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Things Are Good: Vermont Stops Their War on Drugs, Will Help People Instead

The war on drugs is a backwards, destructive, and anti-human campaign that has destroyed lives. It was launched by Nixon and since then it the ‘war’ has negatively impacted everything it touches from people’s lives to the global economy.

The USA tries to enforce it’s inflexible approach around the world, yet at home many states are realizing that it’s a foolish approach. Vermont has now openly backed out of the ignorant ‘battle’ against drugs and is taking a more educated approach: helping people who are addicted rather than punishing them.

Vermont has passed a battery of reforms that have turned (Read more…)

Illuminated By Street Lamps: Supervised Injection In Toronto: Why The Discussion Has Screeched To A Halt

By Joe Fantauzzi @jjfantauzzi

Drug use is a multifaceted issue in urban life. Addiction can take an enormous toll on individuals and can leave the municipalities in which those people live struggling to adequately service their needs as well as the needs of the community. Supervised injection facilities, in which users consume drugs in a safe, clean space aided by sterile equipment and attendant medical professionals, have emerged as a new field of Canadian urban policy. I contend that despite medical evidence and the recommendations of medical professionals across Canada who advocate supervised injection as a harm-reducing approach to drug (Read more…)

Maple-Flavoured Politics: Ford Happens

Yesterday (April 30, 2014), I thought that the most exciting political news of the day was the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) laboriously working its way through about 300 amendments to Bill C-23, the so-called “Fair Elections Act.” Exactly as expected, the government-dominated committee was busy voting down … Continue Reading

Melissa Fong: Electronic music, raves & Toronto’s moral panic on drugs

…they do the work because they want to re-produce the type of city they want to live- the type of city that is worth living in. … …not all entertainment is built the same- some of these very worth while performers and promotors can’t jump through your hoops, or will grow tired doing so. These local, smaller-name talent will seek other places with fewer restrictions- and those other cities, their citizens and tourism will benefit from it. You have local artists just trying to build a city they want to live it- why are you squashing their efforts? One of the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Divesting From Russian Liquor #skpoli

We've contacted the fed gov't & Ukrn-Cdn groups to determine best way to support freedom & democracy in Ukraine. We will act on that advice.— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) February 24, 2014

Premier Brad Wall says gov't is looking at options to pull Russian liquor products from provincial stores in response to crisis in Ukraine— Marco Vigliotti (@Metro_Marco) March 20, 2014

Premier Wall, having gorged himself with other Canadian politicians on weeks of Russian Olympics propaganda, now considers Russian intoxicants to be the enemy.

What a game! Saskatchewan's @wick_22 & the Canadian Women's Hockey team are golden!!!

Congrats!! #WeAreWinter (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Psst: Bitcoin ATM expanding to Toronto

Yep, more reason why Bitcoins are here to stay Bitcoin ATM was a hit in Vancouver and now Toronto gets one. Located at King and Spadina, Bitcoin Decentral will function […]

Melissa Fong: Weekend Party Announcement- Carlos Souffront, Rennie Foster in Vancouver – 2013 BLOGCEMBER 30/31

Vancouver does have a few local standouts, however- one that has remained true to Vancouver is Rennie Foster. Foster is a fairly influential producer DJ that has mentored a lot of talent frequenting the best of the best in Berlin. Foster is headlining alongside Carlos Souffront- who hails from Detroit. I’m not huge on…

Melissa Fong: Weekend DJ Feature: Steffi- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 22/31

I am going to write a series on sexism and the gender gap in electronic music sometime soon, but for now let’s just focus on the amazing female talent that exists. Some of the fresher faces like Maya Jane Coles are not cutting it for me. Coles is talented, just not my particular style. Anja Schneider is good, Magda is better- but neither have the quality of Steffi as producer-Djs.

Steffi is a NINJA behind the decks….

Melissa Fong: Weekend Party Announcement- Anthony Collins in Montañita, Ecuador – 2013 BLOGCEMBER 20/31

Part of my BLOGCEMBER 2013 series- the Theme is Electronic Music *** As always, let’s set the mood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLrdkk6dGOc (various artists) *** Anthony Collins isn’t one of my first choices but […]

Melissa Fong: What is Resident Advisor?- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 19/31

One of the important things you should know is how to search for parties- especially if you are in a new city. Resident Advisor will list all the main parties at dedicated clubs. They will not usually list afterhours and will…

Melissa Fong: When producers don’t know how to mix- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 17/31

One of the things that can be confusing is the difference between producing and mixing (and then associated style).

As I already explained, NOT ALL DJs PRODUCE. Personally, I refuse to see Djs that don’t produce. Mostly because I approach these events as concerts- NOT just any other club night.

There is a time and place for Djs who …

Melissa Fong: What should you wear to a house/techno party?- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 16/31

GOOD PARTIES NEVER HAVE DRESS CODES.

but MANY parties have dress THEMES. Some of the more organized parties will have costume themes and most people take part to collectively create a fantastical night. I never partake because I am joyless in that division- but I fully support the use of glitter, fun fur and body paints for others.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Are Not Responsible

Conservatives are not responsible for your neighbour’s children. Your neighbour’s children will be paying off debts incurred by Conservative Ministers, however. Conservatives only feel responsible for your neighbour’s children when they street race, have sex, use drugs, or are bullied. Full bellies are definitely not their responsibility, unless it’s unsafe meat. Why don’t hungry children benefit from the government’s “rigor” to “meet consumers expectations”? Are hungry children not “consumers”?

Why yes @JamesMoore_org, it is the job of those who have lots to ensure those who don't – esp kids – get enough too. #yourjob—   (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: What is Boiler Room?- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 15/31

Other than a pretty meh movie from 2000, Boiler Room is like Electric Circus, but less about the go go dancing and more about the Dj. For those of you too young to remember ElectricCircus- thank goodness- it was cheesy and silly and you can just think of the Boiler Room like electronic music- TV.

Melissa Fong: Weekend DJ Feature: Deepchild- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 14/31

From quirky, stripped-back techno injected with soul to deep, dub-inflected excursions, Deepchild has earned himself a reputation as groundbreaking producer, respected DJ and electrifying live-performer. Based in Berlin, the Australian artist has performed at many of the world’s most respected electronic music institutions:

Melissa Fong: Weekend Party Announcement- Guy Gerber in Toronto – 2013 BLOGCEMBER 13/31

Guy Gerber is probably one of my favourite Deep House Dj’s. Scratch that- he is my favourite. He performs way more in Ibiza (and Miami) that I would respect (I… have a hate-on for my fictional image of Ibiza), but he just creates such solid tracks. I also like his public presence. He perfectly straddles popular collaborations with mainstream artists (like P.Diddy) and the house music world. you can tell he has a perfect ear for electronic.

Melissa Fong: Physicality of Djs- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 12/31

There are some Djs that have a great physical presence behind the decks- I’m not just talking about a “bounce” or a head bop that most Djs will indulge in:

Melissa Fong: Why I don’t like outdoor music festivals- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 11/31

Outdoor festivals never have good dancing- it’s a mosh pit of drunk or drugged out people (aka- eff your overpriced, overpriced outdoor EDM Festival). Outdoor festivals don’t have optimal sound systems- open air spaces never properly contain the sound and part of the art of the music-event is to get the optimal space to listen to the music. Finally, they are …

Melissa Fong: What time do I go to a party?- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 10/31

This is probably the most important factor for me. There are typically anywhere in between 3-8 7 people on the bill for that night at your typical party with one room. I like to listen to a sample set of most of the Dj’s and decide which ones I want to see. Let’s say that you have a party that goes from…

Melissa Fong: Ben Klock -breakandenter + Box of Kittens Party Review- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 9/31

Part of my BLOGCEMBER 2013 series- the Theme is Electronic Music *** As always, let’s set the mood: *** Ben Klock did almost a 2.5 hour set on Saturday night at […]

Melissa Fong: Weekend DJ Feature: Nautiluss- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 8/31

I don’t even know how I became quite as obsessed as I am with Nautiluss- I don’t even like his individual tracks that much- I just honestly like listening to his sets….

Melissa Fong: Weekend Party Announcement- Ben Klock in Toronto- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 7/31

One of the nice things is that Ben Klock is one of those legit artists that is still danceable. If you’re just getting into techno it’s a bit of a different style in terms of “the dance”. Techno tends to have a more frenetic… higher tempo beat than house. There’s an industrial quality to techno that can seem kind of confusing for someone who is more used to a more fluid house dance style.

Melissa Fong: Seeing a DJ is like going to a concert- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 6/31

If you go to these parties a lot- sometimes you’ll even see an entire crowd just facing forward to the DJ and watching him spin- they may crush up against the front to watch the details as soon as they come on stage. It truly is a concert experience.

Melissa Fong: Ticket Price: What should you pay for a good party?- 2013 BLOGCEMBER 5/31

The purpose of writing this is to let you know that price points depend on a lot of things and I want people to make decisions on genuine qualities rather than buying into a scene. The problem I am seeing with a lot of parties lately is that they have become progressively more expensive as they have become mainstream. I’m not saying mainstream can’t enjoy this music too- but remember that house and techno come from REALLY humble beginnings and it’s kind of like gentrification in music.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Rob Ford is Not a Nice Man #TOpoli

If you defended Rob Ford during his election campaign in 2010, I would have simply said you made a mistake. His angry outbursts against the media, and his ridiculous comments about bike lanes placed him firmly in my political opponents category then. Plus he had a history of drunk driving by that point in his life.

It’s now 3 years later, and he’s admitted to smoking crack and being an angry, drunk driving, alcoholic. If you’re still defending the man as recently as this past Summer, or last month, you’re making a big mistake.

Today, you have even more egg (Read more…)