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Sat, Sep. 11th, 2004, 12:18 pm
September 11th, 1973

Today when you watch TV you will no doubt see people talking about the events of September 11th, 2001. It is very important that people also remember the events of September 11th, 1973.

On September 11th, 1973 the democratically elected marxist president of Chile, Salvador Allende, was killed in a CIA (read: United States) backed military coup.

The rule of Pinochet that followed was one of a brutal dictatorship, thousands of deaths occurred under his rule. Other deaths caused by his economic reforms aren't even taken into account.

Perhaps if the US government didn't engage in acts like these the events of Sept 11, 2001 would not have happened.

If someone talks to you about 2001, remind them of 1973.

For more information go here.

For more on the US participation go here.

Tue, Aug. 3rd, 2004, 04:20 pm

Dear Jane, I... is playing with the Smear Campaign!

August 21, 2004 at the Masonic Lodge in Mississauga

My two favourite local bands!

: D

Wed, Jun. 30th, 2004, 12:07 pm

I'm addicted to work now. I woke up this morning and felt so weird that I had nothing to do today. For the past few months I've worked 7 days a week except for a few days off and even then I still had something to do. It was so odd for me to be able to go to sleep and not have a time to wake up at. I really need to stay busy now, this could be a real turn around for me. I used to be this way back in grade 10 but then school got really easy for me and I got really lazy. Maybe now I'll do my homework on time, heh. Good news is that I just got a call and I work this Thurs and Fri. I think there's going to be a lot of volunteering in my future until I get another job. I will never work retail again though, ever.

I won't talk about the election. I'm too upset. The system doesn't work. I'll have faith in Electotal Politics when one of two things happen: people figuire out how corrupt the Liberal party is or we get Proportional Representation.

Sun, May. 30th, 2004, 10:25 pm
Dennis Mills is a coward

So instead of talking to Jack or addressing his concerns toward Jack, Dennis Mills, the incumbent in Toronto-Danforth (the riding where Jack is running), attacked Olivia Chow, Jack's wife. Not only that but he went after Olivia on her housing record. What about your record Mills? Olivia is a city councillor, there's only so much you can do as a councillor when the federal Liberals have your city starving for money. You, Mr. Mills, have done nothing in you backbench days. I'm glad you'll be out soon, it's you that's getting desperate. I used to have some respect for you but that is gone. What type of man resorts to ad-hominem attacks? I'll tell you what kind. A man who knows he's going to lose. Being 20 points behind must be hard.

The Liberals came to my house today, I wasn't in, my dad was. They kept harassing him to put up a sign. I wish they would have come when I was home.

Article here.

Wed, May. 19th, 2004, 10:52 pm
Bring down the government

Time for a political rant. Many topics will be covered today.

The Ontario Liberals disappoint yet again with their budget. I understand that taxes must be raised in order to invest in things like education and health care. If we want better services we have to pay for them, I have no issue with this. My problem is the way the Liberals went about it, attacking the modest and middle income families. Their health care premium is the first regressive tax Ontario has seen in many years. If you don't know what a regressive tax is, it's when you tax lower earners at a higher rate than you do higher earners. This new tax is really going to hit the low income earners hard. Liberals and Tories, catering to the rich and the corporations, this is not the society I want to live in. For Hampton's views on the issue, click here.

Promise breakers and flip-flops, that's all Liberals are, "Families are already paying for health care with their taxes. Pay more for health care, pay twice for health care but get less health care – that’s the Conservative plan. It’s certainly not the Liberal plan.”
Way to change your tune McGuinty.

While on the theme of my anger toward Liberals and Conservatives, I went to see The Corporation today, finally. I hope all of you see this film, it makes it very clear why I desire and work for change with such passion. I CANNOT tolerate a system that by design takes advantage of people. There are alternatives. Parecon and public ownership of essential services.

I really do love The Fifth Estate on CBC.

Synopsis from this week's episode:
For thousands of young Hondurans, the only hope of finding a way out
of the grinding poverty of their existence is to hop a train
headed for el norte - the north; either the United States or Canada.
They'll risk their lives on a dangerous and illegal 5000 kilometre journey.

This episode was particularly moving because during one segment they showed people from a poor town giving food to those making the journey. It was so inspiring to see people give even though they themselves have very little; it gives me hope.
When I was in grade 10 I watched something similar to this in my politics class, it was this that got me interested in politics at first. My teacher told us all about these injustices and the unfairness in the world. I've always felt like I should do something about it. It's not right, everyone should have the opportunity to succeed in life. I'm very privileged to live in Canada, it's a privilege I don't take for granted (or at least try), this is another reason why I am so committed to achieving a better world. I believe that because I'm so lucky to live where I do and have what I do that it is my responsibility to help those who aren't so fortunate.

Finally, an economic note. I keep getting this emails about the current gas situation, telling us that we shouldn't buy from certain companies. Let me tell you that this plan WILL NOT WORK. If you don't buy from one company it means you will have to buy from another. It is true that the companies from whom you don't buy will reduce their prices as demand will decrease, the problem is that this plan assumes that the other companies will follow suit. THIS IS NOT TRUE. With increased demand the companies will increase their prices. The problem is that the demand schedule is relatively inelastic and little can be done in the short term, this is a supply side issue. What we need to do is reduce our dependency on oil, this will reduce demand in the long term and bring down prices. Get out of your cars people, buy a scooter like me.

Fri, May. 14th, 2004, 12:18 pm
Party Status!

The NDP won the by-election in Hamilton yesterday giving us the needed seat to obtain party status.
The victory was a landslide.
NDP - 63.6 / Lib - 26.6 / PC - 7.4

What a great day for Ontario. More funding for the NDP, a stronger opposition, and a clear message to McGuinty.


Article Here

Tue, Apr. 20th, 2004, 02:04 am
A great man...

I don't think many of you understand what Svend is going through, I don't think I do either but I certainly know where he's coming from.

Svend Robinson Profile on CBC.ca

Probably the best MP, in my opinion.

I might expand on this later but I thought you should read some of his accomplishments for now.

Wed, Apr. 7th, 2004, 04:57 am
More Politics

I couldn't sleep and no one was online so I went and watched some CBC. A two hour episode of the Fifth Estate on water privatization was on, it was quite a good documentary. Go here for the website on the program.

What I enjoyed most was what Jeffery Sachs had to say.

There’s a misunderstanding about economics that even very nice and very well intentioned people say that it’s a market failure when impoverished people die and their needs are not met. That’s actually not a market failure. Markets are doing what they do which is respond to people with income, not to people without income. It’s a political failure, it’s a social failure, it’s an ethical failure but it’s not necessarily a market failure. If you leave problems to markets, markets will not address the needs of the poorest of the poor. They won’t even be recognized by the market forces. Markets function by responding to income demand and that’s by people that have income.

That's precisely why I do not like capitalism (aside from the profit motive). Of course some people benefit from it, in fact I personally do as I live comfortably. However I cannot support a system in which the majority of people (the poor) suffer.

More from SachsCollapse )

You can read the rest of what Sachs had to say here. (You will need Adobe Reader.)

There rest of the interviews are here. Including one with Maude Marlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadian (a think tank I support). Also on this site are the views from Jamal Saghir and Antoine Frerot; who provide the other side of the argument, which I find hold no ground and thats purely from an argumentative viewpoint. Mr. Frerot hit a nerve with me by stating that the anti-globalization camp (which is the wrong term to begin with) do not care about the poor. Something which had been dispelled through history as it is much harder to believe that private interests care about the poor since they stand to make no profit from them. Markets don't work for the poor.

Finally a quiz:
You are an Anarchist! You believe in lawless
freedom in a land without governments. Because
as soon as institutions are formed they are
already antiquated and these institutions
mainly function to maintain themselves invading
and draining the citizen tax payer. On the dark
side: You tend to throw the baby out with the
bathwater! Systems inherently fail. But that
does not suggest that we should not organize
ourselves through systems. We can tweak our
structures when we detect their
vulnerabilities. There is no need to simply
abandon them upon frustration of imperfection.
You tend to find your own way and sometimes it
rubs people strangely. On the brighter side:
You have a great representative in Noam
Chomsky- super linguist and political
commentator. Who explains in his 'Propaganda
Model' (and I'm paraphrasing an abbreviation
here) that the information that reaches you is
filtered and diluted, pissed in and polluted,
so that by the time that you get a 'sound bite'
of palatable 'news' it has been dissected,
stuffed, twisted, baked and then spun. You
cannot trust institutions or governments or any
organization that seeks to exist for its own
benefit. On the Brighter side: You have smarts
and courage. You spend far more time thinking
about politics and economics than most.

Which way do sway on current issues (U.S.)?
brought to you by Quizilla

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004, 08:00 pm
Participatory Economics

So as usual I'm watching CBC. This show I've never seen before called Nerve came on. the description caught my attention, Nerve: Who's Got the Power? - Who's got the power in your life? Cops? Parents? Government?, so I started to watch. The segments were good, mostly about teens questioning their place in society.

It was the last segment that REALLY captured me. It was a report on this cafe called Mondragon in Winnipeg. It's a vegan cafe/alternative bookstore that operates on the principals of Participatory Economics.

Some of you may not be sure what Parecon is so I'll give you a very brief explanation. It's a system of co-operation, where everyone is equal and has participatory say. Basically depending on how much a decision affects you is how much say you have in that decision. There are no profits, no managers, everyone shares the work, everyone earns the same wage.

I heard of some Parecon projects in Spain and Brazil but here was one right here in Canada. Then it occurred to me that if a place like this is viable in Winnipeg, it's certainly viable in Toronto, where there are far more activists. My plan is to open a place like this. It would be a dream come true for me. A job that embraces my politics and pays the bills. I could devote my free time to music and activism, so I can actually do something about the world we live in. Plus I'm contributing to my community, I'm sure Toronto will welcome an alternative bookstore/vegan cafe/indie music venue. On top of all of this I'll be able to help my friends by giving them a job here in the city so they too can pursue their dreams. I already know some people who can help, the only real obstacle is start up capital. Which is what I'll have to work on.

Webpage for Cafe in Winnipeg
Nerve Website

Chomsky quote from Mondragon's website:
"I would like to believe that people have an instinct for freedom, that they really want to control their own affairs... they want a chance to do things that make sense, like constructive work in he way they control, or maybe control together with others… Its really a hope about what human beings are like, a hope that if social structures change sufficiently, those aspects of human nature will be realized."

Mon, Apr. 5th, 2004, 03:10 am
New Icons / Transit Talk

As most of you know I love transit. I even went to the 50th birthday party of the Yonge Subway, missing not one but two classes to do so. I own two transit shirts and a hat. Yes my friends I am a transit nerd. So to honour that part of me here are my two new icons:

However as some of you may know, not all is well in Toronto transit land. More then a Billion dollars was announced for the TTC at the subway party. Great news right? Sadly no, once the details came through the smiles disappeared from the faces of transit advocates. There's a good article here about the dire situation. For those of you in Toronto I urge you to pressure the federal and provincial governments to fund the TTC adequately.

I'm going to make it my personal mission to do something about the TTC.

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