Beyond The Book Lecture: John Gormley – #UofR 2014

Gormley at UofR

I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to get wrapped up in a talk radio show while at a front-desk job. I wouldn’t want to start talking to myself, at the radio, for the whole Library to hear.

John Gormley

Idle No More showed up and disrupted his lecture. After Campus Security showed up, the three noisy protesters relented and were escorted off campus (I was told later by an employee at the University). Others who supported the protest stayed behind to ask difficult questions of Gormley. He dodged the last one completely, refusing to opine why we need and should accept polluted rivers in our prosperous province.

I got a few interviews from opposing perspectives, after his talk. They’re at the end of the video (visible after YouTube processes it).
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Happy Valentine’s Day

Roxie’s song is called “Hey Valentine”. I met her at Access 7 while I was there to appear on TV too, for Regina Car Share Co-op. Our interviews are on Access Talk of the Town today at 2pm and 5pm.

@roxielenton

http://www.facebook.com/roxielentonmusic

(iTunes)

http://cdbaby.com/cd/roxielenton (The song is also available on CD Baby)

Cheers,
Roxie Lenton

Let’s Tear This Town Aparrrrrt!

This evening I pushed a Co-op cab off an ice median at Kramer and Hillsdale, with the Regina cabbie I was riding with, and another driver who stopped after. The Co-op guy wrecked his front bumper though by failing to negotiate the turn. I tore a piece off it so it wouldn’t rub on his wheel. Yes, I can tear cars limb from limb. Muahahaha!

I got $2 off my cab ride; the driver said he appreciated being able to stop and help and that I wasn’t in a rush like some of his customers.

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Government House Levee 2014
Earlier in the day I hung out with the Grey Cup, and rubbed shoulders with Regina’s Levee loving crowd at Government House.

Government House Levee 2014
I took this selfie specifically because it was a fantastically expensive mirror.

Government House Levee 2014
Government House Christmas tree

Government House Levee 2014
Happy 2014 everyone!
A couple nights ago I gave a tour of the city to a guy passing through from Ottawa. The Legislature looked pretty nice lit up in green in the cold fog.
Government Legislature

Shoplifter busted ; Sundog ; Bugs

A shoplifter stealing hair dye among other things was nabbed at the Extra Foods at Golden Mile. 2 cop cars. Ladies, dyeing your hair is a gateway to a life of crime.

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I saw a huge sundog a couple days ago south of Moose Jaw. It had a secondary rainbow to the west of it, as far away from the right side sundog as the sundog was from the Sun.
The Sundogs extended to the horizon, as did the rainbow. They didn’t meet over the Sun though.

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It’s extremely cold out right now. Someone moving out piled their old sectional in front of the dumpster, so it got moved to the side, into my parking space (fortunately vacant). I took off a few of the feet on the sectional, and in the thin wooden crevices were dead bugs. Ick. The furniture owners were called back to properly dispose of the pieces.

Harper In Regina

Bonus points for someone who manages to compliment the Prime Minister for the nice scandals he’s wearing.

He’s downtown for the Grey Cup Party, obviously. After the Grey Cup fanfare wears off, it’s going to be a long week for him in Ottawa, as he adjusts to documents last week from the RCMP that show he’s lied in Parliament about the Duffy expense scandal.

Trained to Wreck

What’s with short term (and long term) memory loss in this country?

Who could forget Ralph Klein’s drunken abuse a decade ago?
Canada: Alberta Premier berates homeless in visit to shelter

Regina politics isn’t so far removed from showing symptoms mentioned by both Coyne, and uneven behaviour from a Mayoral candidate who refuses to quit despite broad public disapproval.

Nick Kouvalis on how Rob Forb won:[recording]

Political strategist Nick Kouvalis talks about his experience managing Rob Ford’s successful run for Toronto’s Mayoral race of 2010. While the city’s government was bloated, and taxes were too high, Ford’s message of “Respect for Taxpayers” and stopping the gravy train resonated, thanks in part to money for voter outreach phone calls and volunteers to go talk to voters.

Yes, the proud, robocalling Kouvalis can also be partially blamed for RoFo.

Now, if you’d kindly look away again, I get some Ford jokes out of the way, in a batch.
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Pacific Rim

I watched “Pacific Rim” [7/10] after “Super 8″ [7/10] and was not as impressed by either as I’d hoped to be. First, I can’t hear Pacific Rim any more without thinking Job after, thanks to the team named that at Owl Pub Trivia I go to frequently. Second, the movie is the same script as Indpendence Day, so that was sort of sad. The whole part of flying out of the atmosphere, using wing flapping, was a little unbelievable too. A lot, I mean. Super 8 was more believable, for another alien flick.

Homeless Outreach

Carmichael Outreach sent me a press release. I like to pass those along for interesting events, so here it is. {I was also tickled that a little ol’ blogger like me got this release along with the city’s print, radio, and TV media.}

Please find attached a Media Advisory for the upcoming CRU/Carmichael Research Report Release to be held at Carmichael Outreach on World Homelessness Day (Oct. 10th). The report is focused on Canadian solutions for housing that can be interjected into the dialogue of Regina’s housing crisis.

Media Advisory

Release of the Research Report
“Homelessness in Regina: Current Situation and Solutions from Other Communities”
A Community-Based Research Project
funded by the Community Research Unit of the University of Regina
Date: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Carmichael Outreach, 1925 Osler Street, Regina

As part of World Homelessness Day, Carmichael Outreach is releasing a research report entitled “Homelessness in Regina: Current Situation and Solutions from Other Communities” conducted by Nicolina Vracar and funded by the Community Research Unit at the University of Regina for Carmichael Outreach.

Carmichael Outreach continues to have difficulty finding and maintaining housing for hard-to-house, high-needs clients. The currently employed treatment model for mental health and addiction leaves many clients caught in a cycle of blacklisting, and scrambling to find housing. Housing First has been employed as a new strategy for treatment, with tremendous success in many locales across Canada that share similar “homelessness contexts”, where clients are provided housing as a right, instead of having to earn it as a privilege.
We hope this report will stimulate new strategies for treating chronic addiction and mental health that respect and uphold individual’s humanity and dignity.

Thank you,

Tyler Gray B.H.J.
Housing Support Coordinator
Carmichael Outreach Inc.
1925 Osler Street
Regina, SK S4P 1W3
Phone: 306.757.2235
Fax: 306.757.2205
www.carmichaeloutreach.org

Dr. Goldenberg – God’s Role in Government -Liveblog

At the Filmpool, , where an overfull crowd has gathered for the Herman Lecture Series (UofR religious studies lecture).
7:06 introductions are done by Luther College and another. Luther HS students present for a class assignment.

What is religion and what does it have to do with governments around the world? Huge question. You can see details everywhere.

She’s from Ottawa now; was from the States. American education didn’t prepare her to know Ottawa was the capital.

Museum of Civilization discussed. An exhibit last year about God(s) “a users guide”.
Ottawa not first place for this. Brussels featured it first. Quebec was to have it in Quebec City next.
Some rooms had fake clouds. Clothing. Depiction of Basilica. Text.
“Religion is too many things to be confined to one definition.”
“A grid for interpreting the world.”
“Hard pressed to name anything religion is not,” she says.
Ad for exhibit was to depict different religion representing same base understanding of the world.

In late 1800s some theologians realized Christian understanding was not universal. They had other religions. “Primitive prototypes of Christianity.”

Religions being thought of as able to be studied scientifically, is flawed I think. Isolating variables as broad as a religion, is not practical for a study.

“Peace, happiness, and harmony” are what we all want from our religion, that’s generally understood in Canada. This idea may not be the case, says I.

There is a lot of fear. Fear was not mentioned at the museum. Circumcision was not even mentioned. “Anxiety” was present. Open questions to panelists were closed down after an open-mic question about Islam set organizers on edge.

7:29 I didn’t get a seat facing the screen, I’m literally well behind the speaker. Without a proper chair, my back is protesting my backless makeshift stool.

The lecture is at a pretty advanced level. I’m missing some points for live notes.

Religion, and states.
- courts
- concern religion guides states.

Switzerland concerned about Minarets in a poster. Suggests a burka clad woman is a sign aggressive Muslim men are “getting a foothold in Switzerland”. Populace shows signs of concern about Islam challenging the state’s monopoly on violence.

“Dichotomy”, “vestigial states”, some of the heavy words being tossed about in an admittedly “dry” portion of the lecture.

Biden Bible discussed.
Reference to God in swearing-in of politicians.

Canadian Constitution. “Supremacy of God and the rule of law.”
A punitively superior power remained over Canada, no longer the King/Queen.

-Vestigial states called religions…

image

-Druids
Druids became dis-empowered. “A past sovereignty”. Wicca and pagans help her thesis that religions are vestigial states.

Jewish history.
Christians have defined their dogma as “not Judaism”, which also helps to define Judaism as “not Christianity”.
She proposes each is a container, for states in waiting. “Containment and survival”.

Foreign powers have been the guarantors of Jewish statehood.
The Torah once served as the constitution of Jews in Palestine.

Review of Schwartz.

Canada is not a religion just because God is in the first line of our constitution.

Religion becomes useful after colonization, to both sides.

“There’s no religion in the bible, its all about government.” She sometimes tells her students, after having described several understandings of the passage “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s & God what is God’s.” Divine power different and subordinate to state power, but possibly challenging given some circumstances.

She says we are not served well by the Museum’s thesis. Instead we should open our eyes, as a street artist said on a modified poster ad. View the history of religions as past states.

Questions. Should we ask rude questions?

image

Goldenberg wants religion to be studied critically.

She went at least three times to the exhibit. Paid each time. Is concerned of the sheep-like model for the exhibit when the motivation of the exhibit is fear and it’s skirted.

Question. Example of a religion that gained statehood? Israel an obvious example. They gained sovereign violence last century.

I think Iran ’79 could be an example.

She mentions violence against children allowed for vestigial states to use; circumcision of boys and girls. FGM.

Tony Blair in Britain granting some power to some religions.

Sharia law not mentioned explicitly yet.

Labeling law as religious law makes people nervous. Many step away from debate.

Question: is Queen being head of state and Church of England an example of state using religion?

Yes, push me, pull me.

I ask a question if CFL and Disney are proto-states in their corporatehood. Many people describe the Riders as their religion. She says there is regulated male violence in it.
She needs to contemplate it more.
- Geno is an MLA. Szarka was on City Council. (Military day at last Rider game. Ticket featured soldiers in Afghanistan holding Rider flag. Hawks flew over stadium to launch the game.)

Shea M. brings up Quebec values charter maybe coming out of Conservative “nation in a nation” strategy of a few years ago.

Constitution question, I missed too much while writing and thinking.

A bloody foundational event. Freudian.

Italian constitution based on a right to work.

Cliff’s question she disagrees with. God granted laws? “Just think about law. ” It’s all government, there are no religious laws.

image

-Question: brings to mind women trapped in sanctuary in Regina church. Protected from state power, for now.

She answers: Churches have power. They can sometimes counter government. This is probably a good thing to not have power concentrated in one source.

Something that didn’t come up were healing circles. I brought it up afterward, and she hasn’t looked into them a great deal. She’s suspicious they are permitted because they could serve as a means to let people who treat women violently, get off without state punishment. Assuming healing circles work to rehabilitate, that might not be as bad if the result is former criminals who no longer want to hurt people.

ADDED:
The discussion after included some mention of FGM, and comparison to male GM, both violent acts against children, but permitted by the state and religious groups. We brought up how there were researchers asking women in countries where FGM is practiced what they thought of breast augmentation, and the women were horrified by the idea. The reverse was true in American women surveyed.

What Does India Have In Common With Regina? Asbestos

One thing we share is an abundance of unsafe Quebec chrysotile AKA asbestos. Most of the world stopped using the miracle mineral once they realized what a global disaster its widespread use had been. Inhaled asbestos fibres cause lung cancer. There is some ongoing effort four decades after its use in new products was stopped in Canada, to remove it from buildings we live, work, and play in.

The effort to mitigate harm from asbestos has its limits, even in a developed country like Canada. An often overlooked source of asbestos fibres in our homes has taken a backseat, while our backsides have [statistically] been suffering from it. Over half of Regina’s drinking water supply pipes are made with Asbestos Cement (AC). 500km of AC is in our city. Edmonton has twice as many kilometers of the undesirable piping. The City of Regina has admitted it has no idea how much asbestos is coming out of our taps at homes across the city.

If asbestos is consumed in sufficient amounts, it’s been shown by government health researchers to lead to polyps in human intestines. Is Regina dickering over a quarter billion dollar Waste Water Treatment Plant deal, while our drinking Water Treatment Plant can’t even hope to address the probable health disaster taking place under our city streets as water is delivered to many of our homes through AC? How many billion dollars will it take to replace over 500 kms of undesirable water piping that is likely to lead to increased rates of tumours?

What has the City of Regina done since the Leader Post wrote about this issue in 2012? Can you even find the latest Water and Sewer Budget on the regina.ca website, in a year of major proposed sewer system changes?

Reginans, and indeed many Canadians, have become “test animals in a massive biological experiment involving a known carcinogen.” -Barbara Robson, Winnipeg Free Press reporter in 1987.

Are we safe? We don’t know for sure without knowing the amount of asbestos breaking free from our pipes, but there are many logical conclusions from the facts we have, to conclude we are not safe today. This is an urgent health concern that has been ignored, possibly due to its sheer scope. When we start to fix the problem, who gets safer water first? The ethical questions are extreme. The extent of the problem has been known for decades, and we’ve not even meaningfully begun to deal with the reconstruction of our water system to free it of asbestos contamination.

So, where do we start?