2017 Tobacco Company Ad-buy For YouTube

My YouTube viewing on TV was interrupted by an ad. I uncharacteristically watched it because it seemed political. It was an astroturf ad by what looked like JTI-Macdonald Corp. in the disclaimer flashed at the end of the ad, and it had a spiky haired older guy going by “Mike” (I think), who said he quit smoking on his own (unlikely, but that’s what Tobacco companies want you to believe is possible), and plain packaging is the government interfering in personal decisions. And the result, he claimed, is that illegal tobacco trade will only increase, which is at least six year old nonsense, of course. He wanted people to visit his website to write MPs and Senators.

Laughably, their Twitter bio states:

“We don’t advertise or promote our tobacco brands.”

I thought I’d mention this, since others may see the ad where JTI are surreptitiously arguing they should have the right to promote their tobacco brands. The intention is for people to not realize it’s paid for by Big Tobacco, but shot to look like a home video by a wealthy-libertarian/concerned former smoker.

This is another ad by the same astroturf campaign:

bothsidesoftheargument[dot]ca/open-fact-based-discussion-7

Yep, JTI is going to need all the money they have, for the lawsuits against tobacco companies.

Can we stamp out the tobacco threat to our health? Can we convince Regina to catch up to other municipalities?

#JeffWeCan!

First tweet was at the end of August:

bothsides-tobacco-astroturf

In conclusion, why is Big Tobacco fighting plain packaging?

Trudeau’s Broken Reform Promise

At the Parliamentary Committee I spoke at, I told Nathan Cullen I was disappointed he wasn’t running for the NDP leadership.

Global really holds the Liberals feet to the fire in this report.

“Trudeau says consultations have made it clear that Canadians are not interested in a new electoral system.”

Here’s that video, with me and others commenting. Minister Goodale wasn’t available for comment, apparently.

Wikileaks: Manning Sentence Commuted to 7 years

I’m elated! Chelsea Manning is finally going to be released. Obama signed the commutation today.

Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organisation which published the diplomatic cables, has previously said its founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the US if Mr Obama granted clemency to Manning.

The White House said the Manning commutation was not influenced in any way by Mr Assange’s extradition offer.

Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, did not immediately comment on whether he plans to surrender.

But he did tweet: “Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”

I think if the decision Obama made was not a prisoner exchange, then Assange doesn’t have to surrender. He’s already being illegally detained by the US extradition order they funneled through Sweden. Or, if he is sentenced to a day in prison, he’d keep his promise if he serves that time. I think a day in jail is too much for the person who stood up to the US intelligence machine and exposed some of their worst crimes.

ADDED: It’s only a shame that Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond can’t also be set free from their political prisons.

For a Decade It was Harper Horror

Now, it may be Trump’s turn to make everything worse. I’m not planning on blogging about Trump very much, however. The man gets far too much attention, and that’s one of the things that brought him to power in the United States. While Harper was wrecking Canada, I couldn’t help but write about his lying, cheating, and bad governance. I think I can help writing about Trump. Today is an exception. Sorry.

Many of his supporters are fully delusional. The example below says “Only dopes use snopes,” referring to the meme/fact-checking website with an excellent reputation for explaining the root of misinformation circulating online. To attack Snopes, Stefan cites Breitbart, a racist “news” site which backs Trump.trump-supporter-delusional

What brought up this shameful incident again?

Even When It Tries To Be Good, It’s Not

The Mainstream Media, or MSM, has failed the people. Maybe because the majority is not owned by the people, but by large debt holders, billionaires, and the government. Their attempt to be “fair”, still overlook elephants in the room.

Yes, the American MSM is failing in their efforts to be fair to Trump. They rarely call his positions “lies”, or “racist”, and continue to give him excessive screen time when he’s clearly manipulating the media to manipulate the public in his favour. The only time the MSM will talk about the Green and Libertarian Party candidates, is when something goes wrong in their campaigns.

Canada’s foremost news anchor has been paid by Big Oil to speak to them in person. Why bother, when he can do so every weeknight on the taxpayer’s dime?

Fortunately, there are exceptions in Canadian media, but not it seems at the largest media creators:

Wood Mountain: Population 21

When I was ten, my family picked up an exchange student from the Regina airport. It was Winter. As the South American boy rode with me on the van bench, across an open prairie between Regina and Moose Jaw, he asked how many people lived in Wood Mountain. I replied proudly, “Forty people live in Wood Mountain.” I knew, because I could count every one by going through each home in my mind, up and down the three streets, and three avenues. “Forty thousand?” he prompted for more details. “No, forty people.”

The school closed about three years later. The second last elevator burned in 1997 due to lightning strikes. The last wooden elevator in the village was demolished in 2014. There’s still a Community Hall, a rural post office and RM/Village office, a fire hall, a church, and Department of Highways buildings, and there are 21 people who live right in the village. More than a few live on the farms and ranches nearby. It’s still a community, and it still matters. Now, it’s Population 21.

It’s not even the second time Wood Mountain has been featured in a National Film Board documentary, but it is the first with my parents.

Stranded Assets, Saskatchewan Style

A report by a little known government entity says what I have been saying about pipelines stranding assets:

Its overall conclusion, however, urges caution when it comes to long-term investments in pipelines and other oil and gas infrastructure.

Such investments “could be at high risk of becoming economically unviable as prices in renewable electricity further decline,” it warns.

I happened to also be writing the Leader Post to question why its columnist wrote that coal isn’t going away for a foreseeable 30-40 years!

Dear Editor:

In response to Bruce Johnstone’s “Carbon capture critics see the world the way it should be, not the way it is”, there are some apparent inaccuracies.

One needs only to look to SaskPower’s own predictions of the power mix in 2030 to learn that coal-fired generation as it exists today, will cease to exist in only 14 years. The Conservatives, hardly traditional climate change fighters, passed this into law. Johnstone’s prediction that it “is unlikely to decline significantly in the next 30 or 40 years.” seems out of step with what is most likely.
It’s unclear why a technology that doesn’t exist is listed as a possible silver bullet, rather than examining geothermal which the Premier and SaskPower both have said could come to our aid in short years.

Johnstone feels the $1.5 billion invested in CCS is a solution, but in his own words “defeat[s] its own purpose”, through its enhanced oil recovery. Isn’t it a bit like taking material to patch a hole in the bow of your boat, from the hull of the stern?

Johnstone cites MIT’s Herzog as believing “that renewables alone cannot help us achieve our climate change goals”, but there are other experts like Stanford’s Mark Z. Jacobson who believe they can. Regina’s Dr. Brett Dolter can explain other possibilities for Saskatchewan’s grid that leave coal and CCS in the past, while renewable energy sources build the province and economy.

“It is increasingly plausible to foresee a future in which cheap renewable electricity becomes the world’s primary power source and fossil fuels are relegated to a minority status,” concludes Policy Horizons Canada.
Yet Johnstone concludes with, “So it would be a huge mistake, not to mention a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, to give up on carbon capture now.”

This runs completely contrary to the advice from Policy Horizons Canada.
“[We] suggest that governments ensure that the risks of further investments in oil and gas infrastructure be borne by private interests rather than taxpayers,” the report reads.”

SaskPower is a public interest and bears the risk of CCS. While Cenovus, a private venture, benefits from the waste CO2 production.
Whose perspective is Johnstone arguing for?

Sincerely,
John Klein
Regina

http://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/johnstone-carbon-capture-critics-see-the-world-the-way-it-should-be-not-the-way-it-is

Alternate shorter version below, the word limit was 250, instead of 350.:
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