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October 9, 2009 Weblog:

A Place at the Table?

A Place at the Table?
The Great Bear Rainforest and ForestEthics

from "Offsetting Resistance: The effects of foundation funding from the Great Bear Rainforest to the Athabasca River", a special report by Dru Oja Jay and Macdonald Stainsby.

Released September, 2009.

http://www.offsettingresistance.ca/

Nuxalk Nation hereditary chief Qwatsinas (Ed Moody) explains that logging was causing concerns for his people on the Central BC Coast around Bella Coola, and that resistance began because “In the boom of the 1960’s and 1970’s, a rush [for logging companies] to get all the timber they could” was already underway. In response, “There was action with the hereditary chiefs and the elder people, and eventually the band council.” In 1994, the Nuxalk Nation invited Environmental Non- Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) large and small into their territory to see large scale clearcut logging then well underway.

“We sat down and discussed the pros and cons of any kind of relationship, and we set up a protocol and signed a protocol agreement.” The alliance with Greenpeace and smaller ENGOs Forest Action Network, People’s Action for Threatened Habitat and Bear Watch, says Qwatsinas, “started out really basic. The key people signed the agreements and we had our goals and our objectives and what we want to do to protect the environment.”

“That was the common goal between the environmentalists and ourselves as the First Nation, the Nuxalk, still had the outstanding issue of the land question. There had been a process developed in British Columbia called the BC Treaty Process. We could see that it wasn’t what we wanted because it was very limited, was kind of corrupt and really bent towards the industry.”

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September 25, 2009 Weblog:

They Tore Down the Kremlin-- and I Wasn't There

The lyrics to the song contained in this track are available here:
http://www.lyricsdownload.com/alarm-the-new-south-wales-lyrics.html 

They Tore Down The Kremlin-- and I wasn't there.
September 20, 2009. 

Macdonald John Enoch Stainsby.

I guess I should first explain why I am writing this article. It would not be at all inaccurate to say I'm trying to channel incredibly powerful emotions that have surfaced as a result of a recent short visit to Maerdy, south Wales in the Rhondda Valley. My family roots trace back to the town known as “Little Moscow” from the 1920's on. I have long known of our ties to this community but not the depth of those connections or what impact on me these ties would have.

I began my own personal journey in life that took me to revolutionary conclusions by necessity beginning when I was in high school but not becoming the path that I would take with my life until my early 20's, roughly 13 years ago. My reasons for moving towards the revolutionary transformation of society had almost nothing to do with our family history but were based on my own rational conclusions based on the state of the world. To this day when someone asks me why I'm a self-described revolutionary I still want to reply: “Look around you. Why aren't you?”

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July 11, 2009 Weblog:

Addiction to Death

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Addiction to Death
July 11, 2009

Apparently Grouse Mountain near Vancouver will now install a giant wind turbine to produce new energy. While this begins I am resisting nicotine valiantly, creating a convergence of thoughts.

Addictions do strange things to the mind. An addicted mind will come up with all sorts of rationalizations-- all merely designed to allow the space for the addiction to live itself out. The raw justifications are endless-- feeding the addiction as a means of rewarding ones self for taking a break from feeding the addiction, for example.

I should state these thoughts are an interesting bunch for me, even closer than usual as I fight off the nicotine monster. “Monster”is a very apt term for it as well; human beings caught in the throng of a major addiction tend to negotiate in their thoughts as if the addiction were at the other side of a negotiating table. Worse, in the case of cigarettes-- you are essentially negotiating with something that will kill you.

Thoughts abound-- “Maybe I can smoke only after meals,” one might say. “I only smoke at the end of the day” is another. “I don't know how else to relax,” “I don't have the time to deal with the stress of quitting,” ad infinitum. Or, perhaps better said-- ad nauseum.

The majority of these mental twists include the idea that one can hold on to the addiction, and somehow not reap the 'rewards'. So too, then, are notions of the current fad: “Green shift”. The Green Shift supposes (much like smoking 'light' cigarettes) that an entire society can continue to consume energy, with little more than a few bumps as we slowly, surely shift towards 'green' energy sources.

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June 8, 2009 Weblog:

Irving Refinery Blues

Irving Refinery Blues

Please forgive me-- this may end up seeming like a rant in places, for I simply must get some things off my chest. I hope my prediction that it will make sense by the end is true.

I am a strong proponent of the idea that hitchhiking is simply one of the greatest forms of grassroots journalism. When you enter a new place, the odds are quite high that you are traveling with a local. If this is the case, then you will become immediately armed with “insider” information to which there is little match. The sorts of things I am often lucky to learn, in any case, would certainly not be told in any tourist information booth.

I woke up today in Riviere Du Loup, in Eastern Québec. I made a cold instant coffee and ate some granola bars before wandering across the highway to seek rides further East. I managed three rides fairly easily, each of them pleasant and warm, no hassles and even interesting tangents of separate activity here and there. But what I need to rant about was the ranting of my last ride of the day, a man named Doug who picked me up when I was but one ride from here-- Saint John, New Brunswick.

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April 8, 2009 Weblog:

Reaction to Apartheid Week in Lethbridge?

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[Photos of the Anti-Apartheid Week displays and posters put out by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (Lethbridge)]

When one thinks of Lethbridge, Alberta-- some 2.5 hours drive southeast of Calgary-- one doesn't think of a hotbed of radicalism. In the time since I arrived last night to participate in a student lecture and display series to be held at the local University, some of the signs as to what one might expect from Lethbridge in general have been on display. There was the sign posted near a restaurant that reads "We still (heart) Alberta beef!" for example, and the student at the university who was literally taking his hockey stick with him to class. The beautiful rolling gully known as the Coulies in this traditional Blackfoot Nation territory divides the town, but something else has been dividing the students at both the primary college and the aforementioned University. Now, it is Palestine-- and the resistance to any mention of their plight.

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June 15, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard

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Notes from the Tar Pits:
Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard
Macdonald Stainsby // June 15, 2007

The plane cleared the tarmac and into the air we went, with a warning that the flight was going to have to go a little bit to the east of the usual, as the forest fires were too heavy. But the plume of white obfuscation that rose more than all the others was Suncor’s, with 2nd through 6th place going to Syncrude, CNRL, Albian/Shell, Total and (off in the distance) Petro Canada. It was completely impossible to spot any difference between the forest fires and the plumes of death-toxins breaking up into the atmosphere.

The giant tailings lakes are a sight to behold. The one near Syncrude, as I discovered from our pilot, is among the largest human made dams in the entire world. Though, I’m getting “biggest” fatigue; Every time I learn a new angle on how this is operating, it’s about the “biggest”. As a gentleman who drove us out of Fort MacKay said the other day: “If it’s the biggest in the world, it’s here,” and he was making zero reference to anything in particular.

Along with the largest craters in the world, deep pits of black sided land, being munched away, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and through every holiday are the highways being constructed. While people living downstream in Fort Chipewyan have unsafe running water in their homes and are a seasonal fly-in community, the roads to “projects” are as relentlessly constructed as the tar is pulled out of the earth. There are full private highways, and when it’s time to pull the tar from under the highway, they simply move it and build another one. Oil is still oil, after all (even when it is tar and synthetic/mock).

» continue reading "Notes from the Tar Pits: Flying Above an Open Pit Graveyard"

June 14, 2007 Weblog:

Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay

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Notes from the Tar Pits: From McMurray to MacKay
Macdonald Stainsby
June 14, 2007

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