Sunday, August 30, 2009

37 Year Old Richmond Man And An Asian Woman

I'm sure I'm not the only one to take issue with the title of my post. CTV local (Vancouver) News tonight reported a double homicide in Richmond (at a McDonalds Restaurant of all places). The report (more than likely edited by CTV "editors") stated that the victims were "a 37 year-old Richmond man, and an Asian woman".

Just wtf are CTV News trying to say??? Are they drawing a race distinction between the victims? Is the "Asian woman's" race of any importance to this story what-so-fucking-ever???

It's bullshit like this that tells us - very vividly - that racism is alive and well in Canada. More troubling, however, is (some) of our media's blatant participation in this.

Note to private media: Try describing people in less racially biased terms. A gang is a gang. I don't care if they're East Indian, or Chinese, or Jamaican... (considering most gangs are "white", and Canada's biggest and most established "gangs" are "white" - yet the gangs are only described by race if they're "off-white").

Used to be that only perps and suspects were described by race (wrong too). Now, it seems to be everyone on the news. WTF is the need to highlight a victim's race?

The problems of an amateurish, ill-trained, non-professional media continue to impact us all. CTV seems to continue to be at the pinnacle of "amateur". Throw in the "corporate agenda", and we can quickly see why racism seems to play into tabloid "so-called" news reporting.

"In Richmond last night, a 37 year-old male, and a second diner were stabbed to death..."

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Monday, August 24, 2009

On EI Reform

Ralph Goodale discusses EI Reform, and why it is important for all Canadians...


All through the recession, the Liberal Opposition has been pushing the Harper government to fix the rules on who’s eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.

The existing rules make EI harder to get in some parts of the country. To qualify in Regina, for example, you have to work almost twice as long as someone in Windsor, Ontario. There are 58 different thresholds across Canada.

These rules were devised more than 10 years ago, when the country was at the beginning of the biggest economic boom since World War Two. Today’s circumstances are quite different.

Close to 500,000 jobs have evaporated since last October. Some experts predict the economy may stop shrinking sometime in the next six months. But recovery will be slow, and job losses will get worse through this year and next. The unemployment rate in 2010 is expected to hover near 10% (up from 8.6% today).

Even here in buoyant Saskatchewan, recent indicators signal some troubled waters ahead. We lost 5,000 jobs last month and our unemployment rate went up.

Whether you’re a recession victim in Regina or Windsor or elsewhere, you’re equally jobless. So Liberals call for one national EI eligibility rule that’s fair to all unemployed Canadians, regardless of location.

The provincial Premiers agree there’s a big problem of EI unfairness. But all through the spring, Mr. Harper claimed everything was just fine. He even threatened to run an election on keeping EI just as it is.

Then, at the last minute in June, he finally admitted he was wrong, and agreed to examine EI eligibility alternatives.

It’s not only a question of fairness. It’s also about effectiveness.

Putting more purchasing power in the hands of jobless Canadians would do more to stimulate the economy than anything else this government has proposed to combat the recession.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dukakis With Lipstick?

Someone giggled when they saw this and told us it reminded them of the lipstick on a pig analogy... This person was completely non-political...

Love the shirt Steve - matches your lipstick/gloss...

Can you say D-U-K-A-K-I-S???

Gotta love chickenhawks... Always the first to jump up and down: "ra ra, let's go to war!". Always the first to get an exemption from actually serving...

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More Conservative Efforts To Restructure (Americanize) The CBC...

Interesting email from the Friends of the CBC today...

A small circle of senior managers at the CBC has quietly developed a plan to move the public broadcaster's flagship news program The National from 10 pm to 11 pm on weeknights.

After FRIENDS' blew the whistle on this ill advised scheme, CBC management denied the existence of the plan. A staff person who works for President Hubert Lacroix has written to some concerned viewers again denying any planned move of The National.

We are very pleased to receive this denial and have posted it on our website.

But we continue to be concerned...

While we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of this note, because President Lacroix might well not be aware of the early stages of the planning process, I can assure you that our information is solid.

We must remain vigilant on this matter because of our repeated recent experience with senior CBC officials contradicting themselves on key matters such as placing ads on CBC Radio and changes to Radio 2.

Here's how you can help:

Please take a moment to sign a petition to the CBC's Board of Directors.

We will present the signatures to the Board prior to their next meeting.

Moving The National to 11 pm would marginalize the public broadcaster's flagship news program - 35% fewer people are available to watch TV at 11 pm, so its audience would decline. Also, placing The National in the same time slot as CTV News would reduce television news choices and diversity of programming.

All of this is a recipe to diminish Canada's most important news program.

That may please Stephen Harper - and other powerful people who don't like CBC's coverage, but for viewers such as you and me, this secret plan - if implemented - would become another in a long string of bad decisions that have alienated CBC's loyal listeners and viewers.

Please sign the petition right now and then forward it to your friends.

We'll post the number of signers here so you can track our progress.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Morrison

Ian Morrison
FRIENDS of Canadian Broadcasting

P.S. Please also ask your friends to sign this petition. It will only take a few seconds and your effort could make all the difference.

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Sick Of US Healthcare LIES, and Conservative Canada-Bashing?

You're not the only one...

Join the rally to defend Canada's national healthcare system. We all know the Conservative "Government of Canada" sure won't...

As we all know, we're deluged by US programming/propaganda on our TV screens. Most "average" Canucks will see the US stories on networks like Fox, CNN, and CNBC, and believe the right-wing Conservative "shite" that's being spread on the airwaves. It's a fact... It's happened for many years (the US networks' insideous move into Canada is another battle altogether). We have ignorant Canadians (you know the ones) who actually believe we have aConstitutional "right" to bear arms!??? Fox News is the most requested programming in Western Canada according to Cable Company sources.

Won't be long before the US media and "pundits" do to Canada what years of Conservative (and private corporate lobby) efforts could not do - dismantle our own healthcare system... one of the World's best (and certainly much better than the US system - according the WHO).

Here's the AVAAZ story/email, and links:

Dear friends,

Please activate images! American corporations are spreading lies about Canadian health care to kill Obama's health plan -- and with it his whole movement for change. Sign the message to Americans about how much we value our public health care. Our system isn't perfect, but it's far better than America's! Let's set the record straight!

Sign The Petition!

Obama's movement for change in the US is collapsing -- in large part because of lies about the Canadian healthcare system!

It's incredible, but Obama's health plan, and with it his entire Presidency, could be derailed because big corporations and the radical right manage to convince Americans that our health system is a nightmare similar to "Soviet Russia".

We need a huge popular outcry to show the truth -- how proud and grateful we are to have public healthcare in Canada, even despite its drawbacks. Sign on to the message to America -- if enough of us sign and tell friends, we'll be a story in US media and help change the debate:

US healthcare is far more costly and lower quality than almost any other system in the developed world. But reform threatens Obama's majority in the US Congress as happened in 1994 when Bill Clinton attempt to extend health care. If this occurs, progress on every global issue is endangered, from climate change to the war in Iraq.

Obama's health care bill will be championed or buried this month so we have no time to lose. Together we can help turn the debate away from the fear tactics by giving American politicians and the public the truth about government health care in our country.

August is the most critical time in the debate as insurance companies and interest groups begin their lobbying in earnest before the September sitting of Congress. Defend our national health care system and support Obama's reform plan by signing the 'we support universal health care' petition below:

Obama's plan for universal health care is at risk because the powerful medical insurance lobby and right-wing propaganda machine is undermining critical political support in Congress. Our chance is to show that, despite its drawbacks, our national health care system works and should not be used as the bogeyman in the US debate.

The truth is, government funded health care is vastly cheaper, more efficient, and more effective than turning health care over to large corporations whose only bottom line is profit. The US spends twice as much on health as any other country and ranks 37th in the world in health quality. While 40 million Americans don't have health care, health companies make giant profits. Yet in the US, citizens only hear corporate propaganda that our health care in Canada is a disaster. Say it ain't so below:

Certainly, our health care in Canada is not as good it could be -- but it's a damn sight better than in the US. Let's stand up to the lies about our health care, and let the American population and their politicians know the truth about why health care reform is so important.

With hope,

Brett, Ricken, Ben, Alice, Graziela, Paula, Benjamin, Paul, Pascal and the whole Avaaz team.


Myths about the proposed health care reforms

How health care works in Canada

Extreme tactics of the conservative right

Canada's health care system under attack,0

Paul Krugman on health care

The extent of the health care lobby

Health insurers stocks rise as health care plans fade

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Goodale Comments On Youth And Conservative Recession

Another great Ralph Goodale commentary...


Canada cannot allow the recession to rob young people of their futures.

Job figures this summer are alarming. They show that younger people are bearing the biggest brunt of the recession right now, and that burden may be long-lasting.

According to Statistics Canada, it’s presumptuous for the Harper government to be proclaiming “the recession is over”. Another 45,000 jobs disappeared in July (including 5,000 in Saskatchewan), bringing total losses since last October to just under half-a-million.

The number of people falling back on self-employment has jumped by 75,000. The number who’ve simply given-up and dropped out of the job market altogether has gone up by 50,000. Losses in the construction industry, totaling 120,000, show the government’s “infrastructure stimulus” is falling way short.

But perhaps most troubling, more than 205,000 of all the jobs lost – close to half – are among young Canadians under 24 years of age. This means they’re not only having a tough summer, but their ability to finance their education in the fall is also being compromised.

This is a double whammy – because one key component of Canada’s recovery from recession will have to be more emphasis (not less) on the knowledge-based economy of the future.

We will not maintain our prosperity by simply trying to re-create the past.

Canada’s post-recession future will be different from what we’ve been used. More than ever, we’ll have to learn how to win in a highly competitive, skills-intensive, global economy. That means increasing our brainpower, and that will require higher levels of education for everybody.

Anything that bars young people from higher learning and more advanced skills is a big threat.

Governments need to ensure that no young Canadian is prevented from pursuing his/her legitimate educational plans this fall just because they couldn’t get a decent summer job.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Vancouver Pride Weekend: Welcome!

(Photo of Victoria Pride Parade - but the banner was too good to skip over)

Welcome to all our out-of-town friends!

Happy Pride Weekend!  Look for Hedy and the gang in the Pride Parade Sunday...

While in Vancouver, be sure to check out Hamburger Mary's (on Davie) for the best chocolate-peanut-butter yogurt shakes in the World!

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