Monday, January 30, 2006

NO MIRACLE OCCURED HERE

The Canadians got it right. The 72 mine workers who survived uninjured   in Saskatchewan had the correct training and equipment. Without the emergency rooms in the mines that were sealed off with food, water, and oxygen; the miners who knew safety procedures, and the fire fighters prepared for mine fires, this would have been a devastating tragedy.  
This “miracle” is one that occurred because there was money well spent to safe- keep the lives of workers.  
A PRAYER

Here is to the speedy recovery of
Bob Woodruff and Canadian Doug Vogt after they survived an IED attack in Iraq.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

MURDER MOST FOUL

So more miners have died.  Their deaths were entirely preventable but the Bush administration did nothing to ensure that miners could safely exit dangerous situations, and gutted funding for governmental oversight of mines.
I ask where is the sanctity of life when miners or other workers are labouring for their families’ future are denied a safe workplace? It is imperative that labourers who work in dangerous conditions, for their families and for the country’s economic prosperity, not be excluded from lifesaving equipment and work practices because of niggling corporate accounting concerns. A government or a company that cuts development of safety equipment and practices comes close to being guilty of bureaucratic homicide. Mining and other labour concerns should be a priority in America’s and any country’s economic plan. The deaths of the miners make the lives of their children more precarious and the deliberate ending of worker safety through budget cuts exposes the hypocrisy of the “pro-life” Bush government.

GRATITUDE

Thank you, Ed Murray for stewarding the legislation in Washington State that banned discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing, insurance, and employment. As a native to Washington through my First People ancestors and my Oregon Trail pioneer forebears, to me you are a true example of Pacific Northwest tolerance and moral progress.  
Thank you also to Governor Christine Gregoire  for signing the law.
But most of all, thank you to the late Cal Anderson. His vision and inspiration remains a guiding light against the forces of homophobic bigotry and prejudice.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

BUTT OUT, EH?


Hurrah for PM elect Stephen Harper for standing up to the United States about Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic waters.
It is impertinent for David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada to oppose another country's military and economic plans, especially since the area in question has the potential for wealth in gas resources, fishing, and shipping. There are also security risks such as narco trafficking and diamond smuggling. These are proper international concerns, not how Canada conducts its military and financial agenda.

---Izzy

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

NOT A CAKE WALK

Stephen Harper, although elected as PM, does not have a mandate.  He did poorly in urban areas such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. He faces a hostile Senate and has an agenda to cosy up to America that will be disastrous.

America is a country that is facing an emerging economic crisis. There are rising bankruptcy filings in the U.S., a huge national debt, and a large trade deficit.
In the country of my birth, the infrastructure is decaying because of a war that has cost billions in dollars and thousands of lives . The American health care system is privatised and leaves millions without health care. The country suffers from a tech deficit. The United States has been ranked twenty-eighth by the World Economic Forum in terms of its ability to tackle domestic and global environmental problems.

Following an American form of government would be disastrous for Canada. The peril for Stephan Harper, if he were to have close ties with the United States, would be to emulate President George Bush's sagging ratings, and have a short term as Prime Minister.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A SAD ANNIVERSARY

The common claim of pro-life advocates is that child abuse rates go up when abortion is freely available. However, that is not statistically true. Abortion rates are going down but child fatalities due to abuse are going up. More sadly, abortion rates are going up among poor women because of increasing child and general poverty rates.

These are not the soundbites you hear on the daily news about Roe vs. Wade but what needs to be noted.  Abortion shouldn’t be the issue but the increasing hopelessness of the American economy should be apparent to anyone who sees these tragic statistics of people without health care, without jobs, and without hope.

The focus should not be on whether or not abortion is legal but how the United States will respond to an economy that is becoming quicksand for so many women, children, and men. The problem of unplanned pregnancies won’t be solved by limiting abortion rights but by creating a country with a more equitable standard of living for each and every citizen at every stage of life.














Wednesday, January 18, 2006

HAPPY DANCE

I’m joyful today because yesterday I was hunting around the Internet and figured out; with the help of some genealogy resources I had in hard copy, that some of my ancestors were Canadian First People. Specifically, my ancestors were M├ętis or “half-blood” of mixed French-Canadian and Chippewa (Ojibwa) ancestry in addition to my Native American Chinook, Yakama, and Iroquois forebears. I’m proud to return to Canada, the land of my origins.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

TWO LITTLE WORDS

Paul Martin is a weasel. The fiasco over the Chinese head tax should show that he is unfit to be PM. The Canadian government created the $500 head tax in 1885 to discourage Chinese immigration. Further legislation in 1923 banned Chinese people from this country and the hateful law was only repealed in 1947. Certainly, redress is in order.

However, Paul Martin did not apologize in good faith. He sought the advice of lawyers so that his government could duck legal and financial responsibility to those descendants of the head tax payers. Only when the lawyers assured him that his administration would bear no burden, did he offer a too late apology.

I know about historical wrongdoing and am not afraid of the responsibility that goes along with that knowledge. My paternal ancestors had slaves and made manacles for slave ships. I'm sorry for all the horror and grief that my ancestors caused.

Now, that doesn't hurt me to apologize. Why can't Paul Martin do the same?

Friday, January 13, 2006

LOCK OUT

So school girl killer Karla Homolka is applying for a Canadian passport? Holmolka Applies for Canadian Passport

I think it is a pity that a judge has lifted the restrictions on her.  An inhumane and unrepentant monster of her ilk should not be free to move about as she pleases.  Homolka’s crimes were sufficient to forever bar her from the human species. The murders that she assisted in went far beyond the pale of rational society in any culture. If Homolka is able, and if she does travel, she will always be marked with the blood of her innocent victims. No civilized nation will gladly have such an obscenity cross their borders. Wherever Homolka may flee, there is no escaping the guilt indelibly marked on her history. There is no redemption, or future for Karla except as a hated and shunned fugitive. Radio Free certainly hopes that Homolka, in her quest for safe passage to other countries, will find only spat upon rejection and a lonely, friendless end.


----Izzy

Thursday, January 05, 2006

IN MEMORIAM

I have thought of some time about what I would write to memorialize the miners who died in the Sago Mine tragedy. The only word that can summarize all the grief is a simple but deadly one to many labourers.

DEREGULATION.

The Sago Mine had numerous safety violations through the years. It was a failing business bought by vulture capitalist Wilber L. Ross through his International Coal Group. Many of the fines the company received were for as little as $60.
Palm Beach Post

The Bush administration would like to have America’s citizens believe that business can regulate itself for prosperous owners and workers. In reality, this administration’s whoredom to big business will take us back to the days of Victorian England where people had miserable short lives and painful deaths because of squalid working and living conditions. The Sago Mine could easily be Life in the Iron Mills; or the Korl Woman by Rebecca Harding Davis.

2006 is an election year. Please remember the workers of the Sago Mine when you cast your ballot and vote for legislators who believe in worker rights and worker safety. It will be a fitting memorial to those lost in the mine.
---Izzy


IT ONLY GETS WORSE

Poor Barbie, things keep getting rougher for her: The Sun Times
Not only does she have Muslim competition in the (well-covered) shape of the Fulla doll, but it’s okay and even healthy to trash Barbie if you’re an 11-year-old girl. This according to a University of Bath professor.
I despise the Plastically Endowed One as much as any normal woman but I also have the suspicion that the preteens are gay-bashing CWAers in training and that fear requires me to call for an immediate end to Barbie immolation.

---Izzy

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

STATE OF CONFUSION

The Religious Right is at it again. The brave souls over at Concerned Women of America are defending the innocent children of the United States from evil villains.

Are these intrepid heroines fighting the rising child homicide rate in Michigan?

Muskegon Chronicle
  

No.


Or tackling the lack of health care in the United States

MonstersandCritics.com

No.


Or doing something about the climbing poverty rate and stagnating wages?

Thinkprogress.org


No, our saviours over at the CWA are worried about----DRUM ROLL---Barbie.

CWFA

It seems the little minx has a drop box on her site that asks 4-year-olds whether they are male, female, or “I don’t know.”  


I have worked in the early childhood field and it is normal for tots to have some gender confusion. A five-year-old, a very bright five, asked me how you can tell boys from girls. When I told her the anatomical difference, she was embarrassed and replied, “No, boys have short hair.” When she was younger, she went around calling herself a boy until she realized that boys misbehave and girls are good. It was a nice sentiment but I know plenty of girls (myself included) who like to, um, misbehave, once in a while. Gender is a gradual process because person is not born with the intellectual distinction between male and female. Genital orientation is just that, only plumbing.  Everything else is culture. There is not a God-given mandate as to how one will express one’s unique and individual personality simply because there’s something swinging between the legs or not.  

To illustrate the absolute nonsense of the Religious Right’s take on gender, I think about my interests. I like going into hardware shops and doing repairs around the house.  The music that I listen to is dark Goth and melancholia. I abhor pinks and pastels in all their manifestations.  I’ve known men who would rather not bother with such pedantic household tasks and who listen to classical or new age while they cook.  Oh, and by the way, I’m hetero. So there aren’t any hard and fast delineations about gender save for the biological ones. There are more important issues to concern Americans.

The economy with a growing trade deficit.
International Herald Tribune

A continued weak dollar.
Austrailian Financial Review
Investors.com

Outsourcing:
Canada.com

You get my drift.
The machinations over at the CWA against Barbie, Tinky Winky, and Sponge Bob Square Pants show that the organization’s members are not concerned America citizens who are working toward thoughtful and productive solutions that will genuinely aid children. Instead, the CWAers are floozies looking for cheap tricks to turn for their own financial and political benefit.
----Izzy