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Br. John

My friend Br. John is hitting a bit of a wall.

https://www.gofundme.com/suitable-accommodation

Br. John is the Pastor of a wee flock in Youbou, BC…no really and he is a good and kind man.

I had the great priviledge of conducting his congressional ordination. I fear my bishop’s mitre was at the dry cleaners.

Br. John is a great gift to the little community of Youbou. There are very few actually Christian people in this world and Br. John is one of them.

If you can, please help him out.

https://www.gofundme.com/suitable-accommodation

Br. John and a parishioner.

 

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Perfect!

Rachel Notley ,Transmountain, pipeline, climate change Alberta will pull out of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national climate change plan until construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets back on track, Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed approvals for the project.

“As important as climate action is to our province’s future I have also always said that taking the next step, in signing on to the federal climate plan, can’t happen without the Trans Mountain pipeline,” Notley told reporters in a live address Thursday evening.

“So today I am announcing that with the Trans Mountain halted, and the work on it halted, until the federal government gets its act together; Alberta is pulling out of the federal climate plan,” she added.

“And let’s be clear, without Alberta that plan isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” CBC

Of course the national climate change plan was idiotic from the get go; but I love Notley underbussing it when the Federal Court crashes Transmountain. It is, needless to say, purely Alberta political; but Notley is essentially saying that she only signed on to get “social licence” rather than to save the Earth. Faced with the delay, if not death, of a means of shipping Alberta oil to the sea, the Hell with “saving the Planet”. Ace!

Which goes to show just how seriously the great and the good take this “climate change” thingee. The national climate plan would have done sweet fuck all to reduce global temperatures because a) science, b) Canada’s tiny emissions footprint as compared to the Chinese et al, c) it’s virtue signalling all the way down. Alberta put up its virtue signal but it was just not enough for the Federal Court.

So she’s pulled. And good for her. And good for Alberta.

The wheels are coming off the climate change bus. The hypocrisy is being exposed and no one seriously thinks Canada’s efforts are going to make a speck of difference (even assuming the science is right which it isn’t.)

Trudeau, and the egregious “Climate Barbie”, are losing this tournament of idiots. They don’t have the science, they don’t have the policy and now they don’t have Alberta.

All good.

FISA….Boo!

Hillary Clinton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So the Carter Page FISA application and subsequent renewals were released in massively redacted form today. Like any redacted document it is difficult, if not impossible, to know what, precisely, the FBI based its application on but there are some pretty solid hints:

  1. The whole thing got rolling as the result of a concern at the John Kerry State Department which was transmitted to the FBI. Rumour had reached State that The Donald might have ties to Russians. (No actual evidence, but rumour is what diplomats deal in.)
  2. There was a dossier compiled by a trusted (albeit by the second renewal, fired) FBI informant – pretty quickly identified as British spook Christopher Steele suggesting that at least one Trump operative was communicating with Russian “sanctioned persons”. That operative was former FBI asset Carter Page now identified as a agent of foreign influence.
  3. There were media reports that the Trump campaign was in communication with the Russians.

This, despite a lack of actual verification, was enough for the FISA judge and the surveillance of Carter Page and, of course, people who were one, or even two hops, from him was begun and continued.

All of this pretty much comports with the story which has been emerging from the Congressional Committees charged with the oversight of US intelligence operations.

This would be the shenanigans I referred to earlier. The whole point of the FISA process is to demand, ex parte, at least probable cause for believing that a US Person was, in fact, acting as an agent of a foreign government. If FISA worked that probable cause would require actual evidence.

Rumour – even from the State Department – is not evidence. It might be a basis upon which to look for evidence but, in itself, it is simply rumour.

A dossier, prepared by a non-American based on reports from secondary Russian sources is not evidence. It is hearsay of a pretty pungent sort. Perhaps good enough for informal counter-intelligence work but hardly the stuff warrants are made of.

Media reports don’t even make it to hearsay. Especially given that the sources of the rumours the media were reporting would appear to have been Mr. Steele, his handlers and the FBI.

In fact, it would appear that the Obama administration through State and, probably, the CIA, manufactured a confection of innuendo which managed to fool no less than four FISA judges. (Which says a lot about the necessity of reforming the FISA process beginning with actually inviting the existing FISA cleared privacy attorneys to participate in the process to test the evidence and prevent this sort of abuse.)

Carter Page was obviously not the target. If he had been he would have been charged by this point.

So what was the target?

The answer seems to be having legal cover for a systematic program of spying on the Trump campaign. Trump was ridiculed for claiming his campaign had been “wiretapped”. It probably was not “wiretapped” in the fine old tradition of the FBI. However, it was certainly surveilled using Page as the pretext.

To what end? Now that is an open question at this point. It might have been that Obama and his gunsels were curious about Trump’s weird and, obviously, losing campaign. Or it might have been that there was a genuine belief that Trump had, somehow, been instrumental in hacking the DNC server and Podesta’s email account and that this needed to be investigated. After all, Trump said on stage that if the Russians had the emails he’d like to see them, or something like that. It was obviously a joke but liberals have a very literal sense of humour – if they have any at all.

But my own sense is that the concern was very much deeper. By the time Trump came down the escalator, the Obama Administration was well aware that Hilly had run her own server and her own private communications network. Obama himself had sent emails to that server. The Administration was also aware that the DNC server had been hacked (or, more neutrally, compromised) and they were, not unrealistically, concerned about what might have been taken from either server.

The Obama Administration would have had a pretty clear idea of what had been on both the Clinton server and the DNC server. There is all sorts of speculation as to what Hilly had to hide (“deliver the pallet of cash to Bill’s apartment”) but that may not have been the primary, national security, concern.

Servers receive information, they are also the point from which queries to databases are initiated.

We know that several people and entities – including Fusion GPS, the people who hired Christopher Steele – had been granted independent contractor’s access to the NSA databases which enabled them to conduct searches of particular persons. (Why the NSA would permit this is a question which should be asked and answered tout suite.) Could that same access have been granted to Secretary Clinton and, more troublingly, to the DNC?

The Clinton server was wiped, perhaps with a cloth, certainly with BleachBit, as soon as questions were raised about Hilly’s emails. (Phones, laptops and other computers were destroyed with the FBI’s co-operation as soon as the questions were raised. Poor Anthony Weiner didn’t get the memo and probably didn’t know that along with the kiddie porn he had Hilly’s emails (and likely some more interesting stuff) on his laptop – which is now imaged and waiting for analysis.)) The DNC refused to let the FBI look at its server and had private third-party Crowdstrike certify that the “break-in” was done by those darned Russians.

Hiding the servers suggests that there were things on the servers which shouldn’t have been. But now the servers are gone. Dead end?

Probably not. If there is one thing the NSA is good at it is logging who is querying its databases. It should have the IP of any computer which sent a query. While Hilly’s server may be in Bleachbit heaven there are very good records of every IP it ever operated on. The NSA is set up to do “About” queries.

This is only going to get more interesting.

Milk Fight

shutterstock_175414571-1000x480The Donald seems obsessed with Canadian Dairy tariffs. As well he might be as they can go as high as 290%.

Over the next week or so, Canada and the US are going to have to climb down from their rather silly positions on everything from aluminium to felt pens.

A good place to start is with Canadian dairy. Why not announce a zero tariff on hormone/antibiotic free milk? It is a tiny percentage of American dairy production but a huge percentage of Canadian dairy is both hormone and antibiotic free.

Trump seems to be attracted by shiny objects and a “win” on dairy is very shiny indeed.

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Memo II

Pretty much as expected the Nunes memo exposed the fact that the FBI/DOJ sought FISA warrants on the basis of a dossier which they knew was the product of people retained by the Clinton campaign. And, apparently, they failed to disclose the dossier’s origins to the FISA Court.

There is a lot of partisan back and forth about the appropriateness of the memo and whether it is factually correct and if it discloses all the facts; but none of that matters. The simple, non-partisan and non-disputed pith of the thing is that the FBI/DOJ used unvetted evidence from a questionable source to obtain the Court’s permission to spy on an American citizen.

As I said in my earlier post, this memo is the beginning of a process. It opens the door for further and deeper investigation. While it should lead to the appointment of special counsel to look at actual crimes – fraud upon the Court is an actual crime – I doubt the memo, in itself, will be enough. The Democrats and the mainstream media are going to fight every step of the way because they know that once a special counsel is appointed it is only a matter of time before the misconduct of the FBI/DOJ with respect to the Clinton email server and the Clinton Foundation comes to light. And they also know that the behaviour of the Obama White House with respect to the unmasking of American persons (for no good national security reason) will be scrutinized. And the behavior of the DOJ with respect to the Clinton server and the IRS investigations. And so on. The term “can of worms” barely begins to cover what will occupy much of political Washington over the next couple of years.

It is too early to tell if the assertions in the Nunes memo as to the misconduct of the FBI/DOJ before the FISA Court will affect the Mueller investigation. I have no doubt that lawyers for Flynn, Manafort and Gates will be suggesting that the evidence against their clients is tainted by this misconduct; but that is a long bow to draw on today’s disclosures. A position which may change as more information surfaces.

As usual, the big winner in today’s revelations is Donald Trump. He said he’d been wire tapped and was laughed at. The memo does not say Trump was wiretapped, but it does suggest that the FBI/DOJ was not above using phoney documents to surveil a minor member of Trump’s campaign team. Which, in its turn, suggests that Trump claiming to have been wiretapped is not such a crazy, outlandish thing to say.

Tick tock.

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Oh Dear…

https://heisenbergreport.com/2018/01/05/it-happened-in-one-second-visa-suddenly-bans-cryptocurrency-cards-leaving-one-ban-without-a-beer/

Who could have seen that coming?

Cryptocurrency is a very good idea. It is not going to be a popular idea. At least in the real world of banking/government/central banking. And, hey, do you really think Visa is going to fight that world…they are that world.

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Moore’s the Pity

Roy Moore lost. But a tiny margin and there may be a recount but I suspect the result will stick. It was a nasty campaign but enough of the mud stuck that Republican voters stayed home. Turnout was low all round but the Democrats managed to get the black vote out in huge numbers and they were having none of Judge Moore (and really, who can blame them?). I suspect that had I been an Alabama voter I might well have stayed home simply because I find Moore’s socon message deeply unappealing.

Of course we will never hear from any of Moore’s teen dates again. They’ve served their purpose, why run the risk of exposure? And, with a little luck, we have heard the last of Roy Moore.

What we have not heard the last of is the Bannon insurgency. Bannon is a bright guy and he’ll learn from the Moore defeat. I am hoping he learns that to defeat a determined Democratic Party enemy you have to have a candidate with a few less negatives than Roy Moore. And you need a candidate entirely prepared to respond well to whatever dirty tricks the Democrats (or GOPe) come up with. Poor Moore was simply overwhelmed by the deeply deceitful attacks on his behaviour forty years ago.

The second thing Bannon needs to get right is the need to actually nominate candidates for whom the black vote is a locked box. There is a Trumpian message of jobs, jobs, jobs which will resonate in black communities if Bannonite candidates are willing to do the legwork to ensure it is heard.  The Democrats tend to see that vote as locked up with only the need to get the black voters to the polls. Bannon needs to hone a message which can reach black voters and break a few of them away from the Democratic plantation.

The third thing Bannon needs to do is understand that the media is the enemy and act accordingly. This is not about yelling “fake news” every ten minutes – the Donald has that covered – it is about providing a counter-narrative to the Democratic talking points so routinely parroted by MSM. But that counter-narrative cannot be the whole socon check list of guns and fetal rights (there is room for that but that is preaching to choir); instead the counter narrative needs to be about working Americans having a hard time because of the swamp creatures in Washington. Teddy Roosevelt got great mileage out of “the Square Deal” and his rather weak attempts to “trust bust”.

The Bannonites can put flesh on the Trumpian bones by taking a serious run at the Googles/Amazons/Apples as essentially monopolists of the internet. And they can take a solid run at illegal immigration as taking the jobs which ordinary Americans, and black and Hispanic Americans, need to get on the economic ladder.

Bannon sees his mission as economic nationalism. There was not a hint of this in Roy Moore’s campaign because, I suspect, it flew right over Moore’s head.

Right now Trump is presiding over a remarkable American recovery. He is winning on any number of fronts and this is likely to continue for some time. Surfing that wave Bannon needs to talk about ensuring that Americans gain the benefits they deserve from America’s economic resurgence.

Finally, Bannon needs to develop a deployable ground game. It does not need to be huge; but it needs to be effective and easy to roll out. Having a couple of hundred activists for each state Bannon wants to contest is an achievable goal and one which is a matter of networking and training. Putting together a mobile campaign school and hitting the key states where Bannon wants to target GOPe incumbents or candidates is a matter of a few million dollars and a bunch of organization.

Alabama was a closely fought battle narrowly lost by a man who, if elected, would have likely been more trouble than he was worth. The Bannonites likely learned a lot. And one of the things they learned is that the GOPe and the Democratic establishment will not let the swamp be drained without a fight. A nasty, street by street, fight.

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Bob Turner

1959814_10152284087003223_1216141924_nI met Bob Turner when I edited Common Ground Magazine a couple of decades ago. He was our “distributor” which meant he drove around in a series of doubtful vans and dispatched his swampers to drop off the magazines at dozens of locations in Vancouver. When I met him I was out for a smoke which, Bob being Bob, was a good thing. He joined me, in a beaten up leather jacket looking like he’d rolled out of bed an hour before, and we enjoyed the first of, perhaps, 1000 cigarettes together.

Somehow he became my friend. And the friend and useful uncle to my elder son Simon.

He died two days ago.

There are dozens of stories I can tell about Bob. My youngest son Max is hearing the more respectable ones now. But there are two which stand out.

Years ago, Susan and I took Simon and went to stay on Galiano Island. I invited Bob. He arrived with a fold out trailer and his van and several bottles of rum. Alex Jones played late into the night. Susan was pregnant with my second son Sam but it was early. So, one morning, I suggested a short hike – I thought – to Coons Bay at the top of the island. Bob was game. So was Susan and so was a delightful German girl who, in a moment of absent mindedness, I had invited as well. Blonde and healthy she was ready to climb alps. Susan, not so much, Bob, not at all. We’d reached the quarter way point where there was a steep bit where you had to pull yourself up on a rope. It had begun raining. Quite hard. Bob looked at Susan and announced, “The Currie forced march ends here.”

As he finished his sentence, gunshots began ringing out. (Long story, not actually at us.) We scampered. As we retreated Bob looked at our German companion, “Of course you know, as the youngest member of our party, we eat you first.” Deadpan.

Susan has loved him from that day to this.

We’d circle round and connect year after year. Bob was very much involved with my elder son Simon who was not living with me and leading what Anthony Powell would describe as a very rackety life. He gave Simon a job as his swamper, which lasted on and off for four years, and sat in his van smoking at the kid and giving him no bullshit advice whether Simon wanted it or not.

Once in a while, Bob would email or, more often call. We’d talk business and then we’d roll around to Simon. Much discussion. But, ultimately, given what Simon the teenager was up to, Bob said something very wise – as he usually did: “There are just two things to worry about, he gets killed or he kills someone. If he makes it to twenty he’s good. The rest is bullshit and can get fixed.”

Simon made it to 20. He had many fathers but I suspect that the father who got him from 16 to 20 without being killed or killing someone else was Bob. Kind, patient, no bullshit Bob saved my son when I couldn’t.

I am so grateful to the man. And I will miss him. So will a lot of people in a variety of worlds where Bob felt at home. We’ll all miss him.

 

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You Can’t Do That

donald-trump (1)American Media (no doubt to be followed by what is left of Canadian media) are having a collective meltdown about President Trump’s Tweets.

Reaction ranges from tsk, tsking “not Presidential” all the way through to “this is evidence that Trump should be removed from office via the 25th Amendment because he’s crackers.”

Of course Trump is having a whale of a time because a) he loses nothing, b) the media are making themselves look like precious idiots, c) his base loves his body slams on what is generally seen as a corrupt and partisan media elite. Where Ronald Reagan was a movie actor (used to taking direction), Donald Trump was a reality TV entertainer where a good deal of the fun is in the ad lib.

The nice ladies in pantsuits and the chaps in the bow ties and horn-rimmed spectacles are, of course, shocked and appalled at these goings on. Largely because they know that they have no one who can play the game at the same level. In fact, they really have no response at all other than running to the principal and demanding that this disruptive person be medicated or something.

The right response would be to mock and be funny while mocking. But the po-faced media and left in general simply don’t have the sense of humour necessary. So they bleat and eash time they bleat Trump, and legions of righty, 4-Chan, Twitter enabled, meme shapers take the piss out of the media bleaters.

For the media and the left generally Trump’s election is still beyond comprehension. My pal Dr. Dawg wrote a long and mighty screed on the Trumpian Ending of the American Dream. Well worth reading to get a picture of just how deeply adrift intelligent lefties are in the face of Trump.

All of which Trump seems instinctively aware of. Where other people might have stopped at a food fight with Morning Joe, Trump wades ever deeper into the swamp of the media’s lefty derangement. He is completely willing to keep pushing their buttons and yanking their chains until he reduces them to howling, gibbering caricatures. It isn’t hard to do. Trump’s great insight was that the media had no sense of humour or proportion at all. Which means that there will be an over the top reaction to even the tiniest taunt. And that reaction will make the media look even sillier and petty and Trump will take another trick.

At some point some media type will realize that to preserve a shred of credibility the MSM are going to have to stop responding to Trump’s taunts. Which will give them tons more time to objectively report the news. And if they get on with actually reporting the news – rather than breathlessly whinging on about Trump’s taunts – they will cease to be a laughingstock for much of the American electorate. As every parent has said to a child being teased by another child, “Just ignore him and he’ll stop.”

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Damn

I suppose the Conservative Party of Canada is where libertarian dreams go to die.

Scheer is respectable. Nothing wrong with him.

But he is not going to change much.

Too bad. Bernier would have actually represented an alternative to the endless middle of the roadedness of Canadian politics.

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