Lilacs & Champagne - Battling the City

Gal Gracen - Sylvan Tragedy

anything honest

anything honest

MURDERED ANIMALS MEBBE?

MURDERED ANIMALS MEBBE?

so bold, so direct, so assertive – what’s not to love?

so bold, so direct, so assertive – what’s not to love?

THIS SATURDAY IN VANCOUVER
Noam Chomsky - Is the World Too Big to Fail?
While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called “too big to fail.” The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.That has been the regular process since the Reagan years, each crisis more extreme than the last — for the public population, that is. Right now, real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs, one of the main architects of the current crisis, is richer than ever. It has just quietly announced $17.5 billion in compensation for last year, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples.It wouldn’t do to focus attention on such facts as these. Accordingly, propaganda must seek to blame others, in the past few months, public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks — and other models that need not be mentioned. We all must tighten our belts; almost all, that is.Teachers are a particularly good target, as part of the deliberate effort to destroy the public education system from kindergarten through the universities by privatization — again, good for the wealthy, but a disaster for the population, as well as the long-term health of the economy, but that is one of the externalities that is put to the side insofar as market principles prevail.
Joel Bakan - Constitutional and international law at risk under Bill 22

The B.C. Liberal government is poised, once again, to violate the legal rights of workers, this time with Bill 22, which, if it becomes law, will prohibit teachers from striking and limit their collective bargaining rights.
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government had violated the Canadian Charter by imposing legislative restrictions on the rights of health workers to bargain collectively. In April 2011, the British Columbia Supreme Court followed that decision to rule that legislation concerning teachers was unconstitutional, and thereby invalid, because it prohibited bargaining on class size, class composition and the ratios of teachers to students.
It is those very same restrictions that the government now seeks to reinstate with Bill 22, a disturbing disregard for such a recent judicial declaration that they are constitutionally invalid.
Bill 22 also flies in the face of Canada’s international treaty obligations. On no fewer than 10 occasions — half of which concerned teachers — the Freedom of Association Committee of the United Nations International Labour Organization has found the B.C. Liberal government to be in breach of labour treaties. In a recent report, concerning legislation similar to Bill 22, the committee noted as particularly problematic the tendency of this government to legislatively prohibit strikes, impose rates and working conditions, circumscribe the scope of collective bargaining, and restructure the bargaining process.
The proposed Bill 22 does all of those things and more. As such, it almost certainly violates international law as well as constitutional law.
Governments are obliged to govern according to law. That is what distinguishes democracies from tyrannies. As a fundamental democratic principle, the rule of law is seriously jeopardized when governments play fast and loose with constitutional and international laws, as this government is now doing with Bill 22.

Noam Chomsky - Is the World Too Big to Fail?

While wealth and power have narrowly concentrated, for most of the population real incomes have stagnated and people have been getting by with increased work hours, debt, and asset inflation, regularly destroyed by the financial crises that began as the regulatory apparatus was dismantled starting in the 1980s.

None of this is problematic for the very wealthy, who benefit from a government insurance policy called “too big to fail.” The banks and investment firms can make risky transactions, with rich rewards, and when the system inevitably crashes, they can run to the nanny state for a taxpayer bailout, clutching their copies of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman.

That has been the regular process since the Reagan years, each crisis more extreme than the last — for the public population, that is. Right now, real unemployment is at Depression levels for much of the population, while Goldman Sachs, one of the main architects of the current crisis, is richer than ever. It has just quietly announced $17.5 billion in compensation for last year, with CEO Lloyd Blankfein receiving a $12.6 million bonus while his base salary more than triples.

It wouldn’t do to focus attention on such facts as these. Accordingly, propaganda must seek to blame others, in the past few months, public sector workers, their fat salaries, exorbitant pensions, and so on: all fantasy, on the model of Reaganite imagery of black mothers being driven in their limousines to pick up welfare checks — and other models that need not be mentioned. We all must tighten our belts; almost all, that is.

Teachers are a particularly good target, as part of the deliberate effort to destroy the public education system from kindergarten through the universities by privatization — again, good for the wealthy, but a disaster for the population, as well as the long-term health of the economy, but that is one of the externalities that is put to the side insofar as market principles prevail.

Joel Bakan - Constitutional and international law at risk under Bill 22

The B.C. Liberal government is poised, once again, to violate the legal rights of workers, this time with Bill 22, which, if it becomes law, will prohibit teachers from striking and limit their collective bargaining rights.

In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the government had violated the Canadian Charter by imposing legislative restrictions on the rights of health workers to bargain collectively. In April 2011, the British Columbia Supreme Court followed that decision to rule that legislation concerning teachers was unconstitutional, and thereby invalid, because it prohibited bargaining on class size, class composition and the ratios of teachers to students.

It is those very same restrictions that the government now seeks to reinstate with Bill 22, a disturbing disregard for such a recent judicial declaration that they are constitutionally invalid.

Bill 22 also flies in the face of Canada’s international treaty obligations. On no fewer than 10 occasions — half of which concerned teachers — the Freedom of Association Committee of the United Nations International Labour Organization has found the B.C. Liberal government to be in breach of labour treaties. In a recent report, concerning legislation similar to Bill 22, the committee noted as particularly problematic the tendency of this government to legislatively prohibit strikes, impose rates and working conditions, circumscribe the scope of collective bargaining, and restructure the bargaining process.

The proposed Bill 22 does all of those things and more. As such, it almost certainly violates international law as well as constitutional law.

Governments are obliged to govern according to law. That is what distinguishes democracies from tyrannies. As a fundamental democratic principle, the rule of law is seriously jeopardized when governments play fast and loose with constitutional and international laws, as this government is now doing with Bill 22.


I’d rather house one person than please a thousand critics.

Jim Green, 1943 – 2012

I’d rather house one person than please a thousand critics.

Jim Green, 1943  2012

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Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, and Sam Sullivan - Three former Vancouver mayors: We can’t afford a war on weed

Canada has reached a critical time in its misguided War on Weed. Despite investing countless billions across North America in areas such as law enforcement, prison expansion and border controls, marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure. Youth today have easier access to pot than alcohol and tobacco, organized crime is getting rich and some neighbourhoods remain deadly combat zones as arrests lead to new rounds of turf warfare among gangs controlling the marijuana trade.
Now, Canada’s federal government and the B.C. provincial government are on the verge of committing many more billions of our tax dollars to this failed policy.
It’s lunacy. 
Since 1908, when Canada passed the Anti-Opium Act, we have had a century of experience to know that an approach that emphasizes prohibition and leans heavily on costly law enforcement and imprisonment will fail.


The federal and provincial governments should heed the words of the Fraser Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank that opposes marijuana prohibition and laments the fact that marijuana-related revenue and profits go straight to criminal enterprises rather than government coffers.
Politicians at all levels — whether in government or opposition — can no longer ignore the violence, crime and financial costs to taxpayers related to marijuana prohibition. By taxing and regulating marijuana under a strict public health framework, politicians can help stop the growth of a massive underground economy that enriches gangsters rather than the public purse and does nothing to prevent young people from easily accessing marijuana. Politicians must act, now, before billions more are foolishly spent and further blood is shed.
It’s time politicians recognize that prohibition has been with us for 103 years, and ask themselves, “How are we doing so far?”

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Larry Campbell, Philip Owen, and Sam Sullivan - Three former Vancouver mayors: We can’t afford a war on weed

Canada has reached a critical time in its misguided War on Weed. Despite investing countless billions across North America in areas such as law enforcement, prison expansion and border controls, marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure. Youth today have easier access to pot than alcohol and tobacco, organized crime is getting rich and some neighbourhoods remain deadly combat zones as arrests lead to new rounds of turf warfare among gangs controlling the marijuana trade.

Now, Canada’s federal government and the B.C. provincial government are on the verge of committing many more billions of our tax dollars to this failed policy.

It’s lunacy. 

Since 1908, when Canada passed the Anti-Opium Act, we have had a century of experience to know that an approach that emphasizes prohibition and leans heavily on costly law enforcement and imprisonment will fail.

The federal and provincial governments should heed the words of the Fraser Institute, a conservative-leaning think tank that opposes marijuana prohibition and laments the fact that marijuana-related revenue and profits go straight to criminal enterprises rather than government coffers.

Politicians at all levels — whether in government or opposition — can no longer ignore the violence, crime and financial costs to taxpayers related to marijuana prohibition. By taxing and regulating marijuana under a strict public health framework, politicians can help stop the growth of a massive underground economy that enriches gangsters rather than the public purse and does nothing to prevent young people from easily accessing marijuana. Politicians must act, now, before billions more are foolishly spent and further blood is shed.

It’s time politicians recognize that prohibition has been with us for 103 years, and ask themselves, “How are we doing so far?”

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big fan of not being at work
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big fan of not being at work

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CBC News - Harper says no decriminalization of pot on his watch

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will never agree to the decriminalization of marijuana.
Harper’s comments came Friday in Vancouver in response to a question at a brief news conference following an event at a downtown science centre.
"No, it will not happen under our government," Harper said. “We’re very concerned about the spread of drugs in the country and the damage it’s doing and as you know we have legislation before the House [of Commons] to crack down."
This week, four former Vancouver mayors endorsed the Stop the Violence Coalition, which is comprised of former police officers, a judge, medical leaders and B.C.’s former chief coroner.
The coalition’s founding principle is that regulation and taxation of marijuana would stop most of the violence associated with the drug trade and make pot less accessible to children.
Current Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has said he agrees with the coalition’s goals.
"We see the impact on the streets. We see the gang activity that’s largely funded by the marijuana trade, a huge industry here in B.C.," Robertson said. "There’s no tax revenue flowing from [it], so I think it’s time for reform."

thank you Gregor, fuck you Harper
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CBC News - Harper says no decriminalization of pot on his watch

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says his government will never agree to the decriminalization of marijuana.

Harper’s comments came Friday in Vancouver in response to a question at a brief news conference following an event at a downtown science centre.

"No, it will not happen under our government," Harper said. “We’re very concerned about the spread of drugs in the country and the damage it’s doing and as you know we have legislation before the House [of Commons] to crack down."

This week, four former Vancouver mayors endorsed the Stop the Violence Coalition, which is comprised of former police officers, a judge, medical leaders and B.C.’s former chief coroner.

The coalition’s founding principle is that regulation and taxation of marijuana would stop most of the violence associated with the drug trade and make pot less accessible to children.

Current Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson has said he agrees with the coalition’s goals.

"We see the impact on the streets. We see the gang activity that’s largely funded by the marijuana trade, a huge industry here in B.C.," Robertson said. "There’s no tax revenue flowing from [it], so I think it’s time for reform."

thank you Gregor, fuck you Harper

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Stop the Violence BC - Cannabis and Prohibition

In British Columbia, the marijuana market is estimated to be worth up to 7 billion dollars; double the total revenue of BC’s agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors combined. 

These massive illegal revenues fuel crime, violence and corruption across the province, and help fund criminal activities like importing cocaine and guns. 

While marijuana use is not free from harms, health experts have concluded that alcohol and tobacco are much more dangerous. In fact, experts believe that a regulated legal market for adult marijuana use is the best way to protect public health and improve public safety.

The strict regulation of marijuana has the potential to eliminate the violent illegal marijuana market, and to raise untold tax revenue, while at the same time ending wasteful marijuana law enforcement spending that only drains tax dollars. 

Most importantly, BC is ready for this. A recent poll concluded that 69% of British Columbians state that arresting marijuana producers and sellers is ineffective, and that BC would be better off taxing and regulating the use of marijuana. 

Marijuana prohibition has failed. It’s time to stop the violence.

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Occupy Vancouver - Day 1

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