Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Bloggodome Files...


Norm Farrell, who has been on fire, lately has a really, really, really important post up on the 'Destruction' of BC Hydro:

...Until 1961, with a patchwork of private and municipal systems, many BC residents paid among the highest electrical rates in North America. Others had no reliable service at all. Bennett expropriated the largest private operator and formed BC Hydro, a public corporation.

In 2001, forty years later, residents and businesses enjoyed some of the lowest electrical rates anywhere. BC Hydro sold energy worth $7.9 billion, including $5.5 billion from exported power. Those numbers made the hearts of BC Liberal sponsors beat rapidly. However, it was not the value realized by taxpayers and BC Hydro customers that caused excitement, it was the prospect of privatizing those values. The first step in 2002 was “Energy for our Future: A Plan for BC” that included creation of BC Transmission Corporation, setting the stage for generation and export of private power...

Laila Yuile once again proves that all politics are local, for her in Surrey: 

...Last night, that lack of foresight and continued preference to rampant development (by Surrey council) was displayed again as council put a motion on the table to approve the development in the middle of summer when most people who were opposed, were on vacation,taking care of kids out of school or otherwise occupied.

There was no direct notice to the hundreds of neighbours impacted that this was going to occur and local resident Cindy Dalglish did not receive advance notice either. In fact several emails to the planning department and a councillor, left questions unanswered repeatedly.

Cindy was stunned last night, stunned that after council represented to the attending public big concerns for where the kids will go to school from this development ( keep in mind there are hundreds more units planned for this area as we speak) they would pass it just weeks later in such a stealthy manner. And other residents felt the same way. One I know called their realtor this morning to list, knowing school is going to be an overcrowded nightmare here for years – even the local highschool is vastly overcrowded as well...

The notorious NVG, who usually does his digging thing quietly, expertly and calmly, got pretty worked up this week over that 'vote' that our fine Premier took a (now apologetic) pass on:

...Premier Christy Clark has been missing from the action in the legislature so much that we've lost count, whereas Opposition Leader John Horgan's one absence was noted by Christy Clark in her 'replies' during Question Period when the BC NDP caucus popped the question, the same question over and over without the Premier giving any answer except .... I see your leader is not here.

Laurie Throness, who spoke against the transgender rights Act, didn't, doesn't, appear to have the balls to back up his responsibility to all British Columbians by his deliberately leaving the chamber in order not to have a black mark lodged against the BC Liberals.

Laurie Throness' duty is to vote, come hell or high water, its in his bible.

Throness was in the building! Throness WAS IN THE BUILDING up until Speaker Linda Reid called for the vote. Admonishment? Not bloody likely by the speaker.

The $50,000 stipend paid to Christy Clark for her working the BC Liberal fund raising circuit proves that the only family that comes first in British Columbia is her party membership family...

Grant G, as bombastic and over-the-top as he can be, is right, again, about the (economic-, not Dipper-, induced) Death of LNG:

...There are those who say that the Petronas proposal..PNW LNG in Prince Rupert is different..people like BC Liberal spin doctor Tom Cassada(Twitter @lotuslander1000)...He claims PNW LNG is different because the consortium are offtakers of the other words, partners, equity partners don't care what the price is...that according to Tom Cassada..

Shell Canada had as partners..PetroChina and Kogas..(China and Japan)..and they were offtakers of Shell's gas too..

What some people can't digest, and it is a very simple concept...Why spend $billions to ensure $10 dollar LNG when you can lock in longterm LNG buys for $4 to $5 dollars per MM BTU's...That way these companies keep their cash, and get cheaper LNG...

And, finally, Mr. Beer 'N Hockey gets down to the real brassiest of brass tacks:

...One of the best bits of news I heard all year came courtesy of one of the DCFP's fine readers correcting my belief BC's bush track crowd was not going to be able to put on a Race Day this summer for the first time. Your fellow reader informs me Desert Park is indeed racing August 20th! Post time is scheduled for 1:00 PM if that is ok with Christy Clark.

Seems the provincial f*cking government is getting in the way of my interior friends putting on more Race Days. One more reason not to vote for the crooked f*cks if you ask me. Horgan is up there this weekend. Hope he has made it clear to people up there the NDP will not stand in the way of people doing their god damnedest to keep racing alive and well outside of Dope City...

Earworm in sub-header got you goin'?....This!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Keef Report...I Told You (Idiot Bloggers) So.


Looks like one of Keef's latest offerings on the Twittmachine aims to rub some folks' noses in it by simultaneously calling back to....



What did the Keef have to say back in January that we, the great unwashed need to read?


How about, this:

One of the more intriguing demands by those opposing the Site C dam is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau step in and block its construction, using the argument that the dam infringes First Nations' rights and poses environmental risk.

The odds of the Trudeau government taking such an extraordinary action are, of course, fairly remote. But the root of the argument -- that the dam tramples on First Nations' rights -- remains very much alive even while the dam's construction proceeds every day.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, a leading First Nations leader in B.C., has tried to make the case that only by killing the dam will the Trudeau government show it cares about First Nations. Other dam opponents -- notably environmental and aboriginal activists -- have echoed his demand.

But politically, the argument is a non-starter. There is no way a federal government will override a provincial government decision that is constitutionally protected (provinces have power over non-renewable natural resources, and section 92(a) of the Constitution Act specifically gives provinces power over electrical energy projects, which is precisely what the Site C dam is).

If Trudeau were to indeed try to shut down the dam's construction, he would create a constitutional firestorm that would mortify all provincial governments. Provinces always look askance (or worse) when a federal government tries to stick its nose in their constitutionally-protected business, whatever it might be...


Here's the thing.

The real issue at hand, as Laila and others have pointed out many times (and which we discussed here the other day) is entirely procedural in that any and all provincial decisions on Site C have been exempted from oversight by the province's own watchdog the BC Utilities Commission.

Therefore, on that basis alone, separate from any and all First Nations and constitutional issues, Mr. Trudeau could have and should have rejected the permits.

Oh and, for the record...The Keef just waves away environmental concerns given because they don't concern the provincial government....Therefore, ipso facto Neener! Neener! Neener!...Or some such thing.
A very sharp Anon-O-Mouse on the comment threads the other day suggested that Mr. Trudeau may actually be betting that the courts, ruling on the First Nations issues, will ultimately get him off the hook on this one.
Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here (scroll down).


Friday, July 29, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Local ProMedia Organ Uses The 'L' Word To Describe BC Liberal Caucus Housing Tax Smear.


Yesterday, we noted the BC Liberal government caucus' baseless (some are calling it libelous) smear of Opposition member David Eby in attempt to deflector spike-spin his rising approval ratings in the wake of their cynical (geographically) limited foreign buyer housing tax.


It turns out that the caucus division of the Wizards of Clarklandia (who are being paid by you and me) didn't stop there. They also falsely characterized the NDP's longstanding (and long-called for) suggestion about how to slowly deflate the bubble without unfairly whacking anyone...


Interestingly, and potentially importantly, a single proMedia outlet has called this codswallop out for what it is.

The following is from a piece written by Martin MacMahon posted on the CKWX 1130 website:

...In separate Tweets, the BC Liberal Caucus appears to mischaracterize the proposed NDP speculation tax as one that would apply to all home buyers.

Which is a lie, right? At the very least, it’s an extremely misleading statement,” says (political scientist David) Moscrop. “Everybody knows that there’s going to have to be some sort of taxation measure that’s levelled to start dealing with this. Either that, or there’s going to be a crash. I mean, there could be a suite of things, but taxes are definitely on the table for this. That’s not what the NDP was proposing, whatever side you’re on.”....

Why is the inclusion  of the word 'lie' important in a local proMedia story important?

Because, unless our local proMedia herd turns, hard and starts calling the BC Liberals out for their lies, fabrications and misleading mischaracterizations, long and hard, we could well find ourselves with the same government this time next year.


One small thing bugged me in Mr. MacMahon's otherwise excellent piece...Which is that he let a little bit of 'both sides do it' - type stuff sneak in at the end. That is not a good thing because it allows the dye-filled false equivalency boats to start floating which can be a real problem in the end (and is something truly cynical Wizards count on to muddy all waters).


This Day In Clarkland...Trudeau Green-Lights Site C.


As Laila points out on the Twittmachine, it's hard to believe that the Trudeau government would approve permits for a massive hydroelectric project that the provincial government's own oversight body is not allowed to, well, you know...oversee.

It's something that makes you wonder if, indeed, Marky Mark and the Godfather still have some pull with the mandarins in Ottawash.


As Jonny Wakefield notes in Glacier's far northern press organs, many of the locals are not happy.

And that includes folks whose livelihood will be directly affected by Mr. Trudeau's 'permits' (and who likely have a decent Charter challenge in their back pockets):

Justin Trudeau’s government has authorized its first set of Site C permits, allowing construction to continue on the controversial $8.8 billion project.

Critics of the dam say the approval quashes any hopes they had of the new government delaying or further reviewing Site C...


...The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations continue to challenge the project in court, saying flooding the Peace River Valley will disrupt their ability to exercise Treaty rights. The two nations will be in federal court in Montreal this September...

Something tells me that this is not over regardless all of our fine Premier's word salad-spun promises to get the project in cronification 'past the point of no return'.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...They Only Smear Those That They Fear Most.


Given that David Eby's advocacy, backed by the proMedia digging of Sam Cooper, Kathy Tomlinson and Ian Young, helped alert the public and force the Clarklandians into their cynical limited hang out on the Lotuslandian Real Estate Bubble,  the following clearly demonstrates the latter group's utter depravity:

This really and truly is disgusting.

And, to be more precise in codswalloparian political terms, it is clearly one more variation on what is now a classic Rethuglican Swiftboat strate(r)gy in which the operating procedure is to lie, twist and cheat again and again and again until you convince the rubeiest of the low information voting Rubes (and proMedia types too) that someone's greatest strength is actually their greatest weakness.


Why are the BC Liberals doing this, really?

Because they are scared crapless of Mr. Eby.

That's why.

And, for the record, this is not the first time on this topic alone...


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lotuslandian Real Estate Stories Are Not Just For Cooper, Tomlinson And Young Anymore.



Even the VSun's Jeff Lee has gotten into the act:

On Wednesday the (Real Estate) council (of British Columbia) said it was aware of a statement by Mike Stewart of Century 21 offering ways people could avoid the new 15 per cent tax, including selling presale contracts to friends or family members who are Canadian citizens or residents...

Imagine what would happen if the proMedia herd were to turn swing into action like this when evidence of wrongdoing in the Premier's office surfaces.



This Day In Clarkland...When Is An Abstention Not An Abstention?


Well, well, well, whaddy'a know.

Our fine Premier was not in the legislature to vote for human rights for all on Monday.


I guess this latest thing then is actually a reverse expedience slither from the piked position (a.k.a. being for something that the Opposition has forced you to do without actually being for it when you actually endorsed it).

On the flipside, at least Ms. Clark didn't go full metal Throness on the legislation.

At least not in public.

And where was Ms. Clark, instead?...Well, as Rob Shaw of the VSun notes, she was...Wait for it...At a party-scheduled (it's all 'party officials'/Laura's fault!) fundraiser...
Laila has more...and gets red-herringed by a Klout Klub member...on the Twittmachine.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Traffic Circles I Have Known...

...30th and Walden, Just East Of Main.

It's an interesting stretch of street.

And in the morning it's a slight incline and just the start to my ride out to work on Lotusland Central's farthest most western edge.

So if I'm late I start pushing right about here. If not I take it easy pretty much all the way to Cambie. The latter was the case this morning, even though I was not early (because it's summer!*).

In the evening it's the last 10% and it's coasting before the last blast up to Fraser parallel to the edge of the cemetery, a two block stretch that now includes six, count 'em six!, speed bumps. Clearly, the folks paying $1.8 million to live in the neighbourhood are not going to put up with speeding bicycles.


Maybe it's all the cars that seem to be using bike routes as their own (relatively) traffic-free short cut these days.

*And, probably, because we were one of the very, very lucky 13% to get a grant last week.


This Day In Clarkland...Guess Who's Doing The Legislative Press Gallery's Job For Them?


Why, it's Jonny Wakefield, working 1,300 km from Victoria:

"BC Hydro's electricity demand projections were off by more than half a dam last year, according to the Crown corporation's annual report.

Steep declines in electricity demand from mills, mines and oil and gas producers, as well as a warm winter, contributed to a 3,351 gigawatt-hours (Gwh) shortfall in demand forecasts. For comparison, the Site C dam under construction on the Peace River near Fort St. John would generate 5,100 Gwh a year..."

I mean, Mr. Wakefied's got quotes from pols, including the Old Turdstormer, and everything!

..."The (Opposition NDP) member (Dix) mentions the demand forecast for one year as if it should be bang on, spot on accurate," he said. "From time to time, the demand forecast is going to change on a year-by-year basis."

He said that long term, B.C. will need more power.

"We know that our economy is going to continue to grow," he said. "We know that our population is going to continue to grow, because it is. We know that B.C. is going to continue to attract new jobs, leading the country, and that's what's going to drive new demand."...

Of course, as Norm Farrell has pointed out repeatedly, Mr. Bennett is flat out wrong.


Meanwhile, in other non Ledge Gallery worthy news, Norm also has a post about the real story of the true cost of IPP-generated power up.

And, as you might expect, that cost is way more than a bunch of teachers, classrooms, and bus passes for the disabled every single year for, essentially, ever, for no good reason at all.

There is a Club?...You bet there is...Our dear, departed friend Ian Reid explained how it works awhile ago. 


Monday, July 25, 2016

At The End Of The Day...

...You've Got To Keep It Light Enough To Travel.

I spent a good chunk of last week climbing in and out of goddamn cigar tubes.

Which I can just barely handle these days when things go well.

But when you're forced to fly steerage/TangoDoublePlusUngood (for good reason) when working for health charities and things go wrong like, say, a three hour delay at the pandemonium end of Pearson's Terminal 1 when you're trying to get home late on a Friday night...

Well,  then happens I am not a happy (or even remotely friendly) traveller.

Luckily, I had a really good mechanotransduction paper to read/figure out (to help with the discussion to a manuscript of our own that I'm working on) as well as John Irving's latest (the guy is flat-out indefatigable) to get me through it.

Still, we finally got to YVR late enough that I had to take a cab home because the last train had left already.

I really hate that given that the difference between $2.10 and $40.00 is a whole lotta daffodils.

Anyway, the next morning, Saturday, I took the Whackadoodle down to the river and noticed that there were no Helijets buzzing overhead.

Which, in my mind at least, meant the Clarklandians must have been away for the previous afternoon's big liquor announcement.


littler e. climbed into the cigar tube herself on Sunday morning. All carry-on, no checked-baggage for a trip to New Hampshire via Toronto and New York (three flights!) so that she can spend the week at a tap dance work/sweat-like-crazy-shop.

And this time next week we'll be on our way down the coast to Mendicino (the coastal county, not the town, although we will pass by the latter on our way to our friends' place just south of the magnificently bizarre hippie/fishing/flying burrito town of Point Arena).





Image at top of the post is the two E's from a California trip 12 summers ago...From the long climb up 101 south of Eureka on the way to Redway and our favourite Eel River swimming hole...Getting more and more beat-up all the time beach guitar is just visible behind them...


The Reaping Of The Sown.



And for the record, Ms. Parker is neither a Hillary Clone nor a Bernie Bros.

Instead, she is a reporter for the New York Times.

Meanwhile, over in the real problem corner of the USian proMedia rumpus room, NPR refuses to call Ms. Trump's stealing of Ms. Obama's words plagiarism....


This Day In Clarkland...Ya, Sure, But Will The Premier's Funny Business Make Its Way Into Your Copy Mr. Zussman?




Because the Lotulandian proMedia not calling Ms. Clark out, long and hard, on her non-stop Oompa-Loompaing of the truth is the real problem around here.

Header + SubHeader earwormish thing gnawing at you?....This. 


This Day In Clarkland...Will The Limited Real Estate Tax Hangout Actually Work?



I'm not talking about whether a tax that doesn't actually follow the (foreign) money will actually work in real terms that actually means something of true significance for actual British Columbians.

Instead, I'm talking about whether it will work in purely politically expedient terms for the BC Liberal Party and their crony paymasters.


Of course...

The Wizards of Clarklandia probably figure they have a good chance of pulling off that expedient thing as long as they can count on proMedia folks like Ron Obvious to keep on focussing on the trivial:

But here's the thing...

The day before Sam Cooper's big story was published/posted he was on the Twittmachine doing a foreshadow dance that got folks of all stripes  chomping at the bit, eyes bulging, looking for the real thing rather than the pablum leaking from the seams of the likes of Mr. Mason et al.

How very un-club like of Mr. Cooper.

And why, exactly, isn't this special sitting of the legislature being called the Dippers' Summer Blow-Out Bash anyway?


Sunday, July 24, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: Will Anyone In British Columbia Ever Say...

...'Thank God For Site C'?

I truly and honestly believe in public works for public good.

And there are many historical examples of such works in British Columbia.

Unfortunately, many of those works are now being actively dismantled in the name of a peculiar brand of neoliberalism that is really nothing more than the cronification of everything in disguise.

Of course, that cronification of everything is also a front end driver of the construction of a new breed of pretend public works.

And the Site C dam, in my opinion at least, perfectly illustrates this cronification.

And no amount of wurlitzering of the 'thousand job miracle' by the Clarklandian Wizards and the proMedia lickspittles in their enthrall will change that.

Which is just another way of saying that, while it once may have been our local version of the Tennessee Valley Authority, all that once was good about BC Hydro appears to be slipping away fast.


TVA photo credit: Historian Billy Hathorn.


Tunes, etcetera....Smithers Falls To Fourth.


A little while ago I noted that a new feature from the audio provider I use allowed me to figure out that Smithers is, pound-for-pound, the town that rings up the most listens to the little jukebox over there on the left sidebar.

Unfortunately, they've now fallen to fourth.


Still pretty wild, though, to think that a group of folks up North are bothering to punch the tune button pretty regularly...Although, I suppose shouldn't get too excited though, given that it might just be one really persistent 24/7 listener.
One other interesting thing...Clearly the Russian spam/spy bots have no interest listening to the warble.


Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Week In Clarkland...Is Cookie Dough Mike Afraid Of Some Lotuslandian proMedia Members?


The Clarklandian Finance Minister, Mike De Jong, held a press conference this week to talk about the release of his government's public account numbers.

Then he took questions from the press.

But only some of them.

Bob Mackin, writing in Business in Vancouver, has the story:

...Finance Minister Mike de Jong took questions from Victoria Press Gallery reporters, but did not take any from the two reporters, representing CKNW and Business in Vancouver, who attended a boardroom at the cabinet’s Canada Place office to listen to the news conference. The Vancouver-based reporters were told that de Jong would be available by phone after the news conference. When it was over, however, they were told that de Jong had to attend meetings...


There are some local proMedia members (or is it one?) that Mr. De Jong is loathe to take questions from.


On the flip side, it would appear that there as some friendly stenographers....errrr...Victoria (legislative?) press gallery members he appears to be very comfortable with.

Imagine that!

Cookie Dough Mike?....You bet!


Friday, July 22, 2016

At The End Of The Day...A Very Cool Thing I Never Knew About Apollo 11.


During my tenth summer I spent a whole lot of time at my grandmother's house that was perched over Swan Lake on the outskirts of Victoria.

And while there I was often glued to the TeeVee watching Wally Schirra and Mr. Cronkite show us pictures and tell us stories about the moonshot.

When I was instead at home that summer I mostly hid out in my bedroom closet, which had been converted into the inside of lunar excursion module, with levers and buttons and Apollo 11 mission checklists and everything.

All of which were homemade except for the spiral bound book of checklists filled of 'flip-that-switch' and 'hit-that-button' commands that seemed to go on and on forever.

Who knew that those checklists and, especially, the computer programs that drove them, were the work of a team of MIT software engineers led by a young woman named Margaret Hamilton, pictured above with the a big pile of the original script.

It turns out that Ms. Hamilton was actually a pioneer in a field filled with women that the rest of engineering field at first refused to recognize:

..."I began to use the term 'software engineering' to distinguish it from hardware and other kinds of engineering," Hamilton told Verne's Jaime Rubio Hancock in an interview. "When I first started using this phrase, it was considered to be quite amusing. It was an ongoing joke for a long time. They liked to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline."...

Imagine that!

I also remember one conversation involving ol' Spam-In-A-Can Wally in which he described all the crazy things that would be different by the time the millenium flipped over in the year 2000...The details are hazy but I distinctly recall being flummoxed not by Jetsons-like flying cars but instead by the realization that I would be an ancient 41 years old by that time....I mean, to think of being that ancient at the age of ten was truly inconceivable...Now?...Well, early forties seems like a young man's game to me now...Selah.


This Day In Clarkland...Is An Another Independent Officer Of The BC Government About To Get Knee-Capped?


After all, if Seniors' Advocate Isobel Mackenzie runs around news releasing stuff like the following, even if it is wrapped up in the form of a poopy-centered sandwich...

BC’s Seniors Advocate, Isobel Mackenzie, is expressing concerns about the declining income of seniors, which is particularly acute in BC relative to other parts of the country, according to Statistics Canada’s latest income survey released last week.

“The most recent income data from Statistics Canada has some really good news for BC two-parent families. Their median income has increased 9.7% and far outpaces the national average.

However, for seniors in BC, the story is the complete opposite,” stated Mackenzie. Since 2013, BC senior families saw their annual median income fall 5.7% and for a BC single senior, the decline is even steeper, with a 6.3% drop since 2013.This compares to the national averages, which show a 1.9% increase for senior families and a 2.3% increase for single seniors...


...Nationally, the percentage of Canadians aged 65 and over living on low incomes rose to 12.5%. In particular, 30% of single, elderly women are considered low income—triple the level of two decades ago...

Luckily for the Wizards of Clarklandia disaffected old folks don't vote.


Meanwhile, look for an 'Unlock The Equity Of Old Folks!'-type missive from the Condo King coming soon...
Finally, if it's Friday afternoon it must be time for...A Booze Announement!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Thing About BC Parks...


When I was a kid, and even when my own kids were smaller, we spent a whole lot of time in BC Parks.

And nowhere did we spend more of that time than at Bamberton which was once a throw-away chunk of clear-cut sandwiched between the old cement plant and the cabins across the creek on Saanich inlet at the northern edge of the Malahat.

We went there for all kinds of reasons, some of which you can read about below.


I've been particularly riled up lately about how difficult it is becoming for average British Columbian families lately to camp in parks like Bamberton (see here, here and here).

Hopefully the old post below (my very first actually, written back in the salad days of the summer of 2004) will help explain where all this riling up originated...


Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Gospel According to HR MacMillan 

49 degrees 17' 59" North...124 degrees 37' 0" West

When I was a kid my Dad used to pile us all in the Studebaker and we'd head off camping for 20 or 30 days every summer.

Those were great days indeed, and we spent almost all of them in British Columbia's Provincial Parks,which cost us a paltry $2.00 per day.

Truth be told, that was really all we could afford.

Now wait just a minute you might be saying to yourself, particularly if you are of a certain politcal stripe.....he said 'Studebaker', right? So this doesn't make sense, because all of this car-camping must have occurred way back in the past, before the Socialist Hordes took over and gave everything away, cheap, to all comers.

There is only one problem with that kind of waterheaded thinking.

It was not the Hordes that built British Columbia's Provincial Parks, or our Public Ferry system, or even our BC Hydro for that matter.

Instead, it was none other than that notorious free-enterpriser himself W.A.C. Bennett, who once said,"the finest sound in the land is the ringing of cash registers".

Now, I will leave it to others who have considerably more politico-historical mojo than I to explain how the original Socred Manifesto was bent out of shape by the Wacky One after he brought it over the Rockies and started hammering the crap out of it in his Hardware store in Kelowna in the early '50s.

Because, at least for this screed, the whys and the wherefores are not important.

What is important is that Mr. Bennett did these things. And they were good.


Last week my wife went online and booked a campsite for the August long weekend at a Provincial Campground on the Sunshine Coast. The cost was $20 dollars per day for the site, $6 for the reservation fee and $10 for an extra car (I have to work Friday and thus will come up with another family on the Saturday).

That makes $36.00 per night or $118.00 for the weekend which is more than twice what it cost my Dad and his wife and his three kids (me and my two brothers) for an entire four week holiday in 1971.

Ya, I know inflation, cost of living, relative earning multiples....blah, blah, blah.

But, then again, think of it this way: my Dad worked on a towboat all his adult life and we were always a working class family, which is why we were travelling in a 1963 Studebaker in 1971. But the cost of going camping was never an issue. In fact, at two bucks a night we could have camped from the day school got out in June until it started again in September and the cost of a campsite still wouldn't have been an issue.

But let's take a working class family now. Let's say they want to take a big trip around the province camping for 4 weeks this summer. The price of the campsites alone would run them somewhere in the vicinity of 700 bucks. You think that might not give them pause, perhaps even enough to consider Disneyland instead?

And don't even get me started on the lack of services, the deterioration of the infrastructure, and the dearth of nature programs now compared to that which greeted you when you entered a Provincial Park a generation ago.


So what the hell has happened?

Well, for one thing, of all the province's 'assets' the Parks may be the ones that have gone the furthest down the Dual tracks to Destruction known as P3 (private/public/partnerships) and Cost Recovery.

Clearly, the people who, as Frank Capra once put it, do most of the 'living and working and dying' in this province have lost control. And this is a theme I will return to from a 'big picture' point of view in the coming months.....but for now I want to talk about a small story in a small place almost smack dab in the middle of Vancouver Island.

It's called Cathedral Grove, which is a postage stamp of less than 200 hectares located along Cameron Lake about halfway between Parksville and Port Alberni on Highway 4, which is the main road to Tofino.

The park has one of the last easily accessible stands of old growth Douglas Fir anywhere and it was bequeathed to the Province by non-other than that old forest raper himself, HR Macmillan, who, I'm guessing, was probably great friends with Wacky Bennett.


One of the places we liked to camp when I was a kid was Englishmen's River Falls, a provincial campsite located at the foot of Mt. Arrowsmith at the end of Cameron Lake a few miles east of Cathedral Grove.

It goes without saying that the Grove is a magical place. And when I was 12 years old it could entice my brothers and me into doing crazy Tommy Thompson-like stuff that included bushwacking down from the Mount Arrowsmith trail or fording the Cameron River looking for Roosevelt Elk on our way to the Big Trees.

Oh sure, you could then, and still can, take the easy way into 'Canopy of Giants' by parking your car along the side of the road along a windy portion of highway 4 that runs through the heart of the park.

And this, of course, causes some congestion along the stretch of two lane highway that winds its way towards Port Alberni, Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park on the West Coast of the Island.

Which is why, if you were to take the current Provincial Government's argument at face value, the proposed construction of a new parking lot in the name of safety is a good thing.

And if you are convinced that building such a parking lot is the right thing it becomes very easy to dismiss the 'eco-freaks' that have barricaded themselves in the trees to defy the bulldozers as crackpots.

Except that some folks, including one of the few mainstream journos in this Province with any spine, Stephen Hume, have been bold enough to take take a peek behind the Government's Curtain of Spurious Spin and have started asking questions like.....

1) Why is the paved parking lot so darned big (ie. protestors have claimed that it will hold 150 cars and 20 buses)?...... Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection's response: It's not big at all because..... 'it is only designed for 140 cars and 15 buses.'

2) Why is the lot being built in a stand of mature second growth forest right next to the Grove, the destruction of which will facilitate blowdowns from the wind that whistles through the adjacent clear-cut?...... The Ministry of Protection's response.....'studies by Dr. Steven Mitchell of UBC and Madrone Consulting have concluded that there will be not be increased blowdown'.....This all sounds very plausible except for one small thing..... here is what Dr. Mitchell actually said in the conclusion of his original report:

"...In a small park such as MacMillan Park (Cathedral Grove), situated on a major travel corridor near expanding populations, with high visitor use, influence of human activities is inevitable. These effects can be mitigated to some degree through application of our growing knowledge of ecosystem function, and through long term cooperative planning....."

Clearly, the work of a careful academic, but it is hardly the ringing endorsement that our Spinners from the Ministry of Protection make it out to be.

3) Why has there been no public review or input into the process?.....Ministry of Protection response: "consultation and study have been going on for 12 years......" This is a classic propaganda ploy - spew out an answer that seems logical but is actually completely illogical (ie. internal consultation = public review). This double-speak is actually reinforced by an internally commissioned consultant's report from Blood and Associates that cites two, and only two, previous studies, both of which were carried out guessed it....Blood and Associates.

While there are many other examples of double-speak pertaining to this issue, those three points alone are enough to make you wonder if we are actually building a massive parking lot that will hasten the Grove's demise and if so, why?

Well, given the fact that the football field full of pavement will also be stuffed to the gills with Parking Meters, could it be that revenue generation/cost recovery is one of the driving forces behind this initiative? The former chief Gauliter of the Ministry of Protection, Joyce Murray, had a double-speak answer for this as well (all of this stuff can be found as pdf files at the site linked to above)

"..... parking at Cathedral Grove will indeed be metered. Last year, 27 Provincial Parks on Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland introduced day-use parking fees...."

Personally, I feel that 2+2=5 responses like this are actually more of an indictment than a justification.

And here's Dad and his Dad before him eeked out working class existences in the forest industry doing the shit jobs that made people like HR MacMillan and his kind rich. And now the conning-neos currently in control are doing their damndest to try and convince us that we should be glad that we are being forced to pay for the privilege of visiting the bone that was thrown our way as payment for being royally screwed throughout both of their lifetimes?

To put it another way, does anybody really think that the SuperRich would put up with paying a parking fee to tie their float planes up at the dock when they fly into a secluded SuperNatural British Columbia spot like, oh say, Great Central Lake, which is located in the still pristine wilderness just a few kilometers away, and a world removed, from the public highway that runs through Cathedral Grove?

Of course not.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Where, Exactly, Does It Say...

...That The Bullies Shall Inherit The Earth?


And, lest you think the bullying is only American and/or Trumpian...Think again...Because...Klout Klub!


Anatomy Of An Attempted Hacking Going Down?


Noticed an unexpected bump in page views at lunchtime today, which I thought odd given that I haven't been poli-blogging that much recently due to heavier than usual science-geek obligations the last week or so.

And then I found this bizarre saw tooth pattern of mini-bumps that peaked in the middle of the Lotusland night...

Which got me to looking at where the extra hits were coming from...


Given that I normally never get hits from Putinland, I immediately untethered the blog from any other devices/platforms and instituted the Googleplexes' unwieldy two-step verification thingy as well as a brand new password.

Here's hoping I still be able to get into this old place tomorrow.


The Last Of The Single Shingle Left Blogistanners Speaks!


I have been reading Driftglass since he started out as lowly a commenter at the best blog ever (a.k.a. Steve Gilliard's 'Newsblog'*).

And I've continued to read Mr. Glass regularly for the last dozen or so years for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that he usually turns out to be right about the big issues going down in America.


It would appear that some of Drifty's readers are getting tired of his pointing out that the worst offenders of Wingnuttia, proMedia Division,  are now trying to slither away into the grass by pretending that they, too, knew what was really going down while they actually wrote and said the opposite for years and years and years...Because...You know...Both sides do it!

So, here is the dinosaur's response, in his own words:
...So when future electoral battles are joined, what do you suppose the margin of victory (will) be for the Right once they get their war-wagon running on high test again? My guess is that the margin will be the usual cohort of herd-following, know-nothing voters in the middle who figure that they might as well give the GOP a shot because everybody knows there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties.

And how in the hell did those herd-following, know-nothings ever get that stupid idea stuck in their heads? They got it from -- surprise! -- exactly same poisoned well where Crazy Uncle Liberty gets that "Well, Libtards are just as bad!" alibi he whips out every time another one of his bigoted, idiotic lies blows up in his face.

They get it from hearing this same Big Lie of Both Siderism, repeated by serious, respectable and highly-paid media professionals in an infinite, closed, propaganda loop, from every direction, by virtually every media corporation, year after year after year.

You want to stop the Conservative tank corps that is rolling in our direction?

So do I.

And as a disreputable single-shingle blogger writing in a nearly-defunct genre from the middle of a cornfield, I can either spend my limited time and energy plinking away with my pea-shooter at the 12-inch-thick, sloped, explosive reactive armor with which the Right's battle-wagons are plated from muzzle to tail-pipe...

...or I can do my damnedest to use what little I've got to disable their Beltway media distributor caps...


Insert 'Dipper' for 'Libtard', above, and you will get an idea of why I, another longtime single shingle blogger from F-Troop list land, insist on paying attention to what our own proMedia does and says (and said in the past).


*A close second was Billmon's Whiskey Bar.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

At The End Of The Day...

...Nobody Wants To Be Stuck In Deep Right Field For Eleven Years.

From Dan Epstein's Rolling Stone piece on the making of the 'Doc and Daryl' documentary:

...(Judd Apatow) says that the human aspects of Gooden and Strawberry's stories were ultimately what inspired him to make the film. "I am a terrible athlete," he says, "so my sympathy is always with the team that lost or the player that is in a slump. When the Mets won in 1986, I only thought about Bill Buckner. 'How is he feeling? I hope he knows how awesome he is.' That always prevents me from getting too excited when my team wins because I am always Bill Buckner. That's the essence of what Freaks and Geeks is about — how do we survive the painful moments? I am interested in people's humanity much more than their feats of greatness."...

Sometimes I really and truly can't figure out what was so wrong with the world in the year 2000 that led to the Rovians' stealing of a presidency AND NBC's cancelling of Freaks and Geeks after only 12 episodes (fans and cable TeeVee got the last six on the air, apparently).

As you might have been able to predict...Mr. Epstein is one of my favourite non-poli follows on the Twitmachine.


Friday, July 15, 2016

How Many Public Campsites, Exactly, Have The BC Liberal Government Eliminated Since 2001?


Lots of kerfuffle about how difficult it is for the average British Columbia family to go camping in BC's Parks these days.

The Clarklandian Minister responsible, who has been with us since the GordCo days, told us that the way to deal with this is to increase the supply.

But then she (b/w her stenographer) told us that this could prove to be difficult to do as environmentalists would be sure to protest.

Or some such evidence-free based thing.



As a result of my writing about this (and a lively discussion in the comment threads attached to the above linked-to posts) an Anon-O-Mouse whispered in my ear that the other half of the capacity problem in BC's Parks just may be the LOSS of campsites under the BC Liberal reign of error.

I asked for evidence to back this claim and they sent me links to the following.

Exhibit A... The situation in 2001 (via the old gov't website, thanks to the Wayback machine):

Exhibit B...The situation today (via the current gov't website):


Do you see what I see?

Yes, that's right.

According to these numbers, there are actually 3,120 (or 23%) fewer vehicle accessible campsites today than there were back in 2001.

Now, if these are the real numbers, somehow I don't think even the Wizards of Clarklandia and/or Marky Mark's Klout Club can blame that on the 1990's.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...What Is A Lie Under Oath Worth?


Given that the good Mr. Gretes was charged with lying under oath to the privacy commissioner's investigators six times about his (now perfectly legal) Triple Deleting activities in the Clarklandian Ministry of Transportation, that works out to....

Hang on a second while I do the new fangled math known as long division...



Would'a thunk it.

And, as Laila noted on the Twittmachine, there are likely quite a few Wizards of Clarklandia high-fivin' like there's no tomorrow tonight.


This Day In Clarkland, Campsite Edition (ctd.)...Tom Terrific To The Rescue!


Mr. Tom Fletcher of the Black Press thinks the Clarklandians in general, and the Minister responsible for parks, Ms. Mary Polak, have been given an undeserved rough ride recently re: problems in public provincial parks:

Wealthy foreigners snapping up the best properties at premium prices, and then in some cases using them only in prime times.

Occupancy permits trading on classified websites, even rumours of resellers working the passing traffic like rock concert scalpers. The B.C. Liberal government maintains the problem is primarily a lack of supply, and vows to build more.

It’s B.C.’s other real estate crisis, campsite spaces. And mostly it is a summer-time media invention.

An urban radio station poll last week asked if there is something wrong with BC Parks’ online campsite reservation service, and more than 80 per cent of participants agreed there was.

They’re likely misinformed about what is wrong, especially if they’re going by the exaggerated or flat-out false information they’ve heard as this issue was inflated into a national story...

Mr. Fletcher then goes on to note the 'fact' that one tour company does not flip reservations.

And then Mr. Fletcher concludes that all the kerfuffle heaped upon Clarklandia has been nothing more than misguided codswallop dredged up from the 24 "hour social media gossip swamp".

Except Mr. Fletcher, while dodging the actual problem that got people really upset on social media, neglected to mention all that post-reservation 'scalping' that has been going down as reported in both the (swamp-free?) broadcast and public print media.

And what's more...

At the very end, when Mr. Fletcher finally gets to the real problem, a problem that has arisen directly from 15 years of BC Liberal government inaction, he writes the following:

...Environment Minister Mary Polak says creating more campsites in B.C. parks is the ultimate answer. Of course that will attract protests about paving paradise to put up a parking lot...


Wonder where Mr. Fletcher got that 'pave-paradise-parking lot-protest' idea?


Given that the (evidence and/or past performance-free) spectre of environmentalists/tree huggers protesting the construction of new campsites was first raised by Ms. Polak 'herself' in an 'Op/Ed' government prop piece, one has to wonder if any PAB-Bots have beenwhispering swamp-myth busting 'facts' in any local proMedia Club members ears in an attempt to get them to write them a pushback piece?


My Morning Ride.


I hate to say this, but...

The combination of marine air and the first few leaves floating down gave me a super scary, summer's gone/September chill as I floated over the Shaughnessy hump and coasted down into the Valley on my way out to the far Western edge of Lotusland this morning.


And, in case you missed it, the Arbutus line track removal project has made its way up to King Edward.

And, just for the heckfire of it, Mr. Beer 'N Hockey has a pretty interesting anarchistical take on the anthem flapdoodle.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Day In Clarkland: Triple Delete...Make The Minions Pay.



Update, 5:00pm Thursday July 14th: Turns out that, sometimes, the minions of Clarklandia don't have to pay much at all...At least not in terms of money.


As noted by Bob Mackin in The Tyee, word has it that the low level staffer accused of carrying a spate of triple deleting that led to a subsequent serial misdirecting of investigators will plead guilty (to the latter, not the former) tomorrow.

Which means, as Dermod Travis pointed out with Jon McComb on (thegettingalittlemoregiantishonceagain) CKNW this morning, that a guy who was just doingwhat his ultimate superior (i.e. the Minister of Transportation) says he does also, will take the fall.

And this fall will stay with this kid forever.

And, as a result, no upper-encrusted Clarklandian, including one named by the privacy commissioner who works deep within the Premier's office, will be forced to say anything in court that could lead him or her to stumble or even break stride.


Still no apology from the Clark government to the whistleblower, Tim Duncan, who was demoted and sent packing by the OIC-appointed wizards for doing what was right (and legal) as noted by Dirk Meissner in a CP piece published in the Globe back in May of 2015:

...In a telephone interview from Calgary, Mr. Duncan said he was dismayed by what he experienced working for the B.C. government. He said when he raised concerns about possible abuses of the Freedom of Information process he was demoted to the research department and eventually fired.

Mr. Duncan said the episode unfolded last November (2014) when the Ministry of Transportation received a request for records relating to meetings held by ministry officials connected to the Highway of Tears files.

The 720-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia has become known as the Highway of Tears for the disappearances and unsolved murders of 18 young women.

Mr. Duncan said he conducted a search and found more than a dozen documents, but when he called a ministerial assistant, he was told to delete the e-mails.

“I’m like, ‘No, these are exactly what the FOI said we should be keeping,’” he said. “He just took my keyboard away, literally, and said, ‘Hey, now you don’t have to worry about it.’”

Mr. Duncan said when he raised his concerns a second time in January (2015) about deleting e-mails after a Freedom of Information request, a Liberal research director said: “It’s like the West Wing. You do whatever it takes to win.”...

That last quote, bolded above, to me is most chilling when you think of what/whose lives were in play in that game that the 'Liberal research director'  thought they were 'winning' by pulling this crap.

Because governing this province, and its citizens, really is just a game, right?

Dobell Doctrine, you might be asking?....Well....This.
Of course, this is not the first time that the local proMedia Club has immediately ceased digging when hard evidence points to questionable goings on going down inside the Premier's office...It's almost like they've all signed an anti-WoodSteinian Shovel-Dropping pact or something.
And no, for any and all low level PAB-Bots and/or Wizards reading/monitoring this.... 'Governing' and 'Campaigning' are NOT the same thing.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Hostile Takeover Of Royal Dutch Sea Shells.


This just in, via Reuters*:

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its LNG Canada partners have once again pushed back the timing of a decision on building a British Columbia liquefied natural gas export (LNG) terminal, the latest setback for the Canadian province's energy ambitions.

LNG Canada, whose participants also include PetroChina Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Corporation and Kogas, cited global industry challenges, including capital constraints, for requiring more time prior to making a final investment decision.

The proposed project, which would be located on British Columbia's rugged northern coastline, was one of the front runners in a now slowing race to build Canada's first LNG export terminal.

The venture had originally planned to make its final investment decision in the first half of 2016. In February it pushed the deadline to the end of the year.

In its statement on Monday, the group said they could not confirm when the decision would be made. (

Well, it would appear, based on all that blather from Marky Mark's Klout Klub, etcetera, that this can only mean one thing...

Shell has clearly become a wholly-owned subsidiary of John Horgan and the BCNDP!

*And predicted by GrantG, like, ages ago.
As for all that dorm room and 'seeing things' stuff...Well...You know.
Of course, never ending corporocraptic delays in saying 'No' means that superfine local proMedia folks like Ron Obvious and The Keef will be able to pretend that the LNG game is still actually on next spring...
Meanwhile, in PAB-Bot Ville...via BMackin and The Tyee.


The Golden Era's Long Tail (ctd)...Casino-Industrial Complex (NotSo) Good Samaritanism.


Some folks came across a collapsed man in a downtown parking lot recently.

When they called 911 the dispatcher told them to go to the nearby Paragon-owned Edgewater Casino and get their defibrillator.

When the good samaritans got to the casino door here, according to Global's Jon Azpri, is what happened:

"...First, a casino doorman refused to hand over the device. A manager also refused, saying the victim wasn’t on casino property..."


When Paragon finishes building it's massive Casino-Industrial Complex that will take over the entire area will a citizen in dire need require a fist full of chips to get their help?

And, just in case you've forgotten...The breech-birthing of said 'complex' was helped along by a wee bit of immaculately conceived cronyism, BC Liberal style.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

GordCo At Wimbledon...It's A Hard Knock Life For Him.


Our former premier in the Royal Box at today's final tennis match between the Scotsman and the Canadian:

Hard knock life, indeed.

And why, exactly, does Bjorn Borg, seated to Mr. Campbell's right, have such a pained look on his face? 


Saturday, July 09, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...The (Lack Of A) Jobs Boom In British Columbia.


320 jobs per month generated during the last eight years of GordCo, Inc. and Clarklandia.

Which, as you might expect, puts us way, way behind the other big population provinces:

As Integrity BC, who did the analysis above, has pointed out...

At this rate it will take Two Hundred and Fifty-Nine years to get to our fine premier's million job promise.

Pretty much puts to rest Ron Obvious' claim that the Wizards of Clarklandia have unquestionably worked wonders for our economy.

Or some such thing.

Of course, Mr. Obvious of the Globe has also written that the abject LNG failure means, essentially, nothing given all that unquestioned economic success...Seriously.


Friday, July 08, 2016

Vancouver Real Estate In Clarkland...Does The VSun Even Know A Limited Hangout When They See One?


From the very bottom of Joanne-Lee Young and Rob Shaw's recent Vancouver Sun piece on the 'critics' response to the Wizards of Clarklandia's "pretend-to-do-something-but-not-really-anything-actually" release of 'foreign' buyers of Lotuslandian dirt and sky in June:

...The Liberal government’s abrupt release of data marked yet another shift in its position on a hot topic file that’s expected to play a prominent role in the May 2017 provincial election.

Just a few months ago, de Jong has said he’d need between six months and a year to analyze the foreign buyer data before drawing conclusions, but Thursday he admitted the public wasn’t willing to wait that long before seeing the data.

It also marked a continued softening of government’s long-held reluctance to intervene in the housing market amid intense public pressure.

The Liberals had at one point all but ruled out a tax on foreign purchases in the real estate market, arguing the government has long encouraged foreign investment in the provincial economy.

Now, de Jong is willing to analyze the impact of a foreign buyer’s tax and whether it would simply generate money for the government or actually reduce foreign housing purchases.

Premier Christy Clark has said all options are on the table, and last week revoked the real estate industry’s ability to police itself amid concerns of unethical practices among some realtors.

The government is also now seriously entertaining Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson’s proposal for a vacant home tax, which last year the premier appeared to dismiss with a counter-argument that cities should reduce red tape and speed up approvals for new housing developments.


What, exactly, is the point that Ms. Young and Mr. Shaw are trying to make by telling us all these things/options on the table that the Wizards of Clarklandia are now suddenly 'willing to analyze' and 'seriously entertain'?

I'll save my take for all this for the comments.
Hey...If you haven't been over to Laila's today yet, head on over and read her great piece on the very real human toll of this disgraceful bus pass clawback from our fellow citizens that need (and deserve) our help most.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...Polakcisms On Parade (Campsite Edition)


Why haven't GordCo, Inc. and/or the Wizards of Clarklandia built campsites for the rubes?


According to our fine Environment minister Ms Polak, in her 'OpEd' published in the journal of PAB-Bottia earlier today, it's the fault of those darned tree huggers:

...The ultimate solution is to increase the supply of campsites, but that will take some time. Availability of land in high-demand areas is one challenge but, as well, for everyone who wants to see expanded campsites for recreational purposes, you have another person who says, “No, I don't want you to cut down more trees.”...


I'm sure glad Ms. Polak cleared that wee little matter up for everyone.

And, no, as snarky as this post was meant to be, I wasn't making that part about the 'OpEd' label that was affixed to this propaganda release from the wizards behind the government comminications curtain...Seriously.
And how many fulltime Park Rangers do we have compared to, say, fulltime PR wizards at the moment?