Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Only Real Magic...

We, the geezers who occasionally back my oldest kid, have not played much of late.

Mostly because our cymbal and the drum pounder had his bass pedal foot surgically reinforced with titanium a few months ago.

But last week we got together and, for all kinds of reasons, they let me wail away vocally on a couple of Tom Petty songs.

And I've got to say...

Having that 18 year-old feeling come rushing back in, if only for a few caterwauling minutes, was one helluva gift to be given on the eve of my 58th birthday.


The next day I received an Email from a very different drummer who powered the garage band that the earlier version of my 18 year-old kid sang along with occasionally all those years ago.

And that once much younger beat-keeper reminded me that it was that first Heartbreakers album that finally got us off the Zepplin and moved us towards more straightforward things that, in the end, were a whole lot more fun to plow through way back in 1977.

All of which is just another way of saying that the magic is in the doing, now matter how, when, where or with whom.

The following was recorded, pretty much trick-freed, a few minutes ago together with the whackadoodle and her partner, the krazy santa hat kat, down in the subterranean homesick blues room (i.e. the basement):


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Who's Really To Blame For The Trump Presidency?


First, this, about the aiders and abettors of the Trump presidency by Ryan Lizza of the 'outraged', but still very well-heeled, New Yorker:

Anyone in politics or government who works for Donald Trump, whether on the payroll or in some other supporting role, is forced to make a sacrifice. Working for Trump means that one’s credibility is likely to be damaged, so there is a kind of moral calculation that any Trump supporter must make: Does working for him serve some higher purpose that outweighs the price of reputational loss?

There is a hierarchy of justifications for backing Trump. At the bottom are the spokespeople and purely political officials who are almost instantly discredited, because they are forced to defend the statements of a President who routinely lies and manufactures nonsensical versions of events. Sean Spicer learned this on his first day on the job, when Trump sent him into the White House briefing room to tell the press lies about Inauguration-crowd sizes. He never recovered...


Having read the above it's hard not to ask oneself,  'Who's fault is this entire Trump thing, really'?

The rednecks?

The know-nothings?

The downtrodden white slipping underclass?


How about none of the above?

Are you getting my drift here?


Friday, October 20, 2017

Anti-Document Dump Friday Must Read....Are We Doing Better With The Resource Extractors Already?


If you read one blogpost this weekend, head on over to Norm Farrell's and read his latest about how things have already begun to change (for the better!) in the Natural Gas sector.

Here's the teaser, in Norm's signature graphical format that makes things crystal clear:

Do you see what I see?


So, head on over to read the Norm's entire post.




It's one more thing that will help convince you or, more importantly, help you convince others who are still skeptical, that the voters of B.C. did the right thing back in May.


Like Norway, if we give the extractor's cost certainty with a decent (rather than rapacious) return, they will come and they will invest...And everyone will win...Which is exactly Norm's point I think (and he will most definitely set me straight if I've got that wrong).
Don't forget, we're still working on an independent public interest journalism project for the Merv Adey fund...The idea is to fund a young go-getter to give them the time and space to do some in-depth digging on a story of import (we're going to ask for proposals which we just might ask you all for feedback on before we make a decision on who/what  to commit funds to)....If you'd like to kick-in a little to help support the fund....Go Here....If you'd rather hear more details from me first personally send me an Email to pacificgazette at yahoo dot the two letter extension for Canada.


Has The Progressive Edge Of The Envelope Been Expanded On Vancouver School Board?



Did last week's Mike Bernier-driven election actually cause a progressive shift on the Vancouver School Board?

I, for one, sure hope so.

Regardless, I'm sure digging the prog-barbs that successful 'One City' candidate Carrie Bercic is tossing over the snark wall via the twittmachine:

Will it really make a difference?

Hard to tell.

After all, there is a weird 3Vision/3Green/2NoFunCouver/1OneCity split on the board, so it won't likely be a balance of power thing (unless a Green rump slits off and one of them does something really dum, kinda/sorta like what happened at the beginning last time).


A real progressive pulling, hard, could help make leaners do the righteous thing(s).



Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Great Casino Industrial Laundry Complex....First Charges Have Been Laid.


Sam Cooper of Postmedia has the details - go read his entire piece.

Here is the lede and a bit more:

Criminal charges have been laid against Silver International Investment, a money-transfer business that RCMP allege was involved in money laundering, had ties to underground banking and used suspected drug cash to fund Chinese VIP gamblers in B.C. casinos.

During the RCMP’s Project E-Pirate probe, Mounties allege they uncovered more than $500 million from a Richmond money-laundering service they said handled up to $1.5 million a day...


...In late August, at a Vancouver conference attended by law enforcement officials, RCMP Insp. Bruce Ward outlined the details of E-Pirate. The investigation started with surveillance of gambling and cash drops at River Rock Casino, documents say, which led to Silver’s cash house, about a 10-minute drive away.

Ward said RCMP surveillance identified 40 different organizations linked to Asian organized groups dealing cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Gangsters were delivering “suitcases laden with cash” to Silver’s cash house.

At Silver, dealers could drop off $100,000 in cash in a suitcase, Ward said, and within minutes a credit for $95,000 would appear in a Chinese bank, after a five per cent fee was taken for the laundering and transfer service...


Describing a typical cash drop, (RCMP Inspector Bruce) Ward said: “They would put $100,000 into a hockey bag, show up at the casino, and give (the VIP gambler) $100,000 …



I do not recommend you read the comments attached to the bottom of Mr. Cooper's piece as many of them are filled to bursting with xenophobic bombast.

Which, on the flipside, leads me back to what I feel is the heart of the matter, a topic that Mr. Cooper grazes in the following passage:

...On Wednesday, Chuck Keeling, an executive with River Rock’s operator Great Canadian Gaming Corp., said he was not aware of charges laid in the (RCMP's) E-Pirate investigation, and he was not able to comment...

Not aware....

Of the charges.

Sure thing.

But as to the actual laundering that has been going on on a massive scale in one of his decidedly onshore super great Canadian casinos?

Well, too bad the good Mr. Keeling couldn't comment on that.

And don't forget about the homegrown dismantling of the overseers of such laundering such that the latter could expand dramatically, and demonstrably beginning in 2009.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017



Riding a jam-packed bus to work this morning (even I don't ride my bike when the rain is coming down at the rate of millimetres per minute) I couldn't help but notice that all the kids hunched over around me were sporting Samsungs...The beginning of the end of Mr. Jobs' dominant party-line echo perhaps?

A guy I went to gradual school with way back in the dark ages (i.e. long before CRISPR was a glimmer in the late, great Michael Smith's brilliant, site-directed eyes) showed up at my office door, unannounced today...In addition to a little science, he wanted to know where the heck B-Lot went.

Norm Farrell and I are working with Merv Adey's family and some other folks on a new journalism project to honour and extend Merv's work...It's something we're pretty excited about...If you'd like to kick in a little to help make it happen Norm's got all the details up at his place.

Bigger E. and I have embarked on a musical recording project that we hope to have ready in both physical and digital downloadable forms in time for Christmas...As such, she wanted to hear my version of this classically cosmic Gram Parsons/ Emmy Lou Harris tune before we give it a serious try ourselves...

And, just in case you were wondering...The concept for the post is swiped, kinda/sorta from one of may favourite sports columnists, the SF Chronicle's Bruce Jenkins, who himself, I think, probably got the idea from Herb Caen....Anyway, here is one of Jenkins' last, best gems that, at the very least, will be appreciated by my old editor from days of yore...
Photo credit...


How Much Dirty Money, Exactly, Is In BC's Golden Era Economy?


Investigative Postmedia reporter extraordinaire Sam Cooper figures it's in the billions.


Here is the link to the CPress' LChangxing story published/archived at the MoCo's lotuslandian division.


Monday, October 16, 2017

WTF? - Vancouver Civic Politics Edition


From J. McElroy's round-up on Saturday's Vancouver Bye-Bye on the MoCo's pixel page:

..."It's a great victory for working people in this city, who have struggled for a long time," said [the NPA's victorious 28 percent solution candidate Hector] Bremner, whose resume includes running for the B.C. Liberals in the 2013 election and working for cabinet minister Rich Coleman (responsible for, among other things, housing policy) afterwards...

I have nothing more to add.

(he typed, mouth agape)

My own Pete Kelly-assisted take on the by-election results is....Here.
Stuff in the square brackets in the quote above is mine for clarification and context and all that.


What The Heck Is An 'Illegal Cash House'?


From Sam Cooper's latest:

...The findings shed more light on processes within B.C. casinos that may have allowed casino money-laundering, as alleged in an RCMP probe. Postmedia News has reported that investigators believe organized criminals loaned suspected drug cash from an illegal cash house in Richmond to VIP high-rollers recruited from Macau...

And on top of all that we are shocked!, shocked! I tell you to learn that whaling (with proxy pilot fish and everything!) has been going on in at least three (named) casinos (plural).


Sunday, October 15, 2017

The (Not So) Big Win For The BC Liberal Farm Team In Vancouver's Bye-Bye.


Why was the NPA's victory in the Vancouver by-election actually a loss?

Blogmeister Pete Kelly explains:

...Geoff Meggs resigned his council seat to take a senior position as John Horgan's chief of staff. So a by-election was held to replace him. 27%* of the 10% eligible voters chose the NPA's candidate. Pretty underwhelming of a mandate. But, a decision nonetheless.


...The other 73%* are voters, candidates, parties that are centre and centre-left...


...If the NPA are representative of the centre-right in BC as well why could their united-right party could only muster 27%? This "win" is so weak, its almost is a loss.


For the next 48 hours or so get ready for the rooster-crowing of the Marky-Markists who have wormed their way into the roledexes of the fine folks that produce the likes of the Puffmaster Flash, et al.

But have no fear because, in the end all this means is that the Farm Team has nothing, except of course, for the NoFunCouver dead-enders that will follow them to heckfire and back unless, of course the ghost of until the ghost of Terrific stops haunting the halls of the Bayshore Inn and appears as an apparition above Lost Lagoon.

*Actually 28/72.

It's also important to realize that, when it comes to by-elections in this town, the vote skews, as Raymond Tomlin pointed out the other day, heavily Creme-Ville.
Of course this result also means that Developer Party No 2. is likely in  big, big trouble down the road because anybody with a progressive bone in their body (myself included) deserted them...This is doubly true for both Developer party's  if we don't get some real campaign finance reform at the civic level before the next General.
Weirdly, it looks like the only party with any bounce out of this thing is the Greens who took the top three School Board slots...But in actuality even that was weirdly split all over the place.
Tip O' The Toque to Rabbi David Mivasair for the image at the top of the post.