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Showing posts from April, 2011

A Partisan Poem by Franci Louann

liberal? yes that’s me small “l” liberal, always have been . . . small “c” conservative too, conserving, hopefully conservation is a good word . . . did I ever vote for Trudeau? probablynot memorably
that photo of David Anderson with me and a few others at a picnic in Victoria must have been circa 1972 I probably voted Liberal that year probably voted for David along with a few others on that blanket
David, finally in Ottawa, had a long career but I don’t remember voting Liberal . . . Trudeau never embarrassed me Trudeau did amuse me I’m proud of Trudeau but wasn’t part of Trudeau-mania . . .
I’m glad Pierre was older than Al Margaret younger than I was but – what was the purpose of this poem? oh yes – I have voted NDP, I know that but never so much for the person 'til Jack turned my head . . .
Jack Layton, that smarty-pants-from-Toronto I’ve been proud of him since his victory speech at the leadership convention! time for a dark horse, a bright horse! our bright hope – Jack Layton!

written by Franci L…

Wishes for Will and Kate

Having watched this beautiful and lavish wedding today, what I wish for this young couple is that they live ~ in a world governed by leaders of good conscience
~ where the voices of environmental stewardship prevail
~ that their children bring them joy
~ and they continue to cherish and support one another as they discover each other's imperfections and failings
~ finding the means to overcome despair
~sharing this earth with the common people who remain vigilant in defending the human rights they have come to expect
~so that we help one another raise the level of consciousness towards an understanding that justice is not justice if it is not available for all.

Power Stupidized

The issue of Barack Obama's birth certificate is not about the truth of his birth or about getting silliness out of the way so that US leaders can get on with the important things - it is, I believe, aimed at destroying civil society, democracy, justice and the future of America.

It creates suspicion and fear among Americans - not just whether their President is legally their President or not, but that a poll somewhere indicates 40% believe he might not be. It's another one of those media loops that make people look stupid, another device of division and alienation just like bad television sitcoms. It's an extension of shared shame witnessing the behaviour of dupes in 'reality' shows, video footage of men parading in white hoods burning down the homes of frightened black families, or the fall of adored celebrities going out without underwear, getting drunk and drugged. 

There is nothing redeeming or intelligent in the video of Donald Trump congratulating himself o…

Gun Registry Saves Money

In a Straight Goods report headed "Gun registry saves money as well as lives", I am struck with the feeling  that saving lives needs to be justified by saving money.

"OTTAWA, April 20, 2011 – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) believes that gun control is an important measure to help prevent public violence and in particular, violence against women. Most firearm-related deaths in Canada are caused by rifles or shotguns. These are the guns most used in domestic violence."

According to this report, abolishing the registry may save us between $1.5 to $4 million per year, but money incurred as a result of deaths and injury by firearms was estimated at $6.6 billion in 1995.

We know that a registry alone will not stop violence, but we need more conversations about violence, about the cause of domestic violence to match the steady news reports of violent deaths in our nation.

Since the Harper Government has slashed funding for women’s groups that attempt …

Every City Has a Kathryn

A person who always has room for you to stay the night at the last minute, who will open their home for the writer's conference and feed everyone too, who will organize the food bank and who will exhaust herself caring for those who need it.  These Kathryns don't make a lot of noise about what they do, they don't tell others what to do either. They are not likely to spend much time on Facebook or twitter or developing PR  strategies because their lives are taken up with the needs of nurture. Their impact on their cities are like gold in the bank but they don't have much of that metal in their accounts.  Their influence on their communities are like the Reverend Doctor in the pulpit but you won't hear them preaching. They will be out there dealing with the most difficult and contentious issues without complaint. They are strong but not domineering, they have a message but do not shout.  Every city has at least one Kathryn and if they left you would feel it, although…

Infinite Power

Everybody knows, as Leonard Cohen’s song goes, that everything is about power. Yet if you use the word in polite society you’ll see eyes glaze over as though your friends fear what might be coming next—a plunge into conspiracy theory or an inventory of global atrocities, and suddenly the topic is changed before anyone notices. The word itself reeks of polemic and conjures images of storm troopers. Yet it is the power of informed, committed citizens, even in small groups, as Margaret Mead reminded us long ago, that changes the world.

Working on the premise that two of the most enduring power tools—communication and cooperation, is available to those linked in to systems of support—this piece looks at how these tools work for and against the greater good.

What is power? Many years ago, at a holiday resort among worldly professionals, this question was given spontaneously to individuals. Answers came back readily—power is knowledge; power is what turns a decent person into a monster; po…