Friday, July 31, 2015

This Late Night Friday Before Long Weekend In Clarkland...Babine FP's Coroner's Inquest Response From Minister Responsible.


The Coroner's Inquest into the deaths of Robert Luggi and Carl Charlie at the Babine mill's dust-fueled explosion has concluded and, after ruling the tragedy an accident, the jury and the coroner have a total of 41 recommendations and they've called on Worksafe BC to make things better according to Charelle Eveyln's piece in the PG Citizen:

...(Presiding coroner Chico) Newell also highlighted the shaky fire inspection record at the mill, which sits on native-owned land.

Evidence presented during the inquest revealed a lack of regulation regarding fire inspections on unincorporated and First Nations lands.

As part of his testimony, Burns Lake fire chief Jim McBride said the mill was subject to regulation by the federal fire marshal, who McBride said he might have met once in his 17 years heading his department.

Newell called on WorkSafe and the office of the Fire Commissioner to collaborate to create a regulation for an annual fire inspection and for the provincial Minister of Justice to ensure the office has the necessary resources to inspect industrial facilities on those lands. He also recommended changes to the province's Fire Services Act so that that the B.C. Fire Code applies to unincorporated and First Nations land...

And what does the Minister responsible, Ms. Shirley Bond, have to say about that?


As you might expect, it's...

Blah-blah-blah talk in the form of a press release:

Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond released the following statement in response to the B.C. Coroners Service Babine inquest jury recommendations:

“This has been a very difficult process for the community and the families involved and again I want to extend my condolences to those who were injured or lost loved ones in the Babine mill tragedy.

“I want to thank the inquest jury for these recommendations that will help to guide future actions to keep workers safe. The jury has issued recommendations to a wide variety of agencies including the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour, to various other provincial government bodies and external organizations.

“The Babine Forest Products Inquest (July 31, 2015) jury recommendations received today will be reviewed and inform the efforts already underway across government to ensure worker safety. These efforts include the complete review of the jury recommendations from the Lakeland Mill Inquest (May 14, 2015). Government intends to report back in writing to the coroner on the work being done on all of the recommendations.”

And, as you might also expect, the press release from the good Minister had no link to the actual decision and recommendations.

Luckily, the regional division of the MoCo has put them up for the six or eight of us, plus the families and loved ones involved, will actually read this weekend.



This Day In Clarkland...Lost, Leaving & Returning.


We've been away on one of the farthest outermost edges of Lotusland.

So I shut the mojowire down completely for a week or so.

And it was good.

And now, today, I see that our fine Premier has put 'He-Who-Keeps-Promises' at the top of Translink Pops so that he can face-off and/or make-like-Monty-Hall with one of the layers of all that now invisible astroturf that carpets the (toll-goin'-up!) ice bomb bridge.

Or some such thing.


But nevermind all that.

Because the real news I missed while I ceased paying attention is that the Weakerthans are, apparently...

No more.

You can get a polished live rendition of most of Mr. Samson et al's catalogue...Here.
Unlike the Two E's, I eschewed the renting of the wetsuit...Not because I wasn't bloody freezing before the numbness came on but more out of homage to my Dad who never would have considered such a thing, especially that time my younger/middle brother made up the fake 'We Are Really From Texas' license plates that we slapped on the microbussed K.Van the time we headed out into the rainforest waves lo those 35 years or so ago...


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Musical Isolationism...v.2...Safe European Home.


I really wanted that second Clash album.

And it turned out to be pretty good, I guess.

Especially if you dig the pre-Butch Vig bombast of Sandy Pearlman's production.

And the American critics sure as heckfire did.

Like it, I mean.

Which is just a meandering digressive way of telling you that 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' was not a game changer for me.

After all, I already had the green/real version of the first album and a whole lot more by that time.

But the thing I didn't know until pretty recently is that my copy of 'Rope' turned out to be a gateway to everything, both forwards and backwards, for my little brother who was four years my junior and in his middle teens at the time.

And it was he who became the real musician in the family with real bands and real tours and all that means.


Having said all that, I still get a kick out of the opening of the opener to the album, which is the shot-out-of-a-cannon drums/bass/guitar of 'Safe European home'. And then comes the classic, driving Strummer-dominant vocal that Pearlman apparently did his best to bury in the mix.

The thing is, when you listen to the isolated it's impossible to ignore, once again, just how important Jones was to the entire operation on every level...

And here's the entire thing, performed about 18 months after the fact, and a few months after the real masterpiece of the third double album was released, captured on To-Hell-With-Bloody-VHS-&-Beta Super 8 by some guy in the crowd...

Strummer talks about the how important he figured the ruthless driving of Johnny was...Here.
Volume 1 of 'Musical Isolationism' can be found...Here.


This Week In Clarkland...The Magical Walk With The Man In The Blue Suit.

I mean, gosh...

It was only a couple of weeks ago that our 'Say Anything' Premier was telling all and sundry who still listen to her (and/or believe LMiller and SMills tweets to be reality-based) that the early onset of the wildfire season was being caused by a temporary blip in the weather that could be beaten by playing chess.

And then, suddenly, she started singing an illogical song about how massive herds of Hindenburgs filled to bursting with GHG emissions would save us all from the climate change that is burning the province down

Or some such thing.



Given all that, how come, what with the recent wee bit of rain and all,  Ms. Clark has not yet tweeted that she and Mr. Blue Suit actually solved the entire climate change problem/non-problem during their walk in the burning bush woods the other day?


Is it possible that she's actually saving that one for her next tete-a-tete with funky ol' uncle Preston?


You know...

What's this 'Mr. Blue Suit' thing all about Alfie?....Sandy Garossino of the VObserver explains...Looks like the well-worn Rovian strate(r)gy of avoiding the big city media questions by playing the regionals for suckers is starting to backfire....I've got a theory, dubbed the 'Every Kid Everywhere Wants To Pull A Jesse Brown' that I'll get to soon.


MCFD Inquiry...VSun v. VSun.


First, the Dean of all things Lotuslandian legislative, Mr. Palmer:

This week the child welfare ministry stood accused of some of the most horrific misconduct in an oft-troubled history: defying and misleading the courts and delivering four children into the hands of their abusive father.

The established watchdog over the ministry, Turpel-Lafond, had already pronounced what sounded like a verdict. “This is in some ways a new low for the child welfare system in B.C.,” she said in one interview. “This is a child welfare ministry that for some time has felt that it doesn’t have to answer to independent oversight or to a court,” she declared in another.

Adding to the complications were outstanding legal and potential personnel issues. The government needed to avoid the rush to judgment that occurred in the health ministry three years ago, when an internal investigation-turned-witch hunt led to an unsustainable string of firings that ruined reputations and lives.

Seeking an independent assessment of the ministry from an experienced public servant, the B.C. Liberals sought out one who was present at the creation. Fired by Mike Harcourt, rehabilitated by Glen Clark, unforgiven by Gordon Campbell, Bob Plecas was back.

“Another Clark move,” one might say. Worthy of Premier Glen, but authored by Premier Christy...

Next, he who once eschewed a certain war room (allegedly), Mr. Mulgrew:

Children and Families Minister Stephanie Cadieux has declared war on B.C.’s children’s advocate by appointing Bob Plecas to review the latest scandal to beset the government.

In the face of a damning decision that lambasted her ministry, Cadieux is making the problem worse with her response to findings that child welfare workers gave an abusive dad the opportunity to commit sex abuse while labelling the caring mom crazy...


...Instead of inviting the woman with the legislative mandate to get involved (Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond), Cadieux gave the job Friday to the longtime, retired bureaucrat.

She said Turpel-Lafond has exhibited bias.

Bias? For speaking up for the kids and the family? That’s lame.

Plecas has no statutory authority and it’s unclear what kind of clout he has: Why would staff talk with him? Why would anyone involved who might face further legal proceedings speak without being lawyered up? And he’s going to get it all done and deliver a report by Oct. 13?...


...Plecas’s opening platitudes didn’t inspire confidence: “Look at what’s there, look at this case, use it as a way to focus and see if there are systemic things that I can make recommendations about that will make it better for other children. That’s why I am doing it.”

Has he read the decision? How about those children who were abused; how about doing something for them and their mom?

This is the same kind of slipshod review process the Liberals employed to try to sweep the health firings under the carpet. And look at what that is costing us.

The systemic issue here isn’t about centralization of the ministry, as the well-meaning pensioner opined: It’s how the ministry deals with allegations like this in the context of high-conflict divorces; this case isn’t unique...

..(As Turpel-Lafond said) in her broadside of a reply to Cadieux’s announcement:

“I want to make it clear that, as this case did involve the sexual abuse of a young child who was involved with the ministry, I will continue to monitor this file and will in due course make a determination concerning an independent investigation and report by my office.

“The province’s hiring of an external contractor cannot and does not affect, limit, or change the authorities and responsibilities of my office to represent the children and youth of B.C., including statutory powers of investigation. Nor does it affect the roles and responsibilities of the Vancouver Police Department with regard to any pending criminal investigation of the abuse of the child.”

Given the hole this government is in with its treatment of families in crisis, you would think Cadieux would stop digging.



It looks like maybe someone fell asleep at the Postmedia editor's desk kill switch.

Of course, some members of the Lotuslandian puffed-up punditry club will soon tell us that this is actually a great example of big media organ diversity of opinion.


There is also the small matter of the follow-up puffed-up-puffery in a time of deflector-spike-spin need in extremis.


There is a Club?...You bet there is.
And why, exactly, is the Mr. Palmer not floating the 'Ombudsperson Solution' on this one while simultaneously pooh-poopy-poohing the problems with 'inquiries'?...And, I've just got to ask...Does the uber-connected, insider-accessed Mr. Palmer, knowing how the Premier's office runs (and who really runs it), really think that this was actually Ms. Clark's doing when it comes to the specifics of the thing?


Sunday Song: Every Time The Sun Comes Up...

...I'm In Trouble.

Bigger E. brought this one to my attention, somewhat surreptitiously.

It's by Sharon Van Etten and I dig it for two reasons.

1) The single fretted capo-upping to C#.

2) It just slays me.

Pretty sure the two e's will recognize the light tapping of the Father's Day foot tambourine....


And, just in case you're down there later this afternoon/early evening, you can catch Bigger E. doing her thing at Granville Island:


Friday, July 24, 2015

This Day In Clarkland: MCFD Investigation...The Wizards' Devilry Is In The Details.


It's Friday.

It's the middle of summer.

So, of course, we get the announcement of an 'investigation' due to a court ruling in which the presiding judge, Paul Walker, noted the following in his reasons for judgement:

[1080] In the course of pursuing custody of the children in favour of B.G., the Director decided that she did not have to abide by orders and directions of this Court about B.G.’s supervised access to the children. No credence can be given to the Director’s current advice to this Court, communicated through counsel, that she will abide by orders of this Court. Her advice is inconsistent with the position she recently took before another judge of this Court.

[1081] The Director provided false and misleading information (in the Form “A”) to the Provincial Court to support the Apprehension and failed to correct or amend even though its social workers (depending on whom and at what point in time), knew or ought to have known it contained false and misleading information. She also relied on the Form “A” and other incorrect affidavit evidence when supporting B.G.’s custody application in this Court, when pursuing her application for an extension of the temporary custody order in the First Trial, and seeking the restraining order against J.P. in the Provincial Court. The Director improperly interfered with Mr. Colby’s investigation because she did not agree with an order made by this Court.

[1082] The Director delayed in delivering documents requested by another branch of government in order to process the plaintiffs’ claims for compensation. Her conduct was either deliberate or the result of gross neglect but in either case the conduct was callously indifferent to the children’s needs.



While it is good to see that Bob Plecas has been appointed to head an inquiry into this matter the following, taken directly from the BC Liberal government press release announcing the inquiry, is troubling:

...The review is not intended to retry the court case, but rather to examine policy, practice and provide recommendations as to where there are gaps...

Why troubling?

Because we all know what happened in the Health Care Worker Firing inquiry after the terms of reference were restricted.



All Roads From The Party Of Hate Lead Straight To Trumpville.



Somebody gets it (almost) right.

And gets it into the NYTimes.

From Timothy Egan's OpEd:

The adults patrolling the playpen of Republican politics are appalled that we’ve become a society where it’s O.K. to make fun of veterans, to call anyone who isn’t rich a loser, to cast an entire group of newly arrived strivers as rapists and shiftless criminals...


...They say he’s trashing the Republic brand. They say he’s “stirring up the crazies,” in the words of Senator John McCain. But Trump is the brand, to a sizable degree. And the crazies have long flourished in the Republican media wing, where any amount of gaseous buffoonery goes unchallenged.

And now that the party can’t control him, Trump threatens to destroy its chances if he doesn’t get his way, running as an independent with unlimited wealth — a political suicide bomb.

Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout “You lie!” at their commander in chief...


...Consider Trump’s swipe against McCain’s military service, and by extension all veterans who have been involved in the fog of combat. Republicans were apoplectic at Trump’s claim that McCain was no war hero...


...“All of our veterans, particularly P.O.W.s, deserve our respect and admiration,” said Jeb Bush. The Republican National Committee was quick to lay down a similar principle, saying, “There is no place in our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”

No place except a presidential campaign, that being the 2004 attempt to destroy the honorable Vietnam service of candidate John Kerry. Where was Bush’s “respect and admiration” when his brother was benefiting from a multimillion-dollar smear of a Navy veteran with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart?...


...Now, the only way to trump Trump is to act like a fool in public. So Senator Rand Paul, formerly seen raising good questions about national issues, fired up a chain saw and took it to the tax code a few days ago — a pathetic stunt. And there was Senator Lindsey Graham, flummoxed by Trump’s exposing him as sycophant to a plutocrat, destroying his cellphone in a blender. It only made us long for the real thing: Dan Aykroyd’s Bass-O-Matic...



Given all that, why the comment about Mr. Egan 'almost' getting it right?

Because, as Driftglass notes, this hasn't been going on for 10 years, but instead for more than 40.

Case in point, Mr. Egan goes back to the 2004 Swiftboating of John Kerry but he doesn't mention the black baby smearing (and more) of John McCain in 2000. And he certainly doesn't mention Willie Horton and all the black murderers and rapists that voted for Dukakis in 1988 or the start of the rodentia-based copulalatory Segretti-ization of everything in 1971.

The question is.

If the Party of Hate (Northern Branch Plant edition) gets another round in Canada, who will emerge as our good Mr. Trump?

Think that question is over the top?


Never forget that the Segretti-zation of the Great White North has been going on for awhile now.



Thursday, July 23, 2015

Starlee Kine Made Most Of The Pilot To Her New Podcast Three Years Ago...


....Which is way before podcasts blew up.

Because they've only been really big since, apparently,  the end of last summer.

Or some such thing:

Vanity Fair: Tell us about the genesis of Mystery Show.

Starlee Kine: Someone had come to me and asked if I wanted to do a radio show, and I had never wanted to do a radio show, because I couldn’t think of an idea that was different enough from This American Life. And I didn’t want to do aStory Corps thing, I was kind of tired of doing personal stories and stuff. Then suddenly it just . . . I knew I liked mysteries, so I went out and made a lot of the pilot three years ago. Not the whole thing, but a substantial amount. It was kind of before podcasts were big, because podcasts have only been big since last September.


My favourite episode of 'Mystery Show' so far?

The one where Ms. Kine vows to find out why a little known book written by a friend of hers happened be in Britney Spears possesion for what appeared to be no good reason at all.

And it is not my favourite episode because of anything Ms. Kine learns about the reading habits of Ms. Spears.

Instead, what slays me is a fantasmagorically digressive phone conversation between Ms. Kine and the guy from Ticketmaster.


You can listen to the entire thing for free, sans service charges....Here.

Previously, Ms. Kine did some really great stuff on Ira Glass' little radio show and, even, occasionally, Mr. Goldstein's Wiretap...You'd almost think all these audio nerds hang out together or something.


The EMail That BC Ferries Didn't Want You To See (Allegedly).


Because of some shenanigans that were going down earlier this year the Dippers submitted a freedom of information request for correspondence between BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan and Clarklandian Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The request to BC Ferries came back empty.

And then Mr. Corrigan told CBC North that this was because he only has face-to-face type communications with with Mr. Stone.

But then, earlier this week a similar request made to the flipside (ie. the transportation ministry) turned up the following:

Which looks to be another incidence of a government (in this case government 'associated') Email disappearing.

Which is why the Dippers are making a fuss about it. 

The weird thing is that, in this case at least, Mr. Corrigan looks to be doing a good thing defending a program that is actually useful, both for the corporation and the folks that work for it.

And that leads me to the issue that I'd like to fuss about here.

Which is...

Why do folks like the good Mr. Stone and the other Clarklandians, not give a hoot-in-heckfire about whether or not BC Ferries does a good job with service and schedules and price-points and all that?

Could it be that the real reason is simple as...

They never have to actually take a freaking ferry like the rest of us!



Why would I even dare to suggest such a thing?

Well, the following is from a most interesting government 'luxury expense' expose by David Ball in yesterday's Tyee. Here's the lede and a little bit more (bolding mine):

British Columbia's children's watchdog wants to know why Ministry of Children and Family Development staff expensed what appear to be luxury services among their more than $5.8 million in credit card transactions over the past year.

A list of nearly 14,000 credit card charges made by the ministry in the 2014-2015 fiscal year included a number of purchases at golf and country clubs, spa resorts and five-star hotels, along with bills for helicopter rides, leather and fur stores and gourmet chocolates. The Tyee obtained the list from DataBC's online public registry.

The Tyee brought the spending to the attention of the Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, who confirmed she wants the ministry and B.C.'s auditor general to look into "expenses that look like luxury items."

According to the registry, in the 2014-2015 fiscal year nearly $2 million was spent on air travel, including nearly $140,000 on Helijet trips...


...The Tyee did not compare its apparent "luxury" expenses with those of other ministries; nonetheless only one other department billed for Netflix, another for the same heliskiing lodge, and a number frequently travelled by Helijet...


To finish up...

I like to take my dog down to that park where the north arm of the Big Muddy meets the sea out past YVR.

Which means that we walk along the tide line right under the flight path of those souped-up 'copters.

Does this mean I have to start elevating my blood pressure while making like Howard Beale even when I'm at the beach?



This Day In Clarkland...Drawing The (Invisible?) Line On LNG Concessions.


Lotulandian media commentator/cut-and-paster nonpareil, Mr. Norman Spector has, apparently, read a sparkle pony-papered puff-piece by Claudia Cattaneo in the Financial Post and has the following to tell the Twitterverse:

But what is Mr. Spector's conclusion based on?

Well, by squinting, hard, at the actual piece stormin' Norm points us to,  I believe these are the relevant passages:

...In this age of energy-infrastructure bashing, aboriginal unrest, high environmental expectations, low oil and gas prices, the B.C. government's ratification of the first LNG project is historic.

"We believe we have arrived at a balanced approach that ensures we represent a competitive jurisdiction where proponents can invest and derive a fair rate of return, while at the same time ensuring that British Columbians who own the resource that lies at the heart of this industry receive a fair return for granting access to that resource, " B.C. Finance Minister Michael de Jong said in an interview...


...The BC LNG Alliance, a lobby group that represents major multinationals and state-controlled companies that are proposing as many as 20 LNG plants, has been lobbying for more breaks, including the province's sales tax.

Mr. De Jong (sic) said the government is not prepared to consider such relief...


We all know how much and how often Cookie Dough Mike's words are actually backed by his subsequent deeds and actions.

And as for lobby groups with bags of money and contracts to dole out to wizards and pols when they are not in government?

The Clarklandian braintrust would never, ever listen to/side with /join-up with the likes of them.


Why a sparkle pony-papered puff-piece that reads like it was ghostwritten by a passel of PAB-botians?....Well, if you go read the actual FiPo piece you will see that it contains no details/specifics of what was given away by the Clarklandians (and the Harperians, btw) and it is filled to bursting with all those made-up 'investment' numbers that are driving Grant G crazy...And for good reason...To wit...Why is it, exactly, that the much lower numbers  in Brent Jang's December 2014 piece in the Globe and Mail are never cited vs. those magical US$36B/Cdn$46B numbers that are constantly pumped by the pom-pom wavers?


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Musical Isolationism....v1...Who Knew You Could Make Loving Fun When You Are Out Of It.


Out of love I mean.

Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was made in Sausalito almost 40 years ago.

A guy named Ken Caillat engineered the thing and he's written a book about it.

Here's a wee bit about the making, specifically, of the tune 'You Make Loving Fun':

..So, in those next few hours, we had made a dramatic change in the track. At one point Stevie wanted to do something, too, and, of course, what she did best was sing. We played around with some ideas, and, eventually, Stevie and Lindsey were sitting on two high stools out in the studio, each of them in front of a microphone, working on background parts, singing, “You make lovin’ fun, you make lovin’ fun . . .” 

When I stopped the tape to rewind it, Stevie suddenly looked at Lindsey and cried out, “Fuck you, asshole! You can go to hell!”
Lindsey responded with a tirade of his own. “When we get back to L.A., I’m moving out.”

“I don’t want to live with you, either!” They went back and forth, screaming and yelling at each other.

I couldn’t rewind the tape fast enough. 

When I got to the beginning of the tape, I hit RECORD. Stevie and Lindsey looked at each other. Then they turned toward their microphones and, right on cue, right in the middle of a fight, they nailed their parts!... 

I was flabbergasted...

Which is interesting and all that, particular for real fans of the band.

But what what is really fantastically interesting in the extreme is the audio snippet of an isolated vocal from Buckingham and Nicks that Mr. Caillat also includes with his E-book.

Clearly the magic was really more than just the sum of the individual parts.

That album was never a favourite of mine, but I was in my last year of highschool and all that entails (and more, musically and otherwise) when it hit big...Thus, as only music can do, even when I hear one of the album's tunes on one of the local radio stations that just keep on ruining classic rock for everybody, a little part of me is taken right back to that time and place...I'm telling you, it really is a crazy mixed-up musical world we live in.


The Keef Report...You Keep On Using That Word.

All of which brings to mind the infamous words of Inigo Montoya about those who conflate messages and messengers and who like to misuse, well, you know...


Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here.


Big Oil In Our Schools...Have Their Media Enablers Been Completely Co-Opted?


Remember when Chevron's supporting of technology-ish programs in public schools became an issue during last fall's Lotuslandian municipal election? 

And remember how some folks, including some of the usual proMedia suspects (Keef!), made fun of those who were concerned that ulterior motives were at play here.


It looks like, when it comes to this 'infiltrating-the-schools' business at least, Big Oil just may have at least one of their media enablers in the bag.

Jesse Brown has the story at Canadaland.

Here's his lede:

When teenagers at a Vancouver high school demanded in a November 2013 open letter/petition that the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers stop spreading oil sands "propaganda" to their school in the form of free lesson content, CAPP was adamant: they did no such thing.

Yes, they acknowledged sponsoring Energy IQ, "an energy education resource" distributed for free online and to 13,000 classroom teachers in public schools across Canada. CAPP's involvement was clearly labelled.

But CAPP spokesperson Geraldine Anderson told the Vancouver Sun that the oil sands lobby group "had no control over content or development of lesson plans.” She directed questions about the educational material to the people who, she said, created it - CAPP's partners at Canadian Geographic.

Another CAPP representative, Chelsie Klassen, reiterated that message to CANADALAND this week, stating that it was Canadian Geographic, not CAPP, who "created a teaching tool that provides independent and objective energy information in Canada’s classrooms."

Canadian Geographic supported CAPP's story in comments to the Vancouver Sun (they have not responded to CANADALAND's requests). Gilles Gagnier, then the magazine's vice-president of content creation (currently its publisher) said that “Canadian Geographic maintains full editorial control of all content created for this program."

Documents obtained by CANADALAND seem to tell a different story...

Head on over Canadaland to see Mr. Brown's documentary evidence, and see if you find this as egregious as I do.


Me thinks that Canadian Geographic may soon be in news for other reasons pretty soon....Stay tuned to Canadaland for that stuff as well...


Will The Real Taylor Swift Please Stand-Up.


Last night the two E's called their Grandma across the Salish Sea to thank her for a gift received and to see how she was doing.

And just before Bigger E. handed me the phone, they got to talking about how Taylor Swift is/is not like Joni Mitchell.

E. was very diplomatic and said that if Ms. Swift were to be tagged with such a comparison it would be very hard to live up to.

And then, this morning the following came across the Blog Crawl courtesy the (almost) always contrarian Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution:

Taylor Swift, Straussian?

The case TCowen makes regarding TSwift has something to do with the fact that she is taking her '1989' tour to China and, well, there are her initials which are the same as a certain square.

Crazy mixed-up world we live in if this uber-lyfted capitalist agency of mega-wardrobe/clothing line changes (inadvertently?) makes Ms. Swift a controversial change agent for something that actually matters.

Or some tapestry of justice type thing.

Ironically or not, the Guardian has a wee bit more.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Trump He May Be Crazy...But He's Playing By The Rovian/Atwater/Ailes Rules.


All kinds of folks are aghast that Donald Trump said crazy things about John McCain's war record recently.

But this is absolutely nothing new.

In point of fact, it is taken directly from 'The Playbook Of The Smear' that Karl Rove exhumed from Lee Atwater's tomb so that he could foist George W. Bush on the world.

Driftglass, fly-over blogger extraordinaire and former denizen of Steve Gilliard's salon, explains (with an assist from an 11 year-old piece by Richard Gooding in The Atlantic):

"...On February 2, 2000, John McCain arrived in South Carolina red-hot, a 19-point-upset victor in New Hampshire over George Bush. In the final days there, some of Bush’s aides had pressed him to turn aggressively negative. Bush had resisted. His political guru, Karl Rove, overconfident for too long, had agreed.

Now, in South Carolina, Bush had lost close to a 50-point lead. With just 17 days before the vote, his back was firmly against the wall...

...At a meeting of Bush’s top staff that first day, the signal went out “to take the gloves off,” Time magazine reported at the time...

...The “revolting” e-mail—alleging that “McCain chose to sire children without marriage”—was from Richard Hand, a professor of the Bible at Greenville’s Christian-fundamentalist Bob Jones University, Bush’s very first campaign stop, on February 2. With the school’s ban on interracial dating still in effect then, the veteran political reporter Curtis Wilkie told me “he might as well have gone to a goddamned Klan rally” as go to B.J.U.

...“This whole thing, it was orchestrated by Rove, it was all Bush’s deal.… It was pretty rank,”...

...McCain’s closest aides were so stunned by the angle of the attack that at first they tried to shield him from it. “We expected one thing, and it was quite the opposite,” said Fletcher, who personally saw the “Negro child” flyers “all over every car” at the debate. “We figured they would go after him on some sort of philandering issue. McCain had pretty well knocked all that down [by admitting in his 1999 autobiography that, at some point after his five and a half years in a North Vietnamese prison, he’d been unfaithful to his first wife], but I always figured that would sort of be the underground thing there. But, man, the child thing.… I’ve seen the worst form of racist sons of bitches in the world in David Duke, but this was unbelievable.”...

...There were other whispers as well: McCain had slept with prostitutes and given his wife V.D.; he’d turned traitor in the “Hanoi Hilton,” or was mentally unstable from his captivity, or was a Manchurian Candidate, brainwashed to destroy the G.O.P...

...For just meeting with the gay Log Cabin 
Republicans, McCain was labeled the “Fag Army” candidate..."

In 2000, Team Bush destroyed McCain using tactics far, far more despicable than Trump's offhand remark today. And for his sins, the Party of Lincoln nominated George W. Bush for President.


And the real thing, here?

Crap like this almost makes Scott Walker and the Canadian guy seem reasonable.

If you get my drift.

That last bit came up in Driftglass' and his partner Bluegal's latest podcast...Go give it a listen...And keep this in mind when you start to hear all this mealy-mouthed codwallopanarianism about how the Fed-Dippers' negative ads are somehow equivalent to what the CPC smear machine is doing with endless fear mongering, trumpeting of Hey Zeuss' love of C-51, and terrorist propagammon videos.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Anti-Keef Report...To The Hysterics Go The Spoils.


In case the Keef missed it...

The Mars Water Bomber, which is owned by a guy, it would appear, who still hasn't paid his shakedown tab with the Wizards of Clarklandia, is back on the job:

What's it all about Alfie?



Previous (non-anti) Keef Reports can be found...Here.


Shorter Dean Of Legislative Press Gallery...If Petronas Deal Goes Bad, Blame The NDP.


You think I'm joking?

Here's is the good Mr. Palmer's latest lede and a wee bit more:

After all the buildup for the special summer session of the legislature, the key debate on the B.C. Liberal government’s controversial liquefied natural gas agreement came and went in short order this week.

Bill 30, the LNG Project Agreements Act, passed second reading, the stage where MLAs debate the merits in principle of a given piece of legislation, after just three days on the order paper.

Only half of the New Democratic Party MLAs exercised their right to speak against the enabling legislation for the 25-year deal between the Liberals and a consortium led by Malaysian-government owned Petronas.

Those who did speak tried not to say anything that would contradict party leader John Horgan, who said at the outset of the debate that “we do not under any circumstances oppose development of this (natural gas) resource.”...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...Not to say more research or more speeches would have changed the outcome. Still, the apparent willingness to expedite passage left the impression that the New Democrats were almost as keen as the B.C. Liberals to put the matter behind them...

And when the Opposition supported a motion by Green MLA Andrew Weaver to halt Bill 30 because of the 25 year straightjacket it places on British Columbians that didn't seem to count either:

...Joining him (Weaver) in voting for the motion were the New Democrats, though again they did not exercise the opportunity to eat up more time speaking in support of it...

As for all that other stuff that the Dippers spent their time on to illustrate the non-stop ruinous malfeasance of the pay-to-playaholicistic Wizards Of Clarklandia?


You know.

The good Mr. Palmer didn't have the 'time' or space to write about any of that.

Given the angle of the column concerned, one can only wonder if the good Mr. Palmer bothered to call up Mr. Horgan and ask him what he would have done differently to negotiate an LNG deal if he and his had been in charge.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Ya, And She Once Saw Maggie Thatcher From Her Dorm Room...In Scotland.





ST. JOHN'S, N.L (Canadian Press). — British Columbia Premier Christy Clark is dismissing the chances of the Parti Quebecois reigniting separatist fervour in the province.

Clark says the PQ has failed in its attempts to break up Canada in the past and she doesn't think it will have any more success in the future.

She says that's because Quebecers are no different from British Columbians as they are forward looking global citizens who are interested in creating wealth and being a part of the world.

Clark says Quebec is also a different place than it was 20 or 30 years ago...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...Clark says she thinks issues of governance and the Constitution are less important to Canadians, who are interested in how the country participates globally.

And yes, the viewing of the Iron Lady by the alleged Iron Snowbird while an academic tourist was, allegedly, a real thing.


What's A Corporation To Do When Things Go Really, Really Wrong In A De/Self-Regulated Industry?


Why, they say 'sorry', of course:

Nexen is apologizing for a pipeline break that leaked five million litres of bitumen, sand and water at its Long Lake oilsands facility in northern Alberta this week.

"We are deeply concerned with this," said Ron Bailey, Nexen's senior vice-president of Canadian operations. "We sincerely apologize for the impact this had caused."...

And then, I guess, with that taken care of we all just move along.


Post about the increasing de/self-regulation of the dead-dinosaur-hide-in-the-sky industry is...Here.


Looking For An Alternative/Complement To Folk Festival Action?


If you don't have a ticket for tonight's show as Jericho can always catch my kid, Bigger E, down at 'Robson Live' later this afternoon/early this evening.

She'll keep you posted on her brand new Twittmachine feed.

Here's the kind of work she does:

Clearly, I've got to do my parental duty and make some new videos!


Does Self-Regulation Ever Work?


Anne Casselman has a really great, well-researched piece titled 'The problem with (self-regulated) environmental assessments' up in B.C. Business.

Here's one small slice (but I recommend you go read it all) that explains what what Mr. Harper's government is really up to in this realm:

...(W)hile B.C. may be experiencing a renaissance in resource development, it also comes at a time when our environmental assessment process is, according to critics, the weakest and most confusing it has been in decades—thanks to abrupt changes in our environmental laws and deep budget cuts to government regulatory agencies.

In 2010, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency's (CEAA’s) annual budget was cut by 40 per cent down to $17 million (meaning that the environmental assessment office for all of Canada has an annual budget less than one-twentieth of Enbridge’s regulatory expenditures for Northern Gateway).

The CEAA cut was followed by radical changes to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, which reduced the scope of public engagement and divvied up responsibility across federal or provincial agencies. The Navigable Waters Protection Act was also replaced by the Navigation Protection Act, which removed federal protection for 98 per cent of all rivers and lakes in Canada. And the Fisheries Act—Canada’s oldest and strongest piece of environmental legislation—was rewritten to remove explicit habitat protection for all fish. The end result of all these changes has been an increasingly self-regulating, self-reporting system that’s full of grey areas, where discretionary judgment calls are made without any accountability...

And we all know how this type of de-regulation followed by self-regulation turned out for the containment of deadly bacteria blooms in meat-cutters.



Why An 'Internal' Review Of The Tragic Child Custody Case Will Not Do.


Why not?

Because the 'internalists', including the minister responsible, have known about this since 2012.

Ian Mulgrew, doing what a professional journalist should do in the VSun, gets to the bottom of the story. The following is a chunk of his latest piece but I strongly suggest that you head on over and read the entire thing:

...The couple — identified in legal documents only by their initials: J.P., the mother, and B.G., the father — separated Oct. 5, 2009 after a decade-long relationship when J.P. accused B.G. of assaulting her and one of their four children, comprising two boys and two girls, then 7, 5, 3 and 1.

A few months later, in December, acting on an anonymous tip that later proved false, the ministry seized the children from the mother and allowed the father unsupervised access that allowed him to sexually abuse the youngest.

The child welfare authorities later portrayed the mom as mentally unbalanced and backed the dad’s bid for sole custody.

In March 2012, Victoria realized its horrific mistake and withdrew support from the demonic dad.

Two months later, on June 25, 2012, at the end of the outrageously long 92-day trial, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Walker concluded that the mother suffered “from extreme distress caused by the sexual abuse disclosures and the apprehension of and subsequent separation from her children, and from finding herself in an ongoing situation where no one in a position of authority was prepared to believe her.”

He found the mental health concerns groundless and that the dad physically and sexually abused the children, and was scaldingly critical of the ministry.

Sound familiar?

Justice Walker repeated those scathing findings two days ago at the end of the lengthy liability phase of the trial, at which he again savaged the ministry.

Cadieux has known about this case for years — since she took office in Sept. 2012, because it was already an embarrassment and had cost the government a small fortune, or at the latest two years ago when I wrote about it in The Sun.

To listen to her, you would have thought Tuesday’s excoriating ruling was a surprise rather than a damning regurgitation of what the judge said in 2012...


As happened when her government was found to be throwing the adult disabled out into the street for budgetary reasons (scroll down), we wait for the premier to start accusing members of the Opposition of playing 'games' for bringing this matter up in the legislature.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Health Care Worker Firing (ctd)...How Much Do The Clarklandians Want The Ombudsman?


For a second there it looked like, essentially, not much as Cindy Harnett of the VTC in the lede of her latest:

B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke addressed the (legislative finance) committee (last) Wednesday asking it not to refer to his office a 2012 Health Ministry investigation that led to the firing of eight drug researchers unless an amendment to a section of the Ombudsperson Act was made.

Deputy Attorney General Richard Fyfe advised the committee the change was unnecessary as it was unlikely to become a problem in a probe of witnesses in the case ...

And then, after Mr. Fyfe had finished playing his flute and banging his drum, things suddenly changed.

...(Clarklandian Attorney General Suzanne) Anton initially agreed with her deputy minister and said in the B.C. legislature Wednesday that the change wasn’t needed.

Today, committee chairman Scott Hamilton wrote to the attorney general explaining the section of the act in question was “an outstanding impediment” to the Ombudsperson’s ability to ensure a timely and effective investigation.”

“We are writing to advise you section 19(2) has been identified as a key obstacle to the committee’s ability to reaching a swift and consensus-based decision on the Minister of Health’s request,” the letter said...

And now, bingo-bango-boss-n-cooler, Ms. Anton has changed her mind and says she will introduce an amendment to section 19.2 of the Ombuddy's Act in the legislature next week.

What's that all about anyway Alfie?



(2) Subject to section 18 and to subsection (4), a person who is bound by an enactment to maintain confidentiality in relation to or not to disclose any matter must not be required to supply any information to or answer any question put by the Ombudsperson in relation to that matter, or to produce to the Ombudsperson any document or thing relating to it, if compliance with that requirement would be in breach of the obligation of confidentiality or nondisclosure.

As for that pesky Section 18 that folks would be 'subjected' to?

Well, that all has to do with the 'Executive' which we've talked about before.

Seems to me that, if that 18 thing isn't dealt with also, all bets should be off from the get-go.

And where do we recall the good Mr. Fyfe banging his drum before?....Ah, yes...Now we remember.


This Is Not The First Time Wai Young Has Flubbed Her Lines.


This, from early 2013:

..."February is spring in Vancouver," said (local Conservative MP Wai) Young, when asked about the timing of the closure. "Quite frankly, some politicians have politicized this when it was all over the news and everyone knew it was set for closure."...

What was Ms. Young on about back then?

Why, just a crazy little thing called the Kits Coast Guard Base Closing.

And we all know how that turned out when the oil started leaking into the harbour.

She really beat Oscar Bluth?...You bet.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Health Care Worker Firing (ctd)...The Irony.


Cindy Harnett's VTC piece on whistleblower Alana James, which was published yesterday, is interesting for at least two reasons:

...(Former health information officer Alana) James has said her complaints involved assistant or associate deputy ministers, not most of the researchers who were fired, whom she calls scapegoats. “I would suggest they examine the process of concerns I brought to the government from 2010 forward,” said James in an email. “I would agree to come to Canada to be interviewed as part of a real investigation, but not if ... it is yet another exercise in theatrics.”...


...James began raising her concerns in December 2010. In 2012, she named individuals as part of her complaint to then auditor general John Doyle, to whom she is now married.

He brought the allegations to the Health Ministry, kicking off an investigation. “Very ironically, the ministry, not realizing that the communication had originated with me, called me into a meeting, said ‘Look what someone sent the office of the auditor general — make this go away,’ which I took to mean, give us something that we can tell the office of the auditor general to make them believe everything is fine,” she said...


As came up previously, unfortunately talk is just that.


What we, the public, need to see are the documentary evidence and Ms. James told the VSun's Rob Shaw she has in her possession.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Keef Report...Hysteria Revisited.


First, the hysteria monger cranks up his twittmachined wurlitzer.


Then, the 'hysterical' respond:

'Nuff said?

Previous bout of hysteria mongering...Here.
Archive of previous Keef Reports...Here.


Monday, July 13, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...The LNG 'Jobs' Response Double Whammy.


First, the ridiculous, from the Premier herself, as reported by Black Press' Tom Fletcher:

"...We're making sure British Columbians are first in line for those jobs, British Columbians will get those jobs first..."

Why ridiculous?

Because Ms. Clark's 'Wizards of Giveaway Place' clearly went out of their way to make sure that there are NO onshore job guarantees whatsoever, this despite what other jurisdictions, including Australia, managed to negotiate in their deals.


Next, the sublimely supercilious from one of Ms. Clark's 'advisors':

What's this old-timey 'let's make the bastard deny it' strate(r)gy all about anyway Alfie?

Apparently, based on the post linked to by Mr. Marrissen in his tweet, it was off-base for the Dipperians to point out that up to 70% of the British Columbians in Ms. Clark's jobs line-up could be out of luck.

And where did that 70% number come from?


As the good Mr. Fletcher, he of the Black Press, pointed out in his piece, it actually came from...

The purveyors of the LNG Sparkle Ponies themselves:

...The figure comes from Pacific Northwest's filing to the federal environmental review, describing the potential impact of a large out-of-town workforce on northwestern B.C. communities...



Sunday, July 12, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...Damn The Faux Propaganda Torpedoes!


Maclean's has a long-form piece up about our fine Premier.

It was published online yesterday under Nancy Macdonald's byline and it clearly serves to pre-pump the Resurrection of the Sparkle Ponies that will be put in motion in the B.C. legislature tomorrow.

Why the need for the pre-pumping?

Well, that way the glorious story of the resurrection can then be puked-up, pre-packaged and pablum-filled, on the national media cycle soundbite stage starting Monday night.

As such, the Maclean's bit must be seen to be 'balanced' using as many faux torpedoes of shillophancy as possible.

And one of the biggest blasts of fauxianism in the piece is the following:

"...(I)n 2004, (then premier Gordon) Campbell shunted his deputy (premier, Ms. Clark) to the children and families’ ministry, known for swallowing careers in foster-care scandals and child death tragedies, a curious demotion for his most able minister. Clark’s thrive-on-challenge bravura couldn’t offset talk of a rift—a pre-emptive move to clip the wings of a potential rival. Nine months later Clark announced her resignation, to spend more time with Hamish, then 3, she said..."

Did you catch that bit of double-edged propagammon?

Because, as anyone who was paying attention at the time knows, there was, indeed, wee bit of subtext to Ms. Clark's sudden resignation from provincial politics in that Railgate-tinged year of 2004.

And Macleans' Ms. Macdonald suggests (wink-wink, nudge-nudge), that it it might have had something to do with a shunting of Ms. Clark off to PoMo that began when the Knotty Gordian flipped her out of the disaster she made of the Education ministry into the MCFD.

Of course, what Ms. Macdonald does not mention is any connection whatsoever, either personal or familial, with a very fine fellow named Spiderman and/or the Boyz that were involved in Railgate. 

In fact, nothing whatsoever is mentioned about the Boyz at all.

Including the pre-Railgate work that one of them did for Ms. Clark's former husband who had become, as Ms. Macdonald of Maclean's succinctly puts it...

... a legendary Liberal organizer...

And then, as the piece winds down, Ms. Macdonald completely ignores the fact that Ms. Clark is the front for a pay-to-play operation that was most recently bought-and-paid-for by a certain subset of the purveyors of all those Sparkle Ponies who will give a most supportive analysis of the resurrection on tomorrow evening's national news.

Meanwhile, as for the (not so) gaudy job numbers that will the thrown around on those same national news broadcasts?


None of them....

As in, not one single one of them...

Is guaranteed to go to a Canadian, let alone a British Columbian.


Ms. McDonald's piece is actually filled to bursting with those damnable faux torpedoes that appear to be fueled by press release reflexology and/or 'deep' background...One of the ones I found to be most egregious was the cursory description of a recently announced program that will facilitate the training single welfare Moms for certain types of  'in demand' photo-op operable jobs to show how 'progressive' Ms. Clark's government is...Nothing whatsoever, of course, about how truly anti-progressive a government is that keeps funding the boondoggle-driven bridge-building bund with the people's billions while it makes the elderly pay for their own wheelchairs, won't pay for 'extra' Christmas gifts for our most vulnerable kids,  and throws the adult disabled out into the street....And don't even get me started on the payout of hundreds of million dollars per year to private schools while the public system is being simultaneously strangled...Sheesh.


Friday, July 10, 2015

The Bear Cubs' Champion Looks To Be Just That..


Apparently, there has been a hack, fully redacted, of an Email back and forth between the (now) suspended provincial conservation officer who refused to kill those two bear cubs, Bryce Casavant, and his superior(s).

After laying out why he thinks the bear cubs are not risk to humans and can be rehabilitated before release back into the wild Mr. Casavant appears to have written the following:

"...My primary mandate is public safety and the immediate threat has been removed (ie. the sow). My duties as a law enforcement officer do not include the needless destruction of a baby animal that can be rehabilitated.

If a provincial vet would like to do a full health and behavioural assessment for potential euthanization at a later time that that is the call of an informed decision maker who is a qualified veterinarian and will abide by zoology best practices for the destruction of the animal..."

Sounds like a responsible, ethical, and logically-thinking conservation officer to me (i.e. the kind we want out in the field by the dozen).

The responses from the supervisor(s) are stomach churning.

Cassidy Olivier, who received the hack, and has put the full thing up on Scribble says he has a report coming soon in The Province.


Thursday, July 09, 2015

Healthcare Worker Firing (ctd)...Ms. Anton Says She Is The Boss Of Cabinet-Type Stuff.

....Or some such thing.

The above is from Clarklandian Attorney General Ms. Anton's very fast 'response' to Ombudsman Jay Chalke's concern letter.

You can read Ms. Anton's response, in its entirety, here.

As for Clarklandian 'protocols' and what their true value is....


Thanks to an Anon-O-Mouse, in the comments for the heads-up....Ms. Always Campaigning's handiwork was linked-to in a solid story from Cindy Harnett in today's VTC....More to come...