Friday, May 31, 2013

Chelsea Hotel No. 1


In our last Sunday Setlist, E. did a solo version of Mr. Cohen's 'Chelsea Hotel No. 2' (it starts at the 13 minute

Of course, in the preamble to E's version I started babbling on ignorantly about how nobody seems to know what happened to No. 1.


I got an Email from E. yesterday...

With a link.


Here it is, from 'The Bird On A Wire Tour', circa 1972...


You got that right.

My 20 year old kid is filling me in on old, old guy musical history from 40 years ago.



As a little prod like this so often does, it sent me to digging.

And I managed to find a side-by-side comparison (scroll down).

There's a lot that is the same in the two versions, but there are significant differences too.

Like what he and his friends were trying to do, separately/not together apparently, in 1967....

And,  just in case anybody was wondering/looking...You can find all of our recent Sunday Setlists and other audio tidbits all in one place (there's even an RSS Feed link if you want it).....Here.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

We Ought To See The Wizards.


In a most excellent provincial election aftermath post, long-time Dipper Ian Reid wrote the message he thought Mr. Brian Topp, who ran Adrian Dix' campaign, should have sent to his staff (rather than the 'thanks very much' and 'we didn't do anything wrong' message Mr. Topp actually did send to them:

...‘Many of you worked in the centre of the 2009 campaign and in the space of four weeks took us from 13 points back to 3 points down, with momentum. You did that with half the staff and a quarter of the money we had this time.

‘Last time you helped run a campaign that defined the Liberals.

‘This time I ran a campaign that didn’t lay a finger on the Liberals and allowed them to define us.

It also failed to inspire people to vote for us.

‘Because of that the Liberals took a 20 point deficit and turned it into an election day rout.

‘You’re still as good as you were in 2009.

‘The difference was the leader and me. Our strategy was a disaster. It was experimental and founded on naive and delusional fantasies about politics. We let you down. Just as we let the party down and the province down.

‘For that I apologize and promise I will never darken your door again...

Interestingly, this led Mr. Topp himself to respond with the following in the very large comment thread attached to Ian's post:

"Ian this is an ill-tempered post. I was thanking our incredibly hard-working campaign team, and telling them the truth, which is that this result did not happen because of anything wrong with their work or their effort. Clearly we made some grave strategic mistakes. I take my full measure of responsibility for them. I’ll write about this, once our leader has spoken publicly about the campaign. I’m not sure how much we’ll learn from bitter score-settling...."



Now Sean Holman has stepped back a little and has weighed in on the matter of what we, the lowly peons who are not party insiders, know or, more importantly perhaps, don't know about the 'Campaign Wizards' like Mr. Topp et al. who do their darndest to mess with our voting preferences:

...In past elections, British Columbia's major newspapers published "who's who in the zoo" profiles of political campaign backrooms.
That kind of coverage is considered by some editors and reporters to be too inside baseball -- stories only of interest to political players.
It's also difficult for journalists to write those profiles since political parties aren't required to disclose who their campaign staffers and advisors are.
That -- and newsroom downsizing -- perhaps explains why there were so few "who's who in the zoo" profiles during the 2013 election.
The closest thing resembling such a profile was a March 18 article published by a national newspaper -- the Globe and Mail.
The article, authored by reporter Justine Hunter, listed some political animals who would be on the campaign trail - focusing on the members of public affairs consulting agency Kool Topp and Guy (Premier Christy Clark's former chief of staff Ken Bossenkool, Brian Topp and former Ontario Liberal Party campaign director Don Guy).
But because the public didn't have more comprehensive coverage of such insiders, we don't know how much influence other personalities such as party president Moe Sihota and party secretary Jan O'Brien had on the election result.
We know Topp -- who was national campaign director for the NDP during the 2006 and 2008 federal elections -- was the BC NDP's campaign manager.
But we don't know what the specific roles and decisions his colleagues Anne McGrath and Brad Lavigne played and made during the 2013 provincial election.
The same could be said for fellow insiders Marcella Munro and Jim Rutkowski.
Nor do we know who else was in the war room and how their backgrounds may have influenced the BC NDP's campaign choices.
As a result of this low or non-existent profile, I believe it becomes easier for politicos such as Topp to claim the election's "heartbreaking result had nothing to do with the work of our campaign team."
{snippety doo-dah}
...The lack of "who's who in the zoo" pieces also means we don't have an understanding of everyone who deserves credit for -- and could benefit from -- the BC Liberal Party's election victory.
Big parts of the political history of British Columbia are literally being lost because they aren't being written.
And that will make it difficult for both the public and press to hold the opposition and the government to account in the future -- no ifs, ands or buts.

I could not agree with Sean more.

And there is also matter that in the aftermath of these War of Wizards it is the victors who receive the spoils.

Government spoils, I mean. (see, for example, this).


And while I am most happy to read Mr. Holman's stuff again, it really does pain me to see the last of the independents write, presumably gratis, for Ariana's former cash cow and nipple-slip emporium....Why?...Because there's is a business model where those that actually create the real content get screwed over, big-time...
Sean's personal blog


Dan Duryea Ain't Dead Yet.


One semi-deserted bank lobby on a sultry Manhattan night....

Six thumbnail screenplays....

From my new favourite film blogger...

The Siren.

The header?....More than you'll ever want to know about 'The Nicest Heel In Hollywood'...


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The 72 Worlds Of Bob...In Maps!


Officially, it would appear that the closest Dylan ever got to Lotusland lyrically was the Grand Coulee Dam.

Which may or not be significant.

But these days, the fact that he was there during 'Idiot Wind' sure is.

Significant, I mean.

(go play guess the place and song on the map - it's fun; of course the Dylan fanatics have already started obsessively pointing out the mistakes and the omissions by the billion).


This Just In...The Lowest Form Of Political Thuggery Does Not Always...


There was much political thuggery in the provincial election just past and, as Daniel Veniez made clear in the GStraight yesterday, it pretty much won the day on May 14th:

...(The BC Liberals) intentionally defined their political opponents through profound mischaracterizations. But more to the point, they lie as a matter of deliberate political strategy.

More accurately, they were works of fiction. These meticulously designed and tested cartoons plant negative imagery in the consciousness of voters. Like their Ottawa cousins did with such devastating effect against Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, the B.C. Liberals organized and executed a hit job on B.C. NDP leader Adrian Dix.

One B.C. Liberal operater, a twenty-something paid staffer that used to work for Michael Ignatieff—and destined to be a "lifer" in that world—said to me on Twitter that Christy Clark "won because she ran a better campaign".

If a "better campaign" is defined by trying with all your might to scare the living hell out of citizens, highly dubious claims of a "debt free B.C.", and the immediate arrival of Armageddon should Dix become premier, then yes, it was a "better campaign". And that's the crux of the problem. Never mind that is was a "campaign" largely based on outright lies and attacks on the character, honesty, motivations, and integrity of a man wanting to serve the public through elected office. For the most part, the attacks were works of fiction designed to demonize the target and inject fear into the minds of target voters...

All of which is lousy.

But none of the litany listed by Mr. Veniez, above, is the lowest form of political thuggery.

Instead, in my opinion at least, the lowest of the low is 'voter suppression'.


Because it is nothing more than a concerted attempt by political operatives to subvert the democratic process by disenfranchising legitimate voters that likely won't vote for their candidate(s).

As practiced in the the modern post-Atwater/Ailes/Rove apocalyptic world it is actually, at its core, a very simple two step process.

Step one: Identify people who very likely won't vote for you.

Step two: Do your best to keep the identified voters from actually voting.

Of course, if you have been paying attention you have recognized that this two step process was used to apparent significant effect in the last robocall-laced federal election.

But was that kind of thing attempted provincially this spring?

Read on....


The final count is now in from the riding of Vancouver Point Grey.

And David Eby won over Christy Clark, going away.

In fact, his numbers actually improved after the absentee/special ballots were counted earlier this week.

Now, here's the thing.....

Those absentee/special ballots really could have counted if the race on election day had been just a wee bit closer, as was fully expected earlier in the campaign.


Because they included the votes cast by some of the kids who live on the University campus located in the riding of Vancouver Point Grey.

And when some of those kids, kids who had telegraphed that they were going to vote for Mr. Eby, headed down to the riding's electoral district office to vote early (after announcing they were going to do so, en masse, by public transit, on their facebook page) they were challenged on their residency by BC Liberal Party-affiliated folks who were waiting for them when they arrived.


Recall those two steps mentioned above, and then read what Zoe McKnight, who had the story at the time in the VSun, reported on April 23rd (i.e. three weeks before election day):

...Liberal party scrutineers are challenging the proof of residency submitted by some University of B.C. students attempting to vote in Premier Christy Clark’s riding.

A get-out-the-vote campaign sponsored by the New Democratic Party of B.C. brought about a dozen students by bus to the Elections B.C. district office on West Broadway last Wednesday in the riding of Vancouver-Point Grey to vote to cast advance ballots.

But when fourth-year geography and political science student Quinn Runkle tried to use a printout of her university account proving she lives in Acadia House on UBC campus, her residency credentials were challenged by Liberal party members acting as “candidate representatives.”...

{snippety doo-dah}

...Liberal party communications officer Sam Oliphant said the party’s scrutineers had concerns about whether a screen shot is unreliable proof of residency.

“We asked for clarification about what would constitute an acceptable proof of residency and whether a screen shot of a residency page or simply showing a smartphone image would be something (Elections B.C.) would accept,” he wrote in an email, adding university transcripts or proof of registration were more commonly used....

And here is what I had to say at the time:

...(Let's) go and have a look at the Elections BC webpage about how University kids can prove their residency in a riding where they are living while going to school:

School/college/university-issued document 
Examples: admissions letter, report card, transcript, 
residence acceptance/confirmation, tuition/fees statement, student card


Didn't the student concerned, above, indicate that she had "a printout of her university account proving she lives in Acadia House on UBC campus"?



There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there has been any sort of concerted fraud when kids vote early like this.

Thus, the only reasonable explanation for BC Liberal party operatives (eg. the 'candidate's representatives') to be staking out that office, on that very day, at that very time (ie. the office was open every single working day from the time the writ was dropped until the votes were cast), was so that they could harass those kids and intimidate them (and intimidate other kids who would hear about the intimidation and thus would be reluctant to vote) before they headed off to their families for the summer after final exams were done at the end of April (i.e. two weeks before election day).


Do you see why discouraging those kids from voting really mattered to those who were engaging in the lowest form of political thuggery now?

Especially if things had been just a little bit closer on election day (recall, for example, that Mr. Eby lost the previous by-election to Ms. Clark by a few hundred votes after the last polls, that presumably included the advances, were counted in 2011).


The good news in all of this?

Well, clearly, because of the way Mr. Eby's campaign team worked, on the ground doing real retail politics that actually matter, many of these kids did, indeed, vote. Thus, this particular form of political thuggery did not work this time.

Which, I think, demonstrates how it can be stopped, dead, in its tracks next time.


Speaking of Federal Robo/Con/Calls...Saskboy has a very good summary up of what's going on in the here and now....Here. 
And don't forget, the RoboConCall strate(r)gy was actually breech-birthed in 2008....


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Old Man Is Down The Road, Up Around The Bend (And In Your Head)


You want to get to know John Fogerty?

I mean really get to know him.


Go listen to Maron's massive, rambling, shambolically fantasmagoric running through the jungle of all interviews with him.



Mr. Fogerty plays his songs with everyone, for everyone, on his new record that just came out today.

And, no.

He still doesn't own them.

The songs I mean.


(That rocking above sure as heckfire ain't an old man out busking with his kids.... But it sure does look to be almost as much fun)


It's Now Official in Coq-Duckville...BCL to Dip Flip...


But the margin of victory is only 35 so E-BC will be filing for a recount given that it is below the threshold for the trigger (which is 43 votes)

Details in the E-BC press



Don't Count Your Tweets Before They're Hatched.



Update, Noon Tuesday...E-BC has made it official...It's a 35 vote Dip-Flip in Duckville...Details here.

Elections BC is doing its final counts.

And a whole whack of ridings are still in progress.

Last night, ADix and MFarnsworth were tweeting about a 35 vote turn around victory for Selena Mae Robinson in Coq-Duckville...This was then wurlitzered by CSmith on the GStraight site.

That is not what's up on the E-BC site this morning.

But Ms. Robinson is now officially up by five with the riding still 'in progress'.

E-BC is supposed to post the next update around noon.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

This Day In Clarkland...The Sparkle Ponies Have Landed.


You remember the Sparkle Ponies...

After all, how could you have possibly missed the Director of Outreach and Faux-Fur Womens' Groups announcement of their conjuring back in the day:


It looks like the ponies have now landed.

Unfortunately, it also looks like the entire herd may have the mange...

From Erik Andersen's latest over at Rafe's place:

"...At the end of fiscal 2012 (one year ago), total provincial liabilities reported by the provincial government were $70.358 billion, or 100% greater than when the Liberal government first came into power. What was even more distressing was the government’s deliberate non-disclosure of “Contingencies and Contractual Obligations”, which the BC Auditor General publicly reported to be $96.374 billion. This liability amount was separate from the $70 billion, as confirmed directly with the Auditor General’s office. These provincial liability values were directly supplied to the four party leaders just following the writ being dropped, so they all knew - but for what ever their reasons, they remained silent..."


In completerly unrelated, tangentially-convergent news from CKNW's Marcella Bernardo the latest shipment of unicorns is, apparently, set to arrive by rail in July:

The waiting game continues for British Columbians, anxious to learn why taxpayers covered $6-million worth of legal fees, to convicted criminals Dave Basi and Bob Virk.

Auditor General John Doyle promised to deliver his findings before he left for a new job in Australia this month. Last month, staff with his office said his long-awaited review could not be released during the campaign for the May 14th provincial election.

Now, they're saying Doyle's final report won't be ready until July...

No word yet if the either of the former conductors, the good Mr. Loukidelis and/or Mr. Whitmarsh, will be there to greet their arrival.

Like all things BC Rail, I realize that the next Sunday Setlist really is a slow train comin'....But it is almost here...In fact, E. is upstairs recording her version of Mr. Cohen's 'Chelsea Hotel No 2' right this minute...


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Not All Hotels Are Rated On Trip Advisor


A funny thing happened over the expanse of the long weekend just past.

Everywhere I looked, or rather listened, there seemed to notions in the air of that crazy, mixed-up  high-ended (pretend)low-rent artist emporium in New York city called the Chelsea Hotel.

Or some variation on the theme.

First, it was E. figure out how to play the Leonard Cohen ode to both the Chelsea and Janis Joplin too.

Mr. Cohen's song is so simple and yet, as so much of his stuff is, so powerful. Not that it is all sweetness and light by any means.

And then there was the fact that there was a whole lot of Joni Mitchell going down early Sunday as E. and e. fiddled around in the kitchen making slightly artistic breakfasty stuff, which made me think, when I came up from the Subterranean Blues Room, that it really was a Chelsea morning.

All of which was accentuated, I think, by the fact that E. was also just finishing reading Patti Smith's memoir 'Just Kids'.

Of course, contemplating the artist's life and all it can be is a powerful and exciting thing, indeed.

And it's something I, as a parent, hope I can help my kids can aspire to for as long as they can, including forever, if that's the way things go.

But that does not mean that I don't simultaneously worry about the flipside and all that can go wrong for them if they really do decide to reach for that life.

On so many levels.

Because not everybody who rides the flipside can make it all the way through like, say, Charles Bukowski did.

Or at least seemed to to do.

And then, suddenly, up popped Mr. Bukowski on the BlogCrawl narrating a marvelous 1990 documentary about the real people (and it is they who truly make up the marvelous part) who once lived at the Madison Hotel which is located at the other end of the low rent/no Trip Advisor rating spectrum from the Chelsea on skid row in Los Angeles.

And that got me to thinking of a song by a member of the Dublin Diaspora named Sean Kangataran who now lives and makes music not far from the Madison in Echo Park.

More specifically, I thought about Sean's song called 'Write About' that includes more than a few lines about the flipside and how most of us who brush up against it usually pull back.

For all the right reasons, I think.

Anyway, given all that I decided to cover the tune as part of the next Sunday Setlist (which is coming).

So, by way of a preview, here it is, with rambling introduction that hopefully makes the gobbledygook above a little more clear....

Noticed something that leaked through my temporary anti-politics Chinese Wall on the Twittmachine feed earlier today....Which is that the Dean, Vaughn Palmer, notes that E-BC is saying there will a big jump in  provincial voter turnout when the final votes are counted first thing next week...And given that most of those votes came early, before the apparent collapse...Well...Who knows?


Sunday, May 19, 2013

More On The New Rovians Of The Lotuslandian Sage.


Well, well, whadd'ya know.

Christy's $10K per month plumber put together the final attack ad just before Crony Capitalist Tuesday.

NVG has the story.

Meanwhile, Alison is keeping score on the federal front.


How low to do you have to sink to win in this country these days?

In the 'who really cares' Dept....
MSmyth of The Province says he has seen the numbers/correspondence, properly date-stamped I'm sure, that says the New Rovians really did have numbers before CCTuesday...Apparently, according to Smyth (and a few 'Bams!' from Dmitri the Liberal), it came down to a rise for them among old folks and a total collapse of the gender split...So...Women broke for Christy....Really....The one thing I really find interesting about this is how the New Rovians all seem to point back to the debates as the big, big turning point...Clearly, the post-debate spincycle trumped and totally subverted reality...Guess that flash poll, which Paul Willcocks and I discussed here, really only did give a momentary 'skin deep' assessment of all that was later spinnable.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Confederacy Of Smugness.


I noticed it Tuesday afternoon over at Bob Mackin's place.

Essentially, Uncle Bob suggested that the BC Liberal braintrust, who ignored the election act earlier in the day when they instructed their horses to campaign pretty much all morning long on the Twittmachine, was worried that they and theirs were really and truly doomed four hours before the polls closed.

And, never one to leave things incomplete, Mr. Mackin followed this up on Thursday with the following:

Media and scholars will study for years to come (to see) how the BC Liberals defied the odds (and the polls) and won British Columbia's 40th provincial election on May 14.

Liberal sources told me they were truly surprised at what happened. They would've been overjoyed with a minority government for Christy Clark, but were already resigned to hearing the words "Premier-designate, Adrian Dix."...


Then came the following, from an un-bylined story that was posted on the CBC website Thursday evening (although it was something you would have heard about if you were listening to Mr. Quinn's little radio show Thursday afternoon):

While the rest of British Columbia was shocked by the B.C. Liberal party's majority victory in Tuesday's election, the man in charge of the party's internal polling was not.

Dimitri Pantazopoulos, strategist and internal poll runner for the B.C. Liberals, said he predicted his party would win 48 seats, only two off the actual result. That, in spite of the fact, that nearly every other pollster was calling for an NDP landslide...

{snippety doo-dah}

...The B.C. Liberal pollster says the pre-election results were shared with about eight party insiders, but political candidates would not have been aware of them...


I have no idea if this is pure revisionist codswallop or if it's for real.

(Update Sunday May 19th...MSmyth of The Province says he has seen the numbers/correspondence, properly date-stamped I'm sure, that says they did have numbers, and it came down to a rise for them among old folks and a total collapse of the gender split...Women broke for Christy....Really?)

But you may wish to consider the source.

And you might also wish to consider the thin, but very opaque and stinky, cloak of obfuscatory fertilizer that is the claim that only 'about 8 (unidentified/unidentifiable) party insiders' were told the super-secret good news before the fact.


Perhaps you've forgotten that the good Ms. Pantazopoulos was not always an internal 'BC Liberal' pollster. In fact, awhile back he once worked for the Fed-Cons before he more recently worked it, hard, on the 'swing riding' strategy inside the 'all oral all the time' office of Premier Christy Clark.*

And when he is not generating super-secret poll results and/or trying to subvert democracy by helping to run schemes that funnel government-collected information on private citizens into the databases of whatever political party he is selling himself to on any given day of the week, Mr. Pantazopoulos is also the 'Director of the Municipal Governance Project' at the very finest of the fine 'Manning Center for Democracy'.


Once Mr. Pantazopoulos let the cat out of the proverbial bag on the people's broadcaster (that is still not quite being run by David Frum), well....

The real chortling of the smug, one of whom is also a big, big part of the Manning Center  (as is 'retired businessman' Gwynn Morgan), began in earnest:


So, recapping...

The folks that brought the Rovian Rules to federal politics in this country were, apparently, the real secret weapon of the Marissenites here in Lotusland.

Which is really, really bizarre if you think about it (especially if you recall what  The New Rovian Riders of The Purple Manning Swiftboat Sage did to a guy named Stephan Dion five years or so ago).

All of which is bad enough.

But at least with the New Rovians it's clear who and (if you've been paying attention) what it is you are up against.

But when it comes to which Wizards are actually standing behind the innermost gilt-edged political party curtains here in British Columbia?

Well, as she so often does, Alison has that story and much more:

On Ken Boessenkool's twitter account at Kool, Topp, & Guy Public Affairs - the political consultancy firm formed in February - Christy's former chief of staff Ken Boessenkool and Christy's election advisor Don Guy are busy congratulating Nick Kouvalis of Campaign Research on Christy Clark's federal ConservaLiberal campaign win. 

The third partner in the firm is BC NDP campaign director Brian Topp.


You may (or may not) remember that I noted, with interest, that the wild Progressive Boys backed two horses (i.e. both Christy Clark and George Abbott) in the last BC Liberal Party leadership race awhile back.

But that was different, I think, because it would appear that the strategy there was designed to ensure that the Progressive Boys would have a hand in running the BC Liberal Party's Griftopia Division no matter what.

But this new thing...

This thing where a single PR firm does a good chunk of the wurlitzer cranking for both sides during a general election campaign...

I mean, why would a tight little cluster of political operatives/spinners do something like that?


How do political operatives/spinners make sure that they can get their snouts as deeply into the big money PR trough as possible between elections no matter what?

Are you getting my drift now?

* I've said it before, and I'm pretty sure I'll be saying it again....Regarding all the dirty trickery which was shown, in the public prints, to be going on inside the Premier's office....Woodward and Bernstein most definitely did not back off and stop digging entirely when they got inside the Nixon Whitehouse...If you get my drift.
And...They keep using that word 'Democracy'....I do not think it means what they say it means.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

What Eby Said.


Only now am I finally coming to the realization that maybe, just maybe, it was actually a good thing that David Eby did not make it onto the Vision Vancouver city council slate in 2008.


The following was taken directly from Mr. Eby's Facebook page this morning.

Dear Friends:

Thank you so much for supporting me in our historic victory in Vancouver Point Grey.

I am told that this is only the third time in Canadian history that a successful provincial party leader has been unseated in his or her riding. Whether or not that statistic is correct, there is little doubt that we achieved something remarkable on Wednesday. You, our volunteers and supporters, along with the amazing citizens of Vancouver Point Grey, made it happen.

Thank you.

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

While one of the most vicious political efforts we have ever seen did succeed on Tuesday, we dealt the leader of that dishonest, misleading campaign a serious blow in Vancouver Point Grey. And next time, I know we will win across the province.

As our defeated premier calls around to her new MLAs to ask someone to resign for her, smile as you imagine the conversation, and gather your energy from it.

Because we do not have time to mourn.

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

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

We can also start the hard work at home to fight back with the truth.

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

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

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

Thank you to everyone who worked on our campaign, and everyone who supported a BC NDP candidate. Thank you to Adrian Dix for his strong leadership in the face of withering personal attacks. Thank you to every candidate who stood for a different way of doing politics, and for the truth.

But most of all, thank you to the voters of Vancouver Point Grey for electing a BC NDP MLA for the first time in more than a decade. Many of you told me you were voting NDP for the first time ever. I will not let you down.

Yours truly,

David Eby
MLA for Vancouver Point Grey



Somebody asked me yesterday if I thought Mr. Eby was leadership material.

As in leadership of the BCNDP.

I said that I thought it would be tough, at least in the short term, given how much structure there is to the Dipper party compared, for example, to the BCL which is a party that will take any carpet-bagger they can find (and/or 'coax' out of a Talk-Show booth) if they think said carpet-bagger can win.

But now?

Well, after reading the statement above and having watched, up close, how Mr. Eby comported himself during the recent campaign, I am not so sure.

Because, despite all the talk over the last couple of days about how you can only beat the folks who have imported the Atwater/Ailes/Rove Rules into our fair Province by getting down into the gutter with them, I still want a Premier that can win with facts and decency and compassion and an honest, but not naive, desire to do the right thing.

And from a real politick point of view that is most definitely not craven, I also want a Premier that really and truly can mobilize both the passions and the votes of young people.

Personally, I'm starting to think that Mr. Eby can do all of those things.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BC Election After-After Party...Is There Anything That The Pollsters Didn't Get Catastrophically Wrong?





Especially if you just look at just Vancouver, proper:

Thanks very much for the most non-complex/non-algorithmic/non-allegorical (ie. simple arithmetic) analysis, above, that was provided by a reader off-line...Pretty interesting, no?....Of course, if you take this and Van Isle too?....Well, it tells you that the Dippers really and truly did get stomped, and actually did way, way worse than even that overall awful 39% in the rest of the Province...Which is my point about potential pollster sample skewing in the sub-header...
In case you missed it, Eric Grenier is worth reading today....If only because he is honest enough to say that he doesn't know what the heckfire happened...Furthermore, at this point he really has no idea how to fix the problem...And I honestly wonder, as Bob Mackin kinda/sorta suggested late yesterday afternoon, if the campaigns themselves even knew what was coming as of 8:01pm last night...


My Morning Ride.

Purposefully went by my favourite H(a)eymen Corner on the way in to work this morning...


George Heyman's win last night was interesting, I think,  because it kind of went against the grain. After all, it occurred in an affluent riding where the BCL was supposed to be golden, and Mr. Heyman is both a former labour leader and a greeniacal grand poo-bah to boot. Additionally, Heyman was the guy the Globe took a run at in its bizarre editorial late last week.

And then there is the following to consider  (as one of our readers noted off-line last week after it was telegraphed, on camera, in that advance polling station conflaguration)....

Vancouver Fairview, where Mr. Heyman defeated Therapeutics Initiative killer Margaret MacDiarmid, may very well have been the bye-bye site of choice for the personally-defeated Christy Clark.


Where will the defeated-one decide to run in a by-election now?

I mean, does she and hers have the juice to force Andrew Wilkinson to step down from the safest of safe seats in the province?

Or will it be Stillwell?

After all, it's not like the defeated-one could finally administer the coup-de-grace upon the scalp of  Smilin' Sammy, given his big win down by the water (not to mention the fact that it would be cruel and unusual punishment for the Spam-A-Lotteers who may finally be in line for gainful employment once again).

And as for Fraserview where a member of Ms. Clark's Parachute-Club, Suzanne Anton, just managed to squeak in?

Well, in a bye-bye there would be no grand bogey-man for them to play against.

Which means that if she did go head-to-head with Gabriel Yiu, it is actually possible that Ms. Clark could lose.

Then again...

I guess there is always Kelowna...

Why is it my favourite corner of the Heyman variety?...Well, the sleeves off of those signs kept disappearing...And, within a day or so, they would be back...It was a real exercise in perseverance by the folks who live behind that hedge.
Apologies for the delay in the appearance of the next setlist...E. and I didn't get so far last night...And e. actually really got into chasing the numbers now that she understands who the thing really works (which may or may not be a good thing)...
Update: Gosh...Forgot about the Sultan-Of-Swing...Ya, Ralph'd probably do it...


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Own Private 8:01 Club: It Would Appear That, Like Traffic Laws, The Current Premier Believes...

...That The Election Act Of British Columbia Does Not Apply To Her.


Update 11:00pm Tuesday....Well, that was most interesting/disturbing...Guess it really is going to be my own Private Idaho for awhile...Going to be interesting to think this one through because I, for one, am not going anywhere...Really did think that the song below was going to be a farewell for a now bygone era though...Clearly, I was way wrong about that...Thing is, the other stuff, the stuff that actually matters (much of which is in the lyrics of said song)....Well, you and I both know that we are not wrong about any of that...OK?

From Andrew MacLeod's Twittmachine feed on the afternoon of May 14th, 2013:


It is my opinion that the sending out such a press release to the proMedia essentially constituted an election advertisement from a specific candidate campaigning in a specific riding...

On election day.



And now....

You will have to excuse me for for the next little while.

Because I'm going to take my mind off the mayhem for the time being by making some music with my kid this evening.

And if you, dear reader, feel the need to take a break from it all over the next couple of hours yourself?


You can always listen to a tune E. and I recorded about this time last year... It's a re-worked version of an old Phil Ochs tune (thanks for the idea Beer!) that he, himself, re-worked some 40 years ago for all the right reasons...Anyway, I hope our version is truer than ever 'round about midnight in the here and now.


And, speaking of numbers and aggregates and all that...The last Sunday Setlist has now been listened to more than six thousand times...You all do know that I can't even process that...Right?


The First Order Of Business In My Own Private 8:01 Club Will Be Announced At...

...Well, you know.

(when, I mean).

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Bob Mackin thinks he's hearing the sounds of desperation ringing out from the dinner table deep within the BCL bunker....


Monday, May 13, 2013

Election Eve Update: The Last Word Goes To...

....Christy Clark.

"We all say things when we are trying to get elected." 
"You can't steal an election in a democracy"


In other words...

Facts are for suckers...


Common decency is for losers...


Honesty doesn't matter as long as you win...


And, in looking at the final breakdowns from Angus Reid, in which the Dippers are up by nine overall and are still winning, or in a dead-heat, in every single region of the province and in every single demo except one...Which means?....Well....If you are going to cajole folks to go to the polls tomorrow here's the ticket we're looking for...Essentially, women of any age who don't drive European SUV's...
Have fun out there tomorrow folks...And if you notice any funny business, from election act-defying photo-ops to overzealous scrutineering in an apparent attempt to clampdown on certain demos (I would think, based on what they've already done, that this might involve BCL attempts to turn away young folks, especially in, say, far west Lotusland)...Well...make note, and let us know down the road...


The Real Debt Number: Sometimes You Just Have To Listen To...

Quick Comment On Latest From Angus Reid Update... at bottom of the post.

...Uncle Rafe.

Monday 5:00pm...Still waiting for that last Angus Reid poll to drop...My advice is to ignore the latest Ekos poll (41Dipper/35BCL) for the moment as the 13Green/9Con numbers seem crazy high (and perhaps non-riding corrected) to me....

Monday 7:30pm...AReid is out....Appears the slide really has halted 45/36 (i.e. does not appear to be a hint of a last weekend before election day Wild Roseian-type collapse thingy)...I'll be back with a more detailed examination of the splits later, but a quick look leads to the following....First, those amongst us with two X chromosomes are will very likely save us all, and.....Second, even if the Green and/or Con rumps completely collapse in the ballot box this really does look to be a strong Dipper majority....


While Everybody Waits Anxiously For The Last Poll From A. Reid To Drop....


Update: 4:30 pm Monday....Ekos is out... 41Dipper/35BCL....But looks like it is not riding corrected as 13Green/9Con looks crazy high...Still waiting for AReid to see poll-to-poll trends, especially in regions and demos (it will be the women that can save us, I reckon)...

...I suggest you all head over to Ian Reid's place for a dose of real politick that matters.


Because 'moral victories' are useless.

Go give him Ian a read (pun very much intended).

You won't be sorry.

And apropos of pretty much nothing at all  (except perhaps Mr. Dix' comment over the weekend about his not needing a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows)....Had to ride due West out to campus first thing this morning...Then I had to ride East back into the heart of the  Hospital Industrial Complex mid-morning...And, finally, rode West again back out to campus at lunch...And every bloody ride the wind had flipped around and was in my face...No fair!


The Ice Bomb Bridge Revisited...They Knew.


And  even though they knew they pushed ahead with the Premier's pre-Christmas 'Quick Win' photo-op and opened the bridge, regardless.

Bob Mackin has the story, and it is backed with a 500 page FOI blizzard in which many folks voiced their concern and repeatedly asked about protocols and standing operating procedures to deal with ice build up that were never resolved and led one official to scribble the following in the margins of a memo:

..."(B)ut that could still fall into traffic!"...

And the exclamation point is most definitely NOT mine.


Interestingly, a weather station that facilitates early warnings to prevent damage, injury and, potentially, death wasn't purchased until February, some two months after the fact.

The cost of said station?


Which, of course, means that they could have bought one hundred of the things and still had enough left over to buy 20,000 separate Christmas and/or Holiday gifts for the most needy of kids in the Province's care...

All for the cost of one completely bogus Bollywood Awards show that has most definitely not been watched by 400 million people.

And that 20,000 number is, unlike, say, what Ms. Clark likes to do so much, not just made up out of whole cloth.



Sunday, May 12, 2013

If It's Sunday She Must Be Lying.


In response to a reporter's direct question about her party's full page ad in the Victoria Times Colonist that explicitly called on the voters to support Jane Sterk in an apparent effort to split the enviro/left vote in South Van Isle ridings where the Green Party support is highest, the leader of the (so-called) BC Liberal Party said the following to Global News:

...“Well the ad was intended to endorse us,” said Clark. “I think the point that we were making in that, I mean for me, as I said in the debate, I disagree with Jane Sterk on almost everything, but I respect the fact that she’s prepared to take a stand on things. She’s got guts, she’s willing to stand up for what she believes in, and I try and do the same thing. I try and stand up for what I believe in, even though people may disagree with me, because I think people want leaders who are straightforward and who are strong enough to stand up.”...

And people are seriously prepared to vote for this woman who has a compulsion, to the very end, to babble on in completely nonsensical word salad-based gobbledygook that actually argues against an outright lie she just uttered three seconds ago?


Image at the top of the post from Ian Bailey's Twittmachine feed.


Ms. Clark Goes To Steepleton.


Our intrepid mid-Valley political party volunteer Mr. Beer 'N Hockey, who began the campaign working for either four or seven candidates, I'm not entirely sure which (regardless, the actual number has since dropped precipitously for various and assorted sundry reasons), was at a stump stop for the leader of the BC Liberal Party yesterday: 

Yesterday I had to attend Christy Clark's visit to Steepleton. When asked to attend I asked the campaign's volunteer leader, "Don't the toilets need cleaning out?"...

{snippety doo-dah}

...When I got to the once empty new car showroom, a pretty good a metaphor for the Liberal's election platform, I found the stage already set up, flanked by a PA system big enough for two KISS concerts. If the Liberals spent half as much of their gunnysacks of money on bullsh*t like big PA systems for people who do want to hear a f*cking word of what their leader says and spent it developing ideas and policies people might actually believe maybe they would not have had her visiting a once solid Liberal seat such as Steepleton South with four days left in the campaign...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

.... There were about a hundred people there, probably less. I wondered if I was the only person there who was not a paid movie extra.



Go Moe Go!

As for the absinthe?....Well, you'll have to go read the entire thing to get that...But just to be absolutely clear, Beer made absolutely no mention of either Ibogaine or Boo-Hoo trains....
As for the image at the top of the post?....Well, the junior Segrettis stoppin' by will just have to ask the Wizards of West Annexerly Place with the grey hair about that.