Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Odetta, Voice of Civil Rights Movement, Dies at 77

Oh, how we loved her.

How we adored her.

All you had to do was say her name. "Odetta."

The name, like Pete Seeger, said "authenticity."

Read the NY Times piece here.

That was a time, a mighty time.

Here she sings Water Boy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSDeROnTq64

Whose Funeral?

Court bans Prime Minister from politics for five years


That's from Thailand, not Ottawa.

Too bad.

Have you ever seen such an unholy mess?

Stephen Harper has committed one of the greatest public toe-stubbings in Canadian history. What a klotz.

And the idea that Stephane Dion could be interim Prime Minister for even a nano-second threatens the nation with mass cardio problems.

The Liberal Party has no money. It just a few weeks ago won the lowest share of popular votes in history and Dion has been the least popular leader of all time.

Yet thanks to Harper's Hubris and colossal misreading of every pulse in the land, that troika of red-nosed clowns may be (mis)leading the country for some time to come.

And none of this addresses the airline industry (Air Canada is bleeding.), health, education, crumbling roads, highways sewers and other infrastructures, forests and tourism just for starters.

None of this addresses anything other than the Shakespearean ambitions of tiny little men with tiny little weenies.

So much of their energies are taken up now and will be taken up well into the future with these selfish intrigues that they cannot possibly focus serious attention of the problems ahead.

And the problems are huge and complex.

The TSX dropped more than 800 points yesterday. What visits America follows swiftly north, the incubation period usually being about three months.

The house is burning and these irresponsible children are arm-wrestling to see who gets the last chocolate bar.

Holding on to History

Justine Hunter is the daughter of Greenpeace Founder, novelist, essayist and TV reporter, the late Bob Hunter.

She has been writing from Victoria and Vancouver Island for years, including her current assignments with the Globe & Mail.

Her lead story this morning
on the problems of a Port Hardy native reserve is very powerful in its simplicity and its horror.

One woman has 19 grandchildren in government care. Most of this woman's children are addicts. 27 people living in a single family house. Most houses carrying deadly moulds.

Last week, Mark Milke wrote a piece describing the simple fact that First Nations people who live off the reserve make on average 40% more income.

I look forward to the day when reservations are a thing of the past, when First Nations people join in the rest of the circus with Germans, Jews, Irish, Latvians et al and continue to honor their past. I am sure it is the height of political incorrectness to say that the very idea of reserves is offensive and that the living proof of their ineffectiveness should be enough for more and more natives to consider abandoning them.