Friday, December 30, 2016

This Year In Clarkland...Booze Laws Uber Alles!

As we noted a few days ago, 2016 was the year our fine Premier killed irony, dead.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tonight's The Night.


We got home from the People's Republic of Vancouver Island tonight.

And me, I took almost a whole week almost completely off.

From thinking science geek things I mean.

Which always scares me a little.


Well, it turns out that I always worry that the obsessiveness it takes to do the thing might not come back if I take a chunk of time off.

Weird that, eh?

Was surprised to see just how much snow there still is in the near eastern townships of Lotusland central...Our back alley is, essentially,  a frozen Norwegian fjord...Or some such thing.


This Day In Clarkland... Pomp And Circumstance.


The VSun's Dan Fumano had an interesting story on the Clarklandian's Condo Bubble Re-Inflation program yesterday.

Fumano has been talking to mortgage insider types about the thing and has come to the conclusion that many of them categorize the loans as debt that will be folded into the total deal.

Which is most interesting on a whole lot of levels if you think about it.

Not the least of which is that, ultimately, this won't help anyone who is truly struggling to buy their first home make the nut.

Which, according to the VSun's Mr. Fumano lead one of the 'insiders', a fine fellow named Chad Oyhenart, managing director of DLC Canadian Mortgage Experts to state the following about the Clarklandians 'motives':

...Oyhenart said the program may be more about “pomp and circumstance” than about helping people.

“The B.C. government here, is obviously doing what they can, coming into an election year,” Oyhenart said. “Whether it’s viable or not, it doesn’t even matter … The government can still say ‘Hey, we’re trying our best here to help everybody get in to a home here in B.C.’ … It just makes them look like good guys.”...


Kinda sounds a little bit like that time that Christy Clark said she and hers all 'say things' to get elected.

Which is all fine and good.

Except that, at the moment at least, Ms. Clark is being paid by the public* to govern rather than just make stuff up to get elected.


*And, to be clear, I'm only talking about the portion of Ms. Clark's salary paid for by you and me...As for that other portion?....Well...


Forty-Four Characters Too Many.


Mr. Trump when asked what he thinks about the Obama administration's plans to sanction Russia in the wake of the hacking scandal:

"I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on."


Sounds more like Richie Rich in a dunce cap than a president/twitmachine expert.

Which, of course, is pretty 'bad' with or without exclamation marks.

And/or ALL CAPS.


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

This Neverending Day In Clarkland...Ragging The LNG Puck With Sticks Made Of Sparkle Ponies.


Well, well, well....

Would'a thunk it:

B.C. Deputy Premier Rich Coleman believes in the long-term prospects for exporting liquefied natural gas from British Columbia, saying patience is a virtue during an industry slump.

Pacific NorthWest LNG, led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, is a high-profile consortium that will be closely watched in 2017.

Mr. Coleman, who is also Natural Gas Development Minister, said based on his discussions with Petronas management, a final investment decision will be made in the summer of 2017. Assuming Pacific NorthWest LNG sticks to its timetable, the co-owners could potentially make an announcement roughly three months after the B.C. election is held on May 9, 2017...

And that, of course, is when the previously promised (i.e. before the 2013 election) trillions will flow and our total provincial debt, now heading towards a de Jongified $200 billion, will be wiped out forever!


proMedia piece linked to, above, is under Brent Jang's byline in yesterday's Globe and Mail...


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

This Coming Year In Clarkland..."Other Fees And Charges".


From Shane Woodford of CHNL radio:

BC's Finance minister is hinting at financial relief for British Columbians when he tables February's election year provincial budget. Mike de Jong says the province has a big surplus and is leading the country in job creation and now is a good time to share the wealth. But de Jong says it won't just be tax breaks.

"People make the point, I think with validity, it is not just income tax there are the other fees and charges that people are obliged to pay. That adds to the burden that they face."...


This avalanche of "paying us back with our own money" business is coming.

And there is nothing that anybody can do about it.

Except that...

The puffed-up punditry could call out the now completed great regressive tax shift off onto the backs of the citizenry for what it actually is.

Because if they did, then the citizenry would at least understand that it is those 'other fees and charges' that have been gouged from their backs that have paid for Mr. de Jong's phony surplus in its entirety.

While, simultaneously, the wealthy have received the tax breaks on their European SUV's and their private school tuition (as well as their private school lunches and after school care too) that they so truly deserve.

Not to mention the fact that the resource extractors are now paying, essentially (as Norm Farrell has shown)...



Of course, we don't need a weatherman to know which way the punditry's wind is blowing given that the Dean recently made it clear that putting the egregiously regressive MSP head tax back into the progressive column where it belongs is Horgan's $2.5 billion a year  problem...And, as we all know, where the Dean goes the obvious are sure to follow.


Monday, December 26, 2016

The Clarklandian Year In Review...Dueling Priorities.


A tale of two 2016 'programs' for your consideration...

Job training for all of the high school students of British Columbia versus photo-ops for one single British Columbian potentate.

Which one do you reckon won the tax dollar tug-of-war?


If you were thinking that a policy that actually helps all of the citizenry is the only possible right answer you would be wrong.

Job training for kids = $728,000.

Photo-ops for potentate = $1,000,000.



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Advent Jukebox... Day 25


Benny's doing quality control under his second tree of the season...

Merry Christmas Everyone

Previous Jukebox tunes, 2016 Edition (had some doubles in there...sheesh)...


Saturday, December 24, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Premier Kills Irony, Dead, For Christmas.


From the Holiday message of our finest of the finest fine Premier:

...“However you choose to celebrate the season, we can best honour the spirit of Christmas by remembering the less fortunate – our neighbours who struggle to make ends meet, or put a roof over their children’s heads. If you have the time or money to lend a helping hand, you can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life."...


Guess that means it's up to us sheeple to don the yoke of governance so that we, rather than the legislatively bereft Premier and her can government, can hand out bus passes to the disabled, come up with a plan to deal with 20% of kids in poverty in this province, rebate MSP premiums, build affordable housing without purposefully reinflating the CondoKing bubble, come up with $70 billion or so to take care of all those Hydro commitments will jack rates forever, and pay the taxes of those cronies, resource extractors and fat cats that aren't.

Or some such thing.

As for the sub-header to this post?


As you may recall, that ode to anti-crony capitalism known as 'It's A Wonderful Life' is apparently Ms. Clark's favourite  movie.

And the $17.50 detail in the sub-header refers to the very best anti-crony part of the 'Run On The Banks' scene...Wait for it.


Friday, December 23, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: 20 Billion Dollar LNG Investment Claim Exposed, Shamed And Retracted.



Update, Friday Afternoon: Merv Adey has the latest on the 'leaning' aspect of this story....Here

A while back blogger Merv Adey, with the help of an inquisitive reader, explained why those BC Liberal government ads claiming that 20 billion dollars had been invested in the province because of LNG were filled to bursting with codswallop.

Subsequently, Mr. Adey's reader filed a complaint about the ads being misleading to the 'Advertising Standards Council' (ASC). According to Merv, here's what happened:

...Who knew that the ASC worked so fast? Eleven days later, at the height of the Christmas season no less, our guy is informed that rather than respond to the complaint… the BC Government has decided to withdraw the misleading $20 Billion figure from all its advertising. The ASC now considers the matter closed, though a case summary with no names attached will appear on the ASC’s quarterly report...

All of which is a great story of how Clarklandian codswallop can be dealt with effectively by the citizenry, particularly when the puffed-up proMedia punditry continues to happily wallow in said codswallop, snouts down, in search of the tastiest bits of submerged insider access offal at the bottom of the trough.

But then Andrew MacLeod of the Tyee did a little extra digging and the story took a turn...


Mr. MacLeod first contacted the Clarklandian natural gas development ministry for a comment and got stonewalled.

So he called the fine folks in charge of government propaganda, a.k.a. the advanced education ministry (that last bit is not a joke in case you were wondering), and got a PAB-Botian-type spokesthingy on the line who said that Mr. Adey was mistaken because the government had, indeed, responded:

...The decision to take the LNG ad out of rotation “a few days” early was not directly due to the complaint, the spokesperson said. He said Advertising Standards Canada had “erroneously” told the complainant in a Dec. 21 letter that it was.

After the government complained to the ASC about the Dec. 21 letter, the agency sent a second letter to the complainant. “The letter states: ‘In effect, the substance of the complaint was not determined by ASC or Standards Council. However, the advertiser opted to remove the advertisement and ASC now considers the matter closed.’”

The advanced education ministry spokesperson said the government had sent material supporting its claim to Advertising Standards Canada, which said it was going to review the matter.

It made sense to pull the ad since it was coming out of rotation soon and was getting complaints, the spokesperson said...


There you have it....

Even when they are caught with their pants on fire these fine folks (folks who are paid by you and me) can twist absolutely anything into a pretzellian logic turd that can clog even the largest diameter crapper.

Merv, via the Twittmachine, has let us know that he has an update coming.

And I would not be surprised to see a follow-up from Mr. Macleod.

As for the local puffed-up punditry?

Well, given that they know who butters their insider accessed offal-laden toast shanks located deep within the codswallop trough, I'm pretty sure they will move onto the next really big obvious thing as soon as possible.


And as for that 'material supporting its claim' that the government allegedly sent to the Advertising Standards Council?....Will that ever see the light of day?...Somehow I doubt that too.


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...What About The Other 263 Schools?


Remember that ridiculous tweet from the Clarklandian PAB-Bots yesterday about the seven rural schools that were 'saved' from the chopping block for purely partisan political reasons and how we should be celebrating that great achievement this holiday season?


As you might expect, the BCTF has been keeping actual track of the actual total.

And the number of closures, many of them due to the BC Liberal government's 'per pupil' funding policy not to mention that ridiculous 95% occupancy rate requirement is actually...

Two Hundred and Sixty-Three ('X' marks the spot, above).


You read that right.

Tip 'O The Toque to teacher Robin Tosczak on the Twittmachine for the heads-up on the map.


Monday, December 19, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...The HypoChristyc Oath.

The blatant hypocrisy here is breathtaking.

These people have closed literally hundreds of schools with their 'per pupil' funding model.

And now, after they cherry pick a few schools in vulnerable ridings for purely political reasons, they want we, the peons, to celebrate with them?

When you think of the kids and families affected by their actual public school funding policies over the last fifteen years and also consider the $300 million per year, plus, they are forcing us to fork out to fund anti-unversality through private schools, this is actually worse than breathtaking.

It's sickening.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 18.


As is explained in the preamble to today's tune, Benny the Elfy cat is also our house drummer...


This Day In Clarkland...Why Oh Why Is The New York Times So Mean To Us?


Remember how, as we noted last week, one of the Grey Lady of journalism's minions had the temerity to write mean things about Site C recently?

Well, the current CEO of BC Hydro, and former right hand woman of GordCo Inc., appears to be really, really upset about how that non-Club member of the non-local press treated her and hers:


Whatever will the Keef think?

As for those resourcefully workin'-it-real-hard-type folks?


They can always dump another million dollar dark-money PR blitzkrieg log on the fire.

Or some such thing.

The real story here?....The CEO of BCHydro is so used to the kid gloves of the local 'fix-is-in' media that she gets upset and takes to the Twittmachine just because one wee batch of light-shining reportage emerges unredacted, and/or CAPPified and/or ResourceWorked...If you get my $10 Billion Bamboozlement drift.
Oh, and in case you missed it...When the Wizards couldn't influence the NY Times they instead instructed the CEO to utilize the much less augustful Seattle Times in an effort to get their fact-disabled spin machine re-started.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

The (Progressive) World According To Ron Obvious.


First, there was the announcement as reported by Rob Shaw & Jennifer Saltman of the VSun:

Premier Christy Clark announced Thursday that a new provincially backed loan program would match the amount a first-time buyer has saved for a down payment — up to $37,500, or five per cent of the home’s purchase price...

Next, there was the analysis, as gathered by Mike Hager, Brett Jang and David Parkinson in the Globe (amongst many):

Joshua Gottlieb, an assistant professor at the University of B.C.’s Vancouver School of Economics, said the new loans are asking people to stretch themselves even further to achieve home ownership, a risky proposition if interest rates increase significantly in the future.

He called the policy a counterproductive taxpayer-funded subsidy for homeowners and developers. The roughly 15,000 new buyers a year the government estimates will take advantage of the new loans will hurt affordability further in a market constrained by a lack of supply, he said.

“The easiest way to think about it is with an analogy to a store having a sale,” Prof. Gottlieb said. “If they raise all of their prices by $200 and then give you a $200 discount, are you any better off?

“That’s effectively what’s going on here: It’s a $37,500 discount for first-time buyers so then the sellers can raise prices by however much extra those buyers are able to afford.”...

And, finally, there was the obvious as tweeted by the Ron of all Obviousness:


Is it possible that Mr. Obvious missed 23 characters and actually meant to tweet that it... Will help many 'get in over their heads' immensely?

After all, it's not like that underwaterish/drowning-in-debt thingy hasn't been concerning the Feds considerably for a good couple of years now.


Interestingly, the ceiling on the propped up 90% mortgage (i.e. really 95%) is $675,000 for families making less that $150K p/a....Which means that the max price is $750,000....Gosh...In Lotusland, who will be selling stock at that price I wonder.
And how much treasure will this give away to re-inflate the CondoKing bubble cost us?...Well, according to the Shaw/Saltman VSun report, the Clarklandian wizards are estimating that it will cost $700 million dollars of our taxes....errrrr...MSP premiums.
If you need a chuckle or three before the snow flies later tonight, go read the replies to Mr. Mason's twittery. 
Oh, and don't forget that.... There is a fine group of very 'goodly'endorsed predatory lenders that are all set to make book on the back-end of underwater mortgages.


Friday, December 16, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...A Wrinkle In Time


At first glance it might appear that the Clarklandians are finally starting to do the right thing on the fired Healthworker file:

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has given the health ministry 60 business days to respond to a freedom of information request related to the 2012 firings, instead of the 180 days the ministry wanted.

“After considering the submissions from the Ministry and from the applicants I have decided that the Ministry has not provided sufficient evidence to convince me that it is entitled to a 180-day time extension,” wrote Tabith Foulkes, an intake officer with the OIPC, in a Dec. 14 letter.

“However, in my view the Ministry is entitled to a partial approval of 60 days,” she said...

But here's the thing.

It's the lawyers for the folks affected that want that info.

And they want that info before they will agree to talk to the Ombudspersonage for his 'investigation'.


If those folks are still not going to get that information (which they have already been waiting for for more than six months) until the early spring...

And then they will still have to talk to the Ombudspersonage.

And then the Ombudspersonage will still have to do his various dips and doodles before he actually writes his report.

And then that report will still have to be vetted for various and sundry dibblish and washable things by the kloutish members of the Premier's inner circle.

And, in the meantime, May 9th just may come and go.

If you get what I'm saying.

Story linked to above is from the always diligent Andrew MacLeod in the Tyee...Will be interesting to see which way the Club goes on this....If they notice it all, my hunch is that they will praise the Clarklandians for 'speeding up' the process that they previously encased in extremely opaque cement.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 15


Have been involved in a lot of new-fangled facing-type times going back and forth with folks from the center of the universe this week.

They just laugh at me when I tell them that we're having real winter out here.

I just tell them its wonderful, especially the brightness of the days.

Nobody seems to laugh at that.

Image at top of post:  Trail into the place I work cutting through Pacific Spirit Park...Not far from where it's heart will soon be removed... And, just to be clear, that heart removal has nothing whatsoever to do with the place where I work...It was and always will be GordCo Inc's doing.


This Day In Dilbitland...What Other Organization Is Mr. Miller Proud To Be A Member Of?



Update Thursday: This was originally posted Monday, but I'm bringing it up to the top of the page because there is some really excellent stuff in the comment thread and I welcome anyone who wishes to to weigh in also (or add on new stuff)...I'll have more to say on the kabuki that has been going on re: this stuff in the local proMedia soon - just really busy with end of term stuff that requires considerable day job attention...

Former British Columbia Premier Dan Miller has something to say about Kinder Morgan's twinnification of their petro-tubes in a VSun OpEd published today:

As a former premier of B.C. and a member of the New Democratic Party for 50 years, I strongly support the federal government’s decision to approve the twinning of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

It’s no secret that my position on this issue is not that of my party leader, John Horgan. In no way does that change my vote. Horgan will make an excellent premier, one who is focussed on the needs of working families, and I look forward to casting my ballot for him in May...

Mr. Miller then goes on to explain his 'vision thing' in economic, workers-rights, social program-funding, and infrastructure development (but not environmental) terms before he ends the piece with the following:

...As a proud New Democrat, I think that’s a vision worth fighting for...

The VSun, in its post-script, then identifies Mr. Miller thusly:

Dan Miller is a former provincial cabinet minister and premier who represented the ridings of Prince Rupert and North Coast as an MLA from 1986 until 2001.

Interestingly, there is no mention of Mr. Miller's advisory council/board membership of the following:


What is this Resource Works thingy all about anyway, Alfie?


We don't really know because they won't tell us.

Donald Gutstein had that story after talking to Rafe Mair about a year ago over at DeSmog Blog:

...“Are they paid flacks?” he (Rafe Mair) asks, but can’t answer because Resource Works doesn’t disclose its funding, either for the LNG study or for any of its products. The organization did volunteer the information that seed funding came from the B.C. Business Council, which says in its annual report that it “initiated” the organization...

Regardless the funding issue, as a private citizen who pays attention to what comes at him media-wise, both social and pro, I am of the opinion that Resource Works functions as a pro-business anti-environmental flack-hackery that works to move public opinion without honestly telling the public who is paying for said work and why.

Given all that, the following two questions are my real reason for writing this post:

1) Why didn't the Vancouver Sun tell us of Mr. Miller's current connection to Resource Works?

2) More importantly, why didn't Mr. Miller himself tell us?


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 14


Interpreting a seasonal tale of pogueiosity in extremis.

With help from Bigger E...


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 13.


When I was a kid my mom's mom lived on the edge a farmer's hayfield above Saanich road in Victoria.

Across the road and down the hill was Swan Lake before it became a bird sanctuary.

Back then nobody controlled the flooding of the lake across the lower hayfield.

Which meant once or twice a winter when it got cold and crisp for a week or that flooded field, where the water was only a few inches would freeze.

And we would go crazy skating and skating and skating long into the night, especially if there was a big moon and some snow around to reflect it.

When I stepped off the bus last night and walked across the tumble-down snowman-strewn part of the wide, flat schoolground/park field near our house it felt just like one of those nights.

Here's that Miss Mitchell tune where she's pining for just such a feeling....

Somewhere there's a picture of my Mom out skating on that frozen field when she was a kid...Gotta find that one.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 12.


Cold, clear, snow crunchy, big moon coming kind of night in Lotusland central...


This Day In Clarkland...Lady In Grey Pajamas Says Mean Things About Site C.


And, as you might expect, those mean things/hard truths are not things that you will not find clearly enunciated in our local Lotuslandian proMedia.

Of course, in this case the lady in grey is not an idiot blogger but is instead the New York Times:

...In its 2014 report on Site C, a joint federal-provincial panel concluded that BC Hydro “has not fully demonstrated the need for the project on the timetable set forth,” and recommended that the project be reviewed by the province’s independent utility commission. But the cabinet of Christy Clark, the premier of British Columbia, blocked Site C from the commission’s review and has since poured billions of dollars into construction and contracts despite multiple lawsuits seeking to stop the project. 

“I will get it past the point of no return,” she vowed early this year...


Democratic processes and principles serially subverted in Clarkland for a cronified megaproject that the citizenry of British Columbia will be paying for for decades, and the local puffed-up pundittry just keeps on keepin' on?

Imagine that!

And, of course, a very different lady who is always colourful (and not just on her front page), Laila Yuile, has much, much more.
NYT piece, with meaningful non-house organ trumpet links and everything, was written by Dan Levin.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Advent Jukebox....Day 11.


The final exam schedule at the place where I work moves into the backstretch this week.

Which means that a whole lot of kids are starting to seriously pine for home and the holidays.

Me too, actually.

The sweater?...All is explained...Here.


These LNG Ad Days In Clarkland...'Manifestly Misleading'.


Lotuslandian blogger extraordinare Merv Adey has something to say about those Clarklandian LNG ads that we are paying for:

We are blanketed with feel-good ads from the Clark government which include a shiny figure of $20 billion already invested in LNG in BC. What are we to make of it? How was this figure arrived at and how has the money been spent since mostly we see no sign of it? I have some answers, thanks to an engaged reader.. What I hope to show below is the case for the Advertising Standards Council of Canada to shut down these ads, because they are manifestly misleading...

And showing how manifestly misleading these ads are is exactly what Merv and his reader do.

They then formulate  a number of specific questions that a provincial government would be forced to answer if we had a functioning legislature and/or legislative press gallery/club.

So far it would appear that only Kathy Tomlinson of the Globe (who along with a triumverate of fellow non-club members previously forced the club to actually pay attention in another realm) has had the temerity to ask such questions of the BC Liberal government. It would further appear that the wizards of Clarklandia and have so far 'declined' to answer such questions.


And the point all this is?


It would appear that, unless the National media starts to pay serious attention (and starts to call out local club members for their complicity), these phantom LNG billions will become the successful electoral propaganda-stunt in 2017 that a million fake jobs was in 2013.



Saturday, December 10, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 10



It's warmed up and the rain has returned.

But on my way home tonight our back lane was still pretty wintry and wonderful...


This Climate Change Weekend In Clarkland...Politically Expedient Until The End.


From Campbell Clark's Globe report on Mr. Trudeau's climate change summit thingy:

...The climate-change summit with the premiers was to mark the culmination of Mr. Trudeau’s first full year of prime ministership, sealing it with a pan-Canadian deal on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. It’s a big deal. Unprecedented. The PM’s aides had so-called stakeholders, such as environmental groups, lined up to praise the agreement. And Mr. Trudeau was expecting to take a bow at 5:30 p.m.

Then Ms. Clark stole the limelight. She is months away from an election, and was arguing the deal was unfair to B.C. She claimed her province’s $30-a-tonne carbon tax is twice as costly as the cap-and-trade price that Ontarians and Quebeckers will pay. And B.C., she said, wouldn’t sign on to a deal that would raise carbon taxes to $50 in 2022 – as Mr. Trudeau insists – unless all provinces will pay the same...

Which is bad enough, right?

But then there is the following, noted by the reporter/not columnist Mr. Campbell and his editor(s):

...(Clark's) claim that B.C’s carbon price would be double Ontario’s was exaggerated, and angry federal Liberals claimed it was trotted out at the last minute so Ms. Clark could play to the small-c conservatives whose support she needs in next May’s election. Her performance upset the Trudeau government’s careful staging.

In the end, the differences were covered over in a deal to have an independent study of whether B.C.’s carbon tax is equivalent to Ontario and Quebec’s cap-and-trade system, to be done by 2020 – after the first ministers’ re-election campaigns. The compromise also includes language that B.C. could “determine its own path” to reducing its emissions after 2022 based on the results – so Ms. Clark claimed she won’t have to raise carbon taxes unless other provinces face the same burden.

Ms. Clark had made her point. Her threat to hold up the deal allowed her to stand up on camera and say she fought for her province to get a fair deal...

And, given all that, how will the local puffed-up proMedia punditry (for whom the play was designed) respond?


Assuming he didn't phone it in Thursday, I reckon we might get a preview of that response in Mikey-Mike's column tomorrow.



On Public Transit (And More)... Stephen Rees Says No Prop Is Good Prop.


Lotuslandian public transit blogger extraordinare Stephen Rees has a bone to pick with the tactics of a certain anti-public transit fellow:

I recently read Jordan Bateman’s book about how he – almost singlehandedly – defeated the transit referendum. You cannot get it from the library or indeed most bookshops except as a print on demand. Amazon has it as an ebook for Kindle, but I am not recommending it. His technique was to stick to two simple statements and two figures. And, the key point, is that it did not matter that they were not true...



Before I get to Mr. Rees' larger point (which I agree with wholeheartedly), I think it is worth noting, in this time of ice bombs being thrown from a certain three billion dollar bridge once again, that the good Mr. Bateman laid a whole lot of Astroturf back in the days of GordCo Inc's ever expanding P3 pavement bamboozlement strategy.

With that said, here is Mr. Rees' kicker:

...We have, of course, now become used to the idea of a post factual political landscape since both Brexit and Trump followed a similar strategy (of pushing propaganda that is not true). And even though it might be effective it doesn’t make it right. The ends do not justify the means...

To which I can only add, as I've said before, in all kinds of contexts, that, in the end, no prop is good prop.

Which is going to be important to keep in mind as the provincial election campaign ramps up in the new year.

So, why are we constantly bombarded by pro-prop-pablum served up cold and unexamined?...Well....Ask yourself the following....When the local proMedia wants an 'expert' to speak on public transit spending and/or planning do they go to folks like Mr. Rees or do they go to Mr. Bateman? (Update: Please see Mr. Rees's comment in threads as well as my response)
Subheader?....'Tis all about doing all you can to put the fix in when the going gets tough...And why do some folks feel the need to do such a thing?...Well, according to one of the greatest tunes of all time performed by a band may not have ever heard of, it just may be that they are missing something from their real lives.


Friday, December 09, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 9


The genius of Mel Torme and Bob Wells, written mid-summer 1944 by the pool...


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 8.


What else could it be tonight...


This Day In Clarkland...What Did We Get For That $50,000,000 Lo-Fi Fo-Op?


Remember yesterday how we noted that the Clarklandian minister of rural something or other was getting ready to have local photo-op to unveil a $50,000,000 website that is barely functional.


That particular minister, whose name is Donna Barnett in case you missed it, got the proMedia coverage the Wizards were looking for.

From (as NVG noted)...

The Williams Lake Tribune!

People interested in land-based opportunities in B.C. will now have easy access to information and making applications thanks to a new website.

Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett was in Williams Lake Wednesday to officially launch the Natural Resources Sector Online Services portal...

Which, of course, led to a fit of ecstasy in at at least one local apparatchik:

...Jaymie Jones is a natural resource specialist in Williams Lake and said she was happy about the new website.

"As someone who is going to be using this tool with the public I am very excited," Jones said...

And, best of all, was the following comment from the "business transformation lead for the project":

..."And there's an interactive mapping tool," he (the business transformation lead for the project, Dean Hardman) said as he typed in a region on the screen and zoomed in...


An interactive mapping tool!!!

No mention, unfortunatel, of any of the Geocities circa1999-type stuff that Paul Ramsey mentioned in his actual, you know, real analysis of the thing.



In other photo-operativishness-type news, the Clarklandians have announced that they will essentially double the government ad-budget in the run up to the election, in part (and I kid you not) to "fight" the fentanyl crisis (via Rob Shaw in the VSun):

Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson, whose ministry is responsible for communications and advertising, said Wednesday government expects to spend $15 million by the end of the fiscal year, March 31, 2017. That’s up from $8.5 million in the provincial budget.

Wilkinson said one of main items is a public awareness campaign on the health emergency caused by a fentanyl overdose crisis...



Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Advent Jukebox...Day 7.


The real meaning of advent.

Courtesy the pen of Mr. Felice the younger.

And just in case you want to see/hear the real thing (which really is fantastic), go....Here.


Like Politics, Should All ProMedia Be Local?


Not entirely sure about that header question.

But I am all for locally-focused (and maybe monied) proMedia.


Longtime journo and jouster with Paul Willcocks, Marc Edge, has some pretty provocative stuff to say in a piece in today's Tyee.

I found this bit to be particularly interesting:

...As a long-time journalist, I am leery of subsides because of the possibilities they create for government influence over the news media. Any program of assistance should be well insulated from editorial control, but that doesn’t mean tax incentives can’t be provided to encourage the establishment and assist the operation of local media outlets dedicated to serving the news needs of Canadians. Such incentives could also render ownership of Canada’s existing news media more diverse. Local ownership of news media was one of the first things that fell by the wayside in the rush to consolidation starting in the 1960s and ’70s, when absentee chain ownership became the norm. Tax incentives could be provided that would make advertising in locally owned, independent media more cost effective than in chain-owned publications...

The entire piece is well worth the read (unfortunately the comments, at least so far, are relatively insight-free)


This Day In Clarkland...What Do You Do With An Eight Figure Lemon?

Answer: You Make Photo-Ops.

And just what, exactly,  is the lemon this time?

Well, it's a barely functional website that has cost something on the order of $50,000,000 so far.

Blogger and tech guy Paul Ramsey has the story:

 Hey, good news zombie lovers, the project I’ve declared dead (or, at least, doomed) is not only still shambling around, it’s going to get the official political glad-handing treatment tomorrow (today):

"We are excited to share an important Natural Resource Permitting Project (NRPP) milestone....December 7—NRPP’s first service on the NRS Online Services website will be launched in Williams Lake at FrontCounter BC with Minister of State for Rural Economic Development Donna Barnett."

I always feel sad for the poor politician tasked with the “new website” announcement, because honestly, is there any announcement that feels like more of an empty gesture towards real action? “Yes, I understand you wanted $50M for addiction treatment, but… how about this new web site?”...


Put another way....

That wasted $50 million sure would pay for a lot of bus passes for the disabled (that we don't even have to pay for anyway).

Somehow I don't think that latter point will be lede on the 6 O'Clock fluffcast.


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Advent Juke...Day 6


Not really a Christmas song, but Don McLean's Vincent sure is appropriate for Lotusland's clear, cold nights at the moment.

Sure hope Stanley W. and his confreres are managing to keep warm...


Monday, December 05, 2016

Advent Juke....Day 5


While the snow wasn't crunchie in Lotusland today it will be tomorrow...

Image at the top of the post...Back alleys always look better with a fresh coating of snow...
And if you want a blow-by-blow of all that went wrong with Vancouver's rush hour this morning you won't find a better account than Stanley Woodvine's.


This Day In Clarkland: Falling Behnind On Full Time Jobs...

...Thank The Goddess For Newfoundland.

Courtesy Dermod Travis and Integrity BC (via Statscan)...

One more thing that won't be wurlitzered by either the Wizards or the Klout Klub membership:

Imagine that!


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Fake News... It's Not Just For Electing Despots Anymore.


From the WaPo:

A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” a false election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.

The incident caused panic, with several businesses going into lockdown as police swarmed the neighborhood after receiving the call shortly before 3 p.m...


...The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in the days before the election after fake news stories circulated claiming that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief were running a child sex ring from the restaurant’s backrooms...

But is it just the low-fo 'ins that don't know the difference between Breitbart and the Grey Lady that swallow and wulitzer this codswallop?

Well, actually, no:

...Even Michael Flynn, a retired general whom President-elect Trump has tapped to advise him on national security, shared stories about another anti-Clinton conspiracy theory involving pedophilia. None of them were true...


At one time you might say that this type of thing is one of those examples of truth being stranger than fiction.

Now, however, I'm not so sure that is even possible anymore.

Which is most definitely not a good thing.


Saturday, December 03, 2016

Advent Jukebox.... Day 3


The not really Christmas song that is a pretty good one.

By that guy Glen Hansard who I blame for pretty much everything.


This Weekend In Clarkland... Premier Fluff 'N Stuff.


Remember the following, as noted earlier this year in a VSun piece authored by Jeff Lee?

...“Just a few months ago, Christy Clark told CTV that if people are concerned about housing affordability they should move to Fort St. John or Prince Rupert,” he (NDP Housing critic David Eby) said...


Somehow I don't think the latest news about how things are going in Northeastern BC, as reported by Jonny Wakefield in the Dawson Creek Mirror, is going to cause a lot of folks in having a tough time making a go of it in Lotusland to suddenly pull up stakes and hightail it up to Fort St. John:

Northeast B.C.’s unemployment rate has risen into the double digits.

The region had a 10.1 per cent unemployment rate in November, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey released Dec. 2.

The rate is the highest of B.C.’s 11 development regions, followed by the Kootenays, which saw an 8.9 per cent unemployment rate.

One year ago, Northeast B.C.’s unemployment rate was 7.6 per cent.

Unemployment has risen steadily in the northeast since late 2014, when the region entered a prolonged downturn brought on by a drop in oil and gas prices...

But, then again, if this issue were to come up in polite conversation and/or the legislature of British Columbia I suppose our fine Premier could always blame this latest state of affairs on the 1990's.

Or some such thing.

Interesting how we didn't hear about the numbers from the Northeast or the most recent province-wide job trends in the BC Liberal government caucus' trumpeting of employment 'good news' yesterday, eh?
And, ya, I know that this type of thing won't be coming up anytime soon the legislature....As for the possibility that it could emerge in any follow-up and/or in-depth anlaysis from the puffed-up punditry that move amongst us as part Lotusland's  proMedia landed gentry?.....Not likely... The exception to that rule is a solid piece that looks at both the big and small pictures re: the latest employment numbers by Jen St. Denis in Metro Vancouver.


This Weekend In Clarkland...'Very Flawed' Research.


It would appear that something may be going on at the MoCo that will not curry favour with certain members of the local puffed-up punditry.

Specifically, it looks like the folks from the CBC are actually be paying attention and not taking codswallop for an answer.

By way of illustration the following is the lede from a piece posted today by the CBC's Natalie Clancy and Manjula Dufresne:

The amount of money B.C. is spending to prevent fentanyl overdoses seems to depend on which day the question is asked.

On Tuesday, it was more than $10 million.

On Wednesday it was $15 million.

By Thursday, B.C. Premier Christy Clark had nearly tripled that number.

"We have put at least $43 million into it and that doesn't count all the hospital resources." said Clark.

Clark responded to questions at a news conference about a CBC report on how little money B.C. had originally budgeted when the public health emergency was declared in April.

The story pointed out the government had allocated 10 times more funds to the fight swine flu than it had the fentanyl crisis.

But Clark said the original $15 million figure was based on "very flawed" research.

Except that research came from her own officials in the Ministry of Health...


I wonder if any of any members of the Wizardry and/or the Klout Klub executive are having second thoughts about their prior removal of the good Mr. Smart from his previously more useful place and position?


Friday, December 02, 2016

Advent Jukebox...Day 2.


Did this one earlier today at my class of the year with the Two E.'s...


This Friday Afternoon In Clarkland...What You Won't Find In Today's Document Dump.


...Which would be latest provincial employment numbers from Statscan:

Imagine that!

Tip O' The Toque to the infamous GrantG for the heads-up on the Twittmachine.


This Day In Clarkland: Hey, Young Man! Bring Me Some Of Your Shiny-Shine!


From Ms. Hunter of the Globe:

B.C. Premier Christy Clark said this week she is poised to support the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline, but on Thursday distanced herself from the task of persuading British Columbians that the project is worth the risk.

“Selling Kinder Morgan as being in the national interest is really the Prime Minister’s job,” Ms. Clark told reporters, repeating her invitation to Justin Trudeau to come to British Columbia to defend the decision he announced this week in Ottawa. Asked whether the project now has social licence to proceed, she again deflected: “That’s a question worth asking of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”...

Which means, of course, that Ms. Clark takes no political risks by actually, you know, governing.

That and, perhaps, the poll and focus-group numbers from the ConWizards she relied on last time out are still soft?


Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Advent Jukebox....Day 1.



That's right.

Twenty-Five low-fi (and I mean low!) tunes in Twenty-Five days for the season...

Here is cover of one of my Mom's all-time favourites:


Can John Horgan And The Dippers Win By Pulling A Bernie Sanders (In Fundraising)?


Last weekend Mr. Mason of the Globe wrote a column taking John Horgan to task for having the audacity to actually court big dollar donors.

Which, in my opinion at least, was both dumb and obvious given that the Dippers have to play by the ridiculous BC Liberal Banana Republican Rovian fundraising rules that cannot be changed until someone else forms the government.

Which, bizarrely, Mr. Mason has noted in the past but essentially ignored in the column under consideration.


What surprised me in the ensuing discussion, both here at this little F-Troop list blog (see the comments here) and out in the wider world/louder echo chamber of the Twittmachine, was how many Dipper-friendly folks took the position that Mr. Horgan et al. are not pure enough and, worse, are squandering the opportunity to whip up a grass roots fundraising frenzy that will bring in boatloads of cash that will sweep them to a populist victory.

An example of this desire for fundraising purity can be found in a Twittmachine exchange between Rod Mickeburgh and Kai Nagata that took place a few days ago:


Let's ignore the 'Can the Dippers make like Bernie Sanders politically?' thing for the moment and just ask a more hard-headed question, which is...

"If the BCNDP could be as successful as Bernie Sanders in raising money in small dollops from non-wealthy donors, could they bridge the fundraising gap with the BC Liberals?"

Sound like a reasonable question given Mr. Mason's original thesis and the discussion it whipped up?

Alright fellas (and gals)....Lets go!


I have already explained the huge six million dollar advantage, all of it due to massive corporate support and wealthy donor support/investment, that the BC Liberals gained in 2015 which, given the multitude of secret big money hookups recently, has to be at least as large (if not much larger) for 2016.

Which means that the BC Liberals are very likely at least twelve million dollars ahead as of right now.

So, could the Dippers make that up by going all "pure-as-the-driven-snow-Sandersesque" for the next six months?


How about we do a little bit of new fangled math (i.e. long division) and see what the numbers look like?

During his recent campaign down south Mr. Sanders raised $202 million in small donations from a voter base of 136 million.

In the last election the voter base in British Columbia was 1.8 million which is 1.3 percent the size of that in United States. I will round that number off to 1.5% just to be safe.

All of which means that, even if the Dippers the fantastic job that Bernie Sanders did with small money donors they would raise a total of about three million dollars leaving them nine million behind the BC Liberals. And then, of course, there is all that darker money that is about to be thrown around by the highly 'resourceful' BC Liberal wizards' surrogates and astroturf layers to consider, not to mention the PAB-Botian ad blitzkriegs that are and will be paid for by you and me.

Which is why I stand by my original assertion, now more than ever, that Mr. Mason and those very well meaning and idealistic folks that have that have been bamboozled by the Masonian blather are asking the BC NDP to fight the upcoming election campaign with both hands tied behind their back.


That 'Alright fellas, let's go!' thing given you an earworm?....Well, of course....This.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Bernie Sanders Is Very Worried That Republicans Unleashed Will Make U.S. Campaign Fundraising Just As Bad As...

...British Columbia.

I'll be back with more on why the BCNDP cannot unilaterally disarm on fundraising, with a Sanderseque-like theme and everything...Later.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

According To Ron Obvious The BCNDP Should...

...Fight The Next Election With Both Hands Tied Behind Its Collective Back.

In his latest column in the Globe and (nolongerempire) Mail, Gary Mason first praises John Horgan and the NDP for taking a stand against the killing of grizzly bears.

And then, obviously,  Mr. Mason spends most of the rest of his screed taking Mr. Horgan to task for courting big money donors after first brushing aside the fact that the BCNDP have made it crystal clear that they will introduce legislation to halt this business if they are elected.

Because, well, this:

...Mr. Horgan, with the right, Bernie Sanders-type message, could have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through small $50 and $100 donations. He could have said no to the same $10,000 dinners Ms. Clark attends, driving home the distinction between his party and one that trades ingress for dollars...

Now, on a very superficial level that makes a certain kind of simplistic sense, right?

Except, of course, Mr. Mason seems to be unaware (or unwilling to tell his readers) that, under the current rules that the Clarklandians refuse to change, 'hundreds of thousands' in small donations doesn't mean squat when it comes to dealing the BC Liberal's Big Money Cronification-Of-Everything Pay-To-Play Machine.

How do I know this?

Well, I actually went and looked at the publicly available records of party fundraising from 2015.

And right there, in non-searchable, scanned-in black and white it says that the BCNDP raised $1,068,479 from contributions of $250 or less in 2015 (see pg 7).

Which is great given that it is almost twice the $592,440 BC Liberals received in small donations last year (see pg 8).

But here's the thing that really matters...

In 2015 the Clarklandian cronification machine brought in $9,379,808 in big money donations, more than $6 million of which came from corporations and commercial operations.

By way of comparison, the Dippers raised $1,983,011 in large donations, most of which came from individual citizens (i.e. less than $400K and $150K came from unions and corporations, respectively).

Which means that the BC NDP cannot win by exclusively courting small donors under the current rules that they cannot change until the win.

Because even if they could raise a clearly impossible $5 million in brand new money through small donations from supporters without money or power (or cronification leverage) the Dippers would still be way behind the BC Liberals.

And that's just based on 2015 numbers without knowing how things have gone in 2016 when Ms. Clark and friends have gone hog-wild with the secret big money meet-ups.



Here's what I really have to say.

To hell with the obvious.

Because I, for one, do not want the only side that has a hope-in-heckfire of beating the BC Liberals to march into the upcoming election maelstrom without any money to fight the avalanche of crony-bought propaganda that is massing, golem-like, just over the New Year's horizon.


Why am I so upset about this codswallop given everything else that is going down in the local Lotuslandian proMedia at the moment?... Well, in addition to the fact that superficial obviousness was used, once again, by Mr. Mason to twist a story into something that it is not there  is also the matter of headline to the piece: "Controversial fundraiser leaves B.C. NDP as guilty as the Liberals". Clearly, one look at the actual numbers (i.e. the facts) outlined above demonstrates that this is patently false....But, then again, it did take a lowly idiot blogger such as myself about 93 seconds to look up said facts...If you get my drift.