Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Weekly Highlights from our Conservative Overlords

Monday, February 24, 2014

Don't Listen to Anyone - Week 147 - Feb 17-24

A steady theme with this Conservative government is that they refuse to listen to anybody.  Scientists, academics, judges, bureaucrats...these are all people who just don't know what they're talking about.  An internal document prepared by Employment and Social Development Canada has pointed out that the wages and earnings of the middle class in Canada haven't gone anywhere in decades.  Of course, the Conservatives can't abide by this.  The report reflects “the period of time under the previous Liberal government” says a spokesperson for Jason Kenney.  Nothing to worry about.

Then you have reports that Gail Shea re-opened the commercial herring roe fishery despite recommendations from DFO scientists.  What do those guys know?

In a similar vein, a judge in British Columbia has refused to adhere to the Conservatives minimum sentencing rules.  But what on earth would a judge know about what's best for sentencing a criminal?

A doctor says that a young lady is really responding to her medical marijuana treatment and her mother suggests that she won't be able to continue her treatment once she is unable to grow her own when new policies kick in.  Don't they know how dangerous it is to even think about marijuana?

Good thing we won't have to worry about scientists any more.  This post suggests that we will lose 5,064 Federal Government "science" jobs in the next few years.  Don't worry though.  I'm sure the private sector will step in and start completing all this research on behalf of Canadians.  After all, if it's important, there must be a profit somewhere.  And the greatness will trickle down.

Experts have been telling Stephen Harper for years that oil shipments by rail are going to rise dramatically.  I'm not saying it's his fault that trains are blowing up across the country...but you'd think that you might have pumped some money into rail safety, no?

A study has confirmed that Oil Sands tailings are leaching into groundwater and rivers.  Don't these scientists know that there are jobs at stake?

In similar news, an energy company in northern Alberta chased a family from their ranch with toxic gas clouds.  They'll only help them financially if they sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Rex Murphy is in a bit of trouble for accepting money from Oil Sands companies while belittling Neil Young for having an opinion, and otherwise serving as an Oil Sands mouthpiece.

Land set aside as grazing areas for Arctic Reindeer has been offered up for Oil and Gas exploration.  Reindeer don't need jobs.  And they certainly don't need subsidies like all these big oil companies do.

Federal Ministers keep visiting Kitimat, but don't meet with councillors or local government.  What's going on?

I love it.  The punishment for exceeding donation laws by over 4 times?  The campaign has to refund him his own money!  So, let's see:
1) Need a quick cash infusion for the election.
2) Throw down some fat stacks from your personal account.
3) Wait 3 years for Elections Canada to figure it out.
4) Get a full refund on the money you kicked in.
Where's the downside?

The Conservatives are angry that a Liberal former general received the (managed by a third party) moving (and legal) expenses to which he was entitled.  Note that the Auditor General reported that this was a crazy program back in 2006.  The Cons didn't seem all that concerned until this week.

It's been pointed out that the "average family" used in the Conservatives sales job for income splitting are far from average.  Huge wage gains in the last few years and a household income $50,000 more than the median in Canada?  Sounds pretty average to me.  Oh.  Wait.  Maybe they're talking about "real" Canadians.  You know?  Albertans.

Another Conservative job well done.  Prisons.  Where prisoners die due to poor health care and lack of review and follow-up.  Maybe that's part of the tough-on-crime agenda?

The Oil Sands workers laid off in favour of Temporary Foreign Workers have not been hired back yet.  They hired some different ones instead.  Maybe?

It's interesting that the ruling that a Canadian ISP has to give up user data in a copyright lawsuit is being reported as a big win for entertainment companies.  While the ISP does have to give up user data, the judge is making it fairly difficult for US style copyright trolling to take place.

"Justin Trudeau kicks off Liberal convention with partisan speech" says the headline.  Really?  I would have thought a political party convention was a perfect place to cozy up to the Conservatives.

Interesting.  The government has opened up "public consultation" on prostitution laws.

Tim Hudak essentially wants to privatize all government services?  Well that sounds like a dandy idea.  What could possibly go wrong with that?

Did the ruling party in the Ukraine pay Conservative bloggers in the US to spread their message?  Maybe.

I haven't read The Signal and the Noise (or whatever Nate Silver's book is called).  But apparently he takes global warming to task.  As did the Freakanomics guys.  This is why they got it wrong...basically...your models that apply to other things don't necessarily work with climate change.

New York State is mulling a ban on microbeads in soaps and shampoos.  Which is great.  But how are we not mulling other options?  Such as suing the shit out of companies that created an environmental disaster via a ridiculous product?

Patrick Brazeau lands job at strip club.  Sounds about right.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Government Advertising

There seems to be more and more and more talk every day about the amount of money spent on advertising by the Federal Government.  There's lots of stories, but seems to be precious little data.  I thought about a freedom of information request, but lo-and-behold, it looks like all the information back to 2002 is available here.

So you don't have to go looking, I've put together a little summary sheet here:

Which, hopefully I'm not off base with my speculation here...this...this is a series of numbers that causes you to feel terrible about this country.  In the last 10-11 years, the Federal Government has spent within sneezing distance of a billion dollars telling us about things.

Let's plunge into this a bit further though.  What have they done with that money?  Let's start by taking a look at a standard Conservative year (last year) and a standard Liberal year (let's say...2003-04).  These years have roughly the same expenditures.

$14,891,026 - "Economic Action Plan".  Hey everybody, the economy isn't so bad!
$8,228,706 - We're going to responsibly mine and log and all that stuff.  Responsibly.
$7,020,497 - Encouraging us to take all of our tax deductions
$6,098,973 - Stay in school for better jobs, kids
$5,009,748 - I have to quote this one.  "promoted practical information...help Canadian consumers...easily access...health and safety...make informed purchase decisions."
$4,118,772 - Celebrating the war of 1812
$3,723,952 - Telling recent immigrants all about the fantastic services we have to offer them
$3,453,392 - Hey kids!  Join the army!
$3,488,181 - Don't forget about Rememberance Day, everybody.
$3,142,107 - Hey!  Old people!  Plan for your own retirement

$7,327,000 - Hey kids, join the army!
$6,788,000 - Stop smoking.
$7,000,000 (roughly) - Services for children and families?
$527,000 - "The University of Life" - Okay.  This sounds terrible.  At least it was cheap.

So, it looks like the Liberals were capable of spending just as much as the Conservatives on advertising.  But that's where the similarities end (for me).  There's some big differences.

1) The Liberals have far fewer large, splashy campaigns with fancy logos.
2) The Liberal campaigns seem far less self-serving.

The Liberals spend money on things like encouraging us not to smoke, telling us about e-filing for our income taxes and even how to save energy.  The Conservatives have spent just an insane amount of money on things with no tangible direct impact to the average citizen.  Economic Action Plan.  Responsible Resource Development.  Tax Cuts.  Upcoming skills programs.  All this stuff that is basically "Yay!  Look at how great we are!"  It's madness.

I encourage you to take a look yourself.  I'll breakdown some of the major stuff.

$6,705,559 - Doubling up on awesome.  Tax relief available via the Economic Action Plan
$1,326,286 - Celebrating the War of 1812.  Again.
$4,779,865 - Jobs!  Growth!
$4,778,243 - Jobs and skills again.
$4,155,337 - Oh, I remember these.  Elder abuse.
$5,561,983 - The War on Drugs
$4,610,076 - Join the Army
$5,247,758 - Home Energy Retrofit
$10,710,366 - 2011 Census (okay...I'll allow this one)

$13,324.310 - Apparently they really, really wanted people to join the army
$4,560,101 - Do some book learnin' for better jobs, folks
$2,958,505 - Elder abuse.  Again.
$6,148,853 - War on Drugs
$7,434,858 - Protect the kids
$6,067,934 - Spending money to tell you how to pay less tax.

$6,220,288 - Home Renovation Tax Credit
$8,168,048 - More on how much less tax you are paying
$16,498,667 - Canada's Economic Action Plan
$4,429,091 - War on Drugs
$11,401,978 - "Helping Canadian Workers"
$12,144,591 - We really, really want you to join the Army, kids. Nationally.
$2,440,917 - We want you to join so bad, we have separate regional ads.
$7,547,946 - Infrastructure Canada EAP - I have no idea what this is.
$6,953,968 - Aren't our parks great?
$23,533,280 - Holy shit.  H1N1 cost a tonne of money.
$1,621,286 - Hey kids.  Once you join the army and retire, join the RCMP!

There isn't a very good summary.  Let's move on to the Liberals.  See if you can spot the differences.  I'm not cherry-picking here, either.

$14,353,000 - Join the Army
$4,657,000 - Buy Canada Savings Bonds
$3,704,000 - How to save energy at home (Energuide, Energy Star, One Tonne Challenge)
$2,891,000 - E-filing your tax return

$10,535,000 - Stop smoking, keep your baby healthy, etc.
$10,018,00 - One tonne challenge
$8,534,000 - Buy Canada Savings Bonds
$6,848,000 - Join the Army
$5,342,000 - E-file your tax return

There's no totals, but these were their large campaigns for the year.
E-File your taxes
Stop Smoking
Hey, Canada has a website!
Canada Savings Bonds
Climate Change

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blame the Chinese - Week 146 - Feb 10-17

Even the Conservatives don't think buying your way into Canada via an $800,000 loan is a good idea.  But what about Real Estate values!  Here's a story on how this program has already been suspended (as Garth Turner points out) for two years.  But of course, it's going to have a now immediate impact on real estate?  (hint...it might already be broken)

When everybody hates you, use your wife to win the next election.  I'll tell you what, Steve.  You let Laureen run in the next election in your place and you have my vote.  Isn't it bad form to hijack another parties convention, though?  Of course, a newspaper is up to no good if they publish secret documents that make a government/party look bad via their own actions.

I think this is beautiful.  Parliament is supposed to be a negotiation, not a heavy-handed attempt to jam through legislation.  The NDP has used one of the only tools in its arsenal - approval of committee travel - to fight back against the Conservatives elections bill.  Well done.  Of course, anything the Conservatives don't do is "anti-democratic".

This story outlines the gigantic, Con friendly loophole in election financing the Conservatives are trying to create.  In essence, anybody that donated even 20 dollars to a campaign is allowed to be contacted "free of charge" during an election campaign.  This is a large portion of what a campaign does (20-25%).  I guess this will free up dollars for more attack ads?

Remember when Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway blamed the conductor for not setting the brakes and causing the Lac Megantic disaster?  Turns out they had a prior 10 years worth of Transport Canada brake related violations.

Matt Taibbi does it again.  Just crawl off into the woods and die because there's no point in trying anymore.  Here he outlines how investment banks have bought up commodities firms and are using them to manipulate prices and drive up costs.  Just way too complicated to explain.  Go read.

Just to drive home the point of how bad Justin Trudeau is and how he wants to give all the kids pot...Hey!  Federal anti-pot advertising money!

Of course...the budget.  Jim Flaherty isn't actually going to introduce income splitting.  And there's not much for anyone, except for a massive jump in seniors benefits.  Most of the budget is just vague promises with little detail.  Such as random cuts to "military procurement".  The Conservatives love the military so much that the Snowbirds have to miss shows due to not enough training time.

Kevin Pages suggests the Conservatives efforts to "balance the budget" and cut spending have hampered Canada's economic growth, jobs, etc.

Canada's spy watchdog doesn't think CSEC has done anything wrong in collecting Canadians data and tracking them.

 Quebec really is different, isn't it?  The CEO of Canada's Bridge Corporation (a government entity) is accused of taking $1.5 Million in kickbacks from SNC Lavalin for a bridge repair contract.  But don't worry.  The swiss bank account that he opened and that all the money was deposited in was for his sister-in-law.

I wish I could blame Jason Kenney for this, but I can't.  I guess I can blame his parents for raising dick children?  Anyhow, people are suing Jason Kenney's brother over his nightmare treatment facility.  He sounds like a real asshole.

Here, our good buddy Jason points to the fence and promises good jobs for Canadians.

Rex Murphy is an oilsands cheerleader.

What?  Hunting Polar Bears is unregulated?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Not so good at this social media thing - Week 145 - Feb 3-10

Sorry if I got a bit grumpy earlier in the week.  Times are difficult, you know?

Oh boy, Steve.  You really can't win these days, can you?  I'd expect this kind of stuff out of your buddy Rob Ford.  Anyhow, the drummer in Stephen Harper's band has been charged with sexual assault.  That guy is going to fast learn the definition of fair weather friend.

Of course everybody is still talking about the farce of an "election reform" bill.  I can't not put it in quotations.  Also not a fan?  The Chief Electoral Officer.  He's wondering why he's no longer allowed to encourage people to vote and what his remaining job is.  Why didn't he speak up when they didn't consult him about it?  He also speculates that up to 100,000 voters could be impacted by the voter ID law, most of them aboriginal.  And of course, this is another great opportunity to cap debate on a bill.  Gotta ram that shit through, no?  Maybe another candidate for a Senate hold-up?  Nobody seems to think this bill is good.  Except the Vernon Morning Star.

This one is new to me, but this site breaks down the arguments put forward in Parliament.  Brad Butt, who is a real Conservative MP and not a made up person, suggests that during his last campaign they just went around and collected discarded voter cards and then went in and voted on behalf of those people using the vouch system.  Oh.  Sorry.  "Some other campaigns" were doing that.  My apologies.

Another Conservative MP has settled his dispute with Elections Canada.  Funny how most of the disputes between MP's and Elections Canada involve Conservatives and now there's all these laws to take away authority from Elections Canada.

This is not new news, but seems to be new news now that the BC Civil Liberties is on board.  Think of just how insane this is.  The national spy apparatus, which is legally prohibited from spying on Canadians, not only spied on (relatively) law abiding Canadians, but did so at the behest of a corporation running a publicly reviled project.  It's totally insane.

Sticking with pipelines, a report about an explosion in a TransCanada pipeline was administratively buried.  Of course, that was never the intention.  I mean, it only showed that their entire inspection program was inadequate.

The new plan for Canadian military procurement is to create some kind of Canadian military-industrial complexWe can't seem to buy even a trash can properly for the military, now we're going to require it to be designed and built in Canada?

Several dozen oil patch workers were laid off and replaced by Croations.  Of course, nobody is responsible.  The government has no control over Imperial Oil.  Imperial Oil has no control over its contractors.  I'm surprised any of these people were able to make it in to work today, seeing as they're not responsible for anything.

The Conservatives have decided that they don't need tougher conflict of interest rules for themselves.  But public servants certainly do.

Another example of military boostin' Steve not really giving a shit about the actual soldiers.  Veterans are being discharged for medical reasons and don't qualify for benefits.  In other news, a story about how the government ignored PTSD in Canadian soldiers.

The Conservatives have decided to target the "political activities" of charities they deem to be terrorists.  Of course It's much easier to be deemed a terrorist when you do something the government doesn't like.  I would imagine church groups are still going to be allowed to do whatever they want politically.  And if you can't get 'em that way, subject them to Revenue Canada audits.

Another Conservative attempt to solve a problem that doesn't really exist: reigning in public sector employee sick leave.  And then of course all our problems with immigrants.  What better way to weed out the riffraff than to make it more expensive for people to become citizens?  I wonder how these new rules are going to affect ministerial personnel who pretend to be new Canadians for photo ops?

This is a sad and scary story.  Tyrone Hayes is a scientist who did research into a chemical sold as a pesticide.  He started this research at the behest of the company that sold it.  When they didn't like his findings, they set about attempting to discredit his research and ruin his reputation.  They followed him and purchased advertising based on search terms related to his name.  This needs to be a new type of crime.

Justification for ending Canada Post home delivery doesn't hold up to scrutiny.

Of course, now that a few trains have blown up, the Conservatives never would have considered this plan from the rail industry to cut inspections on trains carrying dangerous goods.

CNRL continues to have a giant bitumen leak that they can't stop.

Job creator Jamie Dimon gets a fat raise after presiding over billions in fines to JP Morgan Chase for illegal activities.  As Matt Taibbi points out, the rank and file received pay freezes after the fines were announced.

There were some jobs created in January....for now.  See if there's a major correction to the stats a la November.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Election Reform" - Week 144.5 - Feb 3-4

You know what?  Fuck these guys.  This is some real 1984 bullshit.  "Let's take something that we do all the time and people hate (cheat at elections), change the rules in our favour and trumpet it as a really great thing."  Fuck these guys.

I actually wrote this morning that the bill seemed positive, but the details needed to be understood before judgement could be passed.  Well, like 8 hours later I think we can determine that this bill sucks.

1) More money pumped into elections - The Conservatives would be able to spend all sorts of money on "fundraising" and it wouldn't count towards campaign expenses.  Bullshit.
2) Even more money pumped into elections - Not a huge deal, but the personal contribution will be raised by $300.  Corporate and Union contributions still need to be hidden as multiple donations from wealthy industrialists relatives.
3) Elections Canada can no longer advertise in order to "Get out the vote" - What the fuck?  Can you be more transparent about your intentions to suppress the vote?
4) Voter ID requirements - This is a huge deal in the US as poor people of ethnic persuasion (i.e. Democrats) tend to have less in the way of ID.  There is never, ever, ever voter fraud in Canada in the form of people voting when they shouldn't or pretending to be somebody else, so why bother?
5) Elections Canada powers are weakened - Investigations in to voter fraud are removed from Elections Canada and placed with a department that reports to the PMO.  Hmmm...Nothing sketchy about that.

And...the imbeciles talked about how they consulted with Elections Canada before making all of these decisions...only to be directly contradicted by Elections Canada.  Maybe they were talking about the Israeli Chief Electoral Officer?

This is a big bag of shit.  And it's only Tuesday.

In other terrible news.

Hey assholes!  Make up your minds!  "We didn't spy on Canadians wifi.  But if we did it wasn't an operation and we didn't use the information.  And if we did use the information, it wasn't in the way you thought we did."

Garth Turner points out that TD Bank just released a report where, under the most positive conditions, Canadian real estate is only 10% over-valued.  Worst case?  Well, maybe 20%.  Or 30%  Or 60%.  That's not a news story though.  CBC uses the best case numbers and I'm sure Global is still pumping "great time to buy" stories.

A study has linked birth defects to natural gas extraction.  I'm sure somebody in the Christy Clark government is upset that nobody mentioned all of the great jobs those babies will have when they grow up!

An awesome little article on how the Conservatives are crushing the spirit of twitter, one sanitized tweet at a time.

I love this.  In essence, "When we provide a clear cut choice for people, with one of those choices not accurately capturing what our opponent actually said, they overwhelmingly choose our view on the matter."  These guys are so out of touch on marijuana.

Corrections Canada just doesn't even bother responding to recommendations made by it's watchdog.

Haven't heard a whole lot about the F-35 lately.  This is a pretty in depth article from Vanity Fair.  What I take away from it is that you'd have to be a total imbecile to buy into the project at this point and time.

A Conservative Senator has quit the Senate.  Fed up of the doings of other Senators?  Or afraid of what's potentially coming?

Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau are going to be formally charged.  Interesting to hear the Conservatives talk about Brazeau/Duffy/Wallin.  They deny any responsibility and stick to their "former-Conservative Senator" rhetoric.  Won't these people take accountability for appointing these assholes in the first place?  Yep.

20 Years later, the notes from Chretien's first cabinet meeting outline cuts to cabinet excess, more than anything else.

Hard to read this story and not wonder how we've created such a diabolically awful set of circumstances whereby:
1) Canadians don't get jobs.
2) Foreigners get paid less (if they're lucky) for the same work.
3) Some foreigners get swindled out of their savings by companies preying on their dreams.
As if the Canadian government can't do anything about this.  As if.

Mexico.  No fan of Canada.

"Why can't they contribute their fair share?"  According to Salon, the poorest 50% of America possesses 1.1% of the countries wealth (who's the 1% now).  What's most shocking, is that the poorest Americans own less, percentage wise, than the poorest in just about any other location on the planet.  The poorest in China have 9.6%!?  How is that possible?  But make the bums pay their "fair share".  Because chipping away 20-30% of 1.1% of the wealth is going to have a huuuuuuuuge impact, no?

A commentary on Real Estate bubbles?  The 1%?  Who knows.  But some of London's most expensive Real Estate sits rotting and empty.

A Slate article on the strange practice of Conservative politicians raffling off AR-15's in the USofA.  Maybe a "Free Healthcare for life" raffle to counter this?  The scariest thing is the in depth, crazed analysis of technical gun features and semantics that these stories always dredge up.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Senate Shocker - Week 144 - Jan 27-Feb 3

The story of the week is, of course, Justin Trudeau's "Senate Shocker".  It's amazing how many people who know absolutely nothing about what this means are able to jump to some stupendous conclusions.
Liberals - This will solve all our problems with the Senate and proves that Trudeau is a political genius.
Conservatives - This is a disingenuous move that will never work.
NDP - This was our idea.
Preston Manning - Oh...who really cares what Preston Manning thinks these days?

The Harper Government has decided that Canada doesn't really need to know the truth about CSEC spying on Canadians (via airport Wifi), and crafted a rambling, information-less, wrong on many accounts, non-denial of the CBC story.

Let's talk about conflict of interest, because the Conservatives seem unaware of what this means.  Leona Aglukkaq held a fundraiser where she took money from the people that receive funding from her Ministry.  And, this one is a bit murkier...Mark Strahl's wife is an investor in her father-in-laws (or, Mark Stahl's Dad) consulting company which is engaged in lobbying on behalf of Enbridge?  Or something like that.  These people are dirty.

The Conservative Government has declined half of the Parliamentary Budget Officers requests for information.  Which is an interesting interpretation of "open and transparent".

Keystone XL moves one step closer to reality, as the US State Department gives it the environmental okay.  With temporary foreign workers hauling the oil out of the earth and foreign companies shipping it to the USA to be processed, this doesn't seem like a big win for Canada.

Not only are the Conservatives destroying libraries, they're spending money to make it happen.  Not a lot of money...but it still seems crazy to spend $22,000 to get rid of a bunch of resources.  Elizabeth May thinks the whole thing might be illegal under the Library and Archives Act of Canada.  And as we dig deeper and deeper in to this sordid mess, we find out that over 12 ministries are having their libraries cut/destroyed/culled.

How do you explain an MP proposing a simple, rationale bill to give Canadians some kind of idea as to whether or not mining companies are propping up despotic governments or supporting foreign wars...only to have it laughed out of Parliament?  Even though many mining companies are on board with the plan.  And even though similar regulations already exist in the US and many Canadians already report this under their regulations.  And even though PM Harper promised that Canada would introduce a law to this effect.

Garth Turner, whose blog you should read if you are in to investing or thinking about buying Real Estate, points out that Canada didn't create 21,000 jobs in November.  It lost 27,000 jobs.  Which is a bit of a swing.

A study has determined that income splitting will help the rich more than the poor.  I think they're going to study the effect of yacht and luxury car prices on the poor next.  Perhaps the same people behind that study are behind this one?  It's just as useless.  If you project out the last elections voting patterns, the Conservatives majority would grow.  No shit.  Of course the Conservatives created more ridings to benefit themselves.  And...who cares, because the voting landscape is totally different.

The Conservatives foreign University student dream doesn't seem all that well thought out.

Stephen Harper linked a Canadian Muslim group to Hamas and "terrorism".  Sounds like without proof.  They're kind of pissed about it.

Oil fumes around tanks in Alberta are causing families to move out of their homes.  But I'll bet they have jobs!

An Oil Lobbyist was hired to oversee the transfer of the Experimental Lakes Area?

Dean Del Mastro has decided to start criticizing the Conservatives on monetary policy.  Which is pretty interesting.

Speculation that Stephen Harper's trip to Israel could help the Conservatives in 10 tight ridings come the next election.

You'd probably think this one should be higher up...but I'm not sure what to think.  The Conservatives have started closing Veterans Services Offices, but claim they aren't cutting services.  There was reference to some offices only seeing a handful of veterans every month.  If it is true that they can actually up services by closing offices and investing the funds in other ways, then I'm okay with that.  But is that the truth?  I don't trust these guys.  And neither do veterans.  And they certainly aren't fans of Julian Fantino, who skipped out on a meeting with key veterans to discuss these plans.

This sounds like a pretty lame way to make a point, but I know protesters in the Ukraine have asked governments to do so...Canada has decided to ban certain high level Ukrainians from traveling to Canada.

More Americaland links.  First, if you've ever flown through the USofA, this story will make you hate the airport pornoscanners even more.  TSA agents gawking at your junk?  Yes.  Making fun of fat people?  Yes.  Afraid of all the "safe" radiation?  Yes.  A very interesting read.  Make sure you click through to the main article.

And then there's this guy.  Just a meth-addicted White Supremacist with a large cache of automatic weapons who likes to fire them in the Baker National Forest.  Fuck...I'm going to Whistler instead.