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Thomas Paine

To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.

Monday, March 26, 2012

26 March - New Links

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 7:  Actress Gillian...LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 7: Actress Gillian Anderson (R) shows a first edition of a Charles Dickens book, with the author's annotations, to Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, during a tour of the Dickens Museum on February 7, 2012 in London, England. Today is the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters in Ta...Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters in Taiwan Pride 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"Please, sir, I want some more." Fro..."Please, sir, I want some more." From Oliver Twist, illustration by George Cruikshank. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ROCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03:  Actors from...ROCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Actors from the 'Dickens Fellowship', dressed in Victorian period costume, meet outside Rochester Castle which is believed to be the inspiration for locations in Charles Dickens' novels when he lived near the city on February 3, 2012 in Rochester, England. The bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth, one of England's greatest ever authors, is marked on February 7, 2012. Dickens' novels, written and set during the Victorian period, represent some of English literature's most iconic texts. His work, concentrating largely on social injustice, continues to hold relevance with over 300 film and television adaptations based on his books. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
I've continued surfing electric bikes and scooters post purchase, looking up trailers, etc. ( and getting continual ad notes )  This site seems a trove of informational links in the sidebar
Oxygen Electric Scooters

An historic judgment moves sex workers' rights forward

Judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal in Ontario on Canada's sex work laws.
Here's the link to the decision 

Each new court ruling adds weight to the argument for decriminalization, and reminds Canadians again and again that it is against our own Constitution to treat sex workers so disgracefully. The communication law is used almost exclusively in Canada to harass and control street sex workers. Criminal sanctions against communicating are a tool for moving sex workers along when the business settles in a particular place. 

But the big downside of the tense relationship between police and outdoor sex workers that develops as a result means some of the most vulnerable women in the country choose not to seek protection from police.
For those who are opposed to the existence of sex work, the judgment need not be taken as an endorsement of the industry. As this excerpt makes clear, at issue is whether Canada's laws around prostitution are increasing the danger to sex workers. And they are.

"In holding that the negative impact of the legislation on prostitutes is obvious, we do not mean to understate the complexities and difficulties of the social problems associated with prostitution. However, those complexities and the many possible legislative responses to them are not germane to the question at hand. Like the application judge, we are satisfied that the current legal regime, and specifically the challenged Criminal Code provisions, interferes with prostitutes security of the person."

Tasering incident brings many more layers to light

I went digging around for information this week on that troubling incident, only to end up puzzling over how a company with a history of running bars and liquor stores ends up in the group-home business.  Even a cursory look at the Prince George situation raises questions about how B.C. contracts services for its most at-risk children. 


Anne of Green Gables

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens' unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives.[1] The book exposed the cruel treatment of many a waif-child in London, which increased international concern in what is sometimes known as "The Great London Waif Crisis": the large number of orphans in London in the Dickens era. 

An early example of the social novel, the book calls the public's attention to various contemporary evils, including the Poor Law, child labour and the recruitment of children as criminals. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of hardships as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own early youth as a child labourer contributed to the story's development.

Dickens mixes grim realism and merciless satire as a way to describe the effects of industrialism on 19th-century England. The apparent plague of poverty that Dickens describes also conveyed to his middle-class readers how much of the London population was stricken with poverty and disease


But Nanny, That Hurts !



No more stalling on addiction

Archie Courtnall Centre, at Royal Jubilee Hospital, has become the “default processing centre for addicted individuals seeking treatment,” complains Barale. Apparently, nobody at the centre contemplated dealing with that much addiction. (What’s with that, anyway?). Worse still, there’s no other place to send people with addictions, meaning they end up the centre’s problem even though it wasn’t built to deal with them.
“The staff of the psychiatric emergency service struggle daily to provide even the most basic medical and psychiatric care for his suffering population,” said Barale. “And they do so with little support and the pitiful resources provided by VIHA - resources which, even by so-called Third World standards, are entirely inadequate.”

B.C. criminal records now searchable on-line 

Aside from an unpleasant period of paranoia brought on by seeing the documentary Food Inc ., I’ve never put much thought into food safe...
( I added to paranoia with a note to check the Topical Index on Water,Corporate Farming, and Vaccines. Or I could have simply linked to Des ! )

Conflicting stories on Canada and Honduran police problems

Canada, Honduras and the Coup d’Etat

In the months since President Mel Zelaya was removed from his home by the military and flown from the Honduran capital to Costa Rica on June 28, much has been made of the crisis.
Hundreds of thousands of Hondurans have protested the coup, denouncing the military, the local oligarchy and the US as the main perpetrators of Zelaya's removal.
The extent to which countries like Italy, South Korea, Taiwan and Canada, all of which have significant trade and investment links with Honduras are connected to the coup has remained largely unexplored.
The coup came before the final reading of a new mining law before congress, which would have restricted mining in the country and banned the use of cyanide in Honduras.
In Canada, with the exception of a few editorials in the mainstream media, little attention has been paid to what is certainly one of the most important events in the hemisphere over the last decade. While Canada’s links to Central America are much less significant than those of the US, they are still worth exploring.

O Canada!

I greatly appreciated this article Dawn. I certainly will not forget Honduras. I'd like to say Nor will I forget Haiti, but I'm already there. When that went down back in 2004, I was apalled and determined to not forget it. I'm in a minority who, rather than feeling warm and fuzzy about our former (tax evading) finance minister and, later, prime minister, Paul Martin, feels he should be behind bars for the role he played in helping the Americans to again rape Haiti.
A project I've given myself is to buy three books on the subject so that I can inform myself so that I can talk intelligently about that tragedy when the subject comes up. I want to remind, or inform, others about Canada's role in attacking Haiti and to do so in a useful, effective manner. The task has been made somewhat difficult, however, by the failure of Book City to be of any use to me. I don't have a credit card. When I tried to get two of the books I'm after (one by Anthony Fenton and another by Paul Farmer and Noam Chomsky) from Book City they told me that they can't get them. The reasons were nonsense to me. They actually said that the one book I wanted (by Anthony Fenton) was there, but they couldn't order it because it was 'one' book. And in the case of the book co-authored by Farmer and Chomsky, which I asked for a couple of days ago, I was told that they couldn't order it. I was given no intelligible reason.
On an aside, I noticed that there was a Toronto Star article by Tanya Talaga (allowing no commenting) about Right To Play's foray into working with Canadian kids. I couldn't leave a comment, so I emailed Tanya to ask whether she had thought to ask RTP whether they were still using Gildan made uniforms. Let's see whether she responds to my question. RTP was, and may still be, using Gildan's sweatshop-made uniforms. (I've seen the boxes in their Queen St E office) RTP's people are nice enough. Capitalists usually are. Perhaps they could care about this if it was brought to their attention. I don't know. The U.S., Canada and France overthrew Haiti's democratically elected government so that sweatshop companies like Gildan would be free to exploit (and use child labor) there.
Ken Silverstein, writing for Harper's magazine about the current state of sweatshops in Cambodia - I listenend to him talk about it with Doug Fabrizio of Radio West/ KUER 90.1 this morning - explained that there are no good arguments for corporations continuing to force down wages in sweatshop countries they do business with and very good reasons (trade imabalances due to America's continued role as buyer of last resort) for them to use tarrifs (if necessary) for example to increase the wages of those workers. It's debt, not cash, that's being used to pay for all that cheap stuff, if I understand this properly. See Ken Silverstein's article, "The human cost of a two-dollar T-shirt," at: http://harpers.org/archive/2010/01/0082784.
** Trillions of dollars reside in offshore tax havens - used by criminal, individuals, terrorists, banks - while tax cutting, deficit-causing 'leaders' whine that they can't afford social spending! **

Where from here

I imagine that as the weeks and months go on the resistance front together with exiled Hondurans including Zelaya will articulate a solid "where do we go from here" resistance platform.
I've written about the inauguration of Pepe Lobo & the parallel ceremony held by the Honduran people earlier this week, posted here: http://www.dominionpaper.ca/weblogs/dawn/3174.

Canada, Honduras and the Coup d’Etat
Canadian-owned Mine Fuels Violence in Mexico
SFU Student Government Moves to Displace Progressive Groups

Killer bees and a Honduran business development workshop

The coffee growers knew they needed to improve living conditions for workers, or they wouldn’t have enough of them, so their plan included better housing and food. (They also raised interesting questions about organic and fair trade certifications. These are family operations, but if their kids help with the picking they lose their fair trade certification. And more broadly, work harvesting coffee by kids keeps a lot of families out of desperate poverty. Is it really “fair” to cut them out of that work without any alternative? A school-aged boy can make $15 a day picking coffee, three times the wage for an unskilled labourer and as much as a bank teller. For a poor family, that’s a huge benefit.)

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