Monday, January 3, 2011

Dear Blog,

I'm taking a break from the news and news-related rage.

The idea that current affairs and news are hard on my happiness and well-being is not new, but I found this list 60 tips for a stunningly great life. Many of the tips touched me, particularly number 34 "Avoid the news" and I think it is worth pursuing.

While I'm gone, I will focus my energy on positive pursuits and my 5 highest priorities in life (tip #5).


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dear Steve,

I know that you are indebted to Suncor et al, but really was it necessary to destroy a report from the parliamentary standing committee on Environment and Sustainable Development? What are you hiding? Don't the Conservatives have a majority on that committee? Could it be that even members of your own party have no other conclusion than the mining of oil sands will mean disaster for the watershed?

It was all on As it Happens:


As the anti-oilsands campaign mounts in the U.S., Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach should take a page out of the federal government's book. Just take the ads placed by his opponents -- and destroy them.

For eighteen months, Ottawa's Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development has been investigating pollution caused by oilsands development. The Committee heard testimony from a number of experts -- including environmentalists, people in the oil industry, aboriginal leaders, and scientists with Environment Canada. MPs even took the time to travel to Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray to hear from witnesses.

What they learned wasn't good. But Canadians will never really get to know the full story. Because last month, the government took their final draft report -- and quietly destroyed it.

All we're left with now are the transcripts of the testimony. By law, the government is required to make them public. Andrew Nikiforuk, the author of "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent", has read the transcripts. We reached him in Calgary.

For a peak at Mr. Nikiforuk's view of the tar sands, watch him here:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dear Canada,

In an age when we are facing increasing concerns about food safety, when the family farm is disappearing, when most of the food in our grocery stores is from another country - why is no one talking about Canadian farming?

It's not glamorous, but given a renewed interest in farmer's markets and local produce, it's time to think about our food. The NDP have created an extensive report, called Food for Thought: Towards a Canadian Food Strategy.

What could be more important than food? The next Governor General? The World Cup? An octopus named Paul? Some basketball player set to earn $100million for a season of play? Increasingly the topics in the news seem insignificant and irrelevant to my daily life.

Wouldn't it be great if politicians actually did something significant and relevant, rather than all of their bullshit posturing?

(While on the subject of farming, here's our local family-run farm...Cooper's CSA. That is Community Supported Agriculture, see link for details.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I wish I had better news

I feel like Chicken Little, shrieking about the falling sky, but dudes the Empire is falling. I've said it before, sadly I need to say it again. The American Empire is ending and this lovely country is going to be sucked down with it.

Beautiful Charlotte, NC, the second largest financial centre in the USA next to New York city, headquarters of Bank of America and a little something called NASCAR, an economic leader in the American south, and now a shining example of the decline. The county has announced $81.1 million in cuts. They are closing three libraries in June with the potential to close a dozen more in July. Charlotte was in better shape financially than many areas of the US and this is what they have become. It makes me wonder what hope there is for the rest of America.

Libraries are great equalizers offering all people access to information - something that is vital for a thriving democracy. I could go on, but this article does it better. It all makes me wonder where is Bill Gates? Hey, Bill I appreciate you putting computers in so many libraries across America and the world (we won't mention that these institutions would later be required to purchase your software, which does rather make your philanthropy look a lot like self-interest). Will you step up and save these vital institutions? Do you actually care about increasing access to information?

It isn't just libraries that are being hurt by this economic crisis, some estimate as many as 300,000 teachers will be laid off across the US. No libraries, no teachers - even if America can pull itself out of this financial mire, how will they be able to compete in a global economy without an educated workforce?

Before we in Canada sit back, feeling smug that we aren't in their shoes. Dudes, we're getting there...Vancouver's school board is planning to close schools and Ontario continues to close schools.

Confused liberty with greed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dear Steve,

Are you f---ing kidding?

I've said it before, but clearly it bears repeating:
Access to contraception and abortions are cornerstones for maternal and child health. Period.
If you don't believe me ask Marie Stopes International. They will tell you that every seven minutes a woman somewhere in the world dies from an unsafe abortion. Don't call yourself pro-life because clearly you don't give a shit about the lives of women.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dear Ukraine,

Once again, I find myself praying for you. It is fascinating that at the same time as you are giving the Russians permission to retain a naval base in Crimea, the European Parliament is preparing to declare Holodomor a crime against humanity.

Reporter Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that his own fact-finding mission to the region leaves “no doubt that the Soviet regime bears the responsibility for the deaths of millions of people in Ukraine as a result of its actions and policies, and is guilty of the crime against its own people.”

Now here you sit ready to make nice with Russia and all I can do is pray for you.