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Showing posts from 2015

Five Tribes of the Global Consumer World.

Heritage, religion. class and nationality are no longer the things that describe who I am, nor do I believe it adequately describes the people I meet, or the people represented as types in the news media.
Political labels such as Conservative and Liberal do not really describe political parties that have learned to adapt in order to gain the most votes. Labels are superficial and often serve only to promote propaganda.
Perhaps we are more stereotypical in our group associations than we would like to believe, and the intelligence required to fly airplanes, perform medical surgeries, teach physics or any other achievement, just crumbles away when we choose leaders. Or the system fails to bring us what we think we voted for.

I propose that we might have five world views which could be seen as tribal persuasions: The Fronters, Freshskins, Strategists, Greeds and Transcendents.
The Fronters These are the people who have never known protection or security. They feel they are continually be…

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and delegates to the UN climate conference

It’s time for Canada to become a global climate action leader. 
With policy-makers representing all levels of government coming together in Paris for the United Nations climate conference, Canada has an unprecedented opportunity to emerge as a front-runner on the road to developing a stronger, cleaner global economy. 
To seize this opportunity, leaders like you must work together in the best interests of all Canadians. The policies and technologies needed to solve the climate crisis already exist and are being used across the country. 
I urge you to advocate for these five outcomes from Canada in Paris: 
1. A responsible plan with clear, ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions. 2. A national price on carbon emissions to accelerate solutions.  3. Investment in green and low-carbon infrastructure like transit and renewable energy.  4. Strong efficiency standards for vehicles and buildings.  5. A fair commitment to support developing nations in pursuing sustainable economies. 
As our leaders, y…

Will we ever learn? Isis and the West

Ceasefire has posted a quote from Paul Rogers:

Paul Rogers, writing for, provides a clear analysis of the evolution of ISIS and the western worlds’ failure to find a way out of the trap cast by ISIS (“ISIS’s plan, and the west’s trap”,, 27 November, 2015). Tactics employed by ISIS have continued to change but the West has failed to adapt, thus giving more power to these Islamic extremists. - See more here.

How to Fight Terrorism

1. Know the purpose of terrorism.
To create fear and confusion in the hearts and minds of people everywhere, to alienate them from their own humanity and their community so they can be manipulated to work for the wealth and power of a few. Xenophobia, blaming Muslims, race-baiting and hate is not the way to fight terrorism. In fact it is precisely what will keep us from an understanding of who we are. Xenophobia is really an inverted projection of ourselves - we project onto the other what we don't want to see in ourselves. Security and policing agencies are charged with the mandate to deal with the symptoms of terrorism - they cannot cure it or get rid of it.

2. Know who the terrorists are.  
Terrorists are not just those who wear suicide belts, who plant bombs and who bring machine guns into public places. Ask who funds terrorist organizations? Who supports their ideologies with propaganda? Who inflames hatred and suspicion with words, images, policies, entertainments and games? …

Reflections on the future and elections

One election won't fix the looming crisis. What we need to do is see how the worship of power has got us to this point where people are actually willing to vote for governments that erode our hard earned human rights and democratic sensibilities.

We are organized by centralized power (herein referred to as CP) who have the means to buy media and government and then spin or omit the facts as they please, to their advantage. The strategy used is divide and conquer - set up false enemies or sensationalize distant threats.  Because we feel powerless we love to look for those who have less power - minorities, women, Asians, Africans, gay, lesbian, transgender, those with obvious disabilities and the poor.  These are the pool of punishables, so that whenever the government or big business is pulled up on bad choices and destructive outcomes - they can pull out, quick as a gun, an issue that blames one or two women who want to wear a niqab at a citizenship ceremony.

The CP keep giving u…

The Leap Manifesto

This post is uploaded from The Leap Manifesto - put together by a group of Canadians including David Suzuki and Naomi Klein, to address the looming crisis of environmental and social breakdown.

Sign the Leap Manifesto:

"The leap must begin by respecting the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land, starting by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The latest research shows we could get 100% of our electricity from renewable resources within two decades; by 2050 we could have a 100% clean economy. We demand that this shift begin now.

No new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.The time for energy democracy has come: wherever possible, communities should collectively control new clean energy systems.

Indigenous Peoples and other…

It is incumbent upon us to care about the world because we can

Sheila Haniszewska - on UN resolution condemning "glorification of Nazism"

In November 2014, the Harper Conservative government, along with the USA and Ukraine, voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned the “glorification of Nazism”. This resolution also called for the condemnation of “other practices that contribute to fueling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.” It also asked member nations to take legislative measures in order to stop Holocaust denial.
115 countries supported the resolution, 55 abstained. We were one of the three countries who did not support this.
Why isn't this more widely known? This is scandalous. What does this unwillingness to condemn Nazism say about the Harper government? What does it say about Canada? Does this represent our values? Do people need to be reminded what Nazism is? Why did Canada vote this way? 
I think this issue needs to be raised as soon as possible with our current government.

We have the Anti- Terrorism Act, just passed this spring, and…

The Leap Manifesto

"We could live in a country powered entirely by truly just renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy’s fastest growing sectors. Many more people could have higher wage jobs with fewer work hours, leaving us ample time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities.

We know that the time for this great transition is short. Climate scientists have told us that this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming. That means small steps will no longer get us where we need to go." The Leap Manifesto

Sign The Leap Manifesto

Requiem for a Nation (reposted)

This post was first published in May 2011 just after the Federal Election. I re-blog to revisit my thoughts during that time, as the 2015 elections approach and the stakes seem much higher. The world has become even more barbaric and suffering globally and nationally more evident. 

In spite of all the efforts of good people to inform the public, 40 % of voters chose the party that promised to deplete  the programs that make us rich with a quality of life such as good education, health care, social services to help those at risk, programs that promote civic engagement.  

Over the last thirty years we have seen how the natural wealth and beauty of this country have been eroded in the name of the "economy", and we have watched our leaders become vague on policy in exchange for populist slogans. The air waves are filled with entertainments where discourse used to be. And we have seen how nations have scuttled out of environmental stewardship.

Politics has become another new pr…


Syrian Refugee Crisis

To: Stephen Harper, Thomas Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Elizabeth May and Gilles Duceppe:

I am calling on you to set politics and campaigning aside to urgently address the mounting Syrian refugee crisis. Immediate, concrete and generous steps must be made to significantly increase Canada’s contribution both to resettling refugees and international efforts to resolve the conflict and human rights crisis in Syria. 

I am urgently calling on the government to: 

•Announce a program to immediately resettle a minimum of 10,000 Syrians through government sponsorship and provide support for generous levels of private sponsorship of Syrian refugees.

•Lift obstacles to speedy family reunification and allow refugee cases to be processed within Canada.

•Launch an immediate review of Aylan Kurdi’s uncle’s case to identify any obstacles that stood in the way of approval of his family’s application for resettlement to Canada.

•Intensify Canada’s efforts to ensure more effective international action to resolve …

Is CBC doing the work that our government doesn't want to do?


Early Voting in the Canadian Federal Election

For those who are away on Election Day October 19th, here, courtesy of Jennifer Davidson, is some information on when and how we can all cast our ballots.

1. The easiest way if you are not leaving until after Thanksgiving is to vote in the
advanced poll on October 9, 10, 11 or 12. Location TBA – should be in paper or use contact t information for Elections Canada below.

2. If you are leaving before Thanksgiving, you can vote by mail-in special ballot as follows:

Ballots can be picked up at Elections Canada office at the old Dufferin Crescent Elementary school at 1111 Dufferin Crescent. Apparently it is a bit of a process to register, so leave yourself lots of time. Ask for the Special Ballot CoordinatorYou can fill out and return your ballot at the office or take it away and mail in later Registration must take place before October 13Ballots mailed in must arrive at Elections Canada in Ottawa before 6 pm on Election Day.Elections Canada office is open as follows:August: 10-5, Mon-Fri, bu…

Signs of Creeping Fascism

Fascism is  "agovernmentalsystemledbyadictatorhavingcompletepower,forciblysuppressingoppositionandcriticism,regimentingallindustry,commerce,etc.,andemphasizinganaggressivenationalismandoften racism" says

There are always interests that seek fascist power wherever there are profitable resources. Fascism begins with a greed for power and creeps through organic systems so that it appears as a grass roots movement.  We may not suddenly slip into a fascist state or even choose it, but it does find its way slowly and we are better off if we can recognize some of the signs. Below are signs that seem to me to indicate its invasion.

When people vote for a party that has made it clear they have no value for civil society’s democratic institutions then you know that fascism has found roots in your neighbourhood.

When their leader says that people don’t care about their government being found in contempt of parliament then are rewarded with a majority, you know that f…

The Devil and The Harper - Bob Bossin

Published on Aug 22, 2015 The Devil and The Harper by Bob Bossin, video by Paul Grignon. Funny how traditional songs retain their relevance. Feel free to distribute. Vote smart. Stop Harper!

More recommended reading for the wise

Harper, Serial Abuser of Power: The Evidence CompiledThe Tyee's full, updated list of 70 Harper government assaults on democracy and the law. By David Beers and Tyee Staff and Contributors, Today,

PMO Tied to Senate Hush Money ScandalHarper Found in Contempt of ParliamentAgainst Court Order, Refusal to Share Budget InfoConservative Cabinet Staffers Granted Immunity from TestimonyConservatives Falsify Reports and DocumentsRepeated Duplicity in Afghan Detainees ControversyRepeated Duplicity on Costing of F-35 Fighter JetsHarper Minister Lies, Blames Statistics Canada for Killing Long Form CensusConservative MP Admits He Lied to ParliamentConservative House Leader Admits to Mockery of Question PeriodHarper Maligns the Supreme Court Chief JusticeConservatives Engage in Abuse of Process with Omnibus BillsAuditor General Sheila Fraser said that "Parliament has become so undermined that it is almost unable to do the job that people expect of it."Harperites Deliberately…

What to Read before the MacLean's Debate today!

Here is a list for those who have time to watch and to prepare for the MacLean's debate today. This is the first one since the writ was delivered and includes four leaders: Tom Mulcair, Justin Trudeau, Elizabeth May, and our PM Stephen Harper.

Rabble has a list of questions to consider that ought to make up a debate and you can also watch it here.

The Eight Principles of Uncivilisation - Dark Mountain Project

‘We must unhumanise our views a little, and become confident As the rock and ocean that we were made from.’
We live in a time of social, economic and ecological unravelling. All around us are signs that our whole way of living is already passing into history. We will face this reality honestly and learn how to live with it.We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times can be reduced to a set of ‘problems’ in need of technological or political ‘solutions’.We believe that the roots of these crises lie in the stories we have been telling ourselves. We intend to challenge the stories which underpin our civilisation: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality, and the myth of our separation from ‘nature’. These myths are more dangerous for the fact that we have forgotten they are myths.We will reassert the role of storytelling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.Humans are not the point and purpose of the planet. Ou…

Mindfulness - take care of yourself, take care of your country

Sure there will be a lot of noise over the air waves from now until October 19th but I believe we must not lose sight of the power from within to choose what is in our best interests in the long term.

In Thich Nhat Hanh's book The Art of Power he lays out five spiritual powers - this is the power from within, a discipline to defend our selves from an unconscious manipulation from other powers.

They are:
The Power of FaithThe Power of DiligenceThe Power of MindfulnessThe Power of ConcentrationThe Power of Insight I have Faith I am a being of integrity and that I have a right to be here. I don't have to be right all the time, or good all the time - I have the capacity to think about and learn from my mistakes and to observe the integrity of others.

Hanh says there are four aspects of Diligence: first - when negative emotions haven't manifested in your mind, you don't give them a chance to manifest; second - is calming and replacing negative seeds (anger, hate, fear, desp…

Preparing for an uncertain future: A Response

Janet, your essay provokes thought and moves towards defining the kind of action which this future seems to require. Nonetheless, when you say that we must become the piece in the puzzle to support and sustain what is life revering, I am not sure that all that is required is to offer alternative views in a respectful manner. That is one kind of action, yes, and an important one, especially in the face of the kind of power and privilege that does everything it can to shout down other voices. And I, as well as you, should and will continue to take that kind of action wherever and whenever we can.
However, I think there is another kind of action that is equally important, if not more so, now. I would like us all to think about and do this kind of action – the kind of action that acts out our values, not just talks about them. For some of us, for example, that might be civil disobedience of the kind where we sit down in front of the bulldozers clearing the way for oil pipelines. For others…

Harper's Economic Performance Graph

What more need be said

Preparing for an uncertain future

I see a few posts on Facebook that indicate people see our future as being decided by the Harper government. I use that term because the Conservative party and Canada's democracy have been destroyed by this PM who proudly bragged we would not recognize Canada when he finished with it.

We were warned by so many quotes that he would turn us into a Republican branch plant - a petro state that Chris Hedges describes as intentionally destructive:
Extraction industries, like wars, empower a predominantly male, predatory population that is engaged in horrific destruction and violence. Wars and extraction industries are designed to extinguish all systems that give life—familial, social, cultural, economic, political and environmental. And they require the obliteration of community and the common good.Jennifer Hinton describes the Greek Crisis as being the result of a parasite which "… comes from the surplus of the system (profit) being taken out of the real economy (the economy of ph…

The Link Between Climate Change and ISIS

“One of the things that preceded the failure of the nation-state of Syria and the rise of ISIS was the effect of climate change and the mega-drought that affected that region, wiped out farmers, drove people to cities, created a humanitarian crisis that created the symptoms — or rather, the conditions — of extreme poverty that has led now to the rise of ISIL and this extreme violence.”

Martin O'Malley, Democratic Candidate. Think Progress

Remembering Tommy Douglas

“Once more let me remind you what fascism is. It need not wear a brown shirt or a green shirt – it may even wear a dress shirt. Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege.” Tommy Douglas

We the Citizens of Canada - hear this

But if we, the citizens of Canada, win the next election, then there can be big, gloriously positive changes in the way this country runs – which will lead to an outpouring of optimism, a flowering of creativity, an expansion of community-centred energy and a hell of a lot of real fun.Warren Bell, Vancouver Observer

From Peggy Mason of the Rideau Institute on Non-Nuclear Proliferation

"I am writing this blog post not only as RI President, but as a former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the United Nations.   I had much direct experience of negotiations with Iran, in the context of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review process and in many other arms control negotiations at the UN.  Of course that was at a time when Canada’s foreign policy was not based on much sound and fury and little substance but, instead, on a steadfast commitment to, and demonstrated talent for, diplomacy as the means to achieve the peaceful resolution of disputes, as the UN Charter obliges member states to do." - See more at: Ceasefire.

A Small Needful Fact by Ross Gay

reposted with permission from Split This Rock Poem of the Week.

A Small Needful Fact

Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.
Ross Gay is a gardener and teacher living in Bloomington, Indiana. He is the author of the collections Against Which, Bringing the Shovel Down, and most recently The Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (Pitt Poetry Series, 2015). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Harvard Review, Columbia: A Journal of Poetry and Art, and Margie: The American Journal of Poetry, among other places.

About Split This Rock:


"… comes from the surplus of the system (profit) being taken out of the real economy (the economy of physical goods and services) and put into the financial sector to generate more wealth for people who are already wealthy. This requires the economy to continually grow to compensate for the extraction of profit, which is essentially the extraction of the economy’s surplus."

Jennifer Hinton on the Greek Crisis, Truthdig

Fire Safety and Preparedness

There is an abundance of advice in British Columbia regarding potential fire hazards and preparedness.

Updates on fire hazard conditions can be found at  Gabriola Fire Dept. 

Air Quality Advisories will give you updates here at  BC Air Quality

Emergency Social Service for Gabriola has a web site here ESS

For BC current alerts and evacuation information can be found at Emergency Info BC

Here is a list of things you might pack ready for an emergency from the Regional District of Nanaimo:

Battery flashlight/radio - the crank variety are very usefulPersonal medication for up to 72 hours - one week is best. Ask your pharmacist about bubble packingbasic first aid kitpersonal items (glasses, contact products etc)book/game - to keep kids busyfamily photospersonal papers (photocopies of insurance papers, health info, ID)walking shoeschange of clothingbottled waternon perishable foodlight weight emergency blanketslarge garbage bags to use as a rain poncho, waterproof shelter, to keep pack dry or to c…

Juan Cole: Seven Churches Burned Down in the Last Week

"This news is being reported tentatively and in the passive mood. The churches burned or were burned. But that arson directed at an African-American church in the South after the Roof murders is likely the work of white supremacists is only hinted at. The ambiguity of thunderstorms is typically brought in, quoting local authorities. But there are lots of thunderstorms all the time in the South and churches have lightning rods. Why would a church that had stood for decades suddenly succumb to a single storm?Shouldn’t the headline be “Suspected White supremacists burn down at least four African-American churches” ? Shouldn’t there be an agent, a doer, involved? Compare how the press handled Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) attacks on Christians and churches. It was front page news! And the active voice was used, even though these events happened thousands of miles away amidst a fog of war and there were no Western eyewitnesses."   Juan Cole, Truthdig 
With each century we have beco…

The End of Wisdom? Not yet.

A young white man went into a church in Charlston last week, sat in a prayer meeting then shot the pastor and eight other people because he wanted to start a civil war. How will he benefit from his hate now he is in custody? Of course he won't benefit - he is just another little puppet filled with propaganda, some drugs and sent out to kill.

We could say the white supremacists who filled his damaged mind with hate are to blame. Or the NRA whose members may be sufficiently ignorant to spout beliefs like one of their Board Members who blamed Clemente Pinckney, the murdered pastor, for the deaths of his eight congregants because he didn't carry a gun. Because he voted against a law allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without permits?

A childhood friend saw the murderer the morning before the shooting and confessed the pair had never discussed race growing up, but recently heard him spout such racist beliefs as blacks taking over the world. It's an old trope but yo…