Resolving Timeline Issues

Archive for the ‘In which I educamate you on politics’ Category

This week’s Girl Talk Thursday is about getting your bitch on. Let it all out. Please note, there is more than one f-bomb in here.

I’d normally have posted yesterday, but yesterday I really didn’t have anything to bitch about. My life is pretty good. The thing I’m going to bitch about offends me deeply, on a fundamental level.

That thing happens to be Jacques Rogge. And the IOC in general.

Last night, the Canadian Women’s Hockey Team beat their US counterparts in the Olympic Gold Medal game. And I say beat rather than “won against” because the Canadian ladies blanked the US ladies 2-0. It was awesome and I am so incredibly proud of our women for dominating the game from the outset.

After the game, they got their beer on and went out onto the ice after all the spectators had left and climbed on the zamboni. And the IOC is all offended by this, and Hockey Canada, being Canadian has apologized.

NEWSFLASH: Hockey players like to drink beer after the game! Also, the sky is blue!

THEN, and OMG my blood pressure (for real this time), Jacques Rogge says something about how women’s hockey will have to become more international and widespread and not so dominated by two countries if it is to stay in the Olympics.

Really, Jacques? Really? Never mind that it took half a century for men’s hockey to become internationally competitive.

And how dare you, you arrogant prick – you couldn’t even wait until after the Olympics were said and done and let the women have their moment?

Fuck you, Jacques Rogge. You owe an apology to all female hockey players, especially the Canadian and American women, who, through no fault of their own, grew up playing with the boys and men. This is how they train. How about the IOC put money where their mouth is to encourage women in other countries to train with the men, and allow girls into boys’ leagues like they do here?

You also owe an apology to the Finnish women who are spectacular in their own right, and all the women all over the world who have fought against cultural stances that may prevent women from participating in traditionally male-dominated sports.

And you owe an apology to Canada and the US – for being so disrespectful that you can’t even let us have our moment.

Fuck you, Jacques Rogge.

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First, if you haven’t read this post, you need to in order to understand where I’m coming from.

Done? Okay, so to recap: we (“the electorate”) regularly vote in and have the opportunity to vote out governments. In order to get our votes, politicians campaign and make promises and threats. More recently, there have been a lot of threats.

This, incidentally, is why President Obama was so successful – he told people what he was going to do and inspired hope rather than fear.

Also in the post linked above I asked you who should be afraid of whom.

What if I told you that it’s the politicians that should be afraid of us? After all, we have the power to vote them in and out.* But that would require voting. In the last election, somewhere around 50% voted. Maybe a little more, maybe a little less.

And by not voting, you are allowing fear to rule you – fear that you’re going to change the status quo.

So the next time there’s an opportunity to vote, think about why you’re not voting. Is it really apathy? Is it really a feeling that you can’t change anything?

Or has fear-mongering gotten the better of you and made you somewhat of a coward?

I’d encourage you to make your representatives accountable – demand service from there. Remember, they’re paid to serve you. Keep bugging them. Demand their help. Show them who’s in charge.

*Okay, so the system is a bit skewed in Canada due to the first past the post system, but the general principle applies.

So, kids, let’s talk about democracy. Because I’d rather do that than stuff diapers at the moment.

I’ll start off by saying that we (and by “we” I mean “Canadians”) live in one of the greatest countries of the world. We’ve got a nice blend of capitalism and socialism – decent health care and other social services, freedom from illegal search and seizure, and so on.

And it’s because we live in a democracy. Every four or five years (give or take – I’m not getting into how elections get scheduled here) we vote for a new government. It could be the same as before, it could be different – but each election is a chance for change.

Often, because of the way the electoral system works, there is only a change when people are good and pissed off. This is what is known as the protest vote. People come out in droves to vote because they finally have an opinion, usually about the outgoing government.

Are we good so far? Do you have my main point? That it is the electorate – citizens – that control who is in power.

Since 2001, there has been a marked change in how elections take place. Throughout campaigning, there has been an emphasis on fear. What I have noted over and over is that politicians need to tell me why to vote for them and not why I shouldn’t vote for the other guy. All they tell me is that if I vote for Candidate X, that will guarantee Armageddon.

And here I thought the Mayans said that would occur in December 2012.

Fear is politics’ commodity. It’s been effectively used before against populations: Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, various pre-democratic and democratic monarchies. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing: fear disguised as hope. And it is, unfortunately, being used far too oftenby politicians against citizens, in what are, ostensibly, democratic countries.

Now given that we live in a democracy, or at least a country with democratic tendencies, who should be scared of whom?

Come back later, and I’ll let you know what I think and give you a reason to unfollow me. But I have to get the roast ready for dinner now.

B.C. will introduce a harmonized sales tax of 12 per cent, replacing the PST and GST effective July 2010, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Thursday morning in Vancouver.

– Obtained from CBC Website. Article dated July 23, 2009.

“I think that before people start talking about tax increases, they should start talking about savings in their own organization,” said Campbell.

– Premier Gordon Campbell, regarding TransLink shortfall and plan for acquiring new revenues, August 1, 2009. Quote obtained from The Vancouver Sun.

Talk out of both sides of your mouth much, Mr. Premier?

The HST is effectively a tax increase for the average consumer. Many things that are now exempt from PST will see the entire new 12% tax put on it. Including things like strata fees.

Oh, and TransLink? You’re screwed.

TransLink had counted on boosting a tax on commercial parking spaces, which now brings in $18 million a year, to raise $57 million annually.

But because the parking tax is a sales tax, it is being eliminated and will be rolled into the HST when it is launched next July 1.

TransLink and transportation ministry officials were scrambling to find a way to fix the problem.

Vancouver Sun, September 3, 2009.

Good thing there’s a review of operations happening at TransLink, eh? Oh, hey, I have a suggestion for you: reduce the number of (unelected) people on that decision-making board. There are nine members. You don’t need more than 5. That’ll cut the costs pretty much in half.

Oh and if they’re not physically present for a meeting? DON’T PAY THEM. That’s right folks – they get paid even if they only have virtual attendance.

Cross-posted at Wet Coast Women.

So remember when I wrote this?

Specifically, this sentence:

Where’s my tax credit for doing what I can? Where are my chits for locally grown meats and vegetables? Why not start there where its something more tangible?

Well, there’s an opportunity now. My diaper service has a petition in the Canadian House of Commons to ask for a tax credit for those that use cloth diapers and/or use a diaper service, and to increase taxes on disposable diapers. I have a copy of the petition to sign and I’m asking for your help.

Simply put, the more signatures that are collected, the better the chance at having a tax credit implemented.

So here’s the deal: if you want to sign and you’re in the metro Vancouver/west Fraser Valley area (up to Chilliwack), I’ll meet you. We can have lunch, coffee, whatever and you can meet the poptart. I mean, with this much cuteness, how can you say no?

oh baby baby

You can leave a comment or email me at rtissues (at) gmail (dot) com.

If you’re not in the metro Vancouver Area, and you’d like to sign, you can contact the Happy Nappy Service in your area and see if you can sign.

Update: If you’re not local and have no access to Happy Nappy, or even if you are local and want to take it around to your friends/family/cloth diapering aficionados, I have a PDF of the petition. Leave a comment if you would like it sent to you. Note, the original needs to be sent back to Happy Nappy in Langley by July 31.

Cross-posted at Wet Coast Women

I thought I should get this posted before I, oh I don’t know, go into labour.

anytime, kid, anytime.

One of the dilemmas I’ve been having is diapers. I’ve been reading quite a bit about cloth diapering here and here. And I like the idea of cloth diapering. I really like it. Its good for the environment. Its better for your baby. The diapers are cute beyond belief. But I am lazy and it just seemed so much easier to throw out a disposable diaper, than to spray down diapers, wash them put in any inserts and how to use the damn things. And I was overwhelmed anyways because of a various ISSUES that made me want to drink, but oh hey, pregnancy and CAN’T.

Ice cream is a good substitute, however. Until your intestines disagree with this.

Oh and the scariness of Braxton-Hicks contractions didn’t help.

But I digress. Sort of.

I went out and bought some diapers because hello, baby on the way and I had coupons.

And then I had a shower and got a diaper cake, lovingly prepared by Sunshine. Which leads me to the current stash of disposable diapers:

diapers-003

diapers-005

diapers-009

 

 

 

 

 

And I thought, that’s not too bad – should last awhile. And then I realized that newborns go through up to 10-12 diapers per DAY. And my inner green person started feeling guilty. Because all that plastic and shit (Ha! get it?!) equals billions of years of biodegrading. Or something like that to my pregnant brain.

And there’s an extra half pack of diapers in the hospital bag along with some loose samples I received from various companies.

And so cloth diapering reared its head again. But again I am lazy and cheap. And when you’ve got more than one kid who will be using diapers, I’m positive cloth diapering is cheaper when you buy your own diapers. One kid? Not so much.

I was at the doctor’s office. There’s this counter I go past on the way to the bathroom – and there was a pamphlet for a diaper service and a sample of the diaper they supply. So I took a flyer, fondled the diaper (soft, cute, yellow) and showed the flyer to Darren, who as usual was exceedingly helpful when it came to making a decision on diapering: “So how do you feel about cloth diapering?” “You’re the one who’s going to be home. Its up to you.”

Thanks, hon.

So I crunched some numbers: disposable diapers = about $20/week. Diaper service = about $25/week. Oh and they pick up and deliver clean diapers once a week. THEY CLEAN THE DIAPERS FOR YOU.

I think it goes without saying that it appealed to my inner green lazy person.

So I ordered the diapers. They have this pre-birth delivery that consists of this:

Reusable Diapers 001

Diaper pail with charcoal filtre.

And inside is a wetbag with diapers. You line the pail with the bag, put the diapers in your changetable and done.

 

Reusable Diapers 005And they’re yellow and adorable.

Now I just need some diaper covers.

 

 

This shipment arrived the day I was writing my last post about how adequate and accessible pre- and post-natal care for expectant mothers and their babies make for healthier communities.

In the industrialized world, we’re very much aware of the environmental impact of our actions. Its just unfortunate that the costs of making better environmental choices, community choices (and if you want to get all political-sciencey, choices in the interest of the public good) are a damn sight more expensive than the disposable choices. If you’re having to pay for medical insurance, or god forbid, medical care because you have no insurance, you’re not able to make those choices.

That $5/week difference may mean the difference between:

  • cloth diapers and food on the table
  • cloth diapers and medical insurance
  • cloth diapers and medical care.

This may be a bit of a weak link, but I can tell you now that if I had to pay for medical insurance vs. cloth diapers? I’d choose the medical insurance.

Because I don’t have to worry about medical insurance, I’m in a position where I can make the choice that is better for my community – I can afford that extra fee and make it easy on myself to make that choice.

There are many direct and indirect benefits of providing accessible medical care. And this might just be one of them.

While 69% of the Canadian population agrees with the Governor General’s choice to prorogue Parliament, I don’t fall into that statistic. Frankly, I think it sucks and in this case sets a very dangerous precedent: allowing a government that has lost the confidence of the house to avoid a confidence vote.

(More later when I don’t feel quite so deathlike – I can only hope the “it hurts to breathe and hurts more to cough” goes away by tomorrow; yes I have been to the doctor who says its viral, and since I’m knocked up, I can’t take anything to make me more comfortable).


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