Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What Do You Take With You When You Move?


When 'C' and I moved south to the Bay Area a long, long time ago all that we took with us was the stuff we could fit in our Mazda GLC (the forerunner to the '3').

When we came north to Lotusland a few years later we had a family and a house full of stuff, half of which went to Missoula Montana for over a month for no good reason at all.

All of which is just another way of saying that, despite the fact that we have moved three times since, not once have moved trees from one house to the next and/or brought in replacement trees to give us that old house feeling. 

That is not the case with our good friend Karen of the far north who recently brought in a replacement for the magnificent crabapple tree shown above when she and hers moved house recently.

You can read all about it...Here.

The only time that little GLC ever really let us down before we gave it away when, finally, at the age of 35 I finally got my first real job, was when the alternator quit once on the I-5, southbound...We were forced to coast to a stop just outside of Redding California, dumbstruck by the fact that the name of the place matches the colour of the dirt...


The ICBC Book Cooking Chronicles: Ron Obvious Buries The Lede...

....With His Very Own Lede.


To wit:

You can count on every government that has been booted from office after a long stint in power to leave behind a smoking hot mess or two...


You know....

All of this longterm BC Liberal malfaesence around ICBC is, according to the Ron at least, really just the result of a long term in office.

So, I guess there's really nothing more to see here except maybe for the slight effect it could have in the raw politics arena next week.

Which is where Mr. Mason goes in the kicker to his latest Globe and (NoLongerEmpire) Mail piece:

...It will be interesting to see what, if any, impact this has on the Liberals' leadership convention this weekend. Will delegates feel this matter is another reason to choose someone not tied to the last government?...


Sorry, but I just have to ask...

Why would (or should) the BC Liberal 'delegates' hold their  'leaders' accountable on this count if the fine folks in the local proMedia can't be bothered to do so?


Next, how about we dig a little deeper into the buried guts of Mr. Mason's piece.

Mr. Mason does point out that the BC Liberals ignored reports that this is a situation that needed fixing since at least 2014.

They also refused to consider moving forward with needed fixes to the correct the problem:

...The (independent 2014) report recommended putting firm caps on awards for soft tissue injuries as a way of getting the corporation's costs under control. The Liberals dismissed the suggestion out of hand...


Given that, why will he not connect the dots and ask...

Why didn't the BC Liberals move to correct the identified problem way back when?


Is it possible that the answer to that question might be that correcting (or even acknowledging) the problem years ago would have forced the BC Liberals to stop taking gobs of money out of ICBC that they were using to help float their phony budget surpluses?

So (again), why won't the likes of Mr. Smyth, Mr. Leyne, Mr. Palmer and/or Mr. Mason ask the key question about 'why' the BC Liberals did what they did?

After all it's not like 'why' is not one of the five 'W's' of journalism or anything.


I have a theory on why the 'why' question is not being asked....Feel free to throw in your two cents in the comments if you like.
Now, some amongst you might think I'm being a little too hard on the Globe's left coast political columnist...In response I would ask you to recall that it was this same columnist who was upset that we British Columbians just didn't seem to care about super-secret big money political donations being funnelled into BC Liberal party war chests until that stringer from the NYTimes named Levin made it clear that the problem with all this much, much, much more than just the 'obvious' bad-optics that we kept reading about in pieces in the Globe and Postmedia...In other words, the public opinion needle only moved when a proMedia outlet from far away published pieces that held the BC Liberals accountable for their actions...OK?


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

BC Liberal Leadership Race - Pots Gang Up On Kettle And Call Him A Black Rock.


Or, perhaps more accurately, a sheepish Stone...

From the hardest driving purveyor of BC Liberal lapdogtogenerian leaks himself, the Keef:

BC Liberal leadership candidate Todd Stone is facing a serious accusation from four of his rivals.

A letter signed by campaign staffers for Andrew Wilkinson, Michael Lee, Dianne Watts and Mike de Jong said the rules committee and executive council of the BC Liberals had recently met to discuss “invalid or rejected memberships collected by the Todd Stone leadership campaign.”...

Such a lovely bunch, considering.


Mikey Mike Is Shocked...


Mr. Smyth of Postmedia is shocked!

Shocked, I tell you to learn that...

BC Liberal ordered book cooking has been going down at ICBC!

Or some such thing.


And do not think we cannot see what you are doing here Meggsyites...All of which is fine as far as it goes...But remember, no prop is good prop, in the end...So keep this on the up and up for the duration.


Monday, January 29, 2018

All Your Pols 'R Veep.


From the lede of AdRad's weekend piece in the Globe:

In a span of a few hours on Wednesday night, Patrick Brown went from having an entire party machine at his back to being the loneliest guy in Ontario.

The political professionals he had brought in – his chief of staff, campaign director, messaging guru – were out the door before CTV's report about his alleged sexual misconduct had aired. He thought they would be alongside him as he delivered the emergency statement they helped script; instead, he ran from the cameras alone, learning afterward they had announced their resignations on Twitter while he was speaking...


That last bit reminds me of an old sub-header from the good Dockter's Watergate era piece titled 'Fear and Loathing In Washington: The Boys In the Bag':

...It was a nice place. They were principled people, generally...

Imagine that.

Sub-header to this post?...This.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

BC Liberal Leadership Turtle Derby...All Your Sign-Ups 'R Us.


Once upon a time in Clarkland (courtesy David Ball's recent report on Mr. Brian Bonney's sentencing deliberations):

"...It wasn't the only time Clark's name surfaced during Bonney's hearings this week. Also referenced by the Crown was how she won her own race for B.C. Liberal leadership in 2011 with the endorsement of only one elected MLA, Harry Bloy. After she became Premier, Bloy was "rewarded" with a job as Minister of State for Multiculturalism — directly overseeing ethnic outreach efforts — Butcher stated.

Bloy had secured bulk "block" online votes for Clark from ethnic communities; she eked out a win over her second-place contender by 340 points..."

Fast forward to the current BCLiberal leadership sign-up-a-palooza:

Rookie Liberal MLA Michael Lee says he’s signed up the most new members in his party’s leadership contest, and is warning competitors not to underestimate his ability to win the race...


Didn't/Don't those two campaigns have the same show runner?


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Is The Straw That Stirs The Dean's Drink Now...

...The good Mr. Meggs?

Of course, where Mr. Palmer dares to tread all other Club members will soon follow...Which is the point, I guess...At least for the moment.
Meanwhile, Mr. Weaver shows the rest of #bcpoli how to use the Twittmachine, for realz (also at least 'for the moment')  in ways that the Club cannot ignore.
Hey!....Karen of the North is back at the blog bench, hammer and saw in hand....A great place to start is her post on what she did on Christmas vacation (it was not leisurely but it sounds like it was a whole heckuva lot of fun).


Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Lede That Will Define Clarklandia Forever


From Keith Fraser's report on quick winner Brian Bonney's sentencing deliberations:

Numerous senior Liberal government officials, including cabinet ministers and members of former premier Christy Clark’s office, knew about and directed the activities of Brian Bonney in connection with the Quick Wins scandal, but wouldn’t have believed they were encouraging him to break the law, Bonney’s lawyer said Wednesday.

Ian Donaldson, a lawyer for Bonney, said that emails and other documents prove that his client reported to people in the premier’s office, including the deputy chief of staff, to people in the Liberal government caucus and to two ministers.

“All of these different people occupying senior positions in different roles in the government, I say were aware of his activities and indeed encouraged and gave him positive feedback about many of those activities,” Donaldson told Provincial Court Justice David St. Pierre. “They set directions and had expectations of him.”...


With that in mind, you might ask yourself the following...

If the Clarklandians had won the last election would the usual suspects in the Lotuslandian proMedia now be telling us that none of this matters given that the people have spoken and the episode has 'faded from the public consciousness'?

And, just in case you think the above question is nothing more than the crazed rantings of an idiot blogger, you might want to consider...This.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Three Dot, Third Party Vancouver Real Estate Monty....


A most interesting tweet from Glen Chernen, with attached letter from the provincial Office of the Information and Privacy commissioner yesterday...

What's it all about this time Alfie?


I don't know for absolute super duperest sure, but...

There is the following, from a post written back in the Spring of 2017:


Following up on the work, persistence and digging of concerned citizens like Glen Chernen and the Community Association of New Yaletown,  Sam Cooper has written a most interesting PostMedia piece on the big downtown Lotuslandian land swap that re-built some social housing (without increasing the stock) while simultaneously 'unlocking' the re-development potential of one of the chunks of (no longer) city land:

...Now, four years after the city gave 508 Helmcken to the developer at a $15-million value, it has been assessed as high as $130 million by B.C. Assessment, and documents show that it could be worth even more at market rates...


That lock sure did hold back a whole lotta moola.

Interestingly, the great unlocking also involved a loan from BC Housing (i.e. your money and mine) that apparently helped facilitate that decidedly un-social (three million dollar apartments for all!), unlocking:

...NDP housing critic David Eby has asked why B.C. Housing, which is mandated to provide social housing, provided a previously undisclosed $39-million loan to (the developer) Brenhill. The loan in 2016 required reporting of pre-sales progress in the luxury tower...


Alrighty then.

With that pre-amble out of the way, let's get on with the game!

Dot #1:

...Bob Rennie was involved in bringing forward the loan proposal to B.C. Housing’s board, while Rennie was a member of that board, in November 2013...

Dot #2:

...Rennie recused himself from the discussion and approval of the funding for Brenhill from B.C. Housing in the deal, documents show. But B.C. Housing officials refused to disclose to Postmedia why Rennie recused himself... 

Now, while you keep your eyes on those two dots just revealed, how about we hunt down that all important  Dot #3, which has actually been out in the open for ages, all the while being well-polished by breathless promotional pre-sales puff pieces that include money shots like the following from Claudia Kwan, also 'published' in PostMedia's prints:

...“With so many projects, people ask how big the units are, how much does it cost, and what’s the view,” says Tracie McTavish, executive director of project marketer Rennie Marketing Systems...

Game over?

I've said it before,
and I'll say it again...I've got a memory (and a search engine function on this here little old F-Troop listed blog) and I'm going to keep using it.


Monday, January 15, 2018

The First Rule Of Klout Klub...When In Doubt Distort.


Mr. Marissen, backing his latest horse on the Twittmachine, pointed towards a PostMedia story by Rob Shaw yesterday:

Only one problem for those actually paying attention, of course....

Which is the fact that Mr. Shaw's piece, which starts out with 'news' from the Lee camp, does not say anything whatsoever about sign-ups broadening BC Liberal support

Quite the contrary actually:

...Other (BC Liberal leadership) campaigns don’t dispute that Lee has signed up the most members — potentially as many as 10,000. But whether bulk sign-ups are the key to winning the race is unclear. The party has created additional security steps designed to curtail the mass collection of personal identification numbers and bulk voting. That may make it more important to have a smaller amount of motivated members who follow through and vote.

The geographic location of members will also be crucial to candidates, given the Liberal party’s weighted vote system in which each riding has 100 points up for grabs. The system rewards candidates who gather support across the province, particularly in rural ridings. A candidate who secures just a few dozen members to win a less-populated riding like North Island, could get the same 100 points as a candidate who signs up thousands of new members to win a heavily-populated riding in Surrey...

Imagine that!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Good Obvious And Bad Obvious...As The Ron Goes National.


Mr. Mason of the Globe waded into the inter-provincial carbon tax thingy recently.

And some of the stuff he wrote, while obvious, was actually worth the pixel ink it was printed on.

Stuff like this:

...If Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Environment Minister ever hope to meet the exceedingly ambitious climate targets they have set for this country, they have to get serious now. And it starts with getting tough with those holdout (provincial) jurisdictions that feel they can let this matter drag out for a few years. That can't happen...

But then, as you might have expected (and/or predicted), Mr. Mason's column went off the rails in the kicker:

...That is why the new leader of the Saskatchewan Party, the one who has the unenviable job of following in the footsteps of arguably the most popular premier in the province's history, is going to have trouble backing up Mr. Wall's tough talk. Ottawa insists it has the legal authority to impose a carbon tax on the provinces and territories that don't create their own and I can't see why that would not be the case.

Which brings us back to Mr. Kenney.

At some point, he is going to have to come clean about exactly how he intends to get rid of a tax that the federal government is making the rest of the country pay. What is the legal foundation of the argument he plans to mount in court, assuming it ends up there? And refusing to spell it out on the grounds he doesn't want to tip his hand doesn't count as an answer.

Mr. Kenney could well be the next premier of Alberta. The job comes with awesome responsibilities, not the least of which is being straight-up with the people...

It's that last bit that really gets me.

In fact, I see it as nothing more than wishful argle-bargle in the real world politicians actually inhabit these days.


Because Mr. Kenney doesn't care about honesty, logic or even plausible public policy.

After all, when you're playing to a debased base that believes their being born on third base is an hard earned 'advantage'* as Mr. Kenney is, caring about any of those things is actually a demonstrable disadvantage.

Particularly if no one in the proMedia makes him really pay for that willful lack of care**


*Except, of course, if oil prices fall in which case Rachel Notley will be blamed for picking up the base and chucking it over the left field wall
**This is something Mr. Mason knows (or at least should) well, given that he was one of the chief bemoaners of the fact that nothing even remotely monetarily conflicty would stick to Christy Clark...And then a stringer for the NYTimes named Dan Levin stepped in and nailed Ms. Clark's government to the wall by reworking the copy of Mr. Mason et al. to demonstrate, definitively, that a whole lot of somethings were rotten in the state of Clarkland.
This week's Tip-Of-The-Podcast-Toque tip.... This is one I missed when it first came out a couple of months back, but is now worth a listen more than ever...It's Ezra Klein in a free-wheeling, yet still well-moderated, interview with EJ Dionne, Thomas Mann and Norm Ornstein who take no prisoners, media members included, as they speak at length on how "Both Sides Don't Do It" in the US, at least with respect to things that actually matter...The triumverate is a plain-spoken group of honest brokers...It reminds me of the old days of Gzowski with Lewis, Kierans and Camp on Morningside...It doesn't hurt that Klein himself suggests that Orstein, Mann and Dionne have come together like some kind of 'Canadian Indie-Band Super Group'...You can listen to them...Here.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Keef Report...Charlie Smith 14 Point Site C Edition.


First, the Keef:

And in response, Mr. Smith's 14 points:

1. The Site C dam was a voting decision for this so-called tiny constituency whom Baldrey has berated.

2. Many of these people voted for NDP candidates across the province because they believed, in their hearts, that a government led by John Horgan would halt the project.

3. This belief was rooted in the repeated pre-election criticism of the project from Horgan, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, and Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.

4. These Site C voters were confident that an independent evaluation by the B.C. Utilities Commission would show that the power from the Site C dam wasn't needed. Moreover, anyone following the renewable-energy field knew that clean power could be generated less expensively and with far more job creation through methods other than the Site C dam. And this fact would provide these NDP politicians with the justification to halt construction.

5. Indeed, the B.C. Utilities Commission review provided NDP politicians with these justifications. Domestic demand for electricity has been flat in B.C. for a decade.

6. Critics of the project are fully aware that some of the brightest progressive minds in the province think the decision to proceed with the Site C dam was stunningly stupid. These critics believe a major factor in the decision was more than $120,000 in political donations to the NDP from the union representing the operating engineers in the period leading up to the 2017 election.

7. Moreover, the NDP promised to follow the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which has never been an issue of much concern to Baldrey and some of his friends in the press gallery.

8. The hypocrisy of proceeding with completion of the dam while professing fealty to UNDRIP is, in the view of some, even worse than the B.C. Liberal approach, which was to simply pay no heed to UNDRIP and let the chips fall where they may in court. Writer Andrew Frank summed it up best when he referred to the NDP cabinet as "heavy-hearted colonizers".

9. Tremendous advances are being made in the storage of renewable power, which has always been the knock against investing in solar and wind energy. These advances in the storage of renewable power have gone largely unnoticed in the press gallery, but they were given a fair amount of attention in a recent book, Just Cool It! The Climate Crisis and What We Can Do, by David Suzuki and Ian Hanington. Anyone who's curious to learn more can read this article. The mainstream media's failure to cover this issue was a serious shortcoming in its overall approach to the Site C dam. Had this been fully explored, perhaps the NDP government would not have chosen to complete the dam.

10. Municipal and regional governments are making enormous strides in generating their own renewable electricity. Much more can be done in this area at a lower cost than producing Site C power. This point has often been made by one of the foremost critics of the Site C dam, Richmond councillor Harold Steves.

11. Steves has argued that the premier's decision to complete the dam is to provide the energy to power the liquefied-natural-gas industry. If he's right, this will bring the world one step closer to climate-change hell. Anyone who believes Steves on this point can only conclude that the NDP government wasn't being truly honest with the public in explaining why it was going to complete the dam.

12. The NDP's decision to flood massive amounts of farmland in the Peace River Valley is seen by critics as especially foolish, given that there's been no increase in domestic demand for the electricity. Farmland is the new gold, according to former CIBC World Markets chief economist Jeff Rubin.

13. Site C dam critics believe that B.C. Hydro will have trouble servicing its ballooning debt in a world where renewable energy becomes far cheaper and far more plentiful. This debt will then be transferred from ratepayers to provincial taxpayers, crowding out spending for hospitals, schools, and other necessary public services.

14. Some critics of the Site C dam believe that the changes taking place in the energy industry are akin to the transformation in telecommunications from landlines to cellphones. That was a dramatic and quick transition, making the old technology far less appealing. Hydroelectric dams are so 1950s. Distributed renewable-energy generation and storage, including in people's homes and businesses, will be the way of the world in the 21st century. The unions will hate this, but they won't be able to stop it from happening.

And, finally, from literally anyone who has been paying attention because they care about what happens in and to this province:

"This is NOT a game."


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Google Doodle Lotuslandian Double Rainbow.

The image above was on Google's front page today, Jan 9th, 2018. It depicts Gobind Khorana and the genetic code that Khorana helped decipher which led to his sharing in the Nobel prize for medicine in 1968.

Khorana grew up in India, earned his PhD in Britain, completed a post-doc in Switzerland, and did the great majority of the work that cracked the code in the U.S.

But, for a time, during the 1950's Khorana worked in Vancouver on the chemistry of nucleic acids which form the building blocks of the code.

And a young post-doc who worked with him at that time was a fellow named Michael Smith.

Smith, of course, is the guy who won the Nobel prize a generation later for work he did right here in Lotusland wherein he figured out a way to change the genetic code - one of the first examples of gene editing which is all the rage all over again at the moment.

Imagine that!


Monday, January 01, 2018

The Year That Was...2017.


So, here it is, an audio account of a few of the memorable things that went down, mostly in Lotusland, in 2017...

Below are the links to the posts, grouped by subject and tune, that back the blather above...

This Year.
Daniel Dale Totes Up The Lies Of Mr. Trump in 2017
This Year In Clarkland...Booze Laws Uber Alles
Site C Aftermath...The Gloating (ctd)

The Yo-Yo Ferry Conspiracy
Lady In Grey Pajamas Says Mean Things About Site C
The Griftwood Chronicles...Ron Doubles Down On The Obviousness Of The Coverage Of Clarkbekistan
Advantage BC...There Are Known Knowns And There Are Things That Only Mr. Hansen Knows

Deviltown Reprise.
What Did The Minister Know And When Did He Know It
Casinogate: Shutting Down The IGET In 2009...There Was Paper
A Local Journalist Actually Asks Rich Coleman Why He Shut Down IGET

The End Of The Golden Era.
Everything In My Throne Speech Is Dangerous!
The Leadership Resignation Is The Least Of It
This Weekend In Clarkland...Discredit Everyone

Site C.
The Poison Pill Hidden In The Codswallop
The Twisted Logic Of Cookie Dough Mike
Minimum Transparency (Norm Farrell's Irrefutable Numbers)
The Aftermath...Three Point Seven

BC Liberal Says New NDP Donation Rules Are Unfair To Rich People
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth Tons
Bye For Now (Merv Adey's Last Post)

Apologies for the sound quality...Went straight into the laptop's condensor mike on this one.
Finally, in addition to Merv Adey, this one is dedicated to Gary E, another local blogger we lost in 2017.