Saturday, September 23, 2017

More Important Than Football, Either Real Or Fantasy.


The following is from Mr. Doug Baldwin, who is a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks football team:

It seems to me that no reasonable person with an ounce of empathy and/or sympathy for the plight of his or her fellow citizens could possibly argue with that.



Friday, September 22, 2017

Magnanimous Is...


Dan Wilson, songwriter-for-hire, once co-wrote a hit with Nasville mainliner Dierks Bentley called 'Home' that was recorded by the latter.

At the time, Jason Isbell took great offense saying that Wilson and Bentley had ripped off a tune of his called 'In A Razor Town'.

Now, Mr. Wilson has recorded his own version of Home.

And Mr. Isbell has noticed. In a good way.

Here's the relevant bit from the Minneapolis Star Tribune piece linked to in Isbell's tweet, above:

...This single (Bentley's recording of 'Home') went to No. 1 on Billboard’s country singles chart in 2012, giving Wilson his mainstream Nashville credentials. However, it also gained attention when alt-country star Jason Isbell publicly accused its writers of plagiarizing it from one of his songs, “In a Razor Town.”

Wilson: “I quickly learned that the country writers in Nashville don’t want somebody from Minnesota to come down and write a stone-cold country hit. They want you to bring your own vibe to the party. Once I learned that, I learned I could just be myself in those country sessions. I was able to do that with Dierks, where I could be myself and just write a rock song, and he could be himself in between styles. I was very attracted to working with Dierks because of his hybridized styles.”

“I was really bummed Jason thought we plagiarized him. I think we might’ve plagiarized the same old folk songs that Jason also plagiarized. If you think about all the songs that have similar melodies, it would be a very big list. I had never listened to Jason at that time, and I’m pretty sure my collaborators had never listened to him, either. It really tainted my ability to appreciate Jason Isbell for quite a while, which was also a drag, because I was really into his next couple albums.”...

The thing is, at the time Mr. Isbell, while revered in certain circles, was not yet an alt-country star because, well....Mr. Isbell explains it, straight-up, himself:


Imagine that.

Someone admitting they were wrong on the Interwebz.


Regardless all this, to my mind, Isbell's pre-Southeastern 'Razor Town' is a helluva tune:

And just in case you've been hankering for a good chunk of post-SE Isbell....This.


The De-Cronification Chronicles (ctd)....All Your Money Launderings 'R Us.


This just in, from Bob Mackin at the Breaker:

A 2016 report to British Columbia’s Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch said gamblers from China used underground banks to bring large volumes of potentially dirty money to play at River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond.

The anti-money laundering report was commissioned by the previous BC Liberal government and dated July 26, 2016, but not released until Sept. 22 by the NDP government.

MNP was hired in September 2015 after the Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch compiled a document that identified $13.5 million in $20 bills were accepted at River Rock in July 2015. That is 675,000 $20 bills.

Information provided to MNP indicated that unsourced cash from unknown persons or persons believed to be connected to illicit activity “was dropped off at the casino or just off casino property for patrons at unusual times, generally late at night.”...


Why wasn't the report released last year (i.e. before the election)?

And, perhaps more to the point why, exactly, did the then minister responsible, Mr. Rich Coleman, disband  the 'Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team', whose job it was to root this kind of stuff out, back in, wait for it...



Is it possible that the fine folks then running, and running with, the good ship GordCo, circa 2009, were clearing the decks for a gigantic expansion of the Casino Industrial Complex at the time that was tied to the stitching together of a $500 million dollar (plus) bit of flying magic carpet?


Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Ghost Of The Hammer...


Mr. Beer 'n Hockey had an early morning visitor recently:

I woke
Ten minutes
Before the
F'ing alarm.

I sensed
There was
Someone in
The room.

It was
A ghost,
The Hammer
Making sure

We were safe.


I, too, had been thinking of the Hammer recently when I came across the tab of the chords we layered over the words of Mr. Beer that he wrote upon his best friend's passing awhile ago now.

The result of that collaboration was the following...

Personally, don't know what I'll do when the Whackadoodle, who's now in her 10th year is no longer around to take down to the river's mouth and such.
And MCG....If you're out there send me a note - you had a songification idea that I promised to follow through on, but have now forgotten about.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Nevermind The Candidate...

....Who Are The Backers?

From the ink- and pixel dust- stained fingertips of Bob Mackin:

Dianne Watts will throw her hat in the BC Liberal leadership ring on Sunday at 1 p.m.

theBreaker has obtained a copy of an invitation to join Watts for “a special event and announcement” at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel...

The real question, to my mind at least, is who, exactly, will be pushing this candidate from behind the wizards' big curtain?

Personally, I'd be pretty willing to take short odds on those wild 'progressive' boys.

(and don't forget, sometimes they like to back two horses at once).


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

BC Liberal AG Critic Says New NDP Donation Rules Unfair To Rich People.


....Because they give too much power to people that don't have big wads of cash to bundle.

Or some such thing:

..."They've arbitrarily chosen a figure of $1,200 for the amount that is the cap for donations (instead of the $5,000 individual spending cap in the BCL's/Mr. Wilkinson's sham-of-shamsickleish 'bill'), and clearly that will suit their interests, there's no rationale for it other than it suits the interests of the NDP."...

Meanwhile, as Norm Farrell point out on the Twittmachine...

And yet, Mikey-Mike says says we, the people, will almost certainly make Horgan et al. pay for the per voter party subsidy portion of the campaign finance reform bill.


Like the way Mr. Smyth et al. made sure the voters penalized the previous gov't leader for things like monies shovelled off the back of wind farmy proximal podia and/or spent on bogus Bollywood bonanzas in purely unregulated, party-targeted, 100% publicly-paid for days gone by?


On the subsidy thingy....Credit where credit is due department...Rob Shaw's VSun piece is solid and well-contextualized (the comments, not so much).
For the record, nobody dug into the proximal podia money shovelling by the previous Premier more than Merv Adey (both the post and the discussion in the comments are fantastic)....


Sunday, September 17, 2017

The De-Cronification Chronicles (Vol. 2)....They're Shocked!


Well, whadd'ya know...

The fine, fine folks at the trough, errrrrrrr, Advantage BC are shocked!

Shocked, I tell you, to learn that their public money firehose is being shut-off:

Our staff and Board of Directors are shocked and disappointed by the introduction of legislation to cancel the International Business Activity (IBA) Program.

While we are still working to prevent the cancellation of the program, the AdvantageBC Board is eager for the organization to continue to fulfill its overall mandate of promoting British Columbia as a desirable place to locate international business. The IBA Program is an important tool in the toolkit; however, AdvantageBC’s work is broader than the IBA Program. Regardless of the future of the IBA Program, we will continue our work to attract the attention of companies and investors around the world...


What, exactly, has Advantage BC done for us for our money?

Well, as Dan Levin of the NY Times pointed out back in early May...

...Participating companies have created few jobs, according to government figures, while more than 140 million Canadian dollars have been doled out in (BC provincial) tax refunds since 2008, when the initiative was expanded (by the BC Liberal government).

The incentives operate under a cloak of secrecy that is unusual for similar efforts in Canada and the United States, critics say. The province (of BC) will not name the companies that get the breaks. The only information available about them is on the website of a nonprofit that promotes the program.

“This is essentially a temporary foreign-worker program for the rich, with secret government subsidies for multinational corporations,” said Dermod Travis, the executive director of IntegrityBC, a nonpartisan political watchdog group based in Victoria, the provincial capital. “The government is selling B.C. as a tax haven for the global elite to park investment here, but not have to contribute.”...

And just how 'successful' was the program?

Super, super-duper, uber-alles successful.


...At one point, the tax breaks were projected to create more than 13,000 jobs in British Columbia. According to ministry figures, though, fewer than 300 have been created as a result of the program, and possibly as few as 122...

So, feel free to keep-on-keepin'-on fullfilling that overall mandate of yours Advantage BC'ers.

Just as long as you do it on yours and/or your patrons' (i.e. not the peoples') dime.

Because we've got better things to do with our money.


You may recall the tizzy
that Mr. Levin's report set off amongst local  Club members given that an outsider came to Lotusland, dug around a little, and then wrote a(nother) big story about something that everybody already knew about but couldn't be bothered tell the rubes about a week before the election and all...

Tip-O'-The-Toque to Integrity BC for heads up on super fine 'blog post' from A-BC...


Friday, September 15, 2017

The De-Cronification Chronicles (Vol. 1)...


The dismantling of the BC Liberal perpetual chronification machine has begun.

And, in my opinion at least, one of the most egregious and malevolent flywheels in this machine is the guaranteed, locked-in contracts that have been handed out to our fine province's 'Independent Power Producers' (IPP's).

The new government has taken the first steps to ending this, as reported earlier this week by Andrew Macleod in the Tyee:

Buried in the British Columbia budget update this week was a major change for independent power producers who sell electricity to BC Hydro.

According to the utility’s service plan, it will cut payments to the private power producers as existing contracts expire.

BC Hydro will be “renewing contracts with independent power producers at prices less than what they are currently paid, recognizing that those producers have typically recovered most of their capital costs over their original contract terms.”

It will also be “reviewing the Standing Offer Program to reflect the declining costs of new power technology,” according to its service plan...


The Standing Offer Program, which has suspended new applications according to an Aug. 18 update on BC Hydro’s website, paid between $102.06 and $111.56 per megawatt-hour in 2016. Some of the earlier contracts paid as much as $120 per megawatt-hour, which is significantly more than BC Hydro’s normal cost to produce power, Black said.

According to a BC Hydro spokesperson, power produced using the utility’s heritage assets costs around $32 per megawatt-hour...


How much have IPP's gouged out of our backs so far, mostly for no real good reason at all?


As Norm Farrell has pointed out over and over and over again.

It is is billions.

With a 'B'. 



Thursday, September 14, 2017

Six Times...


From the 'Everything I Did Then Does Not Matter Now' file:

Quilchena Uber Alles, indeed.


Six is the number of times the BC Liberal government of Mr. Wilkinson and friends crushed campaign reform bills while they were in the MAJORITY.


One Helluva An Epitaph.


Grant Hart, half of the brains and heart and fury behind Husker Du, has died.

Here is how he explained why he never wanted/allowed a reunion of the band in an interview with Brad Cohan of the Village Voice in 2012:

...I’ve always lived with the doctrine of Patti Smith: “I don’t fuck much with the past but I fuck plenty with the future.” I tend to like that philosophy...

Hard to argue with that.

But pretty tough to follow.

Bob Mould's tribute to Hart, on the book of faces, is....Here.
Dan Epstein's take is...Here.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Will Railgate Never Die?


From Justin McElroy via the MoCo:

A legal dispute between West Vancouver and CN Rail over a popular seawall is heading to a tribunal.

The Canadian Transportation Agency will be holding public hearings during an ongoing lawsuit between the two bodies concerning the public's right to access the Centennial Seawalk.

"The fundamental question is whether or not the areas where the seawalk crosses into CN's right-of-way should be what the law calls approved crossings," said Scott Streiner, Canadian Transportation Agency CEO.

"We have many crossing cases, but the specific nature of this case is a little unusual."

CN Rail filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on Feb. 17. The company terminated its lease with the municipality earlier this year, and is now seeking compensation of $3.7 million per year in rent for public use of the seawalk between 19th Street and 24th Street, which is on railroad land.

The District of West Vancouver had been offering $12,500 a year, indexed for inflation. The seawall was built in the 1960s, but CN Rail leased the right-of-way from the B.C. government after they purchased B.C. Rail...


You did, indeed, read that last part correctly. The cronies have come home to roost on a public seawall built in the 1960's (i.e. 40 years before they made their deal GordCo, Inc).

And they want $3.7 million for that roost, now fully 50 years after the fact.


I'm pretty sure that NVG will have much more to say about this soon...


Monday, September 11, 2017

And So It Begins (Kinda/Sorta/Almost)...


An account of the beginning, from Chris Young's Canadian Press report:

Toronto - Two top political aides to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty pleaded not guilty Monday to charges over the destruction of internal emails about the Liberal government's costly cancellation of two gas plants...

And then, just as suddenly, it stopped:

...Foreshadowing what is expected to be a bitterly fought case, the long-awaited trial of David Livingston and his deputy Laura Miller finally began with an attack on the prosecution over the information it had provided the defence, leading to a week-long delay in hearing evidence...

Stay tuned.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

A New Sunday Pastime...


For those (few) of you have been wondering...

I'll get back to putting together new 'Sunday Sets', I promise.

Once the damnable grants are done (soon!).

In the meantime, another DIY kid who, together with her musical friends, knocks me out:

You can watch/listen to Reina del Cid's regular 'Sunday Morning' offerings, and there are bushels full of them....Here.

You can help Ms. del Cid make her music....Here.
Speaking of DIY kids...Had a great time watching my own, Bigger E, along with her friend S., doing their thing at 'The'Chickpea', a newly happening spot in Lotusland Central on Main in the high 20's, last night...


Saturday, September 09, 2017

Will All Of Small Paul's Riding Association Chickens Soon Come Home To Roost?


Couldn't help but notice the following most interesting passage in Laurence Martin's latest Globe piece on internecine political party wars:

...There followed on the Liberal Party side the Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin wars. Mr. Chrétien won two majorities, whereupon the insurrection of Martin rebels began. He won a third, only to see his antagonists gather in greater numbers and force him out. There's a book coming out on Mr. Chrétien next month by Bob Plamondon called The Shawinigan Fox. It has revelations, which I've read, about the feud. Warning to the Martin crowd: Duck!...


Whatever could that be all about 'inssurection of the Martin rebels' thing possibly be about?


I seem to remember something.

Something from 2007...

Something written by a by-then-already-blogging proMedia guy named Paul Willcocks.

Although this bit was published in BC Business; the passage I'm thinking of goes like this:

....The most infamous episode saw the Martin forces take over the riding association of MP and Chrétien supporter Herb Dhaliwal in 2002, while Dhaliwal was out of the country and his wife was dying of cancer. The takeover not only locked up delegate support for Martin; it killed Dhaliwal’s chances of running again. He blames (David) Basi and others on Marissen’s team, complaining of questionable mass sign-ups of instant Liberals. The riding association swelled from 250 to almost 3,400 members during the campaign to get rid of Dhaliwal. Liberal insider and Chrétien loyalist Warren Kinsella called it the worst kind of political thuggery, grim enough to make him consider quitting the party. “It always seemed rough, a take-no-prisoners knee-cap approach. It’s a B.C. style,” says political scientist Norman Ruff. Marissen’s organizational skills helped shape the battles, he adds. “He conducted politics like a military campaign.” But Ruff agrees that the federal Liberal party was a comfortable, closed club in the province. (“If it was a club, it was a small one,” adds a Liberal strategist who watched the battles from outside the province.) Marissen downplays the conflicts. But Christy Clark, no slouch at politics, is blunter. “Does anybody think that politics is just about being nice all the time? Politics is about winning,” she says. “In politics, in order for somebody to win, somebody has to lose. When winning requires you to be tough, that’s the style Mark will adopt.” But only when he has to, Clark adds...

Duck, indeed.

But only when you have to, of course.

Tip O' The Toque to Owen Gray for the heads up on the Martin (Lawrence, not Small Paul) piece.
Initially, I thought of using a 'TheBoyz Are Back In Town! sub-heading for this post, but ultimately decided that might be a little too on the nose....And besides, I didn't want to have to deal with the Earworm fallout....Ooooops....Which always brings to (my) mind (anyway) that part in 'Once' where the buskers tell the guy that they 'only play Lizzy'...
And my apologies, sincerely, to any and all Anon-O-Mice who become cranky upon landing here...'Tis something I will do my best to correct in the future...


Friday, September 08, 2017

Mr. Coleman's Six Minute Flip-Flop....


From the Twittmachine feed of the Globe's Mike Hager...

This, at 10:03 am this morning:

Followed by this, at 10:09 am:


Personally, I don't get why folks like the good Mr. Coleman aren't more upset with the fact that it was Ms. Clark who let the DipperGreen coalition off the BCLiberal-built faux constitutional petard in the first place.

If you get my drift.

And then, of course, there's....This.


How The Smear Machine Works...


Because I haven't paying really close attention to goings on down south recently, I couldn't quite figure out where all the bile and vitriol that is constantly being directed at George Soros is coming from.

Eric Alterman, in his latest piece in the Nation, explains.

Here is his lede and a little bit more:

On August 31, convicted felon and right-wing provocateur Dinesh D’Souza tweeted that he thought it would be “interesting to see” the liberal financier and philanthropist George Soros “extradited to Israel & tried for his complicity in Nazi atrocities against Jews.”

As he hawks his most recent book, The Big Lie—ironically, a near-perfect description of its contents, which claim to reveal the Nazi roots of the American left—D’Souza has tweeted countless versions of this particular big lie. With childish faux cleverness, he refers to Soros as “Hitler’s collection boy” and claims that Soros “literally worked for Hitler.” Right-wing talk-radio shows, websites, and even a Republican gubernatorial candidate from Pennsylvania have parroted lines from his anti-Soros campaign.

D’Souza told a right-wing talk-show host that he was “delighted to uncover” Soros’s history. But, as with almost every alleged discovery made by pro-Trump partisans, it is not only factually false and morally reprehensible; it is also old news. The charge has already been made by such far-right luminaries as Glenn Beck, David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Alex Jones, and Tony Blankley (who retracted it after I asked him to back it up). Perhaps most shamefully of all, former New Republic owner and editor Marty Peretz smeared Soros, calling him “a young cog in the Hitlerite wheel.”...


...D’Souza thinks that “former Nazi collaborator George Soros should be investigated as a sponsor of domestic terrorism” for his alleged sponsorship of antifa. Neither Soros nor his foundations support antifa in any way, but never mind that: At last count, more than 138,000 idiots had signed a petition at demanding that President Trump “declare George Soros a terrorist and seize all of his related organizations’ assets under RICO and NDAA law.”...

See how the rabid envelop pushing gives cover to ever more maintreamish folks such that soon, Poof!, a big lie starts to become conventional wisdom that can be used to catapault even bigger lies into the public consciousness?

All of which is a clear illustration why we here north of the 49th parallel should give no quarter (or attention, or media space/legitmacy) whatsoever to demonstrable liars and/or propagandists, no matter how rebellious, or otherwise, they might paint themselves to be.


All of this is also why I think it is critical to sustain a 'no prop is good prop'  motto even if said prop is being flung by the side you identify with....


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Does The Klout Klub Have A New Mission?


From the investigatory mind (and Twittmachine feed) of Bob Mackin:


Was wondering where Mr. Marissen might re-surface after he disappeared from the #BCPoli tidepool a few weeks ago.

Mr. Mackin further explains in his piece...

The liberal-conservative (civic NPA) party with the monogrammed grape logo meets tonight at the Italian Cultural Centre to nominate a candidate for the by-election caused when Vision Coun. Geoff Meggs skedaddled to a $195,000-a-year job as NDP Premier John Horgan’s chief of staff...


...The race is (Hector) Bremner’s to win, but not because of any policy magic. Bremner has a team that can stack nomination votes and raise money faster and better than anyone in this race, and maybe even in the province. It is not known how much is in Bremner’s kitty, but his crew went on a membership spree in and around the Ross Street Sikh Temple. A typical strategy employed provincially and federally to much controversy.

Bremner is vice-president at veteran BC Liberal backroomer Norman Stowe’s Pace Group and has Mark Marissen and Mike Wilson in his backroom. Marissen is the ex-husband of ex-Premier Christy Clark and was on the inner-circle of the party’s disastrous 2017 campaign...

Well, if at first you don't succeed...


Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Keef Report....Ire, Matey! (sic)


First, a note from the coiffuraltory doppelganger of the new Dipper Education Minister Rob Fleming....

Next, at the risk of raising the ire of the Keef, the following are the fabulous bleatings of 'former' Transportation/ICBC Minister, BC Liberal MLA, Mr. Todd Stone, as reported by Greg Fry of CFJC:


The reaction of Kamloops - South Thompson Liberal MLA Todd Stone to the NDP's decision to hike ICBC rates.

Yesterday, B.C. Attorney General David Eby confirmed ICBC is asking the provincial utilties commission to raise rates by 6. 4 per cent this year to cover losses totalling over $500 million last year. Eby said optional rates will also rise noting the average driver will see a blended increase of eight per cent.

"I think it's very disappointing," said Stone. "The vast majority of motorists in this province have both the basic and the optional insurance coverages and they're going to pay an additional $130 more now because of this decision the NDP has taken."

He said the move to hike rates comes on the heels of "an array of intitiatives the BC Liberal government implemented the last four years to keep rates as low as possible."

Those initiatives included cracking down on fraud, targeting distracted driving, implementing a new IT system (which he says saved ICBC $90 million) and reducing management and salaries by 50 per cent...


Don't know about you, but I sure was surprised that the good Mr. Stone did not mention the following, as reported by many last fall, including the VSun's Rob Shaw:

...The government has taken $1.2 billion in profits from the optional insurance side of ICBC’s business since 2010, when it changed the law to allow itself to siphon money from the corporation and use it for general revenue...


And, as mentioned yesterday, despite the kerfuffle on the Twittmachine, I think we should actually give Mr. Baldrey a break re: the Fleming hair thing, because it really does look like he was joking (note the Keefly re-tweet)...


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

My Morning Ride...


Not sure about you, but for my money, despite the fact that it had absolutely nothing to do with moon and star aligning, that red sun rising this morning was much more impressive than the recent eclipse thingy.

And then, wonder of wonders, I felt a few drops of water land as I cleared the Shaughnessy hump and glided down into the Valley. At first I thought it was just errant spray drifting over from the high pressure boulevard (and pavement) watering contraptions that festoon the edges of mansion town but, given that the drops persisted until past Macdonald, I ultimately concluded that they had to be coming from the sky.

Climbing the hill to outer west Cremeville I couldn't help but notice that there sure are a lot of houses for sale. Must be trying to make good on their $4 million, plus, nest eggs before the change.

Had a real post all set to go for this morning on what white racists do when the commercial gene companies hire tell them that their blood is not as pure as they would like...But then the folks at the MoCo's "The Current" beat me to the punch...Not sure how I feel about finding out that I sometimes think like a CBC producer...Anyway, if you're interested, Eric Boodman  has a good piece up on the subject at STAT News.
Regarding the subheader....Be very careful of the kids everywhere as they bingle and bongle to and from red brick places of learning once again... And, if you ride a bike anywhere between 8:30am and 9:00am weekdays between now and late June, be especially careful of the parental units who drive like crazy people up and down residential streets within an eight block radius of any elementary school.
Finally, regarding a recent Keefism wherein the good Mr. Baldrey made fun, sort of, of Dipper ed min RFleming for not combing his hair....I think we have to give the Keef the benefit of the doubt on this one because I'm pretty sure he was joking...


Saturday, September 02, 2017

Apropos Of Everything...


It's grant writing season.

Which means that I'm an obsessive, absent-minded idiot that is of absolutely no use at all to his family at the moment.


This evening I was banging away on the 'Alternative Approaches' for Aim 3 (something about MAP kinase signaling and annexin2-dependent cell survival) while blasting the music on real speakers instead of the earbuds which is something I can get away with when the lab rats (i.e. the gradual students, not the rodents) aren't around.

And somewhere between 'Clash City Rockers' and a weird live, mandolin-driven version of Steve Earle's 'Copperhead Road' the following popped up on my ridiculously all-over-the-place mess of a Jobsian playlist  that is currently set to alphabetical, by tune...

It's me and Bigger E, above, at the little arrowhead on the left.

Well,  mostly it's E. with her ukulele and me with a bit of guitar and the backgrounded vocal waver.

I can't even remember when we did this. Sounds like a few years ago.

But I really like it, especially the patter at the end.

The tune is a fantastic one by Danny Michel, my favourite live version of which is pasted in from the tubez below.


Sheesh....Given that it's 9:52 on the Saturday night of the last long weekend of the summer maybe this DM tune, which the Google algorithm picked to follow Coalmine, is more appropriate...Time to peddle home.


Another BC Liberal-Backed Site C Number That Can Be Neither Trusted Nor Verified.




And this one does not have a dollar sign in front of it...

Mr. Kyllo is the BC Liberal MLA for the Shushwap.


How Soon Until The 'Numbers' Say We Will Be Rolling In Dough If We Put Site C To Bed Forever And Ever Ahmet Ertegun?


Remember all those proMedia outlets who swallowed that $7.3 billion number of Hydro's whole re: the shutdown of Site C?


Turns out that number is, also according to Hydro, just a little high and outside according to Energetic City:

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that it would cost BC Hydro $7.3 billion to cancel the Site C project. That cost, according to Hydro’s submission to the BCUC, also included the costs to ratepayers of acquiring alternative generating capacity and resources. The cost, according to BC Hydro’s submission, is actually roughly $3 billion...


Based on the Jessica M-led Clarklandian crown corp's "Get-It-Past-The-Point-Of-No-Return" track record when it comes to predictions and numbers and all that, one has to wonder if shutting the thing down will actually start refilling the public purse sometime round about Christmastime.

Or some such thing.

A mo' better, snarkolepsy-free analysis of what the real costs are and why can be found in Matt Preprost's Alaska Highway News piece....Here.


Friday, September 01, 2017

And So It Began...


Bob Mackin has finally, after much CClark regime playing out of the clock, unearthed the cabinet minutes from GordCo, Inc's first 100 days from the summer of 2001.

There's some interesting stuff in there as Uncle Bob has noted over at his place.

However, most of it, at least the portions that haven't been s.14 censored, is banal in the extreme.

Although it was interesting to see when, exactly, the BC Liberal government first started to plan their war on teachers' collective bargaining rights.

With the first tentative 'informative' shot apparently fired by, you guessed it....

No mention, at least not that I noticed based on a fast (non-ferried) first pass, of the coming BC Rail privatization....Although, as we previously noted, things were already starting to happen on that front by the fall of 2001 a scant few months after BC Rail hired a certain very, very fine fellow (who also just happened to have been the BC Liberal party's campaign co-chair during the 2001 election cycle) to provide it with 'strategic advice' at $6,000 per months for a mere 49 months...Imagine that!
The last link, above, comes from the invaluable historical archives of Sean Holman's now long gone 'Public Eye'...As you might expect, Mr. Holman, who now lives east of the Rockies, already has a link to Mr. Mackin's latest up on his twittmachine feed.


He's Back......


From the press release about a blue/red ribbonish-type thing called the "NAFTA Advisory Council On The Environment"....

...Today (Aug 31/17), the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced the creation of the NAFTA Advisory Council on the Environment. The ten-member council brings together prominent Canadians from politics, law, and Indigenous groups. This expert council includes former Quebec premier, Pierre-Marc Johnson; former British Columbia premier, Gordon Campbell; former Saskatchewan cabinet minister, Janice MacKinnon; and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President, Natan Obed. The council will advise the Minister as Canada looks to strengthen environmental protections in a modernized NAFTA...

Will the wonder of (progressive vote splitting pre-election gambit carbon tax) wonders never cease?


Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Poison Pill Hidden In the Site C Codswallop.


Brought to you by the good Mr. Palmer of Postmedia:

My question is....

Given their track record, why would anyone, the good Mr. Palmer included, even begin to believe anything they say (and/or 'file')?

It would also appear that the Dean is kinda/sorta suggesting that the Dippers just might be forcing BCUC to take said 'filing' at face value....


They Were The Cosmic Kids...


A while back I got hooked on what I perceived to be a Gram Parsons/Emmy Lou Harris-inspired cosmic cowboy/alt dot countryish duo named Ms. Shevaughn and Yuma Wray.

For all kinds of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that they chucked their 9-to-5 lives into giant-sized zeitgeistian dumpster just off Divison Street in Chicago and then went all in on a musical life that included Sal Paradisian-type cross-continental tours that they initially ran on a shoestring out of the back of their shelf-contained Honda Element.

Well, that and the fact that they made and executed killer tunes like....This.


About a year or so ago they relocated from the West Coast to the Washington DC area, went into hibernation for a bit, and then re-emerged as a whole new entity with a much heavier electrified sound that still holds together melodically.

That's them with their longtime collaborator Ben Tufts on drums, above, now known as 'Fuzzqueen', live, at the top of the post.

It's very cool stuff, and the studio recordings are starting to emerge.

An example is...Here (with a review here).

And, for the record, it was Ms. Shevaughn (Erin Frisby) who coined the phrase on the masthead at the top of this here little F-Troop list blog...Her partner, the artist and pedal freak formally known as Yuma Wray, is actually Chris Stelloh.
It never, ever, ceases to amaze me how much great music there is out there, just over the horizon, that is so easy to find and enjoy these days...It's a boon to punters and obsessives like myself but it sure must make it tough for all these folks to make a living at it...


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Keef Report: Turns Out That...

...He Does Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows.

And it looks like that weather personage is neither Global's Mark Madryga nor the MoCo's Joanna Wagstaffe.

Instead, the wind whisperer of choice appears to be a new government.

Case in point...

The latest cannonading bit of column making from the good Mr. Baldrey in the Black Press, ostensibly about why the Dipper's toll removal strategy was a winning bit of retail politicking, starts like this:

There were two reminders on display last week of why the NDP is in power in this province and the B.C. Liberals are not.

First came the official confirmation by the auditor general that the last fiscal year ran up a huge $2.7 billion surplus. That’s right: “billion.”

Then came the NDP government making good on a key – perhaps “the” key – election promise by scrapping the tolls on two Metro Vancouver bridges by the end of this month...

And then later, deep in the middle of the piece before he returns to his toll kicker, Mr. Baldrey buries his real lede:

...The B.C. Liberals were more than happy to simply allow the $2.7 billion to be applied to the province’s direct debt, as if that was what voters were clamouring for more than anything else. Funny, I don’t remember anyone, anywhere, in that election campaign, demanding that the direct debt be paid down as the top priority facing the province.

Rather than provide help for those struggling to keep pace with the high costs associated with living in Metro Vancouver, the B.C. Liberals repeated their mantra that “if the economy grows all will be well” and that creating a job was the end-all and be-all of a government’s responsibilities.

But the economy is growing faster than anywhere in Canada and this province has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.

And yet the affordability situation remains profound: there is a rental crisis, a homeownership crisis, a mass of people living well below the poverty line, overcrowded transit, high tuition fees, an underfunded education system … the list goes on.

Yet none of that massive $2.7-billion surplus was spent on trying to solve some of those problems. Instead it was applied to paying down a particular and somewhat abstract portion of the province’s debt (which, overall, continues to climb).

In retrospect, I’m sure the B.C. Liberals are realizing what an obtuse, out-of-touch choice they made...


Don't know about you, but I, for one, don't recall Mr. Baldrey driving that last bit home with his audience anytime before the wind changed on May 9th.

Did I miss something?

Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here (scroll down).
Tip O' the Toque to Jen Stewart on the twittmachine for the directional wind blowing concept...
Sub-header-induced Earworm raging?....This oughtta take care of it.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Most Famous Home Run Of The Summer Of 1977.


It came off the bat of then Schmindian Duane Kuiper 40 years ago today:

It was the only dinger of Mr. Kuiper's career.

A career that, while neither truly long nor truly distinguished, was solid enough to keep him in the big leagues for nine seasons and more than three thousand at bats.

Which means his was and still is the worst home run-to-at-bat ratio of all time.


More famous that summer than the death of Elvis!

Hmmmmm....What was I doing that summer?...Well, when I wasn't trying to figure out what made Peter Frampton so popular, exactly, I was arguing with my friends about why the Ramones must, secretly, be British...Clearly, by then I should have been paying way more attention to the writing of Lester Bangs...Speaking of the good Mr. Bangs, he, himself, wrote a killer obit of the King published on the same day the Kuiper hit his pop-gun shot into the empty right field bleachers of the old Mistake-by-the-Lake in Cleveland.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Mr. Weaver Throws A Haymaker At #BCPoli's Biggest Right-Sided Troll.


It would appear that Andrew Weaver has had enough of Norman Spector's codswallopanarianisms:


Were we not led to believe that Mr. Spector was the big kahuna in the negotiating tent?



Why Do Folks Vote Against Their Own Best Interests?


In my opinion it is because of stuff like the Fraser Institute's 'Consumer Tax Index' and, worse, the fact that stuff like this ilk is so often wurlitzered, straight-up, by the proMedia.

This year, the TorStar's editorial board is not buying it:

There is no sweeter time of year for those perennially convinced of government’s greed and bloat than the release of the Fraser Institute’s annual Canadian Consumer Tax Index, which never lets the truth get in the way of a bit of anti-tax panic.

The numbers are again eye-popping. According to the authors, the tax bill of the average Canadian family has increased by a whopping 2,006 per cent since 1961. We now pay more in taxes than we do on housing, food and clothing combined, the report gasps, as it does every year.

As ever, however, the scandal the report purports to uncover would seem far less scandalous if only the numbers used were not so distorted and out of any context.

To take a few egregious examples: the report doesn’t account for inflation. It includes corporate taxes in the average family’s tax bill, though these are largely shouldered by richer Canadians. It presents the mean family as the typical one, though the median family, which earns less and thus pays less in taxes, would be more appropriate....


...The study’s greatest failing, however – the omission that ultimately renders its statistics meaningless – is that it makes no mention whatsoever of what we get in return for our tax money. Nowhere does the report mention “public services” or “programs,” nowhere “roads” or “schools.” It’s true that taxes as a percentage of our income have risen over the last 56 years, by around 7 per cent, but consider what they have bought: medicare, for instance, and the Canada Pension Plan, to name just two programs established after their baseline year of 1961...

'Enuff said?



Thursday, August 24, 2017

What Do Georgia Straight Readers Care About More Than BC Liberals?


Sometimes the Twittmachine can surprise the heckfire right out of you...

If you want to support a fund to support political journalism in Merv's name, head on over to Norm Farrell's place.


The Thing I Will Not Do.



I know that our new provincial government has done a lot of good things already.

Things like this:

British Columbia will re-establish a human rights commission to fight inequality and discrimination in all its forms, Premier John Horgan announced today.

“Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. By re-establishing a human rights commission, we will create a more-inclusive and just society, where we work together to eliminate inequality and prevent discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” said Premier Horgan....


When I notice something that appears to be easily fixable that will, when fixed, support the core values of a progressive government, I have no plans to simultaneously duck and mindlessly cheerlead.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that I am convinced that that kind of behaviour by all sorts of well meaning rank-and-file (l)iberals let the governments of Mr. Campbell and Ms. Clark off-the-hook so that they could run seriously amok for sixteen long years.


What brought this on?....Well, after reading the opinions of folks like Laila Yuile and Delphine Charmley, I took to the Twittmachine and said that we should give the disabled back their bus passes like, yesterday, and roll out the bigger, more comprehensive fixes down the road..Not everyone of Dipper bent thought we should be doing that sort of thing.
And as for a citizenry pushing a government to do the right thing....Well, apparently even a reluctant progressive like FDR actually thought it was a good thing...At least some of the time....Maybe.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dipper Mania in #BCPoli...One More Sign Of The Apocalypse.


Crazy! Crazy!! Crazy!!!

As noted by Charlie Smith in the GStraight:

...Today, the NDP government announced two projects to make things easier for people who need to make this crossing (of the mighty Fraser).

A cable-collar system will be installed to remove the ice (and reduce the ice bombs) from the Alex Fraser Bridge.

It will cost $5 million and should be in place by the end of this year.

There will also be an extra lane with a counter-flow barrier system added to the Alex Fraser Bridge, which will cost $70 million.

That's expected to be in operation by the fall of 2018.

Nearly $34 million will be covered through federal infrastructure funds...

In other news, Finance minister Carole James ratchets the crazy into the stratosphere by talking sense (and equity) about the province's public accounts.

Kind of makes one wonder if somebody is handing out headbands and playing Patsy Cline, cranked to 11, over there at Dipper headquarters or something?

No word yet on whether the new government will take the radical step of once again asking resource extractors to pay their fair share for the stuff we actually need 'round here...Cue Norm Farrell with the flabbergasting numbers...


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Merv Adey...We Miss Him Already.


A giant amongst us, Merv Adey, has passed away.

There are many, many things I admired about Merv and his work, but the thing I admired most was his sense of fairness.

Clearly, Merv held progressive views but he was always willing to engage anyone who was honest and straightforward in their views and opinion in a fruitful discussion without seeking to dominate.

And, like Hunter Thompson before him, Merv had a gimmick.

Which is that he could really write.


Fittingly, many folks in the #bcpolisphere first learned of Merv's passing in a tweet from John Horgan.

Since then the online tributes have since flown fast, furious and fantastic from the likes of...

Laila Yuile:

...Merv was more than a good citizen…he was exceptionally engaged even before he began writing about issues that troubled and concerned him. He followed all our blogs, commented and emailed and early on I think we all knew he would be a great blogger too. I encouraged him. Norm encouraged him. Pretty sure RossK did too! And eventually he did, and never looked back. We needed more lights to shine and his was bright-his words concise and pointed. His natural curiosity and sense of outrage for a clear lack of integrity displayed and fostered by the Clark government led to keen observations.

Yet at the heart of it.. and what called to me in his writing…was a heartfelt desire to see goodness done, to make this province a better place for everyone, and to hopefully fill a void lacking in public commentary..

Norm Farrell:

...Merv didn’t have much desire for personal recognition but would have appreciated John Horgan’s words. He hoped – no, expected – that many of the issues he thought important would be addressed by the Premier’s new Government.

I’m hopeful that writers and readers in the online world of BC politics will find a suitable way to remember and celebrate Merv Adey. He took a serious interest in improving political reporting and perhaps a bursary or award in Merv’s name to a worthy student of journalism would be appropriate.

Charlie Smith:

...One of B.C's most beloved political bloggers has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Merv Adey created BCVeritas, which shone a spotlight on corruption, media, and range of public policy issues.

Merv had a sharp intellect, which was evident in his posts. His writing also demonstrated enormous compassion for the underprivileged...

And Grant G., who coined the ' Miss Him Already' term right out of the gate:

...It took one man, one tireless fighter to have the BC Liberal governments false ads on LNG pulled, Merv Adey was a relentless battler on so many fronts, Merv made a difference in our last election, he made a difference in our mad world, Mr Adey made a difference to his family and to me..

You make us proud......and you set an awfully high bar for those you left behind...


I had many off-line conversations with Merv - about things like data, stories, strategy and guitar playing.

Speaking to him was always a joy.

And when I gave him a little bit of information on immune checkpoint inhibitors, which he was researching because of his own health situation, everything came down to his family given the potential monetary costs that he refused to burden them with.

He really was a helluva guy.

As for that second phrase in the title to this post, you can find a version of it in this interpretation of Astral Weeks by Glen Hansard and his trusty sidekick Joe Doyle on the stand-up bass...

Despite the histrionics I'm pretty sure Merv would approve.


You can read and re-read all of Merv's stuff over at his place....Here.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Which Alou Brother Is Sleeping On That Park Bench Anyway?

Got into a bit of a back and forth on the Twittmachine with the Fairview area's foremost chronicler of pretty much everything, Stanley Woodvine, and the G Straight's Martin Dunphy the other day about the true identity of that guy under the blanket sleeping on the bench in downtown Vancouver these days. 

Many assume that it was not Matty or Felipe.

But how can they be sure?

For the record, Jesus is the guy on the left, above.

All of this was sparked by Travis Lupick's story and photos in the GStraight. That's his image at the top of the post.
And as for the myth of the Alous?....Well, while they did play together, taking over the entire Candlestick outfield a few times,  the three brothers never started a game together.
Little known fact...Bigger E's first ballgame was at Candlestick during the BayBridge series at the end of spring training 1993. She was 8 weeks old.... We sat low in the left field corner...Saw a whole lotta the wrong Henderson that afternoon (my favourite A's outfielder with that surname has always been Dave).

Mr. Trump Is Not An Anomaly.


From Owen Jones's latest insightful piece in the Guardian:

...Trump’s campaign of bigotry, taken as a licence to hate by every racist and fascist, was no grubby disruption of a tolerant American consensus. “Obama answers to the Qur’an before the constitution,” declared Fox News contributors. The US constitution would be replaced with the Qur’an, they announced. Muslims would be banned from serving in high office, declared Herman Cain, a Republican candidate for the presidential nomination, a few years ago. “Sharia is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States,” was the pronouncement of Newt Gingrich, the Republican ex-speaker of the House of Representatives. Muslims were the only group Barack Obama offered “undying, unfailing support for”, declared fellow Republican Mike Huckabee...

Of course, the same faux-media envelope pushing playbook b/w xenophobic right-sided political rhetoric was exported north of the border as well.

Luckily, it was NOT a winning combination last time around.

Furthermore, in Canada at least, the lashing back has ultimately led to this...

Should we not consider ourselves lucky?

At least for now?

Meanwhile, the Mound of Sound has something important to say.


The Keef Report...How Many More Times?


Personally, I'm not so sure about the esteemed Mr. Baldrey's take on this one.

After all, is it really going to be bad for Dipper fortunes if the specifics of all that the good Mr. Wilson did (and did not do) for the people of British Columbia during his recent sinecure is raised, over and over and over and over again, in the public prints and 'lectronic media outlets for the next few weeks and months.

Meanwhile, in real LNGeepers creepers news...


Previous Keef Reports can be found....Here.
Header earworm?....This.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Mr. Bannon's Gold-Leaf Wingnut Welfare-Laminated Parachute Club.


From Maggie Haberman's NYTimes piece on Steve Bannon's firing from Trumpland:

...Mr. Bannon had made clear to allies after the American Prospect interview that he expected to be back soon at the right-wing website that he had steered before joining Mr. Trump’s campaign. He had dinner in New York City on Wednesday night with Robert Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire who is also Mr. Bannon’s chief patron, to discuss the future, according to a person briefed on the discussions...


If that doesn't work out one can only wonder if Mr. Bannon will, perhaps, turn his lonely eyes north in the direction of the good Mr. Levant.

After all, Mr. Levant is in need of new partner, isn't he?

Update: Friday Evening....And so it is done.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A Thoughtful Conversation On Race In America.

I remember seeing this picture of a young Lew Alcindor when I was a kid.

At that time I was rabid for all things basketball.

So much so that my friend Danny M. and I actually joined a church just so we could play on their team and, more importantly, acquire a key to their gym.


Even back then I was skeptical that a young superstar like Alcindor (who by the time I first saw the picture above had already crushed the NCAA while at UCLA with John Wooden, won an NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks, and changed his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar) was ever as truly thoughtful as the kid in the picture above appeared to be back when he was riding the subway in his high school letterman's jacket.

Well, for the record, in this case at least, my skepticism was misplaced.

How do I know I was wrong?

Because I listened to Mr. Jabbar talk to Marc Maron for an hour or so yesterday.

It's an enlightening conversation on a whole lot of levels, not the least of which is the fact that there is no discussion whatsoever of career statistics, et cetera.

The link is....Here (starts at the 41 min mark).

And, slightly tangentially to the topic....I find it most interesting that a small clutch of Canadian media types who have long associated themselves with hate mongers are now suddenly surprised to learn that such mongering actually begets hate...Sheesh.


Monday, August 07, 2017

Musical Gold Panning On A Holiday Monday...


I spent a chunk of Saturday working on the real thing, analyzing populations of tumor infiltrating cells by flow cytometry. It's a workhorse tool of immunologists that lets you characterize immune cells based on various physical characteristics and molecular markers. Not my favourite way to go given that I've spent most of my career assessing phenotypes based on what cells actually do rather than using somewhat fungible, and sometimes capricious markers - still, it's powerful and we're working with folks who really know what they're doing on the project.

This afternoon was different though. All catch-up and paper-worky given that it is the season for reference letter writing, lecture prepping, and getting various and assorted registrational and CV-type bits done in advance of the grant writing season to come.


I spent a good chunk of the kinda/sorta administrative afternoon listening to one of my favourite musical podcasts. It's produced by a guy named Bill Frater and near the top of queue in show #388 from back in mid-July I stumbled across a tune from a group of kids from Los Angeles I hadn't noticed before called 'The Wild Reeds'.

All of which led me to their recent KEXP showcase, above, and an even more recent appearance at the Newport Folk Festival.

Then, rooting about in their feeds landed me here....which ultimately sent me off to listen to a whack of classic, pre-big fame Jackson Browne.

Music, as opposed to poli-pods, etc., helped me got a lot done this afternoon.


And do not cry for me Argentina because I really like my job...The real thing is best, of course, but the other stuff isn't so bad either...The upshot - on average I get to spend at least half of my time on the real thing all of which is stuff that we as a research group have chosen to chase...Can't complain about that.
Oh, and in case you were wondering....Ever since I was a kid I've had this thing that one of my best friends dubbed 'two-track'...It allows me to pay pretty close attention and be absorbed by two different tasks at once...Got me out of many a jam in school when a teacher thought I was goofing off...I was, of course, (goofing off I mean) but was often also simultaneously paying attention...Has been known to drive my kids crazy though.