DO Hug The Trees In This Park

Never noticed this sign in Our Woods before. We were in search of blue herons who we’ve observed for the last few days in the two small lakes NW of our house. Yesterday we saw one about 15 feet away with a 10″ trout or bass in its mouth. It just stood there. We wondered why it didn’t eat it straight away.

Possible heron hesitation explanations:

  • It was put off its food by our sudden passing
  • It was trying to decide whether food so close to human habitation was safe
  • It was shocked to find anything other than big carp in the water
  • It had babies but had forgotten where the nest was

Possible explanations for the above sign:

  • Too many baseballs ending up in the lake
  • Too many windows nearby
  • There is no place to use a bat properly in Our Woods
  • Some potential improper uses make the authorities nervous

Some suggestions for additions to the above sign:

  • Do not use bows and arrows in the park
  • Do not use catapults or land mines in the park
  • Definitely do not drag huge, heavy objects, such as self-standing basketball hoops, into the park

One might assume that the above  sign suggestions are silly and unnecessary, but the third one might have actually prevented a real event. This, of course, assumes that the neanderthals that dumped their trashy hoop apparatus in Our Woods were capable of reading.

One positive suggestion for a sign:

  • DO hug the trees in this park
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In The Way Of Progress

Girl prepares to blow us a kiss at Cai Be farmers’ market in the Mekong Delta

My dander became elevated on reading an article by Doug Saunders of the Globe and Mail entitled “Frankenfoods” have moved on. When will opponents?  

In this article Mr. Saunders argues that genetically modified crops, GM crops for short, are what the world needs to feed itself. He mentions that recently the left-wing Guardian newspaper has written no less than three articles in support of GM technology and implies that those opposed to GM are dwindling in numbers and misguided or otherwise addle-brained, often right-wing, “fundamentalists”:

Opposition to biotech has been left to revanchist agrarian conservatives such as Prince Charles, a handful of fundamentalist green groups and people who believe what they read in the tabloids.

Mr. Saunders defends GM as the new way of doing things driven by altruism, not profit:

But today, the frontier of biotechnology is in the sphere of international development and public interest. The research lab facing protests last Sunday was Rothamsted, a non-profit, entirely government-funded, public-sector institute. What its scientists have created there is a strain of wheat that repels aphids, potentially ending the deadly developing-world problem of entire crops being destroyed by aphid infestation. It is one of hundreds of “pro-poor” GM initiatives designed to create a new range of crops that will allow Asian and African countries to eclipse the West in food production. That’s vitally important because the world has faced food shortages since 2008, for the first time in three decades.

This is, in my opinion, a naive argument. Continue reading “In The Way Of Progress”

Who To Believe?

Since NAFTA, we’ve had a flood of dumped corn and other products from the U.S., a financial crisis and recession, a rise in migration, a food price crisis that caused tortilla riots, and all the World Bank can say is that our farmers are unproductive and should get out of farming.

Victor Suarez (Mexican farm movement leader)

I prefer to believe statements from real people to flossy, alienated World Bank pronouncements.

Toronto’s G20 – The Thoughtful Issues – Not The Stuff Everybody Saw on TV

A major columnist got my dander up this week, precipitating a reblog of a post I published on my old site on June 29th, 2010.

Here goes…

First they pass a secret law that suspends civil rights. Then they disregard the law’s boundary (5 m from the fence) and detain, question and search people anywhere they like in downtown Toronto. (I saw this happen on the protest Saturday at Queens Park Subway Station at 11:30 AM, before any trouble started). Then they refuse to give their badge numbers, taunt innocent people, rough them up, and put them in cages like the terrorists, and the collateral innocent,  in Guantanamo. The protests should continue until Harper, McGuinty and Blair/Fantino resign. Next step, torture? Good grief!

G20 Protest – June 26, 2010

On the Friday night before the Saturday G-20 protest a major rally was held at Massey Hall in Toronto that included the following speakers: Dr. Vandana Shiva, Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein, Amy Goodman, Pablo Solon, Clayton Thomas-Muller, John Hilary and Leo Gerard. It was called Shout Out For Justice and was live-streamed by rabble.ca. I am unaware of any podcast or transcript available, but the ideas were insightful and plentiful. I list about 33 of them below.

On The Protest Itself: We revere Ghandi for standing up to oppression and opposing unjust laws. Modern activists are mocked and despised, Continue reading “Toronto’s G20 – The Thoughtful Issues – Not The Stuff Everybody Saw on TV”

Woody Guthrie: a Liverpool celebration

Woody Guthrie: a Liverpool celebration.

The above blog is a wonderful “essay” on Woody Guthrie’s life and music. For all of us who love our countries and are saddened by the direction in which events are taking us, Gerry’s reflection is touching and timely.

In it are photos, videos of some of the great songs that Woody wrote,  and comments from some of the greats that he influenced, like Steinbeck and Dylan. This blog has been crafted by a skillful, talented master.