Danielle Smith still trying to rewrite history with bullshit.

smith

The picture above was taken at the moment when Danielle Smith soundly lost the PC nomination for Highwood as the PC membership indicated their revulsion with Smith’s treachery at their local ballot box. The surprise in Smith’s expression is striking. Pretty much every political watcher in the province could see that Smith was going to lose the nomination except apparently Smith herself. That is because Danielle prefers to cloak herself in delusion and bullshit rather than face reality.

Last year, Danielle Smith began claiming that the reason she tried to destroy her former party was that she saw the election of the NDP looming and that she was heroically trying to save Albertans from it.

Brock Harrison was one of Danielle Smith’s senior staffers at that time. He masterfully called Danielle on her revisionist bullshit in this National Post piece. It is well worth reading and truly demonstrates Smith’s purposeful disconnect from reality.

I guess Danielle Smith thought that enough time had passed since she got caught spreading bullshit and she decided to start spewing again.

Few have been more eager to watch the Wildrose Party fail than Danielle Smith has. Smith is a disgraced politician who repulsed the nation with a treacherous floor-crossing that so damaged conservatives in Alberta that we elected an NDP majority for lack of more acceptable options. Smith despises seeing Brian Jean succeeding where she failed so dismally.

As soon as Jean saw some hiccups in grassroots support (constant in any party), Smith pounced and tried to widen the cracks. A blog posting from a supposed party insider (wife of a failed nomination candidate, hardly an entrenched insider) was promoted by Smith. This posting tried anecdotally to create the impression that there was a giant social conservative/libertarian split in the party that eventually drove Smith out. While libertarians and social conservatives have often clashed within the party, it is simply bullshit that this is what caused Smith to cross the floor. Danielle has decided to rewrite her own narrative from last fall though to try and claim that this is indeed why she left.

On twitter some who really were within the party called Smith out on her bullshit.

There was a terrible policy proposal that hit the floor at the 2014 AGM. It was soundly rejected by social conservatives and libertarians alike. At least Smith managed to unite the two factions that time.

That policy was slipped in with little fanfare and no promotion. Many often were critical of Smith since then in pointing out that if that damned fluffy policy was so important, why the hell didn’t Danielle Smith try to be a leader for a change and promote it?

Well, Danielle took this opportunity to create more bullshit and claim that she promoted this policy clearly in her Friday night speech as can be seen in the image below.

smithbs

Well, I guess Danielle Smith forgot one of the cardinal rules of the internets. They are forever.

The entire transcript of Danielle Smith’s Friday night speech can be found here.

In reading the speech that while Smith is rambling about “fun police” and even gives a direct plug to my blog (thanks Danielle), she never once mentions policies or even alludes to them.

Perhaps Danielle should read this speech herself so that she doesn’t get caught in the bullshit of her own making yet again.

I really would love to hear a candid accounting from Danielle Smith of what really went down in those last 4 months of 2014. I am sure that there is much that has never been revealed.

In light of Danielle Smith having been caught fabricating the facts about that period not once, but twice now, I hold out little faith in hearing anything come from her on that event that we can believe.

It really is too bad as there are probably some great lessons to be learned from that mess.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Baffling with B.S. on Bike Lanes

As the debate on Calgary’s ridiculous plan to place bicycle tracks throughout downtown at the expense of major and busy laneways comes to a peak, the utter pap flying from our esteemed city bureaucrats is flying hard and heavy.

Calgary already has the most expensive parking rates in Canada which is terrible for downtown businesses. People need not wonder why Calgary’s downtown lacks vibrancy among tourists and shoppers when it costs so much to simply park. The city of Calgary has purposely throttled the number of parking spaces downtown for years and we are seeing the effects of this.

The ludicrous bicycle network plan will remove yet another 260 or so parking spaces from downtown Calgary which are rather dearly needed. Businesses and senior’s centers are concerned over the loss of loading zones and parking spots in front of their establishments and rightly so.

Fear not though! Listen to our tall foreheads in the Parking Authority: “Overall, 260 parking spaces would be lost, but the parking authority
says it can create 350 new ones simply by rethinking available space
during non-peak hours.”

Just what the hell is “rethinking” available space? Do we have it or do we not? Are these spaces that are usually removed during rush hour and now would choke the rush further? Are these magic spaces that nobody can see until somebody “rethinks” them?

Really folks, is it any wonder that councillors express such frustration when city bureaucrats feed them such clear and utter BS.

Considering Calgary’s already economically depressing and embarrassingly high parking rates, why the hell hasn’t the Parking Authority already “rethought” these apparent hundreds of parking spaces that are just laying around??

There are no good stats to show any reasonable demand for this bicycle plan and it is clear that the city bureaucrats will say pretty much anything to try and pass this idiotic plan. That is of course because the plan is not pro-bicycle, it is simply anti-car. The fact that the Parking Authority will hold back parking spaces purposely despite our insanely high parking costs pretty much proves that.

This is turning into an utter mess. Let’s hope that our city council wisely tosses this inane bicycle plan into the dustbin where it belongs this Monday.

We can “rethink” and add those 350 parking spaces downtown without adding an unnecessary bicycle mess.

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

We can’t test separated cycle tracks while using “discovery math”

peewee

The best that can be gathered from the latest figures and proposals from Calgary Transportation in their almost bizarrely obsessive pursuit of a downtown cycle network is that they have utterly no clue about the numbers and figures for anything and are willing to claim just about anything. The numbers change weekly and we really can no longer trust their source.

The ridiculous and utterly unfounded 12,000 cycle trip per day bullshit was being trotted out by our bureaucrats in city hall almost at the same time they are claiming that a separated cycle track network would triple current trips downtown from 1,500 to 4,500! Pardon me? Which is it this hour? 12,000 and 1,500 are rather far apart.

The bias from Calgary Transportation in this issue is getting pretty blatant and completely out of hand. These people are supposed to at least make a token effort to get objective figures and plan based on them. Just as mockery ensued when a prominent cycle advocate (and city employee) tried to claim that over 1,000 people per day use the 7 St. cycle track, people now can only roll their eyes when they see the latest round of wild projections and prognostications from Calgary’s clearly inept transportation department.

The department is trying to both suck and blow as they highball costs for testing while lowballing figures for ongoing maintenance required to keep the lanes. While it cost over $300,000 just to remove snow from the 7th St. track alone, the city is claiming that it would only be around $500,000 per year to maintain the entire proposed network? Sorry Blanca but I smell bullshit again.

The ludicrous cycle track proposal is going to cost well over $10,000,000. That much pretty much everybody can agree on.

We need real figures, real testing and we need to face the simple reality that the city of Calgary transportation department is way too biased and inept to do this job properly.

Independent counts for traffic need to be conducted over the course of an entire year and encompassing more than just peak utilization times. Traffic impact studies need to be done that determine more than just BS ways to claim that the impact of lane removals on existing commuter times will be minimal.

The only real traffic benefits that have been seen with cycle infrastructure so far has been almost solely due to optimization of traffic signals. It has to be asked then: why the hell aren’t the traffic signals already set up to optimize traffic flow??? Fix the signals first (without the bike tracks), then get traffic flow reports, then one can consider adding a cycle track and seeing just how badly it bungs up the works.

Real counts need to be done and then real goals need to be set. What would be considered a success with the cycle tracks? A doubling of cyclists? Tripling? It would take an increase of about 5000 per day to merit the closure of a lane on Macleod Tr. as proposed. The impact on existing commuters needs to be measured and taken into account too. If we gain 400 cyclists but disrupt 5000 cars, was this worth it?

As I have posted here too, a comprehensive study found that separated bike lanes harmed businesses badly in Vancouver causing an 11% drop in sales in some cases. Losses of hundreds of parking spaces will impact businesses too. We can’t move on this based on pie-in-the-sky references to “green” bike blogs that make a poor case that cycle tracks increase business. We need real study on these things.

We need to put some of this to the test. Clearly the city of Calgary transportation department is nowhere even close to taking this sort of project on yet.

Calgary City Council needs to send the hyper-aggressive cycle-track proposal back to the drawing board.

Calgary Transportation needs some lessons in reality and in math before they can come back and try to drop such a major plan on city council again. The concept is simply way too big to start when the bureaucrats clearly have utterly no clue of the need, impacts or costs associated with the network.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

With Calgary’s cycle track proposal, numbers do indeed matter.

With the next Calgary Transportation committee meeting on the proposed (and ridiculous) cycle track network for downtown looming, people are paying more attention to the numbers in this issue and the numbers do not look good for cycle proponents.

Hard examples are building up that simply put lie to the tiresome “if you build it, they will come” theory with bicycle infrastructure. Calgary has one of the most extensive pathway networks on the continent. Still the number of cycle commuters was barely over 1%. “We must build bike lanes!” was the cry of the cycle advocates.

Bike lanes sprung up throughout the city. Numbers were batted around by the cycle proponents claiming as many as 12,000 people cycle into Calgary’s downtown daily. Search as I may, they could not be found. With multiple counts throughout the city it was confirmed that there were still only a tiny number of cycle commuters going downtown despite all the lanes. Some lanes hardly draw more than a couple cyclists per day even. Other counts can be found here and here.

Having clearly established that the 12,000 cyclist claim was utter nonsense, the cry now moved to “We must build separated bike tracks!”

Portland Oregon and Vancouver BC both tried extensive bike track networks. By the business numbers, the network in Vancouver was a failure and by the usage increases both networks were failures.

Well 7 St SW got a separated bike track and the results are as dismal as the rest of the initiatives. Just today I went down there to have a look. With good weather on a busy weekday the lanes and bike racks were empty.

The only thing missing was tumbleweed.

Now when members from Calgary Transportation stand before a committee and try to imply than more than 1000 rides per day are happening on that lane, is it any wonder that tempers get frayed and words like bullshit are used?

We would like to think that Calgary’s Transportation planners would try to be as objective as possible when using figures such as traffic statistics. What we are seeing from Calgary Transportation is gross exaggerations based on short measures that can only lead us to mistrust them even further. Are these transportation planners or advocates?

Just as we can’t measure all cycle traffic based on a measure at 2am on a -30 January day, we can’t plan based on numbers hi-balled in a short count at a peak time in August.

The numbers matter. The numbers are in $10s of millions of tax dollars when the infrastructure being impacted is considered and the numbers of cyclists appear to remain insignificant. We are talking about closing lanes on Macleod Trail and 12 Ave here. These are critical roadways for personal autos and transit alike.

If Calgary’s cycle network can only be justified through massaging the numbers and exaggerating the demand, I think it is safe to say that the network is not worthwhile.

We are not getting lost in a numbers game. It is the only game that counts in the end.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On the latest manufactured panic over water sales….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The sale of water has long been a favorite issue for the hysteric-left to try and build up some good old jingoistic patriotism and protectionism. Maude Barlow with the Council of Canadians has built herself a good personal career spreading fear that the big bad Americans are going to come up and steal our local water supply to irrigate the deserts of Arizona and California. The logistics of such water thefts (or even sales) make it utterly impossible for the water to be reasonably moved south. Barlow and others in the fear industry are well aware of those simple logistical facts but of course overlook them when raising money for their very lucrative advocacy careers. Just last weekend I was driving along the very long and very full Koocanusa reservoir and was wondering to myself just how Maude thinks the USA will haul our water over these giant reservoirs in order to get it way down south.

The gormless-left have now evolved their water pap in that they have tied the evils of water sales into a nasty multi-national corporation. It has been released (as if this was something new) that Nestlé Canada has been bottling water without paying a per-litre fee. Check out the hysteric and loaded headline below as an example:

Billion-dollar Nestlé extracting B.C.’s drinking water for free

Nestlé Waters Canada takes 265 million litres a year of fresh water from a Fraser Valley well

Oh dear. Doesn’t that sound terrible? For “free”? Millions of litres per year??? Why, Langley B.C. will surely run totally dry within days at this rate will it not?

Now, lets look at some real numbers here. Facts are to leftist pap as light is to vampires, particularly when they are on their water hysteria.

To begin with, let’s look at what is considered “free” here. Nestlé is paying taxes to all levels of government here to the tunes of many millions of dollars along with employing over 70 people and spending money to extract and treat the water. Just because there is not a clear dollar-per-litre fee does not mean that Nestlé is getting the water for “free” by any measure. That is simply hyperbolic bullshit (as usual).

But what of all of those millions of litres of water taken from the eco-system? Surely this is a catastrophe in the making is it not? Not even close.

To be blunt, 265 million litres per year is squat in the scheme of things. My modest household well just south of Calgary is capable of pumping 9 million litres of water per year at capacity and I assure you it is a small well. Why don’t they go by litres per decade or cups per millennia if we are out to make it sound like such a nasty number.

Think of things this way; the Langley facility is in the Fraser River Valley. The Fraser River moves 3,475,000 liters per second! This means the river could theoretically sustain about 400,000 water facilities of the same size as this apparently evil Nestlé water bottling facility. I assure you, we will not see that many plants springing up.

Where do all these bottles of water go anyway? While perhaps not pleasant to think of, pretty much all of that water will return to the eco-system through sweat and urine. Nestlé is not taking this water and sending it off to space where it will never be seen again. At best, this water is being rented.

Resources get used and we don’t need government to tax every bit of it. Water is used in countless plants. So is air and sunlight. Get over it. The government extracts it’s pound of flesh in a myriad of ways.

Look at the prime ingredient in many products. All of these products will go up in price if we suddenly start taxing the crap out of water use. Do you want to pay more for almost all of your food products? All of your liquor products? Shampoo? Lotions? Paints? Water is used in the creation of them all.

Water pollution is a real issue as well as some of the water used in enhanced oil extraction where it gets pumped out of the cycle. Those issues are not simplistic enough however and do not lend themselves to the bombastic headlines that sell books for Maude Barlow as she tries to paint a picture of a world where water is being stolen and where we are at risk of running dry.

Look beyond the headlines folks.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,