Tuesday, August 30, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...How Many YouTube Plays Is One Bus Pass Worth?


According to the Province's Mikey Mike (and his 'sources'), our fine Premier has spent about a million dollars on photo-ops since taking office. 

Which, at $52 a pop would be almost 20,000 bus passes for the disabled.


What's the Clarklandian justification for all this.


...“Video and photos support and highlight government announcements and priorities,” the government said in a statement, adding the government has generated more than one million YouTube views...


Doing the reverse math that means that each bus pass for the disabled is also worth about 52 YouTube views.

Ironically, a quick perusal of the sixty most recent Clarklandian YouTube videos posted over the last two months suggests that each of them is worth between one and three bus passes.


Because nobody watches these silly things.

More specifically, only one of those sixty videos actually has more than 300 views. And the one winner chronicles the photo-op where Ms. Clark announced her Dipper-driven limited hangout on real estate tax policy which, by the way, is now worth about 260 bus passes.


Of course, that $52 dollar number is made-up by the Clarklandians...It could have been five dollars...Or ten...Or 75...Interestingly, Lindsay Kines of the VTC quoted the Minister responsible for the trashing of disabled people as saying that the clawback is a policy that is creating 'fairness'....Seriously.


Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Bloggodome Files...


In the wake of the pre-emptive resignation of one of her caucus members and his subsequent arrest, Merv Adey wants to know why the proMedia didn't even bother to try and have our fine Premier answer a question or seven:

A Special Prosecutor has been appointed and we are still in the dark. Christy Clark has been in front of network television cameras and as far as I know, nobody in the Press cabal had the balls to ask the following rational questions:

What is Pat Pimm accused of? Does it relate to his duties as a legislator? Is it a matter of personal behaviour? (“Personal behaviour unbefitting a human” is the most likely answer, but he’s been accused of that before and there was no veil of secrecy. The nature of the allegations in 2013 was made public, though the details were not as he was never charged).

Is there not a public interest when an elected official finds himself under arrest?

Do the citizens of Pat Pimm’s Peace River riding not have a right to know why their elected representative was in police custody, even in the broadest terms?

Premier Clark…How does it reflect on your leadership that you are keeping it all quiet? The people of Peace River elected your man to be a part of your government..now, perhaps for the next 9 months until he retires, he will not be a part of your government. Do they not have a right to know why? How do you feel about it Premier Clark?


Speaking of hiding matters of the public interest in plain sight, Laila Yuile wonders if BC Hydro is going out of its way to ensure that there will not be a robust public response to its two-tiered billing gouge.....errr...proposal:

...(O)f course BC Hydro would be before the BC Utilities Commission during summer vacation on two tier billing… something that really impacts customers who rely entirely on Hydro for power and heat. A big thank you to Dave for bringing this in the comments section of my last post:

“You only have till Sept. 2 to comment to the BC Utilities Commission on proposed tier 2 electrical rate increases, which in effect shift the burden from industry to residences to pay for needless site c expansion and independent power producers.

There have only been about 200 comments submitted so far from the thousands of customers affected. 30,000 customers per year are disconnected compared to 6,000 a few years ago.

There has been a virtual news blackout on this opportunity to comment on the financial burden this places on middle and low income families.

The only allowable comment form which you are instructed to fill out and submit does not download for the majority of computer users and even after being told about this, still the Commission has not corrected it. 

 We really should take the time to submit our comments or the Commission will report to their masters that there is really no opposition to the increasing subsidy provided by us, the residential taxpayers, to the Murray Edwards of Mt. Polley Mine Disaster and his ilk, since they can now defer their utility bills, pay very minimal corporate tax and pathetic royalties.”
That this is not front page for people to respond to, with such limited time, is a joke. I strongly urge you to share this with everyone you know who may be impacted,particularly seniors and those on limited incomes who will not be able to bear the burden and may not be able to access or submit comment.

One might actually come to the conclusion they didn’t really want you to comment on something that impacts you greatly, considering the rate increases to come.


On the BCL crony capitalization front, Dermod Travis of Integrity BC let us know all about one of the fine folks who has been cashing one of those coveted BC Hydro sole sourced contract chips:

...In 2007, former B.C. MLA Jack Weisgerber was on the board of BC Hydro. His fees that year rang in at $37,125.

Then the board itself directly awarded Weisgerber a Site C consultancy contract. Between 2008 and 2014, he billed the utility $917,231.

This is how Weisgerber described the awarding of the contract to the Alaska Highway News: "The initiative came from (then-Minister of Energy and Mines, now Senator) Richard Neufeld and the BC Hydro board."

When the consulting was finished, he retook his chair in the boardroom and pulled in $31,500 in 2014/15...


And, get this!

For one post at least, Norm Farrell put down his red ink-stained pen that regularly ferrets out the true wretchedness in BC Liberal government accounts to let us in on the secret of why one prominent Lotuslandian proMedia outlet has not be doing much reporting on that big foreign money tax cheatopalooza story:

...On Twitter, Chris Gailus explained why Global TV would not cover what might be one of Vancouver’s most significant news stories this decade:

Interestingly, and perhaps not unexpectedly, a whole lot of backpeddling, including from Global itself, ensued on the Twittmachine...



Just what will the real legacy of the ten year reign of Stephen Harper be?

Alison of Creekside told us the answer to that question may have been accurately foreshadowed by a GW Bush appointee way back in 2006:

...(When the Harper government was) first elected into office, US Ambassador David Wilkins sent home a diplomatic cable outlining how the US could best support and direct a prime minister whose values were "not in line" with most Canadians.

He recommended Harper would be useful in "advancing the US agenda for Canada" and that giving him " a success story" like the softwood lumber deal would "shore up his credentials" with Canadians without appearing to "sell out to the Americans".

Ambassador Wilkins "transformational agenda" for Harper :

"Cross border law enforcement" "enhanced information sharing", "joint maritime operations", "more robust counter-narcotics efforts", "security perimeter", following the US lead on Haiti, Afghanistan, Iran, Venezuela, Colombia, ...


And, because past is not supposed to be epilogue....

From across the Rockies David Climenhaga had a distinctly non-hagiographic take Stephen Harper's first post-governmental adventure. My favourite part is a wee bit of a digression about the very real potential of a wee bit of a wingnuttian welfare fundraising overlap:

...Just what Canada and the world need! Another right-wing “consulting firm” with a murky mandate...

...Preston Manning, that tingling you feel in your spine may be related to the fact Mr. Harper is on the loose again, right in your own neighbourhood. He’ll be going to the same generous funders, too, as your eponymous Manning Centre. Heaven only knows what he’s going to be saying about your service to the conservative cause if he encounters a tapped-out donor...


And finally, the following by our friend Danneau, mostly because his thoughful take is the only one I've read anywhere that took any issue with our collective Canuckistanian response to last Saturday night's really big show:

...Whether or not I like the music of the Hip is somewhat irrelevant to the fact that this event has been blown all out of its proportionate importance as a unifier of Canadians and as representative of all that’s good in Canadian culture. I get it that lots of people really like this band and its music, and that there is an outpouring of empathy for a group of people handling a difficult situation with grace and aplomb, but the transmogrification of that grace and aplomb into our own Velvet Revolution is, as the French say, “de trop”. The two really fine items springing from this event have gotten some attention: Gord Downie apparently having called out Justin Trudeau on his ongoing lack of progress on improving lives, specifically First Nations’, in the North, and a comment I saw echoed on Facebook this morning about a broadcaster that puts up an event on national television with no ad breaks, no ticker ads and extends the broadcast when it goes beyond its allotted time, demonstrating the value of a publicly funded, owned and directed national broadcast system...

I'm not sure I agree with Danneau entirely, mostly because I can't think of anybody, and that included Lightfoot, who so consistently put a geographical mind-stamp on lyric poems of the universal than did Mr. Downie. Still, I did have to explain to an American colleague what all the fuss was about (and point her to a few videos of GD in his prime for good measure).


Monday, August 22, 2016

My Morning Ride...

Sunflowers and construction everywhere this morning; getting across Cambie in the high 20's was a nightmare.

But for the first time in quite awhile it was cool enough to wear long sleeves.

And then, somewhere on the Pt. Grey plateau I saw a chestnut on the road.

And when I looked around there a bunch of leaves around also.

Summer's almost over.

Which makes sense, I guess, given that I have to teach later this week.

And if it comes back in October (summer, I mean), I'm sure the Clarkandian's climate inaction plan will take care of everything.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Letter Tune For America, No. 4


Like many of the true pilgrims that went to Memphis yesterday we, too, are home now.

The image above was taken looking into the fog from our favourite North Coast California motel on the trip back.

Funny how much of all the craziness that is really the Excited States is held at bay when you don't watch the TeeVee or read the real papers while traveling.

So much so that after a couple of weeks you tend to reach a bit of a state of grace.

Pretty sure that will all be gone by the weekend.

If not sooner.

Thirty-nine years the King has been gone...Which is the same age my Grandma always told me she was pretty much right up until the day she knitted me 'The Sweater'.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Letter Tune From America, No. 3


Every two summers we return to the Bay Area (eastside division) where Bigger E. was born.

This time around, as we were walking up Hopkins from Monterey Market toward King Park in Berkeley, littler e. asked why the heck we ever left.

Which is a long story involving real jobs and the chance to raise our kids in Canada.


This trip we stayed in Emeryville, that tiny little chunk of pixellated mudflat squeezed between Berkeley and Oakland at the foot of the Bay Bridge into the City which is what you are looking at in the image above.

I took that picture the other morning while sitting there thinking of Mr. Redding...

Will be back from holidays later this week...The Bloggodome Round-Up will return next Sunday...


Thursday, August 04, 2016

Letter Tune From America, No. 2


We're down in northern California now.

Out on the coast, at the southern end of Mendocino county.

Today it was swimming with littler e', first up the river because of the coastal morning fog and then in ocean waves after the sun broke through later in the afternoon.

And this evening it was Bigger E. and me at maybe the most fun and inclusive open mic I've ever been to (not that I'm really an expert or anything) at a fantastic little bar called 'The 215 Main' in Point Arena, CA.

It sure is a hard knock life being the father of two kids who want to do so much fun stuff with, uh...

...Their own Dad.


This is an old one,  originally done for our old friend and compatriot in Bloggodoming Ian Reid...


Monday, August 01, 2016

Letter Tunes From America.


We have left Canada for two weeks in the Excited States.

We are currently in Southern Oregon, Ashland, where they have the summer Shakespeare festival, to be more precise.

The only federal election signs we have seen so far have been for he who would be king.

Don't know about you, but when I leave Canuckistan, I sometimes think of this tune...

Subheader?...Longtime reader and musical-guy-of-all-trades Don F. sold me on a little multitrack Zoom recorder that I invested in and use all the time (although rarely taking advantage of all the tracks which would probably improve the guitar sounds if I did.