Sunday, July 25, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
meet the first installment of PNN- Pamphleteers News Network(now all we need is a logo and some catchy intro music):
Hot on the heels of the controversy surrounding government’s decision to end mandatory reporting of the census long-form, federal Conservatives have announced plans to introduce legislation that will end mandatory use of the metric system.
Deputy Minister of Industry Tony Spumante rebuffed criticisms that repealing the metric system would lead to confusion and reduce the government’s ability to rely on evidence-based policy-making. “We feel this represents a balanced, made-in-Canada solution,” he said in a press conference on Friday. “We’ve received numerous complaints from Canadians who don’t like the metric system. Other people like it. Our American partners would prefer us to switch to miles and pounds. In order to fairly represent the diversity of Canadian public opinion, we feel the reasonable middle-of-the-road solution is simply to repeal mandatory use of metric and leave it up to the individual to use whatever measurement system they want.”
He noted the new legislation was in line with other ongoing Conservative initiatives to promote deregulation in government policy. “Canada’s New Government has deregulated health and safety standards, labour standards, the telecommunications industry, and now measurement,” he declared proudly. “Research indicates deregulation is the best way to promote industrial growth.”
He also emphasized that it would remain up to the individual to use whichever system they preferred. “If a hard-working Canadian wants to measure their success in miles and pounds, who are we to intrude in their private lives and dash their dreams?” he went on. “That sort of liberal, socialist rhetoric simply doesn’t resonate with the majority of Canadians. The era of big government is over.”
Reaction from the business community was mixed but cautiously optimistic. While some industry associations expressed concern that eliminating the metric system could lead to confusion and disarray, particularly in international trade, others saw it as opening new opportunities. “We think there’s potential, particularly in online sales,” said Biff Cardigan, spokesperson for the Industrial Manufacturers’ Association of Canada. “After all, if a customer purchases 20 units of hairspray online, but it’s up to the vendor to decide what unit of measurement to send them 20 of...we think there’s distinct potential for maximizing the profit margins of Canadian companies.”
The legislation will be introduced in the fall session of Parliament.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
fourth horse dies at calgary stampede-national post
hip, hip hooray for the white G.G - toronto sun
university of toronto plans to decimate languages, humanities programs - rabble.ca
oil leaks into the st. lawrence - the toronto star
gaza bound ship ordered to change course- cbc
oprah movie in the works- cbc
at first i assumed it was just this one crazy lady in the beaches who was selfish and felt like it would end the world if the beaches changed at all.
but then i read this story in the star: "rental property splits neighborhood"
guess which neighbourhood? the beaches!!!
"Next door is 48-year-old Stuart Defreitas, who spent $400,000 transforming his home into a three-storey “dream house,” one he no longer feels comfortable in.
“I would love to enjoy my house but I absolutely do not enjoy it,” Defreitas said. “I’m harassed to the point where I don’t want to live in my house.”
Defreitas said his neighbour is constantly scrutinizing him and reporting every perceived bylaw infraction to the city. But deSousa says he has been forced to police his neighbour because he is the one feeling harassed — not by Defreitas directly but by the presence of the many people who rent out his five-bedroom home."this guy is pissed because defreitas rents out his own home to short term vacationers--pretty standard practise, actually.
the neighbour defends some of his(creepy) actions by stating:
his neighbour’s house has become a “turn-key operation,” attracting “all sorts of transients” that bring traffic and noise to their quiet, family-oriented neighbourhood.
“What happens if my kids are in some way or another assaulted by someone who lives next door?” deSousa asks, adding he has reached a point of “desperation.”
“We are policing what is going on next door. We don’t want to be living next to that.”
he photographs the property and the tenants, and makes what his neighbour claims are bogus complaints to the city about noise and numbers of people.
seriously?? torontonians are notoriously weird and anal, but the beaches people? they're just plain crazy.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
"Let us demand (publicly pressure) that the official public inquiry and legal disclosures include an investigation into police training and tactics regarding the profiling of activists and the intimidation protocols for demonstrators.
Of course the cops are people too. That’s why it’s not a waste of time to be straight up with them and to face them down and to expose them and to justly punish them and their bosses. They’re not just pigs."
read the entire article here:
Activist Teacher: They’re not just pigs
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
rob ford, a city councillor and mayoral candidate, said that no review of police actions were necessary because the police were actually "too nice", "more than polite", and "more than accomodating."
yes, i'm sure that John Pruyn would agree. he's the 57 year older man who was at queen's park participating in a safe-zone peaceful protest with his daughter when toronto police decided to arrest them both. when pruyn couldn't get up fast enough for them--due to his prosthetic leg--they did him a favour and removed it for him.
the police tore this guy's leg off and ordered him to "hop" to the police paddy wagon. pruyn also claims that the police gave him "kicks and little punches" telling him he was resisting arrest and he had a weapon. they then took him to one of their little homemade jails where they tossed him in a mesh cage with a cement floor and left him there, for another 27 hours. unable to make a phone call or find out where his 25 year old daughter was taken, pruyn describes the conditions of his prison here.
so yeah, rob ford, i guess the police were way too nice to this peaceful protester. this father, husband, who works for revenue canada. clearly this government employee with one prosthetic leg was asking to be humiliated, brutalized, and have his rights withheld. they probably should have just gone michael bryant on the protesters and driven through the city, plowing them down one by one.
how embarrassing for toronto. to have an entire city council justify such blatant abuse of police power is not just cowardly but completely and totally incomprehensible. and to think, some of these fuckers want to be mayor of this city.
fast forward one year and we have threats to cut pride funding, then actual pride funding cuts, a huge pride controversy, and a pride victory.
here's the post from last year, as a reminder that funding cuts don't come out of nowhere and we have to be more vigilant.
"an interesting choice of words."
"PRIDE GRANT A POKE IN THE EYE"
apparently a conservative mp from saskatchewan, brad trost, got all pissy this week because the conservatives supported pride week at a federal level.
tourism ministry diane ablonczy has been "disciplined" for contributing $400'000.oo to to toronto pride.
according to trost, "the pro-life and the pro-family community should know and understand the the tourism funding money that went to the gay pride parade in toronto was not government policy, was not supported by... a large majority of the mp's."1
does he even have any clue how much tourism pride week in toronto brings to this country? this isn't a case of toronto reaping all of the benefits, people from all over the world come to canada for pride festivities and this douchebag has the audacity to claim that it shouldn't be supported by the government?!
tracey sandilands, the exec. director of pride toronto pointed out that $397'500.00 of the contribution went towards items such as "improved access for disabled people, infrastructure spending and 'top calibre' entertainment."2
so what is he complaining about? a lot of the gays at pride have families, probably some of them vote conservative even.
and, apparently the toronto pride application was so amazing that the tourism minister insisted on coming to toronto to present the cheque. her appearance "with transvestites" inflamed a lot of tempers apparently.
stephen harper should be thanking his fucking lucky stars that this woman decided to do what she did. toronto pride provides a HUGE stimulus to the city, the province, and the country and it would serve the conservatives well not to come across as such goddamned bigots once in awhile.
i can guarantee that if brad trost spent five minutes with my friend chad he would change his tune pretty quickly, tear off his shirt, rub on some glitter, and have a dance off with a hundred other sweaty, proud men."
obama met with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu today for a photo op to dispel concerns that the united states and israel are on a break.
just like a marriage, allied nations have to work hard to make sure that their relationship doesn't crumble. so obama and netanyahu scheduled some 'them' time today.
in fact, obama said "“The bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable" and went on to warn the palestinians against inciting the israelis.
last straw for this one on obama. after the flotilla atrocity to get together with netanyahu to prove to the world that the united states isn't mad at israel? childish.
committed to peace, obama? well then maybe you should take the peace option on this one and NOT back israel.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
"As a Newfoundlander living in Toronto, I spend a lot of time making fun of Torontonians. It’s not just me; making fun of Toronto is widely accepted throughout Canada (and its affiliates) as a bit of a national sport.
Last weekend however I saw a very different side of Toronto, and it’s one that may change forever the way I talk about Torontonians.
We often rant about Torontonians being diffident, blunt, insensitive, loud, demanding, and self-righteous. Normally, pretty non-endearing qualities. But last weekend I saw those same qualities deployed in defense of Canada’s human rights and civil liberties. With the same dogged and self-confident determination they use to defend their spot in the subway lineup or refuse to give up that lone parking space that a dozen other cars are vying for, they refused to give up their civil rights to a police force that didn’t explain itself, didn’t justify itself, and acted as though the law comes in a distant second to the barked order of a masked officer with a gun. Torontonians refused to give in to random searches, and were beaten and tossed into wire cages rather than surrender their rights. They refused to stay off their own streets even when menaced by hundreds of cops – more like soldiers, at this stage – on horseback or with clouds of tear gas rising from further down the road.
It’s hard to think of Torontonians as being heroic, but there actually was something heroic in the way they responded to the havoc being wrought by a billion dollars worth of riot cops let loose on their streets. Many such moments were captured on video and are circulating the Internet: a couple dozen brave souls singing the national anthem and waving Canadian flags as a platoon on horseback charges them down, clubs swinging. Unarmed protestors courageously challenging the vandals who were looting while hundreds of armed cops in body armour stood idly by and cowardly refused to lift a finger to help. Homeowners opening their doors to give refuge to total strangers fleeing down the street, pursued by cops firing teargas and potentially-lethal rubber bullets. Most Canadians are used to seeing such scenes in the movies that get filmed in this city; but this time it was for real and the bullets weren’t blanks.
There was even a palpable difference to the city’s nightlife on Saturday. The weekend nightlife went on, but in bars and clubs around the city, tables of clubgoers sat huddled in small groups around their Blackberrys and iPhones, reading Twitter updates to each other from the heart of the downtown. It was around midnight by the time the riot police descended on the last 300 protestors and bystanders they’d surrounded and trapped for several hours, but thousands of Torontonians were in bars reading aloud to each other the description of the final assaults as narrated in Tweets by TVO’s Steve Paikin. It was a surreal, and very Toronto moment. However much it must have seemed to them at the time, those 300 protestors were not alone in that moment.
Many of the protestors who came out the next day never had any intention of participating in a weekend protest. For many of them, it wasn’t the G8 or the G20 that brought them to the streets. It was their outrage at the police brutality and at seeing their streets transformed into a war zone by a seemingly out of control band of armoured soldiers. It wasn’t political ideology that brought them to those streets, but a sense of collective outrage and – possibly the first time I’d seen it in Toronto – a sense of shared humanity.
A friend of mine who was arrested pointed out that it wasn’t so much courage that led to her arrest, as just being there when the cops started randomly attacking people. And it’s true – many of those arrested and beaten were simply bystanders who were in the wrong place at the wrong time: people stepping out of their downtown apartments for a cigarette; employees trying to get home from work; transit users left stranded in the middle of the city when the TTC abruptly shut down. Many of them had no intention of being caught in a protest that day. Which makes their behavior all the more dignified and worthy of respect, when compared to the disgraceful and unconscionable brutality of a police force that was supposed to be trained and professional.
Something I realized that weekend is that Torontonians are raised with an almost insatiable need to protest. Not with banners and marches, normally, but protest as a way of indicating disagreement with the status quo is almost second-nature in Toronto. We hear it every day – Torontonians protesting about the streetcar being late, about the grocery prices being too high, about the taxes they pay and the gym not being open on a statutory holiday. It might be closer to grumbling than protesting, but Torontonians are not afraid to let you know when they’re not happy about something. And while we normally find it a bit rude and annoying, last weekend it became something completely different. It became the front-line in the defense of an entire country’s human rights and civil liberties. They were arrested by the hundreds; tear-gassed and beaten by the thousands; but they continued coming out of their homes to defend the streets of their city by the thousands and the tens of thousands. Armed only with their iPhones and their Toronto attitude, they stared down a billion dollars worth of violent intruders in body armour on their streets, and they held the line.
While the police chief parades an increasingly bizarre array of feeble and misleading excuses - which only insult the intelligence of Canadians and the integrity of his profession – and the mayor (curiously fearful of the chief for once) abdicates his responsibility to protect the people of Toronto by refusing to hold an independent public inquiry, they may both find that they have only succeeded in awakening a community consciousness in Toronto – and across Canada - that will prove a far more powerful force than any weapon in the entire billion dollar arsenal of the G20.
And while I now wish more than ever that I was home in Newfoundland, I certainly have a new respect for the Torontonians around me. And I don’t think I’ll ever make fun of them, quite the same way, again."