Toxic Spills and the Toxic Con (tsk, tsk…) Response….


James Moore fires back at ‘political jabs’ over Vancouver oil spill

Industry minister criticizes rush to blame before all facts are known

CBC News Posted: Apr 10, 2015 4:33 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 10, 2015 9:42 PM PT


As horrible as this event was, it did some good here in BC..this ugliness  made it clear to all the naysayers bleating about jobs that NOTHING is worth even the chance of a spill..not to mention the fact that we need our Coast Guard and emergency stations, we need our lighthouses manned, we need some serious emergency response services here on the Coast, and the Feds have once again proven their contempt and disinterest for any Province besides Alberta or Ontario..

If anyone  ever thought that  the saving of a few bucks to shut down so many of  our emergency services was a swell idea, that  has gone …

If anyone still believed that  this country, under the HarperCons, was capable of defending itself against a major  bitumen disaster, that concept has  floated away in an ugly oil slick..

Here in the people’s Republic of Vancouver Island, we vote  for either the Greens or the NDP, with few exceptions, so it’s preaching to the converted to say that a vote for the Cons is a vote for self-annihilation…for the rest of BC, and hopefully, the country at large, this sort of thing should be a huge  wake up call..let’s make sure that we have a conscientious voice in the Federal government next time around, and a push for the return, at the very least, of our coastal emergency services should be the minimum requirement for anyone  who wants our votes.

The Cons love to admonish us for having the  temerity to protest their stupidities, as if we were recalcitrant  children…and this  child is spoiling for a fight.

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A California Cautionary Tale…Served Dry

Drought-ravaged L.A. looking to ‘sponge up’ every bit of rainwater

New storm drains built to let rainwater ‘piddle out’ into soil, $1B emergency plan to add more

By Kim Brunhuber, CBC News Posted: Mar 20, 2015 4:39 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 20, 2015 10:20 PM ET


Having grown up in SoCal, I can attest to the fact that it was either drought or semi drought when I lived there…and that was decades ago…
LA was ‘created’ on what was essentially a desert, so no surprise here that this is going on..sometimes it didn’t rain for three years, but then the population was much smaller.
One of the things that could happen if the will was there would be to divert what is called ‘brown’ water (such as from showers or baths) to yards for a bit of irrigation..simple and would recover lots of otherwise wasted water…
Storm drains would be good, but that is a multi-billion dollar job just in LA alone..I can remember as a teen when it rained hard for a few days and every thing was flooded because there were no storm drains..the old school thinking was, it never rains in California, who needs storm drains. so urban and suburban flooding was ‘normal’..luckily for us we had a VW Beetle, which believe it or not, floated, so we could get around…

This little  Hail Mary desperation play could serve as a cautionary tale to those of us here who assume that  water will always be plentiful, especially in BC…my unsolicited advice,  probably worth no more than  you paid for it, after seeing what can happen in one lifetime, is to treat  this life-giving resource with the respect it deserves..don’t let our politicians sell it off to the  highest non – Canadian bidder, and use it ourselves with respect and economy…because you just never know….

Should we share…yes, of course, but judiciously…

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A Secular Choice…..and the Right to Choose

Niqab controversy: Judge struck down ban without referring to charter

Zunera Ishaq, a Pakistani woman and devout Muslim, seeks to wear niqab during citizenship oath

By Mark Gollom, CBC News Posted: Mar 16, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 16, 2015 5:20 AM ET

An intelligent decision by this judge, based not on the erroneous argument of Charter-guaranteed  religious freedom (wearing the niqab is not a mandatory law in any form of Islam) but because a citizen’s right to wear whatever they wish is the real point…and all those rightwingers who try and create cultural animosity towards all Muslims are probably feeling discouraged, and that is a good thing…

Whether those of us raised  in the West like it or not, a tiny minority of women who are immigrants choose to continue to wear the niqab in this based on  custom, or fear, or their honest belief that they  must do so to preserve their customs from their places of origin?

It doesn’t matter why…we can fulminate against  such practices as being  evidence of men controlling  women’s lives,  of an unhealthy forced prison of cloth whenever a woman appears in public, but we cannot (legally)  and should not dictate their choices..

That is really what  this argument is about, choices…I may choose to wear  jeans most of the time, and those who are fashion victims might turn up their noses, but none would dare to accuse me of  practicing a religious  form of oppression…

The constant  diatribe of our Con leaders is that  anyone wearing a niqab, or being a Muslim, or a Green supporter, or  absolutely anyone who doesn’t fall into lockstep with the Con agenda of  supreme state control of all our  movements, must indeed be a terrorist…and this judge  in his wisdom refused to  dignify this insanity with a  Charter reference…and did all Canadians a great service by his unspoken  acknowledgement of the fact that any choice of dress should be freely, we could and should argue that in fact  no woman should have to wear such attire,  but we must support her right to do so, whether we agree with it or not…that is the Canadian way.

Anyone who doesn’t like my jeans can piss off too….

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Can’t Tolerate Bigotry…

Time to put the brakes on our slide to intolerance: Tim Harper

A government which deals with only symptoms and refuses to look at root causes is part of the problem.

By: National Affairs, Published on Sun Mar 01 2015

(with thanks to Montreal Simon’s blog for the reference:


What has always bemused me is the fact that a ‘Christian’ like Timothy McVeigh who was an admitted terrorist and murderer, homegrown in the late great USA, was never ever called a Christian terrorist or a Christian fundamentalist, etc. nor was his religious affiliation even considered in light of his actions..
This bigotry against The Other has always been with any First Nations person in this country can attest…or any person of any colour other than lily-white, preferably male, preferably Protestant, heterosexual, etc etc…
Do we hear anything of the forced sterilization of males, or any form of birth control for men other than the 2000 year old condom or  a snip of the testicles? Nope….but abortion? A woman’s right to choose?  Seems safe for now, doesn’t it…but, just like gay marriage, our rights can be challenged on the basis of any sort of ‘moral imperative’ including that of religious belief..but don’t  whatever you do call it  fundamentalism, or intolerance..especially when  it flows from an avowed Christian source… 

During WW2, in the US,   which was the nationality that was put in concentration camps, had their belongings stolen, etc.  but let us never forget that the Japanese, and to a much lesser extent, the Italians and Germans….the Other, no matter that the President considered the Great Progressive, my  90 year old mother’s  hero,  FDR, was in office….
Harper is grasping at the same old straws, with much less reason to do so..and yes, it is gonna bite him in the bum…
In Britain, when the rightwing yahoos in “Pegida’ decided to stage an anti-Muslim march, around 300 showed up for their side..several thousand showed up to march against that principle..think that would happen here? I dare to hope so, but doubt it…and I’m an avowed pagan who really doesn’t have  time for organized religion..but my tolerance is supposedly guaranteed in this  one-time democracy we live in…
We are in the infancy of anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigotry, and, like every other anti-religious movement in the West, any excuse to scapegoat will be utilized to benefit whoever is pointing the finger, or, in the case of Harper, if his lips are moving, ya just know he’s lying…

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Wheat a Minute – Sez Who?

Wheat Belly arguments are based on shaky science, critics say

Scientists dispute claims in best-selling book, fifth estate finds

CBC News Posted: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 27, 2015 11:00 AM ET


You may refer to it as ‘shaky’ science, but those of us who have noticed a big difference in our health and our waistlines would tend to has to wonder who financed these ‘critics’ and if the wheat lobby or those who make massive profits on such junk food as ‘cold’ cereal and white bread are prepared to out themselves…full disclosure on the part of the ‘critics’ might raise some eyebrows..
Science is always disputed and called ‘junk’ when it posits an unpopular or anti-corporate Big Food message…whatever, I will continue to avoid  most grains and starches, continue to feel much better, continue to watch the weight drop off, and you can go and argue about it in the corner…

The discussion about whether or not grains are the same  structurally today as those in the past doesn’t have much to do with the facts in my particular case..and yes, it is a variation on low carb eating, which I have found throughout my life to be the one thing that works for me – again, not a diet but a way of  eating that won’t change much, and there actually is an infinite variety of things to eat  with out feeling  too oppressed…

If someone somewhere wasn’t losing money,  and big money at that, because of a minor shift in thinking on the part of those of us who  have weight/health  issues, you can bet this  decision to eliminate  grains and starches as much as possible from our  diets wouldn’t even be acknowledged…

Now, is the  massive and suspicious rise in the price of  meat connected?  We might wonder…..

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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished Dept.- BC region….

Privatized playground at North Vancouver’s Cousteau International French School angers parent

Cousteau International French School has leased the grounds of former Fromme elementary school

CBC News Posted: Feb 24, 2015 7:37 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015 8:23 AM PT

When we read comments  bemoaning the fact that people just aren’t as ready to volunteer, to help with charitable causes, when those interminable pleas for money  infect our public broadcasting choices, we often despair of the public perception of selflessness, even as we resent the intrusion of such dunning in our lives.

This particular  story may seem trivial, but it illustrates why  some who at one time joined together to create something lasting , not only for their children but the ones to come, might feel that their efforts were  useless.  When old schools are  sold off to the private sector, it’s more than buildings and land, and this  example  is enough to make any parent reluctant to  participate in  their children’s public schooling, either within the system or in this case putting money and effort into a  play area that  privatization has rendered  legally impassable.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Reading through some of the comments accompanying this  ‘article’  is instructive..between the  government’s supporters who  feel that  once sold, it’s private, full stop, and those who point out that even private schools exist on public money, the argument gets down to the real issue, that of taxpayers funding  of private schools..

It’s depressing enough that parents have to band together to pay for  and work for a decent, safe place  for their children to play and exercise..there’s never enough money for  actual education costs, never mind  recreation areas that  are something beyond dirt and rocks, so  why should BC taxpayers be contributing to  private schools  where they aren’t even allowed to  use the playground facilities, never mind have the  income to afford this subsidized education? Adding insult to injury , this particular school is now the possessor  of the facilities created when the school was still public, and  the parental  outrage falls on deaf ears….

The next time  parents can’t be bothered to go to parent/teacher meetings, or refuse to  volunteer to help with whatever shortfall  is loaded onto their shoulders by an uncaring provincial government that they probably voted for (if they bothered to vote at all) I hope they remember this little incident and start questioning their choices.

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Idle Worship….

Stephen Harper and the Beautiful Flag He Hates So Much


As an ex-Yank who always found it profoundly disturbing that rampant, ignorant, my way or the highway stupid patriotism started with ridiculous flag-worship in the States, have to say that spending any kind of big money on the anniversary of a flag seems dumb in the extreme…It’s great to acknowledge it, and fun to read about the people involved, but I hate to see Canadians who are mostly rational and intelligently fervent about their love of country get all worked up about such trivia as how much Harpo spent on celebrating a flag…
Beware…this is the sort of blindness that Harpo would love to encourage, even if it is at his expense..
The saying south of the 49th, when I was a kid, was “America, love it or leave it” and we always retorted, “Change it or lose it” but as we all know, that never happened..we have to make sure that Canada stays progressive and free of the sort of rightwing symbol worship that infects the US and leads to the  “Kill ’em all, let God decide…” sort of rationale  …
There was a time when Americans used to wear a Canadian flag when they traveled to Europe to prevent themselves from being targeted as Yanks…I hear that doesn’t work so well these days, after more than a decade of the HarperCons….

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