Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A Tiny Window Into The BC Liberal Double-Down Dumbness Machine.


The Dippers are reinstalling speed cameras in certain intersections for at least one good reason, safety:

...According to the Minstry of Public Safety, around 60 per cent of crashes on B.C. roads are at intersections, and the new cameras will be strategically placed at high-risk intersections best suited to ticketing speeding drivers and changing their behaviours...

Now, like many other government initiatives, there are legitimate reasons to oppose this move.

And a vigorous, fact-based debate about the balance of the merits and demerits could be had.

Of course, that is not the path that the braintrust behind the good ship BC Liberal has decided to take.

Instead they have gone full on base, for the base:

Why do they do this?

Because they know their chances of winning go up in lockstep with the dumbness of the public discourse.

Simple as that.

Please note, Mr. Stone's tweet was not a one off...Other 'prominent' BC Liberals were also on message on this matter.


What Would Make Your B.C. Day Long Weekend?


Not sure about you but I know the thing that would get my long weekend off to a great start would be if the Feds would do their job and charge Imperial Metals for destroying salmon habitat.

The VSun's Gordon Hoekstra had that story recently. Here's his lede:

Environmentalists and Mount Polley mine-area residents are anxiously waiting as one deadline approaches for federal agencies to lay charges over the 2014 collapse of the B.C. Interior mine’s tailings dam.

After a 4-1/2-year investigation, a team comprised of officials with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, delivered a charge package to federal prosecutors this spring.

It is now up to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine if charges will be laid.

Under federal law, there is a five-year window that ends (Friday) Aug. 4 to lay charges in a summary conviction under the Fisheries Act, where a large corporation faces fines up to $8 million...


It's only $8 million.

But, at the very least, it's the principle of the thing.



Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Dean Finally Wakes Up And Smells The Bogus BC Liberal Land Deals' Coffee...


The Dean of the Lotuslandian legislative press corp, Mr. Vaughn Palmer, has finally awoken (in the wake of great reportage by Lori Culbert et al.) to smell the bogus BC Liberals' surplus land deal coffee.

And what's (almost) the first thing the Dean does?

Why, cast aspersions on the Dippers, of course:

...Given the Liberal fingerprints all over these deals, one might have expected the NDP government to expedite Culbert’s request for information about the other transactions in the Liberals’ ambitious sale of surplus lands...



Explaining the East Van European SUV Index.


How do I know our East Vancouver neighbourhood is changing?

Because the number of European SUV's parked on the street is skyrocketing.

Why is this happening?

A new follow on the Twittmachine, Hamish B., explains:

Imagine that!

Why are all those fancy big boxy cars out on the street every night?....Because there is no longer any room in backyards for garages...Heckfire, one laneway house two doors up our street is actually bigger than our entire bungalow...
The real point...How can any average young family even think about buying here?


Monday, July 29, 2019

Our Own Personal Lotuslandian Real Estate Story


Longtime reader, and fellow musician, Danneau recently mentioned that he watched the moon landing on the TeeVee in his family home at 2nd and MacDonald in Kitsilano.

Which is the kind of thing that, no matter how hard they try, gets Lotuslanders wondering...

'Gosh. I wonder what that property is worth today?'

Our own similar, although more recent Lotusland land story goes like this:

1) We move back to Vancouver in 1995 with a toddler in tow.

2) C. does all the leg work and finds us a slightly dilapidated, but still nice for us, house with a great big yard in MacKenzie Heights (i.e. inner Dunbar) on a nice, quiet street just off West 33rd Ave.

3) We live there for a couple of years before the offshore landlord tells us they are planning to sell.

4) They offer to sell it to us for $255,000.

5) I shout, 'Are they crazy!' and we move away and spend the next eight years trying to get a co-op built.

6) Today, of course, the dirt itself is probably worth about three million dollars.

Banana stands, indeed.

Things all turned out fine, in the end, for us....But we were extremely lucky...Others really need the help that, I hope, the Dipper-engineered soft landing has started...


There's Always Money In The Banana Stand.


Another wild west cronification public land deal gone wrong, this one just south of Langara on Cambie in Lotusland Central, has been unearthed by Lori Culbert and Joanne Lee-Young of the VSun:

...The Pearson-Dogwood development, known as Cambie Gardens, is zoned for 2,160 market condos, 540 social housing units, commercial spaces, a daycare, parks, a community health centre, a long-term care home, and 114 supported apartments to replace the two aging health facilities on the site.

The (BC Liberal) government sold the Dogwood Lodge Complex Care Home in 2015 and the long-term residential care George Pearson Centre and the surrounding land in 2016. However, Postmedia has learned that (developer) Onni has paid just over half the money it agreed to pay: It still owes $137 million because the provincial Liberals gave the developer a low-cost loan and until 2023 to pay off the remainder of the sales price...


It's almost as if the BC Liberals were TeeVee's Bluth Family who told their friends and influential uncles not to worry because there was always money hidden away in the banana stand when needed.

Except, of course, in this case, we were the banana stand.


Interestingly, when the VSun tried to get the guy who ran the provincial program to sell off a billion dollars of public land for a song to talk about it, current BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson refused.

Instead, his braintrust trotted out the former mayor of Lotusland, and past ruler of Spam-A-Lot, Smilin' Sammy Sullivan to do the explaining.

As you might of already guessed Mr. Sullivan both admitted he knew nothing about the progam while he simultaneously defended the program because...

Real Estate experts!

...Postmedia requested an interview with Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson, who was in charge of the program when it launched in 2013, but Liberal housing critic Sam Sullivan responded instead. He did not know details of the deals Postmedia examined, but defended the program and said the Liberals relied on the advice of real estate experts when making decisions...

Well, one thing this tells us for sure is that Sammy's war chest must really be all spent now given that neither of the former City Caucus boys have yet to pen any puff pieces backing up their former fearless leader/ruler.

Silver lining, maybe?


Sunday, July 28, 2019

This Is The Story Of Johnny Rotten.


Neil Young's 'Rust Never Sleeps' turned 40 this summer.

Now, in some quarters, mine included, that is a cause for celebration.

And while Mr. Young is still burning bright that is clearly, except, perhaps, for those precious few Keith Levene-fuelled post-Pistols years, not the case for a chronologically younger man named Mr. Lydon.

Imagine that!

One really has to wonder if things would have to turned out differently for the then young Johnny if he had joined Devo...Yes...Devo!

Here's my take on a Rustean tune...


Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Whackadoodle And Me.


The Whackadoodle and I got to the beach early this morning.

The wind was up, out of the West as the high started to build after last night's sprinkle of warm summer rain.

And the tide was out.

Way, way out.

In fact, while I haven't checked the tables (I'll leave that to my Dad), I'd be willing to bet that it might have been one of the lowest tides of the year.

While she likes rolling in the wet sand of the bar, I'm pretty sure the Whackadoodle likes higher tides better because that she can swim whenever the desire strikes.

Me, it doesn't matter either way because I'm just there to throw sticks and work on new tunes on the beach guitar as we wander about.

This morning we pretty much got yet another Felice Brothers tune down pat...

Regardless how early we get to the beach on a Saturday morning we never beat an old couple who walk all the way out to the breakwater at the end of the North Arm of the Fraser every day...If we're lucky we run into them both coming and going...


Friday, July 26, 2019

HST Friday....Waterheads At The Gate.


One of the more interesting bits of this week's congressional Mueller hearings was the following exchange between Republican Watercarrier....errr... Congressman Kenneth Buck and the former Special Prosecutor:

Buck: "Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?" 

Mueller: "Yes." 

Buck: "You believe that you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?" 

Mueller: "Yes."


Do you see what Mr. Mueller did there?



Don't get me wrong.

I want congressional impeachment hearings for Donald Trump for all the right, good and noble reasons involving truth, justice and the American way.

Or some such thing.

But I also want daily hearings purely for the entertainment value.

Because I want to get to know all the players, their moves, their motives and their foibles.

And then I want to see, read and hear the work and words of the pithiest of commentators that watch and listen to every single minute of the daily soap opera.

Just like happened back in the Watergate days.

For example, the following is what Hunter Thompson had to say about Richard Nixon's top watercarrier, Republican Senator Edward Gurney, as he watched the WGate hearings on the TeeVee that sat amongst the peacocks and dobermans on the front porch of his cabin at Owl Creek during the summer of 1973:

Friday morning, June 29 … 8:33 AM 
Jesus, this waterhead Gurney again! You’d think the poor bugger would have the sense to not talk anymore … but no, Gurney is still blundering along, still hammering blindly at the receding edges of Dean’s “credibility” in his now-obvious role as what Frank Reynolds and Sam Donaldson on ABC-TV both described as “the waterboy for the White House.”

Gurney appears to be deaf; he has a brain like a cow’s udder. He asks his questions — off the typed list apparently furnished him by Minority (GOP) counsel, Fred J. Thompson — then his mind seems to wander, his eyes roam lazily around the room while Thompson whispers industriously in his ear, his hands shuffle papers distractedly on the table in front of his microphone … and meanwhile, Dean meticulously chews up his questions and hands them back to him in shreds; so publicly mangled that their fate might badly embarrass a man with good sense …

But Gurney seems not to notice: His only job on this committee is to Defend the Presidency, according to his instructions from the White House — or at least whatever third-string hangerson might still be working there — and what we tend to forget, here, is that it’s totally impossible to understand Gurney’s real motives without remembering that he’s the Republican Senator from Florida, a state where George Wallace swept the Democratic primary in 1972 with 78% of the vote, and which went 72% for Nixon in November.

In a state where even Hubert Humphrey is considered a dangerous radical, Ed Gurney’s decision to make an ignorant yahoo of himself on national TV makes excellent sense — at least to his own constituency. They are watching TV down in Florida today, along with the rest of the country, and we want to remember that if Gurney appears in Detroit and Sacramento as a hideous caricature of the imbecilic Senator Cornpone — that’s not necessarily the way he appears to the voters around Tallahassee and St. Petersburg...


More of that.

That's what I really want...

In what may be the last desperate death rattle of the American Dream, it turns out that the good Docktor's widow is now apparently renting out the WCreek cabin at $550 a night via Airbnb....Imagine that!
Earworm in the subheader?...This.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thought Mapping, Daily....Blowing Up Big For All The Right Reasons


I am an old guy.

So old that I remember the days that I could find out about cool new bands that none of my friends knew about yet just by hanging around, say, Quintessence Records.

Then, if and when said bands blew up big I could brag about how I knew about them then.

And now, weirdly, I'm getting the same feeling by watching some of the very sharp (and most often young) folks I've noticed on the interwebz blow up big for all the right reasons.

Jen Gunter is one such sharp (and not so young) interwebz personage that the mainstream media is now paying big attention to:

There are a lot of things Dr. Jen Gunter would like you to know. For starters, most supplements are a waste of money. CBD is a scam. Underwire bras do not cause cancer. You actually can get an IUD if you’ve never been pregnant. Your vagina, under no circumstances, should smell like a pina colada. And, for the love of yoni, please don’t shove a jade egg up there.

The 53-year-old Winnipeg-born ob-gyn will tell you this with the conviction that comes from 24 years of clinical experience and the sass of your saltiest girlfriend. (There will be f-bombs.) And she’ll tell you this anywhere and everywhere—on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, on her blog, in her monthly columns in the New York Times, in her upcoming book, The Vagina Bible, or her upcoming web series, Jensplaining, or, if you’re lucky, in person. Her vagenda (her portmanteau, not mine): to call BS on every single falsehood we’ve ever been sold about our bodies and to empower women with the straight facts about reproductive health, from the complexities of vulvar pain to basic female anatomy. (To that end, she recently built a 3-D model of the clitoris out of her kids’ modelling clay, complete with a toilet-paper-tube vagina and a urethra fashioned from a McDonald’s straw.)...

And the great thing about this?

Unlike bands who go from up-close-and-personal clubs to far away arenas, the best of the internet denizens stay as accessible as they ever were.


The modern world is not all bad.


How To Deal With Family Members Who Have Have Crossed Over To History's Dark Side.


Stephen Miller is one of the main architects of Donald Trump's punitive immigration policy.

Mr. Miller is also an out-front public defender of Mr. Trump's xenophobic racism. He's even proud to fulfill this role on, get this, Fox News:

...In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace pressed Miller on Trump's history regarding race. "There’s a long record here," said Wallace, after playing a clip of some of Trump’s most infamous racist moments. "When he questioned whether or not Barack Obama was an American citizen, when he said in his announcement that the people Mexico was sending to this country were not their best, they’re 'rapists,' they’re 'drug dealers,' and some are 'good people,' when he called for a 'total and complete shutdown'—the Muslim ban, something I know you were very involved in. That’s not protecting the American people. That is playing the race card."

Miller, of course, said that he "couldn’t disagree more," and defended Trump's history of birtherism.

"If you want to have a colorblind society, it means you can criticize immigration policy, you can criticize people’s views, you can ask questions about where they were born, and not have it be seen as racial," he said.

"And can you also say, ‘Go back where you came from?’" asked Wallace.

"With the 'send her back' chant, the president was clear he disagreed with it," said Miller, referring to the racist and xenophobic chant directed at Omar by the crowd at Trump's North Carolina rally Wednesday.

But Wallace shut him down. "He was clear after the fact. He let it go on for 13 seconds, and it was only when the chant diminished that he started talking again," the host accurately pointed out. "And he said nothing there or in his tweet after the rally that indicated any concern about the chant."...


So, how to deal with the good Mr. Miller and his ilk?

Well, his uncle, Dr. David Glosser, has done a pretty good job of it:

Let me tell you a story about Stephen Miller and chain migration.

It begins at the turn of the 20th century, in a dirt-floor shack in the village of Antopol, a shtetl of subsistence farmers in what is now Belarus. Beset by violent anti-Jewish pogroms and forced childhood conscription in the Czar’s army, the patriarch of the shack, Wolf-Leib Glosser, fled a village where his forebears had lived for centuries and took his chances in America.

He set foot on Ellis Island on January 7, 1903, with $8 to his name. Though fluent in Polish, Russian and Yiddish, he understood no English. An elder son, Nathan, soon followed. By street corner peddling and sweatshop toil, Wolf-Leib and Nathan sent enough money home to pay off debts and buy the immediate family’s passage to America in 1906. That group included young Sam Glosser, who with his family settled in the western Pennsylvania city of Johnstown, a booming coal and steel town that was a magnet for other hardworking immigrants. The Glosser family quickly progressed from selling goods from a horse and wagon to owning a haberdashery in Johnstown run by Nathan and Wolf-Leib to a chain of supermarkets and discount department stores run by my grandfather, Sam, and the next generation of Glossers, including my dad, Izzy. It was big enough to be listed on the AMEX stock exchange and employed thousands of people over time. In the span of some 80 years and five decades, this family emerged from poverty in a hostile country to become a prosperous, educated clan of merchants, scholars, professionals, and, most important, American citizens.

What does this classically American tale have to do with Stephen Miller? Well, Izzy Glosser is his maternal grandfather, and Stephen’s mother, Miriam, is my sister.

I have watched with dismay and increasing horror as my nephew, an educated man who is well aware of his heritage, has become the architect of immigration policies that repudiate the very foundation of our family’s life in this country...


One can only wonder how many fine folks of a certain bent back then thought that the eldest Mr. Glosser was fleeing a 'sh*thole country'?

Tip 'O The Toque to longtime reader Lew who noted yesterday that Dr. Glosser was likely one doctor who who not be signing up for that loyalty oath(ish)-requiring private prison/immigration detention center job.
And why, exactly, would the good Mr. Miller go on FOX News to continue fanning racism's flames?...I have a theory about that...Stay tuned.


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

There Is No Funk Like...

...Super Geek Funk.

The bass though.


Apparently, No Hippos Were Harmed In Their Oath.


Somebody is looking for a doctor.

Ranit Mishori has the story in a perspective piece in the Washington Post:

Eight chilling words appeared in a medical job posting listed last week in the online career center of JAMA, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. A large firm is seeking a doctor to be “lead physician” of a particular “facility.” But getting hired seems to require passing some sort of loyalty test: According to the original posting, applicants must be “philosophically committed to the objectives of the facility.” (The language of the ad was later revised to delete that line, but it still wants doctors to work “based on the company goals, objectives and philosophy.”)

The facility is the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Basile, La., owned by the Geo Group, a for-profit private contractor....


...The commitment to unstated “objectives” and “philosophy” is the most troubling part of the ad, though. Which objectives will the physician taking this job be committing to? The highest degree of medical quality and the protection of human rights? Or the implementation of the Trump administration’s inhumane and loathsome policies on immigration and asylum?...


Perhaps the desired commitment is to the so-called philosophy of phrenology:

Nobody really believes that the shape of our heads are a window into our personalities anymore. This idea, known as “phrenology”, was developed by the German physician Franz Joseph Gall in 1796 and was hugely popular in the 19th century. Today it is often remembered for its dark history – being misused in its later days to back racist and sexist stereoptypes, and its links with Nazi “eugenics”....

If you get my drift.

Tip 'O The Toque to Norm Farrell on the Twittmachine.
Subheader reference to the adding machine company heir?....This.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Ms. May's Greenshifting.


To the best of my knowledge no one has ever confused the Green's new war room guy Warren Kinsella with Otto von Bismark.

However, someone sure as heck has Ms. May talking out loud about the art of the possible in raw political terms.

Mia Rabson had that story recently in the Canadian Press. Here is her lede:

Federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May would work with any other party in a minority Parliament with a serious climate plan—and even thinks she could influence Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives to drop their crusade against carbon pricing “if it means the difference for them between governing or spending more time in opposition”....

Thing is, Ms. May's own attempts to be pragmatic and serve up something electorally palatable, platform-wise, has caused a bit of a rift in her own party.

And it turns out that the fuss is about something pretty darned significant, namely whether or not to keep all that ethical ooze flowing from the Alberta's tarsands.

Alex Ballingall had that story last week in the Star:

The federal Green Party’s openness to continued activity in Alberta’s oilsands has created a rift with some supporters — including party leaders in two provinces — who want to rapidly shut down the industry that employs tens of thousands of people and is responsible for a large portion of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions...


May defended her party’s plan as a “hugely ambitious” blueprint for political action to slash emissions in accordance with what the international community of climate scientists has called for. The plan seeks all-party co-operation to tackle the crisis of climate change and rapidly reduce emissions by 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 — double the government’s current target — and then to net zero by 2050.

The plan would also halt all new development of fossil fuels in Canada — including multi-billion dollar natural gas export projects — and stop all oil and gas imports from other countries. In their place, May proposes that Canada use energy that’s already produced here for domestic needs while the country shifts to 100 per cent renewable energy. By 2050, the Greens would ensure all bitumen produced in Canada would be used only for the petrochemical industry, but May said the country will need to stop burning fossil fuels “well before” that...


Interestingly, one thing Ms. May did not mention is the considerable cost, in climate warming terms, that it takes to keep all that ooze flowing:

...Emissions from extraction in the oilsands have climbed 158 per cent since 2005, and the oil and gas industry was responsible for 27 per cent of total emissions in Canada in 2017, according to the federal government’s national tally submitted this year to the United Nations...

Imagine that!

Why do some actually think
of that ooze as 'ethical'?....Well, you can thank the pre-Rebel Glimmer Twins, Mr. Levant and Mr. Marshall for that one...


Monday, July 22, 2019

How Base Is Base? (#CdnPoli Edition)


The conventional media wisdom is that Donald Trump solidifies his base every time he brings out the worst in its members.

But can Mr. Trump win with that body politic-not to mention nation-, destroying strategy?

It's debatable but not impossible given that the American Electoral College helped Trump and Bannon win with just 46% last time. In addition, certain swaths of Mr. Trump's base punch way above their demographic weight.

And, in case you missed it, Mr. Trump's numbers have actually risen since he went on his latest overt racism rampage:

...President Donald Trump's overall approval rating ticked upward to 48 percent in July, compared to 45 percent in a NBC News|SurveyMonkey online poll in September. The president's disapproval rating decreased to 51 percent, compared to 54 percent in the September poll...



Does this type of thing mean that we will see such base brazeness during the upcoming Canadian Federal Election Campaign?

Well, given the past performance of Mr. Scheer and his current campaign chair, Mr. Hamish Marshall, there certainly have been whispers in the dog whistles according to the CBC's Catherine Cullen:

...During the (Conservative Party)leadership race (in 2017), Scheer and Marshall teamed up to run a campaign based on keeping the party united and not straying too far from the Harper orthodoxy on policy.

The campaign made a series of targeted pitches, like tax relief for families who homeschool their children. In another pledge, he said he would "prioritize real refugees" by standing up for persecuted Christian minorities in a way the campaign said the Liberals had failed to do.

Scheer also pledged to pull federal grant funding from universities that didn't defend free speech, though he has since said that wouldn't apply to "extreme examples" like white nationalist rallies...

But will Mr. Scheer go all in on the overt stuff in a Trumpian way in the run-up to the October 21st vote?

Given that Mr. Marshall is an avowed master of the demographic slice 'n dice b/w psychological profiling, I doubt that will happen in the early going.

However, if Mr. Scheer does not do well with the middle and the Greens rise enough to significantly impact Liberal numbers in multiple ridings, including in BC's lower mainland, Mr. Marshall's microtargetting of the various and sundry psych-rages visible within his rebellious database just may go macro in an effort to squeeze every single possible vote out of the base.

After all, don't forget that the last time Liberal numbers sank significantly in 2011, Mr. Harper won a majority with...

Wait for it...



Friday, July 19, 2019

If Woody Guthrie Flew In Today...

...What would his guitar say?


Here's our cover of a Guthrie classic...

Header at the top of the post giving you a wee earwormoapalooza?...This.
And...If you're going to the Lotuslandian Folk Festival this weekend, make sure you check out Sarah Shook and the Disarmers...


Saving Canadian Journalism?



How much of the federal government's, 'Save The (Legacy) Press!' subsidy will go to, say, Postmedia this year?

Canadaland's Johnathan Goldsbie reports that it will be close to $10 million:

In its quarterly earnings report released today, Canada’s largest newspaper company said that it expects to receive $8 to 10 million per year from the federal government’s new tax credit for journalist salaries.

“Based on our current staffing levels,” wrote the management of Postmedia, “we expect the per-annum journalism tax credit to be between $8 million and $10 million,” dating from January 1 of this year [pdf]...

Which, of course, is supposed to help pay for all kinds of reporters:

The refundable labour tax credit introduced by the government in its most recent budget will subsidize 25% of the salaries of “eligible newsroom employees,” to a maximum of $13,750 per person per year. A subsidy of $9 million would represent about 650 employees with annual salaries of at least $55,000 each...


This is all fine and good, except...

Based on past performance, an argument could be made that our money will actually make it possible for the hedge fund debt-strapped, money losing company to keep-on-keepin'-on with its habit of compensating the very private entitity's top five executives at the super-fine levels they so richly deserve.

The Halifax Examiner's Tim Bousquet published an analysis of those super-fine justly deserved numbers recently:

Yesterday, Postmedia released its Management Information Circular in preparation of January (2019)’s shareholder meeting; the circular shows that CEO Paul Godfrey was awarded a $1.2 million bonus on top of his $1.2 million dollar salary in 2018, and with stock options brought in over $5 million in 2018. The top five execs at Postmedia collectively received over $10 million in compensation...

Imagine that!

Please note: No legacy press investigatory resources were used in the construction of this post...


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hang Up The Phone. The Trolls Are In The...

...White House!


From Will Sommer of the Daily Beast:

Donald Trump has invited personalities from across the right-wing internet to the White House on Thursday for a “Social Media Summit,” but the event is causing his administration headaches even before it begins.

So far, the summit has stirred up resentments among pro-Trump personalities who were never invited to the party, and one invitee has been disinvited over an anti-Semitic cartoon—raising questions for the White House about why he was invited in the first place.

The White House hasn’t released a public list of attendees for the Thursday afternoon event, but a number of pro-Trump personalities have posted invitations on Twitter. They include Ali Alexander, a right-wing operative pushing a smear that Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (CA) isn’t really “an American Black,” a pro-Trump “memesmith” who goes by the screenname “@CarpeDonktum,” and blogger Jim Hoft, whose Gateway Pundit blog frequently promotes hoaxes...


...Notably, the group so far doesn’t appear to include anyone who has actually been banned from major social platforms, even though those bans have played a significant role in driving accusations on the right that the social giants are biased. Pro-Trump figures like anti-Muslim activist Laura Loomer, InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and Proud Boys men’s group founder Gavin McInnes, for example, don’t appear to have been invited.

That fact hasn’t been lost on fringe Trump supporters. In a livestream from Washington, D.C., InfoWars reporter and Jones lieutenant Owen Shroyer raged that no one from InfoWars was invited to the event, while people who hadn’t been banned were...

In other words, the worst of the worst is not, apparently, the absolute worst.

Or some such thing.

But really, who needs rabid plumbers in the basement when you've already filled the pipes to bursting with political propagannonists?

You can hear Mr. Sommer talk about this, and more, with WNYC's  Brooke Gladstone on a recent edition of 'On The Media'...


Mr. Hansen's Own Private Andrea True Connection.

Ear worm in the title to the post burrowing into your brain?

More! More! More!

How scared are the Status Quo Vadists of that PoCo mayor?...Crapless.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Folks I'm In Awe Of...


I'd read his column in the Georgia Straight, but it was reader Glen C. that brought Stanley Q. Woodvine's blog to my attention.

Mr. Woodvine is an amazing guy who is always up to something interesting while he simultaneously goes out of his way to give his friends and compatriots a leg-up.

And, oh yeah, Stanley is also homeless.

Just one of the many things I've come to realize by reading Stanley's stuff is just how hard he and his have to work to make a go of it every single day (and night).
Most recently, SQV has been on a quest to map all of Lotusland's remaining pay phones which spurred on Chris Cheung to go out and photograph them for the Tyee...


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Bonfire Of The Flack Hackeries.


Former ClarkWorld paper-free guy and more recent member of the flack hackery to all stars Ken Boessenkool has weighed in on the hiring of  Warren Kinsella by Ms. May and the federal Green team.

You know, all snark aside, I can't help but wonder if this extreme fetishization of the brass political expediency ring is a true indication of the increasing Americanization of our culture.



Monday, July 15, 2019

What Was The Real Motivation Behind The Little Mountain Land Sale?

Photo mantage - see note at bottom of post


One thing we, the idiot bloggers who said so at the time, now know for sure, it was not about using the money from the sale to generate more affordable housing elsewhere.

How do we know this?

Because Lori Culbert and Dan Fumano just told us so in their most excellent recent VSun piece:

...The (B.C.) Liberals have maintained that selling Little Mountain gave them the money to build social housing in other locations, but Postmedia discovered that — because (developer) Holborn hasn’t yet paid for the bulk of the land — the Liberals instead borrowed the money from the Treasury Board and promised to pay it back once Holborn settled its debt...


What was the sale of a massive 15 acre chunk of public land in the heart of Vancouver and the resulting demoviction of hundreds of families that followed really all about then?

Was it a really big favour for a favoured  $300K, plus, big donor?


However, I think I'll stick with my original hypothesis, which was formulated after the discovery of a small item buried in Cookie Dough Mike de Jong's budget update in the fall of 2012:

Now those suddenly negative numbers, which if you think about it kinda/sorta presaged the Culbert/Fumano rumination by almost seven years, got me thinking of the long con of the original budget bump that occurred with the sale of the land back in 2008.

And the conclusion I came to is that all those families and, as we now know for certain, all British Columbians, were screwed so that the BC Liberals could claim, yet again, that they were running a surplus in the run-up to the last of the GordCo, Inc. election victories the following spring.
Which was ten years ago.

My, but that 'Golden Era' sure does have a long tail, eh?

The image at the top of the post is not real...Mr. Campbell most definitely did not campaign, or put up campaign signs, at the soon to be destroyed Little Mountain housing complex in the spring of 2009...We just wish he had.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Real Axis Of Evil.

But of course according to those in the know Mr. Frum is the reasonable Republican.


Put another way...

Never, ever, ever trust a never Trumper.

About anything.

Even the Canadian stuff.



Friday, July 12, 2019

The Political Expediency Triangulation...


That is all.


The Return of HST Fridays...


Since the Border Patrol opened its station in Clint, Tex., in 2013, it was a fixture in this West Texas farm town. Separated from the surrounding cotton fields and cattle pastures by a razor-wire fence, the station stood on the town’s main road, near a feed store, the Good News Apostolic Church and La Indita Tortillería. Most people around Clint had little idea of what went on inside. Agents came and went in pickup trucks; buses pulled into the gates with the occasional load of children apprehended at the border, four miles south.

But inside the secretive site that is now on the front lines of the southwest border crisis, the men and women who work there were grappling with the stuff of nightmares.

Outbreaks of scabies, shingles and chickenpox were spreading among the hundreds of children and adults who were being held in cramped cells, agents said. The stench of the children’s dirty clothing was so strong it spread to the agents’ own clothing — people in town would scrunch their noses when they left work. The children cried constantly. One girl seemed likely enough to try to kill herself that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them, so they could watch her as they were processing new arrivals...


We're the Nazis in this game, and I don't like it. I'm embarrassed and I'm pissed off. Yeah. I mean to say something and I think a lot of people in this country agree with me.'
Hunter S. Thompson, January 2003
Interview with Mary Suma, KDNK Radio, Roaring Fork Colorado
Reprinted In Text Form In: Ancient Gonzo Wisdom by Anita Thompson

And, just in case we here in Canuckistan
think we don't have to speak out also...This.


Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Styrofoam Meat Tray Solution...


Recently, I've taken to electrifying my acoustical guitar.

Which is straightforward when I'm fiddling around in the relative quiet of the Subterranean Homesick Bluesroom.

But when I try to do it in the high decibel environment of a 'Doctors of Distortion' session the feedback bouncing back through the sound hole onto the strings is often unmanageable.

Turns out there are musical geek accessories that you can buy to fix that problem.

None of which I have purchased so far.


Well, it turns out that I've been listening to/watching a whole lot of Conor Oberst videos lately for all kinds of reasons, including the fact that he occasionally likes to get up on stage with these guys.

And sometimes, when Oberst needs to cover his sound hole he resorts to a couple of strips of duct tape and a hunk of styrofoam.

So I decided to give it a try.

Voila, problem solved!

Best part of the entire thing was the reaction of the bandmates ensconced behind their peddle walls, etc.

And you think I'm kidding about that last bit...



Thought Mapping...Plausible Fakeability.


Former BC Liberal cabinet Minister John Rustad wants everybody to know, despite his recent words and deeds, that he is not a fake news generator.

The MoCo's Betsy Trumpener has the story.

Here's her extremely well-constructed lede:

B.C.'s opposition critic for caribou recovery has clarified a false social media post, days after he stated scientists euthanized 24 endangered mountain caribou in Northern B.C.

"If there's errors and stuff made, I certainly don't want to be part of what would be considered fake news," Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad told CBC News in an interview. "At the same time, when information like that comes forward, it's a piece of information that's worth sharing."...

So, you might be wondering, what exactly did the good Mr. Rustad do prior to ensure that he did not spread a demonstrable falsehood.

Why, absolutely nothing:

...The euthanasia story "was very shocking to hear," Rustad told CBC News in an interview. "That's why I posted it."...

Rustad said he didn't try to verify the information...

Later, Mr. Rustad decided to divorce himself from his previous deeds and actions by raising the spectre of an apparently beggable question on the Book of Faces:

Imagine that!


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Thought Mapping, Daily.


From the 'That's Some Lede!' department...

The latest from Global News' Sam Cooper:

B.C. Lottery Corp. vice-president of corporate compliance Robert Kroeker has stepped down, months after B.C.’s gambling regulator pledged to investigate allegations that Kroeker instructed his staff to “ease up” on anti-money-laundering measures and “allow dirty money to flow into casinos,” Global News has learned...

Interestingly, it would appear that the good Mr. Kroeker was involved in that alrevolving door between the gov't regulator and the Casino Industrial Complex back in the days of the BC Liberal government reign:

...Kroeker, who is the former director of B.C.’s anti-money-laundering civil forfeiture program and the author of a 2011 B.C. government study on casino money laundering, left the civil forfeiture office to serve as corporate compliance chief for Great Canadian Gaming, the operator of Richmond’s River Rock Casino, from 2012 to September 2015...



Why is it, exactly, that I am suddenly thinking of hockey bags full of cash?

Oh, ya...

Now I remember.


Monday, July 08, 2019

Car Wheels On A Gravel Phone.


Just to be clear, I usually hate bloody Voicemails.


Because if someone is skipping the Email and/or avoiding the Textmobile they're very likely flogging pure junk or, worse, it's something so important that it will have to be dealt with immediately.


A couple of weeks ago, on a random Monday night in late June, I got a Voicemail that was coming from (and I kid you not) inside the Commodore Ballroom.


That's right.

My oldest kid, Bigger E., was at the Lucinda Williams show and she wanted me to hear Ms. W. tell the story of how the life and times of Blaze Foley led her to write 'Drunken Angel'.

It was mostly garbled, but great stuff regardless.

All of which is just a round about way of telling you that E. took a little time out of her busy musical schedule recently so that she and I could sit down in the living room and record a few songs.

As you might have guessed, things always go best when she takes the vocal lead.

Here's her version another LW favourite...

Image at the top of the post is from LW's 'Car Wheels On A Gravel Road' album, which is 20 years old and the focus of her current tour.


Thought Mapping, Daily.


The hypocrisy, it burns...

Good thing we're giving the fine folks behind Postmedia a big whack of our money to screw us over even more.


In case you missed it, the latest Sunday Set is...Here.


Sunday, July 07, 2019

Nevermind The Soft Landing....Here Comes The Shillophant.


First, Dipper Finance Minister Carole James trumpets the soft landing on her Twittmachine feed...

And then, first up on the comment thread, former GordCo, Inc. and ClarkWorld denizen, Marc Dalton, who is now a full-fledged member of Team Scheer, weighs in...

Now, I could be mistaken, but it appears that the good Mr. Dalton is saying that buying a home and real estate speculation should go hand-in-hand.


When that kind of thinking, fueled by longterm government action and inaction (see, for example, the 'accomplishments' above the mentioned GordCo Inc. and ClarkWorld), becomes a full-throated reality, what could possibly go wrong?

Hey!....In case you missed it, former Lotuslandian truth-to-power-journo-type guy Sean Holman (whose Public Eye Online archives just keep on giving, BTW), was on the MoCo's Sunday Edition this morning talking about how important it is for big Media to start treating global warning as an actual, you know...Crisis.


Saturday, July 06, 2019

Thought Mapping, Daily


From former Obama West Wing member Dan Pfeiffer on Pod Save America:

"The true lesson of the 2018 midterms is that activism wins."


Based on how he fleshed things out re: identifying and getting out the Democratic vote, I'm pretty sure Mr. Pfeiffer actually meant 'organizing' rather than 'activism'.

Which of course leads one to think of how unions used to win before the co-optation of everything that disillusioned everyone began in earnest.

Crawford Kilian reviewed Rod Mickelburgh's book on the history of unionism in Lotusland in the Tyee not long ago...Here.

In case you missed it, here is the latest Sunday Set:


Friday, July 05, 2019

Seventeen Years...

...Is A Long Time.

The lede from Pamela Fayerman's latest in the VSun:

Health Minister Adrian Dix says seniors going into nursing homes will no longer be forced to grab and move into the first available bed because as of July 15, they will be allowed to choose from their three preferred care homes.

The first-available-bed-policy was established 17 years ago and compelled families to make almost instantaneous decisions or risk losing the bed and sinking down the waiting list. Dix said families will now have up to three days to decide whether to take the available bed in one of the three preferred care facilities.

“This is one of the most challenging decisions in someone’s life, so it’s important they choose a care home that works for them,” Dix said during the announcement outside the B.C. legislature on Wednesday.

While waiting for a bed in a facility of their choice, people can either stay at home, with additional care, or go to an interim facility without losing their spot on the waiting list for a preferred facility, Dix said. Through a system of improved transparency, individuals will get more information about waiting times to any one of their preferred facilities. Historically, nursing-home clients have usually not been placed in a preferred bed in some regions such as Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health...

Mr. Dix.

The best premier we never had?


Wednesday, July 03, 2019

State Sponsored Gerrymandering.


A whole lot of folks in Hong Kong are upset about proposed extradition legislation that could send them to a place that disregards due process and the rule of law.

In fact, so many hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets recently that chief executive Carrie Lam announced a suspension but not a killing of the bill.

Which sent hundreds of thousands of people to the streets again and a few hundred kids into the locked legislature last weekend.


How does this happen?

How does a legislature have the power to enact laws against the will of the people?

Well, there is no need to call in the Supremes, the Russians, or the Republican smear merchants in this case given the 'semi' autonomous nature of the HK Legislature.

Democratic legislator Claudio Mo explained how things work yesterday in response to a question from Democracy Now's Juan Gonzalez:

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Claudia Mo, I’d like to ask you, in terms of the existing so-called democratic structure in Hong Kong, obviously under China’s “one country, two systems” policy, how is the Legislature chosen in Hong Kong, and what is the impact of the People’s Republic of China government over Hong Kong?

CLAUDIA MO: Yes, exactly. That’s a great question to be answered. The young had a particular anger at the Legislature. It mainly stems from the fact that it’s this very Legislature that was going to pass that controversial China extradition bill. Why? Because they’ve got enough Beijing votes in there. And it’s all because of our very twisted and convoluted kind of election system. They make sure that the pro-Beijing votes will occupy at least half of our seats. That’s a total number of 70. They make sure they will have enough votes to pass just anything, any policy, any bill, any funding application from the government. And democrats are always outnumbered. We are outnumbered, not because we are unpopular, but because we just don’t get the seats. We have more votes, but fewer seats. That sums up the Hong Kong legislative election. And the young knew it.


It almost sounds a little like, say, North Carolina...

...North Carolina Republicans won a 10-3 advantage in the U.S. House of Representatives even though the statewide vote was only narrowly in favor of Republican candidates. The justices also upheld maps from Maryland, where Democrats hold a 7-1 majority in the House, which is similarly lopsided compared to their overall support.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Republican Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County — a key architect of the maps and other voting legislation in North Carolina — said “this (Supreme court smackdown) is a complete vindication of our state.”...

Imagine that!

Image at the top of the page is from SCMP reporter Phila Siu's Twittmachine feed...


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Welcome To Mr. Buckingham's Musical Palace.


Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' came out when I was in my last year of high school.

And by then my friends and I had already tossed 'Frampton Comes Alive' aside long before* so that we could move to the harder stuff.

Which meant that we just didn't give Rumours much of a chance at all, at least compared to all the other stuff we were listening to and trying to play.

Which was too bad because, in addition to the hooks and the hedonism, there is some king hell good stuff in there.

Take 'Go Your Own Way', for example.

Who knew that the bare bones of the thing was literally what was going on in Lindsay Buckingham's life.

And who knew that he really, truly and honestly didn't want Stevie Nicks to go.

How do I know all of this, for sure,  right here and now in present tense time?

Because Mr. Buckingham explains it all, both the lyrical bones and the layers of musicianship that fleshes them all out, including convincing John McVie to play dreaded eighth notes on the bass' throughline, on a recent, fantastic edition of the podcast 'Song Exploder'.

Have a listen.

It's 22 minutes of your life you won't want, or even need, to get back.

*Which was approximately 8 months if I  remember things correctly. This, of course, is eons in high school garage band time...