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Trashy's World: It’s National Siblings Day!

And, according to the centuries old tradition, all younger siblings must pony up the equivalent of 6 gold sovereigns to the eldest sibling. That’s about a grand in today’s coinage If you’re the eldest of 6, ching-ching!!! Only child? – yeah, too bad. Hey, I’m only repeating the rule! I don’t make this stuff up… […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Poor Kids, Poor Families and Shame

“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”

- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’

BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!

When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.

Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:

When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, empower them; and who will convene the meetings?

And instead of wondering who’s got your back, figure out whose back you need to protect.

There are two days left. No rush, because Friday is just the start of the 3-month Wave that culminates on (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Ugh. We’re so much poorer than our parents!

Yes, your parents’ standard of living was better, so what are you going to do about it?

When I was growing up in the 1970s, most [maybe 80%?] of my friends had a mom who stayed home and didn’t work.

Over the last 40 years the proportion of single income households seems to have flipped so that it seems to be only about 20%.

So what’s wrong with this graph over there?

There’s a huge increase in the number of families with more than one income source in the last 40 (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

But today? If it isn’t a living wage, it’s exploitative.

And if it is just minimum wage, we are likely not too accurate on who is suffering with these low wages.

Let’s take a peek:

It is not the stereotypical pothead living in their parents’ basement.

(Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Future of Feminism Is Now

The children: being the future.

There seems to be a bit of an epidemic of young women and men rejecting the necessity of exploring or embracing feminism.

Maybe it’s like similarly misguided ideas like how we don’t need unions anymore.

But when you encounter young people who get it, really really get it, it gives you hope for the future.

Meet Jules Spector:

At the risk of pinning all the hopes of the world on one person’s shoulder, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about one voice, and a platform to speak to the world. Or her community.

(Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Two steps forward in America, one step back in Uganda

Another good (and bad) week for common decency.

1) Freedom of religion. That’s the excuse a lot of business owners used well into the 1970s when they refused service to Blacks, Asians and Native Americans. So it was good to hear Gov. Janice Brewer of Arizona veto the so-called “religious freedom” bill that would have allowed people to do business with gays and lesbians. It followed the

Politics, Re-Spun: Remembering Eric Buckley

My uncle died Friday. His more formal obituaries are here and here. But here are some of my less formal memories, some of which, happily, showed up in the official ones.

My family spent many vacations with his family at their home in the 1970s. Many of my memories of the 1970s came from these extended family gatherings and Eric’s hobbies. Experiences build memories and shape characters and how we understand other people.

I’m lucky to have many fond memories:

Eric was the first person I ever knew who had a woody wagon. I likely wouldn’t have know the (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: The Pity Party, that is -Dave Foley-

I used to love Dave Foley. Kids in the Hall was one of the most epic variety shows, and Canadian to boot. Then there was News Radio that had awesome […]

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Finally, the Confederacy gets on board — well, one state does

In a decision that surprised me, a Southern federal judge overturned Virginia’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen also ruled that the state also had to start respecting the laws of 17 other states and Washington DC that permit the practice. This marks the first time a Confederate state has joined the bandwagon of equality. (Read the decision in Bostic v.

Politics, Re-Spun: This Week Will Clobber You, Politically

I apologize in advance, British Columbia.

This will be the week from hell, and it started yesterday while we were all Family Day-ing. Hold your breath:

Yesterday, the Conservative Soft Fascist Party of Canada rammed through the “Fair (sic) Elections Act” that will further protect us from the possibility of fair elections into the future. The next Fair Elections Act will likely give corporations the vote. Because why not, they’re people too! Actually, they’re more human than us in so many ways. And it’s actually called corporatism, not so much the fascism. In recent weeks we heard that the (Read more…)

centre of the universe: When a Body

My granddad is in this photo. He’s the kid perched on the plough. It’s his father driving the car. David Henry. My granddad ended up looking just like him. Uncle Reg is beside David Henry, and their neighbours are standing … Continue reading →

Politics, Re-Spun: Curing Gender Imbalance in Media? MONEY!

Movies that pass the Bechdel Test…make…more…money.

The best things in life are free, but you can give them to the birds and bees.

Media corporations love their money.

And in a sexist society, common sense indicates that movies with lots of testosterone and no whiny women should make more money.

That may have been true at some point, but as of last year, not so much.

Here’s why we know this:

Click the image to see the grandeur of it all!

After analyzing the top 50 biggest box office movies of 2013, Versha Sharma and Hanna Sender have an innovative money-making tip for (Read more…)

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Doing right by sex trade workers

Due to multiple technical issues I haven’t been able until now to comment on the Supreme Court’s decision in Attorney General of Canada v. Bedford on December 20th but all I can say is it was absolutely the right decision. What surprised me was that it lined up 9-0, I was expecting 5-4. Given that five of the justices were appointed by PMS and one by Mulroney, one might expect conservative

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Food Over 3 Decades Old

Yesterday I ate fruit cake my Mum made for her wedding, and it still tasted good. Few people get to eat food older than they are, and can say they enjoyed it.

One of the greatest things to come out of the 70s was me. Another of those great things was this cake. Both made, in part, by my Mum.

I learned more about the 1970s too by looking in a photo album. Here’s Bengough’s water tower accident. Mum said a vehicle was crushed, and the rink got clipped, but no one was hurt.

centre of the universe: I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas

We have come to my childhood home for ExMass. I haven’t been “home” for Christmas since the year before Mum died. Ive been back to the house many times with the boys, but not in winter. not at Christmas. This was always her holiday. We arrived after supper and decorated the tree. I went from […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The male and female co-facilitators move briskly through the agenda with the help of the nodding volunteer maintaining the speakers list. There are sporadic jazz-hand gestures, common from the Occupy Movement, as well as a strict yet comfortable group norm of only one person speaking at (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Secret Weapon: Self-Esteem

It’s Monday.

Have you contributed positively to a young girl’s self esteem yet today?

If not, here is some inspiration and a place to get better resourced!

“As a child, I never heard one woman say to me: ‘I love my body.’ Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. Not one woman has ever said: ‘I am so proud of my body.’ So, I make sure I say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start from a very early age.”

- Kate Winslet

In the first movie, when it was obviously (Read more…)

cmkl: Balance beam

Balance beam. As the family photographer it fell to me to attend Mallory’s last gymnastics class. She had an ear to ear grin on during the entire class. Except when she was really focussed. Of all the activities we put her through this is clearly her favourite.

Politics, Re-Spun: How Does Violence at Home Affect Workplaces in Canada?

Worksafe BC at least isn’t keeping itself in the dark

Here is yet another stigma-laden, denial-inducing taboo topic in society and workplaces: domestic violence.

And when we connect violence at home to effects on people as workers in the workplace, we get lots of crickets.

So I’m happy to report that Western and the CLC are trying to turn on the flashlight to gather some data to see how big a problem this is, and how much we’ve been ignoring it as people, workers, co-workers, employers, unions and governments.

I’ll give you a hint: I expect we’re in pretty massive (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: I Believe the Children Are Our Future: Barf

Faisal and Azeem, getting it done!

Platitudes and paternalism aside, the 21st century actually does belong to the young. And not that they’re OUR future, like an extension of us, but that we are stewarding the future for them.

And we’re doing a pretty horrible job of it. But since we’re not idiots, we should be able to try on a new hat and leave a legacy we won’t be so ashamed of. Here’s how.

I’m not a big fan of Microsoft, but they’re figuring it out at least a little bit [see below] by spotting that there is a (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: BC’s Child Support Clawback Hurts Kids

British Columbia’s Child Support Clawback for Children of Parents on Government Assistance Hurts Kids

When I bring up the issue of the child support clawback in British Columbia affecting single parents on temporary or disability assistance through the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, most people are completely unaware of this mean-spirited policy. It requires that all single parents receiving assistance report the child support they bring in on a monthly basis so the Ministry can then deduct it, 100%, dollar-for-dollar, off of their next monthly cheque.

This is problematic for so many reasons. The most obvious is (Read more…)

cmkl: On the occasion of the website re-launch

So today marked the finale of a two year campaign to re-design, re-engineer and re-everything the flagship website where I work. And after the most excruciating day of bickering about DNS changes, being incredulous about block translation bugs, and general angst, this was waiting for me at home. My heart melted.

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: My thoughts on "death with dignity"

The recent passing of Dr. Donald Low, who guided Toronto through the SARS crisis in 2003, unexpectedly sparked a revival of the difficult issue of assisted suicide when his widow, CBC alumna and medical expert Maureen Taylor, released Low’s final home video where he asked Canadians to consider what it would be like to live in his body — rapidly degenerating — for twenty-four hours.

At the

Politics, Re-Spun: PTSD: No Room for Denial

What if NO ONE knows your name?

Belonging? It’s pretty important. We don’t always have to go where EVERYone knows our name, but we do need to have people. People who know, understand and affirm us.

People with mental health issues, however, are often made to feel not so normal, which is a feeling that can get in the way of being known and understood.

Normalizing something that has been stigmatized and downplayed is hard.

I remember in the 1980s when Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope. Lots of people had little exposure to people with prosthetics. That changed (Read more…)