Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why Good Blogs Matter...Laila And Her Readers Discuss Newton.


A terrible crime occurred in Newton recently that was duly reported in the public prints and elsewhere.

Blogger and Surrey resident/activist Laila Yuile offers heartfelt condolences to the victim and her family, and then gets down to brass tacks on the larger issue:

...In news clips and reports today, both the Mayor and councillor Hepner declined to talk about the issues in Newton, saying it was a conversation for another day. With respect to them, and to the victim – it’s not. It is a conversation that must be had today and for very good reason – preventing further crimes in this high risk area...

It's a good post, but what is even better is the discussion Laila has with her readers and fellow residents.



Why is the discussion on the better blogs so much richer than the litany of caterwauling and call-outs that dominate most of the comment threads tacked on to proMedia stories?

My theory...

Because the folks who comment at places like Laila's know that the person who wrote the post/column will actually pay attention to what commenters have to say rather than just having sniffers and interns skim the threads for impropriety/obscenity, etc.

Go have a look at the thread under discussion - you won't be disappointed and, like me, you will probably learn a thing or two about what is actually going on in Newton and, more importantly, why.



Monday, December 30, 2013

This Day In Lotuslandian....Politics.


The Flummoxing, The First Part:

Hearing Moe Sihota on the Lotuslandian MoCo this morning saying that he thought the next BC NDP leader would be...

David Eby.

I guess if the Old Guard can't win the next best thing they can do, for them at least, is to become, presto-chango!, part of the new guard.

Or some such thing.

The Flummoxing, The Second Part:

Hearing Colin Hansen respond to Mr. Sihota's prediction.

As you might have expected, Mr. Hansen did not discuss Mr. Eby's suitability, or lack thereof, for the job.

Instead, the former Finance Minister immediately played that ol' Snooklandian canard card marked 'Politics of Destruction' when he noted that the BC Liberals would be very happy with Mr. Eby because they have a big 'file' on him.

When called out on the specifics of this wee bit of old timey (Joey, not Gracie) McCarthyism by fill-in morning man Stephen Quinn, Mr. Hansen sputtered something about not having the the 'file' right in front of him but that he knew that Mr. Eby had said some allegedly outrageous things as director of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

Interestingly, or perhaps tellingly, Mr. Hansen did not mention that Mr. Eby also said quite a few things president of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

Here are a couple of reasons I think Eby might actually be good...The first...His demonstrated ability to mount a volunteer-based ground game...The second...His ability to simultaneously buck-up the troops and show no quarter while travelling a high road whose foundation is not soft.
As for the Snooklandian's 'file' on Mr. Eby...We can only wonder if it contains more bullshite like, say, all that 'he supports polygamy/hard-drugs/pornography!' stuff they pulled out of the hat marked 'out of context' during the Pt Grey Bye-Bye in 2011?...Interestingly, it didn't work then and, obviously, it didn't work in 2013.
You know, personally, I would actually be happy to have my taxes help pay for a PuffMaster Flashian early retirement/addition-by-subtraction condo in Florida if it meant we could have Mr. Quinn in the morning permanently....As for the afternoon?....Well...That Ms. Christiansen sure seems to know a thing or two...And, heckfire!, I think the Lotuslandian division of the MoCo could use a little more metal, regardless.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Ten Years Ago...The Birth Of The League of RailGate Cultists.



That's right.

It was 10 years ago yesterday that the Ledge Raids went down.

And the best compendium of the players, followers and watchers is still the one generated by Bill Tieleman back at the five year mark.

I particularly like this entry:

BC MARY. Media.

The indefatigable proprietor of the only website exclusively devoted to the Basi-Virk case. BC Mary's blog -- The Legislature Raids -- is the repository of hundreds of thousands of words on the case, including links and excerpts from media reports going back to 2003 and original reporting, plus BC Mary's own unique takes on the case.

From mainstream media stories to conspiracy theories, it's a one-stop shop for Basi-Virk aficionados. BC Mary is known by her blog name only.

My tribute to a great friend of many in the Lotuslandian Bloggodome, Mary Mackie, who passed away too soon not long ago, is...Here.
And, just for the Heckfire of it...My very first Railgate post from the era of dinosaurs (in blog years/epochs at least) is...Here.
Finally, if you'd like a bit of a break from the endless, and almost always obvious, year end lists in the public prints, Batocchio has kept JonSwift/AlWeisel's round-up of the Best of Left Blogistan (U.S. Division), large and small, alive and well...Here.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 24.


Last day.

And we're on the road.

Thus, the Whackadoodle and the Squirrel-Kitten are in a new venue, above.

As for the tune...

We really did do it in one take.

And we were going to do it again in an attempt to remove the flubs (all mine), late night in front of the fire.

Then I listened to the last chorus and knew we were all done...

Merry Christmas, or Kwanza, or Hannukah, or Diwali, or Bodhi, or Hijra, or Presents, or Egg Nog, or Whatever Else you may (or may not celebrate) everyone!  

Of course, that last day business is just the 'official' part of the thing...Put another way, there may be bonus tracks in the days to come.
As always, you can find the entire contents of the Advent Jukebox, top to bottom....Here.


Monday, December 23, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 23.


This will be Benny the (no longer really a) kitten's first Christmas.

And, so far, he has...

...Climbed his first tree.

...Shredded his first swath of wrapping paper.

...Done his best to get into the the fridge, the oven, and the diswasher while the seasonal baking has been going down.

...Gone out in the snow when he wasn't supposed to.


Despite all that, on balance, he's mostly been good rather than naughty.

Which means that he too will be glad that...

As always, the entire Advent Jukebox so far can be found below and....Here.
Listens so far...51,122.
Have a big finale planned for tomorrow night...Will work on it going over to the Island on the ferry...11 o'clock sailing from Tsawwassen to SBay if anybody wants to watch out for us...When the weather's OK (and it looks like it might be), we usually hang out on the back deck on the other side of the glass from the expense-accounters ensconced in the PoshWest Lounge.
And don't forget to check in with Chris Montgomery's side of this thing...She's got some great Jukebox gems for you over at her place.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 22.



Time to fire up the Mel Torme (and Bob Wells).

As best I can anyway....

Image at the top of post?...My music-making partner in the gastown mist late this afternoon...Might have to take a break from it tomorrow though...Have to start that darned Christmas shopping.
Entire Jukebox so far can be found below and...Here.
And, speaking of the genius of Mr. Torme...Here he is with the incomparable Ms. Garland doing the same tune.


This Day In Snookland....It's The (Not Canadian?) Jobs Stupid!


Sorry to interrupt your Sunday morning/Holiday Season reverie (the entire Advent Jukebox, if you are looking for it, is here), but when Galloping Beaver Dave has something to say on matters maritime I, for one, sit up and listen.

Here's the lede to his latest, which I highly recommend that you go read in its entirety (it's not long):

Well, the actual (FedCon shipbuilding) contract hasn't even been inked yet and Seaspan is looking offshore to fill the positions necessary for the vessels they will (supposedly) build...




Isn't that part of the Washington Companies (nee 'Marine Group')?

And wasn't a certain very fine fellow, who just happens to be closely related to our current Premier, working for that most excellent 'Group' when he partook in a somewhat infamous phonecall with the then highly respected, OIC-appointed member of the Gordon Campbell/Christy Clark government back in the (pre-RailGate) day?

Why, yes, I believe he was.

And then, of course, there was the job that man of many hats did for the 'Group'.

My point?

That there is a (media and more) club around here.

And if you are not in it...



Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 21.


As I mentioned last night, yesterday was filled to bursting with carols, both at work and at home (see above for the aftermath).

Today, however, was not.

Instead, E. and I did some old-fashioned busking late this afternoon in the dying light, first down in Gastown just up from the steam clock and then up on Main St. in the middle teens. We did fit in a couple of Christmas songs, but mostly we did our old favourites. Heckfire, we even worked this into our medley in E. It was all quite a lot of fun, if a little hard on the fingers in the cold, and it even turned somewhat operatic occasionally like, for example, when the buddhist monks dropped a big chunk of dough in our case for no apparent reason at all.

Tonight though, E. is upstairs with C. and our friend M. playing a marathon Scrabble game.

And e. is making paper cranes with her friend m., who is staying the night.

So it's left for me, alone, to sing...
(best part, though, is the non-musical outro)

Entire Advent Jukebox is....Here.


Friday, December 20, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 20.


Carols all over the place today.

First, rocking out, slightly electrofied, with the gradual students at work.

Second, a rush to get home for the big, traditional carol singing at our house that we've been doing for a longtime now.

And one of the things in common to both venues was...

Entire box of chocolates is below...You can also find it, sans political distractions...Here.
Listens so far....43,453.
Image at the top of the post?....Mini-amp workin' hard it in the culture room....Please note the extremely high-tech note recording devices made of unbleached dead tree unbleached pulpy-scratchy stuff on the bench to the left of the amp almost right under the multi-channel pipettor....


Why Gun Control Matters.


Earlier this week, we examined some of the connections between gun use advocates in Canada and the National Rifle Association in the United States.

And we did so because said advocates had been making a bit of a fuss about Victoria city council voicing concerns about gun sales in that city.


You can go on about shades of grey, constitutional rights, nanny states, and how it is people rather than guns who do the actual killing all you want but there is no ignoring the kinds of things that will happen in Canada too if the NRA and their northern friends ultimately prevail.

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship have the story of that which cannot be ignored:

...Mother Jones has counted 194 children shot to death since Newtown a year ago; probably more by the time you read this. Average age: 6. The magazine’s Mark Follman writes that after Newtown, “The National Rifle Association and its allies argued that arming more adults is the solution to protecting children, be it from deranged mass shooters or from home invaders.” But what Mother Jonesdiscovered is a “stark rejoinder to that view” — 127 of the children died in their own homes and dozens more in the homes of family, friends and neighbors, not strangers. Seventy-two pulled the trigger themselves or were shot by another youngster (only four adults have been found liable in those cases). At least 52 of the deaths involved a child handling a gun left unsecured...

And then if you step back and take a wider view of the situation down south there's this:

...There has been a lot of killing in America since Newtown a year ago, perhaps more than 30,000 gun deaths since that fatal day. And gun purchases are way up. The biggest publicly traded firearms manufacture in the United States, Sturm Ruger, had more than half a billion dollars in sales for the first nine months of this year, 45 percent higher than two years ago, with a 67 percent profit rise over the same period...

'Nuff said?


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 19


C. and I were out for dinner this evening.

When we came out, with tummies bursting, we said....

Entire Advent Jukebox so far can be found below and....Here.
Listens so far....40,625.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 18.


When I mentioned to our oldest kid E. that this endeavour has become a bit of an endurance contest she just scoffed.

Because, apparently, the only way to do this music thing is to do it every (single) day.

Luckily, today, she also saved my bacon.

Because I half-snuck this recording of her (which is why it is a little 'Tonight's The Night'-like ragged) noodling away while I heated up my later (than even usual) night dinner as the animal menagerie buzzed around us just before bed....

Full jukebox can be found below ....Weekly compilations....Seven for the price of one! (= none) are at the very bottom.
Total listens so far....37,714.


Rob Ford's Unconditional Surrender.


This just in, from Tim Alamenciak of the TStar:

Mayor Rob Ford has issued a second and more extensive apology to Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale for comments made by the mayor during a televised interview with Conrad Black.

Dale has accepted the mayor’s apology and will no longer pursue a defamation lawsuit against Ford.

“I sincerely appreciate Mayor Ford’s complete retraction and unqualified apology, and I’m very glad the truth is no longer in dispute. I won't be taking legal action against the mayor, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.”...


Wonder what will happen to all that IndieGoGo cash that was, purportedly, being raised to help the  poverty-stricken Mr. Ford deal with 'nuisance'  lawsuits now?

After all, it is only $46,696 short of it's $50,000 goal, which must be reached in 19 hours.

You can read Mr. Ford's entire 'letter of apology' that most definitely was NOT delivered/read out loud by the mayor on television....Here...I suggest Mr. Dale keep a copy for posterity (and/or until the next time Mr. Ford starts making stuff up, which he clearly states in the letter that he did do in Mr. Dale's case, about a reporter again).


Railgate's Last Gasp...So If We'd Finished The Trial Would We Have Saved Money?


The latest, from Charlie Smith, in the GStraight:

B.C. AUDITOR GENERAL Russ Jones has proposed that the provincial government require people to waive solicitor-client privilege "for audit purposes" if taxpayers are going to foot their legal bills.

It's one of 10 recommendations arising out of Jones's just-released review of special indemnities covering private legal costs.

He also noted that the $6.4-million defence of Dave Basi and Bob Virk could have cost an additional $2 million.

That money was saved when the two B.C. Liberal ministerial aides pleaded guilty to lesser charges in 2010 in their corruption trial.

Halting the trial meant that 40 witnesses did not have to appear in court...


But if we had finished the trial and Mess'rs Virk and Basi had been found guilty wouldn't the province  have been under no obligation to pay court costs to the accused (i.e. the $6 million)?


Apparently, the government of British Columbia saw it that way at the time.

Specifically, the following is a passage of a letter from the Ministry of the Attorney General of British Columbia, dated April 19th, 2011 that was sent to a reader of ours (who then passed it along to us):

"...Indemnity coverage of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk's legal expenses was granted under and in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Administration Act and Guarantees and Indemnities Regulation. Under that authority, the then-Deputy Minister of Finance, Tamara Vrooman, set terms and conditions for coverage, which Mr. Basi and Mr. Virk each agreed to.

Among the conditions was that if an indemnified person were convicted, he would become liable to repay the amounts paid on his behalf under the indemnity. His predecessor having imposed that condition, Deputy Minister of Finance Graham Whitmarsh had the authority to amend the indemnities by removing it..."


Now, please go back and read the second paragraph, in red above, one more time.

Especially this part....

"...if an indemnified person were convicted, he would become liable to repay the amounts paid on his behalf under the indemnity..."



Based on the above, I can only surmise that, had we had gone ahead with the trial it would have cost us another $ 2 million.


Presuming that Messr's Basi and Virk had been found guilty at the trial's conclusion we would not have been forced to pay them $6 million.

Which means that the potential 'cost' of completing the trial and getting to the bottom of things would have been....

An actual savings to us of, again potentially, $4 million.


Funny that this is not the way this has been played by the media types on the Twittmachine so far.

Then again, what do I know given that I am, apparently, one of those cultish 'conspiracy theorists'.

Regardless.....Even if it had been $6 million + $2 million + another million or two in exchange for putting those 40 or more finest of the fine folks on the witness stand, under oath, to find out what really went down....Well....What did that Bogus Bollywood thing cost us again....And what did we get for that, exactly?


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 17.

TheSkyIsAVeryBig Place

One last lullaby.

For the road...

All Advent Juke and nothing but Advent Juke (i.e. no annoying politics, et cetera) is....Here.
Regarding that guy who wrote the song above and who, according to E., 'knows everything'... Some of you might be interested in...This.


The Opposite Of The Politics Of Destruction.


First...David Akin on the untimely passing of an internet denizen who was Dipper orange to his core, Rod Smelser:

...(O)ur relationship, such as it was, was based on the fact that I believe we took each other seriously. I wanted to read what he had to say and, though I don’t know for sure, he seemed to be interested in what I had to say. He would re-tweet and comment on my stuff and I would do the same to him. [We had a] common connection – a serious interest in politics — and that was all it took for each of us to take each other seriously when we bleated something out on Twitter.

And really, isn’t that what all of us want when it comes to political discourse? We want to know that others are listening to us. That we will not be insulted, demeaned, or hollered at for what we say about politics in this country but, rather, that our contributions will be considered, debated, and taken seriously...


Second...Rod Mickleburgh quoting former forest company negotiator Keith Bennett on how he 'got along' with the recently departed Lotuslandian labour heavyweight Jack Munro:

...“We did things that neither his membership nor my membership approved of, but we sure solved a lot of problems….If everybody could have the fights we had, and come away respecting each other and being each other’s friend, the world might be a lot better off.”...


Don't think there is anything else to say on the subject really.

Interestingly, despite my political leanings, Rod and I often disagreed. I did however appreciate how straight-up he was with his opinions - no agenda was ever hidden. And I did, indeed, see him change peoples' minds on the Twittmachine....
As for Mr. Akin...While I do not always agree with his journalistic M.O. (although sometimes I do!), I most certainly did appreciate it when he dealt respectfully with me after I briefly fell into the wurlitzer  awhile back.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 16.


Our tree is up.

In fact it is way, way up - perched on a table.

The idea is to keep it away from the flying squirrel-kitten (who is being guarded by the whackadoodle in the image above).


It's different for everyone, probably you included, but once our tree is up I always feel like the season is no longer in front of us but is instead upon us.


Today's tune is a bit of a change of pace as we all let the visiting begin!

If you just want the Advent Jukebox and nothing but, you can always find it.....Here
Jukebox listens so far....32,192.


Casino-Industrial Complex Approved 'In Principle'...Welcome To Pottersville!


But don't worry....

Be happy about super-sized floorplates because, according to FABula's header:

Vancouver development permit board approves new casino site, mayor says will take extra precautions to ensure no gambling expansion...


Does this mean that Mayor Robertson is in possession of some kind of uber-potent antidote against men of many hats who come forth with proposals that just cannot be refused?

Unfortunately, it would appear that the fine folks at Translink are not in possession any such antidote.


James Moore Apologizes For His 'Comments' But Not For His 'Laughter'.


Looking, instead, for the Advent Jukebox and nothing but (i.e. no politics and/or other distractions)?....You can find all the tunes below...Or you can go...Here.

Specifically, to the best of our knowledge the good Mr. Moore has not yet apologized, either on the Twittmachine or elsewhere, for the highly 'contextualized' laughter that directly followed the 'comments' he refers to above:

You can find Mr. Moore's comments in full, as recorded by CKWX's Sara Norman, ....Here.

Why the 'contextualization' jab above?....Well.... Apparently Mr. Moore first blamed the messenger/reporter, Ms. Norman, for quoting him 'out of context' in a 'ridiculous' manner....To the best of our knowledge the good Mr. Moore has not yet apologized to Ms. Norman either.


Has The NRA (Northern Branch Plant Division) Come To Victoria?



Looking, instead, for the Advent Jukebox and nothing but (i.e. no politics and/or other distractions)?....You can find all the tunes below...Or you can go...Here.

That's some image/word salading, from the Twittmachine, above, eh?

Apparently, it was 'triggered' by a story in the VT-C by Bill Cleverly whose lede (and a little bit more) goes like this:

Victoria is looking at ways to regulate the sale of firearms and ammunition in the city.

After hearing that a pawnshop was buying and selling guns, Mayor Dean Fortin wanted a staff report on possibly “restricting” the sale of firearms in the downtown core. But councillors Thursday broadened the scope to include “regulating” the purchase and sale of firearms within city limits...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...Victoria police said while firearms sales out of a downtown pawnshop concerns them, there’s nothing they can do. “Do we like the fact that it’s there? No,” said Victoria police spokesman Const. Mike Russell.

Apparently it was that list bit, from the Victoria police spokesperson that really got the fine folks from CSSA_CILA upset given the following rejoinder attached to their 'E-News' round-up for Dec 16, 2013:

Editor's note: This is yet another blatant example of police propoganda. Const. Russell, a mere public servant, is pushing an ill-informed and prejudicial agenda to harm a perfectly legal small business.

(Bolding all theirs - why not ALL CAPS!?... Not entirely sure)



What's the header to this post all about, anyway?


It turns out that the 'Canadian Shooting Sports Association' (CSSA) has a bit of a history with the fine folks from the American NRA as we noted last year (with an assist from a CBC story from 2010) in the wake of the dismantling of the long gun registry:

In 2005, NRA strategist Glen Caroline came to Canada to provide logistical support in the form of "political action" training for an upcoming federal election.
"Who better to show us how to protect our rights," said the CSSA's promotional material for the event, "than the most powerful lobby group in the world, the National Rifle Association?"
In 2006, former NRA president Sandra Froman was the featured keynote speaker at the CSSA annual meeting in Toronto. Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz co-hosted the town hall meeting for the event.
Earlier this year (2010), Breitkreuz also found himself in hot water when a news release from his office called the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police a "cult" and "politically motivated" for supporting the long-gun registry. He later apologized and forced the aide who sent it to resign.
That aide, Brant Scott, now works for CSSA as its communications director....


I guess if you can call the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police a 'cult', why not call the City of Victoria 'paranoid' for trying to keep guns off its streets.

And as for Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CILA) side of the 'alliance'? Well, there's this:

...The National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful lobbying group in the United States that advocates fewer gun controls, has been actively involved in trying to abolish Canada's long-gun registry for more than a decade, CBC News has learned.

Documents and correspondence obtained by the CBC show the NRA has provided logistical and tactical support to organizations such as the Canadian Institute for Legislative Action (CILA), established in 1998 to lobby Ottawa to shut down the registry.
The NRA provides the Canadian gun lobby group with "tremendous amounts of logistical support," and while the NRA's constitution prevents them from providing money, "they freely give us anything else," Tony Bernardo, an Ontario gun advocate and CILA's executive director, said in Canadian Firearms Digest in July 2001...


Whose Canada is this, anyway?

If you want a peek at the abject craziness and willful ignorance (and projection) that Mr. Harper's 'conservatization' of our body politic has wrought, hold your nose and have a look at the comment thread/conspiracy theories at the bottom of Mr. Cleverly's VT-C story...


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 15.


As explained in the prelude to this one, E. has the night off.

So it's just me in the Jukebox tonight.

And, given that I cannot possibly compete with Popeye the Spinach Guy, I thought I should pull out all the stops and do my best to rip-off Old Blue Eyes.

Well, that and the fact that I could see the moon when I took the dog out for a walk meant that I...

Want all the Advent Jukes and nothing but (i.e. no politics or other distractions)?....You can find them directly below...Or...Here.


Childhood Poverty...What James Moore Actually Said.



Update, Monday Dec 16th, lunchtime....Comment on Mr. Moore's 'apology' is....Here.

First, there was this story from CKWX'  Sara Norman:

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It appears the federal government won’t be helping BC get out of the top spot when it comes to child poverty.

“Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so.” That from Federal Minister of Industry James Moore who is also the Member of Parliament for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam. He says it’s the responsibility of the provinces to deal with child poverty, and Ottawa has no plans to step in....

Then, there was this response from Mr. Moore via that Newswatchy aggregatorish-type guy.

Which garnered the follow-up response from Ms. Norman:


What did Mr. Moore actually say in response to Ms. Norman's questions?


Here is the tape. Listen for the smirking laugh at the end, after a back and forth about child poverty, when Mr. Moore both asks and answers his own question ("Is it the government's...Is it my job to feed my neighbour's child?....I don't think so")


Isn't it the most wonderful time of the year for Preston Manning's former communications advisor to be asking and answering (and laughing off) such a 'question'?

If you get my most Christmassy of drifts.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 14


Update: If you just want the Jukebox (and nothing but the Jukebox)...It's also...Here.

The two E's and me went up the street today to get our Christmas tree from the Lions.

This year we got a small one because the idea is to put it up on a table to keep it away from the flying squirrel/kitten.

Not really sure that's going to work.

Anyway, because we haven't set-up the table setting yet the little guy (the tree, not the squirrel-kitten) is sleeping out on the deck tonight.

But not to worry.

He's staying warm wearing his hat while everyone else is...

Advent Jukebox platter spins so far.....27,084.


Saturday Morning Coming Down...In Bogota.


Bogota, New Jersey that is, circa 1956.


The adult in the picture is a still young Vin Scully who, in the wake of Red Barber's defection to the evil Yankees, was the 'new guy' calling play-by-play for the then 'Brooklyn' Dodgers.

Sixty years later, Scully can, and still does, do play-by-play on his own.

And he does it very well.

In addition, because he comes from that old school, he can still do without all of that over-the-top, abject homerism that is so all pervasive these days.


Mr. Scully's recent deification in in both baseball, and the wider world as well, is somewhat mystifying to me.

Then again, if it can happen to Frank Zappa, why not Vinny?


Maybe Fox News should look into this.

Because it all sounds like a series of stealth offensives in that war on that holiday that's coming.

Or some such thing.


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Advent Juke....Day 13.


E. got home late last night.

So, of course, I dragged her out to a gig this evening

Our rehearsal was about 20 minutes of going through one verse and one chorus of each tune - boom, boom, boom - right before the show, which was a low key affair but fun anyway. On the way home I asked what we should do before bed for the Jukebox.

E. suggested the song below which we recorded in the downstairs rec-room just before midnight with requisite animals, chew toys and decorations strewn all about..

To be honest, when we started I had no idea why the tune is associated with the season at hand.

If you hang on 'till the end you, like me, will learn why...

Advent Jukebox listens
so far....23,727.


The Advent Juke....Day 12.


Can't stop.

Can't explain.

Must pick-up a kid at the airport.

So I've gotta....

Advent Jukebox listens so far....20,544


Crowd Funded Scrounge-O-Rama For Mr. Ford...Wake Him Up Before He Go Goes.



What's next...

A Kickstarter to fund his new musical revue?

To be called...

Hoofers and Blow?

Is the Indigogo campaign depicted in the image above for real?....Who knows...But the fact that nobody (at least not yet) can tell for absolute sure actually says a whole lot about the state of play in Canadian politics today
And remember, Mr. Ford was foisted on the 'Center of the Universe' by some of the very same info-dominateers/politics-of-destructioneers who managed to convince a whole swath of the Canadian electorate that Stephane Dion was an evil flip-flopper who actually hated the environment...Even more interestingly, some of those dominateers/destructioneers apparently ended up working to keep Snooklandia afloat for another four years by employing, essentially, the same strate(r)gy...Which is ironic in the extreme if you really think about it (and/or the real owner of the somewhat infamous Volvo).


The High Flyer Bruce Hyer...A Victory For Ms. May, Or....


...Sean Holman?

From the Fed-Greens'  press release:

Elizabeth May and the Green Party of Canada are thrilled to welcome Bruce Hyer as Canada’s second Green MP!...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

... Bruce became an Independent MP in 2012 after leaving the NDP over his concern with their poor democratic record. The NDP, like all of the major parties, consistently “whips” their MPs -- they must vote the party line or face consequences. Bruce believes that being whipped does not allow an MP to perform their primary duty -- to represent their constituents’ voice in Parliament...


From Mr. Holman's documentary:

You can watch the entire thing, the doc I mean, not the high flyer....Here.
And, don't forget, the best archive of all that went down during British Columbia's 'Golden Era'  (and more!) is back up and running over at Mr. Holman's old place 'Public Eye Online'...Case in point, say you wanted to know what really happened between Lizzie May and, oh I dunno, how 'bout Briony Penn...Well, you could get right to it by typing both their names into PEye's search box....Just like....This.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent Juke...Day 11.


I got into a really big debate, with myself, about whether or not I should put this one up here.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that I am not a believer, in any way.

And I most certainly do not believe in 2nd comings most of all.

Which, apparently, is, at least in part, what advent was once (and still is for some) all about.

And here I thought it was all about the morally non-relative (i.e. absolute) joy of watching one's kids open a little door and pull out a chocolate (or a tune) every morning for a month or so.


If I was, even in the smallest way, a believer of something other than the inherent good that is in all people, the sentiments expressed in this song, by Ian Felice, depict  precisely how I would most certainly like to see it all to go down...

What's the young Mr. Felice got?..Well....How about three chords and the most essential of truths...Does anybody really need anything more than that (other than, perhaps, the occasional walkdown)?
Image at the top of the post?...The coming of the 2nd line, first verse...


The Advent Juke...Day 10


Alrighty then.....

I warned you they were coming.

Let the Santa Songs begin!


This Day In Snookland...Maybe They Could Create Some Jobs In...


You think the irony in this wee bit of (not quite really) snark is lost on me?

Think again.

Jeremy Nuttall of 24 Hr (Lotusland Division) brings things into focus with his latest. Here's his lede:

VANCOUVER - B.C. Premier Christy Clark is standing by her jobs plan in the face of rising unemployment.

The unemployment rate rose 0.2% from October to November, and the province has lost 15,500 jobs since November 2012, according to Statistics Canada...

And can someone remind me again how much, exactly, the Snooklandians wasted....errrrr... spent, not on job creation, but instead on an advertising blitzkrieg that was designed to be, according to Ms. Clark herself, an exercise in trolling for Facebook clicks?


The Casino-Industrial Complex...Pushing Back Against The Pushback.


It would appear that the folks from Vancouver-Not-Vegas are taking the public health high road to counter the 'inevitable' coming of the complex, at least for now.

And, in turn, it looks like the pushback counter-offensive from the flack-hackery, the comment surrender monkeys and the twitmachine freepers is a message that 'there is no increase in casino size!' b/w an undercurrent of anti-nimbyism counterspin and 'Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!' screechifying thrown in for good (proMedia maw) measure.



It is true that the number of tables and the number of slots on the license has not gone up in the current 'proposal' from the fine folks from Vegas.

But the actual casino floorplate has.


Now, with that in mind, do not forget that that this whole Casino-Industrial Complex thing was breech-birthed by the pushing and the pulling of the cronies of both the folks from Vegas and the Campbelleros right from the start.


As Ian Reid discovered through an FOI, it would appear that it all began down at the civic level (Smilin' Sammy/Ms. Rogers/Hatman division) in an immaculately pre-conceived, quasi-secret 'the fix-is-in' kinda/sorta way back in 2008.

And then there was the 'request for proposals' that sure looked like it was tailored for one specific company (where had we seen that 'contracts for cronies' m.o. before Railgate cultists?) that made the fine folks from Vegas the 'Preferred Proponent' on by the Campellerians at PavCo in a Vegas minute.

And, of course, how could we forget the 'Give us our $600 million dollar roof or we'll walk.' part of the deal.

You don't remember that?

Well, here is what apparently transpired between the then Campbellerian Minister responsible for BC Place, Mr. Kevin Krueger, and the Vegas folks' very fine local man on the ground, Mr. T. Richard Turner.

First, the good Mr. Turner's perspective on a 'phone call' he made to Mr. Krueger:

...I didn't try to influence any decision," said Turner, adding he made the call after Paragon had been picked for the project.

"What I recall saying is . . . if the roof doesn't go ahead, that's fine, but we can't build what we said we'd build in the bid because we're counting on synergies between BC Place as renovated and the new development," he added, recalling the conversation with (Kevin) Krueger, the minister responsible for BC Place.

"If you cannot proceed with the roof, no problem, but we'll have to downsize what we said we would do in the bid package," Turner added, recalling what he told Krueger during the phone conversation...

Next, here is Mr. Krueger's recollection of said phone call:

...In Krueger's recollection, Turner had characterized the issue as a "deal breaker."

"He wanted to make me aware that was the fundamental consideration to Paragon and that their bid wouldn't proceed at the same level if it wasn't a retractable roof," Krueger said Thursday...



With all of the above-recounted local history in mind, does anybody really think that these people will ever stop until they fill their Marksville Lousiana (World Class City!) - style casino to bursting with every bell-ringer and Pavlovian chain-yanker imaginable?

I'll come back to the thick and thin of the 'crony connection' aspect of this thing later....Why?....Well, because, once again....I've got a memory and I'm going to use it.
Hey...If you haven't already head on over to VancouverNotVegas to sign their petition...They are above 500 now...But that is still nothing and it will be ignored by everyone including the cheerleaders in the media if it does not swell significantly, and soon... I honestly don't get the apathy here given the importance of this thing... I mean, never mind Pottersville....Do we really want downtown Vancouver to become just one more cut-rate Atlantic City/Biloxi Mississippi (and ALL that entails)?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stopping The Casino-Industrial Complex...327 Is Not Enough.



Update: Lunchtime Tuesday....Signatories to petition now at 458...Still not near enough...Go and sign it now!...Also, some play on the CBC, but....The freepers/turfers have flocked to the comment thread in earnest...There is big money involved here folk and the pushback message of 'inevitability' will be massive.


For all kinds of reasons, and rampant cronyism is only one of them, I truly believe that the repeated, concerted attempts to build a Casino-Industrial Complex next to BC Place is a very bad thing, indeed.


The fine folks from 'Vancouver Not Vegas' done whole lot of the heavy lifting to stop this thing before.

And they are getting a little media play as they try to do the same thing again.

Like the following from Peter Meiszner of Global:

Opponents of plans for a new Edgewater Casino next to BC Place are hoping a petition will cause the city to reconsider.

The group “Vancouver Not Vegas” has launched an online petition, asking the Development Permit Board to refer the casino application back to city council. The board is set to consider the application on December 17, and construction could begin later this month.

So far, 327 people have signed the petition....

But 327 is not going to do it.


Go and sign the darned petition.


Why do these people keep coming back, and back, and back, and back?....Well, I think we all know the answer to that - right?


Monday, December 09, 2013

The Advent Juke...Day 9.


Good thing I didn't ride this morning.

Because when I left the lab this evening I was walking in a ...



Individual tracks of the first week's songs can be found....Here.