets during the current fiscal year.

Which means that British Columbians who need our help most and, of course, many of the people that work in those ministries on the front lines helping those who need our help most, will suffer these cuts.

Which brings me to that thing that really has me seeing red...


In the run-up to the provincial election the Charlatan and her minions, minions like her Finance Minister, spent more than $30 million of our money on their own political crap.

Total crap that included a useless dance show where millions of our dollars that could have been used to help those who need our help most were used to pay for the dancers' (not) appearance fees and all the political PR bafflegab that can be bal(l)anced on the head of a non-existent 400 million Tee-Vee viewer pin.

And then there was the total crap that was the stupid useless 'Jobs Plan' advertorial/political spending spree that even the Charlatan herself admitted was designed, essentially, to increase Facebook hits.


Here's my question....

Why, exactly, isn't the BC Liberal Party being forced reimburse the $30 million they stole from the people of British Columbia so that those who need our help most won't be forced to go without?


Wondering about that 'iron fist in think-tank rag' turn of phrase?...Well...It's included in this...


Mr. Farrell Speaks.


Norm Farrell has been away from the Lotuslandian Bloggodome for awhile.

And he has just written a post that explains the situation.

It also explains a whole lot more. Here is just a snippet:

"...In youth, I was a Liberal activist but came to believe the party was unworthy of support, from me or anyone else. (Sorry Pat McGeer and Gordon Gibson Jr.) With a career in small enterprise management, I was not inclined toward the other party of big business or the party of trade unions. Therefore, I consciously spoiled ballots in both federal and provincial elections. Yet, I became certain that strong unions enabled a strong middle class and government transparency and accountability was the key to political change. My spoiled ballots were an unnoticed protest that achieved nothing.

People have asked if my blog was intended to promote one party over another. My usual reply was no, I only hoped that better informed citizens would ensure government would improve. However, I concluded that citizens could not and would not be better informed because professional media messengers remain obliged to people other than common folks.

The concept of independent, public interest journalism is practised rarely now. It is a relic, not of past times but of past idealism. Journalism in the good old days was less perfect than we like to remember. People aiming to influence public discourse years ago knew then how to handle the media gatekeepers. And, they do now. Rewards were less direct in earlier days: travel and entertainment benefits, usually modest ones. Today, the rewards are obvious and the recipients defiantly oblivious to conflicts..."

If you read one local blogpost in its entirety today it really should be Norm's.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

All The Joy That Fits!


Awhile ago, we told you about former local journos Jody Paterson's and Paul Willcocks' ongoing efforts to make things better for the kids in an orphanage in a little village in Honduras.


Big things have been happening there.

And this time, as promised in the GoFundMe pitch, it's the beds:

...I wouldn't have expected little kids to be quite so excited about a bed, but let me tell you, these guys are pumped. I wish you could see their beaming faces when I ask which bed is theirs and they proudly lead me to their bunk.

They've never had that before at Angelitos - a bed of their own. A private place for their clothes and personal items, the few that they have. One spot in this impersonal world that is just for them. It's a huge step forward for child dignity.
So that's how miracles work. It took flesh-and-blood humans to raise the money, build the beds and make this project happen, but there's still something of the divine about how it all came together. 

Whatever you want to call it, it feels like hope...

I highly recommend you go and read Jody's entire account of how it came to be.

Because it will do your heart and soul good.

Even if you are an atheist like me.



They Can Always Read Stars 'N Pravda.


From The Monterey (CA) Herald:

The (United States) Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday's Herald, but Armywide.

Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke several stories on data collection by the National Security Agency.

Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks."

He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information...


As Billmon said on the Twittmachine...

"If there's something in The Guardian the troops need to know, Rush Limbaugh will tell them about it on Armed Forces Radio.

And w.t.f., exactly, is 'Network Hygiene'?

Are the Generals afraid that the troops will catch Greenwald Cooties?


Are The Natives Really Getting Restless In Westside-Kelowna?


From Alistair Waters in yesterday's Kelowna Capital News:

When B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced she planned to run for the Westside-Kelowna seat in the B.C. Legislature, she said she looked forward to being here a great deal during the byelection campaign, getting out, knocking on doors and meeting the voters.

But so far, it seems she has left the door-knocking to others in favour of photo ops and meetings and has treated the byelection campaign as more of a weekend project...

{snippety doo-dah}

...If her personal focus is winning the Westside-Kelowna seat by connecting with voters, it sure doesn’t show. While Westside-Kelowna is considered a “safe” seat for the Liberals given the ease with which the man who stepped aside for Clark, former MLA Ben Stewart, won the riding in the last two B.C. general elections, there may be a sense of complacency in the Clark camp.

A recorded telephone solicitation currently being used to drum up support for Clark features only Stewart’s voice asking voters to support the premier in her byelection bid. Clark’s name is mentioned but she is not heard asking voters to support her...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...As a provincial premier, Clark has a job to do that obviously stops her from spending the entire 28 days of the campaign here.

But, in the first few weeks of the campaign, it appears that without a camera around, Clark is happy to have others get her elected.



Despite all the babble from a number of quarters, to the best of my knowledge there have been no hard, on-the-ground, in-the-riding numbers published anywhere.

Thus, at best, all the babble at this point is just that.

Unless, of course....Uhhhhhh.... Somebody, somewhere was to make some real hay on this 'Mr. Stewart was pushed, hard' meme.

We'll see.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mr. Maron's 400 Blows.


Marc Maron's 400th podcast is up.

This time Iggy Pop comes to the garage and, as has happened so often before, Maron manages to get his guest to willingly travel deep into the heart of all that matters.


Maron seems to group these things by the hundred.

And there have been a lot of really, really great ones in the last century, including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Dick Van Dyke, John Darnielle and John Fogerty.

But my favourite of the last pack, by far, was the session with Pamela Adlon. You may know her from Louis CK's show, if not that debauched thing with that Duchovny guy (you know the fine fellow who hated the rain when he was forced to get rich and famous while living in Lotusland awhile back) and/or as the barely still pre-pubescent Bobby from King of the Hill.


The thing that really got me about the interview with Adlon was the part, right near the end, where she really gives it to Maron for not realizing that the woman he's living with is the best thing that ever has and ever will happen to him.

It's amazing really, including all the stuff about being a single Mom who has teenage girls.


And, while it is most definitely not for the faint of heart (or those who dislike bad language) you can find it all in #390.

Apparently, Mr. Maron is being welcomed back into the mainstream precisely because of all that which has been going down in his garage...So much so that he's scheduled to be on Letterman tomorrow night.
Hey!...Speaking of podcast...Just in case you didn't know...Frosty Forst just did one with Jim Goddard wherein he talks about the current state of the local 'lectronic media.


Big Brother Only Smears That Which He Fears Most.


And they're doing their best to smear  Glenn Greenwald who is suddenly receiving calls from reporters about an old lawsuit involving a company with an interest in adult videos, back taxes he is negotiations to pay-off and a student loan that he is taking care of on a payment plan.

Here's the upshot, according to Mr. Greenwald:

"...So that's the big discovery: a corporate interest in adult videos (something the LLC shared with almost every hotel chain), fabricated emails, and some back taxes and other debt..."

Serious, serious bad guy stuff there.

Sure is.


I suggest that you go read Mr. Greenwald's entire piece for both context and his side of the story to see how it compares with what will soon cascade down, pretty much non-stop from the American proMedia maw, for the next 48 hours or so.


Is The PMO Running A Junior Segretti Training School?



Apparently, dirty tricking isn't just for paid staffers anymore.

Althia Raj, writing in the HuffPo, has the story (with pictorial evidence and everything).

Here's her lede:

OTTAWA — The Prime Minister’s Office orchestrated a protest earlier this month at which Conservative party interns mocked Liberal leader Justin Trudeau during an open-air news conference.

It is the latest revelation about the lengths to which Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office — the nerve centre of the federal government — will go to meddle in partisan politics. Staff in the PMO, who help the party plot election strategy and who designed the first round of attack ads against Trudeau, have also been behind recent negative stories about his speaking fees....


Maybe the 'training school' thing is the wrong analogy.

Instead, I guess it is possible that this type of thing is actually meant to be an 'initiation' right for all those young wannabes.

After all, it's not like the folks running this operation aren't 'organized'.


Segretti?.....A guy named Donald.
Alison actually sees it as a gang of organized 'Fakers'...


Why Is Christy Clark Sending Jobs Plan Propaganda To Her...

...Minister of Children And Family Development?

From the 'mandate' letter that kinda/sorta/almost Premier Christy Clark sent to Stephanie Cadieux on June 10, 2013:

...Congratulations on your new appointment as Minister of Children and Family Development.

British Columbians have asked us to build a strong economy, a secure tomorrow and a lasting legacy for generations to come. Now it's time to deliver...

{snippety doo-dah}

...To grow our economy and create high-paying jobs for British Columbians, I am asking you to keep your ministry focused on the 'BC Jobs Plan'. Our province is blessed with both abundant natural resources, and the resourcefulness and diversity of our people and businesses. We have a generational opportunity to develop Liquified Natural Gas. This will demand determination and purposeful work...


What, exactly, does any of that codswallop have to do with Ms. Cadieux' actual job, which is taking care of those who need our help most?

Like, say, the adult disabled or those kids in our care that don't have foster families.

Tip O' The Toque to Sharon Gregson who wondered why there was no mention of child care in the letter (which I recommend you only read in its entirety if you have a barf bag at the ready).


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why Bigger E. Is Not Busking At Granville Island This Summer.


Because she pretty much agrees with all that is included in a solid piece by Denise Ryan on the matter that was recently published in the VSun.

The following chunk gets to the crux of the matter, I think:

Buskers on Granville Island are upset with new regulations and a strict new audition process that stripped a popular autistic musician of his permit to perform at the bustling tourist site.

They say the new rules are out of harmony with local culture and the values that, until now, made Granville Island, in the words of busker Eden Cheung, “one of the best places in the world to busk.”...

{snippety doo-dah}

...Dawn Monette, who has performed as a juggling golden statue on Granville Island for four years, is boycotting the federally owned property in protest and trying to organize a buskers association to advocate on behalf of street performers.

Monette said buskers were stunned this year when the Granville Island Cultural Society doubled the permit fees (to $110 from $55) and announced the new rules that she believes will limit the performers’ artistic freedom and exclude performers such as (longterm busker Keegan) Chen (who suffers from Asperger syndrome).

Buskers were not consulted about the new rules, which also include a ban on fire performances, a tougher, two-tier audition process, cutbacks in available areas and a ban on deviating from scripts approved by the GICS.

Monette says the new rules also stipulate that performers can’t improvise, engage with audience members or deviate from the script they auditioned with — a restriction on free speech that particularly upsets her....



This further shift to increased 'professionalism' (and control?) down on the Island that really and truly does seem to be stomping the spontaneity and, dare I suggest it, artistry, out of the thing does not mean that you won't see E. around town doing her thing if you keep an eye and/or ear out.

Best bet, most days is Gastown.

But she moves around a lot.

As a preview, just in case you missed it at the time, the following is from a lazy, hazy GranIsle afternoon at the tale end of last summer....

Thanks to reader C. for the heads-up about Ms. Ryan's VSun piece.


The Cavin' Of The Craven?


Well, well, well...


Seems like somebody must be starin' some internal numbers in the face that has somebody else worryin'.

At least a little.

We know of at least one reader that will enjoy our use of the Gee Droppin' in the context of somethin' that actually means somethin' slightly more than nothin' (maybe)...
Oh, and as for the spin to come?....Well, please note that the Wizards are calling it an 'event', not a 'debate'....Therefore, we're pretty sure that some sycophant or other will soon pop-up somewhere (on the SS Goodship Watercarrier tomorrow morning perhaps?) to let us know that this isn't really a caving but rather a readjusting of the format....Or some such thing...


Did Mr. Obama Just Call All That Is Allegedly 'Ethical'...

...The 'Tar Sands'?

Why yes, according to Postmedia at least, I believe he did:

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Barack Obama declared Tuesday – in a lengthy outdoor speech on the hottest, most humid day of a scorching Washington summer – that he will approve the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline from Alberta to Texas only if the project will not generate more greenhouse gases than would be emitted if he vetoed it.

“Our national interest will be served only if this pipeline does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem,” Obama said, three months after his own State Department issued a draft environmental review that predicted Keystone would not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions.

“The net effects of climate impact will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project will go forward,” the president said, pointedly employing the T-word – “tar sands” – to describe the area whose products would be pumped south...


Maybe a few folks above not measurable will actually tune in to see what the good Mr. Levant has to say later today.

Of course, if one has been paying attention, one might see this as nothing more than a cynical, and ultimate meaningless, 'It will only happen if all our conditions are met!' PR-type ploy like we here in Lotusland have heard before from our recently elected almost/kinda/sorta Premier...


Monday, June 24, 2013

What Happens When Ideology Trumps Science?


Well, according to Thomas Kerr, as quoted by Dene Moore of the Canadian Press, you get this:

..."We have a federal government that ignores science in favour of ideology, and people are sick and dying as a result," Kerr said.
"When we're dealing with matters such as life and death, I think we're obligated to base our decisions on the best available scientific evidence. I think it's unethical to do otherwise."...


Why would Dr. Kerr say something like this?

Well, because the group that he is a part of, the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, has just published a report that strongly suggests that the harm reduction approach to drug abuse has, at least in part, contributed to the following in Vancouver since it began in earnest in 2003:

...There were fewer people sharing needles in 2011, and there were fewer new infections of HIV and Hepatitis C related to sharing needles, the study found.

In 1996, almost 40 per cent of drug users reported sharing needles, but by 2011, that had dropped to 1.7 per cent. About 25 per cent of Vancouver's drug users are HIV positive, and about 90 per cent suffer from Hepatitis C.

The overall health of drug users had improved and more people were accessing addictions treatment, jumping from 12 per cent on methadone treatment in 1996 to 54.5 per cent since 2008, statistics showed...

Can somebody remind me, again, how that 'War on Drugs', not to mention the work of the 'Harm Reduction Haters' Club' going again?


How Tough Would It Be For The Dippers To Flip Westside-Kelowna?


Real tough.

Sacha Peter, making like Chad Skelton, explains how...

With maps and poll-by-poll breakdowns and everything.

As for the Cons?


And do not forget, as we explained on the weekend, Ms. Van Ryswyk was not a factor in Kelowna-Mission in the General.


Goodbye And Good Luck To...

....Mr. Baines.

From his farewell to his VSun readers published last Friday:

...Upon my return to The Sun in 1988 (after a sojourn in banking), this time as a stock reporter, I came to another realization: There is no such thing as “free” speech. Whenever I wrote a column that cut close to the bone, the lawsuits would start flying.

I learned that it takes money, not just to publish stories, but also to defend them. I am fortunate to have worked for a newspaper that has the means and mindset to do both, and to have had great libel lawyers — notably Rob Anderson, Scott Dawson, and the late Barry Gibson — to guide me through this jungle.

It also takes guts to supervise this sort of reportage. Any editor who approves a contentious story has to be a strong and confident person. Lawsuits, if they do not go well, can break careers. I am fortunate to have had fearless editors over the years, most notably our erstwhile editor-in-chief, Patricia Graham.

Over the past quarter century, The Sun has published 3,887 stories under my byline. Most of those stories are about people who, one way or another, tried to take unfair advantage of others. Having the voice to run interference with those people has been a great privilege and satisfaction for me.

That all comes to an end today. When the Pacific Newspaper Group indicated it was willing to buy out employees, I put my hand up. I am 64 years old. It comes at a good time...


I know some folks who stop by here occassionally probably think I don't like newspapers.

But, in fact...

It's actually the exact opposite.

Just ask my long suffering, newsprint throwing-out wife.

It's just that I want the people that work hard for newspapers to write just as hard, if not harder, with the backing of all those supervisors, editors, publishers and libel lawyers that Mr. Baines mentioned above.

So that they can produce stuff like this, which is from just one of those 3,887 pieces that appeared under Mr. Baines' byline over the years:

...(Vancouver -based) Veridigm was purportedly developing an online gambling business. In March 2007, Jeffrey Eng, who was president in name, if not in fact, announced the company had "successfully completed a letter of agreement" to license online gambling software from a private company called Dimensions Inc.....

{snippety doo-dah}

...About this time, Alise Mills, a Vancouver public relations specialist and occasional radio and television political commentator, became a director and vice-president of corporate communications.

Her arrival was the first hint that (Howe Street promoter Louis) Dion was working behind the scenes. Two years earlier, Mills had held a similar position with the World Bingo League Co. Inc. (a.k.a. World Entertainment Corp. and World Mobile Network Corp.), which featured Dion as president and controlling shareholder.

World Bingo was a disaster for investors. As detailed in my column last Saturday, Dion told prospective investors that, within three years, the company's online bingo games would generate $54 million in revenues and $17 million in net profits. In fact, the company didn't generate a cent of revenues.

In June 2007, Mills announced "the upcoming launch" of Veridigm's newly developed game, Megaz Bucks, which she described as "the largest progressive jackpot game ever to be offered on the Internet."

Not mentioned was the fact that the domain name,, had been registered the previous month by Kerrie Naples, who is Dion's daughter.

On July 12, 2007, Mills announced the official launch of the Megaz Bucks game, with a "progressive jackpot that would begin at $5 million and grow from there."

About that time, Eng quit as president and was replaced by Rowland Mosser, a businessman from Lucerne, Calif., who was said to be "currently working with some investors to build a 100-unit resort hotel and restaurant on Clear Lake in Lake County in Northern California."

Not mentioned was the fact that his joint venture partner was the Boardwalk Group of Companies, a Vancouver company whose president is Louis Dion.

In September 2007, Veridigm announced a master licensing agreement with Cannes Games. According to Mills, the agreement would enable Veridigm "to further position itself as a leading international provider of progressive online gaming software." No further details were provided

Mills also announced the company would move its head office from Vancouver to Dublin, which she described as "a leading city in the online gaming software and entertainment industry."

Mills said about 35 Veridigm staff would relocate to Dublin from Vancouver. "Our plan is take on an additional 25 to 30 people with software skills and see us eventually employing over 100 people," she said. (There is no indication in any of Veridigm's public filings that the company had anywhere near 35 employees.)

All these boosterish announcements were difficult to reconcile with the company's financial statements, which showed the company failed to generate a single cent of revenue during the year ending Dec. 31, 2007.

Furthermore, the company had no capacity to generate any revenue. As of Dec. 31, 2007, it had zero cash and its total assets consisted of office equipment valued at $3,471.

So what happened to the $4.5-million financing that the company had announced in March 2007? Mills confessed in a news release in December 2007 -some nine months after the fact -that the financing never happened.

She also admitted the company never consummated the deal with Dimensions Inc., which was supposed to provide access to a gaming platform that generated $125 million annually in betting revenue. Ditto for the deal with Cannes Games. In February 2008, the company announced it had removed Mills as a senior officer and director. By that time, the stock -which traded as high as 22 cents in June 2007 -had sunk to two cents....


Apologies for linking back to a post of my own for the passage above, it's just that the owners of the VSun, in their wisdom, have, apparently, chosen to remove Mr. Baines' original piece from full-on public view...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Elections BC Says That Accuracy Of 3rd Party Ads Does Not Matter.


Gabriel Yiu is raising the spectre of the smear once again.


You may remember Mr. Yiu....

He was the 2009 Dipper candidate in Fraserview who was the victim the Stallion's Mojitos man's foreign language smeary-smears.

Mr. Yiu was also attacked earlier this year by that most upstanding of all BC Liberal MLA's, Mr. Bill Bennett, while the latter was sitting simultaneously pretty and potty-mouthed as a member of the Ledgeness Protection Program.

Of course the usual suspects, both inside the Clark warrior wizard room and, allegedly, outside immediately piled on.

Which brings us to now...

Because, once again, Mr Yiu is raising the alarm.

This time it would appear that a most excellent group of Anton-friendly finest of the finefolks who call themselves the Better B.C. Coalition made stuff up about Mr. Yiu and the BCNDP that they published as third party advertisements in the Chinese language press during the election just past.

Carlito Pablo, in the G. Straight, has Mr. Yiu's story:

...According to Yiu, the Better B.C. Coalition took out an ad in the Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao, circulated fliers, and passed around a poster by email that misrepresented his party’s stance on marijuana, natural-gas exports, and taxes.

According to the English translation provided by Yiu of the Chinese-language materials, New Democrats “comprehensively” support the legalization of marijuana. Wondering if this will lead to cannabis being sold “publicly” in schools, they asked provocatively: “What would happen to our kids?”...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The material released by the Better B.C. Coalition also claimed that the New Democrats would stop plans to export natural gas to China, “seriously damaging Canada’s national interest and Sino-Canada trade”.

That’s also not true, Yiu said. In its election platform, the B.C. NDP pledged to support the development of a liquefied-natural-gas industry geared for exports to Asia.

The coalition likewise warned voters that New Democrats would tax businesses even before they made a profit. But according to Yiu, he and Vancouver–Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan clearly stated in an April 23 media release that the B.C. NDP would not bring in a general corporate capital tax..."

Egregious "make the b*stards deny it stuff" all on it's own, right?

Sure thing.

But here's the real kicker, from the nice people at Elections BC:

...Section 266 of the Election Act stipulates that an individual or organization commits an offence by providing “false or misleading information when required or authorized under this Act to provide information”. Nola Western, deputy chief electoral officer with Elections B.C., explained that the law requires truthful information with respect only to names, addresses, birth dates, phone numbers, and financial reports.

“The content of the advertisement and whether that content is accurate or not is not part of what is contemplated by Section 266,” Western told the Straight in a phone interview. “The content of the advertisement is not required or authorized by the Election Act.”...

In other words, as long as you get the trivial stuff right really big lies are just fine thank-you.


And people wonder why this crap doesn't stop.


Personally, I'm waiting, with bated breath, for the Ron Obvious follow-up (i.e. the sequel to his big wet kiss to the Wizards of the War Room) about how fantabulous and far-sighted the 3rd party groups that just poured millions of dollars worth corrosive sulphuric acid in the eyes of our collective body politic really are.


SmearGate Three (The Justining) Cranks Up.


Well, well, well....

Whaddy'a know.

John Ivison has a new trailer for SmearGate Three is out.

Of course, when the actual feature finally comes out and the politics of destruction is complete say, this time next summer, all will be forgotten when the Globe's new National Correspondent, Gary Mason, does an inside-baseball piece about what a great bunch of guys, not to mention geniuses, the smear merchants are.

Or some such thing.

All this hagiography of plumbers and smear merchants brings to mind one of Dr. Thompson's last best pieces before he went of the rails pretty much for good...Despite it's tone it is actually, ultimately, hopeful given the situation then compared to what we face now...It's excerpted over at Mr. Wenner's cash cow....Here.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ian Reid Responds....What To Do About The Polling.


The other day I zoomed in on one particular passage of Ian Reid's magnum opus on all that he thinks went wrong on May 14th:

"...There was no targeted riding polling done (by the BCNDP) in the campaign..."

And here is what I had to say about said passage...

"...If true, this is really flabbergasting to me....Because.... It strongly suggests that the Dipperian Braintrust had absolutely nothing solid to go on if they were relying on all the meaningless gibber-jabber that everyone concerned, including dufus outsiders like myself was watching and trying to make sense of..."

Now, in the comments to the original post, Ian has been good enough to respond thusly:

"...I have two reasons for the focus on polling: Firstly, I used to be in charge of it for the Harcourt and then Clark governments and I'm very interested in it as a way for regular folks to have their unfiltered choices noticed by lawmakers and, secondly, good election polling is designed to feed strategic decisions that cumulatively result in a win.

I heard a presentation by Jim Messina a week after Obama's November (2012) win in which he talked extensively about their polling strategy, which he claimed was integral to their win.

Two things were essential he said. They never - Never! - did a national poll. It was all targeted polling focused on the states they needed to get to win the thing and they knew precisely what was going on on the ground and what they had to do to hold or turn the state. They measured for success.

And they got the turnout weighting right. Clearly, in low turn-out elections, which are all elections now (that's a separate issue), weighting makes all the difference. That was the error of all the BC polling except the Liberals..."

Real food for thought, I reckon, especially when you see how ridings are really one or lost, poll-by-poll on the ground, as the VSun's Chad Skelton made crystal clear recently using E-BC's own data.




The Nut Bar Runneths All Over The Place...


Well, well, well....

Whaddy'a know:

A press release was sent out by Dayleen Van Ryswyk Friday night announcing her intention to run in the Westside-Kelowna by-election as an Independent candidate.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided to step forward and run in the upcoming Westside-Kelowna by-election as an Independent candidate.

I am appalled that Christy Clark would consider the Westside-Kelowna riding as an easy win, especially since she lost in her own home riding of Vancouver-Point Grey. Her own constituents found her unable to represent their interests, and they kicked her out. What makes her think the voters of Westside-Kelowna want an absentee MLA that isn't even from this area?...


And, just in case you missed it, Ms. Van Ryswyk was not a factor in Kelowna-Mission during the General...

Although, to be fairly fair, 43% of the fine folks who hang out at the 'Castanets' online thingy are being made 'happy' by this story....Which isn't too surprising, I suppose, given that it was the C'Nets threads where the moving riding 'Look at me!' candidate first pulled the bars of nuts out of her bag for all to try.
Then again, if you're always campaigning...Well...Who knows...Sometimes you can win really, really big in the end...But maybe only if you're doing it with the super fine folks from Campaign Research...Maybe.


Friday Afternoon Of The Long Knives



Let me get this straight...

Lynda Cranston was fired for doing exactly what Christy Clark did a few weeks ago?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Inappropriate wage increases for the people who run the province’s specialized health care services has cost the agency’s president her job.

The pay hikes came as a surprise to the Provincial Health Services Authority’s board of directors.

Board chair Wynne Powell says the salary increases were implemented without their knowledge or their consent.

Pay hikes were issued to 118 managers in the PHSA only months after the province announced wages for all public sector managers were to be frozen.

Powell says as a result, the agency’s president and CEO Lynda Cranston has stepped down...


Something tells me things are not as they appear.

Laila was first on the scene.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Long And Short Of The Odds Of Another Loss For Ms. Clark.


Trevor Lautens is at again.

And this time he's suggesting that Christy Clark could lose her Bye-Bye on July 10th.

Here is Mr. Lautens lede in the Northshore News:

"BLOATED with vanity for having shocked millions with my accurate May 14 election soothsaying, I now recklessly sooth more:

Premier Christy Clark will be humiliated by a very narrow win - grab a long-odds bet that she will actually lose - the July 10 Westside-Kelowna byelection. She's riding for a fall. A big kick in the seat. Little punning there. Oh, you got that..."

He then goes into a whole bunch of reasons why he has come to this weirdly simultaneously bold and tentative conclusion/prediction.

All of which is entertaining.

But there are no hard numbers.

And I'm not going to concur with any prognosticator's prediction about anything electoral in the absence of hard, on-the-ground and, especially, in-the-riding numbers.





John Baird's Friends And Their Benefits.



Actually, to be more precise (at least in the vernacular of the flack-hackery), today we're talking about Mr. Baird's friends with 'favours'.

The Globe's Campbell Clark has the story.

Here's his lede:

John Baird is defending his New Year’s holidays at Canadian official residences abroad, arguing they were a favour from friends, rather than a perk.

The Foreign Affairs Minister took a group of four friends to New York for five days for New Year’s 2012, staying at the official residence of Canada’s consul-general. It was eight days in London for the arrival of 2013, with six friends, at the residence of Canada’s High Commissioner...

Of course, one of those friends who helped Mr. Baird and a bunch of his other friends live in the lap of luxury for five glorious days during the dawn of 2013 was....


You guessed it:

...Canada’s High Commissioner to London, Gordon Campbell, invited Mr. Baird to borrow his place while he was away...



Here's the real thing.

While Johnny the Needle Thrower, as he is officially known around here due to deeds past done, may be a friend of the good Mr. Campbell he is also, in his capacity as Foreign Minister, Mr. Campbell's boss.

And every single penny that Mr. Baird allows Mr. Campbell spend on his laps and his luxuries (and the laps and luxuries of his friends) while he is in London is ours.



Thursday, June 20, 2013

The NDP Campaign Just Past...More Shambolic Than You Ever Imagined?


According to Ian Reid it was, indeed.

I suggest you go and read Ian's entire piece, and if you are an insider please weigh in yay or nay (or a combination).

Regardless, one passage from Ian really caught my eye:

"...I’m told the campaign pollster was fired part way through after telling Dix the polling didn’t support his pipeline strategy. Firing people for telling you the truth is a very bad sign in a campaign. On top of this, there was no targeted riding polling done in the campaign. At the end they had no clue which constituencies were in play and where they should assign resources..."


If true, this is really flabbergasting to me.

Especially the part bolded, above.

Because, again, if true, it strongly suggests that the Dipperian Braintrust had absolutely nothing solid to go on if they were relying on all the meaningless gibber-jabber that everyone concerned, including dufus outsiders like myself was watching and trying to make sense of.

Which I honestly cannot believe.

Because even Nathan Silver, never mind Eric Grenier, can't make golden nuggets out of non-stop sampling-biased codswallop.




Was The Entire PMO Working On The Trailer To Their Upcoming Blockbuster...

...'SmearGate Three, The Justining'?

Perhaps so.

At least according to the TStar's Susan Delacourt:

And, just in case you missed it in the wake of the original outing of the PMO's smearworks project, Ms. Delacourt actually turned Ms. Meekes when she came to her proffering her shop's vile 'off the record' codswallop....


Christy Clark's Big Climbdown...Are Those OIC's Even Worth The Paper They're Printed On?


The Tyee's Andrew MacLeod has the actual OIC's up wherein the Premier without a seat rescinds her sycophants seats at the golden loyalty trough.

But here's the thing....

What will she sign on July 11th?

After all, as Ms. Clark herself said not so long ago:

"We all say (and do) things when we are trying to get elected." 


The paper is here, here and here...


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Cigar-Tube Almost (But Not Quite) Talking Blues.


I got an E-mail from C early yesterday morning.

At the time I was locked up, once again, in yet another science-geek bunker.

Turns out she wanted to know where I was.

Not which bunker.

But, instead, which city.


Today, after bashing ourselves over the head while arguing, biting and trying to gouge each others' eyes out over 56 grants, only 8 or 9 of which will be funded, we were let out of the bunker early.

Which means I had a couple of extra hours in downtown Montreal.

So I headed down to the old town and the port.

And all I did was wander around not really thinking about much of anything.

Which, of course, is part of the disengagement that is so easy to bring on when you to somewhat strange, yet comfortable, cities all alone.

And now I'm sitting in Dorval Airport in the middle of my own private melancholy while all around me the madness of people and families and business guys going everywhere off in a thousand directions swirls.


I'm not entirely sure who I heard talk about it first.

I think it might have been that evil dastardly wordsmith Mr. Sedaris.

Regardless, there really does seem to be something to the melancholy that can overcome you in airports and/or airplanes.

I'm not sure what triggers it really.

Although, of course, I can (and pretty much always will) hazard a guess.

I think it might have something to do with the compression of it all.

Because, essentially, you're one place one moment and an instant later you're a world away in every way imaginable (i.e. not just the place, but the setting, and the people and state of mind too).

And in the middle of that instant you plug the buds into your ears and even something as ridiculously cliched as, say, an old Bob Seger song on the Sirius thingy can make your eyes well up like a geyser in the middle of a Cohen Brothers film.


This isn't the bit I was thinking of...But here's a very good take from Mr. Sedaris on airplane travel and just about everything else imaginable, including serving spoons and fathers who hate dinner table laughter.


How Mean Can The Never-Ending Golden Era Get?...

...Making The Seniors That Need Our Help Most Buy Their Own Wheelchairs.

As Bill Tieleman points out, independent MLA Vicki Huntington has posted-up a letter that Keith McBain, Executive Director of Residential Care, Assisted Living, Specialized Populations, Fraser Canyon Hospital And Hope Community, Fraser Health Authority, wrote to the residents of Mountain View Manor seniors home just seventeen days after the re-election of the BC Liberal Party on May 14, 2013:


So it's not just the $25 per month rental from the Health Authority for wheelchairs for the old and the infirmed that's coming down.

In addition, soon many of the seniors that need our help most will also be shelling out big-time to help get Ms. Clark and friends off the budgetary hook of their own making while they simultaneously fork out a little more to make sure that a few well-connected greed-headed middlemen can scalp a little more off the top from them.

Which is a win-win for Bogus Bollywood Bonanza's and BCL-Connected Greedheads everywhere.




Here's the thing....

When I wrote the lyrics to 'Here's To The State Of The Golden Era', a year-and-a-half ago I never figured that the third verse would, quite literally start comin true all over again in the late spring of 2013:

"Here's to the Lies of the Era's Spinners...
In the midst of all the plenty....A decade of children going down...
And the Seniors who need our help most...Get shuffled round and round...
While the Helpless and most Vulnerable are shouted down by Clowns...
Here's to the Land they tore the out the heart of...
Era's Liars find yourself another Province to be part of..."

Gosh....That's some title the very fine fellow, Mr. McBain, who wrote the letter to the residents sure has some title, eh?


Hey Media!...How To Stop The Spin And Have Your Story Too.


Just in case you missed it in all the kerfuffle over the release of the trailer for 'SmearGate3, The Justining', here is the actual lede from the Barrie Advance story under Laurie Watt's byline:

The Prime Minister’s office sent information yesterday to The Advance regarding a money-losing speech Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made in Barrie in 2007.

On Monday, PMO communications officer Erica Meekes sent The Advance details of an engagement that netted Trudeau a $10,000 fee, but left Georgian College with a $4,118 shortfall. The information was sent via email with the caveat it be referred to as coming from a “source,” not the PMO, when used.

“As a follow-up to the growing controversy over the weekend on Justin Trudeau charging charities for his speaking services, I have enclosed further materials that demonstrate the scope of this practice, cost on the organizations, and in many cases, poor outcomes and large deficits as a result of his speaking tour,” the email stated. “As discussed, these materials are provided to you on background, and should be attributed to a ‘source.’”

The material included invoices, a promotional poster and an accommodation receipt for the Toronto Four Seasons. Meekes wrote, “To be fair, there is an in-house yoga studio at the Four Seasons!”

When asked in a telephone interview why Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office was sending out unsolicited documentation, Meekes said the PMO routinely reaches out to the media...



The real story in all of this is in that last line of the lede, above.

Because it explains the mechanism by which all this toxic, infectious crap has been inserted into pretty much every cavity and crevice of our collective body politic.

And once you know the mechanism by which an army of vile, sleaze-ridden infectious agents attack?


With that knowledge in hand you can very easily figure out how to effectively neutralize them before they can successfully smear again (see Ignatieff, M and Dion, S for the first two smearing).

And if every media outlet and reporter were to follow the Barrie Advance's and Laurie Watt's miracle drug-type lead the politics of the totally destructive disease vectors that are killing honest discourse in this country would be stopped, like, dead.

Immediately and forever after.


Mr. Willcocks weighs in with a little more nuance, sans political pandemic


Sunday, June 16, 2013

For My Dad.


When I was a kid my brothers and I played all manner of sports.


And we often did the playing with our Dad.

And the playing of said sports, some real, some made-up, was often on beaches, in lacrosse boxes, on fields and in ice-rinks.

And sometimes those fields and, more than once, those ice-rinks were in the backyard of the house where we all grew up.


First up is a song about houses and Dads and such that you can listen to while you read, if you like, something that has become a bit of a tradition around here down below....


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-conlibcorp types that have come and gone 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.


One of the sports we rarely played as kids was baseball....It was not our Dad's best game...It also had a very low 'cream-'em' quotient which was high on our list back then...Weird then how much fun I've always had playing the game with my own kids...Sometimes at the beach, sometime not (please note our most excellent non-human guys behind the plate...
And the backyard ice-rink thing was not easy growing up in Victoria...


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Woody At 100 Going Down.


My favourite Twittmachine follower, for now and evermore, is @WoodyGuthrie.

And this morning he tells me that the big 100th year celebration concert at Kennedy Center  of other folks doing his stuff is on a whole bunch of PBS stations tonight.


When it comes to Woody there were no crossroads for me.

Unless you count reading 'Bound for Glory' thirty-seven times.


Truth be told, many of the Woody tunes that are most stuck in my head actually sound like Arlo because that's what my Dad bought for us when we were kids.

Here's my version of one of my favourites (sorry Pops)...

Working on the next Sunday setlist right now...Think it might have something to do with Yearbooks (littler e. brought her first one from highschool home the other day).