Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tide Was High And We're Movin' On.


Friday was the last day of classes for the term at the place out on the far western edge of Lotusland where I work.

And my two kids came to the final session of the gigantic pre-professional course I teach each fall.

We did a bit of song and dance show, pretty much the same one we've been doing since Bigger E. was four years old and littler e. was a baby.

It was great fun and the kids in the class really enjoyed it, I think.

But I realized something as we were finishing up and giving out the last of the candy canes.

Which is that my oldest kid is no longer a kid.

Which means I should probably release her from all this now.

On the plus side....

A young woman who trained with me awhile back is now doing the same thing with her little guy in the classes she teaches these days.


No matter how busy I get, and this fall was a real doozy on that scale, I always try to take one morning each weekend off to take the Whackadoodle to the beach.

Yesterday we got up early and headed out to the spit that runs parallel from the poop ponds at Iona Point between the end of the big river and the ocean.

The weather was unbelievably beautiful with all kinds of birds about including cormorants, herons, eagles, a kingfisher and even a swooping, screeching owl.

And the tide?

Well it was so high that it seemed like one big surge wave could wash the whole thing away.

But it didn't.


Politics and Advent Jukebox will start-up again tomorrow.


Relief from header ear worm can be accessed.....Here.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Regional #VanElxn Breakdowns That Only A 120 Surrender Monkey Army Could See Saturday Night.


Number cruncher/WikiScraper Chad Skelton of the VSun has them at his pro-blog.

Upshot(s)... Same diagonal divide Northwest to Southeast...Pointy held the usual strongholds with essentially the same aggregates as Ms. Always Campaigning from 2011...Gregor lost West Point Grey and a lot of support in Kits (including getting stomped there in the advances) as well as Cambie and even a good chunk of the Near-Eastern Townships...So...Where'd all that VV support go (from people like me and you)?....My take is that we, the people who went all the way into the big tent in 2008 and 2011, made the calculation and decided to stick one foot back out this time...And we were choosey (i.e. we didn't choose all COPE or all JIFF or all VisionLiteGuy or all Greeniac)...I mean just think what the School Board slate would look like today if we, the pissed-off and paying-attention, hadn't given the pragmatically progressive independents Jane Bouey and Gwen Giesbrecht more than 30,000 votes each)...


What am I really saying here after staring hard at Mr. Skelton's work for awhile?


Choosey Mothers (and Dads, and maybe a few kids and a bunch of old, hard lefties) whacked the Vision wizards upside the head and told them to smarten up.

And we did it without giving the farm back to the waterheads entirely.

Pretty sharp thinking from a good chunk of the Lotuslandian electorate I reckon.

Of course, with our at-large craptacular-shooting starchamber system there is also the 'Alphabet Effect' to consider, which was not trivial once again this time around...Specifically, surnames starting with the first thirteen letters of the alphabet went 8 for 10 on Council, 5 for 7 on Parks Board, and 5 for 9 on School Board...Heckfire!...Given all that, does the 'AE' mean that Sophie Woo was actually more like 15K better than Ken Denike (rather than the announced 3.5K)?....Ha!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Best Place To Election Night Coverage In Lotusland...



Latenight Update Upshot In Lotusland...Gregor holds on and VV keeps Council (but barely, really, when you look at raw numbers)...NPA takes Parks Board...Toss Up on School Board (late returns may shift) with potential Green balance of power there.


You can go to all the usual suspects to get the results and all that.

Heckfire, I even notice that the Spam-A-Lotteers are apparently cranking up their prop-shop with one new member that truly surprises me.


I reckon the real place to go at 8:01pm for real truth in all things analytical and critical is over at a Twittmachine for the ages.

Sure it's a parody account.

But who the heck cares!

Elections BC-type folks of the censorious variety....Please note two things....First, this is not the feed of an actual candidate...Second, the Tweet above was posted BEFORE election day....


Kinder Morgan v. The Citizen Protestors Of Burnaby...Was That A Threat?


Why yes, I believe it was.

Specifically, here is Scott Stoness vice president of 'regulatory' for Kinder Morgan's northern branch plant division (i.e. 'Canada'), according to a report by the BNow's Jennifer Moreau in the wake of yesterday's court injunction:

...Stoness also said Kinder Morgan has no intention of pursuing the millions in damages in the civil suit, provided the company can complete its work...


Now I get it.

We'll conflate free speech with on-the-ground-protests to make sure you do what we say or we'll make you pay.


Aren't you glad the good Mr. Gordon Campbell's Public Utility Commission wouldn't hold public hearings when he passed the legislation that made it possible to start selling off our pipelines to the former friends and associates of Kenny Boy Lay and the Bush Rangers, etcetera?


Friday, November 14, 2014

If You Can't Vote For Vision Vancouver...Who Should You Vote For?


I must confess that....

I've come to the conclusion that reducing the VV dominance on Council, School Board and Parks Board would likely lead to more open debate and public consultation.

Which really does matter.

And as a neighbour of mine, who used be a big wheel COPE Classicist, warned me way back in the heady 'big tent' days of 2008, 'When the Developers pay....The Pols will (always) let them play'.

Clearly my neighbour was right.


What to do if you have a progressive bone in your body and you want to place your vote with a group other than Vision (even if it is only for non-slate member or three)?

Well, Kaity Cooper has a great post up at Rabble on who and which party has the best stand on a range of progressive issues.

And if you click through on Ms. Cooper's post you will notice that the NPA is nowhere to be found on Affordable Housing, Poverty Reduction, Women's Issues, or Child Care.

Furthermore, please realize that no matter how reasoned and reasonable the good Mr. Kirk Lapointe appears (and I actually think he is in many ways), it is not he who is in control of the party who brought  us No Funcouver and Spam-A-Lot.

And, perhaps more to the point, as all Railgate Cultists know, in large measure it is the good Mr. Armstrong who is running the wurlitzer behind the NPA's curtain.

And, perhaps more disturbing, particularly from a Cultist-In-Lawish point of view, there is the matter that, when he needed a fixer to roll in that wurlitzer Mr. Armstrong brought in an old reliable from the Knotty Gordian days, Mr. Kelly Reichert, to do the job.

At least that's the story according to the VSun's Jeff Lee.

And, lest you think that none of that behind the curtain stuff really matters because, if he wanted to,  Pointy could go rogue if elected?


Never, ever forget what the NPA did to Philip Owen when Nettie Wild helped him learn that junkies and the sick are people too.


And as for the Greens and Ms. Carr...

Well, I'm with FABula on this one (see point #6) in that too often Ms. Carr just appears to 'Say Anything'. And we all know where that business ultimately leads.  I'm also concerned about the fact that it looks like Ms. Carr wants to play Kingmaker in the most expedient way if the Council seats are even halfway split according to the Courier's Mike Howell.


Aren't you glad Smilin' Sammy and the Spamaloteers took all that money to destroy the wards initiative back in ancient (i.e. pre-Twittmachine) times?


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Keef Report...The Commercialization Conflation.

Somewhat bizarre pretzel logic-assisted conflation of hypocrisy and a desire to prevent the commercialization of public schools from the good Mr. Baldrey it would appear.

But even if you are OK with the commercialization thing in general, there is the specific fact that, when things do not go its way on the ground in municipalities it wants to control, Chevron does throw its weight, and its money, around to partisan effect.

To wit, Chevron has gone bonkers in Richmond California, a refinery town where the city council has decided it wants the company to actually play by the state's health and safety rules in the wake of a 2012 refinery fire that generated a toxic plume that sent 15,000 residents to hospital.

Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times has the story:

...A few weeks ago, we described how the giant oil company Chevron was barraging little Richmond, Calif. (pop. 107,000), the site of one of its major refineries, with corporate PR disguised as community "news." Its instrument was an objective-looking website, known as the Richmond Standard, purporting to be a news portal for residents of Richmond.

Now we have more to say about how Chevron (2013 revenue: $220 billion) is trying to influence the upcoming municipal elections in Richmond, which pit a pro-Chevron bloc of city council members against an anti-Chevron bloc.

So far this year, Chevron has poured an astounding $2.9 millioninto three campaign committees in Richmond. Of that, at least $1.4 million has gone to a committee supporting the pro-Chevron candidates and $500,000 to a committee opposing the candidate critical of Chevron, including the current mayor, Gayle McLaughlin. The figures suggest that Chevron is preparing to spend at least $33 for the vote of every resident of the city 18 or older...

And how does this the world know all this?

Well, mostly it's the work of a lowly blogger (you know the folks Mr. Baldrey likes to call idiots without credibility) named Harriet Rowan, a graduate student at nearby UC Berkeley.

Interesting all that, no?

Previous Keef Reports can be


Monday, November 03, 2014

Night Time Is The Right Time...

...To show you my new guitar.

It's a Fender Telecaster. Standard version - rhythm machine, just right for me.

It's my birthday present from the two E's and C (and thanks Mom and Pop too!) b/w summer busking money.

My fingertips are still sore from the workout I gave it yesterday afternoon as soon as I got it home.


Speaking of fingertips...

Was sitting in a work meeting last week and had the box open on the table some teaching website stuff done during the boring parts.

Just before we got up to go a colleague sitting next to me looked over my shoulder asked what the heck had happened to the left side of my keyboard - especially the completely blotted-out/sanded-off 'a', 's', 'd', 'f' and 't' keys.

'Fret hand', I said. Then I showed her the flattened callouses on the fingertips of said hand.


Was really sorry to hear that the Brothers CaramosovTalk are no more. 

Tom and Ray Magliozzi were at the top of the heap in the weekend NPR line-up forever.

 I got hooked on them more than 20 years ago when we lived down in the Excited States.

And I still listen, even to the re-runs, most Saturday mornings on KQED on-line.

Obstensibly, Tom and Ray talked about cars and car repairs.

But in reality they really talked about the crazy, mixed-up (and interesting) world every single one of their callers lives in.

Tom, who was the eldest, 77 going on 12, passed away from complications of Alzheimer's yesterday.

All of us who listened and loved the dynamic duo will be happy to step in and 'Drive like Ray's brother!' whenever the need arises.


The Bellringer Report Revisited...There's No Spin Like Dean Spin.


In case you missed it, on the weekend Norm Farrell took the VSun's Vaughn Palmer to task on the latter's 'analysis' of the new Auditor General's first report:

...Curious the columnist would state the letter was signed by (temporary AG) Russ Jones, even though it is not. That could be Palmer's mistake or that of a helpful spin doctor aiming to shelter the former acting AG who months ago chose not to report on the unrecorded royalty issue. Palmer makes no mention of the fact that the $1.25 billion in outstanding credits is not recorded in the province's books and, if it were, the Liberal deficit record would be quite different.

Also interesting that Palmer has the NDP share responsibility for current financial incentives to the oil and gas industry, although the opposition party was last elected 18½ years ago and, over time, Liberals broadened the subsidy program so that today, almost all exploration work earns credits. In fact, a source told me that the acceleration of the producer credit program was government's response to industry concerns they had paid too much for drilling rights when the gas market was stronger....


Curious that Mr. Palmer didn't blame Dave Barrett for something too. After all, he must have done something in 1973 that was directly relevant to Ms. Bellringer's report.


Norm, who is really on fire these days, has another good numbers-based post up today on why, perhaps, fossil fuel extraction will soon be a real loser's game.....In more ways than Dean-assisted downgrading of Sparkle Ponies.


Drive-By Tweeting.....In Surrey?

Just an innocent little observational tweet on a point of general public interest by the good Mr. Marissen.



Perhaps not.


This Day In Snookland...How Quick Will This Win Be?


There was a little item about a protest to ESL cuts in the not-soGiant '98 yesterday.

The cuts are coming as a result of the Feds off-loading this to the province. The Snooklandian's stepped in with a one time stop-gap, but now the money's all gone and community college programs are being cut. 


While there is very little about this in the English language media there appears to be all kinds of stuff in  those other pretty important languages around here.

Will be interesting to see the response.

The comment response to the little NW piece is astounding....Gosh...So many people are mean-spirited and just downright mean...


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Autumn Jukebox...Tune #3.


Back when I was a much younger man (well, actually, still a kid really) a group of friends and I were on bit of a cross-provincial roadtrip...

On the way home from the Albertalands we took the southern highway that crosses the province just above the American border.

And when we got to Montrose in the West Kootenays in the dead of night we stopped and blasted Space Station #5 out the open car windows for a good 18, or maybe even 20, seconds before we hightailed it out of town.

Boy-oh-boy were we ever trouble makers during that summer the punk broke while we weren't even paying attention.

Interestingly, the guy who was driving the car is the same fine fellow who, a year or so later, started hollering at a bunch of kids at a house party while he was getting ready to hit his tee-shot on the fifth hole of the Cedar Hill Golf Course in Victoria.

Once he had their attention (they were blasting the just released Van Halen cover of 'You Really Got Me') the guy with the driver in his hands had only one thing to say, which was:

That fellow is now a well-respected in-demand accountant who would be happy to retire if he wasn't raking in the dough hand-over-fist.

And while I am not ready to retire, I did have a kinda/sorta milestone birthday a couple of weeks ago that has all the kids in the lab sending me notes and coupons and stuff for all those goods and services I am now eligible to receive discounts for given that that I have hit that 'freedom' number that Sammy Hagar sang about during his dumber than dumb years between really rocking with Montrose and just pretending with the Van Halen brothers and the other guy.

Which is not to say, given my new age and all that, that I actually feel like the character in the tune below that Mr. Springsteen wrote on spec, to run over the credits of the movie after the hair metal was done, awhile back.

But still.

On some days, just for a minute or two...


And how to deal with these transient intrusions of getting older/breaking downery?...Well, I dunno know about you but I've saved up (what with my summer busking and birthday money, just like when I really was a kid!) to buy a new electrical guitar...It's a rhythm machine built by the fine folks at Fender...Even have the colour all picked out...Will not even pretend to ask for the old guy discount.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

This Day In Snookland...The Neverending Obfuscation Of 'Clean' LNG.



All this business about clean LNG is total shite.


Because anybody who has been paying attention knows that you can't pretend the downstream 'clean' plants are all there is to it when all those upstream emissions generated in the production process would make the entire operation run at a level on par with that generated by the venerated Albertalands Sludge Sands.

But we've been through all that before. 

The thing is, the Snooklandians are now trying to move the legislative goalposts because they know it is not we, the local rubes, they have to convince down the road.

Instead, it is all those international buyers they have to bamboozle with their cleanshite.

Because, when you've got actual science and scientists at the top of the peer review ladder telling the world that LNG will NOT save the world from uber-dirty coal, you've gotta do something.

Meanwhile, back in Rube-Ville, the GStraight's Travis Lupick is keeping track of how we, the locals are being missled:

...The (Snooklandian) Ministry of Environment refused to answer questions for this story, as it has every time this reporter has requested an interview on LNG.

Speaking in favour of Bill 2 in the legislature on October 27, one B.C. Liberal MLA argued “the science is not yet settled” on climate change.

“I'm not naturally inclined to believe in the science of global warming,” said Laurie Throness, (Snooklandian) MLA for Chilliwack-Hope. “The steps we should take should be careful steps, steps that won't prove to have been wasting time and energy and money if it so happens that climate change turns out not to be global, not to be long term, not to be changeable.”...



Isn't that the place where certain pillars of Mr. Throness' community (i.e. The Superstitionists) were recently telling us how science and evidence-based medicine and all that has no role to play in keeping kids from coming down with the measles, et cetera?


How is that kind of wrong-headed fanatically superstitious thinking (a thinking that much of the proMedia reports straight-up, by the way) working out for everyone here, there and everywhere?


How's it working out?


What Is The 'Opinion' Of Dean Del Maestro Worth Today?

Yesterday, Stephen Harper's former chief-screamer Dean Del Maestro was convicted on three counts of election fraud which could lead to three years in prison.

And after the verdict was announced here's what the good Mr. Dell Maestro had to say:

...That's her (i.e. the judge's) opinion. My opinion is quite different."...

But here's the thing, in her decision judge Lisa Cameron had this to say about Mr. Del Maestro's testimony during the trial:

...(Judge Cameron) said that she found Del Mastro wasn't credible, "frequently obfuscated" during his testimony and that there were a number of inconsistencies...

Which begs the question...

What, exactly, is Mr. Del Maestro's 'opinion' worth now?


Praise The Lawyers!



Seventy-four percent of the lawyers at least:

Members of the Law Society of British Columbia have voted 74 per cent in favour of reversing the society's earlier approval to recognize graduates of Trinity Western University's School of Law...

Which led to an interesting response form the school's spokesthingy:

..."The university is disappointed with this vote”, said Trinity Western University spokesman Guy Saffold. “Trinity Western believes in diversity and the rights of all Canadians to their personal beliefs and values. A person’s ability to study and practise the law should not be restricted by their faith."...

Why interesting?

Well, personally, I don't see how institutional discrimination and enforced bigotry facilitates anything that even remotely approximates diversity, rights, personal beliefs and/or the removal of restrictions on faith.

Quite the opposite actually.