Saturday, August 29, 2020

I Now Officially Regret...


I now officially regret cutting my sister golden covid hair surprise and shaving my face off...


Friday, August 28, 2020

Incubation Period...



Did something happen in western South Dakota a couple of weeks ago just north of Rapid City?


Getting To No?


While I do not agree that it was the right thing to do, from a political perspective I can see why (razor thin) minority government leader John Horgan made the decision to go all in on continuing with the Site C damn.

First, it helped to keep the business bund at bay.

Second, there was that matter of good jobs and increased economic activity in a part of the province where he and his are routinely stomped electorally.

Third, by supporting Site C and the dam-dependent sparkle pony dreams of LNG, Mr. Horgan was able to avoid being dubbed Dr. No by the usual suspects.

But now that it is becoming increasingly clear that Site C will be a longterm economic disaster regardless whether it can even be completed successfully, Mr. Horgan and the Dippers are in a bind.

As are folks like, say, me, who support a lot of what their government is up to.


Is there a way out of this conundrum?

Well, what if we got serious about other projects, made and run by us, not shysters, that could generate any and all power we will need down the road at lower costs on a whole lot of levels.

Norm Farrell notes that this is approach is being tried in Egypt, right now:

...Two near-shore (wind power) projects are under construction in the Gulf of Suez. One by Lekela Power, another by Vestas. The basic details are here compared to Site C:

The budget for Site C will probably exceed the amount shown above. Bureaucrats and politicians never hide good news and BC Hydro has been unwilling to release details of engineering challenges that required redesign of important project segments.

The cost of abandonment has grown substantially since 2017 but continued spending does not guarantee Site C will ever contribute anything to BC’s power grid...

Clearly, something has to be done.

Would it be easier for Mr. Horgan et al. to do the hard thing if they had a majority government?


Why didn't I mention
the 'sunk costs' issue, above?...Well, personally, I think that has been more an excuse than a real reason from the beginning...But I could be wrong about that.
And why isn't Norm choosing projects that add up to the power that 'will' be produced by Site C?....Because, as Norm has made clear, the need for all that Site C power is actually unjustified.


Monday, August 24, 2020

The Keef Report...Perspective A-Go-Go.


This was then (i.e. last week):

This is now (i.e today; please note the hospitalization info):


It would appear that the institution of higher (est?) learning where the good Mr. Baldrey studied epidemiology did not cover lagging indicators.

Or some such thing.


Friday, August 21, 2020

The CorpMedia's Codswallop Conundrum.


It would appear that the American CorpMedia is waking up to the fact that a growing number of 'legitimate' primary-winning Republican candidates espouse all this deep state stuff that leads straight to the 17th letter of the alphabet.

And yet, still, they can't quite bring themselves to call this stuff what it really is.

Thus, in today's NY Times piece by  Matthew Rosenberg and Margaret Haberman you see soft descriptors and vague source attributions like the following:

...internet-driven conspiracy theory...

...It is instantly recognizable among QAnon adherents, signaling what they claim is a coming conflagration between President Trump and what they allege, falsely, is a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophile Democrats who seek to dominate America and the world...

...A small but growing number of Republicans — including a heavily favored Republican congressional candidate in Georgia — are donning the QAnon mantle, ushering its adherents in from the troll-infested fringes of the internet and potentially transforming the wild conspiracy theory into an offline political movement, with supporters running for Congress and flexing their political muscle at the state and local levels...

...Since the theory first emerged three years ago, he (Mr. Trump) has employed a wink-and-nod approach to the conspiracy theory, retweeting its followers but conspicuously ignoring questions about it...

...There is hardly universal support inside the (Republican) party for QAnon. Many of its leaders in Congress and powerful donors are privately horrified at the spread of the movement’s themes. And while some Republican voters are well-versed in QAnon, a majority of them are unfamiliar with the particulars of the movement.

“QAnon is nuts — and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories,” said Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, after the president appeared to endorse QAnon this week....

...QAnon followers are increasingly taking on the trappings of a discrete political movement, though one with beliefs untethered from reality. There are more than a dozen Republicans running for Congresswho have signaled varying degrees of interest in the movement. One candidate has attracted a campaign contribution from the Republican National Committee, and another has raised thousands of dollars from established conservative groups like the House Freedom Fund...


You are a reasonably conscientious news consumer and when you are done with pieces like this, from the front page of the most influential print media organ in the world, you will likely to conclude that this is a terrible bit of crazed lunacy, lunacy that is only now being exploited by Mr. Trump and his most gullible acolytes, sprang up pretty much from nowhere somewhere in the deepest, darkest recesses of the anonymous 17th letter of the alphabet part of the internet.

Sure thing.

Except, if you are really paying attention you will also see the following from Martin Pengelly in the Guardian:

Fox Business host Lou Dobbs has blamed the “deep state” conspiracy theory for the arrest of Steve Bannon, the former Trump campaign manager who on Thursday pleaded not guilty to a charge of skimming donations from a fundraising campaign for a border wall with Mexico.

Bannon himself is a key propagator of the theory that unknown government operatives are working against the Trump administration – but has also said the idea is “for nut cases” and should not be taken seriously...


It would appear that the 5 W's of journalism still matter.

Perhaps fine folks like Mr. Rosenberg and Ms. Haberman, as well as their editors, should use all of them all of the time.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Steve Bannon Charged With Fraud.


From Alan Feuer and William Rashbaum in Thursday's New York Times:

Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former top adviser, was charged on Thursday in New York with fraud for his role in a scheme related to “We Build the Wall,” an online fund-raising effort that collected more than $25 million for the president’s much-touted plan to erect a barrier on the Mexican border, officials said.

Mr. Bannon and three other defendants “defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” Audrey Strauss, the acting United States attorney in Manhattan, said in statement Thursday...


Is it possible that Mr. Bannon and his fine friends thought that all their donors live in Mexico and therefore, well, you know....


Your Morning Audio...Musical Genre Bending.


This one, ostensibly, is about musical genre bending.

We (i.e. my kids and I when we were all much younger) once did this with a John Darnielle song called 'The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton' that itself does a little bending on a whole lotta levels.


This morning I rip-off that suddenly everywhere indie-kid Phoebe Bridgers to bend 'Teenage Dirtbag' by Wheatus - the new millenial release that soon thereafter after spawned a 1000 Simple Plan odes that Bigger E. would then consume, non-stop for a short, concentrated time or two million.

For the record, fast changing adolescent musical obsessions is another theme of this morning's audio.



Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Trying To Keep My Own Personal Alarm Bells From Ringing Out, Loud.


Don't know about you, but I am doing my best to stay calm and resist getting alarmist about Lotusland's sharp rise in new and active COVID-19 cases.

After all, while clearly lagging indicators, the hospitalization and death numbers are still low.

And the fact that new infections are skewing younger may help keep those lagging indicators low.

Finally, we are increasing our contact tracing capabilities which should help as well.


Yesterday was grocery store day for me and the number of old people like me without masks who were also ignoring physical distancing guidelines really, really freaked me out.



Monday, August 17, 2020

BC Hydro....Justify!


BC Hydro has done some surveying:

...A survey commissioned for B.C. Hydro found that 80 per cent of British Columbians are planning to spend more time at home this summer as a result of COVID-19.

Twenty per cent of those without air conditioning are considering purchasing an air conditioning unit this summer, the survey found.

The survey also found that nearly 15 per cent of those with air conditioning are considering buying an additional unit or upgrading their current unit...


Why do we know even know this?

Because Hydro wrote a report and then pumped it by press release which was dutifully stenoed by the VSun's Tiffany Crawford with little or no further comment or context.


Why would BC Hydro be doing this stuff?

Is it possible they are, once again, attempting to justify the need for, say, a certain megaproject, based on increasing demand?


As Norm Farrell has painstakingly pointed out over and over and over again, the demand bogey-monster is completely fictional:

...(S)ales to BC consumers have been flat since 2005. Domestic sales by kWh units were 1% lower in 2019 than in 2005 although the amount charged consumers increased by 89%, which is more than 3x the rate of inflation...



Friday, August 14, 2020

TrumpGOP, Inc......Always Be Cheating.



Look who's carrying water for Kanye West's campaign for President out in Hurtland, USA:

Republicans are helping Kanye West get on the US presidential ballot in some key states, in what could be a bid to take black votes away from Democratic candidate Joe Biden...


...West himself has hinted he is trying to steal votes from Mr Biden, telling Forbes: "I'm not denying it."...


...In Wisconsin, Lane Ruhland, a lawyer with long-standing affiliations with the local Republican Party, was filmed dropping off signatures to the election board on West's behalf...


Why, I wonder, would the GOP/TrumpPartyParty want to try and bamboozle a few thousand folks who would historically vote for the Democratic candidate in a swing state like, say Wisconsin?

And do not think
that pols of a certain stripe have never stooped to this kind of behavior 'round here...Remember James, Not Jim, Green?
Subheader got you scratching your head?.....This.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

One Graph, One Very Important Term.


From Justin McElroy's bracket-free work at CBC British Columbia based a re-working of the numbers from the BC-CDC...

Please note how the first rise of the green and orange lines back in the spring lagged behind the initial sharp increase in the red line. Now look at the second sharp rise in the red line over the last two weeks and note that the orange and green lines have not yet moved. Put another way, I sure do wish that every single corpMedia person covering this story would use the term 'lagging indicators'  when it comes to current hospitalization and death numbers every single time.



Sunday, August 09, 2020

Fox News: Why They (Keep On) Doing The (Terrible) Things They Do.



Why, exactly, does Fox News keep pumping toxic effluent into the eye sockets and earholes of its viewers, 24/7?

Because, as Michael Grynbaum of the New York Times reports, this:

...In June and July, Fox News was the highest-rated television channel in the prime-time hours of 8 to 11 p.m. Not just on cable. Not just among news networks. All of television. The average live Fox News viewership in those hours outstripped cable rivals like CNN, MSNBC and ESPN, as well as the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC, according to Nielsen...


I fully understand the demographics when it comes to those folks that still get their 'news' from the TeeVee.

But, still...


Thursday, August 06, 2020

Laila Weighs In On Site C.


It would appear that at least some of the creme de la creme of the local proMedia contingent has finally started to catch up to the citizen journalist who was once derided as little more than an unreliable activist by a certain Keef not named Richards.

More importantly, Laila Yuile is back, at least for the moment:

In the age old tradition used by politicians of every stripe who are forced to release bad news, the NDP waited until late Friday before the BC day long weekend to tell the public about the long overdue progress reports on the Site C dam.

And the news wasn’t good…. delays and rising costs related to the Covid pandemic had taken its toll, and now the project was facing cost overruns, and unknown in service date and worse yet…. a final budget figure couldn’t even be given! In fact, a quick google search shows the majority of headlines and excerpts on this by media bought the carefully crafted press messaging hook line and sinker on the Covid angle, with some not even mentioning the bigger story held within the report...

Go read her latest in its entirety.


Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Your Morning Audio....Gabriola, Not California.


Normally, in even numbered years we head south, by car, to California for a summer holiday.

When there, we spend most of our time in Mendocino County visiting friends, going to beaches, and even playing open-mics.

This summer of course, we couldn't do that so, instead, we spent time on Gabriola Island. The image, above, is of the girls heading down to the beach at Sandwell Provincial Park when we were there last week.

We had a really great time while social distancing from any and all outside our wee pod.

Today's story is backed with the tune 'California Zephyr', which came out of a Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard collaboration to write songs based on Jack Kerouac's 'Big Sur' a few years ago...

In the tune there is a lyric about riding the rails across the great salt flat at daybreak...You can see that, for real....Here.