Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Shroud Of The Golden Era Flaps Again.



Don't look now, but....

The $500 million dollar magic carpet atop BC Place stadium seems to have sprung a leak again.

Patrick Johnston, with an assist from a local blogger, has the story in The Province:

Three years ago, on the eve of the Grey Cup, BC Place’s fancy $563 million roof sprung a leak.

Saturday, during the Whitecaps’ miserable 3-0 loss to the Portland Timbers, it seems the roof leaked again.

Rebecca Bollwitt, one of Vancouver’s most-followed tweeters and bloggers, caught some of the drips...

And that was during yesterday's minor-league sprinkle fest.

Given that, I wonder what happened during this morning's torrential big-league downpour.


Maybe Uncle Bob Mackin could check that out.

Then again, they'd probably just make him submit an FOI to find out how the big puddle is at midfield right now.

Subheader?....Well...You know...Casino-Industrial-Complexes and all that.
And, going back a little further I, for one, will never forget how certain quarters of the local proMedia (sporting life division) shilled for that darned carpet made of gold while simultaneously slamming the Dippers for questioning the wisdom of wasting all that money...


This Sunday In Snookland...Irony, Thy Name Is Fassbender.



Mr. Peter Fassbender says that his government and the public school teachers are $300 million apart.


Isn't that just about what the public spends, give or take, every single year to subsidize private school education in the province of British Columbia?

Now....Please put your protective anti-Straussian minderbinder liners in your hats and go read Charlie Smith on all of this.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

This Night In Snookland...What's Fairness Got To Do With It?


The Vince Ready Sessions are over.

And the deal is not done.


What does the Snooklandian leader have to say?

Well, according to the Twittmachine it is this:



When, exactly, did fairness become the 'issue' for Ms. Clark and friends?

And as for 'affordability'....How much, exactly, are we ALL spending to subsidize private schools that only 'certain' kids can go go to?....Best estimates are a quarter billion dollars per year....Yes, you read that right...A billion with a 'B'...Is that fair and/or affordable?


Demonizing Obamacare...The Dumber It Gets The Harder They Come (After People's Jobs).


Remember when the usual suspects (i.e. the fine folks who are doing their best to, as Jon Stewart once put it, 'hurt America') ran with that chunk of rancid teabag-forged codswallopanariansm that Obamacare, after it was first introduced, was 'killing jobs' when what it was really doing was making it possible for people to finally run away from shite work when they no longer had to worry about losing their health insurance?


Now it would appear that a select group of those same fine folks are using Obamacare avoidance strategies that are making it impossible for the Chicago Cubs can't get Wrigley's infield covered when it rains.

A couple of satirists (I think) named Igel and Caplan have the story in Forbes:

...One of (the) provisions (of Obamacare) requires that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health care benefits to anyone in the company who works full-time. Under the law, full-time work qualifies as 30 hours or more per week. The provision isn’t in effect this year. But according to a report in The Chicago Sun-Times, the grounds crew at Wrigley Field was hobbled not because they were incompetent but because the Cubs have been cutting back on their work hours. Why? Cubs management is trying to avoid providing health care benefits figuring the crew can get coverage under Obamacare instead...


...(T)he Cubs are owned by the Ricketts Family, who are serious supporters of the Republican Party, which is decidedly opposed to much of Obamacare; Pete Ricketts, a Cubs board member, is running for governor of Nebraska on the GOP ticket. But this isn’t about politics. It’s about businesspeople looking to find ways to squeeze out more profits by cutting benefits while looking to the Federal government to pick up the tab for those benefits...


It really does seem that the Koch Bros and all their fine friends are fiddling (and putting the shivs in) while they take all the money out and the Potomac roils and boils and burns.

And all that.

Of course, just like NRA-branchplant gun nuttery and middle class-destroying labour 'choice' before it, you can be sure that this kind of anti-universality econocrap will  be coming to the banks of the Rideau soon if we don't do something, and fast.


This Weekend In Snookland...Blackout? What Blackout?


How is this taxpayer-funded advocacy for the Snooklandian way of 'negotiating' not...




And who cares if this body politic destroying abomination was 'posted' on August 27th.


Because it was being 'promoted' (again by taxpayer funds) to the top of the #bcpoli page on the Twittmaching this morning, Saturday August 30th.


Maybe we all really should just give up get heavy into the Dill Pickle Vodka for the duration of the VReady Sessions this weekend.


Mount Polley Disaster (ctd)...The Exceedances.


From Tyler Orton's lede in BIV:

While sediment samples collected from the area surrounding the Mount Polley tailings breach exceed some provincial standards, the B.C. Ministry of Environment insists levels are consistent with earlier baselines.

“There were some exceedances. This is to be expected because these materials samples were and are believed to be the material that was spilled out of the tailings impoundment,” B.C. Ministry of Environment regional operations director Jennifer McGuire told reporters in an August 29 conference call.

“Copper and iron were significantly higher than the standards that we have here in B.C.”

Furthermore, the ministry said it discovered “low but potentially significant” levels of arsenic and selenium concentrations within the sediment samples...

Sure does sound like the stuff of snow and avalanches and all that to me.

And where are the Ol' Turdstormer and the Selenium Queen on this one?

As for the Premier?



Dill pickle vodka!

And, as Laila points out, this was dumped on us on the eve of the longest proMedia deadzone of the year.

Gary E. has a great post up on the 'dozer' at the moment too.


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Keef Report...Late Night Friday Edition.


Hubris, thy name is Keef:

As for the other guy who has been dragged into this wee bit of bizzaroworld bravado of the Baldrey?


He actually tweets sensible things about both sides.

Like, say, this:

Previous editions of the Keef Report can be found....Here.


The Fraser Institute...Right To Work Laws Equal 'Choice'?


From Business In Vancouver's Emma Hempel's fine bit of stenography:

All Canadian provinces lag behind American states in terms of labour relations laws, and British Columbia is particularly bad, according to a Fraser Institute study released August 28.

The laws in Canada restrict worker choices, leading to suppression of job growth and investment, argues the study, while laws in every U.S. state are less biased and more conducive to growth...


What are the fine folks at the Muddy Up Everything thinky place up to this time as another Labour Day approaches?

Well, according to the Broadbent Institute, what they're really doing is conflating worker 'choice' with a race to the bottom of a new gilded cage where all the poop and 'right-to-work' laws lurk:

...In a world where up is down and down is up, the Fraser Institute's "study" classifies "right-to-work" jurisdictions as balanced and unbiased (Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, Alabama, and Texas, to name a few). These U.S. states offer "flexibility" while other jurisdictions with labour laws to protect workers (Canadian provinces) are "biased." ...

And the conflation even extends to Dora The Explora-type maps:

Golly, gee.

I sure do wish we could be more like Mississippi, what with their significantly lower annual wages, significantly lower median household incomes and their significantly higher workplace injuries and deaths.

Cause that's a bunch of 'choices' I, for one, sure do want.


And why is the Big Muddy's press not being splashed across the the OpEd pages of the VSun this year?....Well...It might have something to do with the fact that their former man on the inside has moved on to the house of the Snooklandians...
Speaking of the Snooklandians...Do not for a moment forget that they aren't doing their best to get us there regardless the (real) costs...


This Day In Snookland...The Art Of The Deflector Spin Deal.


Big news out of the Premiers' conference this morning.

The following is the headline on top of the Globe and Mail's piece, written by their political gossip columnist-in-chief Jane Taber, from Charlottetown:

Dill pickle vodka for all: B.C. and Saskatchewan open liquor borders


You read that right.

While our rivers and lakes are burning (with toxic sludge) we're supposed to be happy with dill pickle vodka.

I'm just surprised there wasn't an exclamation point on top of that G&M header.

Look, I'm not upset with such a deal...Hopefully it will open up new markets for craft-type businesses without destroying local scenes...It's just that the way major media outlets, including national ones (and I'm looking at you too MoCo producers), jumped on this as being 'significant' was very telling re: their ability to be bamboozled by the tiny and the shiny, especially if they are spinning.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Keef Report....Thursday Edition.


From the Twittmachine feed of the good Mr. Baldrey:


Does this mean we can look forward to Mr. Baldrey taking one of the big three outlets 'round here to task, with crazy-legged grammar and everything, when they publish stuff he doesn't like?



I forgot.

There is a Club.

(and, of course, you and I and the other 'idiots' are not in it so we should just keep our thoughts and opinions to ourselves, or some such thing)

Thanks to reader 'spartikus' for the tip.
Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here.


This Day In Snookland...The Fassbender Translations.


Crawford Kilian, in response to Mr. Fassbender's press release released in the (fake) wake of the sitdown with Jim Iker yesterday, has 'em.

Here's just one particularly good translation of many:

Fassbenderspangelese: "I'm not asking the BCTF to do anything prejudicial to their court case, but setting this issue aside as the appeals process takes place gives mediation a chance to succeed."

Translation: The Court of Appeal will nail us again, but sometime next year. And a year is a long time in politics. Even if we can't get proposal E.81 into the next contract, so we can blow the deal up if the court rules against us, we can always resign and leave the problem for whoever inherits it.

The gist of it....

Mr. Fassbender is, essentially, asking the teachers to just pretend everything he and his have done for the last 12 years never happened and, what's more, to trust that he and his won't start doing it again as soon as the wind changes.

Go read all of Mr. Killian's piece. It's a good one.


Can Kinder Morgan Do Whatever It Wants In Burnaby?


Well, in the wake of a recent ruling by the federal NEB, it would appear the answer is yes.

At least according to the fine folks from the company.

Cornelia Naylor of Burnaby Now has the story:

...The city (of Burnaby) opposes the pipeline project and has denied the company an encroachment permit for the work (in Eastlake Park), but the National Energy Board ruled last week that federal legislation gives pipeline companies the power to enter and conduct surveys and tests on any Crown or private land that lies on intended pipeline routes.

According to (Trans Mountain project lead Carey) Johannesson, that means his company has a green light to conduct all the studies it needs to seek NEB approval for its proposed expansion, which would see a section of the pipeline run through the western corner of Burnaby Mountain...

Sounds bad enough, right?


How about the kicker?

...Johannesson said Kinder Morgan would stop its geotechnical studies if the city issued a stop-work order, but the company wouldn’t be headed back to the NEB.

“The board’s already been very clear in their ruling that we have the ability to be able to go on any land, including Burnaby’s land, to be able to do the surveys we need to do to be able to get the information the board requires. I mean, that’s pretty clear,” he said...


Kind of makes the out-of-use railway situation in Creme-Ville pale by comparison, eh?

Hey...Did you catch the story about how CP has agreed to stop tearing down gardens and spraying toxic stuff up and down the Arbutus corridor for awhile so that they can 'talk' with the CoV?...FABula has it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Keef Report.


It would appear that the good Mr. Baldrey is back to bashing teachers once more, especially those of them that have the audacity to have opinions:

Previous editions of the Keef Report can be found....Here.


This Day In Snookland...Self-Regulation By Abdication.


From the CP by way of the MoCo:

...Imperial Metals says it has signed an agreement with the Tahltan Central Council that will see the company pay for an outside engineering firm, chosen by the band, to review the Red Chris tailings facility.

The company says it has agreed to respond to any issues identified by the review.

A group of Tahltan members known as the Klabona Keepers had started a blockade of the Red Chris site in response to the Mount Polley spill, but a spokeswoman for the group says the blockade has ended with the new agreement...

Good on the First Nations.

But has it really come to this?

I mean, have we now reached a place where no one has any trust whatsoever that provincial government regulators will actually do their job (and/or be allowed to do their job) properly?

And just where is our fine Premier these days anyway?


Monday, August 25, 2014

This Mountain.


There's a scene early on in the David Simon/Eric Overmyer post-Katrina New Orleans TV series called 'Treme' in which Steve Earle's street musician character chides a young fiddle player for ripping-off Dylan while she tries to write an original song.

Which seemed right and true enough when I first watched it.

But afterwards, when I thought about it a little, I couldn't agree.

After all, when Mr. Zimmerman came back from the crossroads (and/or Coney Island) breathing fire through his harmonica he did nothing but pretty much directly channel Woody for awhile, plopping his own words down directly on top of Guthrie's melodies and the phrasings.

No more so, than, say....This.


A little later in the TeeVee series, which is a good one, both for the way Simon and Overmyer et al. develop plot, place and character as well as for the way they showcase myriad forms and genres of New Orleans music, Earle's character gives the kid a song to run with.

The song is called 'This City' and it's all about what happened after the dams and levees broke.

Of course, Mr. Earle does the tune himself sometimes, straight-up.

All of which is just a long way of telling you that I've kinda/sorta made like a two-bit, tin-plated, pale imitation Dylan and slathered on a little Phil Ochs while re-working the tune into 'This Mountain' which is all about what happened before and after the dam broke on top of a scoured-out Mt. Polley.

Sure hope Mr. Earle doesn't mind, at least not too much:

The subheader?....Well...It refers to the time that an apparently snarling Dylan kicked Ochs out of his limo for being nothing better than a 'journalist'.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...Why Won't Imperial Fight Gravity?


The fine folks from the provincial government and Imperial Metals agree that they can't even begin to start cleaning up the toxic mess in Hazeltine creek until they decrease the level of Polley Lake by gradually draining their effluent water downhill into Quesnel Lake.

And that's a big problem because things are going very, very slowly.

Gordon Hoekstra in the VSun explains:

...The length of time it will take to lower the lake’s water level has raised concern because it will delay the cleanup of the potentially toxic material dumped into Hazeltine Creek and Quesnel Lake.

Both the company and the province have said the lake must be lowered before any work can be done in Hazeltine Creek or at its widened delta at Quesnel Lake. There is a risk that rains could send another rush of water down the scoured creek bed to the lake, a safety concern to anyone working below, the province and company have said.

“At the rate we are going, we won’t get any work done on Hazeltine Creek this year, and that’s unacceptable,” Likely resident Richard Holmes said. He said the company should be making a bigger effort to pump water into empty pits at the mine site.

“The efforts are just not good enough,” said Holmes, a consultant biologist who does work for the Soda Creek Indian Band...

But here's the thing.

There is a way that Imperial might be able to speed up the process.

Specifically, they could get to it and start pumping their effluent water back UPHILL into their own massive mine pits.

But they won't, as Mr. Hoekstra also explains in his VSun piece:

...In community meetings, Imperial Metals has said it is not practical to pump water up hill to the empty pits. Company officials were not available for an interview Thursday...

Interesting that, eh?

Which leaves one wondering if a hardcore pumping effort, which could help prevent further devastation before the autumn rains and the coho come, is 'not practical' because it would cost real money.

And, perhaps even more interestingly, it turns out that at least some of the smart boys on Bay Street are betting that such spending of 'real money' on the clean-up won't happen.

The following is a report from a report by Peter Kennedy in a very fine publication called 'Stockhouse News':

Investors in Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX: T.III, Stock Forum) will be keeping a close eye on Canadian oil patch billionaire Murray Edwards, as the beleaguered company moves to clean up a high profile tailings spill in British Columbia and keep a second B.C. mine on the development track...


...There has been speculation that the clean-up costs at Mount Polley – where millions of cubic metres of waste water and silt spilled into nearby river systems on August 4, 2012 – could be as high as $200 million.

But Edwards’ commitment to the company is an indication of his belief that the clean-up costs will be a small fraction of that amount, a financial analyst said...


And where are provincial ministers responsible, Mr. 'Avalanches Are Tailings Spills Too' and Ms. 'Don't Eat The Fish Livers', on the actual clean-up plan (or total lack thereof)?...


Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Weekend In Snookland...Minister Polak The Selenium Fanatic.


It turns out that fish in the Mount Polley avalanche zone are showing elevated levels of snowflakes that are not normally considered safe for human consumption.


I'm sorry.

As an idiot blogger with no established credibility whatsoever, I confused 'selenium' with the good Mr. Bill Bennett's avalanchian 'snowflakes' for a moment there.

But not to worry.

Because, according to the Minister responsible for protecting British Columbia and British Columbians, this is normal for the area and, besides, we'd have to eat all kinds of fish bits before we'd be in any trouble:

...In a press conference on Friday, Environment Minister Mary Polak said people would have to eat one cup of fish liver and gonads every day to be affected by the selenium, which can increase the risk of heart problems and skin cancer at high doses...

But here's the thing...

What if you lived near the avalanche zone and you liked to catch and eat fish for years.

Would it be a cup of fish bits a day then before it caused permanent health problems as occurred in folks who consumed elevated selenium for long periods of time due to misformulated dietary supplements in the US recently?

And, one has to wonder, does Ms. Polak know the difference between, say, a selenide (low toxicity) and a selenite (high toxicity)?

And as for invertebrate food chains that fish and waterfowl consume in lakes and wetlands and all that?

No worries about order of magnitude lower levels being a longterm toxicity problem there, whatsoever.

Right Ms. Polak?

Oh, and there is one last thing that I'm pretty sure somebody in Snookland will tell us we shouldn't worry our pretty heads about someday soon... Which is that young salmon appear to be particularly susceptible to selenium-rich mosquito-based diets...You know, post-spawning food chain effects that don't matter one bit as well...


Mount Polley Disaster...Fingers Crossed.


As we noted previously, Maclean's was one of the first major media outlets to start running with the 'Maybe we should just leave all the sludge alone' spin-cycle meme.

But now?

Well, now they're having second thoughts, kinda/sorta.

Here are a couple of chunks from the lede of Adrian Lee's follow-up piece posted online yesterday:

...Two weeks ago, Dr. Carl Walters—a professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia’s fisheries school who has studied sockeye salmon, the most significant species in the run, for four decades—told Maclean’s that he was confident that the leak would not affect the salmon run, saying that the waste silicates would sink to the bottom or be carried out of the system quickly.

However, Walters is no longer so sure. That’s in the wake of recent conversations with scientists in the field who suggest an interflow in the Quesnel waterways may be in play.

“At least some of that water sank down below the warm surface layer of the lake—the materials suspended in it made it heavier than the surface water—but then rode on top of the more dense cold water,” said Walters in an email exchange. “The interflow is kind of like a layer cake: the western part of the lake now has a layer of warm clean water, on top of a layer of polluted water, and below that is a layer of cleaner deep water.”...


What to do.

Well, you know...

...(A)t this point all we can do is to keep our fingers crossed that the polluted layer will be diluted enough by the time the main body of fish arrives so as not to be a major problem for them.”...

Fingers crossed?


This is the expert way to handle a toxic mine tailing spill the likes of which we've never seen before in this province?

And for those trollophantic folks out there that want to make this a derisive 'loony-left' issue ask yourself the following...Why do have tailing ponds in the first place?...I mean, if everything's just peachy why don't we just flush all that mining effluent into our waterways right off the hop?


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Anti-Athlete Cliche...Nothing To Do With Taking It 'One Day At A Time'.


“We made it this far; there’s no reason to cry or anything,”

Mo'ne Davis is a star player for the Philadelphia entry in the Little League World Series.

She uttered the above after her team lost in the quarter finals on Thursday night. 

And, yes...

The pronoun is not a misprint.


This Friday Afternoon In Snookland...We're Not In Oregon Anymore Toto.



The following is interesting, especially in juxtaposition to the rampant 'pay-to-play, open-for-business-no-matter-what' crony capitalism of the never-ending, Snooklandian-assisted, Golden Era:

Oregon's Department of State Lands on Monday dealt a serious blow to Ambre Energy's proposed coal terminal, denying a key permit needed for a project to export 8.8 million tons of coal annually to Asia...


...Ambre's planned $242 million project would move coal from Wyoming and Montana by train to Boardman and barge it down the Columbia River to Port Westward, near Clatskanie. Then it would be loaded on major ships bound for Asia...

So, once again...

Here's to it.

That never-ending 'Let Them Eat Hummus!' - type Golden Era, I mean:


Mount Polley Disaster (ctd)...The 'Risk'.


As we noted yesterday, thanks to environmental blogger Alexandra Morton the provincial government has been forced to acknowledge that the blue slime on top of the affected lakes may actually be a problem.


As we also noted previously, the building spin, which first began cranking up in the pages of Maclean's awhile back, is that the best thing to do, clean-up wise, might be nothing so as not to disturb all that sediment (i.e. the heavy-metal- and phosphorus-laden toxic sludge) on the bottoms of the affected lakes.

And now (surprise!) the ol' turdstormer and avalanche conjurer himself, Mr. Bill Bennett, is helping to spin that wheel with the help of (surprise again!)  Black Press' Mr. Tom Fletcher:

..."What we need to do is test those sediments to determine whether it's better environmentally to leave them there or to try to collect them and get them out of the creek bed and get them out of the creek mouth in Quesnel Lake," Bennett said. "Before you start dredging lake bottoms and trying to clean up the bottom of a creek bed to get the sand out, you've got to determine what the risk is first, and that's the phase that we're in right now."...


And what 'risk' is that, exactly, given the longterm propensity for the crap to leach out of sludge slurries into aquatic environments?

Well, our old friend Gary E, a blogger who built up a ton of 'established credibility' with us back in the days when the local proMedia club was doing its best to keep the likes of us out of the Railgate pre-trial courtroom, has this to say in response to Mr. Bennett:

...Notice they (i.e. Mr. Bennett and the rest of the spincycle riders) don't say which risk they are talking about. I submit it's the financial risk. So in my opinion the smoke and mirrors are now gearing up to full force...

Go read Gary's entire post...It's a good one, and it's good to have him back in the Bloggodome.
Look...There might be a legitimate argument to made about a non-disturbance mode of action to some aspect or aspects of the clean-up...But so far it is coming from the spinners NOT the folks with actual expertise into how best mitigate both the short term AND long term effects of the disaster...And, the photo atop the Black Press piece (see the top of this post) is extremely disingenuous in that it juxtaposes a person with the expertise to make such calls seated next to Mr. Bennett when the former has said absolutely nothing about the 'let's just let it sit' strategy...Now...If an an 'idiot blogger' pulled such a trick, what do you think the established cred-types might be saying?
And speaking of the good Mr. Black...Whatever happened, POST-ELECTION, to that LNG Sparkle Pony factory fantasy of his that the established cred crowd bought into so blithely PRE-ELECTION, anyway?....
Sorry all the ALL-CAPS this morning, but geez...


Thursday, August 21, 2014

This Evening In Snookland....The Game.


In a....



Armies Of Story Hunters.


For a number of reasons including, it would appear, the weird staccato of the compressed writing. 

But she has also discovered something that I think is really important:

...I finally caved a couple of months ago and signed on, only to discover that a well-planned Twitter feed is like having an army of story-hunters around the world connecting me to the most interesting and diverse angles on what's going on out there. I've never had so many interesting news stories put in front of me...

That really is the ticket, I think.

And it's different than a search engine because the story hunters take you places that no Boolean-based algorithm can match.

At least not so far.

You can follow Ms. Paterson on the machine....Here.


This Afternoon In Snookland...The Uncrediting.


Yesterday, I suppressed all snark and tried to write a straight-up post giving 'credit-where-credit-is-due' to the fine folks running our provincial government for for announcing an inquiry into the Mt. Polley disaster that appears to have a degree of independence. 

I recognized it as a limited hangout but, still, in comparison to, say, the Dyble inquiry into 'Quick Wins' that helped those same fine folks win an election, I thought it was a step forward.

And then readers in the comment threads took me to task.

In a good way.

The biggest argument about what is being left out of the inquiry, not what's in it.

They also pointed me towards Uncle Rafe's latest which details this well, and lays out the implications:

...By careful but not very clever design, this inquiry from the outset exonerates Mr. Bennett’s and Ms. Pollock’s (sic) ministries. When you look through the 14 recommendations there is one that faintly suggests that the commissioners might want to look at the regulatory regime surrounding this disaster. There is no mandate to do so and it is not any more than a casual comment. Moreover, None of the commissioners have any expertise to look at this aspect of the matter.

I don’t mean this in unfairness to the commissioners – I don’t know the gentlemen but their credentials with respect to mining seem impeccable. But, to check into the regulatory obligations of ministries and whether or not they have been fulfilled requires a lawyer or a judge.

This disaster has two obvious aspects to it, both of critical importance if we are to assess responsibility and determine any changes that may be necessary.

First of all, of course, why did the dam burst? That is a question that will have to be answered by Imperial Metals, the owner of the mine.

There is a second and just as important feature, though -were proper regulations in place, where they properly used and enforced? Was there enough staff to fulfill the mandate these regulations imposed? Is it true that going back to 2001 the Liberal government has gone easy on mines and by reducing staff so they can only fulfill her duties part-time? These and associated questions are critical...


It would appear that the hangout is to be very, very limited indeed.

Which means that it essentially has no credibility at all.

Thanks everybody.


This Day In Snookland...Boss! Boss! The Film!


My oh my...

Look what Alexandra Morton has wrought:

The province is investigating reports of a blue film that stings to the touch on the surface of Quesnel Lake following the collapse of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine tailings dam.

Biologist Alexandra Morton, with the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, notified the Interior Health Authority about the blue film. She took photos, video and samples of the film that will be tested in a Lower Mainland lab.

Following reports of the blue film, Interior Health contacted the Ministry of Environment, which has collected samples, Sue Pollack, a medical health officer with Interior Health, said Wednesday.

The results of the analysis will be released when they are available, she said...

The above is the lede of Gordon Hoekstra's latest in the VSun.



Ms. Morton set all that in motion that just by going to the place with some jars, a camera, and a blog?

Is that even allowed?

I mean, where's here 'established credibility' anyway?

And Troll-O-Matic Footballers, if you want to talk smack in the comments you better you better hit the line with facts tucked under your arms rather than cherry-picked puffs of creme....


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Jukebox Tune #13...Mystery Train


For awhile now I've had a fascination with Junior Parker's 'Mystery Train'.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that it is one kinghell tune that has been covered by so many people that I reckon a diverse chunk of them could easily fill an entire Vinyl Tap episode if only Mr. Bachman would just listen to my pleas.

Here's my acoustical version that would most likely come on about 4:48am of a Bachman show that ended at 9:00pm the previous evening:


This Day In British Columbia...Credit Where Credit Is Due.


What's with the credit-where-credit-is-due/snark-free header, you might be asking?


By all accounts it looks like Mt. Polley spill investigation might actually have a degree of independence.

And this is a tentative conclusion that is backed-up by the support of the local First Nations in the sludge zone.

Stephen Hui of the GStraight has the story.



Why are those same local First Nations and an environmental steward doing the only demonstrable truly independent water and sediment testing?

And then there is the matter of the 'blue film' on the lakes.

Go read Alexandra Morton for full 'on-the-ground' reports with pictures that you are not seeing on the six o'clock news or the front pages of newspapers.

The twinge about the investigation is the long timeline (Jan 31st for reporting)...That gives it a sniff of the 'limited hangout' about it, especially if the ol' turdstormer starts spouting things like, "I can't comment because there is an investigation underway"....And don't forget that the Snooklandians used the limited hangout tactic before to get them through the 'quick wins' thingy, because, you know, six months is an eternity in politics...


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Jukebox Song #12...Alabama Pines.


C, E, e and I have been on the road for the last two weeks.

In the land of US Americans.

And we have had a great time.

Seeing old friends, and busking, and swimming, and body-surfing, and eating a lot of ice cream and all that..

Bigger E. bought a ton of used books in a great little independent store tucked away in downtown Eureka CA while littler e. did not get her new copy of 'On The Road' in  City Lights in the City. Instead, e. bought a copy of Kesey's most famous book instead of 'Sometimes A Great Notion' and that really famous book from Harper Lee (and/or Truman Capote).

And while we've stayed at a few nice places, including a couple of beach rentals, we've stayed at a few roadside motels as well.

Only one of which was a Super 8, located in Ukiah, way off the beach in Mendocino County in forest fire country.

With a sodium glare, bright-light parking lot.

Which was OK with us, because the little pool was clear and cold in the sweltering heat.

And that was exactly what we wanted.


After he got his life back from the bottle, Jason Isbell wrote and recorded one heckuva rave-up called 'Super 8' in which he made it clear that he didn't want to bottom out in one.

In a Super 8 motel, I mean.

But in the time before he started writing all of his Southeastern redemption songs Mr. Isbell also penned a helluva lament about how it felt to be sliding toward that bottom under the glare of the parking lot light glare far, far from home, both literally and figuratively.

The name of the latter tune is 'Alabama Pines'.

Here's my cover, recorded in a little cabin on the edge of the dunes in Florence Oregon...

You can check out Mr. Isbell's stuff, for real....Here.
Entire set of Summer Jukebox tunes can be found...Here.
Please note: In the first iteration of this post I indicated that littler e. actually did buy Road in Mr. Ferlinghetti's shop in North Beach...I was mistaken...(and I was taken to task for said mistake, in the comments, her e'ness...In my defense, she has been reading the edited version of the teletype roll for the last week or so).


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...Here Comes The Sludge.


From The MoCo:

...The province says sediment samples collected Aug. 10 from the mouth of Hazeltine Creek and near Raft Creek in Quesnel Lake exceed guidelines and contaminated sites regulation standards for copper and iron...

But not to worry, because:

...(W)hile the discharged sediment is still not toxic for humans, it may harm aquatic life...

And, of course, there is absolutely no need to worry because, according to the Snooklandian minister responsible:

..."All the raw data from the tests has been shared with First Nations and Interior Health"...

Meanwhile, the old turdstormer himself, the good Mr. Bennett, has yet to explain how avalanches deposit copper and iron in creek beds.

And the best thing of all about the Snooklandian clampdown?

Ms. Polak, who was positively giddy about earlier non-sediment tests, says that these results were 'not unexpected'.

Some folks are wondering why the clean-up hasn't begun in earnest yet...Well, don't forget that reverse, trapezoidal, double-sokaw from the piked position deflector spin that first got cranking in the pages of Maclean's last week...
And, finally, not to be (too) pedantic or anything, but...'data' are not singular.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Mount Polley Disaster, ctd.....Is That Why A Bulldozer Was Visible In Initial Flyby Footage?


A number of readers wondered why bulldozer* could be seen in the initial aerial shotes of the toxic sludge disgorgement.

Being neither an unfounded conspiracy theorist nor a fully established environmental activist cult member  (despite my total lack of any estabished credibility whatsoever), I let it go until more data came in.

Then, yesterday the Globe's Wendy Stueck began her latest piece with the following:

Crews were working to raise the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine by up to four metres before the structure failed and sent a torrent of waste and debris into surrounding waterways...

I'm telling you the 'independent' investigation that the Snooklandians have announced darned well better be.

Independent, I mean.

And wide-ranging too.


Please note: In the original version of this post I called the piece of equipment in question a 'backhoe'...That was incorrect...Instead it appeared to be a bulldozer...My thanks to reader Ron Wilton for the correction...


The Arbutus Corridor Imbroglio...Is Traffic Gridlock CP's Next Move?


While Kirk Lapointe tries, according to FABula, to conjure the political ghost of Jennifer Clarke AND make anti-Gregor hay over the matter of the destroyed gardens, Stephen Rees wonders (with the help of a GStraight reader) if, perhaps, CP will next start to wreak traffic havoc:

CP could easily store trains or train its crews without going to all this trouble: there is plenty of track in better condition but just as unused elsewhere in the City.  If I was a CP shareholder, I think I would criticize management for wasting money on rack of little use. Maybe reverting a pleasant greenway to a workable railway with no customers actually lowers its value. And here is a quote from one of the comments (“Naturalmystic”) under that Strait story linked to above which raises a possibility I had not considered

CP has the hammer and they don’t have to run a single train to get their price for the land. To run trains they need to upgrade the tracks. They need to upgrade the level crossings. Imagine you are trying to drive down Broadway and Arbutus at 8:30 am and the traffic is gridlocked. The cause? CP is doing work at the crossing. That entails working in the signals, the track…The city can’t do a damn thing. CP has the right to maintain their tracks, equipment, level crossings at any time without restraint. CP has the right to run their trains 24/7. CP has the upper hand.
You can also read Mayor Robertson’s response at the foot of which is the statement from CP which appears to confirm Maturalmystic’s prediction
“We are testing crossing signals, and assessing pedestrian and vehicle crossings to understand where, if any, maintenance is required.”

Strange days, indeed.

Most peculiar mama.

Friday, August 15, 2014

This Day In Snookland...Still Payin' Off Everybody.


Persuant to that 8 million dollar deal/pay-off that was made to free-up a big chunk of land on Burke Mountain from future land claims so that it could be sold off to developers  in the name of 'austerity'....

In yesterday's post we asked who might have bought it.

Bought the land, I mean.

As a result of that question we were pointed to an August 7th piece in the Tri-Cities News by Janis Warren.

There's a lot in the piece, which is solid. Here's the part that pertains to our question:

...The $8.2-million provincial land deal (with the Kwikwetlem First Nation) pertained to 584 acres of Crown land north of Coast Meridian Road that the province put up for sale on Feb. 4 to balance its books; 370 acres were purchased a month later by Wesbild...

Reader Lew filled us in on the pertinent details, which can be confirmed by poking around in the Googleplex:

..Wesbild Holdings is a subsidiary of Persis Holdings, owned by the Khosrowshahi family. Another subsidiary is DRI Capital, a private equity firm specializing in the purchase of royalty streams on pharmaceutical products through two managed funds, Drug Royalty I and Drug Royalty II. The family and these associated companies are all heavy and regular contributors to the BC Liberals...


There you have it.

In Snookland, like theGolden Era before it, if you pay you really do get to play.

And the Wizards and Refs working the game behind the curtain will use 'austerity' and 'belt-tightening' and/or any and all PR-style codswallopanarianism to make it happen.



Arbutus Corridor...Let The Bulldozing Begin!


Pretty sure the Twittmachine will soon be full of pictures.

Here's the MoCo's Lede from the middle of the night:

CP Rail brought in heavy equipment Thursday afternoon and began tearing down structures and removing the community gardens that local residents have nurtured for years along the disused Arbutus corridor railway in Vancouver...

Interesting game, this game of mo-money chicken, with backhoes, eh?

Meanwhile, there really are tons of well-meaninged and righteous citizens who have been doing the right thing for years who are are going to have their great works ruined in seconds.


RoboCalls Revisited...Mr. Sona Did Not Act Alone.


And, no, that conclusion was not reached by pinko-commie publichealtchareenvirodemodefender activists who are the stooges of a secret cadre of community organizers hidden in a secret podcasting bunker in Springfield Illinois.

Instead it was reached by the presiding judge in the 'first' robocall case to come before the courts.

The OCit's Glen McGregor has the story:

...Judge Gary Hearn said in his decision that he believed Sona did not act alone in arranging the calls made by someone using the pseudonym “Pierre Poutine.”

Hearn said there was reason to believe that, based on testimony in Sona’s trial, another campaign worker, Andrew Prescott, may have been implicated.

Prescott, however, cannot be charged because he was given an immunity agreement from the Crown in exchange for testimony against Sona — testimony that, ultimately, Hearn found unreliable.

Prescott testified that he had been giving logon credentials for the account with RackNine, a voice-broadcasting company, that was used to send out the calls.

Ken Morgan, the campaign manager, has refused to speak to Elections Canada investigators and moved to Kuwait during the nearly three-year investigation. He has not been charged. His current whereabouts are unknown....

Which, to those who have been paying attention, is no surprise at all.

But here's a weird bit from Mr. McGregor's piece that I don't quite get:

...Unclear is whether Commissioner of Canada Elections Yves Côté, who investigates alleged violations of the elections law, will re-open his investigation of the Guelph robocalls to find the other alleged collaborators or simply let the matter drop.


Should he (Cote) abandon the case, the robocalls affair that has dominated political headlines since early 2012 would certainly come to an end...

I mean.

Why wouldn't such a shutdown become, say, a massive election issue in 2016?

Especially given the fact that the good Mr. Cote has already decided that credible reports of misleading calls in more than 200 ridings from thousands and thousands of Canadians during the 2011 election mean nothing.

Oh, and just in case you missed it back in the days of yore, the following is one of the most viewed posts at this little F-Troop list blog...Ever (and, yes, it is meant to be snark-o-leptic).
As for those community organizers hidden away in the podcast bunker in Springfield who are attempting to stoogify everything with no Soros Dollars whatsoever?...Well...That'd be these folks.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

If There Are Any Problems Cleaning Up The Mount Polley Disaster Will It Be...

...The Environmentalists Fault?

An absurd question?

Sure is.

But it is most certainly no more absurd than the absolute absurdity (some might call it an outright lie) buried within the lede of the article linked to the tweet shown.

See if you can spot it.

Uprooted trees, muddied water with a silvery sheen, fish belly-up on the surface. There was something essentially un-Canadian about the first galling photos to emerge out of Mount Polley, B.C., where a copper and gold mine’s tailings pond—a containment area where the waste produced through the mining process is treated and allowed to dry before being disposed—burst through its earthen walls last week...


And, as an aside.... 

When, exactly, are we going to start blaming anti-nuke activists for the damaged caused by the Fukashima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters?



Establishing (Even More) Credibility...Mr. Farrell Follows Up.


Yesterday we noted that, back when she was making her five-fingered pipeline pitch in the Albertalands in the fall of 2012, Ms. Christy Clark also said the following about the work of her regulators and the fine folks who hold their massive toxic sludge lakes back with dirt that no credible engineer will stand behind:

..."Mining is an area where we have set some pretty ambitious targets. We're planning to build 17 new and expanded mines by 2015. Mining revenues have grown by 20 per cent to $8.6 billion since we introduced our Jobs Plan last year, and we've done it with the highest standard of sustainable mining in the world."...


Fellow blogger Norm Farrell has noted that, despite the fact that revenues for the cronies have gone up, revenues to the people of British Columbia from said cronies have not.

In fact they went down, significantly, during the period mentioned by Ms. Clark in her Calgary speech.

And Norm's got  actual government numbers and a chart to prove it.

Go have a look.

Of course, unlike the other four million or so British Columbians, monies from the cronies to Ms. Clark and friends have gone through the roof.
And what the heckfire is 'sustainable' mining anyway?...Last I checked the ground is not making anymore gold, silver or copper, at least not in the foreseeable future.
Finally...Just imagine, if you can, how the established credibility crowd 'round here would have reacted if the Mount Polley disaster had occurred in, say, 1999.


Mount Polley Disaster...A Non-Club Member Tells It Like It Is.


It comes our way, once again, from Joel Connelly of the Seattle P-I:

....The boosterish “Kootenay Bill” Bennett was of a minimizing mood with the (Vancouver) Sun. He spoke even though between 1.5 and 2 million sockeye salmon are headed up the Fraser River for the Quesnel River-Quesnel Lake region. Islands of debris from the Mount Polley breach are floating in Quesnel Lake.

“Get up in a helicopter and go back and look at the avalanches that happen in this province: There are probably 10,000 to 15,000 avalanches that happen each year,” said Kootenay Bill, whose home riding (district) contains huge coal mines.

“Get up in a helicopter and go and look at what happened last spring with the events in the Rockies with water coming down and doing exactly what happened in Hazeltine Creek.

“The difference is that snow melts (but) you’re left with exactly the same (result) — it looks exactly the same as what happened in Hazeltine Creek.Of course, a snow avalanche does not deposit arsenic, copper, lead, mercury and nickel into a salmon spawning stream...


...(T)he British Columbia government has employed a salt water line of reasoning to an inland lake-and-river spill.

It reported positive results from water samples late Tuesday, and claimed that the contaminated water and sands have been “diluted greatly” by water in Quesnel Lake, the Quesnel River and the Fraser River.

The doctrine — known as “the solution to pollution is dilution” — has long been used to defend the dumping of raw sewage into the Strait of Juan de Fuca by Victoria and its suburbs...

Can it possibly be?

Why yes it is.

The return of.....

Mr. Floaty!


And Mr. Connelly has more on the 'We're Open For Crony Business!' fallout from the tailings pond, disaster going forward.

Specifically, it looks like the good folks of Alaska are not interested in being downstream of any new dirt pile-contained sludge lakes that the Snooklandians are happy to 'lightly' regulate.

Go read his entire piece, here.

There's a proMedia Club in Lotusland and we, the idiot bloggers with no established credibility, are not in it?....Why, of course there is.


Robo-Call Verdict...Sometimes A Limited Hangout Really Does Work.


Want context, particularly about how the judge himself doesn't think it was a one man operation, re: Pierre Poutine verdict?

Saskboy's got it.

Here's his kicker, but go read his entire post:

...So kids, if you commit election fraud in Canada, move to Alberta, or Kuwait, and you’ll be free. As it stands now, the Conservatives last election overspent on multiple campaigns, and at least in Guelph (and actually in hundreds of other ridings too not mentioned in this verdict) took steps to misdirect voters away from polls. The party of Contempt for democracy is the party of election fraud...

Glen McGregor's live blog on the proceedings is here.
And would now be the time to remember that Robocall shenanigans targeted at demonstrably non-Conservative voters did not begin in either Guelph or 2011?


This Day In Snookland...Pay Off Everybody.



Update: See contributions from NVG and Lew, in the comments.

While everyone is focussed on the chief's big payday no one seems to care about this, from Postmedia's Shinsoki and Hopper:

...The B.C. Ministry of Finance acknowledged the Kwikwetlem First Nation was paid to “extinguish” future claims on a plot of Crown land that was being sold off by the province.

Neither the province nor the Kwikwetlem band would specify what parcel of land is at the centre of the $8-million deal, although band members say it’s a 236-hectare parcel on Burke Mountain near the Kwikwetlem reserve, which has long been a destination for hunting and berry picking among the Kwikwetlem elders...

And just how much was that Burke Mountain 'parcel' sold to?

And for how much?

NVG - do your stuff.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mines Are Sparkle Ponies Too?....Who Knew?


It was the fall of 2012 and Christy Clark was doomed.

But then she went to Calgary and started saying anything.

About pipelines and, of course, sparkle ponies.

Sparkly stuff like this:

..."We have had the fastest job growth of any province in the country over the last year. We're investing in skills development, recognizing that with the creation of all those jobs there will be a shortage of people to work in them. So we just invested $75 million in making sure people are, among other things, ready to take on a trade. Most importantly, we are enabling the creation of a brand new industry for our province, and that's liquefied natural gas.

"Today, we're looking at perhaps five big liquefied natural gas proposals that, if built, could add over a trillion dollars to our GDP in direct upstream and downstream benefits over the course of 30 years...

Of course, the non-Lotuslandian proMedia was skeptical.

But the local club members pretty much ate this stuff up.

But here's something that even we, the purveyors of all that is neither established nor credible, missed from Ms. Clark's October 2012 'Calgary Speech':

..."Mining is an area where we have set some pretty ambitious targets. We're planning to build 17 new and expanded mines by 2015. Mining revenues have grown by 20 per cent to $8.6 billion since we introduced our Jobs Plan last year, and we've done it with the highest standard of sustainable mining in the world.

"So I'll give you one example. Murray Edwards, who is a great Calgarian, owns 45 per cent of the Red Chris mine. It's in the northwest of British Columbia. It's one of the top mining deposits anywhere in the world. When I became Premier, I said I wanted people all around the world to know that you can do business successfully in British Columbia. You can work your way through the public policy issues, the First Nations issues and that you can make a profit if you come to our province"...

And, as far as 'issues' with things like rules and regulations?

Well, the Snooklandians, like the Knotty Gordians before them, can take care of those too.


Of course, not long after the speech quoted from above, the good Mr. Edwards raised a million for Ms. Clark....'Tis a wonderful world, that world of the Sparkle Ponies, eh?
In case you missed it, here's the link to a very good sum-up piece by Peter Moskowitz in The Guardian on resource extraction-friendly British Columbia.