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General

Tony Clement and the Blinding of Canada

Posted May 2, 2016 by Simon

It’s been five long years since the Cons gutted the census, and left us stumbling in the darkness, unable to determine who we really are, or what kind of country we’re really living in.

But now the long-form census is back. 

And while I’m happy to see it back, it still bothers me to see that Tony Clement, the Con who presided over the blinding of this country, has still not been held properly accountable.
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Capitalism

How The Rational Irrationality of Capitalism Is Destroying the World

Posted May 1, 2016 by Ian Welsh

Capitalism leads to actions only a self-destructive wastrel would want, but does so entirely rationally. Think of rationality as being of two types. Means-ends, and Internal-Coherent. In means ends rationality we say “I want to get to point A. How do I do that?”  “I want to grow a garden so I can eat food. […]

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Bigotry

Will the Gay Marriage Issue Tear the Cons apart?

Posted April 30, 2016 by Simon



For almost ten years Stephen Harper never ceased to show his contempt for gay Canadians.

He voted against every gay rights bill that came before parliament. He cut off funding to all LGBT groups.

And he never changed the party platform that calls for same sex marriage to be banned.

But now with their convention only weeks away, that issue may be coming back to haunt the Cons.
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General

John Ibbotson’s Scary Journey Into Harper’s Head

Posted April 30, 2016 by Simon

Ten days ago the Globe writer John Ibbotson was awarded the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, for his book Stephen Harper.

With the jury praising him for managing to “put us inside Harper’s head during some of the most critical moments of his life.”

But although I’ve always been interested in meeting the voices in Harper’s head, and asking them to explain themselves, I haven’t read the book.

Not after I read Bob Rae’s review, and what he had to say about Ibbotson, and what Ibbitson had to say about Harper.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Secret Society

Posted April 29, 2016 by Simon

Well no doubt Stephen Harper is waiting anxiously to see whether his lawyer’s letter on the Duffy trial has convinced Canadians that he acted honourably.

And helped repair his soiled legacy.

But since we know he’s doomed to disappointment.

I’d be fascinated to know what he might tell the members of his favourite secret society, when he pays them a visit this weekend.
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General

Why Are We Still Building a Monument To Stephen Harper?

Posted April 29, 2016 by Simon

Well it’s going to be a lot smaller than Stephen Harper had hoped.

And it won’t be erected right in front of the Supreme Court, on the ground reserved for a new federal court building widely expected to be named after Pierre Trudeau.

So Harper could moon both of them for eternity.

But the man who brutalized this country for so long will be getting his monument. 
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General

The Duffy Trial and Stephen Harper’s Lawyer’s Letter

Posted April 28, 2016 by Simon

When the judge at the Duffy trial delivered his verdict, and his scathing indictment of the Harper PMO, I couldn’t help wondering what Stephen Harper must have been thinking.

And now we all know. He wasn’t too happy. He must have been furious.

Or humiliated beyond recognition.

And had instructed his lawyer to write an open letter to Canadians.
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General

Stephen Harper and the Incredible Shrinking Legacy

Posted April 27, 2016 by Simon

Once the swaggering bully must have thought that his monstrous legacy would last forever.

And that he would change this country and its values beyond recognition.

But only six months after he was defeated, what amazes me more than anything else is how quickly Stephen Harper’s legacy is shrinking.
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General

Will the Cons Bring Back Stephen Harper From the Dead?

Posted April 27, 2016 by Simon

It’s almost impossible to believe. It’s like a scene out of an old made in Harperland horror movie. 

Stephen Harper may have led his Con zombies to disaster. His depraved rule may have disgusted more Canadians than any other leader in modern Canadian story.

But it seems many of his faithful followers miss him so much, they want to bring him back from the dead.
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General

Michael Harris On Why the Truth In the Duffy Case Must Be Flushed Out

Posted April 25, 2016 by Simon

Yesterday I wrote that the RCMP owed Canadians an explanation about  the way it handled the Duffy case.

Because it has raised some disturbing questions about the relationship between the police and the Harper regime, that strike at the heart of our democracy.

And now Michael Harris has a lot more questions for everyone involved.
Read more »

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General

Duffy’s Revenge and the Ashes of Stephen Harper’s Legacy

Posted April 24, 2016 by Simon

I’m pretty sure Mike Duffy must dream of telling Stephen Harper what he thinks of him. 

Dream of suing him, and his little monsters in the PMO, and his Senate stooges, for what they did to him.

But his legal options are limited. 

His lawyer says he is battling serious health issues.

So it probably was his last hurrah.

But what a hurrah it was.
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General

The Duffy Verdict and the Cowardly Con Losers

Posted April 23, 2016 by Simon

Nobody really expected Stephen Harper to comment on the Mike Duffy verdict. Not after the way the trial judge blasted the sleazy behaviour of his monstrous PMO.

And he didn’t. His office didn’t even respond to media requests for a statement. 

But he wasn’t the only Con running for cover.
Read more »

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Capitalism

Capitalism and Good Post-Capitalism

Posted April 17, 2016 by Ian Welsh

Let us revisit what capitalism is. Capitalism, everywhere, is defined by the removal of capital from most ordinary people and the concentration of capital in the hands of a few. Capital, in this definition, is not money.  It is the tools required to feed, house and cloth onself. Medieval serfs, in most areas, had access […]

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General

OK, Liberals

Posted April 7, 2016 by Boris

Fix this. 

It doesn’t matter how many mayurasana JT can do on his desk or how gender-balanced your cabinet is.

Lying to us about the state of the nation’s finances or how you spend our tax money, or anything really, is despicable.

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General

If Social Justice Warriors actually went to war

Posted February 24, 2016 by Ted Bird

   Every generation is a product of its time, from the genuinely hard-done-by kids who grew up in the 1930s Depression era and were rewarded for their hardscrabble existence by being shipped off to war in the 1940s, to the pampered, entitled …

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General

Pissing on the fear monkeys’ BS

Posted November 22, 2015 by Dave

No one is so confident in their opinion as an ignorant person.

The screams coming out of the right-wing about the horrors of resettling 25,000 refugees from the bloody Syrian-Iraqi corridor controlled by Daesh, (you may know the group as ISIS or ISIL)…

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Canadian Politics

Democracy

Posted October 19, 2015 by Lyn Brown

Tonight I will sleep well knowing that democracy is alive and well in this great Canada, the country I so dearly love.We voted in record numbers for change; to have our uniquely Canadian values restored; to recommit to our peace building ways and respe…

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General

Fredericton Liberal Matt DeCourcey: Liberal Party Committed to A National Autism Strategy Addressing Access to ABA/IBI

Posted October 3, 2015 by H L Doherty

Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey

Email received October 2, 2015 from Fredericton Liberal Candidate Matt DeCourcey stating Liberal Party supports creation of a National Autism Strategy addressing ABA and IBI access and coverage under Medicare:


Hi Harold,
Thank you for the email. I apologize for the delay in my response. I want to let you know that the Liberal Party and I fully support the creation of a national autism strategy. Our party recognizes that in certain provinces, autism treatments, including ABA and IBI are covered under provincial Medicare programs and are more readily available in other provinces. Health care access challenges like these are something that the Liberal Party is committed to addressing.
First and foremost, we need a conversation that goes beyond simply mirroring previously made commitments. We need a partner in the federal government that is committed to innovation and collaboration with the provinces and territories to achieve a modern, efficient, equitable system of universal health care. The Liberal Party is committed to that collaboration.
A Liberal government will re-engage the provinces after 10 years of Stephen Harper neglect. We will meet on Canadian health care and negotiate a new Health Accord with the provinces and territories, including an agreement on long-term funding. Furthermore, our party is committed to pan-Canadian collaboration on health innovation. We will work with provincial jurisdictions to overcome obstacles to innovation in health care delivery and access.
Thank you again for your email. I hope that I’ve helped to clarify the Liberal Party’s position on support for those living with autism. If you have any further questions please reach out.
Best,

Matt

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General

Mr. Mulcair Will the NDP Negotiate A New Health Accord to Include ABA for Autism Under Medicare?

Posted September 30, 2015 by H L Doherty
September 30, 2015

Thomas Mulcair 
Leader of the Official Opposition

Dear Mr Mulcair

The Federal NDP has in the past been very helpful in addressing autism on a national level including efforts by Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer who worked with the late Fredericton Liberal MP Andy Scott to effect passage of a National Autism Strategy motion in the House of Commons albeit one  which did not address autism treatment coverage under Medicare.  In July 2014 I asked if the NDP would support a real National Autism Stragegy.  I receivd the following positive response from your office:

Dear Mr. Doherty,


Thank you for writing. We appreciate hearing of your advocacy work on behalf of your son and all individuals living with autism spectrum disorders.


Please be assured that New Democrats are determined to help put the needs of Autistic children on the political map. The NDP supports the continuing efforts to create a National Autism Strategy, therefore ensuring that individuals would receive the highest level of care, regardless of which region of Canada they live in.


As you mentioned, NDP MP Glenn Thibeault is helping to provide leadership on this matter along with working to have the Canada Health Act amended to include Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) as medically recognized treatments for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders. (http://glennthibeault.ndp.ca/post/thibeault-re-introduces-autism-legislation


Going forward you can count on our team of New Democrat MPs to continue to speak out on this matter. It’s time for leadership that will move Canada forward.


Again, thank you for taking the time to be in touch.


All the best,

Office of Thomas Mulcair, MP (Outremont)

Leader of the Official Opposition


New Democratic Party of Canada
Here in Fredericton I asked candidates in the current election the following question  as part of the Medicare for Autism Now!’s 1 in 68 campaign:

I was very pleased to receive the following excellent response to the One in 68 question from the Fredericton NDP candidate Sharon Scott-Levesque:
Hello Harold,

I wish to thank you for your message regarding the inclusion of Applied Behaviour Analysis in Medicare. As you have noted, this is an issue affecting a growing number of Canadian families, and I understand the high costs of treatment are of great concern.

As you know the Canada Health Act requires provinces to cover medically necessary services without naming any particular procedure.  This means that the decision on what to cover has been left up to the provinces, creating a patchwork system where some provinces provide coverage for Applied Behavioural Analysis and others do not.
I recognize that this disparity creates a hardship for families and myself and the NDP are interested in working with the provinces to see this disparity eliminated. This is definitely a subject we will raise with the provinces when we negotiate a new Health Accord.

I do support this change and hope we can work together in the future.

Regards,
Sharon Scott- Levesque RN
Fredericton NDP Candidate

Mr Mulcair, past NDP contributions have been helpful but the failure by the federal government to see that science based ABA/IBI treatment for autism is included under Medicare means that many autistid children have not received the training which could have helped improve the core deficits of their autism disorders.

NDP candidate Sharon Scott-Levesque’s statement of her support is much appreciated. 

Mr. Mulcair, can you confirm that the NDP will commit to  negotiating a new  Health Accord with the provinces which will include science based ABA/IBI  treatment for autism spectrum disorder uner Medicare?

Respectfully,

Harold Doherty
Fredericton, NB


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General

The Debates: Who won, who lost, and why

Posted September 29, 2015 by CuriosityCat
Trudeau: The Fighter

Let’s start with the view of how Tom Mulcair behaved in the Munk foreign policy debate, from Gerald Caplan:

But if I remove my mask of detachment, I must report that it was not at all the night the NDP needed to recover its faded lead. But there’s still three weeks left – a lifetime in politics. We have the most polarizing and, yes, dangerous, government in Canadian history and we have the NDP positioned to take advantage of it. Yet the NDP focuses its attacks far more on Mr. Trudeau and gives the government almost a free pass. A huge mistake, in my view. And not too late to change, by any means. It ain’t over till it’s over, in baseball or politics.
And Caplan’s conclusion about Mulcair’s performance in the debates?
Each of his debates have proved disappointing, when they were supposed to seal his deal with the electorate. I fear the deal is almost becoming null and void.
The Two Big Dogs & The Kid:
Eric Morse has a good summary of the Munk Debate:
This time, there was political blood in it.
That reflects the reality of all the political debates. They all had political blood in it.
The betting by most commentators prior to the first debate was that the order of competency in debating was clear: Harper was the Big Dog.

Then, close on his heels, came Mulcair.

And Trudeau? Most thought it would be a victory for him if he did not fall flat on his face while walking to the podium; once there, if he did not collapse like a squeaky and ill-tied birthday balloon; and during the one-on-one segments, if he could snatch a small portion of the air time away from the two debatemeisters.

What went wrong?
The main thing that happened to the two Big Dogs was that they underestimated the competence of Justin Trudeau.
Way back in January this year, Samuel Getachew got it right:
Trudeau has the luck of being underestimated, like Jean Chrétien was, and the intelligence to turn to experienced people the way Pierre Trudeau and Lester B. Pearson did. Perhaps like all Liberals, there is the will to win in his blood. Given his family pedigree, perhaps the will to win is not only powerful but predestined. Yet if he achieves victory, it will not be just because of his last name, but because he works hard, performs well, knows his weaknesses, and plays to his strengths.
And Brian Mulroney warned the Conservatives in early October of this same strategic blunder:
Speaking to the Globe and Mail’s editorial board on Wednesday, Mr. Mulroney said he believes Mr. Trudeau is a strong candidate who shouldn’t be underestimated. “He’s a fine young man, he’s going to do well,” he said. “And I’ll tell you: People who underestimate him, they do so at their own peril.”
He said he considered Mr. Trudeau’s father to be a “very tough, able man,” adding, “You know, the apple sometimes doesn’t fall far from the tree. He certainly has some of the grit of his dad, and he’s obviously got, as well, he obviously has some of the qualities required to win an election.”

The War of the Brands – The Fighter versus the Not Yet Ready Kid:
Trudeau summed up his view this way:
“Let’s be very clear. My fists will be up. I am a boxer,” he said.
Which brings me to the Battle of the Brands.
Trudeau has clearly won this battle. Harper spent a fortune trying to frame Trudeau as  the son of wealth, without intrinsic judgment, and just “not ready.”
And how did Trudeau react?
By putting up his own brand against the Harper framing. And that brand reached back into his youthful days, when he started boxing. He burst out of the leadership gate with his boxing match against a bigger, heavier, supposedly better boxer. He trained hard; kept his counsel; and then whipped the man everybody thought would beat him.
And in doing so established the brand of Trudeau the Fighter.
Note that before every debate, the media gets the chance to see Trudeau in a boxing ring. That’s not just by chance.
Trudeau is reinforcing his brand as The Fighter every time he does this.
And it works in three ways.
First, it works for him. His stints in the ring before every debate shore up his own view of himself as a fighter. When he ran for MP in a riding that was not a Liberal stronghold, he fought hard. He did his homework (training). He spent time speaking to voters in the riding (personal research). He built up a membership from scratch, and kept it running like a well oiled machine (setting targets and dedication).
Secondly, both Mulcair and Harper had fallen into the trap that so often catches married couples in a loveless marriage: they cannot stand each other, but need each other to define themselves.
With Harper isolating himself from any real contact with real people (his almost paranoid meetings with pre-vetted party members; his setting limits to media questions; his banning other MPs in his party from saying anything in public except PMO speaking points; his performances in question period in the House, carefully scripted and supported by mindless baying of otherwise voiceless MPs), he is ill-equipped for any real debate.
And with Mulcair being the leader of the opposition, with the right to most air time in the House after Harper, the trap was set for both men. They fought each other, in the abnormal conditions of Question Period in the House. No real free for all debate, but set times on set topics. Mulcair relished this because he saw it as putting Trudeau in the shadows, and allowing Canadians to see the only two genuine contenders for PM in action in the House.
With every question period, the webs of the trap around these two men were spun tighter and tighter. They bought into their assessments that really they were the only two genuine contenders for the top job in the nation.
Despite the warnings not to underestimate Trudeau, neither Harper Mulcair took him seriously.
And they still don’t.
So when Trudeau the Fighter stepped into the debate rings, he surprised both men, and many Canadians. He fought. And he fought skillfully, with a rapid mind, a lot of homework, and a value system that was his own pathfinder in his political career.
He attacked, much to the surprise of Harper and Mulcair, who both expected him to know his place, wait his turn, and try not to fall flat on his face.
And when he was attacked, much to their surprise he counter punched, devastatingly and with great impact.
Harper and Mulcair expected to pound a schoolboy into submission with a few hard blows, and then turn back to each other as the main show. Instead, they found themselves outfought by the young man they had underestimated. Trudeau outfought them on debate content. He outfought them on debate style. He outfought them on debate preparation. He outfought them on debate sound bites. He outfought them on choice of battlegrounds. He outfought them on vitality.
And now it is too late for both these two, tired, beaten men.
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General

Join Fredericton Green Candidate Mary Lou Babineau In Signing the Medicare for Autism Now! Petition

Posted September 22, 2015 by H L Doherty

                          https://www.change.org/p/government-of-canada-medicare-for-autism-now

Statement on Medicare for Autism now!

While it is true that the tremendous advancements in medicine and technology have granted us longer lives, there are still distressing developments: for instance, the increasing number of illnesses and syndromes appearing and affecting our children. The rates of attention deficit disorder, autism and others are on the rise.
The Canada Health Act has five general principles – public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability, and accessibility, but the federal government has not been applying them to support greater national consistency and equal quality of services from coast to coast. In addition, the federal government has failed to develop a national strategy to address such challenges as autism and dementia.
I recognize that it is vital to ensure that the federal government provides funding as necessary and I also think that this funding needs to be accompanied by strong federal government leadership. I pledge to follow through on our commitment to a science-based national Mental Health Strategy and this is something I will advocate for in the amendment process for a new and improved Canada Health Act. 
Sincerely,
Mary Lou Babineau
Green Party Candidate for Fredericton
Join Mary Lou Babineau in signing the Medicare for Autism Now! petition 
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General

Fredericton NDP Sharon Scott-Levesque Supports ABA Coverage For Autism Under A New Canada Health Act Accord

Posted September 19, 2015 by H L Doherty

Hello Harold,I wish to thank you for your message regarding the inclusion of Applied Behaviour Analysis in Medicare. As you have noted, this is an issue affecting a growing number of Canadian families, and I understand the high costs of treatment …

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Canada

The Environment Is Of Vital Importance – Next Time Include Elizabeth May

Posted September 18, 2015 by H L Doherty

This blog is focused on autism disorders, very closely related conditions including intellectual disability and epilepsy.  It is about my son and the joy he brings me each day despite his serious disorders and challenges.  Occasionally it is …

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General

Fredericton Green Mary Lou Babineau: A Resounding YES!!! to Including Science Based ABA/IBI Autism Treatment Under Medicare

Posted September 16, 2015 by H L Doherty

“Dear Harold,It was wonderful to speak with you, too! This is an issue that is so critical to me and to my family.Please post my response as a resounding YES!!!Hope to see you again soon,Mary Lou”The One in 68 campaign of Medicare for Autism Now! is we…

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General

RIP responsible journalism

Posted September 6, 2015 by Ted Bird

   It would be one thing if the mainstream Canadian news media merely ignored partisan attempts to cast Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a Frankenstein hybrid of Charles Manson, Al Capone and (your favorite 20th century criminal dictator here…

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General

Canada Needs A REAL National Autism Strategy: Medicare for Autism NOW!

Posted June 13, 2015 by H L Doherty

A Medicare for Autism Now! Rally was organized by FEAT-BC and held in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 26, 2007.Shawn Murphy,  Jim Munson,  Andy ScottFormer PEI MP Shawn Murhpy, New Brunswick Senator Jim Munson and the late Andy Scott a forme…

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Allan's Perspective

It’s against the law, bunky!

Posted March 30, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Dear Readers: Coming soon to a city near you ………,stupid laws and regulations! Yup, they’re doing it in England and the States, BUT,  we got them all beat!! In England, Councils creating ‘bizarre new criminal offences’       <img alt=”PA Wire” src=”http://news.images.itv.com/image/file/629342/article_update_img.jpg”A campaign group has criticised a new law which allows councils to ban activities such as […]

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Allan's Perspective

U.S. Republicans are a bunch of hypocrites!

Posted March 26, 2015 by Allan W Janssen

Remember the big kerfuffle because the Republicans in the States claimed Obama was ineligible to be President because he was born in Nigeria, or Slobvania, or somewhere else ……… anywhere else except the United States? (Wrong, and that asshole Donald Trump is STILL going on about that!) Well kids, apparently what’s good for the goose is […]

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Feminism

Lego Magazine Want To Beautify Your 5-Year-Old

Posted March 17, 2015 by Anonymous

On the heels of the whole “Toy Of The Year” fiasco, we now have this: Lego is handing out beauty tips to girls aged 5-12. Yup. If you remember, back in 2011 Lego introduced their Lego Friends line. Aimed at […]

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Feminism

A Decent Girl

Posted March 6, 2015 by Kath

My fourteen-year-old daughter came home from school one day this week and sighed. “Rough day?”  I asked. “Everyone was making fun of me because I said I was a feminist.” My first emotions were pride and relief. Well, I must’ve […]

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Books

Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Posted March 3, 2015 by Anonymous

Image via My husband asked me the other day if I had changed the password on his phone. My negative reply caused us to pause for a moment before turning to our daughter. Let’s just say that she needs to […]

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General

And How Was Your Day?

Posted February 23, 2015 by kate@smalldeadanimals.com

Jerusalem Mayor Takes Down Knife-Wielding Terrorist…

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General

Sustainable Lifestyle & Best Designer Consignment Shops

Posted January 15, 2015 by Sonya

When you have time to think and assess life, ever wonder what you can do to make the world a better place? I’m not talking about massive changes—unless you want to, of course. But what manageable steps can we take […]

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Entertainment

Is Kaley Cuoco Not A Feminist, Or Is She A Victim Of Context?

Posted January 2, 2015 by Anonymous

To end 2014 off on a high note, Redbook released some of its cover interview with Big Bang Theory star, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting. Cuoco-Sweeting, 29, had some choice comments about feminism and the internet responded with its usual vitriol. The magazine […]

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General

London City Council – 2014/12/18

Posted December 20, 2014 by Anonymous

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General

LTC Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Posted December 14, 2014 by Anonymous

London Transportation Commission
450 Highbury Avenue N.
London, Ontario; N5W 5L2
c/o Ms Caroline Roy; Executive Assistant
Please accept this added communication for the Commission’s 2014/12/17 meeting.
By deliberate design, the London Transportation Commission has only ever provided a limited number of archived agendas & minutes via it’s public website, ie. http://http://ltconline.ca/Agendas.htm.
For the sake of increased public transparency, please accept […]

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General

London City Council – 2014/12/09

Posted December 11, 2014 by Anonymous

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Allan's Perspective

Get out of town!

Posted December 2, 2014 by Allan W Janssen

Now, over the past few days we have looked at an American Democrat with Republican leanings, and an American Republican who likes the Democrats. How about somebody who doesn’t like either? By Lance Freeman Americans, I have some bad news for you: You have the worst quality of life in the developed world – by […]

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Feminism

Woman Murdered After Defending Teen Girls From Being Harrassed

Posted December 2, 2014 by Anonymous

Thousands of Germans are mourning the death of 23-year-old student Tuğçe Albayrak, who was murdered after confronting a group of men harassing teenage girls in a McDonald’s bathroom. Back on November 15, Albayrak was at a McDonald’s in Offenbach when she […]

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