Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Action 2009, Climate Change

October 15 is BLOG ACTION DAY 2009, CLIMATE CHANGE is this year's subject.

Climate Change. This is where I loose some of you, and engage others. The debate around Climate Change (yes, with two capital "C"s), came of age a few years ago. I knew it had when my son, Scott came home one afternoon after seeing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and said to me "we need to do something to make this stop".

I have always been a "greenie". I have recycled forever. My kids reveled at the thought of dumpster diving with my boyfriend back in the 80's (they were 7 & 8 at the time). There has been a blue box program at our house since I left hom in the 70's. I have recycled more than my fair share of bottles, cans and paper. I have been conscious of the waste I create. I often shop at thrift stores and second hand places.

So when Scott made this statement, I thought: I'm doing everything I can, what more can I do?

The answer, of course, is LOTS. I can tell you. I can discuss the merits of alternative energy sources. I can try to bring awareness to the issue of climate change and the environment.

I remember as a kid back in the 60's and 70's, thinking that I am going to stop littering. We were traveling through Oregon, and they had these garbage cans called garbage gobblers on the highway. I thought they were cool and took up their cause at once.

Now that I'm an adult, and well into middle age to boot, and in a new century, I need to think about what kind of shape I'm personally leaving the planet in for my children, their children, and their grandchildren.

What more can I, as an individual do?

It is second nature for me to reuse something. I try not to buy things that can only be used once. I have a personal cup that I take to the coffee shop (when I remember). I make my own soup. I cook from scratch when I can. I buy local produce, I go to the farmer's market. When I lived in the West End, I choose not to buy a car and bought an electric bike instead. I put on a sweater rather than turn up the heat. I support wind and solar power whenever I can. I learned to sail so I could enjoy the oceans without an engine.

What else? I can tell other people that we need to be more conscious about our garbage production. I can say "We need to remember to turn off the water when we brush our teeth. We don't need to flush the toilet every time we pee". We need to change our mind set around waste.

For instance, community gardening: Its not just about having a little plot of ground in your neighbourhood. If you are not planning to take the fruit off your trees, let someone else have it. Give it to the food bank. Let someone have access to your backyard to create a victory garden. Make something from recycled material only (I made a potting shed once). Participate in clothing exchanges.

Ok, I've had my say. Now you have yours. Tell someone else about what you do to make a difference. Tell them what you don't do. How you are conscious of your waste. My mom makes her own bread.

What condition will you leave this planet for your children to inherit?

Happy Blog Action Day. Make a difference.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Farmville on Facebook, yes I'm addicted. Are you?

Yes, well its true. I'm a FARMVILLE addict. Ya, thanks Zynga ... lol

I love the little farming game on facebook. I love to get and receive gifts. I love tending to the fields and trees and animals. I like to get new machinery.

Yes, I know its kinda frivolous. However, it also has some connection to reality.

I like farming on line. I have farmed in the past in real life, and I liked that too. It was a lot of hard work, and the return on investment was often outside of the monetary gain. Outdoors, digging in the dirt, caring for animals, learning to butcher (yes, that's right, I learned how to do that... and yes, I can do it again).

I love the water and the land.

So, here is the little list I made of the "profits" for facebook's Farmville. I'll try and update it as I keep playing. I've based it on a 24 hour day, (I'll let you adjust it for Farmville's 23 hour day).

So the profits are "per day", if you harvested & grew the crops for 24 hours. In some cases, like the 4 hour crops, I simply multiplied by 6. I did the same for the experience points.

Happy Farming :)


strawberries, (35 - 10) x 6 = $150

xp: 6/day

Eggplant: 88 - 25 = 63 / 2 (# days) = 31.5

xp: 1/day

wheat: (115 - 35) / 3 = 103.333

xp: .666

Soybeans: 63 - 15 = 48

xp: 2

Squash: (121 - 40) / 2 = 40.5

xp: 1

Pumpkin: (68 - 30) x 3 = 114

ex: 3

Artichokes: (204 - 70) / 4 = 33.5

ex: .5

Rice: (96 - 45) x 2 = 102

ex: 2

Raspberries: (46 - 20) x 12 = 312

ex: 0

Cotton: (207 - 75) / 3 = 44

ex: .666

Bell Peppers (Yellow): (198 - 75) / 2 = 61.5

ex: 1

Peppers (red): (162 - 70) = 92

ex: 2

Aloe Vera: (85 - 50) x 4 = 140

ex: 4

Pineapples: (242 - 95) / 2 = 73.5

ex: 1

Blueberries: (91 - 50) x 6 = 246

ex: 6

Watermelon: (348 - 130) / 4 = 54.5

ex: .5

Grapes: 270 - 85 = 185

ex: 2

Tomatoes: (173 - 100) x 3 = 219

ex: 3

Potatoes: (345 - 135) / 3 = 70

ex: 0.6666


Carrots: (xx - 110)


Coffee: (xx - 120)


Corn: (xx - 150)


Sunflowers: (xx - 135)


Cabbage: (xx - 140)


Green Tea: (xx - 105)


Black Berries: (xx - 75)


Red Wheat: (xx - 180)


Sugar Cane: (xx - 165)


Peas: (xx - 190)


Yellow Melon: (xx - 205)


Onion: (xx - 170)


Broccoli: (xx - 200)


Asparagus: (xx - 220)


Monday, September 7, 2009

Goodbye eBike

Fall, cool crisp air, leaves changing colour, breezes, geese and ducks flying south. For me, its a time of change.

My newest change: I'm selling my trusty eBike. That's my electric bike. Time for a change.

I love the electric bike & will be sorry to see her go. Hopefully, she will provide her next owner with the fun and satisfaction that she's given me over the last year.

This is my second electronic bike. I really like them. Its great for getting around town, shopping, site seeing. It is a bicycle, with pedals, so it can go on the SkyTrain and the SeaBus (not during rush hour yet, but hopefully they will change this). Theoretically, you could put it on the bike rack on the buses, but its very heavy to lift (at least for me).

This trusty eBike has helped me be mobile at a time in my life when I couldn't get around too well. Initially, it was a choice between a scooter or an electric bike. I'm stubborn. I didn't want to be chair bound. I wanted a little bit of a challenge but something I could easily handle. The eBike gave that to me.

This eBike is still in great shape. She will provide someone with great mobility.

The rubber on the tires is great. The disk brakes are good. They are easily adjusted by hand on the wheel.

The shocks are good. The alarm system is awesome. The wheels lock when the alarm is sounded.

The stand makes it so you can park it almost anywhere.

Even though the alarm works great, I still use a U-Lock. The more the better. I was watching the triathelon in the West End last year when one of the local store owners decided I needed to move my bike immediately. I was stuck for a moment, and couldn't get to the bike right away. The store owner picked up my bike. He put it down immediately when the alarm sounded. Everyone within a one block radius, probably two, heard the alarm. Yes, it works well!

My favourate eBike story was I was riding all over town. I took the skytrain from Surrey, dropped in on Commercial Drive. Wandered through Strathcona and then ChinaTown (I love those steamed buns... yuuummm... ok I digress). I got to the Dunsmuir Street Viaduct and the battery started to fail. Of course I'd been biking for five or six hours so I really was pushing it. I managed to pedal coast along the viaduct. When I headed up Dunsmuir, the battery said NOPE I'm DONE now. Just ahead of me was the BC Hyrdo Building. You Guessed it. I pulled up to their electric outlet, the one they use for the power leave blower and the lawn mower. I plugged in and charged up. It only took about 20 minutes for me to charge up enough to get home, but let me tell you! It felt SOOOO GOOD to plug into BC Hydro's power!

I've been riding a normal bike for the last three months. I can do it with some patience and with a little help and encouragement. When I get pooped out, or the distance is too far, I put it on the bus. I can lift the pedal bike easily. The last few months have been a good transition. Now its time for a change... its fall. And its time.

I'm sorry to see her go, but its time.

Thanks eBike. You've been great!

If you want to see the Craiglist posting: click here

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Abbott & Costello buy a computer

I got this in an email. Its a remake of Abbot & Costello's "Who's On First" radio bit. What would it be like if they were buying a computer today...

Of course, like most emails, there was no author credited.


ABBOTT: Super Dupercomputer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.


COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.

ABBOTT: Your computer?

COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.


COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.

ABBOTT: What about Windows?

COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?

ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?

COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?

ABBOTT: Wallpaper.

COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.

ABBOTT: Software for Windows?

COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?

ABBOTT: I just did.

COSTELLO: You just did what?

ABBOTT: Recommend something.

COSTELLO: You recommended something?


COSTELLO: For my office?


COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?

ABBOTT: Office.

COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!

ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.

COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?


COSTELLO: What word?

ABBOTT: Word in Office.

COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.

ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.

COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?

ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue'W'.

COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'w' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?

ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.

COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?

ABBOTT: Money.

COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?

ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.

COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?

ABBOT: One copy.

COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?

ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.

COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?


(A few days later)

ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?

COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?

ABBOTT: Click on 'START'.

ok... so now Costello buys his second computer... with Windows 2000 of course... and this is how that goes:

Abbott and Costello Meet Windows 2000

Costello: Hey, Abbott!

Abbott: Yes, Lou?

Costello: I just got my new computer.

Abbott: That's great Lou. What did you get?

Costello: A Pentium IV 1.4 Gig, with 512 Megs of RAM, a 21 Gig hard drive, and a 48X CD-ROM.

Abbott: That's terrific, Lou.

Costello: But I don't know what any of it means!!

Abbott: You will in time.

Costello: That's exactly why I am here to see you.

Abbott: Oh?

Costello: I heard that you are a real computer expert.

Abbott: Well, I don't know-

Costello: Yes-sir-ee. You know your stuff. And you're going to train me.

Abbott: Really?

Costello: Uh huh. And I am here for my first lesson.

Abbott: O.K. Lou. What do want to know?

Costello: I am having no problem turning it on, but I heard that you should be very careful how you turn it off.

Abbott: That's true.

Costello: So, here I am working on my new computer and I want to turn it off. What do I do?

Abbott: Well, first you press the Start button, and then-

Costello: No, I told you, I want to turn it off.

Abbott: I know, you press the Start button-

Costello: Wait a second. I want to turn it off. Off. I know how to start it. So tell me what to do.

Abbott: I did.

Costello: When?

Abbott: When I told you to press the Start button.

Costello: Why should I press the Start button?

Abbott: To shut off the computer.

Costello: I press Start to stop.

Abbott: Well Start doesn't actually stop the computer.

Costello: I knew it! So what do I press.

Abbott: Start

Costello: Start what?

Abbott: Start button.

Costello: Start button to do what?

Abbott: Shut down.

Costello: You don't have to get rude!

Abbott: No, no, no! That's not what I meant.

Costello: Then say what you mean.

Abbott: To shut down the computer, press-

Costello: Don't say, "Start!"

Abbott: Then what do you want me to say?

Costello: Look, if I want to turn off the computer, I am willing to press the Stop button, the End button and Cease and Desist button, but no one in their right mind presses the Start to Stop.

Abbott: But that's what you do.

Costello: And you probably Go at Stop signs, and Stop at green lights.

Abbott: Don't be ridiculous.

Costello: I am being ridiculous? Well. I think it's about time we started this conversation.

Abbott: What are you talking about?

Costello: I am starting this conversation right now. Good-bye.

I've emailed the "official" Abbott & Costello page to see if they know the author. I'll post it if I can find it... the hunt is on!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lou Dobbs & CNN, still promoting the President needs to provide a Birth Certificate

The president of CNN, Jonathan Klein, still defends Lou Dobbs' contention that President Obama needs to provide a birth certificate. Klein claims that Dobbs is simply reporting on the conspiracy theories.

This is not true.

Dobbs has consistently claimed that the President needs to provide a birth certificate (by the way he has posted it on the internet). Dobbs suggests that the birther conspiracys have legitimacy.

As president of CNN, Klein sets their tone. He is now part of the legitimization of this ridiculous conspiracy movement.

The transcript of Kleins comments on the LA Times is here:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lou Dobbs is NOT a legitimate reporter or news commentator

Lou Dobbs is making a mockery of CNN and news reporting by claiming that President Obama needs to provide a birth certificate (he already has and posted it on the internet). Would Dobbs be making this claim if the President had more "mainstream" name? CNN needs to censure Dobbs. This is not a freedom of speech issue, Dobbs can say whatever he wants on his own radio show. Its his credibility on CNN that needs to be challenged.

The following is an article from David Brock of Media Matters:

From David Brock of Media Matters:
Recently, CNN's Lou Dobbs has repeatedly used his prominent platform as a prime-time host on CNN, as well as his daily nationally syndicated radio show, to legitimize paranoid conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's birth certificate. Despite the fact that these fringe ideas have been thoroughly debunked, he continues to mainstream extreme right-wing rhetoric by asserting that Obama needs to "produce a birth certificate" and giving birther conspiracies airtime on his shows.

In response to Dobbs' relentless trafficking in these fringe conspiracy theories, CNN President Jon Klein initially declared the story "dead," saying anyone who "is not convinced doesn't really have a legitimate beef." But less than 24 hours later, Klein caved in to Dobbs, reversing himself completely. He even went so far as to reportedly call Dobb's coverage of the birther movement "legitimate."

Klein's caving to Dobbs raises a serious, troubling question: Who is really calling the shots at CNN? We need your help today to publicly pressure CNN credibly address its Dobbs problem.

Contrary to Klein's description of Dobbs' birth certificate coverage as "legitimate," CNN's own hosts have debunked and ridiculed the story as "ludicrous," "nutty," and "conspiratorial."

Nevertheless, Dobbs has repeatedly claimed on both his television and radio shows that President Obama has failed to adequately address the claims of birther conspiracy theorists. He has said that Obama needs to "produce a birth certificate" and that the birth certificate the president posted online more than a year ago has "some issues." Rather than correct the record in response to criticism of his coverage of birther theories, Dobbs has lashed out at "lily-livered lefties" who criticized him because he "had the temerity to inquire as to where the birth certificate was." He even claims a "national left-wing media conspiracy" is attacking him over the birther issue.

We need to present CNN with an overwhelming public response to Dobbs' relentless promotion of these conspiracy theories tinged with racism.
So, please sign the following petition today and demand that CNN address its Lou Dobbs problem in a credible manner.

Thank you for your help in holding CNN accountable,

David Brock
Founder & CEO
Media Matters for America

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Marriage rights

"Legal" marriage is an historically NEW concept. 500 years ago (and less in lots of places) marriages between the lowly peasants did not happen (and lets be honest now, we are not all related to Lords, Ladies, Royalty and Peerage). There was no written document. There was no where to file it, no bureau of vital statistics. People just got married, period. Sometimes a church ceremony, sometimes not. They lived together and provided for themselves & their families. No fuss, no muss, just get married and get on with the business of providing for your family.

Then the "gentrification" of society happened. The industrial revolution, cottage industries, factories, and everyone starts reading and writing. Voila, the ceremony is codified, the procedures and legitimacy sanctified by "registration" with the state.

Ok, I have over simplified the historical perspective. However, you get the idea. Marriage was not always codified as between a man and a woman.

If a white man married an Indian woman, she was no longer allowed to live on a reserve. She lost her Indian status and her children were not deemed to be Indian. In some states a black man or woman could not "legally" marry a white man or woman.

My point: these ideas of marriage changed over time. It changed to reflect the changes in society. Operative word: changed.

We need to ackowledge that people have a right to marry. Period. Get over ourselves as being the sole arbiter of the definition of "marriage". If you believe that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, then don't marry someone of the same sex as yourself, and leave others alone to do as they wish. No one is going to force you to marry someone of the same sex.

Now in the US, there are over 1,000 federal statutes that will affect the government's and a person's rights and responsibilities, based on the definition of marriage. This fact alone suggests to me that there is a HUGE difference between a civil union and a marriage.

Same sex unions happen. They are NOT illegal any more. Lets recognize the fact that marriage is a right and a responsibility, not an operation of prejudice and bigotry.

Happy Pride :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

In Praise of Social Workers

This is in Praise and Thanks of All Social Workers and
Irena Sendlerowa, (aka Sendler), 1910 - 2008
Social Workers often have a negative public image. This is in part because they are often the source of separating children from their families. This is not the “fault” of the social worker. It is an option of last resort to remove a child from their family home. It is not taken lightly. However, when a child is at risk, it must be done. The brave women and men that have this task are social workers. In my mind, they are all heros.

The other part of why the negative image continues is because they don't have a good public relations director. No one speaks for them, takes their side or backs them up. Its much more fun and "interesting" to find and report on the bad examples than those that do a great job and save lives.

This article is my little attempt at tipping those scales. Tipping them in favour of social workers.

A group of Kansas high school kids also tipped those scales in favour of social workers. They undertook to find out about a Polish social worker hero of World War II, Irena Sendlerowa. They wrote and produced a play called “Life In A Jar” about this social worker. Their work was then used as the basis for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, “The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler”, televised on April 19, 2009.

There is now a biography of Ms. Sendlerowa’s life and her heroic efforts saving the Warsaw children. It was written and published in Poland in 2004.

Ms. Sendloerowa's story is a glorious one, especially given that she did not take all the credit for what she helped accomplish. She claimed that saving the children was a team effort and that she simply did per part.

Irena Sendlerowa was a Polish Catholic social worker in Warsaw during World War II. She was one of the visionaries that saw the writing on the wall, and started a campaign to take Jewish children out of the Warsaw ghetto and place them with Polish families, orphanages and monasteries. She worked with the Zegota (Council to Aid the Jews) to provide 2,500 children with new identities and to keep them safe. Ms. Sendlerowa kept the true details of the children in glass jars buried in her friend’s garden.

When the war was over, Ms. Sendlerowna dug up the glass jars from the garden, and helped to re-unite the children with their families. Many of the parents died at the Treblinka death camp. There is no doubt that the children she helped to rescue would have had a similar fate.

Ms. Sendlerowa faced many risks and was eventually captured by the German Nazi’s. She was tortured and sentenced to death. Ms. Sendlerowa managed to escape with the help of the resistance (the Zegota) and remained in hiding for the rest of the war.

That was not the end of the story for this brave woman. Ms. Sendlerowa was persecuted again by the Polish communist government. She was sentenced to death again, and saved again. Her story could not be told until recently for fear of further persecution.

One of the most poignant facts about this heroic lady was her insistence that she did not do this work alone. She said that it could not have happened without the help of the other people working with her to save the children. She was the co-ordinator, but all of them were essential.

Ms. Sendlerowna has been honoured by the International Federation of Social Workers. She received the Order of the White Eagle from Poland, and is an honorary citizen of Israeland. The Israeli Yad Vashem institute honored Sendlerowa with the Righteous Among the Nations medal. There is now an Irena Sendler Award for “Healing the World”.

Kansas has dedicated March 10 as Irena Sendler Day

There are rumours that Ms. Sendlerowa was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, but “lost out” to Al Gore and the Climate Change Panel. However, these are only rumours. Nobel Prize nominees are not revealed for 50 years after their consideration. So, we won’t know this for another 48 years. Nobel Peace Prize Awards are not given posthumously.

What can you do?

When you say your daily prayers or meditations, or you need help with a child, any kind of help, ask Irena Sendlerowa to pray on your behalf. It is a kindly way to remember her heroic and humble feats, and help you as well.

You can also help to spread the word about social workers generally. They really are a good lot. Theirs is a difficult job, but our society is better for it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

BC Referendum on Voting System - The Results

British Columbians did not vote to pass the Referendum for changing the way we vote in this Province. The Single Transferable Vote did not win the necessary number of votes to become binding on our new government.

There are 75 electoral districts which have completed their initial count, and 10 districts left to report. However, it seems that the preliminary voting results will stand.

The following is directly from Elections BC (

For BC-STV to be selected as the preferred electoral system and for the result to be binding on government, two thresholds must be met:

  1. At least 60% of the valid votes province-wide must be cast in favour of BC-STV
  2. In at least 51 of the 85 electoral districts, more than 50% of the valid votes in the electoral district must be cast in favour of BC-STV

If either of these thresholds is not met, the result of the referendum is not binding on government.

As of May 13, 2009 4:00 p.m. the preliminary results are:

% of valid votes province-wide in favour of BC-STV


Number of electoral districts with 50% or more of the valid votes cast in favour of BC-STV


We did not want the suggested change to the way we elect member to the Provincial Legislative assembly. We may be asked again at the next election. If we are, we will need more information.

We will also need more options. We need a solution that is as unique as British Columbia. What we were offered was simply a carbon copy of a system used in other parts of the world.

We have a large land mass. Different parts of the Province have differing needs. Those needs have to be addressed. Are they being met by the type of representation we currently use? Clearly, the people of BC did not think that the proposed “first past the post” or “single transferable vote” system would serve them.

Yet, also clearly, the people of BC do want some type of political reform. People want to know that their vote counts. They want to know that they are represented.

Will this be an end to the question of election reform? The STV Referendum may have failed, but that may not be the end of the issue. Will we want a new look at the whole question?

There were only 2 questions put before the electorate. The original committee’s mandate could not look beyond this question. Does that mean we to broaden the issue.

Or do we leave this issue for a while and focus solely on the economy and its recovery?

BC has a history of having unique political frontiers, even in types of adversity. We are often viewed as being in a political “LaLa” or “Lotus” Land by the rest of Canada. They think we are politicially nuts. Perhaps we are.

However, some of our "crazy west coast" political initiatives have become the staple of mainstream politics. We were the first province to embrace the green movement, including the Green Party. We were the first to do a referendum on Senate Reform. We were even the first province to (unofficially) call our Premier the Prime Minister (remember Wacky Bennett?). Ok, maybe that went too far.

We have not heard the last of political reform in BC. The First Past the Post or Single Transferrable Vote system was not accepted by British Columbians on May 12. That does not mean that the question is dead. Mark my words, we will see it again. Hopefully, in a form that fits the uniqueness of British Columbia. Stay tuned.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

BC Referendum on Voting System

This ballot is going to be given to you at the upcoming election in British Columbia on May 12.

Its another referendum vote, and its an important one.

It is going to ask for your opinion about which electoral system BC should use for MLA’s:

  • Keep the current system (they call this "First Past the post”, more about this later); or

  • single transferable vote (they call this “BC-STV”, and I’ll discuss this later too).

Each group, “First past the post”, and “BC-STV”, received funding from the provincial government (about $500,000 each). Its REALLY important that we (the voters & taxpaers) get our money's worth in this referendum! The best way to do that, is to get as much information as is available, then make a choice, and MOST importantly, FILL OUT THE BALLOT!

Here is some ways to get information:

The site for those that want BC-STV:

Here is a short synapsis of how advocates of the BC-STV say the system will work:

The following is a video created by the pro STV group, and it explains the benefits of the STV system:

Also, you can google “BC STV” or go to YouTube and do a search there for “yes STV”.

Pro First Past the Post
This is the First Past the Post site:

The First Past the Post organization has concerns about the proposed STV system. In a nutshell, they say the system is complicated, and it is difficult to understand how your vote will be counted. Have a look here:

Here is a video about the concerns of STV:

Other No to STV Sights this is Mike Culpepper’s site on the Single Transferrable Vote question. It has lots of resources and information for further edification.

Bottom Line:
Learn as much as you can about this topic AND THEN VOTE!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Political Integrity

Yes, that's right. Political Integrity.

There is a large part of our population that believe that the phrase "political integrity" is an oxymoron.

I do not.

I have worked for politicians, in BC, the Yukon, and Alberta, and have to say that there are many politicians with integrity.

The majority of politicians are truly public servants.

While I didn't always believe in their policies, I know that they did, and that is sometimes what matters. Underlying even their policies was a desire to make where we live a better place for the citizens. To me, that is integrity.

President Obama has integrity. There are some historical Canadian politicians that have integrity: Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Tommy Douglas; and world leaders: Mohandas Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Nelson Mandela.

Use your imagination to think of more. Not just politicians that you like or agree with, or were charismatic. Recall them from the broader spectrum: from the left, the right, socialist, capitalist, even historical and religious leaders like Jesus, and Buddha. They too were politicians.

I do not suggest that there are no politicians without integrity, of course there are. However, this is not about them.

How do you tell whether a politician has integrity? Easy: are they honest? Do they keep their word?

Are they willing to stand up and face tough questions?

Do they acknowledge the little people in their community?

Do they work to make life better for their constituents?

Do they propose solutions or do they sling mud?

Are they accessible? Do they answer the important questions from the people they serve?

Take the time to find out. That's your job. Don't just dismiss all politicians. Remember that you have a responsibility too. It is not just about whether you show up in the voting booth (but that is an important component too), its about making an informed choice.

Don't be afraid to find out who has and who does not have integrity.

Take part. If you don't have the answers, ask questions. Then listen carefully to the answers.

There are politicians that have integrity. They do exist. Find out who they are and what they are going to do for your community, for your country. Support them. They need you just as much as you need them.

Be an citizen with integrity. You may be surprised that you will discover politicians with integrity. They exist. They want to serve.

Monday, March 30, 2009

BC Homelessness

Homelessness in BC is in the news... must be an election looming...

The BC Liberals have decided to arbitrarily change the definition of “homeless”. They are doing this without so much as a “by your leave” with anyone, especially those with a vested interested in providing assistance to the homeless.


The election of course.

So they can bandy about numbers to support their blatant inaction in dealing with the issue of homelessness. Inaction, except in changing the name of course.

The Ministry of Housing & Social Development, has now issued their definition of homeless.

Couch-surfing is no longer part of the definition.

Sleeping in a doorway is no longer part of the definition, unless you have been there for more than 30 days.

Next, will they be changing the definition of 30 days? Will it be consecutive days? What about weekends?

If you are homeless for 30+days, will a stint on a friend’s couch for a weekend mean that you are not homeless any more?

Transition houses, houses without adequate or running water and no heat, second stage housing in shelters are all considered “housing”. So those living in these circumstances are now “housed”.


Shacks and lean-to’s?

Looks like they mean you are now "housed" and not "homeless".

Here is a good article about this specific issue:

Also, on April 19, Pivot Legal Society and SFU are jointly presenting a day long film review and discussion about homelessness ($3 -$5) Doors open @ 11:30 a.m., SFU Harbour Centre (see poster here:

Here is the Ministry directive (have a look, it will likely disappear in the next week or so):

Friday, February 13, 2009

Brazen & Blazen advertising

This is brazen blazen self promotion!
I'm moving.
I'm getting rid of as much as I can! (Its only "stuff")
I'm renting a table at the Vancouver Flea Market (the big red barn) on Terminal in Vancouver
Come and get some GREAT deals...
Some of the "stuff": kitchen appliances, table cloths, linen (napkins), picture frames, teddy bears, knick knacks, jewellry, collectibles, Valentine stuff~!!!!

Come by and say hi
Have your picture taken and posted on facebook (or here :)

Bring your sense of humour and your wallet!

Lynne & Jen

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You get what you vote for

Harper's Conservatives do NOT care about the average Canadian. Its same ol' same ol' on Parliament Hill.

Canadians are generally hard workers. However, our own government (Human Resources Minister Diane Finley) does NOT agree. Instead, she says “We do not want to make it lucrative for them to stay home and get paid for it”. She is talking about Employment Insurance Claimants. You know... that thing that ALL working Canadians must pay into and are entitled to when they loose their jobs through no fault of their own.
No fault, but hey... we must ensure you are not lazy you sloths!
Look who is call Canadian lazy!
The government that uses EI funds for their general budget.
Might as well just call it what it is... a tax.
How insulting.
To the very people that make this country work.
An extra 5 weeks of benefits is all you are going to get you lazy sods.
Be grateful for that!
Have a look at this article:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

President Obama's Inaugural Speech


I know, that’s not the most useful analysis of yesterday’s speech, but it captures my emotional reaction perfectly.

Wow... and: Honourable, Integral, Joyous, Firm, Resolute, In-vocative, Challenging, Inspiring, Virtuous, Resolute, Compelling.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. I was moved. I cried, I was joyous, and I felt like there was hope. Like the rain clouds lifted and the sun shone brightly through the silver lining.

It was probably one of the best speeches I’ve been privileged to hear.

In the moment, right now, I feel it was one of the greatest speeches. It was in the league of Kennedy’s “ask not what your country can do for you...” speech. It was as moving and as hopeful as Dr. King’s “I have a dream” speech. It was as challenging as anything I have read by Ghandhi or Mandela. It was as inspiring as Hillary Clinton’s “ No way. No how. No McCain” at the Democratic Convention.

My cousin says it was “on the money”. The tone was perfect. There was no mincing words just to appease or pussy-foot around anyone or any thing. Another cousin: “Hope, peace and co-operation”.