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Yep.  O Canada. Vulnerable already traumatized women get to spend time with this lovely individual in a Woman’s Shelter.  This right here, is the terminus of gender-self id.  Unstable predatory men mixing with their target population.

This is not acceptable in a society that purports to care about women and their needs. Bill C-16 needs to be repealed and quickly because this is apparently fine under current legislation. Call your MP… twice.

Oh hey, the Vancouver Women’s Rape Relief Centre that was defunded for not allowing bullshite like this to go down still needs your help, please donate to them if you can here.

Gerome Irwin writes on Canada’s fateful choice to continue down the path of environmental ruin.

 

“It’s a trite cliché to say the time has long since past the critical tipping point when humanity can no longer have it both ways. Every human must, sooner or later, once and for all, choose which side of the debate they’re on and then accept the consequences of whichever side is chosen.

One prime example is Canada’s decision to continue to choose this fatal addiction to oil and fossil fuels by its latest decision to continue building a Trans Mountain pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the coastal waters of British Columbia. Canada’s decision to increase the flow of toxic bitumen – one of the dirtiest of all substances known to exist – to a world hopelessly hooked on yet its next fix of the deadly black stuff flies in the face of whatever constantly re-adjusted Paris Accord Agreement or proposed grandiose Green Environmental Plan to help humanity once and for all kick this fatal attraction. Every new scheme in this direction, whether it’s a so-called aboriginal/First Nation ‘Reconciliation’ Pipeline, to get them their own ‘tiny cut of the economic pie’, or whatever other spinoff plan of the same thing boils down to a falsehood of perpetually trying to have one’s cake and eat it, too.

it’s always a curious fact to note that oil is what remains as a by-product of one of Earth’s most primitive epoch’s in its evolutionary journey yet also is perhaps the main cause of what scientists now refer to as the Anthropocene Epoch in geological history that is in the process of repeating yet the sixth great extinction of all of life on earth.

Human society must keep reminding itself that it’s by-products like bitumen that are fueling this epoch extinction and literally every aspect of the human world’s modern civilization, and that such decisions are bringing about, if not speeding up, this fatally destructive geologic epoch that, to continue to do so, must knowingly and willingly consume and destroy ever-greater amounts of the earth’s precious, finite natural sources like water that, literally and figuratively, is the very essence of life.

Water is the only real lifeline that sustains all of earth’s living things as we all travel together safely through time and space on our tiny, resilient blue orb through an incredibly harsh, unforgiving, hostile universe. One could even go so far as to say that the ancient waters that daily course through all our bodies is a holy communal fluid full of the actual hosts of ancient ancestors of all manner and kind going back to the very beginning of creation. Therefore, no matter how else one may put it: Water is the Most Sacred Substance of all that not only Protect’s but Inspires the Journey we’re on Together.”

Kinda mystical toward the end of the quote, but the crisis we are not facing is on scale that is hard to imagine.  Our limited capacities are working against us on this issue and must be overcome.  Yesterday.

   Why would people vote against their own interests?  Why do so many people choose not to vote at all?  Some of the answers lie with the very structure of the American political system and the ideological rules that are currently being followed.

Noam Chomsky has always said that the US has two business class parties.  Ostensibly, they agree on a core of values and only differ on a few social and economic ones, just enough to differentiate themselves (modestly from the other).

” -In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population.”

-Noam Chomsky

So, it is a terrible system for most, except for the people in power.  Rob Urie explains:

 

“Tacticians for the political establishment(s) understand that electoral politics is antithetical to democracy, which is why they use strategies of exclusion to maintain their lock on power. This unity through exclusion is what makes the pretense that they— Democrats versus Republicans, are ideological combatants so self-serving and implausible. Either Party could expand the electorate by bringing in unaffiliated and disaffected voters, and in-so-doing dominate American politics. But to do so, they would have to offer a political program that voters want.

The U.S. has a very low electoral turnout rate compared with other so-called democracies. The question then is why Democrats would focus their efforts on luring a small number of suburban Republicans to vote for Democrats rather than on the large number of eligible voters from urban, suburban and rural working class and poor neighborhoods? The answer is class. The oligarchs + the richest 9.9% won’t support policies that benefit poor and working-class voters. They might oppose racism, but not poverty.

One easy way to expand the electorate is to stop excluding it. Old news here— voter suppression is rampant in the U.S. While this is a favorite tactic of Republicans, Democrats have passed up every opportunity to 1) force Republicans to stop doing it and 2) enact universal suffrage. Here’s the rub— even if Democrats accepted 20% voter suppression as a background level, they could still craft policies that support the poor and working class and bring in tens of millions of voters by doing so. But they apparently don’t want ‘those people’ voting.

In 2018 in my poor and working class, 98% Democrat, neighborhood, the Democrats left door tags with two messages: property tax ‘relief’ that has little appeal in a 90%+ renter neighborhood and ‘stopping Trump.’ This neighborhood suffered horribly in the Bush / Obama years from the twin catastrophes of de-industrialization and financialization. De-industrialization took away the jobs and then financialization made housing unaffordable while growing a below living-wage chain-store economy that bankrupted local businesses.”

Breaking out of the two party system is the first requirement for any sort of authentic change not only in American society, but also in Canada as well.  The two ‘preferred choices’ both serve a narrow slice of the population while essentially disenfranchising the rest.

If we wish to see real change, we will need to address the systemic electoral obstacles first.

 

The CBC has a leaked copy of the Inquiry, some highlights:

“The inquiry officially began on Sept. 1, 2016, and was given a two-year mandate to examine systemic causes of all forms of violence against Indigenous women and girls. The government granted a six-month extension in 2018, with the final report due by April 30, 2019. The inquiry had requested a two-year extension.

Among the report’s recommendations is a call for an immediate end to birth alerts — a system used by child welfare agencies to flag a person’s history, which may lead to a baby being apprehended from its mother in the hospital.

It also calls for a transformation of policing to reduce racism in police forces, and more funding to overhaul First Nations policing, bring rural and remote communities up to a higher standard, and better technology for sexual assault investigations.”

What we as Canadians can do:

The report also makes these recommendations to all Canadians:

  • Denounce and speak out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

  • Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area.

  • Develop knowledge and read the final report.

  • Using what you have learned and some of the resources suggested, become a strong ally … actively working to break down barriers and to support others in every relationship and encounter in which you participate.

  • Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs, in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.

  • Protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.

  • Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work, and put them into practice in all of your relationships with Indigenous Peoples.

  • Help hold all governments accountable to act on the Calls for Justice, and to implement them according to the important principles we set.

 

We shall see how the general population of Canada reacts, I hope that we can read the report and move toward a better future with our indigenous peoples.

Canada is doing marginally better than the US in terms of abortion law.  The problem is gap between legality and accessibility.  Following the letter but not the spirit of the law gives Canadian women the short end of the stick, as usual.  It’s a legal medical procedure, and a government that respected women as autonomous human beings would ensure that women access to the medical procedures they required with as few encumbrances as possible.  The fuckery still goes on here in Canada though.

“Abortion has been legal in Canada since 1988 when the Supreme Court of Canada struck down laws against it. But for women living outside of big urban centres like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, accessing the procedure “becomes really tricky,” Chabot said.

Some of those barriers include funding. Under the Canada Health Act, abortion services are insured in all provinces and territories. But some provinces have placed limits on funding for the procedure.”

I swear, mandatory male vasectomies ought to be the way to go with the amount of bullshit that surrounds this issue.

Ontario does not fund abortions at every clinic, while New Brunswick does not fund abortions at clinics at all, only hospitals. Health Canada, in its 2016-2017 annual report, said New Brunswick’s lack of coverage “remains a concern.

And in the case of New Brunswick, the “federal government has failed to penalize the province by withholding transfer payments.”

Distance to abortion services can also be a barrier. In many remote communities, specifically northern communities, there are no abortion clinics in town and no hospitals that perform the procedure.

So, small check mark, but we need to continue to push to make sure that all Canadian women have access to the reproductive health care they need, not just the ones in the major cities.

 

Good chunks of Eastern Canada are getting the flood treatment.

 

“In Canada, this spring’s rainfall, compounded by melting snow, has led to states of emergency and evacuations in areas across Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.”

The people who have built or bought their homes on floodplains are currently getting their asses kicked again, just like last year, and most likely just like next year.  Our climate is becoming more chaotic and more prone to extremes it would seem that choosing to live in a vulnerable area is perhaps, not the best of decisions.  Enter the notion of the floating home:

   “English, who runs the Buoyant Foundation Project, explained that most homes on flood plains, if properly equipped, would be unscathed in flooding like Canadians are experiencing today. 

Amphibious homes are retrofitted with “a hidden floating dock underneath” and vertical posts that guide the house up and down, allowing it to float on water, she said.

“It lets the water go wherever the water wants to go and the house gets out of the way. So it doesn’t try to compete,” she said. “Humankind does the accommodation rather than trying to push the water around.”

Wow.  To me, this seems to be one of the problems we humans have when making decisions about how to use and exist in the space our biosphere provides for us.

We, in most of North America, are very comfortable with imposing our designs (societal and architecturally speaking) on the environment and are quite happy to rely on human ingenuity to fix the problems that arise from our initial imposition.

I want to be clear, I live in a urban setting that is quite pleasingly civilized and manicured to standard that removes most of the hazardous aspects of making a living.  And I like it, quite a bit actually.  But my current happiness and comfort, doesn’t excuse the artificial nature of the relationship and all the downsides it brings to the table with regards to sustainability and the future.

So, this leads to one of the problems I see with the notion of floating houses.  It is the seeking of a technological solution to a problem created by technology.  River management is a fools game – the more we mess with river system the worse said system gets.

We avoid the basic problem – building on a floodplain – by making houses that float.  We should consider not building in high-risk areas in the first place and add incentive for people to move away from areas that regularly get flooded.

Seems reasonable to me.  However, as we all know, human beings are not particularly reasonable creatures.

Hey folks,

It is election day here in Alberta, and I need all of my followers and friends to get out there and participate in the democratic process.  All the election information you need can be found at the Elections Alberta Website.

Remember, you need to vote to prevent some darn potato from doubling the efficiency of their dullard vote in your riding.  We must keep the damp squibs at bay.  :)

 


 

Now for the partisan section.  Alberta, can we please not return to the conservative horror show that is the already corruption ridden United Conservative Party?  I’m not quite done with feeling the more people first attitude of the current NDP government and would like people in power that do not automatically bend a knee to big oil interests in our province.

So yah, I’m still with Rachel Notley and would be very happy to give her and the NDP 5 more years of governance in Alberta.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley speaks to reporters about her first cabinet meeting in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, May 27, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

 

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