Author: The Activist

Balm for the heart

I can understand those who see the plot and characters in the—now playing at the Rialto—movie Wonder as being so sentimentally superficial that it makes a good bed time story for children and little else. I could have made that assessment, but sometimes what we see is more about who we are than any objective reality in the world we behold. And, who we are sometimes changes. Thursday night when I went to the Rialto with a friend to see the movie Wonder, I wasn’t looking for a hard hitting, intellectually satisfying narrative about the complex world around us. I was, unbeknownst to myself, looking for exactly what Wonder delivers—a simple-though credible enough, emotionally moving story suggesting there is, yet, something endearing, something—dare I say—noble about human life. The wonderful thing about Wonder is it reminds me of something I didn’t yet know. I have been looking—however unconsciously—for a reason to believe that, even in the age of Trump, Jonathan Swift is—still—wrong. Humanity is not–at least not wholly nor inherently–the equivalent of the garbage eating, quarrelsome, self-absorbed, restive Yahoos that Gulliver meets and learns to detest after being abandoned on the island of Houyhnhnm Land by his mutinous crew. You might say Wonder is medicine—or balm—for the heart.  It tells a simple story of a ten-year-old boy, Auggie, who is starting school for the first time. He has been...

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It’s going to take more than a leap

Clearly something has gone horribly wrong over a broad spectrum of issues. This summer the decade long trend of record-breaking temperatures lead to record breaking fires ravaging BC and California claiming lives and destroying property. This fall saw a hurricane season unprecedented for its intensity and duration; almost half the world’s wealth is in “off-shore” accounts evading taxes that are supposed to support just, and sustaining economies; our oceans are becoming seas of plastic and pollution; the idea of clean water and a warm place to live becomes ever more elusive to much of humanity; even peace as the foundation of a decent, just  and safe world seems to have been abandoned in the mad rush to implement the neo-liberal agenda of enriching the few and entrenching corporate interests over democratic values. In its quest to exploit the natural world for human needs and greeds humanity has developed an intricate understanding of math and science. Complex equations allow us to predict the behavior of social and natural systems in a way that would have left prophets of an earlier age awestruck. Yet, collectively, we cannot seem to grasp the simple concept that the infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is not possible. Nor can we seem to see the obviously growing deleterious impact of our discarded waste on ourselves and our world. Blinded by the improvident...

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Remembering Ruth

You might say Ruth Masters, Comox Valley’s most loved, respected and despised environmentalist, was the first Comox Valley resident I knew anything of after moving to the valley in 1993. It was quite the introduction. After buying a building lot in Comox, I set up camp in a small shed to serve as home while I built our accessible home for four. Day two after moving into the 10’x10’,my neighbor came over to visit. He brought a six pack of beer and a friendly smile.  After a hand shake and exchange of names, he got directly to the matter weighing on his mind. “You don’t happen to know that  Ruth Masters do you?” he asked a bit suspiciously for the proffered beer, smile and hand shake.”No, I haven’t even heard of anyone by that name.” “Oh, good!” He seemed to give a profound sigh of relief at my reply. Still not fully sure he found the answer he was looking for, though  obviously relieved, he unburdened his deepest concern, “So you aren’t one of those ‘environmental types’ then?” Yikes, for a minute I was afraid someone had given him a copy of one of my “Ecoview” columns from the Grand Forks Gazette. I was evasive. Evasive enough. The neighbor relaxed and popped the tab on two of the six beer. Shaking his head he went on to explain, “We...

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More at stake than sprinkled income

We, progressives, make a big mistake in not standing up and supporting the Liberals when they come under massive fire from Canada’s elites for attempting even minimal tax reform. I’m not arguing that the Trudeau Liberals are great. Gads, the electoral reform debacle is an astounding slap in the face to those who believed Trudeau’s election words meant something. Kinder Morgan and Energy East pipelines are a betrayal of Trudeau’s commitment to climate change. Trudeau’s promotion of investor rights over democratic values is abominable. The proposed Liberal tax reforms that the elites have pulled all the stops to defeat are play things in the face of the massive flood of Canadian tax revenues that is flowing out of Canada and into nefarious international tax havens. AND—STILL, I think we make a serious and consequential mistake in hiding our heads in the sand saying “Ah, that Liberal tax reform is minimal and has nothing to do with me anyway.” But it does have a great deal to do with “me”—us, because what is at play here is, most consequentially, not about a few extra dollars to invest in our common good by closing a rather small leak of “sprinkled” tax revenue. “Sprinkling taxable income over family members—pretending that—for tax purposes– one $250,000 income is really just 5 $50,000 dollar incomes–if you have the accountants to make it look that way—is,...

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Join the discussion: Leaping to a better world

Clearly something has gone horribly wrong: this summer and fall saw a hurricane season unprecedented for its intensity and duration; record-breaking fires ravaged BC and California claiming lives and destroying property; almost half the world’s wealth is in “off-shore” accounts evading taxes that are supposed to support  just and sustaining economies; our oceans are becoming cesspools of plastic and pollution; the idea of clean water and a warm place to live becomes ever more elusive to much of humanity. Even peace as the foundation of a decent and just world seems to have been abandoned in the mad rush to implement the neo-liberal agenda of enriching the few and entrenching corporate interests over democratic values.   If you are concerned about the need for a major rethinking of where we want to go and how we are going to get there, you are warmly invited to Creekside Commons Common House Wednesday, November 8, 7:30 pm to discuss the Leap Manifesto –a political manifesto issued by a broad coalition of Canadian authors, artists, national leaders and activists in September 2015 calling for a restructuring of the Canadian economy to better serve all citizens and a “just transition” to clean, renewable energy.   This is a chance for you to come share your views and listen to panelists  in “community conversation” about the kind of country we want and could have....

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Upcoming Events

Jun
20
Wed
6:30 pm LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
Jun 20 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
#WeAreYQQ Meetup: Comox Valley Entrepreneurs & Creatives Wednesday, September 20 at 6:30 PM 2x monthly collaborative workshop for entrepreneurs working on growing or developing businesses, business ideas, or projects. Part of the LIFT Comox Valley[...]
Jun
23
Sat
9:00 am Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Comox Valley Farmers’ Market
Jun 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Each Saturday features a delicious recipe from the North Island Chefs Association – and of course all of the wonderful local producers of vegetables, meats, baking, preserves, fish and more! See you at the Native[...]
Jun
29
Fri
7:00 pm Qualicum Beach Craft Beer and Sp... @ Qualicum Beach Civic Centre - 747 Jones Street - Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1S7
Qualicum Beach Craft Beer and Sp... @ Qualicum Beach Civic Centre - 747 Jones Street - Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1S7
Jun 29 @ 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
For details, link here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/qualicum-beach-craft-beer-and-spirits-festival-2018-tickets-46085307395

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