Thursday, August 21, 2014

This Evening In Snookland....The Game.


In a....



Armies Of Story Hunters.


For a number of reasons including, it would appear, the weird staccato of the compressed writing. 

But she has also discovered something that I think is really important:

...I finally caved a couple of months ago and signed on, only to discover that a well-planned Twitter feed is like having an army of story-hunters around the world connecting me to the most interesting and diverse angles on what's going on out there. I've never had so many interesting news stories put in front of me...

That really is the ticket, I think.

And it's different than a search engine because the story hunters take you places that no Boolean-based algorithm can match.

At least not so far.

You can follow Ms. Paterson on the machine....Here.


This Afternoon In Snookland...The Uncrediting.


Yesterday, I suppressed all snark and tried to write a straight-up post giving 'credit-where-credit-is-due' to the fine folks running our provincial government for for announcing an inquiry into the Mt. Polley disaster that appears to have a degree of independence. 

I recognized it as a limited hangout but, still, in comparison to, say, the Dyble inquiry into 'Quick Wins' that helped those same fine folks win an election, I thought it was a step forward.

And then readers in the comment threads took me to task.

In a good way.

The biggest argument about what is being left out of the inquiry, not what's in it.

They also pointed me towards Uncle Rafe's latest which details this well, and lays out the implications:

...By careful but not very clever design, this inquiry from the outset exonerates Mr. Bennett’s and Ms. Pollock’s (sic) ministries. When you look through the 14 recommendations there is one that faintly suggests that the commissioners might want to look at the regulatory regime surrounding this disaster. There is no mandate to do so and it is not any more than a casual comment. Moreover, None of the commissioners have any expertise to look at this aspect of the matter.

I don’t mean this in unfairness to the commissioners – I don’t know the gentlemen but their credentials with respect to mining seem impeccable. But, to check into the regulatory obligations of ministries and whether or not they have been fulfilled requires a lawyer or a judge.

This disaster has two obvious aspects to it, both of critical importance if we are to assess responsibility and determine any changes that may be necessary.

First of all, of course, why did the dam burst? That is a question that will have to be answered by Imperial Metals, the owner of the mine.

There is a second and just as important feature, though -were proper regulations in place, where they properly used and enforced? Was there enough staff to fulfill the mandate these regulations imposed? Is it true that going back to 2001 the Liberal government has gone easy on mines and by reducing staff so they can only fulfill her duties part-time? These and associated questions are critical...


It would appear that the hangout is to be very, very limited indeed.

Which means that it essentially has no credibility at all.

Thanks everybody.


This Day In Snookland...Boss! Boss! The Film!


My oh my...

Look what Alexandra Morton has wrought:

The province is investigating reports of a blue film that stings to the touch on the surface of Quesnel Lake following the collapse of Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine tailings dam.

Biologist Alexandra Morton, with the Pacific Coast Wild Salmon Society, notified the Interior Health Authority about the blue film. She took photos, video and samples of the film that will be tested in a Lower Mainland lab.

Following reports of the blue film, Interior Health contacted the Ministry of Environment, which has collected samples, Sue Pollack, a medical health officer with Interior Health, said Wednesday.

The results of the analysis will be released when they are available, she said...

The above is the lede of Gordon Hoekstra's latest in the VSun.



Ms. Morton set all that in motion that just by going to the place with some jars, a camera, and a blog?

Is that even allowed?

I mean, where's here 'established credibility' anyway?

And Troll-O-Matic Footballers, if you want to talk smack in the comments you better you better hit the line with facts tucked under your arms rather than cherry-picked puffs of creme....


The Summertime Jukebox So Far.

...Bigger E, doing her thing at the corner of Haight and Ashbury in Baghdad By The Bay.

Train We Will Forever Ride, No Matter How Many Coaches Long...

Can purgatory be found lurking in the parking lot of a Super 8 motel?...

For My Friend Ian....

Will The Golden Era Never End....

Our Neil, Pocahontas and Thee...

Springsteen, Mashed Potatoes and Me...

When In Doubt Ask Yourself...What Would Danko Do?

What Canada Day Means to Me and Mine...

At The End of The (Busking) Day It's What Everybody Wants...

Vincent/Starry, Starry Night It's Not...

When Busking and French Immersion Collide...

Gram Goes To Goteborg...

The Still-Beating Heart Of Alt. Country...


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Jukebox Tune #13...Mystery Train


For awhile now I've had a fascination with Junior Parker's 'Mystery Train'.

For all kinds of reasons, including the fact that it is one kinghell tune that has been covered by so many people that I reckon a diverse chunk of them could easily fill an entire Vinyl Tap episode if only Mr. Bachman would just listen to my pleas.

Here's my acoustical version that would most likely come on about 4:48am of a Bachman show that ended at 9:00pm the previous evening:


This Day In British Columbia...Credit Where Credit Is Due.


What's with the credit-where-credit-is-due/snark-free header, you might be asking?


By all accounts it looks like Mt. Polley spill investigation might actually have a degree of independence.

And this is a tentative conclusion that is backed-up by the support of the local First Nations in the sludge zone.

Stephen Hui of the GStraight has the story.



Why are those same local First Nations and an environmental steward doing the only demonstrable truly independent water and sediment testing?

And then there is the matter of the 'blue film' on the lakes.

Go read Alexandra Morton for full 'on-the-ground' reports with pictures that you are not seeing on the six o'clock news or the front pages of newspapers.

The twinge about the investigation is the long timeline (Jan 31st for reporting)...That gives it a sniff of the 'limited hangout' about it, especially if the ol' turdstormer starts spouting things like, "I can't comment because there is an investigation underway"....And don't forget that the Snooklandians used the limited hangout tactic before to get them through the 'quick wins' thingy, because, you know, six months is an eternity in politics...


Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Jukebox Song #12...Alabama Pines.


C, E, e and I have been on the road for the last two weeks.

In the land of US Americans.

And we have had a great time.

Seeing old friends, and busking, and swimming, and body-surfing, and eating a lot of ice cream and all that..

Bigger E. bought a ton of used books in a great little independent store tucked away in downtown Eureka CA while littler e. did not get her new copy of 'On The Road' in  City Lights in the City. Instead, e. bought a copy of Kesey's most famous book instead of 'Sometimes A Great Notion' and that really famous book from Harper Lee (and/or Truman Capote).

And while we've stayed at a few nice places, including a couple of beach rentals, we've stayed at a few roadside motels as well.

Only one of which was a Super 8, located in Ukiah, way off the beach in Mendocino County in forest fire country.

With a sodium glare, bright-light parking lot.

Which was OK with us, because the little pool was clear and cold in the sweltering heat.

And that was exactly what we wanted.


After he got his life back from the bottle, Jason Isbell wrote and recorded one heckuva rave-up called 'Super 8' in which he made it clear that he didn't want to bottom out in one.

In a Super 8 motel, I mean.

But in the time before he started writing all of his Southeastern redemption songs Mr. Isbell also penned a helluva lament about how it felt to be sliding toward that bottom under the glare of the parking lot light glare far, far from home, both literally and figuratively.

The name of the latter tune is 'Alabama Pines'.

Here's my cover, recorded in a little cabin on the edge of the dunes in Florence Oregon...

You can check out Mr. Isbell's stuff, for real....Here.
Entire set of Summer Jukebox tunes can be found...Here.
Please note: In the first iteration of this post I indicated that littler e. actually did buy Road in Mr. Ferlinghetti's shop in North Beach...I was mistaken...(and I was taken to task for said mistake, in the comments, her e'ness...In my defense, she has been reading the edited version of the teletype roll for the last week or so).


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mount Polley Disaster...Here Comes The Sludge.


From The MoCo:

...The province says sediment samples collected Aug. 10 from the mouth of Hazeltine Creek and near Raft Creek in Quesnel Lake exceed guidelines and contaminated sites regulation standards for copper and iron...

But not to worry, because:

...(W)hile the discharged sediment is still not toxic for humans, it may harm aquatic life...

And, of course, there is absolutely no need to worry because, according to the Snooklandian minister responsible:

..."All the raw data from the tests has been shared with First Nations and Interior Health"...

Meanwhile, the old turdstormer himself, the good Mr. Bennett, has yet to explain how avalanches deposit copper and iron in creek beds.

And the best thing of all about the Snooklandian clampdown?

Ms. Polak, who was positively giddy about earlier non-sediment tests, says that these results were 'not unexpected'.

Some folks are wondering why the clean-up hasn't begun in earnest yet...Well, don't forget that reverse, trapezoidal, double-sokaw from the piked position deflector spin that first got cranking in the pages of Maclean's last week...
And, finally, not to be (too) pedantic or anything, but...'data' are not singular.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Mount Polley Disaster, ctd.....Is That Why A Bulldozer Was Visible In Initial Flyby Footage?


A number of readers wondered why bulldozer* could be seen in the initial aerial shotes of the toxic sludge disgorgement.

Being neither an unfounded conspiracy theorist nor a fully established environmental activist cult member  (despite my total lack of any estabished credibility whatsoever), I let it go until more data came in.

Then, yesterday the Globe's Wendy Stueck began her latest piece with the following:

Crews were working to raise the tailings dam at the Mount Polley mine by up to four metres before the structure failed and sent a torrent of waste and debris into surrounding waterways...

I'm telling you the 'independent' investigation that the Snooklandians have announced darned well better be.

Independent, I mean.

And wide-ranging too.


Please note: In the original version of this post I called the piece of equipment in question a 'backhoe'...That was incorrect...Instead it appeared to be a bulldozer...My thanks to reader Ron Wilton for the correction...