Journal

First Nations and the Enbridge pipeline; the word on the rez

I can not pretend to speak for more than what I've heard through the grapevine. Rumor and perhaps propaganda, but I will share it, as for critics and opponents of the Enbridge Pipeline, it may provide some hope.
I heard from a source in the urban First Nations mobilization against the Northern Gateway project that in Vancouver at a single gathering of thousands of First Nations from across BC, over $100,000 dollars was raised to support opponents of the pipeline, to live up north to take direct action against both the corporation driving the construction, and even the government and whatever forces it raises to protect its corporate partner. This was months ago. I am sure there have been more gatherings since then, with First Nations also allying with ever more groups that oppose the pipeline.
The word on the rez is Oka, if necessary. The fear is perhaps the situation could spiral out of hand. We could end up with Pine Ridge, should the government fiercely pursue its ambition. However, despite this trepidation, First Nations continue to move northward in the thousands in anticipation of the coming confrontation. There is energy in the air. The people are excited, but also wary.

In defence of Attawapiskat: do the Math, critics!

$90,000,000 sounds like a lot, but break it down.
$90,000,000 divded by 2000 Attawapiskat residents equals $45,000.
$45,000 divided by 5 years equals $9000.
Therefore, the town of Attawapiskat has $9000 to spend on each resident of Attawapiskat.
However, break it down one more time.
$9000 minus 80% equals $1200. That 80% is allocated for education.
Therefore, Attawapiskat really has $1200 to spend per resident. That includes roads, water, welfare, and housing. The first three are given priority over housing, which means $500 is left over per house.
Band funding can not be shuffled about. You can't spend education monies on non-education projects, especially with INAC jealously watching every spent dollar.
Stephen Harper knows this, yet he asked where that $90,000,000 went? He damn well knows! The band sent its budget to INAC every year. That damned lying liar!

My return home from Vancouver, BC

For the past four months, I lived in Vancouver, BC. I was in training for a customer service representative role with a company, but I didn't succeed in attaining a position. However, the lessons I learned both in class and on the streets of the city were invaluable.

I left from Salmon Arm with a heavy heart and a single change of clothes, after I had learned a friend had disappeared, which was a startling event following on the heels of a funeral for another friend. I just wanted to get away from my home, but due to my depression, I'd made an impulsive decision that had me living in the gutter and in shelters on East Hastings Street upon arriving there. Those times were difficult. I can remember a constant feeling of insecurity and helplessness. My possessions, too, were always on my mind, as I only had a single bag, and seemingly no place to store it during the day were I to try to improve my lot. Anything left on its own in Skid Row is picked up and either claimed or sold; this rule may apply even to human lives.

Global TV News caught cheating, red-handed

July 10, the Northern Insights posting I'm wondering related how Global TV salted its report by adding unrelated footage to its video report on the Toronto G20 demonstrations. People trust TV news in Canada to be honest and video should reflect reality not fiction.

Some readers indicated that I must have been mistaken, they could not believe that a national news service would broadcast a fake video report. Therefore, it is important to publish the evidence. During the live newscast, I recognized footage that originated in Vancouver during the Olympics when vandals broke a few windows and tipped over newspaper boxes. As you will see in the photos, captured from Global TV's July 10 5:30pm national news, one of the newspaper boxes being tipped was The Province. This happened on a Vancouver street February 13, 2010. In a case of yellow journalism, Global was trying to make the Toronto demonstrations more dramatic by spicing it with extra footage.

See the photos at:
http://northerninsights.blogspot.com/2010/07/global-tv-news-caught-cheat...

A Faustian Bargain

First published Oct 13/09 at Northern Insights / Perceptivity:

I recall Colin Hansen speaking as an opposition critic about the problems of BC Ferries a decade ago. He noted successive provincial governments had failed to install competent management and had subjected the corporation to impulsive political interference. Hansen expressed concerns about conduct of government business. He talked about the need for carefully structured planning, extensive consultation, full disclosure, orderly review and systematic risk analysis.

Hansen struck me then as thoughtful, insightful and articulate. He seemed relaxed and forthright. In short, both knowledgeable and trustworthy.

After the election of Gordon Campbell's Liberals, it was not surprising that Hansen played a senior role. He spent about three and a half years as Minister of Health, a position that presents near insoluble difficulties, conflicts and expanding demands. While not hugely successful there, Hansen was far from the worst health minister to hold the difficult portfolio.

Police Squad - from the Encyclopedia of Wildlife

Police are an extremely social animal. They exist as a social unit called a squad. Police travel and hunt in a group and perform almost all other activities in the company of fellow police.

The squad, the basic unit of police social life, is usually a tight group. It is made up of people related to each other by ties of affection and mutual aid. The core of a squad is a mated pair of police - usually two adult males although occasionally a female adult is allowed to join a hunt.

The other members of the squad are their associates: young ones ranging in age from rookies to constables and older politically astute one who remain always in the den, except during award and mating seasons, feeding off spoils of hunts conducted by younger members.

Squad sizes vary, most have 6 or 7 members, although some may include as many as 15. The squad size depends on many variables including the current numbers of the police population, the abundance of criminals, and social factors within the police squad.

Police Squad - from the Encyclopedia of Wildlife

Police are an extremely social animal. They exist as a social unit called a squad. Police travel and hunt in a group and perform almost all other activities in the company of fellow police.

The squad, the basic unit of police social life, is usually a tight group. It is made up of people related to each other by ties of affection and mutual aid. The core of a squad is a mated pair of police - usually two adult males although occasionally a female adult is allowed to join a hunt.

The other members of the squad are their associates: young ones ranging in age from rookies to constables and older politically astute one who remain always in the den, except during award and mating seasons, feeding off spoils of hunts conducted by younger members.

Squad sizes vary, most have 6 or 7 members, although some may include as many as 15. The squad size depends on many variables including the current numbers of the police population, the abundance of criminals, and social factors within the police squad.

Capitalism: No Love Lost Here

Staying safe in a risky world

An Important Guest post by Tim Mcsorley. A new project involving the National Film Board of Canada, The YouthCo AIDS Society, Edmonton's iHuman Youth Society and Youth Restorative Action Project. Front paged to get some well deserved attention! -pale

The debate around harm reduction in Canada is a complex one. At it's simplest, harm reduction is any policy or practice that recognizes that sometimes people cannot simply walk away from risky situations - homelessness, poverty, drug addiction - but rather adopt ways to minimize risk in their daily lives.

Harm reduction is most often associated with drug use, and particularly needle exchanges and supervised injection sites like InSite in Vancouver. But harm reduction goes a lot further than that: it's outreach programs, employment training, counselling and support services.

You're a #%^&*(@

Well, maybe you are and maybe you're not. If I say you are, anonymously or not, I would, and should, expect some backlash. So, myself, I tend not to defame anyone a great deal. I have called some a scum-sucking pencil-necked waste of skin ..., never in print, but occasionally in pixels. I have never got in trouble for it, but the day may come.

It has come for a blogger who defamed Liskula Cohen. Cohen is a model. An anonymous blogger posted a screed about her in a blog hosted by Google. The Supreme Court of the State of New York has ruled ( H/T to Scribd ) that Google has to turn over what it has, that identifies the blogger, to Cohen.

Hows that make you feel ??

Defame

Verb

1. Charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone

 

Slander

Noun

They Call Themselves Pro-Life?

I think it's time for a cross post boy & girls.

In the wake of the murder of George Tiller and some of the subsequent reactions from the anti-abortion crowd, one has to seriously question just how pro-life those people who oppose abortion really are.

After reading and listening to all the people who actually celebrated the murder of a man, and who somehow saw fit to justify that murder while he worked as an usher in his own church, I now understand that the entire idea of their self identification as Pro-Life is the cheapest, most opportunistic and selfish denial of one's true nature that could be imagined, and worst of all, they steal the love of life from all others, because they can't identify with the living, so they have to claim to protect only a cowardly concept of humanity because the actual living might talk back.

The Cultural Genocide of Native People

Cross Posted at FeminismFriday - The Blog http://feminismfriday.wordpress.com/

During the last week in Thunder Bay a young native boys hair was chopped off by his teacher's assistant. Since this time the Crown and police have refused to charge the woman accused. Some people may not understand why this is such a big deal, so let's break it down.

The child was touched without permission, during this time the assailant was holding what we can easily refer to as a "deadly weapon" given that you could hypothetically be killed by a pair of scissors. In fact, it is not a stretch to imagine this happening.

The child is native and therefore having long hair is not simply a fashion statement but rather something tied to the child's culture. Cutting off the hair of male native children was regularly done at residential schools, where the goal was to "kill the Indian and save the child".

Based on these facts I would say it would be fair to charge the teacher with assault using a weapon or causing bodily harm. It would be a stretch but I also think this is a race based hate crime.

I am and am not Canadian, but I am Secwepemc

My home, I.R. #3. Standing at the mouth of the reserve, we're looking down the old dirt road. We can see quite a ways, but it turns gently rightward. More so than the road, however, we see deep potholes. It's my own belief that there have been cars lost in them. The highways department grades the road every spring, but the potholes are ancient, having existed before time began, and so return the very next day, simply waiting.

Now before we actually start walking, let's have a show of hands. How many of you people have ever been on a reserve before? You may experience a bit of culture shock, but I can't guarantee that. Many things are the same, but things are also different. It's difficult to state what exactly, but you'll probably notice the small details.

Behind us, across the highway, we see a funeral home, and a towing company. Where the funeral home is, there used to be a fruit stand. When I was seven, I used to buy cigarettes there.

Am I right ? ... or am I right ?

Hey, who says I can't be right twice in a row. 

I have come across two science related stories. One about climate change, the other about teaching evolution. 

First climate change. The New York Times has an article about physicist Freeman Dyson. 

.... he is a great problem-solver who is not convinced that climate change is a great problem.

.... “humanists,” like himself, who contend that protecting the existing biosphere is not as important as fighting more repugnant evils like war, poverty and unemployment. 

The article runs eight pages and gets to be a biography of the man's life. Dyson is brilliant and a contemporary of Einstein, Oppenheimer and Fermi. The gist of the Times article is that Dyson thinks that the effects of climate change are something we can live with, we can fix it easily, if we have too and we have other, more pressing things to worry about. 

The Times does us a dis-service by not noticing the lack of logic in Dyson's arguments. 

The Obligatory New Years Post

I truly wish everyone a Happy New Year.

What a strange little year 2008 turned out to be.

As emotional roller coasters for all of humanity go, 2008 has been quite the ride. I'm not sure how much effort I want to go into depth on this, but the moment we are living and the moment we will live for some time to come is the direct result of leadership decisions that have been made in the last eight years.

Even a change in government can't make up for the mistakes of the short-sighted idealistic notions of men who were so convinced they could translate their greed into a better way to run the world.

I have said this time and time again: To be politically conservative, or republican, or whatever right of center mind-frame you want to call it, it always means never, ever thinking about the consequences of the actions you choose to take in the face of the fact that that it was never done before for good reason.

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