Monday, September 15, 2014

#BCED....Is No (Real) News Good News?


The fact that so little real news leaked out of Teacher/Gov't talks over the weekend (i.e. the fact that Denike and Woo showed up, out of the blue, for no good reason at all was not real news) suggests that something is happening.

And the fact that Vince Ready says they are going to get together again today is further evidence of that, I reckon.


As things drag on and the financial squeeze starts to tighten on individual teachers, one can only wonder if it's starting to look the ol' Bailey Brothers Building and Loan around the Emergency Fund offices of the BCTF these days.

And, more specifically, I'm talking about that part where there is a run on the bank.

It's the scene that ends when George manages to calm everyone down with his Honeymoon money and then, finally, asks Miss Davis how much she needs. After initially hesitating, she manages to say...'Could I have $17.50?"

And, just in case you didn't know it, according to a bizarre profile in The Province awhile back, 'It's A Wonderful Wife' is one of Christy Clark's favourite movies.


In more reports of the not 'real' news...

We had an interesting (crowd source-backed) time around here yesterday figuring out where the website of a very amateurish group that attempted to disrupt the public education rally in downtown Lotusland yesterday came from.

This spilled over to the Twittmachine, where things went kinda/sorta like....This.

But, just to be clear, the real action was right here where we had the room and space to stretch things out and make things clear (you can start with this post and work backward through the links if you're interested).

And just to be even clearer, after I did a little initial digging in the Tubez, I got all the help I needed from readers...It was just like the old days of early RailGate.


Does this mean that if you care about public education in this province that you are now part of a 'Cult'?


The Summertime Jukebox So Far.

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

Home Is Where The Heart Of The Poetry Is...

Song for Mount Polley...

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...


Sunday, September 14, 2014

#BCED...A Screen Capture Of The Disappeared Counter Protesters' Website



Update, 10pm Sunday Sept 14/14....Some dot connecting re: The Website and how it may have come to be in the comments....Here.
Thanks to our old friends G.A.B. and N.V.G. as well as Mike Watkins from the Twittmachine (as well as a bunch of other folks too for the crowdsourcing assistance extraordinare)...

Yes that's right...We've managed to bring it back from the dead.

Because the so-called 'BC Federation of Parents' website against the BCTF, has been found in the Google-Cache:

Need background on the 'Federation' and all of it's 32 members? (the number was 30 when I first saw this screen pop up Sunday afternoon from what had been, essentially, a dead letter site before that)

Well, it starts here...

Then it gets weird, here...

Then the bizarrity begins, here....

And then it gets downright goofy,  here...

But none of that matters to any and all digital influencers as long as it gets proMedia play without any direct trackback to the Federation as happened on Global TeeVee this evening, right (that bit can be reached through the last link, above)?

Thanks to our old friend, and former Railgate digging machine, GAB, for the GoogleCache tip.
One last thing, and then I'm going to stop because this is starting to smell like the work an old nemesis that I once dealt with back in the old Railgate days...Turns out that there is a Twittmachine feed from the 'BC Parents Fed' with yet another monicker "Back To School"....Very little there...But sure was happy to retweet a certain 'Digital Influencer' when the media first bit on all of this earlier today...


#BCED Counter Protester Website Disappears.


I've been writing about this thing all afternoon.

Suddenly it's gone.

Bizarre YouTube slideshow is still there though.

Meanwhile.....Global TeeVee sees the shiny newscycle candy and bites down, hard, as it runs a piece on the 'dozens of families' that were protesting 'against' the BCTF at the Vancouver public education today...No mention, however, of the 'BC Parents Federation' that is now disappearing into the ether....


Twittmachine Feed With Different Name Now Asking Folks To 'Come Join Us' (i.e. the #BCED Counter Protesters)



 Update: 7:45pm Sunday Sept 14/14...The group's website has been disappeared.

Earlier today, a group calling itself the 'BC Parents Federation' mounted a counter demonstration that was covered by the CBC, mostly from the point of view of the kerfuffle that apparently ensued (i.e. proMedia...'Shiny!'). 

As a result, I did a little digging into their meagre online presence of the group which appears to be somewhat circulatory and, in my opinion, obfuscatory.

Now there is a Twittmachine feed exhorting folks to come 'follow us' with a link back to the BC Parents Federation website:

The feed has a different name,  'Rally4Edu' (it's actually the third I've found associated with the 'group' today, the other is 'BC Parents Alliance).

The other recent Tweets on the feed are inflammatory in the extreme and appear to be reveling in a media deflector spin job well done:

It's all really quite bizarre to say the least.


#BCED....Apparent 'Statement' Of 'BC Parents Federation'.



Double-Secret Probation Update: 7:45pm Sunday Sept 14/14...The group's website has been disappeared.

Updated 4:50pm Sunday Sept 14/14...What purports to be the 'BC Parents' Federation website now has a slide show (apparently of the "BC Parents' Alliance", note different name, apparently at a different rally on Sept 07/14)...They also say that they have '30' members...Link is....Here.

The 'BC Parents Federation' was, according to CBC News, the counter demonstration group at today's public education rally in downtown Vancouver. 

The following is an apparent 'statement' from the group, posted on, that links to the same empty website that we noted in our earlier post on this matter:

BC Parents’ Federation
Sept. 14 2014
Statement of BC Parents' Federation

Under the BC School Act, students' entitlement to education is a right. Today, this right has been blatantly violated. Because of the teachers’ strike, more than 500,000 students have been locked out of school causing great disruption to public schools. Not only has the strike impacted students and parents in BC significantly, it has also incurred great financial loss to over 13, 000 international students.

We, parents of British Columbia, urge BC Teachers' Federation to put students first and end the strike immediately. We request that BCTF allow students and teachers return to school while engaging in negotiation or mediation with the government. Don’t let the teachers who want to teach have no one to teach! Don’t let the students who are eager to learn have no school to go to!

We respect the teachers’ reasonable requests to the government. However, we ask that BCTF stop using students as pawns or its bargaining chips. We believe that any negotiated contract with the government should be settled without preventing the students from receiving education NOW or in the future.

Web Site:

Question now is....If you mow this grass is there any aroma to be found?

Update Postcript...YouTube link to the 'slide show' of the differently named 'BC Parents' Alliance', which currently has zero subscribers is....Here.


#BCED....No Sign (Yet) That Counter Demonstrators At Rally Have Turf Stains On Their Shoes.



Double-Secret Probation Update: 7:45pm Sunday Sept 14/14...The group's website has been disappeared.

Updated 4:50pm Sunday Sept 14/14...What purports to be the 'BC Parents' Federation website now has a slide show (apparently of the "BC Parents' Alliance", note different name, apparently at a different rally on Sept 07/14)...They also say that they have '30' members...Link is....Here.

There was a little bit of a disturbance at the public education rally earlier today in downtown Lotusland.

Here's the MoCo's lede:

A brief melee broke out at a parent, teacher and student pro-union rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday when it was crashed by a group of parents from Richmond wielding anti-union signs.

The rally, one of three planned today, was organized on Facebook and described as a grassroots, parent-driven rally although it easily attracted as many teachers and labour leaders as it did parents.

Part way through it, a group of parents from Richmond calling themselves the BC Parents Federation crashed the party to deliver an opposing point of view...


Who and/or what, exactly is this 'BC Parents Federation' (get it?).

Well, all we know so far is, this:

...BC Parents Federation spokesman Tom Tang said his group has just registered as a "legal organization."

Just registered?


Interestingly,  a website with the groups monicker is essentially empty.

As for their Twittachine embed on the site...It appears to go nowhere too.

Same for the Book of Faces.


Seems like maybe, just maybe this thing was done pretty quickly.

Maybe with an eye towards winning the game of short attention span theatre that the proMedia loves so much?

Update Postcript...YouTube link to the 'slide show' of the differently named 'BC Parents' Alliance', which currently has zero subscribers is....Here.


Where Did Vision Vancouver Get All It's New Twittmachine Followers?....(UPDATED).



Update: Sunday Afternoon Sept 14/14....Vision is claiming all the phony followers came their way due to a Spam Attack...

Working journalist and amateur blogger (you can be both without being labelled an idiot?) Justin McElroy has done the long and laborious digging on a Sasamat Saturday night.

And what he found is not pretty for the vainglorious folks doing the wizard work over at VV:

....4194 ('new') followers in....Yep. Permanently at (the same) 36 (common followers for most accounts). What’s perplexing is how blatant the fakeness of these followers is. There are so many duplicate pictures that some have been used 10 or 15 times by this point. And there is not a real person to be found. If you’re going to add 13,000 fake followers (not that I’m suggesting such a thing), you think you would do so in intervals, so there would be some variation between real people and fakes...

Can't imagine that, say, Andrea Reimer approves.

It's actually quite fascinating how Mr. McIlroy did the spadework...And it's a good read, with all kinds of digressions, snark, and deep background too boot...The kid's good...Too bad he's jumped from linear type to the TeeVee in real life.


Battling The Egregiousity Of 'Pay-To-Pay' Billing...And Winning.


Negative billing by the greedheads is one thing.

But 'Pay-To-Pay' billing wherein the same fine folks force their customers to pay extra for receiving a bill to pay their bills is, in the view of many, in the words of everybody's worst of all worst villians...


Especially because the vile act most often hits seniors, who often wait for their bills by mail, the hardest.

And yet, until one politician and his group of young charges decided to use the same strategy that make Indie-Rock work, the powers that be didn't care a wit.

That politician, Davenport Ontario Dipper MP Andrew Cash, explained how he and his cadre of kids changed all that recently in the TStar:

...(Y)ou may be surprised to hear that there are similarities between politics and rock and roll. For both, when you mount a project, the first thing you need is a good name. We asked one of our volunteers, Wyatt Shorter, who at the time was a high school student, if he had any ideas that would best describe this ripoff. “How about pay to pay,” he suggested, “because you have to pay a fee to pay your bill.” That was it!

With the help of another remarkable young Portuguese-speaking volunteer, Sara Marques, we met with immigrant seniors' groups in the area who wanted action. Aided by years of solid reporting on the issue, primarily by the Star, consumer and seniors advocates gave their support, and within days of its posting thousands had signed our petition online.

Still the government sat on its hands, claiming that a volunteer code of conduct was enough to protect Canadians from unfair billing practices. But as the pressure mounted, with the petition soon surpassing 10,000 signatures from people across the country, a shift began to take hold. The CRTC, Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator, was initially dismissive but later sent a letter asking Bell to stop charging the fee to seniors. Other companies began considering exemptions.

However these were ineffectual measures and the government signalled in its Speech from the Throne last October that a ban was on the way. I laughed out loud in the lobby of the House of Commons when I heard the Governor General say the words “pay to pay,” doubtless the Queen's representative in Canada had no idea he was using a phrase coined by a high school student in Davenport...

Beauty way to go, eh?

Tip O' The Toque to Accidental Deliberations' always excellent links round-up for pointing us towards Mr. Cash's piece.


Nevermind The Bollocks, Here Come The Data!


Don't look now, but the Fraser Institute, at least according one of its big bosses, no longer has any ideological bias which, we can only assume, explains why it may (or may not) have been targeted in the latest round of punitive CRA audits.

Or some such thing

Tonda MacCharles had the story last week in the TStar:

...Niels Veldhuis, president of the Fraser Institute, told the Star its policy is not to comment on any dealings it has with CRA, although he said in its 40-year history it has previously been audited three times by the CRA and the U.S. government’s IRS. He said any charity should expect such audits periodically.

However, Veldhuis adamantly disagreed with ( CCPA executive director Bruce) Campbell’s suggestion that think-tanks all come from a perspective or core set of values, or even that the Fraser Institute should be described as a conservative organization. He said the institute’s work is “not value-based, it’s driven by data.”

“The role of a think-tank is to ask a question, examine the data and let the data tell you the answer. That’s what the role of a research organization is. That’s what we do. That’s not one-sided. I’ve no concerns about us being one-sided because that’s not research.”...

As you might have expected, the fine folks at the Broadbent Institute do the demolition work.

And, as for this little F-List Troop blog?....Why, it seems like just yesterday that we were noticing how those most excellent data analysts over at the Big Muddy building on Burrard Street were putting together Dora The Explorer maps to make the point that right-to-work states down south are are actually little libertarian  islands of valhalla for all their workers who are working more and more and more for less and less and less because, well....Freedom!