Author: The Activist

Gird yourself–least you split a gut!

Oh, my gosh, just when you think the ship of fools that they call the Republican Party leadership race in the United States couldn’t get any sillier they bring out the head fool and he does this whole new act. Today Donald Trump jumped into the hilarious-if-it-weren’t-meant-to-be-serious ring of utter wacko with an announcement that he would support a boycott of Starbucks Coffee for printing red Xmas cups with bells and trees instead of Christian icons. Apparently Twitter is flooded #StarbucksRedCup, with response to this earth shaking issue– including a full spectrum of response from absolute hate mail directed at Starbucks to a litany of gut busting humour. One tweet suggested a reasonable compromise, make blank red cups and supply crayons to colour in anything the customer wants—should satisfy the child in everyone! The tweet that just about busted my gut wouldn’t have been funny at all if it weren’t for the pronouncement of the front running Republican candidate and the hate mongering of the Christian right. But I just about split a gut over a simple image of a serene, loving/blessing typically portrayed looking Jesus image on a red cup with the printed message: “Verily, They’re just coffee cups, Guys!” Oh, my gosh, “It’s just a coffee cup” if only Michael Cervantes were writing today! Forget Don Quixote–What a fearful, fascinating, foolish knight Donald Trump, and his whole...

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They don’t speak for us

If, as Jorge Ramos stated in accepting the Burton Menjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in defending press freedom, “…the best in journalism becomes a way of doing justice and speaking truth to power,” how on earth have we gotten so far off the mark in Canada 2015? The near unanimous record of the press in the just past federal election is exactly the opposite—speaking lies to its readership in support of a thinly veiled corporate agenda to frivolize our democratic institutions as meaningless trivial pursuits to be manipulated-and discarded in all but the flimsiest pretense of journalism. Running Conservative Party supporting feature articles that don’t even meet the standard of not being obviously false and vacuous endorsements of the Conservative Party that reflect only the class interests of the ownership, the Canadian media has exhausted its credibility on this federal election. While no party-none!-dared buck the press, it is time for us as citizens to demand that our media be compelled to fulfill its social responsibility to search out and report the truth (s). To me it seems nothing short of an insurrection that the people of Canada rose up in the face of the lying distortions that they encountered in almost all media and threw the Conservatives out. Perhaps it is time for us to go the next step and throw out the media that has been...

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Growlers are Great; reuse trumps recycle—big time!

While beer drinkers are celebrating the fine new craft brews available in the valley’s three recently opened craft breweries, sustainability advocates are also celebrating the fact the local brew is now sold over the counter in reusable brown jugs the industry calls Growlers. So instead of brewing industry grade beer in distant places, bottling it in “recyclable” containers manufactured from energy intensive aluminum or silica and consuming more energy to ship it to distant markets, local craft breweries cater to the many nuances of individual batches of custom brews. The returnable containers of industrial beer are “Recyclable” but the environmental value of such recycling is largely an illusion as returned bottles are simply ground into small pieces and used mostly for sand blasting and aggregate for asphalt roads. A small amount is melted down and spun into insulating bats. All the energy that went into gathering the silica and manufacturing and transporting the bottles is lost. Rather than being recycled into glass chips, the new brown jugs of craft breweries are reused—brought back time after time for refilling. Could this be the beginning of a paradigm shift away from the throwaway society to a new environmentally friendly standard where containers of all kinds are not thrown away under the pretext of a term like “recycling” and are, instead refilled. Imagine the impact that would have on energy use, on...

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How balanced budgets created an electoral deficit

Can someone help me understand the overweening reliance on deficit/balanced budget explanations for the dramatic fall of the NDP and rise of the Liberal Party? Did voters really turn away from the NDP because it promised to balance the budget three years earlier than the Liberals? This whole deficit thing has me scratching my head and wondering in bewilderment: If voters were looking for a deficit budget per se, how did they miss the six straight deficit budgets—going on seven– of the Conservative government? Sagacious commentators whose insights have intrigued me over the years, are, today, nonchalantly running the inference that deficit budget is the acid test for progressive policy(??) Again, that would leave one with the oxymoronic association of the word “progressive” with the Harper government that so eagerly stripped “progressive”—in word and deed– from Progressive Conservative at the earliest opportunity and immediately began running significant deficits. Granted there seems to be some—note the word “some”– justification for associating balanced budget with “austerity” budget where those who contribute least to a financial crisis end up paying the greatest toll for the associated draconian budget cuts. But slashing the incomes of those who can least afford it to subsidize the iniquitous salaries of CEOs, economic vandalism of the big banks and pay outs to those wallowing in the luxury of unearned income is not inexorably about a deficit/balanced budget....

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Upcoming Events

Feb
20
Tue
7:00 pm CLT’s Event Night: Looking by N...
CLT’s Event Night: Looking by N...
Feb 20 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
A staged reading of this endearing Norm Foster play, directed by Alana Gowdy.
Feb
21
Wed
6:30 pm LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
LIFT BizOnDeck workshop series (...
Feb 21 @ 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[...]

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