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Canucks at Wild, Nov. 25, 2015, Final Score, 3-2

Metaneos - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:54
Good game for the Canucks. They pulled out a win by the skin of their teeth. They had some fortuitous luck, too.
Some notes,
Sedins were outshot whilst on the ice, this game, but their line scored two points. It doesn't seem like the Sedins were outshot, though.
Vrbata scored two goals. Finally had some production to go along with his great play. Vancouver really need to assess if they wish to keep him for next season. If not, they should consider finding another team for him in exchange for picks or prospects.
Edler and Tanev have been playing well lately. Makes me wonder what the hell other observers are seeing to be calling Edler a terrible player. His play is solid, and his Corsi stats back this statement up. He's at the same level this year as he was last year. And he was near incredible, last year.
Same goes for Hamhuis and Weber. They've been solid, if not spectacular. The Canucks should consider resigning both for next season, if possible. If not, then they should look to trade both.
Really, what this team has problems with is not their defense, aside from Luca Sbisa, but rather with the inexperience from their younger players. Tonight, they played well together. It's not always the case, but so long as they continue to try to improve their team play, they'll keep improving. Their individual skills got them this far, now it's about the team.
Luca Sbisa's not a very good defender. His problems stems from his poor puck control. Not just once did Canucks' players refrain from passing him the puck in their own zone, even under pressure. The Wild were targeting Sbisa, all night, dumping the puck into his area, and then forcing his unit into making quick decisions, which is something else Sbisa struggles with. It seems the coaching staff has recognized Sbisa's difficulties, though, and have been giving him less responsibility while on the ice, which is good for him and the team. He's also playing a full two minutes less a game, now.
Bartowshi's been doing yeoman's work, paired with Sbisa. Tough minutes for him, but he hasn't let Sbisa's pizzas affect him too much. A solid third pairing defense man, through and through.
Hopefully, there aren't many more injuries to the Canucks defense. Losing Edler or Tanev or even both would probably turn the Canucks' game into a gong show. We don't want a gong show, although that would probably be entertaining in its own little way.
Next Canucks game is on Friday against the Dallas Stars. That should be interesting. When's the last time the Canucks have beaten them? It's been years, innit?

The world may be a bit crazy right now…

Trashy's World - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:36
… but at least the weather is awesome – if you are a winter-hater like me! No white death powder in the forecast well into December! Woot! Yeah, Turkey has provoked war with Russia, the whole freaking world is freaking freaked out by what happened in Paris and security is at its highest since 9/11 […]

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 06:18
Here, on how Brad Wall is looking like more and more of a climate change laggard compared to every other leader in Western Canada.

For further reading...
- CTV broke down the state of provincial climate commitments here. But as John Klein noted, the Saskatchewan Party has long since tried to hide its former promises.
- I've previously linked to reporting and analysis on Alberta's recent climate change plan. And CJOB reports that Manitoba will be unveiling its new plan shortly.
- Environment Canada has data on emissions by province here, including British Columbia's drop since 2005 (along with every other province east of Manitoba).
- Meanwhile, for background information on emissions by industry and sector, see Environment Canada's national sectoral breakdown here, as well as Saskatchewan's more specific one here.
- Finally, CBC reported on SaskPower's recent renewable energy announcement, while SaskPower's own explanation and analysis seems to be limited to a blog post (offering all the more reason to think it's more posturing than policy). And Murray Mandryk offered his take on the announcement as well.

Rick Mercer and the Refugee Lifeline

Montreal Simon - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 05:54

As you know, I believe the challenge of settling thousands of Syrian refugees in this country is a gift not a burden.

A chance to show that after the darkness of the Harper years, we still remember what it means to be a Canadian.

So although the Con media is running around gleefully screaming "broken promise!!!! broken promise !!!!!"

I'm glad Justin Trudeau has decided to give us two more months to get ready to receive them. 
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Putting The Numbers In Perspective

Northern Reflections - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 05:47

Canadians across the country are getting ready to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees. In the small community in which my wife and I live, a family of 11 arrived two months ago. But before we begin congratulating ourselves too heartily, Jeff Sallot writes, we should put that number -- 25,000 -- in perspective:

While 25,000 might seem like a big number, it’s still only 10 per cent of the total number of immigrants to Canada in an average year.

On the other hand, 25,000 is two-and-a-half times the number of Syrian refugees the United States plans to admit next year. Now that is shocking.
And, given the number of people who have fled Syria, that number is a mere drop in the bucket:

The UN has registered more than 4 million refugees who have fled Syria for safety. There are at least 1 million more who have not been registered. Inside Syria itself, about 7 million have been displaced by the civil war. Half of Syria’s prewar population has been forced to move.

These are the fortunate few. An estimated 250,000 have been killed in the conflict. For every one refugee who arrives in Canada, ten have already perished.

These three frontline countries rarely offer refugees resettlement, permanent residency or a path to citizenship. The Syrians live in shantytowns on the fringes of cities or in camps, some for more than two years now.

The frontline governments hope a political settlement can be reached in Syria so that the refugees can go home — the sooner the better. Many displaced Syrians reckon they have nothing to go back to. They would rather take their chances on the seas, or wait patiently for a country like Canada to accept them as permanent residents.
There is much more which needs to be done. And now that Vladamir Putin has installed anti-aircraft missiles which can shoot down coalition bombers, the situation could get much worse.

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 05:28
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- George Monbiot discusses the inherent conflict between consumption and conservation:
We can persuade ourselves that we are living on thin air, floating through a weightless economy, as gullible futurologists predicted in the 1990s. But it’s an illusion, created by the irrational accounting of our environmental impacts. This illusion permits an apparent reconciliation of incompatible policies.

Governments urge us both to consume more and to conserve more. We must extract more fossil fuel from the ground, but burn less of it. We should reduce, reuse and recycle the stuff that enters our homes, and at the same time increase, discard and replace it. How else can the consumer economy grow? We should eat less meat to protect the living planet, and eat more meat to boost the farming industry. These policies are irreconcilable. The new analyses suggest that economic growth is the problem, regardless of whether the word sustainable is bolted to the front of it.- And David Roberts argues that Alberta's new climate change plan is well-designed precisely because it includes measures to cut down on consumption rather than aspiring to right-wing notions of revenue neutrality.

- Adrienne Montani makes the case for a plan to reduce child poverty in British Columbia. And Leilani Farha writes that the anticipated arrival of a new group of refugees should serve as an opportunity to evaluate and improve the plight of people already living in poverty.

- Meanwhile, Thomas Walkom points out that the Libs' pattern of walking back their most immediate post-election promise to help Syrian refugees bodes poorly for the rest of their campaign commitments.

- Finally, Don Lenihan comments on the psychology of the politics of fear:
Terrorism is effective not because groups like ISIS are so powerful, but because they are so good at turning our own psychology against us. Suicide bombings fool the brain into believing an evil empire is invading our shores.
There is a vicious circle here that, ironically, turns us all into ISIS recruits, first, by getting us to agree to play the game by their rules; and then by drawing us deeper and deeper into its clutches. At the same time, talk of the need for ever-greater security and surveillance invades our public discourse. The politics of fear starts creeping in.

The moral is that the terrorist threat to our freedom and safety comes less from the thugs at ISIS than from ourselves. We hold ourselves hostage to a discourse of fear, then use it to sideline democracy in order to protect ourselves from the very threat we have manufactured.

A closer look at the CRTC Voter Contact Registry

Creekside - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 04:37
The Fair Elections Act mandated the first ever Voter Contact Registry. Phone-bank companies, candidates, political parties and third party groups hiring an outside company to make live and robo calls had 48 hours from the start of their use in a campaign to register with the CRTC. Parties and candidates making their own in house calls were not required to register. The DoNotCall list does not apply to political calls.
This same Fair Elections Act prevented release of the list til a month after the election. This meant voters were unable to check it to see if the calls they were receiving were legitimately registered with the CRTC - not that it would have mattered in the case of Pierre Poutine in the last election as he hid his use anyway.
The CRTC list was published a week ago: "A total of 1460 registrations have been filed to the CRTC for the 42nd General Election, including 554 from calling service providers and 906 from other persons or groups."So taking a quick look ... CRTC lists each candidate and the phone services they used so I added the names up and crossed off duplicate use of a company by the same candidate. Many individual candidates listed several companies used more than once.

At first glance, the list appears to be one long list of Con MP names :
118 Con candidates used Responsive Marketing Group (RMG), for live calls92 Cons used ElectRight for live/robo calls or both, Bergen, Clement, Raitt, Nicholson, and Scheer among them.38 Cons used Nik Kouvalis' Campaign Research/Campaign Support for live/robocalls or both, including Harper, Poilievre, Oliver, Alexander, Rempel, Leitch, O'Toole, Lukiwski  But First Contactwhich told CBC that in the 2011 election it "provided services to more than 80 Liberal candidates", is listed on CRTC's 2015 Voter Contact Registry simply as 
"First Contact (Ontario 1999) - Liberal candidates"No names or numbers so we don't know how many Liberals signed up with them for how many calling contracts this time.

Likewise NGP VAN, a Washington DC company used by Obama in 2012, is just listed as having done robocalls for "Liberal Party of Canada candidates" and live calls for "Liberal Party of Canada", so again ... no idea how many Libs used NGP VAN (Voter Action Network).

I wonder on what grounds the CRTC allowed NGP VAN and First Contact off the hook about their specific use in a list that is supposed to be about public disclosure. 
Glen McGregor writes : Compared to their rivals, Tories used a whack more telephone contact firms during the election
but I don't think we can know that if the candidates and numbers for two big firms are missing.

Onwards ...
127 Liberals used Prime Contact IncOnly 4 Cons used RackNine this time round, Jason Kenney being most notable.5 NDP candidates used Strategic Communications. This appears to comprise the entire extent of reported NDP phone campaigning for individual candidates. There were another 4 for the NDP Party at large. The bulk of Strategic Comm users were third party groups like unions, Greenpeace, and Council of Canadians.And lastly, a brief look at Blue Direct, new to me and used by Stephen Harper, Jason Kenney, and 10 other Cons for both live and robo calls according to the CRTC list. 
In his 2014 book, Winning Power: Canadian Campaigning in the Twenty-First Century, Tom Flanagan writes Blue Direct is owned by a former student of his, Matt Gelinas, formerly of RMG and the Manning Centre. 
Gelinas' partner at Blue Direct is Richard Dur, a Morton Blackwell Leadership Institute alumnus, seen here being honoured as Leadership Institute graduate of the week in 2011 :
“LI graduate and Canadian Member of Parliament Rob Anders said it well when he described LI training as ‘taking a drink from a fire hose,’” Richard said..

Why Justin Trudeau Should Fire the RCMP Commissioner

Montreal Simon - Thu, 11/26/2015 - 02:05

When the RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson was working for the Con regime, I couldn't help feeling that he was turning the force into the Harper Police.

Or help wondering whether he was willingly collaborating with that sinister mob, or whether like so many others he was being held hostage by them, and their depraved leader Boss Harper. 

And was suffering from the so-called Stockholm syndrome.

I still can't decide what the real reason was, but one thing is for sure, Paulson just doesn't get it.
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Reason is probably out the door in Turkey

Metaneos - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 16:12
Turkey's been pissed with Russia for some time. Ostensibly over Russian bombing of Turkmen settlements in Syria. Others claim it may have to do with Russian bombing of illegal oil smuggling chains, or possibly illegal arms trade.
Who knows the reason? I don't. What I can say, though, is the reason probably doesn't even matter, anymore. It left, long ago, out the front door, possibly to Europe with the flow of refugees.
Turkey downed a Russian jet. They say in defense. Others state in retaliation. Some believe it was a warning. Russia has claimed it to be a stab in the back.
Now, Russia's pissed off with Turkey. Overnight, they've halted trade with Turkey. They've pressed their nation's agencies to suspend trips to Turkey. They recalled their minister. And there are rumblings Russia might shut off the gas to Turkey.
And possibly as a warning or threat or retaliation, Russia's stepped up their bombing campaign on the Turkey-Syrian border, today. Border crossings are the target, apparently. And any military shaped vehicles probably aren't safe once they enter Syria from Turkey. Possibly even civilian shaped vehicles, either. Safer to remain in Turkey, today, and probably for the foreseeable future. Russia's also announced they're bringing in their best weaponry into Syria.
Today's a crazy day. Been spending the afternoon reading news and opinions nonstop trying to gleam even just a sliver of new information, trying my best to separate the bullshit from the actual information.
What can I say? All I know for sure is Russia is probably prepared to go to war with Turkey, possibly even NATO. Hold your breath, people. Not even one wrong move, today. Even in your livings rooms. And hope our, uh, brave, intrepid leaders don't fuck shit up, today, like they usually do.

PEGIDA Canada and PEGIDA Quebec: Splitters!

Anti-Racist Canada - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 15:09
Funny thing about extreme forms of nationalism. Sometimes people find they are nationalistic about different nationalities:

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Oh Dear. Putin Orders S-400 to Syria

The Disaffected Lib - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 09:22

This is rapidly becoming an international knife fight in a phone booth. In reaction to yesterday's downing by Turkish fighters of a Russian Su-24 light bomber and the subsequent shootdown of a Russian search and rescue helicopter, president Vladimir Putin has ordered batteries of S-400 advanced surface to air missiles deployed in range of the Syrian border with Turkey.

The S-400 is widely considered to be the best missile of its kind, better than anything the West fields. The system can detect aircraft at 600 km. and engage them at 400 km. or less. In other words, parking S-400 batteries about 50 km. from Turkey's border gives the Russians heavy anti-aircraft coverage deep into Turkish territory.

It's unknown just yet whether the S-400s will be deployed within threat range of coalition strike aircraft operating against ISIS.

Talented Putin

LeDaro - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:50

Turkey downing Russian jet

LeDaro - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:11

Europe is distancing itself from Turkey, it looks a reckless action by Turkey in shooting down the Russian plane. It has potential implications because Turkey is a NATO country.

Vladimir Putin is a ruthless dictator, but he is very clever and crafty. That was clear in a Fifth Estate documentary on his career. One can view Putin as a successful dictator.

Putin will push the envelope, on Ukraine for example, but is careful not to go too far. He is cautious. It is hoped that he will be cautious regarding Turkey. It is expected that he be careful and will avoid the outbreak of a wider conflict over this.

Mulcair, you loser, get the hell out of Dodge

Metaneos - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 08:05
Tom Mulcair vows he will stay on as leader of NDP
It's probably fair to call Mulcair out as possibly the second worst leader in the NDP's history. And there's been some pretty bad leaders since McLaughlin, arguably the NDP's worst.
To be fair, the NDP's probably dead. The ideals of yesterday are buried, and the leadership group is filled with career pols and exiled neo-libs.
It's time to kick these fuckers out of the party. Start with Mulcair, and work our way down the list. Get some backbone into the party. Get some real heart.
Neo-liberalism is dead. It's a failed idealogy. It's ruined lives, worldwide, and enriches none but those already rich and powerful.
And of the two dead entities, I trust the NDP could rise again. But it's time to stop buying the snake oil hucksters like Mulcair have been selling.
Power is only important if you have heart. Power for its own sake is corrupting. This has been known for millennia, and still we allowed ourselves to be led astray.
Get the hell out of Dodge, Mulcair.

And Speaking Of Perspective

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 07:49
...along with xenophobia, bigotry and demagoguery, the folks at Fox News would seem to be quite ignorant about their country's own history.

Here is a timely festive reminder of that history for those soon to be celebrating American Thanksgiving:
Thanksgiving is a refugee’s narrative. The first Thanksgiving (or at least, the event we now remember as Thanksgiving) was celebrated in 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation colony in modern-day Massachusetts. It was attended by both native inhabitants and newcomers—the latter having fled England, by way of the Low Countries, due to religious persecution.

Syrian refugees today are fleeing warfare and the political oppression of both a secular dictatorship and an extremist theocracy. But in attempting to find safe haven in the United States—a country that owes a great deal of its success to immigrants, from all over the world—they are now being met with persecution in another form.What is that special persecution? This clip from Fox says it all:

Although the above commentators might be viewed as egregious examples of a failed U.S. education system, they are at least providing reassurance to their special audience, who no doubt take great solace knowing that such giants are on the job and protecting Americans' interests.

My favourite line from the clip?
“It is always interesting to listen to a condescending British person tell you about colonialism,” co-host Dana Perino said. “The British were so much better at colonialism than the Pilgrims.”Recommend this Post

Thorough Corruption

Northern Reflections - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 06:34

Like Junior, Red Skelton's mean little kid, Stephen Harper's avowed purpose in life has been to throw a wrench into the workings of government. He remained true to form -- even as he was leaving -- making 49 re-appointments and future appointments, whose purpose was to hamstring the incoming government. Alan Freeman writes:

The 49 appointments, including renewals and new appointments, have effectively blocked the newly-elected government from determining the future course of key agencies like the National Energy Board. In one remarkable case of chutzpah, the government renewed in advance the term of Canada Post’s CEO, Deepak Chopra, until 2021 — even though Chopra was the architect of the Crown corporation’s decision to kill door-to-door mail delivery, a policy opposed by both the Liberals and the NDP. (In this case, the Liberals may be able to undo the appointment because it was made “at pleasure”. Others won’t be so easy.)

Several of the future appointments were made just before the government's mandate ended:

What’s particularly curious about the future appointments is that several of them came down just days before Harper called the federal election in early August, at which point the so-called “caretaker convention” came into effect. That convention calls on the outgoing government to show restraint in its exercise of power during an election campaign, and to not do anything controversial. Knowing that the convention was about to come into effect, the government rushed ahead regardless with its future appointments — surely knowing that it could do it with a wink and a nod from its top bureaucrats.
Harper showed no respect whatever for parliamentary conventions. But he couldn't have accomplished what he did without the clear collaboration of senior public servants:

It’s clear that many deputy ministers, each holding their jobs at the pleasure of the PM and reporting to a Privy Council clerk equally beholden to Harper, have spent a decade conveniently ignoring their duty to serve the government and people of Canada. Many have known no other government and may now suddenly find themselves a loss when actually asked for real advice, let alone being forced to speak “truth to power”.
Harper's parting appointments are a reminder of how thoroughly he corrupted the civil service.

Putting Things Into Perspective

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 05:43
The bigoted backlash against Muslims in light of the recent ISIS attacks is given short shrift by This Hour Has 22 Minutes:

Should the time come when we no longer have a sense of humour, we will know that the terrorists have won.Recommend this Post


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