Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day of Action #J28

Idle No More is rallying worldwide on Monday
...jingle dancers across the country have been invited by organizers to dance on Parliament Hill following a rally on Victoria Island.
In Vancouver, hundreds of protesters plan to march to the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Building, according to the event’s Facebook page. In Calgary, more than 300 people have RSVP’d for a peace march that will converge in “the biggest Round Dance the downtown core has ever seen!”
In Regina, Sask., 287 people had registered on Facebook to attend an evening of music and speeches. And in Winnipeg, more than 2,000 had registered to take place in a flash mob round dance.
Dozens of rallies are planned for cities across Ontario – including nearly 400 people expected to gather in downtown Toronto – and the Maritimes, according to Facebook.
Just over 250 people had RSVP’d for an Idle No More rally in Montreal, and another hundred people RSVP’d for a sunrise ceremony that then plans to organize transportation to the rally in Ottawa.
In Melbourne, Australia, 61 people were registered for a Haka flash mob in support of Idle No More. In Malmo, Sweden, 115 people said they were attending a rally in support of Idle No More. That rally was set to include dancing and drumming, according to the group’s Facebook page.
And events have been planned in a number of cities across the United States, including New York City, Washington and Las Vegas.
Here's the facebook list of J28 events -- Saskatoon's event is beginning at 11 am (Common Cause) and at noon to 4:30 (Idle No More) at Station 20 West.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Shorter Globe and Mail:
Next time I need a job, I hope Sun News remembers that I supported their "mandatory carriage" campaign.

Le Blog

Jean-Paul Sartre's Blog at the New Yorker:
Wednesday, 22 July, 1959: 10:50 A.M.
This morning over breakfast S. asked me why I looked so glum.
“Because,” I said, “everything that exists is born for no reason, carries on living through weakness, and dies by accident.”
“Jesus,” S. said. “Aren’t you ever off the clock?”

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whine and jeez

I used to like Phil Mickelson until he started whining about how awful it is that he is going to have to pay more taxes on an income of merely $40 million a year. As Tbogg notes, Mickelson got his start playing on a city-owned golf course.  But now he's rich so he complains about paying the taxes that would help out other kids.  I'll bet his sponsors were none too pleased with his threats to quit playing -- now he says he's not going to insult us again by talking about how tough it is to be Phil Mickelson.
Cry me a river, Phil.

Monday, January 21, 2013

I just looked around and he's gone

1968 was the year I was finishing high school.  Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated. There were violent riots at the Democratic Convention, Prague Spring ended in disaster, Nixon was the US president, and my cousin had to go to Vietnam.
But 1968 was also the year that Pierre Trudeau got elected.  And Apollo 8 took the Earthrise photo that December.  From that perspective, it seemed we might survive.
I sometimes wonder what kind of president Bobby Kennedy would have made.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The newest hashtag is #Ottawapiskat -- SilentNoMore at Daily Kos explains:
Reacting to the outrageous hypocrisy of the Harper government, the artist Aaron Paquette created the brilliant twitter hashtag #Ottawapiskat, eliding Attawapiskat with Ottawa (derived from the Algonquin adawe, to trade.) Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein quickly gave the hashtag legs
Here's some of the tweets:

And more:

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Star-Phoenix gets it right

Refusing to join the knee-jerk triviality displayed elsewhere, the editorial writers at the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix understand the bigger picture: Serious talks just beginning:
Over the last generation, more First Nations members - particularly women - have been getting educated and are now connected through social media.
They may not have a cohesive message but, like the rest of us, they know what's right and what doesn't work. The Ottawa meetings and activities this week indicate that we have only just begun the process of trying to bridge that gap.
And historian Jim Miller also explains why meeting with that nice old man in a suit is so important for First Nations:
The Crown is the symbol of their relationship to the rest of society as First Nations conceive it to be. They insist on the eternal nature of the treaties they made, and choose not to recognize that the rest of Canada has evolved a different relationship to the Queen.

Wake up and smell the magnolias

Dawg recognizes the ugly truth that Idle No More is revealing about Canadians:
We’re a racist, settler country, and it’s high time we stood up and faced that fact, and dealt with it. How anyone can read the comments threads appended to online media stories about Chief Spence and Idle No More and not smell the magnolias is beyond me. And the dreary parade of white finger-waving pundits in the national media is part of the problem. They give respectable cover to the shrieking bigots in our midst.
Sixth Estate, and Simon, and Dawg are doing yeoman's work in exposing the inadequate, embarrassing, blame-the-victim response of the national press to Theresa Spence and Idle No More.  As Mr Sinister tweets:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Playing games

It worries me to see games being played over something so important. If Spence follows through on her threat not to attend the hard-won meeting with Harper just because the Governor General isn't there then she is mistaking form for substance.
David Johnston is a nice old man in a suit who lives in a castle and makes speeches.
The only two people who matter at this meeting and who can actually get something done here are Shawn Atleo [corrected] and Stephen Harper.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Another Theodoric of York moment

So, Harper is going to meet next week with Aboriginal chiefs, including Theresa Spence.
Maybe this time he won't just snarl about how Aboriginal people should just shut up and be grateful for all those schools and houses and social programs.
Maybe this time he will understand that politicians cannot continue to drive wedges between the peoples of Canada.
Maybe this time he will actually show some leadership toward a federal-provincial-municipal effort to develop a 2013 version of the Kelowna Accord to improve the education, employment and living conditions of Aboriginal peoples across the nation, to embrace a new partnership for shared resource development, and to inspire Canadians toward a new paradigm with Aboriginal people which would ....
Sorry, but I just don't believe Stephen Harper is capable of this kind of leadership, and neither is anyone in his cabinet.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Harper just doesn't get it

Even the National Post is asking Harper to get off his high horse and meet with Teresa Spence before he loses all moral authority to lead the country:
Harper should have met with Spence immediately, nipping her movement in the bud. Doing so now will be deemed a climb-down. Nevertheless, he must do so. The alternative — to allow this woman to put her life in jeopardy, and perhaps die, for the sake of preserving political pride — cannot be contemplated.
The parallel I am remembering now is Cindy Sheehan -- George Bush came out of their 2005 confrontation looking cowardly and weak, and then Hurricane Katrina finished him off.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

And now for something completely different

The Atlantic has an article about Monty Python as The Beatles of Comedy:
It’s a pity that the word irreverent has lost its weight, so that it’s come to seem a mere synonym for cheeky. The Pythons were irreverent in the deepest sense. They had automatic respect for nothing. Everything was fit matter for comedy: religion, national differences, cannibalism, Hitler, torture, death, crucifixion. They created a parallel world in which nothing was serious. They were like boys: they not only weren’t afraid; they didn’t know they should be afraid.