Monday, December 11, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 11.... Carol Writing By The Pool.


It's the  'Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire' tune penned by a then barely 20 year-old Mel Torme and his writing partner Bob Wells during a sweltering mid-summer day in Los Angeles, circa 1945.

And then, of course, there was that first interpretation, released the following year and never to be bested, by Nat King Cole.

I reckon the following version comes in #3,452,847th...

You can catch up on all this year's Advent Juke tunes....Here
So far on this, the eleventh, day we're at 4,212 listens.


Site C Aftermath...The Gloating.


As for the 'accountable' bit.... As Grant G has pointed out numerous times....When the further cost overruns inevitably mount as the weeks and months and years pass it will not be the Golden Era-ists and Clarklandians who will have this thing hung around their necks.
On the flip side....The coast has now been fully cleared so that the Dean and his minions can finally start reporting the historical flat demand for electricity in our fine province.


Site C....Now That The Deed Is Done, Which Voting Block Will Be The Happiest?


From Angus Reid's polling earlier this fall:

Thing is, we Dipper supporters could always be counted on to fall in line in the past because we had nowhere else to go.

As for now....


And, at times like these (and/or at times like yesterday, literally), it might be best for the braintrust to think like Rick Barnes.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Advent Jukebox, Day 10....Bigger Than Christmas.

'Happy XMas (War Is Over)', recorded in 1971, was a holiday audio amplification of John and Yoko's protests against the Vietnam war that really got going in 1969 when they put up a whole bunch of billboards like the one above in 12 major American cities.

When Lennon was asked how much the billboard campaign he answered thusly:

"I don't know, but it's cheaper than somebody's life."


I've started and stopped trying to do this tune a number of times over the Advent Jukebox years.


I think it is because Lennon's voice is one of the few I'm truly intimidated by - even for tiny little fun in the winter sun projects like this.

Not really sure how I got the gumption up this year, but here goes...


Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 9... Christmas In America, 1952.

In America, Christmas 1952 was the time of Eisenhower rising.

It was also the time of Nelson Algren:

...So accustomed have we become to the testimony of the photo-weeklies, backed by witnesses from radio and TV, establishing US as the happiest, healthiest, sanest, wealthiest, most inventive, funloving, and tolerant folk yet to grace the earth of man that we tend to forget that these are bought-and-paid-for witnesses and that all their testimony is perjured...

Of course, Mr. Algren wrote about a very different America.

I realize now that...

When I listen to the story songs from Iantown the ghost of Algren is there too, hovering, wordsmithing, and character sketching in the wings.

Here is my version of young Ian's (he of the Felice Brothers who will cover absolutely anything brilliantly), only Christmas tune (I think):

Image at the top of the post is of Nelson Algren at the Chicago YMCA, located at the corner of Division Street and Milwaukee Avenue in 1956...For those who have read 'The Man With The Golden Arm' it is not an unfamiliar locale...
As always, you can peruse the entire Advent Jukebox oeuvre, and read a bit more tune/theme-related tidbits...Here.


Friday, December 08, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 8.....Wish I Had A River.

When I was a kid my mom's mom lived on the edge a farmer's hayfield above Saanich road in Victoria.

Across the road and down the hill was Swan Lake before it became a bird sanctuary.

Back then nobody controlled the flooding of the lake across the lower hayfield.

Which meant once or twice a winter when it got cold and crisp for a week or that flooded field, where the water was only a few inches would freeze.

And we would go crazy skating and skating and skating long into the night, especially if there was a big moon and some snow around to reflect it.

Given the foggy wet nights we're having at the moment, plus the passage of time and place it sure takes a lot of imagination to conjure up the exhilarating feeling of it all.

Here's my version of that Miss Mitchell tune where she's pining for just such a feeling....

Somewhere there's a picture of my Mom out skating on that frozen field when she was a kid, gliding on one foot...Gotta find that one.
Ms. Mitchell's 'River' has been covered more than 600 times so far...Makes sense to me.


The Keef Report....Cherry Picking.


Last night the good Mr. Baldrey told Global watchers and readers that, when it comes to Site C, he figures the provincial Dippers are finally acting like folks who are governing rather than activisting.

In addition, after noting, without actually coming out and saying it, that he has lost his insider access card because no one in the legislative corridors will tell him anything concrete (a good thing!), Mr. Baldrey threw out his 'Points to Ponder'.

Here is point #1.

  • If cancellation causes BC Hydro rates to increase by more than 10 per cent (something that the power authority said would happen), what would that do to the NDP’s mission to make life more affordable for people?


Do you see what is missing from the good Mr. Baldrey's pearly point re: the cost to ratepayers if the darned thing is actually completed (not to mention how BC Hydro costs have already been blown up big time - see Norm Farrell's point in the comments)?


Previous Keef Reports can be found...Here.
And, for more Advent Jukebox tidbits...Including a little digressive research of a superfluous kind into many of the tunes and/or the folks that have sung them go....Here.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Advent Jukebox, Day 7....The Rolling Hills Of Oregon.

The title to this edition of the Advent Juke comes from a line in from an Ian Felice song called the 'Mating Of The Doves' which has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday season, at least in a conventional sense.


Here is the broadest definition of 'advent':

"The arrival of a notable person or thing"

Which, taken in either very broad or very specific seasonal terms, pretty much fits Mr. Felice's tune, to a 'T I reckon'.

Here's my version....

Image at the top....The two E's, in earlier times, rambling across some rolling, if sandy hills of coastal Oregon.
As always....If you'd like to peruse the various tunes and tales in this year's Jukebox, they're all collected (with a few bonus bits of linear type).....Here.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 6.... The Little Drummer Weird.



That's right.

'Twas Bing and Bowie, together, in the year punk broke...

One of the most successful duets in Christmas music history -- and surely the weirdest -- might never have happened if it weren't for some last-minute musical surgery. David Bowie thought "The Little Drummer Boy" was all wrong for him. So when the producers of Bing Crosby's Christmas TV special asked Bowie to sing it in 1977, he refused.

Just hours before he was supposed to go before the cameras, though, a team of composers and writers frantically retooled the song. They added another melody and new lyrics as a counterpoint to all those pah-rumpa-pum-pums and called it "Peace on Earth." Bowie liked it. More important, Bowie sang it.

The result was an epic, and epically bizarre, recording in which David Bowie, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, joined in song with none other than Mr. "White Christmas" himself, Bing Crosby...

The show was taped in September for broadcast during 1977's Christmas season.

Unfortunately, Mr. Crosby never saw it because he died in October of that year.

Mr. Bowie, of course, kept on keepin' on for another 40 years.

Here's my version of the tune in question...

You can see and hear the dynamic duo do LDB, after a bit of bizarre pre-amble....Here....The whole show is...Here.
As for the sub-header....Well....This.
You can peruse and/or listen to all this year's Advent Juke tunes, and find a few more odds and ends...Here. 


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 5.....The Ultimate B-Side.

'The Christmas Waltz' was written in Los Angeles during a heat wave in 1954 by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne for Sinatra because 'Frank wants a Christmas song'.

In the end it became the B-side to the Chairman of the Board's version of Irving Berlin's 'White Christmas'.

Me, I'm partial to the 3,847th cover of the tune by M. Ward and Z. Deschanel.

Here's E's version...

Image at the top of the post is from the good folks at ASCAP with Sammy Cahn (left), Sinatra and Jimmy van Husen.
You can peruse all this year's Advent Jukebox tunes so far over at our 'mirror plus a little more' site....Here.


The Keef Report....He Now Needs A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows.



It would appear that the good Mr. Baldrey has somehow gone and lost his insider access pass.

I imagine the Dean will not be amused.


Anyway, on a more serious note (kinda/sorta)...

While I was riding my bike in to work this morning, and doing my darndest not to slide into traffic, a thought popped into my head pretty much out of nowhere.

Which, and I know this might get me into some hot water with some readers, is the possibility that the Site C decision just might be John Horgan's 'Sister Souljah' moment.

Stay with me, at least for just a moment, on this one...



I support collective bargaining.

And I fully support the de-Hochsteining of our trades.

And I truly know all the good that unions have done for British Columbians over the years and decades.

And I have no issues whatsoever with the BC NDP's historical allegiance to labour.

In fact, when it comes right down to it, as Billy Bragg says, you're likely much better off trusting an upstanding labour union than any political party.


I see no reason that our future fiscal health and well-being should be held hostage to a small number of made-up jobs, union or otherwise.

Especially when we could take the savings in cash and treasure and create oodles of good union jobs to build and do things we really need.


With all that said, in addition to the fact that killing Site C is the right thing to do, let's consider things from a purely pragmatic, real-politik, triangulating point of view.

And then lets put that triangulation together with the Dipper/Green levelling of the fundraising field.

Taking all those things together it seems to me that, if he can see his way through the short term pain, Horgan can't lose politically in the longterm if he's willing to say no to the labour groups involved this one time and do the right thing for everyone in British Columbia.


(and feel free to fire away Beer - I'm pretty certain you don't agree)

Meanwhile, Norm Farrell, in his efforts to operationalize his plan to publicize why kiboshing Site C is the right thing to do for purely pragmatic, real world (i.e. non-political reasons), has zoomed past his original fundraising goal of $2,500....Thanks Everyone!....You can still contribute (and do so entirely anonymously and easily if you like)....Here.
Update: Late Tuesday afternoon...Beer disagrees...But, in a surprise to me at least, for reasons of real politick....Hmmmmm....Going to have to go searching for hard polling numbers...


Monday, December 04, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 4....Blue Christmas


My Mom sure did love that Elvis Christmas album...

All of this year's jukebox tunes are available for your listening pleasure....Here.


High Wattage BC Liberal Leadership Candidate Fights Back Against The Obviousness Of Ron.


Well, well, well....

The campaign of one Ms. Diane Watts has started leaking internal polling for wurlitzering and, surprise!, their highly adulterated tea leaves say she's way out in front.

Or some such codswallop.

Bob Mackin has the story. Here's a chunk out of his lede:

Dianne Watts’ pollster, Innovative Research Group, surveyed BC Liberal members on the final weekend of November, and claims 30% prefer the former Surrey Mayor on the first ballot.

The one-page summary leaked to theBreaker contains no details about the polling methodology. Internal polls are not always the most-reliable barometer, because they are not independent and sometimes used strategically to rally volunteers and donors.

Innovative claims Watts’ closest challenger is Mike de Jong, with 14% first ballot preference, followed by Todd Stone (11%), Andrew Wilkinson (9%), Michael Lee (5%) and ex-Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan (4%)...

What's it all about this time Alfie?

For answers (or not), see...This.

Another interesting tidbit in Mr. Mackin's piece?....
Well, in addition to Marky Mark, clean slate candidate Michael Lee, a very fine fellow whom Ron Obvious recently described as 'young, smart, articulate, telegenic and highly likeable', is also being run by a  local Liberal pary rainmaker  who, according to the Horsemen at least, partook in a most interesting conversation with Mr. David Basi back in the days of yore.
Hey!....If you are even remotely thinking of helping Norm Farrell save BC Hydro from financial ruin, head on over to his 'Go Fund Me' page right now...He's only $75 from his goal (in less than one day!).


Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Advent Jukebox, Day 3....It's Christmas Time.


I remember first hearing this Sufjan Stevens tune from one of those ukulele kids doing their DYI covers a few years ago on the YouTube, back when the amateurs were still just that.


The song itself is simple and unadorned at its core.

Not to mention incredible catchy and fun and, somehow, melancholy all at the same time.

Bigger E takes the lead on this one...



The Future Is Now For BC Hydro.



Update Sunday Night: Norm says he has been informed that  his 'Go Fund Me' page is trending....Help him save BC Hydro!

Norm Farrell is on a mission.

A mission to explain, clearly and succinctly, that, in the wake of the many fiscally foolhardy moves by the previous BCLiberal government,  Site C will ruin BC Hydro financially.

Norm's post on this is....Here.



What to do, given that we no longer have the worst people in British Columbia running our government?


It turns out that the new government, a government that is mostly doing the right things to give our province back to all British Columbians, is vacillating on this one.

So Norm has developed a plan to educate the citizenry and the new government about the true gravity of the situation.

And all it will take is a little money to operationalize said plan.


What are you waiting for...

Head on over to Norm's 'Go Fund Me' page and help make it happen.


If you haven't done this kind of thing before
it's very easy, and, if that kind of thing is important to you....You can do it completely anonymously...So if you have any inclination to help out whatsoever...Do it!

Regarding the sub-header....Ya, that's right...William Orland 'One Bar' Kilmer!


LNG Over Saanich Inlet...Yet Another Sparkle Pony Bites The Dust.


As Grant G. predicted from the very beginning, one of the Steelhead LNG projects, the one that would have put a processing plant into the pleasure boat infested waters of Saanich Inlet on Southern Vancouver Island, is now officially dead.

Mostly because it was never born, or even truly conceived, immaculately or otherwise.

Here's the lede of a report from Ben O'Hara on the unexaggerated death of yet another Sparkle Pony from CHEK News on the Island:

Steelhead LNG will no longer be looking at building a floating LNG processing plant on Malahat First Nation owned Bamberton industrial lands.

The project was announced for the Saanich Inlet south of Mill Bay in August of 2015.

The proposed floating liquefaction facility moored to shore would have had capacity to process up to six million tonnes of LNG per year.

It immediately proved controversial garnering stiff opposition including from other First Nations in the area.

Late Friday, Steelhead LNG confirmed it is no longer moving ahead with the project...




Were there not rumours that the people's champion of Shawnigan Lake and current Cowichan Valley Green MLA Sonia Fursteneau went to a picnic on the beach at Bamberton provincial park  back in the summer?


Blame Rugby!


Saturday, December 02, 2017

Mr. Eby Has Further Concerns About The Lotuslandian Whaling Industry.....Errrrr... 'The Vancouver Model'


David Eby spoke out, albeit still guardedly, about our money laundering problem at a local anti-corruption conference yesterday.

Postmedia's Sam Cooper gives a full report....Here.

There's tons to chew on in Mr. Cooper's report, including Mr. Eby's support of whistleblower protection for those who spill the beans, but the following, in my opinion, is the real, concrete kicker of the thing:

"...Eby also announced that the first recommendations by Peter German, Eby’s independent reviewer into allegations of money laundering in B.C. casinos, will be released on Tuesday..."

And here Mess'rs Coleman and De Jong thought question period ended last week.

If you get my drift.


Conflictyness Is Us....Of School Districts And Senators.


From  a piece by Diane Strandberg in yesterday's Lotuslandian local Tri-City News:

Keeping strong ties with China is necessary to maintain (Coquitlam) School District 43’s international education program, which now makes up 10% of the district’s revenue, says board of education chair Kerri Palmer Isaak.

During spring break, a large contingent of SD43 administrators, teachers and four school trustees went to China to learn about the culture and meet education officials and mayors who are responsible for public school education there...


The trip is paid for by the Chinese government through Hanban and the 10-day visit is a good use of trustees’ and staff time, Palmer Isaak said...


From an editorial in today's Globe:

First-class trips are fun, particularly when someone else is paying; everyone enjoys travelling in the style to which they've become accustomed...


...The problem is not that Canadian politicians are travelling abroad. The problem is that these "free" trips aren't really free. The people footing the bills are doing so to exercise influence on our elected officials, whether overtly or more subtly. Those picking up the tab are at the very least buying the time of MPs and Senators. It's not a good look...


We must stop this codswallop.


Because it's about much more than just what is 'expected' by those that buy our public officials'  creaturely comforts.



Lookin' For Neil?



Update: Saturday Afternoon....Darn!...Pulled down already...Apologies...In the meantime, until it pops up again, I highly recommend...This.

Did you miss Mr. Young's not-so secret show in 'a town in North Ontario' last night?


It's up, at least until BellGlobeEverythingElseMedia gets wind of it, on the YouTubez...

Special thanks to reader Kim for the heads-up last night.


The Advent Jukebox, Day 2....Nighty Night.


Yesterday was the last day of classes at the fine institution where I ply my trade.

And what with the grant writing, and the administrating, and the cigar-tube climbing/riding, and the teaching, and even the occasional bit of science geekering, I'm ready for a nice, long quiet peaceful early winter night's sleep.

What better way than to drift off in the Key of G with the occasional E minor chord thrown in for good measure.

Will be back tomorrow with something a little more rousing if Bigger E gets her way with an L. Cohen tune that does not start with an 'H'....



Friday, December 01, 2017

In Like (The Guilty Mr.) Flynn...What's It Really All About, Alfie?


This morning former Donald Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn plead guilty to one count of lying to the FBI and thus likely protected himself and his son, to further prosecution.

Which means he likely cut a deal for cooperation.


What does this mean for the rest of the Trumplandians?

Richard Painter and Norman Eisen put it succinctly in their late in the day NYTimes OpEd that will come out in the dead tree edition of the Grey Lady tomorrow:

...Lest there be any doubt about what is happening, the statement of the offense filed along with Mr. Flynn’s plea shows that he is prepared to testify that the communications that he lied about, concerning conversations with the Russian ambassador in December 2016, were discussed with multiple members of the transition team — including one “senior official” and one “very senior member.” It is not yet clear who those individuals are, but transition officials and members included Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. as well as Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Devin Nunes of California; the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin...

Go figure!

Can you tell that classes ended today at the fine institution where I ply my trade....Now, what shall today's AdventJuke offering be....How about that Tom Wait's tune that everyone pines for this time of year?...Stay tuned!


RailGate Revisited...Pouce Coupe Can Handle The Truth.


From reader Bob F. who sends us this picture from the northeasterly quadrant of our fine province...

Bob then says:

"...Got this at Pouce Coupe a few days ago. We have had a few wanna be Lib leaders up here trolling the faithful. They all go quiet when BCRail comes up..."

Imagine that!


The Advent Jukebox, Day 1....The Tune'ening.

The idea of a homemade 'song a day'-type advent calendar/juke box came to me in late November a few years ago.

And when the tunes began they were, essentially, lullabies for our oldest kid who was still half a continent away cramming for final exams.

Then, once that kid got home about halfway through, the duets began.


This year we're starting things off with Bigger E singing the Greenwich/Barry ditty made famous by Darlene Love...


Thursday, November 30, 2017

And A Homegrown One At That....

That is all.


The Wilful Destruction Of B.C. Hydro Explained...


As you might expect, it is Norm Farell who is doing the explaining:

... (BC) Liberal (Party) ideologues intended to privatize BC Hydro’s electricity division, as it had done with the crown corporation’s natural gas business and administrative services. However, because polls showed voter resistance to further disposition, an insidious program was developed as an alternative.

The plan was not to privatize the remaining BC Hydro assets; it was to privatize the company’s profits.

The public would hold all of the business risks associated with power distribution and sales while private companies would hold all of the rewards.

After BC Hydro’s long history of profitable operations, Liberals knew that turning the company into a money loser would have negative political implications. However, they had a solution: cook the books...

That's just a snippet.

Now go and read the whole thing.

Because Norm has the hard numbers and the charts and everything to fully back his conclusions.


Off topical, but....Only one more sleep until the start of this year's Advent Jukebox!


Monday, November 27, 2017

BC Leadership Race....Has Ron Missed The Most Obvious Point.


Mr. Mason of the Globe thinks that Dianne Watts has fallen back to the pack in the BC Liberal leadership crawl:

...There are those in the Liberal party who still feel it's a "stretch" for Ms. Watts to want to lead a party that she's had little time for in the past. Nonetheless, she is arguably the biggest name in the race and the consensus front-runner – at least she was.

To say that her campaign has been underwhelming would be charitable. The words most often associated with it are "a total disaster." That assessment has mostly been based on the three public debates the party has held so far...


...Right now, the race is wide open. Any movement has been front-runner Dianne Watts falling back to the field. For her, the momentum is swinging in the wrong direction.

But, here's the thing...

Nobody in the 'party' seems to be making much of a fuss about Mr. Watts' hard-con backstory.

Which, at this point at least, seems to be a battle already one for the good ship VacantWatts.


Of course, Mr. Mason's really big reveal was the super-dooper-non-Sam-Scoop(er) that...Wait for it...Marky Mark is running the campaign of the 'super-likeable' Michael Lee...Gosh, wonder who has been whispering in Ron's ear about the latter's soft-con, up-the-middleish-with-a-bullet, bonafides?...
Hey Dipper Braintrust!...While you all are doing your triangulating on Site C please add the following to the calculations...Unlike days gone by, many soft-progs who would never, ever hold their noses and vote PaleoSocred do have another place to park their votes now...
It's another cigar tube week for me...When I get back E and me will have to hustle to get the first of this year's Advent Jukebox tunes in the can for Friday...


Friday, November 24, 2017

Are Mr. Trump's Lawyers Cerebral Suitcases Completely Empty?


You want real analysis about what is really going on behind, around, below, and on top of, Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trumpian world (dis)order?

If so, you should be reading Marcy Wheeler's blog, which shows up over on the blog crawl, regularly.

Here's a little chunk from her latest post on the White House/Trump's legal team's response to the recent NYT and WaPo reports that Michael Flynn's fine fellows are no longer speaking to them:

...There’s something really funny about the White House’s confirmation that Flynn pulled out of the joint defense agreement, along with their pathetic claims this doesn’t mean Trump is in trouble.

(Because) confirming to the press that Flynn pulled out of the joint defense agreement involves confirming that the White House had a joint defense agreement with his lawyers. And that entails confirming that the President is being targeted in matters closely tied to Flynn’s own actions...


Can you imagine...

General Flynn playing the part of little Johnny Dean?

If that actually turns out to be the case we may not even need oval office tapes to hear from most, if not all, of the current presidents' men (and women) as they jump ship.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

#VanRE....Is 'R Bubble Fully Inflated Yet?


The answer to the question in the header is, clearly....


And have a really good look at where, exactly, that specific land assembly is located (click on image to embiggen).



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The November Rain...


It's that time of year where the young folks that are going to school where I work start to look a bit like walking zombies as the reality of the finals that are just around the corner starts to sink in.

And when the grey and the rain permeates everything like it did today...

Well, things get downright dreary.


Imagine my surprise when I spied a young woman racing across the courtyard outside my office window at lunchtime, bent forward at the waist with arms outstretched clutching two lines of truly tiny kids spread out in V-formation behind her.

And when this careening gaggle of chirping birds got to center of the square of soaking pavement everybody stopped on a dime and a riotous game of old-fashioned, honest-to-goddess square ball broke out.

Fifteen minutes later they were gone.

I headed back to the spreadsheets on the box, my coffee only half-finished, happy and content.


Below is my new favourite all abstract affective rain song by the East Nashville madman Aaron Lee Tasjan...


Monday, November 20, 2017

Why Are The Powers That Be Apparently So Afraid Of A Wee Bit Of Pilot Epidemiology?



Don't know about you, but I noticed an item in a Postmedia print organ last week that started like this:

A team of Université de Montréal researchers looking at a small sample of 29 women living near major natural-gas well sites found high levels of toxins in their urine.

Researchers found they had 3.5 times more benzene byproducts in their urine than the average person in Canada. But in nearly half the participants, 14 of them Indigenous women, the levels were six times higher...


That's interesting, not to mention potentially important, I thought, so I read further:

...The study was initially sparked by interest expressed at a Canadian symposium on toxicology, (researcher Elyse) Caron-Beaudoin said.

“We had heard that some communities in Peace River Valley in northeastern British Columbia were worried about the health impacts of living near fracking,” she said. “There was no bio-monitoring (for toxic chemicals) done in this region despite it being one of the most intensive hydraulic fracking regions in the country.”...

All of which sent me searching for the kicker, which is that the researchers should do a larger, more detailed study to determine what if any the association of this is with, well, you know...

...Researchers suggest the higher levels of benzene exposure in B.C. is coming from the fracking.

“But we don’t know for sure,” Caron-Beaudoin said.

Benzene is also found in cigarettes, petroleum products including motor fuels and solvents, as well as in drinking water. The study did not measure benzene in the participants’ environments, for example, in their tap water or in the air in their houses.

“The key message here is that we have a red flag,” she said. “We think there is higher benzene exposure in this region, and it’s particularly seen in the Indigenous participants, who already face social and health inequities. We need to look into this further and correct for the limitations we had in this pilot study.”

In her next study, Caron-Beaudoin expects to investigate the medical data of about 6,000 babies born in the region in the past 10 years...



You might have missed this story because it came out in the Montreal Gazette, presumably because the study, while done in BC, was carried out by researchers from the University of Montreal.

The thing is, it would appear that the folks at the Gazette may have missed a CAPPish-type memo or three.

Because two days later, seemingly out of nowhere, the Province ran an Op-Ed by Mr. Kenneth Green of the Fraser Institute titled "Attack On Fracking by BC Activists Ignores Science That Practice Is Safe". 

Now, as you might have predicted, the piece by the good Mr. Green included statements like to the following to support his thesis which closely matched the title of his piece:

...With regard to air pollution, a 2014 study conducted for the B.C. Ministry of Health found that short-term exposures to air pollutants were low enough that they did not pose a significant risk of adverse health effects in people living in the area, while long-term exposures to air pollutants from hydraulic fracturing were generally associated with a low potential for adverse health effects...


Do you see what Mr. Green did there re: the phrase: 'generally associated with'?

Regardless, surprisingly (or not), Mr. Green made no mention of the scientific U of M study cited above.

Furthermore, Mr. Green's piece also did not make mention of any of the following bits of unsettling science noted by Andrew Nikiforuk in the Tyee (in a piece on the U of M study that was published on the very same day as Mr. Green's Province Op-Ed):

...In Pavillion, Wyoming, a region of intense hydraulic fracturing activity, researchers have detected elevated benzene concentrations in air near homes located close to well pads. They have also found high muconic levels in urine as a result of benzene exposure...


...In 2015 researchers at Johns Hopkins University reviewed the records of nearly 11,000 births between 2009 and 2013 in heavily fracked rural areas of north and central Pennsylvania.

The researchers discovered that expectant mothers living in the busiest areas of shale gas activity were 40 per cent more likely to give birth prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation).

In addition women were thirty per cent more likely to have a “high risk pregnancy” in heavily fracked landscapes.

And in 2014 as U.S. federal study found that pollution from the mining of natural gas in rural areas can increase the incidence of congenital heart defects among babies born to mothers living close to well sites...


Me thinks someone has been spooked enough to set their peer review-free deflector spike spin phasers to eleven for the duration.

The U of M's press release on the study is....Here....The actual peer-reviewed scientific publication is...Here.
Interestingly, the title of Mr. Green's non-peer-reviewed piece published on the house organ's website was slightly different than the title of the identical piece published in the Province. To wit: "Attacks On Hydraulic Fracturing In BC Defy Settled Science"
Separate from specific health hazard matters, check out the following bit of obfuscatory bait-and-switcheroozapalooza from Mr. Green when it comes to earthquakes: "On seismicity, the Canadian Council of Academies found that although hydraulic fracturing operations can cause additional seismicity, most of the earthquakes felt by the public are not caused by hydraulic fracturing itself, but by the underground injection of waste water"...Feel better now?
Norm Farrell also noted the U of M study on the Twittmachine on the weekend.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Site C Boondogglepalooza...The Twisted Logic Of Cookie Dough Mike.


BC Liberal Party leadership candidate Mike de Jong travelled to Port Alberni for a grip-and-grin earlier this week and no one showed up.

So the good Mr. de Jong instead spent a whack of time talking to Mike Youds, a reporter for the PA News, and complained that he just couldn't understand why John Horgan et al. would even begin to consider dumping 24 fast ferry equivalents into the Peace River.

Or some such thing:

...The decision whether to cancel or continue with the energy megaproject — as laid out in the B.C. Utilities Commission report delivered two weeks ago — is a relatively simple one, he (Mr. de Jong) added.

“When I used to do this in the 1990s and visit Port Alberni, people were pretty outraged by the folly of building three fast ferries that didn’t work and having to write off $500 million. This is four times that, this is a whole fleet of them. This is (the equivalent of) 24 fast ferries...

Left unsaid by Mr. de Jong, of course, is the fact that with a now expected final price tag of ~$12 billion, his government's 'point-of-no-return' project, if completed, will eventually cost we the people of British Columbia approximately 72 fast ferry equivalents.

For no good reason...

At all.


Wondering about the sub-header?.....This.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The NoFunCouver Party Unanimously Declares Transparency A Conflict Of Interest.


There was a Vancouver City Council meeting going down today until, all of a sudden, all the NPA councillors disappeared, en masse, as noted by the Vancouver Courier's  Mike Howell:

What's it all about this time Alfie?

Well, Mr. Howell had that story also, recently (i.e. before the walk-out), in the printier version of the Courier:

...(Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer) wants the public to know exactly where she and her colleagues on council make their money when not on the job at city hall.

That’s important, she said, when conducting city business and having the public know whether a politician has any pecuniary interest in a matter before council. She’ll be introducing a motion on this today at council...


Why might we, the citizens of Lotusland, want to know about stuff like this?

Well, back to Mr. Howell's story...

...NPA Coun. George Affleck lists himself as owner of public relations company Curve Communications Group Ltd. NPA Coun. Melissa De Genova says she owns consulting company Eventure Holdings Ltd. That’s just a few examples.

What concerns Reimer is that the public has no immediate way of knowing, say, who Affleck’s company does business with. Same goes for De Genova. The recently sworn-in NPA councillor, Hector Bremner, has yet to have his financial disclosure posted on the website, yet it is well known that he is vice-president of public affairs for the Pace Group. He’s also worked as an oil and gas lobbyist...


...So is Reimer going after the NPA?

“Not in a specific or personal way,” she replied. “Two of them have declared conflicts that aren’t listed on their financial disclosure and another one [Bremner] coming on could be in the same position. And given the intent of the Financial Disclosure Act, it seems reasonable to have something in place that allows the public to see where potential conflicts might lie.”

Which conflicts are you referring to?

“On several occasions, councillor De Genova has declared herself in conflict. The only source of income listed on her disclosure, other than council, is a holding company, and none of the conflicts have related specifically to that holding company, although apparently to things or clients of that holding company relates to.”

Added Reimer: “The same councillor has said on quite a few occasions that she works with a non-profit housing agency, which is definitely laudable. But if one looks at her financial disclosure, none is listed. It’s not that there’s something illegal going on here – that’s well within the rules – but I think the rules didn’t anticipate this kind of situation.”...

{snippety doodle-dandy}

...“I think she (Reimer)’s doing this to try and make a smokescreen story out of something that unfortunately Vision Vancouver is most guilty of,” said De Genova, pointing to the millions of dollars Vision has collected from developers over the years for election campaigns. “If she’s going to point fingers at other people, I think she needs to look within. Don’t throw rocks if you live in a glass house.”...


Not sure if we can be of any real help on any of this, but...

We do happen to remember that an early Cambie corridor land assembly effort led to a most interesting bit of close-quartered sign juxtapositionage back in the fall of 2011:


Is it possible that this was foreshadowing the formation of a most excellent non-profit housing agency to come?

Update: Bob Mackin has a little bit more....And NPA councillor George Affleck responds in a most strate(r)gic manner.


Lotuslandian Bloggodome Round-Up Thursday...


After pointing out the blue and red causes of the great Manitoba rail crisis Mr. Beer 'N Hockey gets to the heart of the matter:

...See what we have? A problem created by Conservatives being furthered by the Liberals and the Manitoba Conservatives. There is a better way and I am happy both my province and the province of Alberta chose it. If we must be governed more Canadians than ever had better stop voting for parties that are more concerned about tax dodges for the rich and start voting for parties who focus on the needs of the working people of Canada...

Laila is back at it, hammering away again at the true cost and the hypocrisy of Site C. Here is here latest lede:

I was working on some research when I first heard the decision on Site C would come by December 31st, 2017…exactly two years from the day I first started blogging about Site C in earnest. Since then a multitude of opinion editorials, articles and statements have been made by both those opposing and those in support. ( It’s here I’ll mention the only formal group campaigning in support seems to be the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association,spearheaded by rep Jordan Bateman. Yes, that’s the same Jordan Bateman,former taxpayers champion who worried about the costs of Site C )...


Grant G., as you might expect, goes deep into the Clarklandian duplicity re: Site C which he reckons was greately assisted by a cowed and complicit local proMedia club:

...(A)ny premier, of any province or territory in Canada who refused to send a multi-billion dollar taxpayer funded project to the regulatory body to see if the project was cost effective or even needed, then said premier, after denying a proper review told the public that the entire project was being fast-tracked and rushed forward for the stated goal to push the project past the point of no return...

Any premier who did that should have been vilified in the press, chased from office...

BC's (pro)media in late 2017 that same media is not silent they're are complicit in cheerleading a $12 billion dollar ill-conceived, not needed energy project...


Meanwhile, Norm Farrell curates the most interesting tweets on all things Site C and clearly illustrates the Dean of the Legislative's Press Gallery's ref-working techniques:

...(The VSun's Vaughn) Palmer wrote that Energy Minister Michelle Mungall was “chippy” but that MLA Tracy Redies, former CEO of Coast Capital Savings Credit Savings Union, demonstrated expertise and “was able to elicit significant information.” He could have added that the information was already on the public record but this was about painting a complimentary portrait of the woman who departed Coast Capital unexpectedly with a huge severance payout after the member-owned bank donated large sums to the BC Liberal Party...

Finally, while it is a bit of a cross-over act, the MoCo's Lotuslandian Central guy, Justin McElroy, has one heck of a poll going on the best of Canuckistanian Anglais Tee Vee going....The latest is the round of 32...Head on over if you've got 15 minutes that you never want back but want to kill pleasurably, regardless.


And, in case you've missed it...Pete Kelly has been posting some good, solid succinct and insightful #BCPoli stuff over at his place.
Speaking of things we're missing already... Stanley Q. Woodvine does an amazing job rooting out Lotusland's best non-smashed pumpkins still sitting on doorstops near you.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If Wishes Were Sparkle Ponies, Ms. Martin Would Ride.


The former queen of the sparkle pony rodeo's PR department, who once made that infamous trillion dollar generational Salty Hubbard-free claim of a 'bonanza' to come, is apparently heartbroken by this thing that Time magazine has just pointed out to her:

Please note, as Louise (who really is in BC) already did, where, precisely, the good Ms. Martin was tweeting from.



Casino Industrial Complexities....Irreparable Harm.


Well, well, well whaddy'a know...

Those who service the Whaling industry do not want any more of that government information being released to reporters, especially those whose surname just might be Cooper.

Bob Mackin has the story:

...Lawyers for Great Canadian Gaming Corp. notified the Ministry of the Attorney General and Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner that they will appear Nov. 14 at the Law Courts in Vancouver to ask for a court order.

Great Canadian’s Nov. 9 petition to B.C. Supreme Court says the government plans to release the second phase of documents to a reporter on Nov. 14. Great Canadian contends the government has a duty under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to consult it before any documents are disclosed.

“GCGC will suffer irreparable harm if the phase two disclosure is released without being provided with an opportunity to make the representation it is statutorily entitled to make,” said the court filing by lawyer Louis Zivot...

Imagine that!

Tuesday afternoon update: Mr. Cooper's latest Postmedia piece, which zeroes in on the duplicitous actions of the Clarklandians re: the role of offshore investment in the Lotuslandian real estate unaffordability bubble, has now been published....It's here.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Keefin' It 1600 (More Years In The West Annex)


Before I get to the good Mr. Baldrey's latest linear type column for Glacier Media (most helpfully 'reprinted' by the Globalopoly), I present to you an actual fact that directly contradicts BC Hydro's longtime claim that energy demands are rising in BC, as rendered visual by Norm Farrell:

Now, off to Mr. Baldrey's latest:

...As our population inevitably swells, and electricity consumption rises as a result, what is the best way to meet that demand? A hydroelectric dam, which is the most reliable form of energy, or alternative energy sources as solar, wind or geothermal (all likely cheaper but far less dependable)?

Lost in the debate is that any alternative energy projects would likely be built by private companies, and not B.C. Hydro itself. If the Crown Corporation stops building Site C it is unlikely to add to its already-alarming debt load by building more energy projects.

Thus, the old debate on IPPs (Independent Power Projects) may be re-ignited. While in Opposition, the NDP and its labor allies strongly opposed the growth of IPPs. It would be deeply ironic indeed if the NDP kills Site C, only to watch IPPs come to life...

Do you see what I see, sans even the tiniest shred of 'irony'?

The above passage from the Keef is actually buried way below the lede which posits  that no matter how much Site C eventually costs us it will be the fault of the current Dipper government....Gosh...It's almost as if Mr. Baldrey never actually heard Ms. Christy Clark say that thing that even the Dean knows she actually, well, you know....Said.


Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Keef Report... A Knock On The Coalition?

You might think this is all about a Lotuslandian proMedia club member denouncing civility in a coalition government that is striving to make the art of the possible work and all that.

But what if it really is just about a disdain for...



Friday, November 03, 2017

How Obvious Can One Columnist Be?


Here's the title of a post that showed up on this lowly F-Troop-listed amateur blog a few weeks ago:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

What Is To Become Of Young Vancouverites?




I understand that it's a crowded field, the proPunditry field, and all, but...

It's pretty hard to believe that one of today's column's in the BellGlobeRDSTSNCTV'nEverythingElseMedia's flagship print organ sprang up entirely in the wake of one man's ingestion of Chichester Cathedral:

To be fair (while turning off the snark phasers for the moment), in his actual column Mr. Mason acknowledges a significant debt to a really excellent personal perspective piece by Jessica Barrett that was published in the interim in The Tyee.

But I'm telling you...

If I open the Globe next week and see a piece that ties road hockey to Sal Paradise, I'm going to be more than a little upset.

Because that, if it happens, cannot stand, man.


What is this obviousness and cathedral dinners all about anyway Alfie?....Well....It's all in the Pythons.
Will get back to more serious things soon.....Apologies...It's been a cigar tube week.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Casino Industrial Laundry Complex (ctd)... The Super-Secret, Cone-Of-Silence Defense!


From Marcella Bernardo's recent CKWX report on goings on in the legislature:

As BC’s new government reviews allegations of money laundering at Richmond’s River Rock casino, members of the former Liberal government are being accused of letting it go un-checked.

Debate in the Legislature on Monday focused on whether the Liberals ignored evidence of criminal activity.

Longtime New Democrat and Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog says a report recently made public by his government was deliberately kept secret by the Liberals last year.

“The fact is there was trouble in our system. People knew it and they didn’t do as much as they could have if they did much at all.”

Former Solicitor General Mike Morris, also a former Mountie, is suggesting the report may have been kept quiet to ensure an ongoing police investigation wasn’t compromised.

“The members have to be very cautious and very careful on what kind of information that they put out there, it could have a dire effect on the consequences of what could literally be a multi-million dollar investigation.”...

Sure thing, Mr. Morris - an investigation that has been going since, say,  2006?

Which would make it a cone-of-silence affair that has lasted for almost 12 years with, of course, a break in 2009 due to the active dismantling of an investigatory body with the ability to look into such matters by your very own government.



The fine fellow, and current supporter of the quintessential Quilchenean, quoted by Ms. Bernardo above was once...



Of the entire province of British Columbia.

And isn't all this legislatin' and debatin' 'n stuff going on 'round here, for literally weeks on end,  just crazy to behold?