deicer

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Everything posted by deicer

  1. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/a35mya/nearly-all-mass-shooters-since-1966-have-had-four-things-in-common
  2. A moderate conservative view from within... https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/swann-stop-the-blame-game-albertas-plight-is-our-own-doing Swann: Stop the blame game; Alberta's plight is our own doing David Swann Updated: November 16, 2019 Abandoned oil well equipment near Legal. File photo. Supplied / Postmedia, file Share Adjust Comment Print After 11 years as an MLA in the Alberta legislature under the Progressive Conservative government I feel compelled to challenge the blame now levelled at Ottawa for our difficult economic state. The current Alberta Conservatives have ramped up the tiresome strategy as old as Alberta; when in distress — blame the feds for our economic woes. And denounce the efforts for the TMX pipeline and policies for a new energy future, beyond carbon. The blame game by the UCP government also feeds climate change denial in spite of the overwhelming science and the growing global human suffering. How many booms and busts does it take for a Conservative government, in power for 44 years, to acknowledge they have failed to both recognize the need for alternate markets for our oil, more economic diversity and a science-based response to climate warming with stimulus for clean energy, energy conservation and efficiency programs? Transition is difficult at any time, and particularly in a recession. But responsible leaders do not ignore the science pointing to a climate tipping point in a decade. This is not the time to double down on fossil fuel stimulus, investment and subsidies. Nor is blaming the federal government (in power for just over one term) for the lack of pipelines. It’s time to face the truth. We are an oil state, with all its advantages, entitlements, hubris and decades of quid pro quo between the oil industry and the people in power, neglecting Alberta’s long-term well-being. Story continues below Despite 15 years of prices from $50/barrel to $100/barrel (inflation-adjusted) there is little to show in the public purse to buffer our recession. Alberta’s Heritage Trust Fund is sitting under $20 billion, unlike Norway, which started its fund 15 years after Alberta and now has $1 trillion as insurance against the future. That is leadership in the public interest. Royalties have declined from roughly 30 per cent in Lougheed’s time to close to three per cent in the last few years; and yet the Big Five (Suncor, CNRL, Cenovus, Imperial and Husky) continue to post billions in profits. Albertans aren’t told that most companies operating in Alberta are foreign-owned, taking those profits elsewhere! Anyone close to industry knows the Western Sedimentary Basin is virtually empty and conventional companies have been losing money since 2009, transferring low-producing wells to junior companies, with growing numbers taking what they can and walking away from clean-up obligations; now totalling $260 billion. Again, Conservative governments continue to turn a blind eye to the contractual clean-up obligations of the oil industry. Government and its so-called “arms-length” regulators (specifically the Alberta Energy Regulator) have been captured by the industry and the Orphan Well Association (OWA), largely controlled by the industry, is now lost in a sea of insolvencies, begging for public money. Ironically, this lack of foresight, integrity and political will have contributed to distrust and loss of confidence from investors. The Kenney war room is another blatant political ploy against both climate science and free speech; ironically, it is partially funded by foreign oil companies. Oil prices and the global move away from fossil fuels are beyond our control. Let’s stop the blame game and acknowledge that we are all responsible for the Alberta we have, and for the Alberta we leave to our children. For all our sakes, let us see some mature, honest negotiating in good faith across this country and do our collective best to live up to our international commitment on the climate crisis. Alberta’s present state is largely our own doing.
  3. Yes, have flown over it many times on the way to L.A. Quite the impressive facility! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility And California has a good problem to have... https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-solar-batteries-renewable-energy-california-20190605-story.html California has too much solar power. That might be good for ratepayers California set two renewable energy records last week: the most solar power ever flowing on the state’s main electric grid, and the most solar power ever taken offline because it wasn’t needed. There’s no contradiction: As California utilities buy more and more solar power as part of the state’s quest to confront climate change, supply and demand are increasingly out of sync. The state’s fleet of solar farms and rooftop panels frequently generate more electricity than Californians use during the middle of the day — a phenomenon that has sent lawmakers and some climate advocates scrambling to find ways to save the extra sunlight rather than let it go to waste. But for ratepayers, an oversupply of solar power might actually be a good thing. New research published in the peer-reviewed journal Solar Energy suggests California should embrace the idea of building more solar panels than it can consistently use, rather than treating oversupply as a problem to be solved. It sounds counterintuitive, but intentionally overbuilding solar facilities — and accepting they’ll often need to be dialed down in the absence of sufficient demand — may be the best way to keep electricity prices low on a power grid dominated by renewable energy, the research found. Advertisement In a study published in March, New York-based researchers Richard Perez and Karl Rábago argue that solar power has gotten so inexpensive that overbuilding it will probably be the cheapest way to keep the lights on during cloudy or overcast days — cheaper than relying entirely on batteries. Solar power can meet high levels of daytime electricity demand without energy storage, the researchers say, as long as there are enough solar panels on the grid during times when none of them are producing at full capacity. “It’s not like solar is going to be available all the time,” said Perez, a solar energy expert at the State University of New York at Albany. “At night you will need storage, and on cloudy days you will need storage. But you will need much less of it.” A war is brewing over lithium mining at the edge of Death Valley » California has set a target of 60% renewable energy on the power grid by 2030, as well as a longer-term goal of 100% climate-friendly energy, a broader definition that could include hydroelectricity or nuclear power. A dozen other states and U.S. territories have adopted or are considering similar 100% clean energy goals, and they’ll be watching California’s progress as they try to figure out how to make those goals a reality. The Golden State’s success depends in part on achieving its goals without sending energy prices soaring. California already has some of the country’s highest electricity rates, although low levels of energy use mean monthly bills are relatively low. Perez and Rábago coauthored their study with analysts at Clean Power Research, a company with offices in California and Washington state. The study built on an earlier Clean Power Research report, which showed that in Minnesota — a state not known for abundant sunlight — the cheapest way to run the power grid with solar panels, wind turbines and batteries involved building so many solar panels that their output would have to be “curtailed,” or reduced below what they’d otherwise be capable of producing, by around 30%. Under a range of high-curtailment scenarios, the report found, electricity would be slightly cheaper than it is today in Minnesota — a conclusion that Perez and Rábago found to hold true for many power grids. Models run by the California Public Utilities Commission, examining the state’s options for reducing planet-warming emissions while maintaining reliable and affordable electricity, have also found that a surplus of solar power makes sense. “What the models said was dramatically overbuild solar, and either export it when you have excess production or curtailment,” said Edward Randolph, who leads the regulatory agency’s energy division. “Curtailment makes economic sense.” A solar power facility in Borrego Springs, Calif., generates electricity on Feb. 11, 2019. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) The argument for overbuilding solar power isn’t new, nor is it especially controversial among researchers who study the logistics of transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources. Utility regulators have always built extra power into their planning, requiring enough electric generating capacity on the grid to ensure there will almost always be sufficient power on hand to meet energy demand. Traditionally, that reserve margin has come from fossil fuels. Overbuilding renewables is a similar concept. Some experts, though, are skeptical about the sheer scale of overbuilding contemplated by Perez and Rábago. Wade Schauer, a Sacramento-based researcher at the energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, said Perez and Rábago didn’t take into account the costly transmission lines that may be needed to accommodate an overbuild of solar, or the landowner opposition that has frustrated solar farm developers in California and elsewhere. The researchers also assumed energy storage costs will remain “laughably high,” Schauer said — an assumption that makes batteries look less attractive compared with overbuilding solar. How will L.A. replace three gas plants that Mayor Eric Garcetti plans to shut down? » California got 34% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2018, the state’s Energy Commission estimates, not counting production from rooftop solar panels, which would add several more percentage points. Solar power has grown especially fast in recent years, spurred by falling costs, federal tax credits and California’s renewable energy mandate. The state’s main power grid set a record for most simultaneous solar generation just before noon on June 1, breaking previous records set in April and May. The growing amounts of solar power have been accompanied by growing curtailment, according to the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s main power grid. Solar and wind farms on the California grid generated 223 fewer gigawatt-hours than they otherwise would have in May, with solar accounting for the vast majority of the losses. That’s enough electricity to power roughly 400,000 average California households, and more than twice as much curtailment as any month before this year. The numbers are especially high in part because of an influx of cheap hydropower following a wet winter. (Shaffer Grubb / Los Angeles Times) On May 27 around 1 p.m., solar plant operators shut off a record total of about 4,700 megawatts of capacity at the same time — nearly 40% of the entire solar capacity installed on the California grid. Those numbers sound large, but they’re still relatively small, said Mark Rothleder, the grid operator’s vice president for market quality and regulatory affairs. In 2018, less than 2% of potential solar generation was curtailed, Rothleder said, a number that may reach 3%-4% this year. The vast majority of curtailments happen through a competitive market, where solar and wind plant operators are paid to ramp down production. In rare instances, the grid operator will manually order certain facilities to ramp down. Rothleder sees some overbuilding as a good thing, because it creates flexibility for the grid operator. Instead of relying entirely on gas-fired power plants to ramp up and down to match swings in demand, the nonprofit agency can get creative with solar farms, curtailing their production as needed or holding some solar in reserve for times when energy demand might jump unexpectedly. The key question is how much extra solar power is beneficial, and how much is a waste of money. Rothleder said overbuilding and curtailment are no substitute for the types of steps California will eventually need to take to fully replace fossil fuels with clean energy, such as investing in big energy storage projects, sharing more solar and wind power with neighboring states, and designing electricity rates that encourage people to shift their energy use to times of day when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. “If [curtailment] starts inching up toward 10%, and greater than 10%, you have to start looking at it and asking what else can you be doing,” Rothleder said. “I don’t think at that point just building more solar is the right thing to do.” California’s wildfire threat could be an opportunity for clean-energy microgrids » Lawmakers in Sacramento have debated the types of steps described by Rothleder, but haven’t found much consensus. Last year, for instance, the Legislature once again rejected then-Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for greater sharing of renewable energy across the West. The proposal would have unified the region’s disparate power grids, reducing curtailment by allowing greater sharing of renewable energy across state lines, but lawmakers feared California could lose its sovereignty over its energy supply. More recently, a bill that would have required huge amounts of large-scale, long-duration energy storage — a type of storage for which lithium-ion batteries aren’t well-suited — was pulled from the Senate floor, amid concerns it would burden consumers with steep costs and prop up a controversial hydropower project near Joshua Tree National Park. Those proposals were driven in part by rising alarm over curtailment, and by the revelation that California sometimes pays other states to take its excess solar power. The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Ralph Cavanagh, for instance, wrote last year that lawmakers should support Brown’s regional power grid plan because “wasting growing amounts of our state’s clean energy is no way to advance California’s ambitious energy and climate goals.” Part of the problem with these debates is that it’s hard to predict what different technologies will cost in the coming decades, said James Bushnell, an energy economist at UC Davis. Maybe solar will keep getting cheaper, and battery costs won’t fall as much as analysts expect. Or maybe not. “If you think you know what all the costs and operating characteristics of resources will be 20 years from now, we can write fancy computer models that will optimize all that. But we don’t really know,” Bushnell said. “Too many studies circulate implying that we do.”
  4. As posted in another thread. Now if this gets implemented, it will start to erode fossil fuel need from the biggest polluters. https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html New York (CNN Business)A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet. Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren." biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Essentially, Heliogen created a solar oven — one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you'd find on the surface of the sun. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution. "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business. "And that's really the holy grail." Heliogen, which is also backed by billionaire Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, believes the patented technology will be able to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Cement, for example, accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. "Bill and the team have truly now harnessed the sun," Soon-Shiong, who also sits on the Heliogen board, told CNN Business. "The potential to humankind is enormous. ... The potential to business is unfathomable." Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun. Unlike traditional solar power, which uses rooftop panels to capture the energy from the sun, Heliogen is improving on what's known as concentrated solar power. This technology, which uses mirrors to reflect the sun to a single point, is not new. Concentrated solar has been used in the past to produce electricity and, in some limited fashion, to create heat for industry. It's even used in Oman to provide the power needed to drill for oil. The problem is that in the past concentrated solar couldn't get temperatures hot enough to make cement and steel. "You've ended up with technologies that can't really deliver super-heated systems," said Olav Junttila, a partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a clean energy investment bank that has advised concentrated solar companies in the past. Using artificial intelligence to solve the climate crisis That means renewable energy has not yet disrupted industrial processes such as cement and steelmaking. And that's a problem because the world has an insatiable appetite for those materials. Cement, for instance, is used to make the concrete required to build homes, hospitals and schools. These industries are responsible for more than a fifth of global emissions, according to the EPA. That's why the potential of Los Angeles-based Heliogen attracted investment from Gates, the Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder who recently surpassed Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos as the world's richest person. "I'm pleased to have been an early backer of Bill Gross's novel solar concentration technology," Gates said in a statement. "Its capacity to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel." Heliogen, founded by Bill Gross, must convince industrial companies it's worth the investment to switch over to its solar technology. While other concentrated solar companies attacked this temperature problem by adding steel to make the technology stiffer and sturdier, Heliogen and its team of scientists and engineers turned to artificial intelligence. Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one single spot. "If you take a thousand mirrors and have them align exactly to a single point, you can achieve extremely, extremely high temperatures," Gross said, who added that Heliogen made its breakthrough on the first day it turned its plant on. Heliogen said it is generating so much heat that its technology could eventually be used to create clean hydrogen at scale. That carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into a fuel for trucks and airplanes. "If you can make hydrogen that's green, that's a gamechanger," said Gross. "Long term, we want to be the green hydrogen company." 'No-brainer' For now, Heliogen is squarely focused on solar. One problem with solar is that the sun doesn't always shine, yet industrial companies like cement makers have a constant need for heat. Heliogen said it would solve that issue by relying on storage systems that can hold the solar energy for rainy days. Now that it has made this breakthrough, Heliogen will focus on demonstrating how the technology can be used in a large-scale application, such as making cement. "We're in a race. We just want to scale as fast as possible," said Gross. After the large-scale application, Soon-Shiong said Heliogen would likely be ready to go public. 'Nervous and scared.' Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy In the meantime, Heliogen will require a healthy dose of capital to scale and it's working with investors on a private round of funding. Soon-Shiong signaled he plans to invest more in Heliogen. Heliogen declined to provide information on how much money it has raised so far. "This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren," Soon-Shiong said. Heliogen's biggest challenge will be convincing industrial companies using fossil fuels to make the investment required to switch over. Gross said the company has been talking to potential customers privately and plans to soon announce its first customers. "If we go to a cement company and say we'll give you green heat, no CO2, but we'll also save you money, then it becomes a no-brainer," said Gross. Its biggest selling point is the fact that, unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, sunlight is free. And Heliogen argues its technology is already economical against fossil fuels because of its reliance on AI. "The only way to compete is to be extremely clever in how you use your materials. And by using software, we're able to do that," Gross said.
  5. More demand erosion now wiith science and technology contributing... https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/19/business/heliogen-solar-energy-bill-gates/index.html Secretive energy startup backed by Bill Gates achieves solar breakthrough New York (CNN Business)A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet. Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren." biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Essentially, Heliogen created a solar oven — one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you'd find on the surface of the sun. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution. "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business. "And that's really the holy grail." Heliogen, which is also backed by billionaire Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, believes the patented technology will be able to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Cement, for example, accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. "Bill and the team have truly now harnessed the sun," Soon-Shiong, who also sits on the Heliogen board, told CNN Business. "The potential to humankind is enormous. ... The potential to business is unfathomable." Heliogen, backed by Bill Gates, has achieved a breakthrough that could allow cement makers to transition away from fossil fuels. The company uses artifical intelligence and an array of mirrors to create vast amounts of heat, essentially harnessing the power of the sun. Unlike traditional solar power, which uses rooftop panels to capture the energy from the sun, Heliogen is improving on what's known as concentrated solar power. This technology, which uses mirrors to reflect the sun to a single point, is not new. Concentrated solar has been used in the past to produce electricity and, in some limited fashion, to create heat for industry. It's even used in Oman to provide the power needed to drill for oil. The problem is that in the past concentrated solar couldn't get temperatures hot enough to make cement and steel. "You've ended up with technologies that can't really deliver super-heated systems," said Olav Junttila, a partner at Greentech Capital Advisors, a clean energy investment bank that has advised concentrated solar companies in the past. Using artificial intelligence to solve the climate crisis That means renewable energy has not yet disrupted industrial processes such as cement and steelmaking. And that's a problem because the world has an insatiable appetite for those materials. Cement, for instance, is used to make the concrete required to build homes, hospitals and schools. These industries are responsible for more than a fifth of global emissions, according to the EPA. That's why the potential of Los Angeles-based Heliogen attracted investment from Gates, the Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder who recently surpassed Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos as the world's richest person. "I'm pleased to have been an early backer of Bill Gross's novel solar concentration technology," Gates said in a statement. "Its capacity to achieve the high temperatures required for these processes is a promising development in the quest to one day replace fossil fuel." Heliogen, founded by Bill Gross, must convince industrial companies it's worth the investment to switch over to its solar technology. While other concentrated solar companies attacked this temperature problem by adding steel to make the technology stiffer and sturdier, Heliogen and its team of scientists and engineers turned to artificial intelligence. Heliogen uses computer vision software, automatic edge detection and other sophisticated technology to train a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one single spot. "If you take a thousand mirrors and have them align exactly to a single point, you can achieve extremely, extremely high temperatures," Gross said, who added that Heliogen made its breakthrough on the first day it turned its plant on. Heliogen said it is generating so much heat that its technology could eventually be used to create clean hydrogen at scale. That carbon-free hydrogen could then be turned into a fuel for trucks and airplanes. "If you can make hydrogen that's green, that's a gamechanger," said Gross. "Long term, we want to be the green hydrogen company." 'No-brainer' For now, Heliogen is squarely focused on solar. One problem with solar is that the sun doesn't always shine, yet industrial companies like cement makers have a constant need for heat. Heliogen said it would solve that issue by relying on storage systems that can hold the solar energy for rainy days. Now that it has made this breakthrough, Heliogen will focus on demonstrating how the technology can be used in a large-scale application, such as making cement. "We're in a race. We just want to scale as fast as possible," said Gross. After the large-scale application, Soon-Shiong said Heliogen would likely be ready to go public. 'Nervous and scared.' Coal workers fear for pensions after Murray Energy bankruptcy In the meantime, Heliogen will require a healthy dose of capital to scale and it's working with investors on a private round of funding. Soon-Shiong signaled he plans to invest more in Heliogen. Heliogen declined to provide information on how much money it has raised so far. "This is an existential issue for your children, for my children and our grandchildren," Soon-Shiong said. Heliogen's biggest challenge will be convincing industrial companies using fossil fuels to make the investment required to switch over. Gross said the company has been talking to potential customers privately and plans to soon announce its first customers. "If we go to a cement company and say we'll give you green heat, no CO2, but we'll also save you money, then it becomes a no-brainer," said Gross. Its biggest selling point is the fact that, unlike fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, sunlight is free. And Heliogen argues its technology is already economical against fossil fuels because of its reliance on AI. "The only way to compete is to be extremely clever in how you use your materials. And by using software, we're able to do that," Gross said.
  6. While you are stuck with the belief that the conservatives have the majority, the reality is that while they did get 34.4% of the votes cast in the election, at least 63.2% of the votes cast went against conservative policies and wanted something more progressive. https://globalnews.ca/news/6066524/canada-election-the-2019-results-by-the-numbers/ Your informal poll has not touched on the reality of what Canadians really wanted.
  7. If this isn't a Trumpian move to eliminate obstacles to corruption, what is? https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/alberta/article-alberta-terminates-election-commissioners-contract-amid-probe-into/ Alberta terminates election commissioner’s contract amid probe into UCP leadership race Alberta’s United Conservative Party government is terminating the contract of the province’s election commissioner, who has spent much of the past year investigating allegations about the party’s 2017 leadership race that involve Premier Jason Kenney. Lorne Gibson, who was appointed last year as Alberta’s first election commissioner, has handed out more than $200,000 in fines in a case that has become known as the “kamikaze candidate.” It involves allegations that leadership candidate Jeff Callaway violated election finance laws to fund a campaign that was designed to help Mr. Kenney’s bid to lead the party. The government insists the termination of Mr. Gibson’s appointment is little more than an administrative change, as the position is moved to Elections Alberta, which handled investigations until last year, rather than remaining in a standalone agency. The chief electoral officer could rehire Mr. Gibson, although there is no timeline for filling the position and no requirement to continue any investigation. Finance Minister Travis Toews said the decision to terminate Mr. Gibson’s contract has nothing to do with the investigation into the UCP leadership race. Rather, he said the goal is to save $200,000 a year by eliminating the need for two agencies. “We’re providing a full latitude to the chief electoral officer to hire the election commissioner, and should he choose to hire [Mr. Gibson], that will be entirely in his purview,” Mr. Toews said. “We are doing nothing here that will undermine any current investigations that are taking place." The RCMP is investigating separate allegations of identity theft and voter fraud from the leadership vote. A prosecutor from outside Alberta has been assigned to that case. Mr. Gibson’s appointment will end when legislation tabled on Monday receives royal assent. Mr. Gibson did not respond to a request for comment. Chief electoral officer Glen Resler was not available to comment, although Elections Alberta’s communications director, Pamela Renwick, said any open investigations will continue until Mr. Resler is able to review them. “The legislation allows for the staff to continue in their roles, so I don’t see that their work is going to come to a standstill while we review everything and decide a path forward,” she said in an interview. Ms. Renwick said it’s not clear when a new election commissioner will be appointed or if that will happen before Mr. Resler’s term ends, as scheduled, in six months. Rachel Notley, leader of the Opposition New Democrats and Alberta’s former premier, said terminating the election commissioner’s contract is an attack on the province’s democratic institutions. “This is corruption at its core," she said. "This is a challenge to fundamental democratic principles. “Jason Kenney is casting a profound, chilling effect across Alberta, and delivering a message to anyone who would challenge Jason Kenney or his UCP operatives and felt that democratic institutions would keep them safe." Duff Conacher, co-founder of Democracy Watch, said the election commissioner has proven to be an effective guardian of Canada’s democratic institutions. “Despite some valid criticism of the election commissioner in Alberta being a little too secretive, he’s done more than anyone I’ve seen in a decade by investigating and then penalizing people who have broken the rules,” Mr. Conacher said. “And that’s why I’m sure Premier Kenney wants to get rid of him." The former NDP government created the commissioner position as part of changes that also restricted third-party groups that advertise during election campaigns, and banned corporate and union donations to political parties. The UCP caucus opposed the creation of an election commissioner, and Mr. Gibson’s appointment. Mr. Gibson had been chief electoral officer a decade earlier, but the Progressive Conservative government of the day declined to extend his contract after problems in the 2008 election prompted him to call for changes to the province’s electoral system. Mr. Gibson’s investigation of the UCP leadership race has resulted in fines against many of Mr. Callaway’s donors and several members of his staff from the 2017 campaign. The investigation intensified before this year’s provincial election, as questions about Mr. Callaway and another investigation about fraudulent voting overshadowed Mr. Kenney’s campaign. Mr. Callaway was accused of running a leadership campaign whose main purpose was to attack Mr. Kenney’s chief rival, Brian Jean, who led the now-defunct Wildrose Party. Leaked e-mails showed that a member of Mr. Kenney’s campaign provided Mr. Callaway’s team with speaking notes, message plans, graphics and videos. Mr. Callaway and Mr. Kenney have repeatedly denied working together.
  8. Just to be controversial..... It is the same as the Don Cherry episode. Those stuck in the past are doomed to repeat it!
  9. Agreed! I have never liked the SUV style. Give me a capable sedan, and when I needed it I drove a 'loser-cruiser' (minivan). Reliability, economy, and comfort don't sell anymore...….
  10. You and I think the same. Think of the range if you detuned the electric motors! Unfortunately, what society wants is what (as Mazda advertised) is Zoom Zoom! With Apple Car Play. It's the same with all wheel drive. Just complicating a simple process with sh!t that breaks and 99 percent of drivers never leave the city anyway.
  11. If this is the quality of 'advisor' Trump picks, everything else is explained. The women of the U.S. must be thrilled, "Grab 'em by the....." https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/vb5axm/new-trump-advisory-board-member-thinks-women-should-be-handmaidens New Trump Advisory Board Member Thinks Women Should Be 'Handmaidens' A member of the advisory board for “Black Voices for Trump,” an initiative recently launched by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, has said that women are not equal to men and suggested that women would be better off acting like “handmaidens” rather than “queens.” Clarence Mason Weaver, described as an author and motivational speaker on one of his websites, has posted multiple videos online where he discusses the purported differences between men and women and expounds on his beliefs about women’s role in society, as first reported Monday by Media Matters for America, a progressive nonprofit organization. The titles of those videos include “Men and women are not equal,” “Toxic Feminism is the real problem,” and “Why are women so masculine?” In the video entitled “Men and women are not equal,” posted in August, Weaver warned female viewers that men are not looking for “queens.” “We look for handmaidens, sweetheart,” he said. “We look for a helpmate out here, girl.” He went on, “If you’re as strong as I am, you go and deal with the burglar next time. You’re as strong as I am, you go out at night and take care of the car. If you’re as strong as I am — if you’re not, be quiet and be humble and be submissive.” In a December 2017 video, Weaver spoke about how women can, in his opinion, simply accuse a man of “something” and ruin his career. “Can you imagine a situation where a female is in competition with a male worker for a promotion?” he asked. “All she has to do now is go whisper in the boss’s ear or the head of the human resources. Just whisper in their ear, so-and-so molested me, so-and-so made a comment. A comment now. Folks, you can’t even say the wrong thing, hurt their feelings. And that guy will not get the promotion and no one will know why. Women are setting themselves up to be so fragile that we can’t even blow on them without them coming against us. So who wants to hire a female now?” On October 8, 2016, after the Washington Post published a tape of Trump bragging about grabbing women by the pussy while he visited the “Access Hollywood” set, Weaver posted a video called “Trump likes women, imagine that!” In it, he attacked Republican leaders for not standing behind Trump. “Every man talks like that,” he said. “Every man thinks like that, and stop quivering behind the skirts of the feminists!” Weaver — who also sometimes goes by the names “Mason Weaver” and “Clarence A. Mason, Media Matters reported — didn’t immediately reply to a VICE News request for comment through one of his websites. Other members of the advisory board include personalities like Herman Cain, Diamond and Silk, and “Clueless” actress Stacey Dash.
  12. Recently changed cars, so will be a few more years before replacement. Will let you know how the electric car is at that time.
  13. Looks like an interesting development as a private aircraft, including the 'observation deck' behind the cockpit. https://simpleflying.com/airbus-a220-oberservation-deck/
  14. Ford announced their new Mustang on Sunday. It is an all electric SUV. The way of the future... https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/17/cars/ford-mustang-mach-e/index.html
  15. It is amazing to see that Alberta wants to blame Quebec and Trudeau, but won't call out Kenney for giving corporate tax cuts that the corporations book big savings from and then go and spend the money elsewhere. https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/husky-kenney-sask-nfld-alta-alberta-1.5335823 Alberta's first budget under Premier Jason Kenney this week was filled with deep cuts across the board, with few departments were spared. The cuts, though, also extended to taxes. A slash of the corporate tax rate for all businesses, from 12 to eight per cent by 2022-23, is Kenney's main strategy to lure investment to the province, stimulate job growth, and resurrect the oilpatch. It formalizes an election pledge made by the United Conservative Party, and when the first one per cent cut came into effect on July 1, it gave Alberta the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada. So far, the appeal of that lower tax rate isn't making much of a difference. A prime example is Husky Energy, which saw a $233-million benefit from the Alberta tax cut in its second-quarter results. Yet the company is still choosing to spend a significant amount of its capital elsewhere — namely in Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and the U.S. This week, the company cut its workforce in Alberta, although Husky wouldn't say how many employees were laid off. The Alberta government's decision to cut the corporate tax rate by four per cent over the next four years is expected to result in a $1-billion hit to provincial coffers. Many of the larger companies with spare cash on hand are using the funds to pay down debt and buy back shares, instead of spending on new projects.
  16. We must have been on the same flight. I was across the aisle from him.
  17. Fox News turning a new leaf? Even they reported that Trump made a mistake and added another article of impeachment live. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bret-baier-impeachment-inquiry-marie-yovanovitch-adam-schiff-twitter Bret Baier: Hearing 'turned on a dime' after Schiff read the president's tweets live The second public hearing in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into President Trump "turned on a dime" when House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., read the president's tweets about witness Marie Yovanovitch in real-time, "Special Report" host Bret Baier said Friday. Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, pointed her finger at Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani while detailing her sudden removal from her diplomatic post during Friday's nationally televised testimony. During her appearance, Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who served both Republican and Democratic presidents, relayed her story of being suddenly recalled by Trump in May, saying she believes Giuliani played a key role in telling people she was not sufficiently supportive of the president. “I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,” Yovanovitch said. She argued the efforts against her by the president's allies hindered her work. “If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States,” Yovanovitch said. Appearing on "America's Newsroom" with host Bill Hemmer, Baier said that he had started watching the hearing "thinking that Ambassador Yovanovitch was going to be a sympathetic witness." "The Democrats would tell her story about how she was recalled," he said. "But, as we noted, she serves at the pleasure of the president and I started to say that she didn't see the call. She didn't hear the call," he told Hemmer. "You know, this is tangential to the actual argument." "However, this whole hearing turned on a dime when the president tweeted about her real-time," Baier stated. He said that when Schiff stopped Democratic questioning to read the president's tweets and get her response, it enabled him to then "characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness or tampering with the witness, which is a crime." "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors," the president wrote. Adding: "They call it 'serving at the pleasure of the President.' The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O." Trump’s comments ignited an outcry from Democrats: Schiff read Trump's anti-Yovanovitch tweet during the hearing, and called it “witness intimidation.” "Adding, essentially, an article of impeachment real-time as this hearing is going on," Baier explained. "That changed this entire dynamic of this first part of this hearing and Republicans now are going to have to take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up."
  18. https://www.rt.com/usa/473592-school-football-shooting-new-jersey/
  19. https://www.facebook.com/edthesock.funetworktv/videos/1377934095557723/
  20. https://www.facebook.com/22Minutes/videos/461147757842411/
  21. Even while they are trying to prove him guilty, Trump does his best to prove he's guilty. https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/mbmyb3/trump-gave-democrats-their-made-for-tv-moment-in-fridays-impeachment-hearing Trump Gave Democrats Their Made-for-TV Moment in Friday’s Impeachment Hearing He managed to undercut the GOP's attempt to keep things boring. WASHINGTON — Democrats wanted a made-for-TV moment from Friday’s impeachment hearing. And President Trump, true to his reality television background, did all he could to assist. Just as former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was testifying about feeling threatened by the president's smear campaign against her, Trump fired off a fresh insult on Twitter, attacking her track record as a diplomat and blaming her, evidently, for sparking conflict in hardship posts abroad. Read: Trump Tried to Intimidate Marie Yovanovitch as She Testified About His Intimidation In one tweet, Trump all but undercut the GOP’s strategy, which was to make Yovanovitch’s day on Capitol Hill so boring that the television audience would change the channel. His outburst was so off-message that even Fox News’ Brett Baier characterized it as “adding, essentially, an article of impeachment, real time” such that Republicans would have to “take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up.” And that was pretty much the size of things on Friday, the second day of live public testimony of Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Republican members of Congress and Trump’s own White House tried to keep things dull, as if backing up the message that nothing out of the ordinary had happened — while Trump fired off a schoolyard taunt at his own ambassador on Twitter. Otherwise, Republicans vacillated between burying Yovanovitch in minutiae, and attempting to describe her experience under Trump as ultimately positive. Specifically, they tried to paint a happy ending for Yovanovitch, by portraying her as landing a cushy teaching gig at Georgetown University after she was recalled from Ukraine. Read: Trump’s White House Either Lied About Ukraine Anti-Corruption Call in April — or It’s Lying Now Earlier in the day, the White House tried their own hand at counter-programming by releasing a rough transcript of a previous call between Trump and Zelensky that was dull and lifeless. That release appeared intended to deflect from the other call between the two presidents — in which Trump slammed his own ambassador, Yovanovitch, as “bad news” and said ominously that she’s “going to go through some things.” Democrats, meanwhile, struggled to find other newsworthy moments, but ultimately appeared to decide they couldn’t compete with Trump’s own bombast. By the end of the day, they’d foisted up Trump’s tweet as an exhibit in the very hearing itself. Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell slammed it as “disgusting.” The audience in the chamber seemed to agree — and ended Yovanovitch’s hearing with a standing ovation for the career foreign service officer.
  22. https://www.facebook.com/22Minutes/videos/955907541440162/
  23. Perspective... https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/i-dont-know-who-to-believe-in-this-impeachment-hearing November 13, 2019 I Don’t Know WHO to Believe In This Impeachment Hearing by Devorah Blachor This impeachment is so confusing. Both sides are making contradictory claims and it’s almost impossible to know who to trust. On the one hand, you have George Kent, a career Foreign Service officer whose entire family served in the armed forces, including an uncle who was at Pearl Harbor and survived the Bataan Death March, and on the other hand, you have a bone spurs draft dodger whose dad got arrested at a KKK riot. “This is the kind of magazine you keep on your bookshelves with your favorite books.” — Cece Bell, author of El Deafo There’s this fellow Bill Taylor who served as a Captain and company commander in Vietnam and who was awarded a Bronze Star, but then again, Donald Trump’s first wife Ivana and numerous other women have said that he sexually assaulted them. If only American politics weren’t so partisan, I might be able to make sense of it all, but I can’t. At the hearing, I saw two serious, professional men who both served under Republican and Democrat administrations. Yet just last week, President Trump was ordered to pay two million dollars for using charity funds to pay off his business debts and promote himself. How can a voter like me be expected to know who is more credible? These men testified under oath that the president tried to withhold military aid to a crucial ally unless the Ukranian president made a phony and defamatory speech about Joe Biden, and I admit that does sound slightly damning. At the same time, there’s a white supremacist working closely with Donald Trump who orchestrated the immigration policy which separated thousands of children, including babies, from their parents. Politics are so complicated! The world needs a 3-lb, 680-page humor anthology. What sounds more believable? That career diplomats with everything to lose would make up a story implicating the most powerful man in America? Or that the president’s butt-dialling, criminal-loving lawyer was involved in something nefarious? I wish this would be easier! I’m no political scientist, but it seems to me that a man who has told 13,435 lies and has equated Nazis with people protesting Nazis, and who publicly stated he’d date his own daughter, and who tried and failed to buy Greenland is at least as honest as the many people, both Republican and Democrat, who have testified against him in this impeachment hearing. You know, everyone keeps repeating this story about Ben Franklin over and over again  —  you know the one  —  about how in 1787, as the Constitution was adopted, Americans gathered on the steps of Independence Hall. When they saw Franklin, they asked, ‘What do we have, a republic or a monarchy?’ and Franklin replied, ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’ But what did Ben Franklin even mean by that? Was he trying to say that a Democracy is only as strong as its institutions and that if the people in power become nakedly corrupt and are not checked, that Democracy becomes a hollow pretense that’s no better than a despotic monarchy? Or did he mean that the newly founded nation was a banana republic? Subscribe to our National Magazine Award-winning, somewhat accurately named, McSweeney’s Quarterly today. Someone help me! I’m utterly baffled! How will we ever get to the bottom of these impeachment hearings? I fear that America will be lost amidst the fog of uncertainty, destined to wander in the wilderness of chaos for a very long time indeed. A very, very long time.
  24. By saying that those who pay taxes, and/or own property should be the ones able to vote, won't that cut off the 1% from being able to vote as usually they don't pay tax and any properties they occupy are held by 'holding companies' to shield them from tax liabilities?