Harper’s “Public Event” “photo opportunity” (Cameras and photographers only) #cdnpoli

Where is this event you ask?

Lac-Mégantic, Québec

PM Harper photo op Lac-Megantic
3:15 p.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will participate in a photo opportunity.

Why is Harper there?

Close-up aerial view of site after explosion

You could say that Harper’s PMO has all the tact of a runaway train.

Hat tip to Daniel J.

Committing Sociology or Climatology

The Prime Minister infamously implored people to not “commit sociology” when Chechen-American thugs blew people up in Boston. The PM’s point was that he didn’t want people analysing the root causes of terrorism, out of supposed respect for the distant victims. With another deadly tragedy underway in Alberta, there are a chorus of complaints from people both local and quite distant from the disaster, asking people to not talk about why Calgary was subjected to a massively uncommon flood.

A really tiresome meme amongst climate change deniers is where they insist that someone can’t seriously understand climate science and be concerned about it, if they participate in using modern technology (that happens to be harmful when mass produced and mass-used).

Is it hypocritical? Possibly. Is it understandable, and necessary in order for environmentalists to spread their ideas on a level playing field to Deniers who use cars and the Internet and get on TV? It’s essential.

The Canadian political movement that made climate change denial a centrepiece of their economic ideology, was born out of Alberta. You’ll have to forgive some Canadians who conflate all prairie dwellers with climate change denying rednecks who all work for oil companies, vote Conservative, and don’t give a damn about the consequences. Westerners tend to make similarly unflattering assumptions about people from southern Ontario all voting for crack head Mayors, and that’s not fair either.

There’s also a host of extremely sensitive people on Twitter right now insisting that talking about climate change in the context of the disaster in Alberta, is tantamount to “victim blaming”. What utter nonsense that is. Not all Calgarians are innocent victims. All deserve emergency support, of course, no matter their political views, obviously. People living thousands of kilometers from a tragedy should not be told they cannot talk about the root causes destroying cities by natural disasters.

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Thawing Out

The world’s deep freeze in the north is thawing out quickly. As a result we’re making interesting discoveries as bodies get uncovered. There are two big problems. We’re losing thousands of years of preservation in short years, giving scientists only in our time period (and before) access to direct collection of this unique and precious data. Two, it’s an indicator of climate change being well under way.

As I explained to a friend the other day, if you’re not at least a little worried about climate change, you betray ignorance of the subject. I contend there’s no way an educated, and rational person could not be worried about the impending deadly situation which has few solutions, and most of those are not attainable by individual (only global) action.

We’re triggering a massive die-off, the extinction of countless plants and animals when we change their climate around them. The mutants which are adapted to the changed situation will survive as those species lucky enough to have adapted mutants always have throughout evolution. Humans have the luxury of adapting quickly in a lifetime to many environments, but most plants and animals do not. It’s going to be a difficult future to survive in, or rather it will be for most of the lifeforms on Earth at this time.


GE scientists in as early as 1956 realized global warming (climate change) was being caused by pollution.

Toronto Conservative Politics

Fords. Drugs. Murder. I think Ford should have stepped aside when he was turfed for conflict of interest. He clearly broke under the pressure, and his world has crumbled around him.

Gawker writes:

As we initially pledged, if we are unable to consummate a deal and obtain the video, we will donate 100% of the proceeds to a Canadian nonprofit that addresses the consequences of substance abuse. We haven’t selected an institution yet. We will do so when and if the time comes.

I am frankly shocked and heartened that this actually happened. We are going to try very hard to make it work. Don’t smoke crack.


Occupy Regina January

People who attended Occupy Regina in 2011 and early 2012, will remember meeting Stella Rogers. Regrettably, Stella passed away this February in B.C. Stella rose to fame by fearlessly introducing herself to everyone at the Victoria Park camp site, and staying involved in working on “homeless” issues in the months after. She was interviewed on CBC Radio, when a generous donor offered to pay a few months rent to assist people who Occupy Regina had been helping before the City and Police evicted the protesters and the homeless they’d been helping.

I last saw her in the Summer of 2012, assisting her with her tiny Android phone so she could stay in touch with people on Facebook.

Her obituary.

A Few Thousand Dead Indians

What makes me mad? People like Saskatchewan’s infamous shock-talk-jock John Gormley, who thinks the world needs fewer “activists”.

Here’s the resulting story from a recently released PLUSD cable from the Kissinger Files fit together with a Cablegate cable.

Then US Ambassador David Mulford urged the Indian government to “drop its claims against Dow” in a cable sent on September 18, 2007.

In reply, then Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia assured Mulford that the federal government does not hold Dow responsible for the cleanup but is unable to withdraw its claims against the company because of “active and vocal” NGOs.

Rita MacNeil Passes Away

This appeared on Rita’s website this evening, as pointed out on Twitter.
CBC doesn’t have a story up as I’m posting this. Her Wikipedia entry.

Sydney, NS (April 17, 2013) It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Cape Breton’s first lady of song, Rita MacNeil. Rita died last evening (April 16th) from complications following surgery, at the age of 68.

A gentle soul with a heart of gold and the voice of an angel, Rita’s music spoke of her love of home and family, the courage to rise above life’s challenges and the hardworking men and women that tie this country together. “Working Man”, “Flying on Your Own”, Reason to Believe”, “I’ll Accept The Rose Tonight” and “Home I’ll Be”, are just a few of the songs that endeared Rita to fans in Canada, the U.K and Australia.

Born in Big Pond, Cape Breton on May 28th, 1944 to Neil and Catherine (Rene) MacNeil, Rita was one of eight children. It wasn’t an easy life, as depicted in her autobiography “On A Personal Note”(released in 1998), but with determination and a passion for writing songs and singing, Rita pushed beyond a profound shyness and found her way to a stage at Expo 86 in Vancouver. It was here that the world discovered Rita MacNeil.

In 1987 she won her first Juno Award for Most Promising Female Vocalist. She was 42. “Flying on Your Own” followed in 1987 and in 1989, her Juno performance with Cape Breton’s Men of the Deeps of “Working Man”, brought the house down.

Over the course of her career, Rita recorded more than 24 albums which sold in the millions. She won 3 Juno’s, as well as numerous East Coast Music Awards, Country Music Awards, and a Gemini for her CBC variety show ‘Rita & Friends’ that ran from 1994 to 1997. She was a Member of the Order of Canada, was awarded the Order of Nova Scotia and is the recipient of five honorary doctorates. In 1986 she opened up Rita’s Tea Room in her hometown of Big Pond, which in the past few years enjoyed frequent visits from Rita herself.

Rita’s quick wit and sly sense of humour was a hallmark of her live shows and was in evidence when she was featured in an episode of the Trailer Park Boys.

A mother to Laura (Dana) and Wade (Lori), a grandmother, a dear friend, and a sister, Rita was a Canadian icon – a woman who had a dream that became a reality – who brought joy and inspiration to so many.

And you never let the hard times
Take away your soul
And you stopped the tears from falling
As you watched the young ones go

You’re as peaceful as a clear day
You’re as rugged as the seas
I caress you, oh, Cape Breton, in my dreams

Home I’ll Be – Rita MacNeil

“Music is timeless and ageless,” noted the legendary singer, “the passion I feel for what I do can’t be put aside with a number and a year. It is a big part of my life – the concerts, the touring, the letters and the joy the audience gives back to me when the music touches a chord with them.” Rita MacNeil

Boston Marathon Attacked by Bombings

A typically joyful day in Boston was marred by a terrorist bombing where two explosions killed multiple people, and injured at least 50 with injuries as serious as amputations.

It’s a grim reminder that peaceful life in North America is very much taken for granted, and our innocence will again be exploited by those who’ll seek to use this bombing as a means to remove more freedoms from the American people.

Reddit has more links than you’ll care to view. Following the attack on 9/11, I read everything I could, watched every video angle, probably searching for answers; Dreaming of a way to turn back time to prevent it. There will never be a way to undo things like this. We need to make sure that our societies don’t create people willing to commit these crimes against humanity.

Peter Kent Didn’t Age Well

Kent looks the same… but his mind has left him.

Amazing CBC coverage of climate change from the early 1980s. Bob McDonald, Peter Kent, and others make appearances:
Attention Washington: Peter Kent explains Climate Change (the briefing you won’t see).

“The natural preoccupation with the weather tomorrow, the next day, or even Thursday, has distracted public attention from the longer term implications of the Greenhouse Effect.” – Peter Kent, 1984 on CBC

“The Greenhouse Effect must be considered as the world’s most serious environmental concern.” Now he’s the nation’s Environment Minister, and he acts like a POS. What he says does not match his, or his government’s actions. “December 2011 [Kent] announced Canada will withdraw from the Kyoto accord. Canada is committed to getting a new agreement, he says, but it won’t be easy.”

Some of the best/worst parts of the video included “adaptationalists” thinking increased temperatures and acidified oceans can just be adapted to (as mass plant and animal extinctions go on around us while we supposedly soldier on). Mass delusion allows humanity to carry on as it does to its certain demise. I think I know how things will go if an asteroid is observed & predicted to hit Earth within a decade… nothing, until the crash. Humans are pathetically bad at taking immediate action to prevent long term ‘fuzzy’ catastrophes.

This video shows how the Canadian Environment Minister has known for THREE DECADES of a coming calamity to his country (and the world), and now he’s in a position of power to act, and does nothing. Worse than nothing, since pollution is still increasing. His duplicitous actions (or incompetence) make me sick, and they are sealing humanity’s fate.

Stompin’ Tom Connors Stomps Out

Farewell to a Canadian music legend who made folk music cool. Stompin’ Tom is bound to provoke cultural references for years to come.

Listen to Corb Lund’s cover of Stompin’ Tom’s Hockey Song. It has a bonus verse too. “It’s culturally important to hear that song.”

Here’s one of my oldest blog posts:

June 16, 2002 Stompin' Tom Connors
I just got back from the Live from Rideau Hall concert. WOW! I had great fun despite the drizzling rain.
Look at Stompin’ Tom in action.

ADDED from 2002: