Between a Rock and a Tar Pit

For those of you that think all of the dinosaurs are all in Alberta consider Saskatchewan’s Premier Wall who’s Government is now officially in climate change denial. It’s “misguided dogma” he insists. (http://www.desmog.ca/2016/05/19/saskatchewan-government-dubs-climate-change-misguided-dogma-throne-speech).

But wait let’s not forget the socialist paradise that is Alberta just yet. Rachel Notley has attacked the Leap Manifesto as being “thoughtless” “naive” and “tone deaf”. She presides over a province that is overmuch a “one industry town”. It got this way through many, many years of mismanagement by both federal and provincial Conservative and neoconservative Governments. As is often pointed out, they had every opportunity to follow Norway’s example and would not be in as dire a strait as they find themselves to be in today.

Notley is in a deep hole not of her digging and make no mistake, but for the collective wisdom of Alberta voters, things could actually be much worse.

BUT, the NDP Government touts it’s stance on climate change all the while pushing for pipelines. Notley, as premier of Alberta, finds she has no choice. Her political survival on the ground depends on feeding the one trick tarsands pony.

My question is : Is there any light between that stance and Wall’s climate change denial? At the very least it’s schizophrenia…. or at the very very least it’s “tone deaf”.

Screenshot from 2016-06-12 12:58:53

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Energy East “Nation Building” With a Dilbit Pipe?

This post comes into being as a result of a Twitter conversation I had with Kent Hehr and an interview he directed me to that Naheed Nenshi had on “The House”. I have some problems with the interview and with the Energy East Project in general.

I do find Nenshi extremely likeable and understand he is doing a job for his constituency and his province BUT.

He states that the NEB “has to go through its process” … “based on good science and good environmentalism”. Whether a Conservative dominated NEB will do this is, to me at least, in some doubt. He also seems to be under the impression that Trudeau has not come out in favour of Energy East when he, in fact, he has.

He then goes on to imply that, whereas Central Canada fills up on imported oil coming in on tankers down the Saint Lawrence, trans-shipping dilbit from the East Coast (for Nexxen? For the Kochs?) will some how mean we become more “energy independent”. The magical connection is left unstated. As if imported oil coming in on tankers down the Saint Lawrence will cease.

Mr Nenshi mis-represents Mayor Coderre’s concerns about there being “more people in Montreal than Saskatchewan”, when the context was with respect to the negative effects on the environment and how many people would, therefore, be effected. He then implies that Coderre is making it an East vs West thing. In fact Mr Nenshi manages to do just that (granted,with prompting from the interviewer).

Now here’s the thing. This pipeline is not an oil pipeline, it is a dilbit pipeline. It will be going through pipes not originally built to handle dilbit. Further, there is a virtual certainty of a spill. A virtual certainty of a number of spills. History supports this … to the hilt. The question then is only how much of a disister each will be, which will depend on where it happens and how long it takes to turn off the flow. From documents I have read the “monitoring” is inadequate and reaction times terribly long.

If the talk of self sufficiency held any water at all, we would not be sending dilbit through a cross country death funnel for, basically, other’s benefit and, instead, be processing it IN PLACE.

Something that never seems to be discussed is the true cost of our oil, the many billions of subsidies aside. No value is ascribed to the environmental damage. No thought (not really) is given to making the whole thing cleaner because it would just “cost too much” so lets have tailing ponds instead. “Ponds”.. doesn’t that sound nice? Like “Nation Building”. Who will pay for cleanups? What happens when the water supply for any given community gets compromised. Who will pay. The taxpayer will.

Or it will be ignored/denied like the Athabasca.

I wonder if there is a centimeter of pipe that’s even insured. What insurance company would be that crazy? Why should we be that crazy?

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Kevin O’Leary : In Which the CBC Soils Itself

Well, as everyone is aware Kevin O’Leary pledged to invest $1M in the oil industry in exchange for Premier Notley of Alberta stepping down.

CBC’s PnPCBC picked it up like a bottom feeder after rotten meat. It was said that “Rosie was rough on him”. Rough!? How are you rough on something that is NOT REAL? Any living organism not floating in a Petri dish can tell you that Ms Notley is not going to step down if the oil industry gets $1M. Rough!? You are merely giving credence to a nullity.

Kevin O’Leary knows he will never have to shell out the $1M. He got the propaganda pulpit he was looking for and it didn’t cost him even one, dearly departed, red cent. It didn’t even cause him shame. He has none. They licked his boots.

$1M is not even a spit in the ocean. It may buy you a modest house in Vancouver. While O’Leary may well be a skinflint, the fact that it was not $10M or even $100M (who cares if he’s got it or not) just shows his lack of imagination. It’s all Monopoly money anyway.

Perhaps if the CBC had have handled it in another way. They could have put him on “As It Happens”, say, next to a guy trying to get his house declared a nation so he can join the UN. Even that would have been a startling contrast because the guy while, evidently, insane would nonetheless be sincere. O’Leary on the other hand (I won’t venture an opinion on his sanity) cannot spell “sincere”.

I pledge $1000 to the Ottawa Humane Society if the CBC cuts PnCBC from it’s schedule.

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Justin Trudeau : Just a Little Bit Pregnant

So, now we have l’affaire nanny or as someone somewhere, I’m sure, has by now called it Nannygate.

In response supporters will point out that this is a distraction from the flurry of 40 some odd appointments made by Harper before he left. It should, however, be obvious that someone Lib or Con would be fitted for the nosebag in any event.

The fear, well founded in my view, is that there will be CPC sleeper agents in place.

There are a myriad of other counter examples to the nanny chez Trudeau, be they drivers, cooks etc.

Again, in my view these are all of a piece. It may all be some kind of “tradition” or something established through usage but it all reeks of the kind of feeling of entitlement evinced by certain Senators.

I have no objection to the PM having publicly supported childcare as a Canadian, NOT as PM. All Canadians should be able to avail themselves of it. Alternately, he is well able to afford the very best on his own.

To say that the nanny is something that is “wrong” to a lesser degree than some “other” is like arguing that someone is only a bit pregnant.

And just how pregnant is too pregnant?

 

 

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So You Voted Liberal : Behind Door Number Two

Insanity : “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So What’s Behind Door Number Two?

Well first there’s the TPP!
Yes, you get the glory of the Trans-Pacific Partnership! Think of it as a combination of a Corporate Rights Charter and a giant omnibus bill with lots of goodies YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW ABOUT. What is known about the deal is through leaks. It will effect Health Care, Internet, Environment etc…..even sovereignty. Much of it is about IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), their extension and ultimately cost to you. Conflicts will be settled by an outside body not subject to Canadian law or the will of Canadians. Remember the “soft wood lumber” kerfuffle? They had an outside body too. Canada won it’s case more than once until it just had to fold and give in.
Globalization has been a bad deal for workers because unions are not globalized along with business.
Workers compete in a race to the bottom with slave labour in places like China and Pakistan.
Name a trade deal of late that has not contributed to job loss.

P.S. Your hockey sticks are made in Mexico.

It may well be that the Liberals will “promise” to renegotiate the deal. Remember how Chretien promised he would re-open NAFTA. Good times!
The Liberals will, no doubt, have CPC backing on the TPP. It was their “baby”.

Then there’s C-51!
A truly cringeworthy piece of legislation, frowned upon by such as the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), the The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) , Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), the arts community , many academics and others. It, effectively, establishes a “Secret Police”. The security establishment will, according to Liberal promises, be subject to oversight. Oversight is not some kind of fairy dust that makes everything all right. Such a body would be subject to resistance (from the Security Establishment), manipulation (From both the political and security ends) and “capture”. Capture occurs when an oversight body becomes part of the club. You have only to look at financial regulators in the U.S. for a definitive example. An oversight body would be cleared for secrets that it’s political masters would not be privy to. This would draw it closer to the Security end (SEE ALSO: Manipulation). It remains to be seen if you can even oversee a secret police organization. Are they telling you everything or just what they want you to know?
And while greater powers are given remember that the RCMP, CSEC and CSIS all have overstepped their mandates. CSIS interfered with the mails and committed break and enter. CSEC spied on Canadian communications and also participated in industrial espionage (e.g. Brazil). The RCMP committed arson and sabotage. They interfered with a federal election (2008) and illegally destroyed data. I believe the motto is “Destroy data illegally today and it will be legal yesterday”. And this is only, remember, stuff that we KNOW about. How much of the iceberg is below the water line?
The Liberals also promise to modify C-51. They will have to anyway, as parts are illegal under the Charter. BUT, in the history of the world, such legislation/law NEVER contracts but ALWAYS expands. If it is not repealed in its entirety, that is the future.
The Liberals will, no doubt, have CPC backing on C-51. It was their “baby”.

We Love Us Some Pipeline!
The oil fed deathmarch will continue. Young Lochinvar supports oil pipelines and is a staunch supporter of KXL …. the CPC will be there with bells on.

What About Proportional Representation?
You’re funny. Maybe you should consider a career in comedy.

This is your democracy Canada. Enjoy it.

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C-51 The View From Here … and there … and

So the Liberals have managed to simultaneously poop their pants and generally betray us all by backing this horrendous piece of “legislation” and in so doing attack the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the legacy of Justin Trudeau’s father no less. They did this despite the public uproar. They did this despite the advice of scholars, representatives of the law and of business. I hope they suffer mightily for it.

Why did they do it? The following pretty well represents what passes as logic in the Liberal camp. I apologise if I appear to be picking on a particular denizen of Twitterville. I use him/her only as a handy exemplar.

Screenshot from 2015-05-08 21:48:18

Argument 1: The Conservatives would have “made hay” if the Liberals voted against accusing them of being “soft on terror”. Name calling apparently being stronger than convictions held.

Argument 2: It would have passed anyway and besides it will not survive a Charter challenge. Liberals thereby appear to misapprehend their purpose in a parliamentary system of Government. What use are they if they perceive themselves to be of no use?

Argument 3: The bill is “flawed” but we will fix it later. And, besides, it’s needed. Where to begin? First is this assumption without argument that C-51 is “needed. How so? We have lots of laws on the books, including even a previous “terror law” that more than adequately deal with this threat. A threat, I might add, that is minuscule. Examples abound how more people are killed by toddlers or their own furniture. As to “repairing” the atrocity? Once this Pandora’s Box is open it will expand and it will do so no matter WHO forms the next government. This is Canada’s Patriot Act and has the potential of being every bit the horror show we see to the south of us….. and we proceed with little or no oversight. Who “oversees” secret police anyway? Secret courts making secret decisions? No danger there eh? CSE(C), CSIS and the RCMP have all broken the law as it stands, so let’s give them more power?

The Liberals are in my own opinion, and you have every right to yours, beyond redemption.

So what to do?

Well the NDP and Greens have been very vocal in their opposition to C-51 and good on them for that. A tip of the hat to the BQ for voting against. While the NDP voted against they reportedly would not commit to repeal. One argument was that it would be too difficult to disentangle from other legislation. Elisabeth May insists “Repealing is totally possible” and given her reputation, I “totally” believe that. There are Twitterati that insist that the NDP is now, 2 months later, committed to repeal. After all,  IT’S ON TWITTER!! …. but where is it written,  unambiguously, in black and white?

I invite you to search the NDP site for the word “repeal” … good luck with that.

So be as partisan as you like but be please at least try to stay awake.

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GAZA – “Once and For All” vs “All or Nothing”

The latest incursion into Gaza essentially began with the kidnap of three “settler” boys.
It has come to light that these boys were murdered almost immediately and that Israel knew both, that they were dead, and who the perpetrators were (i.e. Not Hamas).
Nonetheless, Israel raided Gaza, arresting hundreds (the numbers vary but appear to be upwards of 500) and killed some 28 or more “searching for the boys”.

Now, it has been argued that the peace was broken by Hamas when it started to fire rockets at Israel. The arrests and killings seem not to be part of the narrative.

It is as if Israel was waiting for some excuse and Hamas gave them one or were finally pushed into giving them one.

From Israel’s perspective flattening Gaza takes care of several objectives.
1) It stops the “threat” of Hamas and the P.A. getting together.
2) It will likely put any hope, if there was any, of a two state solution to bed.
3) It gives Israel a strip of no man’s land to add to what the wall had carved away, that will be called a “security zone” comprising of some 43% of Gazan land. (Add another frame to the timelapse pictures of a disappearing Gaza). Cue the “settlers”, perhaps.

Ultimately Israel appears to be out to deal with Gaza once and for all. The more dead Palestinians the better….. and more land.

From Hamas’ perspective, and perhaps Israel has not come to the realization, they appear to have made “Live Free or Die” more than a motto on a licence plate this time. It is question as to whether or not the Gazan population has bought into this. It was not a decision they got to have any say in. They do, however, know who is doing the killing.

I don’t believe Hamas has any intention of accepting a cease fire this time without an end to the occupation. On their terms, not Israel’s. To do so would be a back-to-prison status quo scenario.
They have gone through a door and Israel has, in effect, slammed it shut behind them. For, even if they were to turn back, the prison now has no power, lacks food, water and sanitation. Hospitals are destroyed and medicines hard to get. Refugee numbers are very high. Status quo says building materials and a lot more are restricted.
It is not unreasonable to assume that Hamas thinks that all would have died for nothing should they relent.

Occupation or not, more people are going to die.

Both sides have made a calculation based on civilian deaths. The difference is the goal.

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