Awesome task (or perhaps not): bridging the perspective gap

Excerpts from my tweets (and a RT) from early this afternoon:

Death by daily repression and near-starvation or death by desperate martyrdom via the State responsible? Your choice? #Bahrain #Libya #Yemen

MD from #Bahrain: “Pls, pls, where is the #UN; we need the world; ppl are being killed in the streets!”

Ambu’s BLOCKED frm #PearlRoundabout as security shoots and kills thru haze of tear gas; MDs plead to world, “Where are you?”#Bahrain

Photo: Protesters prayed for injured comrades outside Salmaniya hospital in #Manama late on Thursday

CBCNN adverts walk-in baths ad naus, Aljazeera Eng (#176 in T-O w free prevws) covers Bah’rain & Libya crises wall-to-wall w ppl on phn .

I’m hungry. Why? Because the late start to my day began only with coffee, HIV meds, Al Jazeera,Twitter and Facebook. Such an embarrassment of riches!

I wasn’t winding up days of mourning for someone today when my country’s security forces opened fire with tear gas and live ammunition.

Am I still pissed with Bev Oda and my government’s dismissive handling of the KAIROS scandal? Sure. Rightly so.

Do I believe that I owe someone an apology, undeliverable until next Thursday, due to a slight delivered his way yesterday? Yes.

Should I surrender my gay card for again postponing a hair-cut, so desperately needed? Honey, do I really need to ask?

Am I pre-occupied with one leg in yesterday, given what has happened to me in the past, and the other in tomorrow, worried about what I’ll have to do in the future – meanwhile, as the off-colour saying goes, “pissing all over today”? (As Cenk, on The Young Turks would say, “Of COOOOURSE!”)


Retirement wishes for Andy Barrie – and memories of the Montréal days

It’s only right, I suppose, that someone – even Andy Barrie – who is fifteen years older than me and fifteen years younger than my mother would be retirement age.

When he made it official today, however, it reminded me how ageless the medium of radio can make somebody – and, as the Globe and Mail reported, how rough he has had it lately.

I was introduced to Andy Barrie as a listener to his Montréal radio show (CJAD) back in the 1970s. He followed George Balcan‘s early morning drive program and, if I have the schedule correct, preceded Neil McKenty‘s call-in show. One of my fondest memories was during the city’s notorious Olympics year in 1976 when Andy and his colleagues launched an April Fool’s Day joke wherein the Queen was insisting that her Olympics visit include a solid gold toilet seat. It was astounding how many, already so pissed with the Olympics’ over-spending, bought the joke. Just remember how maddening this debacle was outside of Quebec and try to imagine how it felt to us in Montréal!

Best wishes, Andy, and thank you for waking up with us – before us! You guys at Mountain and Ste. Catherine Streets – oh and Ralph Lockwood over at CKGM on Greene Ave. in Westmount – helped spark my interest in a radio career, however short-lived mine was. I thank you!

Help convince other party leaders to debate Elizabeth!

ITEM:  Greens can’t participate in leaders’ debates, networks rule – Defiant May won’t rule out legal challenge

 Here’s the story from and there’ll be no shortage of reactions like these: 1234

I’m so angry I can’t describe it. While I can understand Stephen Harper’s objections – everything from arrogance to misogyny – Jack Layton’s are more selfish but I think female dippers might have something to say to him.

Wouldn’t Harper and Layton (and Duceppe who’s also in on this) love a chance to throw stuff at Elizabeth the way their hacks do? From the Conservatives, “Oh the Greens are just hippies and a one-issue party” and from the NDP, “Sheesh, those Greens are more Conservative than Harper. Watch out for them!”

While people equally outraged as me were probably already massing, I left this comment on the website:

I think members of the consortium should meet at a small, family Italian restaurant near the O train (or subway, depending on whether it’s Ottawa or Toronto).

There’s a little bathroom in back with a toilet that has one of those tanks on the wall, you know, with a long chain to flush it. It’s a perfect place to hide something…


Until Elizabeth is let in to the debate I’d like to see the other leaders get nagged throughout the campaign at every stop – not by media, necessarily, but by…hmm…agitated guests and on-lookers.

IM’ing Kelly I was just reminded that years ago, during the first Quebec referendum, the campaign turned completely after a female cabinet minister compared female federalists to a dowdy, compliant housewife character on Quebec TV named Yvette. Before you knew it Yvette rallies were being held all across the province and it was probably the difference between Yes and No!

Maybe we need a movement like the Yvettes to open the doors to Elizabeth October 1 and 2!

Letter from the Green Party of Canada to GPC Friends and Supporters

Today’s decision by the broadcasting consortium is an inexcusable mistake and a slap in the face to all those who care about democracy and freedom of speech in this country. They have bowed to crass partisan politics from three other federal parties. Elizabeth May deserves to be in the included in the nationally-televised leaders’ debates. She has jumped through every hoop that has barred her way and she still is being kept from presenting the Green platform to a national audience by the Conservatives, NDP and Bloc.

The Green party is a truly national party that has run candidates across the country for the past two elections. We have a sitting MP. We had the support of nearly 700,000 Canadians in the last elections and are polling at over one million votes in this election. There is no logical reason why Elizabeth May and the Green Party should be kept out of this important national forum.

No other party has been as successful as the Green Party and still be blocked from public national debates. In 1993 the Reform and Bloc Parties were included in the debates with only one MP and no official party status. Neither ran candidates across the country. There is no precedent for this private decision to exclude the Green party from the leader’s public debate. In fact, all the precedents support our inclusion in this public forum. . Partisan politics has kept her out, this is an insult to the Green party and called the fairness of the election into question

It is so important for Elizabeth May to be present at the debates. The majority of Canadians make their voting decisions based on them. The Green party needs your help to remedy this situation. We need you to write, call and contact the Broadcasting Consortium and tell them they are wrong. Tell them that Canadians deserve to hear the voices of all national leaders.

Most importantly, you should phone, fax or email the party leaders who kept Elizabeth May out of the debate. Make them accountable for this outrageous, antidemocratic act.

Stephen Harper:

Conservative Party of Canada
Election Headquarters
#1204 – 130 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5G4
Toll free: (866) 808-8407
Phone: (613) 755-2000
Fax at: (613) 755-2001

Constituency Office
1600 – 90th Avenue SW
Suite A-203
Calgary, Alberta, T2V 5A8
Telephone: (403) 253-7990
Fax: (403) 253-8203

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario; K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-4211
Fax: (613) 941-6900

Jack Layton:

Canada’s NDP
300 – 279 Laurier West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5J9
Phone: 613-236-3613
Toll Free: 1-866-525-2555
Fax: 613-230-9950
TTY: 1-866-776-7742

Constituency Office
221 Broadview Avenue
Suite 100 (Main Office)
Toronto, Ontario; M4M 2G3
Telephone: (416) 405-8914
Fax: (416) 405-8918

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 995-7224
Fax: (613) 995-4565

Gilles Duceppe:

Bloc Québécois
3730, boul. Crémazie Est
Montréal (Québec) H2A 1B4
Téléphone : 514 526-3000
Télécopieur : 514 526-2868
Email :

Constituency Office
1200 Papineau, # 350
Montreal, Québec; H2K 4R5
Telephone: (514) 522-1339
Fax: (514) 522-9899

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-6777
Fax: (613) 954-2121

You can visit to sign a petition to pressure the Broadcast consortium to make sure that Green Party leader Elizabeth May is included in the leaders’ debates. You can also let the broadcast consortium know of your disagreement by contacting them at:

John Cruikshank, Publisher, CBC news
(416) 205-6300

Robert Hurst, President of CTV News

Troy Reeb, Senior Vice President of News Canwest Global
(416) 967-1174

Pierre Dion, President, Groupe TVA Inc.

Ronald Cohen, National Chair, Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
P.O. Box 3265, Station D Ottawa, ON K1P 6H8

Glenn O’Farrell, President and CEO, Canadian Association of Broadcasters
P.O. Box 627, Stn. B Ottawa, ON K1P 5S2
613-233-4035 ext: 326

Talk to everyone you know about this important subject and make sure they get involved in supporting the Green Party’s fight. A complaint has been filed to the CRTC and Legal proceedings to overturn the decision have already started. These initiatives can only be strengthened by your support. The Green Party has retained the best lawyer in Canada in this field to represent the party in court. The Green party is legally and politically required to be in these debates.

We urge you to act immediately to right this wrong.