Friday, February 27, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...The (Not) Seven Percent Solution.


Remember how the Clarklandians' "Ponzification of Everything" budget told public school boards that they save an additional $29 million while they simultaneously gave private schools an extra $30 million (in addition to that $200 million they gave to the well-off)?

And remember how the public boards were supposed to achieve those savings by cutting back on administrative costs?

Costs that Ms. Clark herself said were seven percent of their total budgets.


Guess what....

CKNW's Shane Woodford has made like Norm Farrell (and Charlie Smith said the proMedia won't listen to bloggers!) and actually looked at the public board numbers, district-by-district, province-wide.

And, as you might expect, the number is not what Ms. Clark said it was.

Turns out the actual percentage is three percent. 


What, exactly is the administrative cost of doing quick winning business in Ms. Clark's own office we an only wonder.

There is an interesting post-script to that piece by Charlie Smith in the GStraight earlier in the week in which he demonstrated how, no matter how often Tom Fletcher is taken to task by Norm Farrell for his stenography in service of the Clarklandians  the good Mr. Fletcher just keeps on keepin' on....The interesting post-script part?....Well, go have another look at Mr. Smith's piece and note the first comment....Ha!
And, on a superside of the laptop bar digressively trapezoidal note (assisted by the site-counter)...I sure was glad to see that our regular morning reader from Pheonix Arizona was able to break away from all that llama excitement analysis and stop by, as per usual, earlier this a.m.....


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dealing With The Wizards...Should Journos Start Naming And Shaming The Men And Women Behind The Curtain?


Sean Holman thinks they should:

Dear government spin doctor...

{snippety doo-dah}

My job isn’t to help you put the best spin on what the government is or isn’t doing.

My job is to tell the truth.

And, because that’s my job, you should know a few other things about how I’m going to report this story.

First, if you don’t respond to my questions, I’m going to let my audience know that.

Second, if you respond to my questions with non-answers, I’m going to let my audience know that too.

Third, I’m not going to put those non-answers in my story for the sake of false balance.

That’s because me asking questions about what the government is doing wrong isn’t an opportunity for you to simply tell the public about what government is doing right.

You have a big advertising budget for that.

Instead, it’s an opportunity to explain to the public why the government is or isn’t doing that thing I asked you about.

And, finally, if you refuse, ignore or interfere with my requests to interview public officials, my audience will also find out about that.

This may sound like hardball at best and blackmail at worst. But it’s actually the last and only defense I have against you and your colleagues...

Could something like that happen on a large scale in the proMedia business?

I mean would the fine established and credible folks who run with the proMedia herd, especially those in the closed pens like the one in Victoria, be willing to actually call out the very same people who just might dump their next big 'scoop' in the trough tomorrow (and/or their really big feed when they go down the chute towards flack hackery valhalla).

Somehow I doubt it.

But I do think that the coming pack of sharp young kids with I-Phones, pencils and bullshit detectors (i.e. kids who act and think like a young Mr. Holman, for example) just might.

Thanks to Jim Lawrence for his comment that provoked this post...Mr. Lawrence disagrees with Mr. Holman, but what he wrote sure got me thinking about this...I agree with Jim that no journo should ever hedge his bets to make sure he will still have access to the evil that is the wizadry of half-truths and purposeful misleading of the public...The thing is, I do understand that there are shades of grey here, and that the cultivation of sources does matter...Thus, I think that what Mr. Holman is suggesting could really help to deal with those wizards that deal in bad faith.

Translink Referendum Shuffle Daemonizing...Who Said Irony Is Dead.




You know...

And if you are actually looking for Norm Farrell's most excellent post that Jason Kenney II was attempting to point his Twittmachine followers towards, you can find it....Here.
And as for JK II's previous efforts to turf up massive a massive public expenditures on privatized transportation infrastructure that is expressly designed to keep as many people off our buses as possible....Well, stay tuned for that...


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Alright Mr. Smith, I'll See Your Conventional Wisdom And Raise You A Pack Of Double Bubble.



Wednesday Lunchtime Update: I heard from Mr. Smith via the Twittmachine's super-secret pseudofeed...As a result, I've edited the post-script to this post slightly in response.

Yesterday, in a piece pointing out the apparently 'growing' chasm between the Lotuslandian bloggodome and the puffed-up promedia punditry, Charlie Smith of the GStraight wrote about the thorough fisking Norm Farrell recently gave to the works of that fine fellow from Blackland, Mr. Tom Fletcher.

And in passing, for some strange reason Mr. Smith also said something about how this here little F-Troop list outpost...

...routinely condemns conventional wisdom being dished out by scribes in the press gallery bubble...

Which is just about the nicest thing a (kinda/sorta) member of the proMedia has ever said about what goes on around here.


In the spirit of that bubble-bursting thing.

Why the heckfire were so many folks on the Twittmachine sending kudos that other Mr. Smyth's way for his piece in the Province last weekend about further Clarkland-mandated cuts to schoolboards?

Sure, on the surface of it, it all sounds like what was written Mikey from Crikey was a good thing.

But all I saw was he said/she said blah, blah, blah with no effort to actually inform readers if what is going on is a good thing or a bad thing and if it will impact the real work of public school boards.

But, of course, to do something like that takes real research, thought and synthesis in the service of readers.

Which just doesn't seem to be the other Mr. Smyth's bag.

A subthesis of Mr. Smith's piece is that what the folks in the bloggodome write does not now and will not ever change the codswallop that is pumped out by the local puffed-up propunditry....Thus, in this respect, it could be concluded that we're all just tilting at windmills...But, the thing is...It's not really the folks who write the  puff pieces that we're really talking to....Right?
And if any puffed-up proMedia club member really thinks that what Norm does doesn't have an effect, go ask the Keef,....He of the 'Reports' of course.


Translink Referendum Shuffle...Bonfire Of The Flack Hackeries Revisited.


As we have noted before, there is one group whose members will most certainly come out winners no matter what the outcome of the Translink plebiscite.

And that group is the local flack-hackery.


Imagine our surprise when Lotusland's hardest working proMedia member, Bob Mackin, identified a new winner:

...(Christy Clark's former chief of staff and campaign manager Mike) McDonald is involved with another campaign these days with Kirk and Co., the BC Liberal-connected communications company that scored a plum gig with TransLink to convince the public to vote yes to a sales tax hike that would help fund the expansion of TransLink. That’s right, the manager of the BC Liberal 2013 campaign that promised a vote on TransLink expansion is working as a consultant to TransLink to “get you to yes.”...

The flames in that bonfire are starting getting pretty high, eh?

And, ya, I did see Mr. Smith of the GStraight's bit....Post coming...



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Why Is It So Hard For The ProMedia To Tell The People Of British Columbia Who Actually Runs Translink?


Christy Clark on the home team, as quoted by watercarrier, junior-grade, Sean Leslie, late last week:

... "TransLink belongs to the mayors, and only the mayors. If there are problems that need to be addressed in Translink, [the mayors] can fix those problems because it’s not a provincially run organization.”...


Mr. Leslie, in his 'piece' for the online word-bite pixeltorium that is CKNW's newsy-type website, did say that Translink was created by 'provincial legislation'.


To the best of my knowledge the VSun's Pete McMartin is the only member of the Lotuslandian ProMedia who has been telling it like it actually is regarding how Translink is run and why:

...The provincial government created the present incarnation of TransLink in 2007. It did so to wrest power away from the municipalities because the municipalities of the day didn’t like the transit choices the province was forcing upon them. In that context, the plebiscite isn’t about transit, it’s about power...


Given that wresting of power, which I wrote about (and Mr. Kevin Falcon's non-justification justification for it) back in the day....

How come all those established proMedia folks without all that credibility can't follow Mr. McMartin's lead and tell British Columbians that Ms. Clark is either dumber than Sarah Palin when it comes to the Translink Doctrine or a bald-faced liar.

Because it's either one or the other.

And British Columbians ought to know which it is so that they can plan accordingly.

And never, ever forget that it was the same non-elected, BC Liberal-appointed post-early 2007 Translink Board that voted for that $200 million waste of money and content consultative side project known as 'fare gates'....


Gazetteer Sounds....All In One Place.


Sometimes I make sounds, mostly alone but sometimes with my kids.

Below is a bit of a compilation - just click on the little arrow and the tune will run right here in the blog - no muss, no fuss.

Newly minted walking/talking/strumming pods (just like the old days) comin'....Promise.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Nothing Short Of Transcendent On A Saturday Night.


'Coyote', by Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray....


Theirs is quite a story.

Read about it here.

And while you read, listen to some more of their stuff here.

Then buy some of it.

Because all that is transcendent cannot be paid for by day jobs.



One Thousand Eight Hundred Countries Too Many...The World According To Mr. Kenney.


When he was on the MoCo this morning former CTF spokesmodel and current Canadian Defence Minister, Mr. Jason Kenney, told Evan Solomon that we were in Iraq with over 2000 other countries.


As the Disaffected Liberal soon noted, that's about 1800 real countries too many.


Maybe, collectively, we can help Mr. Kenney figure out where the rest of the countries in his world can be found.

I mean, maybe he's looking for that finely honed absolute monarchy known to so many, including Anthony Hope and Peter Sellers, as 'Ruritania'.

And there's always Genovia, the little jewel that was once ruled by a teenaged Anne Hathaway.

And just what country were the 'Cliffs of Insanity' located in again?



Now, I remember.



We can only hope that Mr. Kenney doesn't have to negotiate the fire swamps and/or run into any rodents of unusual size on his way to do whatever it is he and/or his real paymasters want him to do.

You can hear Mr. Kenney's faux pas, which would be truly laughable if the stakes weren't so high....Here (at the 37 minute mark)...And if you rewind the player you can hear Opposition leader Mr. Mulcair actually make some sense of this senseless situation.


Friday, February 20, 2015

BC's Real Budget...The Ponzification Of Everything.


Like me, economist Jim Stanford was flummoxed by both the headline and the puff-piece by Justine Hunter that did much of the upfront cheerleading for the Clarklandians' ponzi-scheme budget to come in last weekends Globe and (nolongerEmpire) Mail.

Here is just part of Mr. Stanford's take.

The banner headline across the top of the front page of the national Globe and Mail edition caught my eye (last) Saturday morning: “How B.C. became a ‘have’ province.” Wow, I thought to myself, that is quite something (and without a single LNG plant yet visible on the horizon!)...

{snippety doo-dah}

...For B.C. to suddenly rejoin the ranks of the “have” provinces was shocking. How was this triumphant result achieved?...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...Imagine my confusion, then, when I perused page A18, and the full story by Justine Hunter, to find not a single word about B.C. being a “have” province. Not a single reference to its GDP per capita in relation to Canada’s. Not a single mention of the province’s equalization subsidy ending (which is what happens when you become a “have” province), to be replaced by a net outflow to the rest of Canada. The whole story was simply an incredibly uncritical review of how B.C. achieved three consecutive budgets without a deficit...

As for the real story of the total ponzification that paved the way for all the follow-up puff-pieces that have been written by all the fine folks like Ms. Hunter and that were printed in all the very, very fine media organs like the Globe while our real debt has now climbed somewhere north of $150 billion as it leaves a trail of austerity in its wake for those amongst us who are least able to pay for it?


Norm Farrell has that story for you, in easily digestible audio form, with Ian Jessop....